Fall City (2018) Script



Wake up.

Santa's here.

Come on, let's go see him.

It's him.




I'm on foot pursuit, northbound.

Fall City, River Street.


Hi, Mom.

It's been a long time. Yeah.

How was your drive?

Oh, it was fine.

Is Alex here?

His deployment has been extended.

He won't be home for another six months.



So, where's your car?

It's in the shop right now.

I spoke with Eugene down at the post office, and you start tomorrow morning.

Dad, look, I didn't come here to work.

Oh, you have rent?

I'm actually in-between places right now.

Oh, I see.

So, your uh, your car is in the shop, you don't have any place to live, and for the first time in over a year, you tell us you're comin' home just for a holiday visit?

Yes, Dad!

You are welcome to be for Christmas, but if you wanna stay any longer, you'll need to pay rent.

Lock your keys in?


Uh, yes, yeah, yeah I did.

Don't worry.

I come from a long line of car people.

So, I'm kind of a pro.


You can keep that.

Thanks, um--

Olivia. Olivia, Jon.

Happy to help, Jon.

Have a good day, don't lock the hanger in now.

Thank you!

Not open yet.


I should've known it was you.

What, you still can't read?

Or speak, for that matter.

What's it been, 10 years?

What're you doing here?

Looks more like 30.

I'm just here mindin' my business.

Good luck with the big words.


Well, if it isn't Jon Price.

Hey, Gene. Come in, come in.

Don't be shy.

I can't tell you how good it is to see you.

What's it been, about three years?


It's gonna be great havin' another Price at the old USPS.

Followin' in your dad's footsteps?

Look, I don't know what my dad said, but I'm actually going back to Spokane in just a couple weeks, right after Christmas. Oh.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

Well, I suppose we can use you as seasonal help, if that's what you need right now.

Yeah, that'd be good.

Good mornin', Eugene.

I was goin' over the P routes from last week.

I noticed a couple of things-- Derek.

I want you to meet our new hire.


You know each other?

High school.

Well, that's great.

Derek, will you get Jon started?

And when you're done, come by my office.

I want to hear what you've been up to.

Alright, come on.

I need you to start, by cleaning and organizing the storage room.

Look, it's not like there was an opening here, alright?

Eugene gave you a job out of pity, and we need to find something for you to do.

And right now, that means cleaning the storage room.

Sorry, we're closed!

Oh, no, I was just, hey.

You son of a bitch!

What you doin' in my truck?

Merry Christmas, Jon.

Oh, my god!

Are you alright?

Let me help you.

Let me help you, okay, okay.

Hold on.

You stay here and I'll call the police.

No, hey.

Look, I'll take care of that.

Really, I should just go, it's fine.

Hold on.

What happened?

Just the...

End to a really bad...


I think with stolen cars, the rate of return is pretty high.

Usually it's just some moron who wants to take the stereo.

Yeah. And besides.

The year isn't over yet.


Well, you said you've had a bad year, it's not over yet.


Okay, that sounded bad.

What I meant was, there's still time for things to change.

I've been there.

Okay, I didn't get beat up while my car was being stolen, but, I mean...

Here it is.

It's Christmas, and I've got a daughter at home, and I'm right in the middle of a divorce.

I'm sorry.

It's okay.

At least I have a car.

Oh, my gosh, that wasn't funny.

I'm so sorry, I was just-- No, it's okay.

It was funny.

It was.

We're doing okay.

My daughter and I.

We're just holding onto hope as best we can.

I mean, she's four, how was she supposed to understand her daddy not being around?

And to make things worse, I can hardly be there for her.

She's with a sitter right now.


I have to go.


I'm sorry to run out like this.

I'm sure my sitter's fallen asleep by now.

Oh, no, it's okay.

I thought you said your family are car people?

No. Sorry, that wasn't funny.

No, I mean, it was.

It's just, it's my battery.

Can you push?

They all own cars!


My family, they all own cars!

That makes them car people, right?

Woo, thank god!

Or, thank Jon.

I'd offer you a ride but-- No, no, it's okay.

I don't live far.

Why don't you come by tomorrow at five?

I can give you a thank-you haircut, on the house.

I will, five o'clock?


Alright. Okay.

Good luck with your truck and the police and don't forget, the year isn't over yet.

