Something funny is happening in L.A.
The story: quotes audio and pictures
We meet Harris for the first time in "Los Angeles Stationary Bike Riding Park", where no jogging is allowed. This is Harris describing himself, in the opening scene of L.A. Story (voiceover): "My name is Harris K. Telemacher. I live in Los Angeles, and I've had seven heart attacks, all imagined. Let us just say, I was deeply unhappy, but I didn't know it, because I was so happy all the time. Anyway - this is was happened to me, and I swear - it's all true".
Shortcut Harris taking a (dangerous) shortcut to work
Harris works as a weather man at KYOY, where he has his own private parking lot
Harris at work:

The weekend weather-jingle

"We were going to have some clouds in Beverly Hills, but the council voted and decided against it, so there'll be no rain in Beverly Hills"

Harris lives alone with his cat, but has a girlfriend, Trudi. One day, they go to a brunch, meeting friends and friends' friends:

The movie critic: "So - I've seen a film, and I was going to give it an eight or a seven - I don't know. As I'm leaving the parking lot I realize, that the producer got this incredibly good space right by the exit and they put me far away in the back end. So I go on the air that night, I gave it a three" [all laugh out loud]

Sheila, who studies conversation: Trudi: "Sheila has been studying the art of conversation". Harris: "Ooh, you're taking a course in conversation?" Sheila: "Yes" [very long pause]

HappyCouple The woman with a good advice and the man she met on a hit in West Hollywood
Woman: "Whatever you do, don't get dumped in L.A. I mean, it's not like New York where you can meet someone walking down the street. In L.A. you practically have to hit someone with your car. In fact I know girls who speed, just to meet cops". Policeman: "We met on a hit in West Hollywood"
Sara_arrives Sara arrives, just got off a plane from London, where she sat next to a crying baby for twelve hours.
Sara's a journalist, and Roland is her ex-husband. She's come to L.A. to write an article about Los Angeles for London Times
Roland: "Sara just got off a plane from London". Man: "Ohh - you must be exhausted" Sara: "I am, I'm shattered, but it's nothing that some sleep and a good f*** wouldn't cure as my sister used to say", her comment on the flight causes five seconds of embarrassing silence.
Sarasmile Sara smiling to Harris Harris_in_love Harris looking at Sara, already deeply in love

The party ordering:
Guy with neck-support: "I'll have a decaf coffee"
Trudi: "I'll have a decaf espresso"
Movie critic: "I'll have a double decaf cappuccino"
Policeman: "Give me decaffeinated coffee ice cream"
Harris: "I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon"
Trudi: "I'll have a twist of lemon"
Guy with neck-support: "I'll have a twist of lemon"
Movie critic: "I'll have a twist of lemon"
Cynthia: "I'll have a twist of lemon"
Harris, when we see them all say goodbye to each another (voiceover): "As far as I'm concerned, there are only three mystical places in the world: The desert just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, The tree of life in the Arab Emirat of Bahrain, and the restaurant at the corner of Sunset and Crescent, because that's where I first met her, and that's where I first touched her".

Trudi to Harris, leaving the restaurant: "Wasn't that girl Sara awful? I mean, what's with that accent?" Harris: "She has an accent, because she's English". Trudi: "Or maybe she's just trying to impress everybody".

Trudi to Harris, on the road just outside the restaurant: "And she kept her hat on all through brunch, I'm sure, she has bad hair". Harris: " - I don't think you understand how unattractive hate is".

Sara at her parked car, shouting a question to Harris, while taking off her hat, revealing her beautiful hair: Sara: "Do people here get up early or late?" Harris: "It depends...why?" Sara: "....well, if a person were to be making a lot of noise, what time should they start?" Harris: "What kind of noise - like construction?" Sara: "No - like deep sustained booming sounds" Harris: "Aaaah - deep sustained booming sounds - around nine, nine fifteen" [We later find out she plays tuba]

Sara leaves, driving in the left side of the road.

Sandy_marks Trudi is buying some new clothes, and Harris buys a new pair of pants in the same store. There he meets SanDeE*, who marks them for him
[It's quite difficult to get a good picture of SanDeE*, because she moves around all the time]

Harris (voiceover), as we see him and Trudi in his car, on the freeway, on their way home: "There a two events in my life, that I consider to be magic. That couldn't be explained scientifically. - The first of them, was about to happen".

