A conservative Christian pastor is pushed into a relationship with his gay neighbors, and learns a lesson about love that could save his relationship with his son.

ONLY THE GOOD is a feature-length drama screenplay by Josh Barkey. 

*NOTE: The following excerpt contains harsh language, and a (discreet) description of people having the sexy time. 

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Heavy, rhythmic BREATHING, and the tinny sound of music-through-earbuds.



A small, burnished-wood CROSS bounces against the chest of JAMES METZGER (early 40s) as he runs the foam-line on a San Diego beach.

Earbuds-in, James nods and waves at everyone he passes.

He meets a RUNNER coming the other way and does that awkward little "Who-goes-Where?" dance -- then takes the wetter side with a self-effacing grin.

Just your basic, super-nice guy.

Breathing hard, James angles toward the low, weathered-wood deck of a glass-fronted home. 


James steps off the deck and through the glass door, into a high-ceilinged living room. He hesitates. 

James pulls out his ear buds and looks up, to a DOOR on the balcony overlooking the living room.

He stares at the door. Decides.

The shiny wood of his cross catches the light as he climbs the flight of steps along the right wall, up to the balcony.

James is about to knock when he hears the voices of his son, NOAH, and Noah’s girlfriend, KATE.

                         NOAH (O.S.)
                I'm not saying Christians are the
                only assholes in America. But they're 
                definitely the loudest.


                         KATE (O.S.)


Noah and Kate lie on the bed in a room full of surfing memorabilia: posters, trophies, and - through the open doors of a closet - a SURFBOARD and some wetsuits.

Both are in their early twenties: good looking beach-types.

But while Noah wears ratty jeans and a hooded, Mexicali sweatshirt, Kate sports the stylish clothes and shiny-straight hairstyle of a girl who takes care of herself. 

                Okay, fine... But you gotta admit 
                there are a lotta nut-jobs in that--

                I admit nothing!


James hears Kate GIGGLING. He pulls back from the door. 

Again James almost knocks. Instead he descends, lost in thought. He crosses the LIVING ROOM, walks down a HALLWAY toward the front door, then turns right, entering his


as the muffled THUMP of aggressive HIP-HOP MUSIC starts BLARING OUT from Noah’s room, directly above.

James looks up at the ceiling.

He looks down at the bed -- at the puffy white COMFORTER mostly-covering LAURA, his blonde, SoCal-pretty wife (40s).

                Hey. You awake?

Laura GROAAAANS and pulls the comforter over her head.

James eyes the ceiling again, like he wants to say something about their son. Instead he goes into the BATHROOM, grabbing a towel and turning on the shower as


the front doorbell rings. 

                Will you get that, honey?

Another GROAAAN. 

                It's probably just Tom and that Quentin kid 
                I told you about. 

                I'm sleeeeping.

BING-BONG-BUNG -- the doorbell, again.

James sticks his head out of the bathroom. 

                I'm already undressed.

                         LAURA                                                     Oh, really?

Laura lowers the comforter and sits up, trying to catch a glimpse of her husband as he jumps into the shower. She rolls out of bed and grabs some jeans.

                Fine. But you owe me.

                Oh, I owe you, all right.

Laura leaves, still smiling.


The Hip-Hop THUMPS loudly down from Noah’s room as James
walks in, freshly-showered and wearing a clean pair of shorts and t-shirt with a LOGO on the chest: an upward-pointing arrow in a vertical rectangle.

                ...Oh, there you are. All right.
                I’ll just leave you guys to it.

She kisses James, smiles at TOM and QUENTIN, and leaves.

Tom lounges on one of the chic, white-fabric-and-brushed-steel couches. A tastefully-arranged FRUIT BOWL centers the glass-and-steel coffee table in front of him. 

Tom is James' age, but more doughy. His clothes and manner are stiffer... more formal.

QUENTIN (late 20s) stands by the wall, closely examining an expensive-looking PAINTING. 

Quentin is devilishly handsome, and dressed in the skinny-tie
and plaid shirt of a hipster. Draped over his shoulder is a
stylish MAN-PURSE.

Draped over his shoulder is a trendy MAN-PURSE.

                Hey-hey! You made it.

Tom GRUNTS his greeting as James veers toward Quentin.

                And you, Quentin. Great to finally meet you                         in person.

They shake.

                Thank you, pastor. I'm glad you--

                James is fine. Maybe just there with Tom 
                around the coffee table?

James glances up toward his son's room. The music. It's just SO ridiculously loud.

                Sure, Yeah. 

As they sit, Quentin points back at the painting.

                Is that real?

                Uh, yeah. It was a gift, actually. Not, uh...

James suddenly tunes in to the word "FUCK" in Noah's music.

                Not something we'd have spent the money on,
                but one of our, um...

He glances upwards...


The music BLARES on.

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Thanks for your interest!