I'm goin' home. Not yet.

The lobby needs to be done, tonight.

It really doesn't.

Unlike you, I have a life.

It's the holidays at the post office.

You don't get a life here.

And you need to be in uniform.



Alex. Alex?


How's it goin'?

You know, about as good as the desert gets.

Where are you now? Afghanistan.

I mentioned that in my last letter.

Oh, yeah. So, where are you now?

Are you still in Spokane?

Are you back in school? Spokane?

No, I'm here, in Fall City.

Working at the post office.

Oh, dude, I'm sorry, how's that going?

Well, to be totally honest, things have been pretty shitty lately.

I just, uh, I don't know.

Oh, that sucks, what's going on?


Oh, man, I'm out of minutes.

Already? Dude, I haven't--

Sorry, man, can't call.

Be there for Christmas.

You'll be here for Christmas?


But I hope Santa knows--

In Afghanistan.

Well, didn't Dad tell you? Santa was killed in action.





Piece of shit!

Santa died?


It's actually worse than that.

Santa Claus isn't real.

He never was, it's just your parents.

You're better off knowing that now, kid.

My mom said he was real.

Well, she lied!

Everybody lies, including your mom!

Excuse me?

Olivia, I, uh--

I don't believe this.

I don't believe this, get in the car.

What makes you think it's any of your business to tell my daughter anything?

No, I have tried so hard, so hard to make a nice Christmas for her and you come along and you take away her childhood in two seconds!

You know what?

I'm glad that guy beat you up.

I just wish I could've helped!

No, no, you've done enough!

What do you want?

I, uh...

Still need a haircut.



So, what are we gonna do?

I was hoping I could talk to your daughter--

No, about your hair.

What are we gonna do about your hair?

Well, I like how it is, so a little shorter, I guess?


What's your daughter's name?



That's unique.

She doesn't think Santa is coming anymore.

Yeah, about that.

It was the worst possible thing you could've told her.

I've been working really hard to give her a nice Christmas so that she can have something to trust, and then you come along.

Yeah, it wasn't a good day. Yeah, you made sure of that.

There used to be a barber shop near here.

I was probably just a little older than Adiel.

And it was there that my dad decided to tell me the truth about Santa Claus, right before my grandpa's funeral.

My grandpa, he used to dress up like Santa Claus every year, and he'd always be there when my brother and I would sneak out of our room and we'd see him putting toys under the Christmas tree.

I wish more kids could be so lucky to see that.

It just made it that much more real.

And, all at once,

Santa was gone, and so was the man who made him real for us.

Look, I know none of this explains what I did, but I just...


I just, uh...

Wanted to say I was sorry.

Hey, son.

How was your day?

It's fine, Mom.

Do you wanna talk about it?

You know, sometimes it really helps to--


I'm fine.


Come in.

John, what can I do for you?

Hey, Eugene.

Do you know where this came from?

Looks like the North Pole.

It must've been a treat, you kids getting these each year.

We didn't get much feedback from it.

It came from here?


This was probably written by your grandpa.


Every year, Central allows local volunteers to take care of the letters to Santa from their zip code.

Your grandpa used to come to work with your dad and write back.

So, who does it now?

Let me show you.

I used to try to get to some when I could.

A few employees did, too, but it's been hard to find people or time in recent years.

Oh, is he still living out there?

Yeah, he is, he's still got his farm going.

Oh, hello there.

Shouldn't you be with your mom?

Vegetables are boring.

Yes, they are.

I wanna find the candy canes.

Do you remember me?

Yeah, you're an asshole.

You probably shouldn't say that.

That's what my mom said, I heard her talking on the phone.

Well, I guess that's me, or Jon.

That's my name, Jon.

What're you looking for?

Well, that's a good question.

Very profound.

What does that mean? It's a word that, hey, look.

I'm sorry for being an, for being so mean to you.

All those things that I said, I didn't mean them okay?

Why did you say it if you didn't mean it?

Well, 'cause Santa isn't for adults.

Santa just brings toys to kids.

Why isn't Santa for adults?

Well, that's another good question.

Well, I guess you could say-- Jon?

She come up to me, I swear.

You shouldn't swear.

It's okay.

I'm glad it's you.