Suddenly the engine stops, and he has to pull in. A signpost is just a few meters ahead. As he tries to find out what's wrong with his car, the signpost "speaks" to him:

Hiya Explode Isaid HIYA
Harris looks suspiciously around, to find the hidden camera, hesitates, then says: "Hi". The signpost asks: "R U O K", which means: "Are you O.K?". Harris replies: "Yeah, I'm fine".
Hugme Then the signpost says: "Hug me". "What?" Harris replies. Signpost: "I said HUG ME". Harris: "Who are you?" Signpost: "I'm a signpost". Harris: "I can see that".
Signpost: "HUG ME". Harris (to him self): "I'm being filmed, I know, I'm being filmed". Signpost: "PLEASE". Harris: "All right" [goes to the signpost, and hugs it]. Signpost: "That felt GOOD". Harris: "Is this a joke or something?" Signpost: "I C people N trouble & I stop them - L.A. wants 2 help U". Harris: "How am I in touble?" [the engine in his car suddenly starts]. Harris: "So - what do I do?" Signpost: "U will know what 2 do when U unscramble "How daddy is doing"". Harris: "What?" Signpost: "It's a riddle". Harris: "Well - I'll work on it [goes back to his car] bye, bye".

Harris to Trudi, as he enters the car: "The sign spoke to me - said I was in trouble". Trudi: "If you're talking to signs - you ARE in trouble"

Harris at work: "(......) and now the toupet report: wind 10-15 miles/hour so I would either stay indoors or wear a hat"

Sara sees this weather report, finds it very funny, and calls Harris, who answers his phone saying this: "Hello this is Harris, I'm in right now, so you can talk to me personally, please start talking at the sound of the beep" [beeeep]. Sara asks for an interview.

Juice Harris visits his good friend Ariel, and have this comment: "I could never be a woman, I'd just stay home and play with my breasts all day". Ariel has made a new juice and gives Harris the opportunity to taste it. Obviously he doesn't like it very much.
[Later we find out, that the juice actually killed the plant]

Next scene is at "Los Angeles County Museum of Art"
Rollerskating Rollerskating
Rollerskating Rollerskating
Harris: "I call it performance art, but my friend Ariel calls it wasting time. - History will decide".

Harris comes home from the museum, and Sara arrives. Harris: "I had this idea. Rather then do an interview with me - which would be fascinating by the way, because of the so interesting wordusements I structure - you know, I thought that - ehh - I'd show you around town a little bit - you know - a few secret places - kind of a cultural tour of L.A." Sara: "That's the first fifteen minutes, then what" Harris: " - all right, a cynic. The first stop is six blocks from here" Sara: "Why don't we walk?" Harris: [laughing] ...walk? a walk in L.A.? [still laughing]

They drive off and Harris tells Sara what they see: "Architecture: Some of these buildings are over twenty years old". "Here is a Tudor mansion -- and - a four-door mansion. You know, you're really nobody in L.A. unless you live in a house with a really big door".

Harris takes Sara to the graveyard, where they meet the funny gravedigger. [This is the scene, that comes from "Hamlet"]

Gravedigger Gravedigger_with_head
Still at the graveyard: Harris: "Ordinarily, I don't like to be around interesting people because it means I have to be interesting too". Sara: "Are you saying I'm interesting?" Harris : "All I'm saying is that, when I'm around you, I find myself showing off, which is the idiot's version of being interesting [pause] Are you seeing anyone now?". Sara: " - yeah". Harris: "Me too, so ehh - that's sort of out [pause] I should get to work" Sara: "Me too".

Sunny_forecast Harris pre-records his next weekend forecast, promising lots of sun. Cameraman: "Harris, should you really be pre-taping the weather report?" Harris: "The weekends are very tough for me to come in, you can imagine my busy weekend schedule. Besides, this is L.A., what's gonna change?"
But something did change: No sun, just rain.

Harris goes to the store "NOW", to pick up his new pair of pants (voiceover): "There are two reasons for the ridicules detour I was about to embark on. The first reason was: I believed a relationship with Sara was impossible [pause] and the second reason was: I was a big, dumb male".
Harris_and_SanDeE His pants aren't ready, and SanDeE* asks for his telephone number. She will call him, when there are.
Number The signpost speaks to him again on his way home.

