Exclusive: Read Sam Mendes’ Apple iPhone Ad Script


Yes, film buffs and Apple worshipers, what you hear is true. Sam Mendes, the man who brought us American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, has been tapped to direct an iPhone ad. The folks at Engadget have certainly done their homework, reporting that “the ads will feature at least one spot where a mother and daughter are having a video chat conversation using the new front-facing camera.” We can confirm that this is true… because we’ve nabbed a copy of Mendes’ shooting script for the commercial.* Read it here first, after the jump.


A MOTHER in a cashmere sweater set and khaki skirt sips a cup of tea at a sturdy kitchen table. The house is disconcertingly quiet. She gazes nervously around the room, fidgeting, and then fixes her stare on the doorway expectantly. Finally, she pulls a sparkling, new iPhone out of her pocket and begins pushing buttons. Her DAUGHTER, a college-age woman who resembles her mom, despite some bohemian accessories, appears on the screen.

DAUGHTER Uh, hi, Mom. I was just about to go out, so…

We see a tall, shirtless, dark-haired young man with thick, black-framed glasses in the background.

MOTHER Of course you were. Well, don’t let me keep you. Is that um, your, um… boyfriend, dear?

DAUGHTER (rolling eyes) We don’t define our relationship that way, Mom.

MOTHER (frowning slightly) Okay.

She hesitates for a long, awkward moment.

MOTHER (Cont’d) Honey, I asked your father to leave last week. I… I caught him in bed with another woman. Well, a girl, really. About your age. A secretary where he works. He said she makes him feel young, like he hadn’t sold out his dreams of writing novels in a shack by the seashore.

DAUGHTER (shooing her companion away) Oh my God, Mom. That sounds horrible… But actually, it’s kind of wonderful! I had always thought you were nothing more than normal, suburban parents. You know, dead inside. Don’t you see? This is your chance to leave the cul-de-sac and that stale, empty American dream you’ve spent your entire adult life chasing!

As DAUGHTER is speaking, a look of recognition and epiphany spreads across MOTHER’s face.

MOTHER I suppose you’re right! I had never thought of it that way! Now I can finally take that painting class! I’ll never have to cook another casserole again in my life! I’m going to… to… to take a lover!


DAUGHTER Um, right. You do that! Listen, I have to go, Mom. Just remember… there’s so much beauty in the world. So much. You try to capture it, but… it’s beautiful. You can’t. It just is.

DAUGHTER looks out the window just as a plastic shopping bag floats by on the breeze.

MOTHER Thanks, honey. And, um… are you on drugs? Do you think maybe you could… get me some?

DAUGHTER exits the video chat, a look of disgust crossing her face. We see a small, multi-colored pile of pills on her desk.

Cut to close-up of iPhone against bright, white background.

VOICEOVER The new iPhone: Disrupting the monotony of your sad, middle American life. Revealing the beauty in everyday objects. Prying open your third eye.