When I see Adiel talking to strangers, it freaks me out.

She's really smart.

Mommy, can we get some marshmallows?

Listen, I wanted to thank you for the car battery.

You really didn't have to do that.

Also, I'm sorry about your hair, I can fix it anytime.

Marshmallows, marshmallows.

No, not today, sweetheart.

Anyway, we have to be going.

Right, of course. Jon has marshmallows.

Can he make cookies with us?

Well, I do have marshmallows.

Oh, your stars look beautiful.


We have to have two for everyone.

Look at that, I did amazing!

Now can I do it in the middle?

Now you can do it in the middle, here you go.

Do you wanna trade with me?

I think it's ready, I think you can decorate it.

And then just itsy-bitsy, oh, that's too much, sweetheart.

It's for keeping out the bad guys.

Like this guy?


Charge, he's gonna get, oh, no!


Now I'm gonna attack you!

Oh, Adiel!

I'm so sorry.

It's past your bedtime.

It's okay.

Oh, you don't need to do that.


No, I didn't mean...

Thank you.

Sorry to make you wait. Oh, that's okay.

Have a seat.


College didn't agree with me, and I definitely didn't agree with it.

But I was expected to go, supposed to find my path.

But that path just led to academic probation, so when a new semester came around, I just didn't re-enroll.

When I found out that I was having Adiel, I was completely in shock.

I thought I would have time for so many things.

But now, I can't imagine my life without her.

I never would have imagined that the hardest moment in my life would've led to some of the best.


Thanks for letting me come over.

It was nice to see Adiel smiling again.

Maybe I can come by again?


I'm not really looking for a relationship right now.

I'm sorry if that's blunt, but I just wanna be upfront with you.

Life's been so unstable lately, and I'm still just trying to figure it all out.

It was nice having an actual grownup to talk to tonight, though.

I just don't wanna give you the wrong idea.

No, that's fine.

If a friend is what you need right now, then that's what I'll be.

I could definitely use a friend.

So, I'll see you again?




Tell Adiel to write a letter to Santa Claus.


Just address it to the North Pole.

I'll make sure she gets a response.

Okay, I will.



"Dear Santa, thank you for the Star Wars stuff last year.

"Does Rudolph have a red nose?

"This year, I want a helicopter and some candy.

"Your best pal, Joshua."

Dear Joshua.

Helicopters are awesome.

I've been thinking maybe I could do more than just cleaning.

There's not a lot of sense in training you if you're leaving in a few weeks.

Actually, I was thinking I would stick around a while longer.

Now, that's what I wanna hear.

"Santa, I have been very good.

"Can Big Bird visit me with Cookie Monster too?"

"Dear Santa, this year if you bring presents

"that need batteries, please bring batteries, Gabby."

Derek, I'd like you to show Jon the auto-sort system today.

Then I need you to get him a key to the building.

Dear Daniel.

Dear Megan.

Dear Gabby, I'll bring batteries.

This is auto-sort, each stack has an ad code next to it.

Punch that into the machine, you run each one through.

Jon, hey!


I was wondering if I, if you could, wanted to eat lunch.


Just give me a second, okay?

How's it goin', man? Good, how are you?

Thursday night is spaghetti night.

Do you wanna come?

Yeah. Okay.

That'd be awesome. We even have salad.

Okay. Okay!


Gonna chop up your pasta?

Chop it up.

We'll help you chop the pasta.


I'll be right back, okay? Okay.


Out like a light.

You have a record player.


It was my mom's.

There's nothin' quite like 'em.

All the pops and scratches.

Hmm, yeah.

Now, this is Christmas.

I'm not seeing Chipmunks Christmas in here.


No chipmunks? Shh!

I'm sorry.

Chipmunks are fine, but that's not Christmas.

I don't think we can be friends anymore.


I have one that I bet you'll love.

♪ The snow is falling ♪ Well?


This is a good one.

We can still be friends.

It wasn't the best tent in the world.

I mean, just a little bit of rain, we'd wake up in puddles!

But Alex insisted we do it every night the entire summer.

And we didn't even sleep on pads or anything.

I think my back is still out of alignment from that summer.

Oh, god, I can't imagine having my brother halfway around the world like that.

I thought my sister was far away, and she's only in North Carolina.

Do you have any family in Washington?