HardRockCafe Later that evening the phone rings and the next scene is at Hard Rock Cafe: SanDeE* tells that she asked for Harris' number because she knew, he wouldn't ask for hers. Harris: "I didn't know I wanted your number, until it was too late".
Someone is passing by, saying: "Hey wacky weather guy how are you doing?". Harris to SanDeE*: "I can't help being nervous out here". SanDeE*: "Why? You're not doing anything wrong". Harris: "I mean - you must have a boyfriend". SanDeE*: "ooh - he doesn't care - I mean he can't care. He gave me this big speech about even though we live together still - he thinks that we should be able to see other people. So I said "that's o.k." [pause] but it backfires on him every once and a while". Harris: "Where is he now?" SanDeE* [looking around]: "eeh - he's over there at the bar". Harris [shocked]: "WHAT??" SanDeE*: "Don't worry about it, this is his idea - [standing up, pointing at Harris, shouting to her boyfriend] This is him!"
Trudi_and_Frank Trudi and Frank enter Hard Rock Cafe just as Harris and SanDeE* leave. They do not see each other. Frank is Harris' agent.
Harris and SanDeE* queue up at a cash dispenser. SanDeE* explains that she is taking lessons to become a spokesmodel. Harris: "What is a spokesmodel?" SanDeE*: "It's a model who speaks you know - and she points at things - merchandise - like a car or a washing machine - sometimes it something really small like a book or fine artprints". Harris: "They have classes for that?" SanDeE*: "Yes, it's a lot harder then it looks".
Bob_the_robber Harris gets the money, but is interrupted: "Hi, my name is Bob, I'll be your robber" Harris: "Hi, how are you?" Bob: "Thank you very much [receiving money] [this is normal procedure in L.A.]
Harris to SanDeE*: "What made you wanna be a spokesmodel?" SanDeE*: "Oh well, I've always liked pointing".

Roland wants Sara back and persuades her to go away with him the next weekend to see if they can make it work again.

Trudi_tells_Harris Trudi has something she would like tell Harris, and he goes to her place. Harris: "You were with someone else last night?". Trudi: "Yes". Harris: "Having sex with my agent again? I have told you a thousand times.." Trudi: "How did you know?" Harris: "I was right? I WAS RIGHT?"
Harris:" I was making a bad joke - my agent? - FRANK? [angry] and this is how I find out - you tell me??". Trudi: "Oh he isn't happy about it either - we just decided I should tell you". Harris: "I thought he was only supposed to take ten percent.
Harris_leaves_Trudi Harris: "How long has this been going on?" Trudi: [hesitating] three years.." Harris: " THREE YEARS". Trudi: "I'm sorry" Harris: "This has been going on since the eighties? [pause] I'm sorry, I just can't be here right now" and he leaves...
Happy_Harris Harris walks to his car, and jumps high in the air, when he realizes he's finally a free man. He drives out to the signpost, saying: "L.A. I love you, I'm out of my relationship, I'm out of the agency and I only had to look like a sucker for three years".
Harris: "Now if I could only get out of doing the weather...". Signpost: "The weather will chance you life.... twice".

The next scene is at KYOY: Harris to his boss: "Hey - so I pretaped the weather report and some weekend sailors lost some boats - big deal - if they're rich enough to have boats, they're rich enough to loose them. Besides what kind of an asshole sailor would trust the wacky weather man anyway?" Boss: [pointing at him self] "This one". Harris: "You lost your boat?" Boss: "Yeah - you're fired - I never wanna see your face again". [Boss leaves] Harris: [to him self] "The weather will chance your life twice - that's once".
Harris_and_the_moviecritic As Harris leaves, he meets the movie critic: "Heeey Harris - I heard you and Trudi broke up - always figured your relationship was a 2". Harris doesn't respond with words, only action.

Californian_colonic_institute SanDeE*: "So - what do you think?" Harris: "I think it was a total washout". SanDeE*: "God - it really clears out your head". Harris: "Head? Head? You should go back in there and tell them they're doing it wrong [pause] it was a great lunch and enema - thanks".
Harris invites SanDeE* out on friday, to the French restaurant L'Idiot.

