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National Politics Tue Feb 17 2009
Dear Mr. Beatty,
I am writing you this query letter to surmise your interest in my screenplay, Plucky: The Karl Rove Story, a biopic about the life and career of GOP political operative extraordinaire Karl Rove. I believe that by getting an "attachment" from a big name such as yourself to play the title role, I will be able to secure the studio financing to produce the film. Attached is a copy of the screenplay; please note curly-cue font. That's to add whimsy. I feel with the Bush Presidency receding out of view, the time is ripe for a biopic about one of its most enigmatic operators.
I have a spotted history with Mr. Rove. I consider him as the apogee of a generation of politics infused with demagoguery, truth denial, and disregard for science and reason. I think he sucks, generally, is what I'm trying to say. So actually it's not spotty, it's perfectly consistent. But in considering the type of biopic to write, I decided to focus on the positives of Karl Rove's story; except in one category, which I will get to later.
The story, though not the film, begins with young Karl wowing his principal with his adorable "Philadelphia lawyer" arguments in defense of his and his cohorts' ribald behavior. The theme, that of a plucky underdog able to win friends and influence people through sheer pluckiness, is set. Karl goes on to become disillusioned with the snobby intellectualism and elitism of university life, where people presume to claim "knowledge" of "facts" and "theories based on millions of hours of research and peer criticism" and la di da. He drops out to get involved in the "real world"--the world of professional political operatives which less than 1% of the American public ever gets involved in.
Rove gets himself noticed by sticking his nose to the grindstone and refusing to accept what the "experts" have to say, using his down-home wisdom to figure out what people want to hear. There is a great scene here where Karl is talked down to at a campaign staff meeting by an effete New York City Republican strategist, only to brilliantly orchestrate his personal destruction through a whispering campaign about his homosexuality and various perverse proclivities. This is an amalgamation of several events, made necessary by constraint of time.
Karl Rove was "nobody nobody sent" as we say in Chicago, but through sheer elan came to control the levers of power at the highest level. Only a socialist would scorn a story like that! To that end, there is a gorgeous set pieces wherein legions of young aspiring GOP operatives arrive at the First Union Center in Philadelphia in 2000 to pledge their everlasting fealty and apprenticeship to him, kind of like the ring-kissing scene in The Godfather, but with bologna sandwiches.
As you can see, the movie is unrelentingly positive. We would like to showcase Rove's escaping a sad home life to the epicenter of the conservative resurgence that began with Richard M. Nixon, was carried forward by Ronald Reagan, and reached its height with George W. Bush, an illustrious history of material, policy successes that benefitted the vast majority of Americans and unified us across racial, class, and geographical lines (this will include a montage that shows Richard Nixon hugging hippies, Ronald Reagan riding in a "welfare queen"'s limo, and George W. Bush tugging a raft full of Katrina victims to safety with a rope between his teeth). All the while, Rove as played by you will be a commanding presence in rooms full of quivering aides and mealy-mouthed losers--remember the effeminate legislators in 300?--brushing aside concerns about "process" and demanding that action be taken even when outcomes are uncertain or certainly negative. Rove's pluckiness is contrasted by the viewer's awareness that everything he works for throughout the movie is essentially washed away in one election--confirming the fact that everything Rove holds dear would have been better served if he had never been born, given his slash-and-burn, witless form of political praxis--giving your performance a tragic tinge that will surely light Oscar buzz.
You may be wondering, Mr. Beatty, what an unrepentant Lefty like myself would be doing writing a glowing biopic about the life and successes of Karl Rove? Here we get to the other theme of the movie, as well as your answer: all the good stuff is just a stealth way to get in the scenes of humiliating psychosexual slapstick.
We figured in order to make sure this didn't come across as a piece of hagiography or, worse, something that didn't accomplish the secret revenge lust I harbor for Rove, we should make all of the sex scenes--and there are many--impossibly humiliating. For example, you'll note the script is unusually short for what will be a three hour film. This is because it opens with a thirty-five minute, dialog-free scene where Mr. Rove sits in the back of an Austin adult video store completely nude, staring at himself in a mirror and crying with a high-pitched, breathy cry, occasionally miserably inspecting his manhood.
There is also a scene where Karl attempts to flirt with a fellow Nixon for President volunteer, only to have her break into uproarious laughter when he tries to smoothly lean on the desk and slips off the edge, landing ass-first into a trash can that then sticks to him like a cartoon.
As to your participation, we don't intend any ironic comment. We will avoid campiness, but will require you to reprise your role in Deliverance, in a stylized re-telling of Rove's first meeting with George W. Bush, in this instance re-cast as a forest-dwelling hillbilly.
"Ether" by Nas will play over the closing credits.