I came out here for school.

And then I met my husband.

And he's from here, so...

This is where I stayed.

Do you mind if I ask what happened?

It's a long story.

He wasn't taking things seriously.

I was the one working, all through the pregnancy.

I told him if he didn't step it up, that he needed to leave.

We've been doing counseling sessions at my church, but, they haven't been going very well.

The truth is, I don't want Adiel growing up without a father around.

Things have been so hard on her lately and she still doesn't fully believe that Santa's coming this year.

I'm just trying to make ends meet, let alone be there for Adiel.

And it just seems like,

no matter how hard I try,

everything just still falls apart.


Oh, sweetie, what's wrong?

I had the spider dream, can you read me a bedtime story?

It's a little late for a bedtime story.

Here, let me get you a drink of water, okay?


Will you read me a bedtime story?

I don't know.

What kinda stories do you like?

I like the frog and bird one, it's right there.


"Once there was a frog who lived in the swamp.

"Far below the leafy trees, he would swim, "and warm himself in the sun.

"One day, the bird called down to the frog.

"'From up here, I can touch the sky.'

"The frog replied, 'down here, I can explore everything, "'under the trees and in the water.'

"'You've got the land and I've got the sky.

"'Together,' said the bird, 'we've got everything covered.'"


Yeah? Are you spending the night?

No, sweetie.

He can't.

I'm gonna go.

♪ Silent night ♪

♪ Holy night ♪

♪ All is calm ♪

♪ All is bright ♪

♪ Round yon virgin, mother and child ♪

Oh, Jon, I wasn't expecting you to be in here.

I just came to bring these in.

My shift doesn't start until eight, I was just, uh--

It's okay, I was hoping you'd do some of this.

That's quite a stack.

I'm actually hoping that we can get these on the outgoing trucks the morning of the 23rd.

That way, the kids could have them by Christmas Eve.

That will certainly make their day.


A few weeks ago, you mentioned that there was an assistant position available.


You know Derek's interested in that position, too?


But you know, more than experience, more than knowledge, what I look for in that position is strong character.

You keep up the good work, we'll keep talkin'.


"Dear Santa.

"Thank you for the presents last year, I loved them a lot.

"This year, the only thing I want is a

"original Care Bear called Wish Bear.


A Care Bear?

Oh, come on.

Hey, Mom, do you mind if borrow your car?

I've got a couple of errands I need to run.

Sure, I just need it back by tonight.


Olivia, slow down and just give--

No, I don't wanna stay here and listen to him talk at me--

Olivia, I tried to tell-- Derek.

You're always telling me something, and I'm tired of hearing it. What do you want from me?

I want you to listen, and stop talking over me all the time!

I don't wanna be here!

Just give her a chance-- Okay, Adam, please.

No no no, I'm just getting more groceries, okay?

I'm coming right back.



Could I help? No, I've got it.

I come bearing gifts.

Jon, I'm not really up for anything right now, okay?

I just need some time alone.

Okay, yeah, maybe I can take Adiel to--

No, Jon!

I mean we need time alone.

I just, I can't do this.

Not right now, things are too hard.

I understand what you're going through.

Dammit, Jon, will you please listen to me?

You don't understand, I don't wanna do this!

It was a family emergency in Oregon, I think.

But Derek?

I guess the young were bound to inherit the Earth.

Wait, what?

What's Derek inheriting?

Assistant Post Master for now.

Eugene promoted him this morning.



I need to speak with you.

Why is this door locked?

Privately, if you don't mind.

Oh, nice, you think you own the place already, don't you?

Jon, have you ever been convicted of a felony or served time in prison? What does that have to...

That's none of your damn business.

We have to let you go.

You don't have the authority to do that.

I do, actually.

Oh, of course.

Mr. Assistant Post Master!

Congratulations, by the way, on the promotion, I didn't think you and your purple car would last another week!

Federal employees can't have been to prison.

Where's Eugene?

You need to get your things and leave.

Where's Eugene?

He had a family emergency, he's in Oregon for two weeks.

He already knows, it was called into Central this morning.

It's done.

Jon, you're not allowed back here anymore.

Yeah what do you think I'm gonna do, steal someone's mail?

Jon, you're fired!

Now, get out of here before I call the police.

