[Black screen. The members of a US “indie” band attempt vainly to hide their highly practised musicianship as they perform a song about balloons called “A Song About Balloons“.]

MOVIE TRAILER VOICEOVER: You’ve had a hard week at work. All you want is to do is slump in front of a DVD in which Bruce Willis smirks and explodes helicopters. But earlier on you agreed to go out to the art house cinema with your girlfriend this evening. And your date has a graduate degree in the humanities. Yes, you’re going to watch William Hurt grow a beard.

[Fade to office of New York shrink. William Hurt is on the couch. He has a beard.]

HURT: Is that what blocked writers do? Have sex with their students in the hope of reawakening their creativity and prompting a crisis in their sadly becalmed relationship with their wives?

SHRINK: [off screen, as she remains for the rest of the movie] Yes. Maggie Gyllenhaal is available.

HURT: Okay. Can you pencil me in for an initially spiky encounter with her that presages a short-lived but passionate tryst in act two?

SHRINK: Of course. But first you have to encounter The Other Major Star Who Isn’t Your Wife. He’ll be playing a minor role, but be crucial to your ultimate emotional breakthrough. He won’t be looking for an Oscar™, but he’ll be winking at the Academy so that they remember he’s Supporting Actor in the bigger budget My Granddaughter Is A Lesbian With Asperger’s as the male lead’s homophobic best friend.

[HURT returns home to his wife, SIGOURNEY WEAVER. He walks into the kitchen and stands on a box so that her eyes are level with his beard.]

HURT: Where’s Laura Linney?


HURT: Isn’t she always in this sort of thing?

WEAVER: She couldn’t make it. The agency sent Judy Greer instead.

[Bruce Willis crashes through the window, hanging from a rope and wrestling with a NINJA.]

HURT: What the fuck?!

WILLIS: Hold it! Hold it!

[WILLIS and the NINJA untangle their limbs and WILLIS turns to HURT and WEAVER.]

WILLIS: Shit, did she get to choose the movie again?

WEAVER: I’m afraid so, Bruce.

WILLIS: [shouting to the crew outside] Sorry, guys! Girlfriend’s got a graduate degree in the humanities!

[There are muffled and distant cries of “Aww fuck!” and “Jeez, not again!”
WILLIS and the NINJA dust themselves down and walk off set.]

NINJA: [to WILLIS] Could be worse; could be Meet The Underwater Smoking Tanngoliabees.

WILLIS: Hell, yeah. This one’s got some kind of plot at least.

Bill’s beard’s looking good. I know there’s not much up on top, but d’ya think I could get, like, a goatee or something?

[to JUDY GREER] Hey, Judy! Whassup? Looks like you’re on tonight.

MOVIE TRAILER VOICEOVER: William Hurt Grows A Beard: at a theatre close to you soon, next to the organic smoothies.