It feels like something out of a film. Our hero, a brown suited underslept journalist played by Jake Gyllenhaal, sits in the office, shooting screwn up paper into waste bins, getting ribbed by Robert Downey Jr and under pressure from his domineering boss (played by an older man with white hair).
“Get me the story!” – “There is no story. This one’s tighter than a Koufax curveball. Nobody’s saying shit.” – “Someone must be saying something!” – “Sven’s agent said something that was really nothing. Stuart Baxter is bewildered. Alan Curbishley thinks he’s out. Bilic we don’t know. I tell you, nothing!” – “All right, but nothing can’t stay nothing forever. Make something in 48 hours!”
Gylenhaal shrugs, dejected. His next paper ball hits the rim of the bin and drops to the floor, where it settles, accusingly.
That night he confides in his beautiful and caring wife, a trainee teacher from the midwest not yet ground down by the city’s irrepressable dark side. They live in a small apartment full of large boxes. A subway train passes, the apartment shakes. Rain hammers against the window. Sirens howl from the streets below, a hundred incidents, a dozen resolutions. “It’ll happen, baby. Tomorrow you’ll get a clue. Just write another 48 hours story for now. It’ll come soon.”
Next day in the office. Gylenhaal sips coffee from a plastic cup. The phone rings. He leaps out of his chair, spilling his coffee on his trousers. “Yes? Yes. Yes. I’m on it.”
He hangs up and runs, knocking files off one desk, dancing edgily past colleagues carrying coffee, like Barry Sanders in a broken backfield. “Sorry, bad rush.” He sprints down the corridor, passing his boss on the way: “Amsterdam! They’ve gone to Amsterdam!”
He hails a taxi at the foot of the steps outside. “Airport!” Traffic is bad, and on the way he calls his wife, who is upset but understanding. This is his big break, they both agree. He finds a flight and is on his way. He’s going to Amsterdam. The cat is out of the bag: it’s Jol.