Oh, you're home, I thought you had to work today?

No. Well, good.

I could use your help.

I wanted to make some cookies for friends at work tomorrow.

You're welcome to take some to work, too, when we're done.

I'm really not in the mood right now.

Look, Jon.

I know you've been through a lot recently, but, it's Christmas, New Year, it's time for new beginnings.

New rent? Everybody pays rent, Jon.

Not to their parents.

You're supposed to be helping me.

We're trying to help you, trying to help you learn.

I know how to learn, I know how to pay rent.

That's not what I need right now.

Then what? What, Jon, what do you need?

I don't know, I just, I need, maybe some--

What, a break? Yes!

You've been on a break for years!

Yeah, I'm sorry, let me just get right back to school.

You're not in school because you quit!

Oh, Mom. It's true!

You talk about life like it's taken everything from you, but you're the one who keeps throwing everything away!

Blame it on academic probation, blame it on whatever, but you chose to stop going to classes.

You were fired from your job, because you chose to break into somebody's car!

You lost your apartment because you lost your job.

These are your choices, Jon, no one else's!

Fine, Mom, yeah, fine!

I've made mistakes, I know!

But not everything is like that!

Some things are just gonna fall apart no matter what.

Like life is gonna dangle something right in front of your face and then snatch it away without you having done anything wrong.

Have I made crap choices?


But everyone has.

But sometimes, life is just plain shit!

That's true.




I'm gonna go for a walk.

Come on.

Really? Whisky.

You got anything you wanna say before I kick your ass?

Shut up, Jon. Unbelievable.


You have me mopping floors and then you take a promotion you didn't deserve and fire me with it.

Oh, you've got big balls or a death wish to show your face around me right now.

I didn't fire you. I'm sorry, what?

I said, I didn't fire you!

And you shouldn't have been hired in the first place.

So don't give me your pity story.

You don't know me, you don't know anything about me.

Save it for a judge, Jon.

You should be comfortable standing in front of one by now.



You don't know why I needed that job, and it sure as hell was a better reason than your shitty car.

Drop the car. What?

You're mumbling again, I can't hear you.

I sold the car, okay?

So, drop it.


Been trying to for a month.

It's sold now, okay, it's gone.

I just, I needed the money.

Needed the money?

For what? For life, Jon.

And I didn't take that promotion, okay?

Eugene gave it to me. No, he told me that--

Yeah, he probably would have given it to you.

He talked about you like you were family.

But then he found out about your felony.

He said a new start could be a good thing for you.

Now you could really spread your wings.

What about you?

I have a family, Jon.

A wife and a little girl.

I wasn't providing.

I need that money.

I need it for my family.




Do you have a minute?


I, um, talked with Eugene the other day, and he told me how you'd been writing those letters from Santa like Grandpa did.

Comin' in early and everything.

Got this, uh...

This box has a bunch of his old things in it and I...

It seems like you might wanna see it.


You know, I realized today that, I wasn't much older than you are when Grandpa died.

It was hard.

I know it was for you, but it was for me, too.

I'm sure I felt a lot like you do now, a little lost.

You see, when you were first born, uh,

I was pretty scared, I, I didn't know how to be a dad.

And with Grandpa around, I relied on him a lot.

So, when he was gone, it was hard.

But you know, going through this box, I realized that he had his fair share of struggles, too.

In spite of those troubles, he was, he was still the same old Grandpa.

He'd be proud of you, Jon.

Excited that you wrote those letters like he did.

Can I help you find anything?

Yeah, actually, I'm trying to do a really nice Christmas dinner for a friend of mine and her daughter.

No, no.

Let's just put that right there.

This is a potato.

Until they're tender, you stick a fork into it and it can come out 15 minutes, the same time as the cranberries.

These are parsnips.

They're kind of like carrots, a little bit different.


So, instead, and it'll look really flashy and cool.

I have full confidence you're gonna be alright.

Alright. Thanks so much.

You're so welcome.

Yeah, hold on.

I know it's not the same without Alex here, but, I just thought, just for tonight, we could pretend that he's safe and with us.

Thank you, dear.

Thanks, Mom.

Years ago, during my summers, I worked as a deck hand on a small coast skimmer making logging runs and, we'd come back into Seattle, most of the time we were empty but on this particular night, Christmas Eve, we carrying toys.