Harris calls L'Idiot to make a reservation, but is it not at all easy. No tables are available friday or saturday, and on sunday he can only get a table at 5.30 P.M. or 10.30 P.M. He also has to answer questions about what he's doing for a living, how much money he earns and where he lives. The conversations ends with Harris saying: "Yeah, I can meet you there at three".
4th_reich_bank Harris meets Mr. Pardeau from L'Idiot at Fourth Reich Bank of Hamburg. Mr. Pardeau has this comment to the fact, that Harris has VISA and MASTERCARD: "They all have VISA and MASTERCARD"
Mr. Pardeau: "Let us make this easier: Suppose you get a reservation, and let us suppose you come down to the restaurant and we honour it. What do you think you might order?" [Harris gets the menu and looks at it] Harris: "Well - ehmm - I might like to have the duck". Chef: "He can't have c'est duck". Mr. Pardeau: "You can't have the duck". Harris: "Why?" Mr. Pardeau [angry]: "You think with a financial statement like this, you can have the duck?"
Mr. Pardeau asks Harris, where he spends his summers. Harris: "Right here...?" Chef: "He can have the chicken". Mr. Pardeau: "You can have the chicken". Harris: "What about my date, I can't tell her what to order?" Mr. Pardeau: "Well - you can certainly urge her in one direction". Harris [angry]: "Look, either we go there and she orders what she wants, or let's forget it". Mr. Pardeau [mumbling and using his calculator]: "All right, I like a little gamble. We can take you in........ 8 weeks"
"He can't have the duck"
Mr. Pardeau
"You can have the chicken"
Harris calls SanDeE*: "I've heard some bad things about L'Idiot, and I went down there to check it out - and the chef had a big open sore on his lip. I know I promised you, I'm really sorry [pause] what if we went away for the weekend, like Santa Barbara?" [We hear a scream, my guess is that SanDeE* likes the idea]

Harris runs into Sara Sara and Roland visit "Los Angeles County Museum of Art".
Ariel is filming Harris who is rollerskating at the museum again. He runs into Sara.
Sara asks if Harris and Ariel would like to walk around with them.
This is where we get a very interesting interpretation of a piece of modern art, but you'll have to see the film to see it.
As they get out of museum, Roland says: "All those paintings of food made me hungry". Harris: "I could eat some paintings of food myself". They decide to go out to eat together, and Roland makes a reservation at L'Idiot. [No problem for him, Harris is astonished]
Food Harris: "Gee, I'm done already, and I don't remember eating".

Sara drives Harris home. They have just said goodnight, when something strange happens to the car: The engine is off, but it starts rolling with the doors locked.
They both panic, but suddenly the engine starts and the doors open. Harris realises what is happening: "I think I know what this is" and he pushes Sara into the car, "get in, it's alright, you can trust me", he says.
The car takes them out to the signpost. They get out of the car, and Sara, with her back against the signpost, tries to explain Harris what caused the car to move. But Harris doesn't listen, he is interrupted by the sign:
Kiss her Kiss
Kiss her again Kiss
Sara: "My head hurts, I think I should go", and they drive to Harris' house again.

Sara plays tuba Later that evening Sara calls her mother, and they play together, over the phone: "Doo wah diddy" on tuba and piano

Harris tries to explain SanDeE* why he can't go away with her this weekend: "I've been seeing someone, we got something going, it wouldn't be right for me to go away with you, I'm sorry". SanDeE*: "So you're seeing her this weekend?" Harris: "No, she's got this obligation to her ex-husbond, to see if they can get it back together again". SanDeE*: "What? Is she seeing someone else?" Harris: "YES, yes and she's going away with him". SanDeE*: "Share how that makes you feel". Harris: "SHARE? Share? Share how it makes me feel? I hate it! It drives me crazy, I mean, how can she go away with him? But it is fair, because she had this obligation before we even met". SanDeE*: "But you had this obligation before you fell for her, so why should you suffer all weekend? - So - go away with me!" Harris: "No, I can't, don't you see, I would just be using you to get even with her for going away with him". SanDeE*: "I don't mind". Harris: "Let's go! We can be in Santa Barbara in an hour and a half, and I've booked us into "El Pollo Del Mar", it's supposed to be really nice".

Sara and Roland Sara and Roland is leaving for the weekend too.
Roland has booked them into the "El Pollo Del Mar", to avoid bumping into people they know.