With the radar out, I was certain we were off course.

Now, I was worried, because it was Christmas Eve, and I knew our cargo was full of toys.

Then, I looked up from the wheelhouse, and through the thickness of the fog, I saw a small but bright red light in the sky.

Santa Claus.

Well, I can't say for sure, but that light guided us all the way to the docks.

And after we moored, I walked out onto the deck, and I distinctly heard bells disappearing with the red light into the fog.

Yeah, I'm in.

Looks like the back door's been opened.

I'm checkin' the front now.

Suspect's exiting the back.


No, no, no, no, no, no!

Are you alright?

Can you help?


I gotta call the police. No!

I have to hurry.

You better run.


He's goin' around back.

It's Santa Claus!

Dear Derek.

I'm sorry for writing a letter.

It's sometime easier for me to get my thoughts out this way.

I can't tell you how often I wish I could go back and change everything.

Change what happened and what I said.

But I know I can't.

I can only work on moving forward and start again.

My pride got in the way and I let it blind me to the fact that you were working to do better.

Adiel's been struggling lately, and I've recently been reminded how important it is to have a loving father around her.

I know saying sorry in a letter isn't the same, so I'd love to tell you in person.

If you're willing, I would love to have you back for Christmas with Adiel and I.

We'll be here on Christmas Eve.

I hope you will be as well.

I understand if you don't wanna come, but know that a new beginning is here waiting for you.

And for us.

Love, Olivia.



Where did you get this?

Sorry, I shouldn't have taken it.

But just know that she wants you back.

They both do.

How do you even know-- Just...

Take care of them.


Do you think he jumped in the water?

Catch hypothermia, if he did.

I'll bet he ran underneath while we were comin' down.

Hello. What're you doin' sleepin'?

It's Christmas! Alex?

Hey, I thought you weren't gonna be able to call?

They were able to set up a satellite connection.

Just for today, I hope that's alright.

No, that's great, that's great!

So, how is everything?

Oh, geez!

Where do I start?

Yeah, uh-huh.


Yeah, that Derek.

Yeah, so it turns out they didn't even have a job for me at all, so, I just ended mopping floors all day.

And then it was right before I talked to you last, yeah.

Uh-huh, hold on.

And is if that isn't bad enough, I have to work late, so I miss her, okay, but it does get worse than that.

They actually sent a letter to the post office that morning.

Yeah, yeah.

No, it's okay.

Yeah, I was actually thinking that.

Yeah, maybe next semester. Oh, that would be great!

You totally should--

Jon? I know.

It was nice talkin' to you. It was.

Don't forget to write! I won't, I promise.


Yes, finally!

I got this!

Thank you, Dad.

Are you so excited? We got so many more presents to open!


It is you.

You look terrible.

Are you okay?


Actually, I'm good.

What is this?

That's for Adiel.

Adiel? Yeah.

That's what Adiel asked Santa to bring her.

Clever little girl.

What is it?

Jon this is what I asked Santa for when I was Adiel's age.

She must have remembered, I told her that I asked for it, and I never got one.

So, it's for you.

Look, Olivia, I just hope you got everything you wanted.

I did.


And what about you?

I will.


I know I will.

I should go.


Merry Christmas, Jon.

♪ Christmas day ♪

♪ It's coming fast ♪

♪ Bringing joy to the world at last ♪

♪ Joy ♪

♪ To the world ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ Oh, Prince of Peace ♪

♪ The world has changed ♪

♪ Still your truth and love remain ♪

♪ Truth ♪

♪ And love ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ Candles in the parlor ♪

♪ Light the way from friend to friend ♪

♪ The Christmas tree, the harmony ♪

♪ The fireplace to tend ♪

♪ The infant child ♪

♪ In the manger lays ♪

♪ He brings the gift of peaceful days ♪

♪ Peaceful days ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ The carolers are bundled up ♪

♪ In coat and scarf and hat ♪

♪ The ornaments and the memories ♪

♪ The spirit of Christmases past ♪

♪ The holy time ♪

♪ Once a year ♪

♪ The jingling bells, the midnight clear ♪

♪ Ave ♪

♪ Maria ♪

♪ Ave ♪

♪ Maria ♪