The two couples arrive at the hotel almost at the same time, and get rooms next to each other, but they do not find out until later.
Harris and SanDeE* quickly find the way to the bed. Harris [touching her breasts, worried]: "SanDeE*, your breasts feel weird". SanDeE*: "Oh - that's because they're real". A little later: Harris: "I should warn you, that I'm old and it might take a little while....OH MY GOD - I'M YOUNG AGAIN - I'M YOUNG AGAIN!!"
Roland and Sara hear "sounds" from Harris and SanDeE*s room. A little later is it Harris and SanDeE that can hear "sounds" from Roland and Sara's room. Harris to SanDeE*: "They're really exited, they must be cheating on someone".
It's dinnertime and Harris and SanDeE* leave their room. Roland and Sara get out in the hotel corridor at the same time. Harris and Sara stare at each other. Roland: "My God, I don't believe it! Do you stay here?" Harris: "Yes". Roland: "Oh Sara - there goes our cover, there's no such thing as a secret". Harris [with clenched teeth]: "I think there is". They go to the restaurant together.
They all go for a walk on the beach after dinner, it's getting cold, Roland has gone up to the hotel to get Sara's sweater, and SanDeE* is spinning on the beach. Sara and Harris are having an argument. None of them like the fact that the other is up there with someone else. It ends with Harris saying: "We're so close to it, stay here in L.A.". Sara: "How would it work?" Harris: "We'd see each other, not push it, take it easy the first couple of days and then...marriage, kids, old age and death... I don't know". Sara: "And if I were to go?" Harris: "All I know is, when the day your plane was to leave, if I had the power, I would turn the winds around, I would roll in fog, I would bring in storms, I would change the polarity of the Earth, so compasses wouldn't work, so your plane couldn't take off". Sara [thinks and then says]: "This is everything I didn't want: pain, lying, complications".

Next day on the parkinglot: Roland to Harris: "I've been working on Sara to come back with me, I'm her ex-husbond. She told me today she doesn't think it's right". Harris: "Really?" Roland: "She's been seeing some Amercian": Harris: "Yeah - that can happen". Roland: "She's not going with him either, she's decided to go back to London as soon as she can. [pause] Petty, I so wanted this to work out".

Harris goes Sara's place, and tries to convince her to stay, but she will not listen to him.

Harris at his new job Harris has got a new job as a serious (and very boring) news anchorman.
Weatherman: "Sunny, 22 [pause] and that's the weather".
Harris: "Our next weatherreport will be in four days".
Sara is at the airport, turning her rented car in, and she sees Harris on tv.
Harris [voiceover]: "Why is it that we don't always recognize the moment when love begins..... but we always know when it ends...?"
Sara gets onboard her plane to London. Harris is at home, very sad. The plane starts moving. But something strange happens: the winds turn around, fog roll in, a storm has come, the polarity of the Earth changes, so the compasses don't work - Sara's plane can't take off"
Storm comes
Sara onboard the plane
Sara onboard the plane
So compasses wouldn't work
"So compasses wouldn't work.."
Is the Signpost responsible?
Harris is outside his house, in the rain, waiting for Sara to arrive, he just knows she will come. As he sees her cab, he says: "That's twice"
Together again, they kiss each other.
Harris [voiceover]: "Forget for this moment the smog, and the cars and the restaurants and the skating. Remember only this: a kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true"

Harris and Sara visit the signpost. Harris: "Wauuw, that was something... that was really something!". Sara: "It was fantastic, it was..." Harris: "It had real class. Is there anything we can do to thank you, I mean a gift or anything?" Signpost: "I'd like to get cable tv". Harris: "Done".
Harris: "I never could figure out the riddle though". Sara [reading]: "You will know what to do, when you unscramble "How daddy is doing". Harris: "It's a riddle, to tough for me". But Sara knows it's an English crossword clue, she rearranges the letters, and quickly finds out what the riddle means:
The riddle Sing Do Wah Diddy
Harris: "Sing Do Wah Diddy?????? [outraged and astounded] That's the mystery of the ages??" Signpost: "I had 2 think up something fast". Harris: "I sat up nights working on that... But.... I forgive you. One thing I need to know.. [pause] Did you do this? Did I do this? How did this happen?"
Signpost: "There are more things n heaven and earth Harris, than are dreamt of in your philosophy".
Signpost: "Condition clear"

Harris [voiceover]: There are only two things in my life, I will never forget: One is that there is someone for everyone. Even if you need a pickaxe, a compas and nightgoggles to find them. And the other - is tonight - when I learned that romance does exist deep in the heart of L.A.

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Document created August 26 1997
Last modified September 19 2009
© Annette Christensen