Sunday 25 July 2010

Romanian Holiday

Written by Simon Crowther and Chris Fewtrell, Directed by Ian Bevitt

In a regular Coronation Street episode, we discover that Frankie Baldwin is getting married and has invited Roy and Hayley to the wedding, in Romania! Needless to say there is much preparation and research done by Roy for the upcoming trip. This "spinoff" dvd starts in Weatherfield and quickly segues to Romania on or about October 24, 2009.

The opening scenes are shots of rural Romania, with lovely scenery and a village with folk dancers performing for tourists. An SUV pulls up, showing that it is the modern world in spite of all appearances of tradition. The owner of the SUV gets out and is carrying a stack of letters. He's dressed in sport warm up clothing. The aged postie wheels up on an old bike to the red postbox. One letter is dropped and it's addressed in lovely script to Roy and Hayley Cropper. Curiously, it already has the postal mark stamped on it! The camera closes in on the letter and we then fade to Weatherfield...

Where Hayley is examining the contents of the letter. It's a wedding invitation sent by Frankie (formerly) Baldwin who is marrying a footballer named Dean Fraser who is playing for a Romanian team. Roy doesn't think they would realistically be attending though Hayley is up for an adventure. All that way for one weekend? We'll leave a carbon footprint the size of a Yeti, our environmentally conscious Roy comments. Hayley is disappointed. She adds that they have been asked to house sit for them while on honeymoon so it would be more than a few days. Roy suddenly realizes that part of Romania is the backdrop for the Dracula legends. He's not at all bothered by the literary version but the real Count, Vlad the Impaler was from that area and the lure of the history has Roy hesitating after all. Hayley takes full advantage, thanks him for agreeing to go, with a hug, and then drops the RSVP in the postbox. Sorted.

Come Saturday, Roy and Hayley are in Eddie's cab. They've stopped off for sunscreen and a guide book. She's already got her wedding outfit and hat on. Apparently they are flying on the day of the wedding, arriving only 2 hours before the ceremony with a change in Munich because it was much more expensive to fly the night before. A sure sign of trouble. Hayley looks annoyed as she tells this to Eddie but he is on Roy's side. There is some chatter about Steve and Becky to establish that they are on their honeymoon as well.

Oh dear. The next sign of a day is Sunday. They've missed the wedding! Seems there were all manner of delays, starting with an electrical storm to a strike at another airport. Hayley is on the phone to Frankie, who is just boarding their plane for their holiday, apologizing. Roy consults the guidebook, now fluttered with yellow sticky tabs, to find out which bus they take. Hayley summons a taxi...who then leaves them in the middle of a quiet road having had a disagreement with the driver.

The Croppers walk up the drive to the house and see a large mansion with pool. The interior is just as impressive. They look around the house, which also has a jacuzzi. Hayley is in heaven! Roy looks dubious over this development.

Outside, a car comes around the road. A middle aged British couple pull up outside, having been led their by a vocal GPS. Inside, Roy has found the bedroom, decorated by a large nude painting of Frankie and Dean, though it is discreetly covering any private bits. Roy swallows and then moves the painting off the wall. Hayley notices the newly arrived car outside. The couple from the car get out and they are impressed as well, he saying they've hit the jackpot.

Inside, they are surprised to see Roy and Hayley. They introduced themselves as Dean's aunt and uncle, Glen and Verity. They say that Dean had asked them to house sit. He calls Dean (who should be on the plane, shouldn't he?) to sort it out. When offered the spare room, Glen says they'll find a hotel but supposedly the nearest one is at the airport by a dodgey chemical plant. Ramp up the guilt trip! Verity asks for a nose round the house and Hayley leads her inside where they check out some of the rooms. More passive aggressive guilt is laid so that when they finally turn to leave, Hayley blurts out an invitation for them to stay.

Later, Glen is barbecuing. Roy is discussing Vlad the Impaler where Glen prefers the "real" Dracula. Glen accidentally barbeques a mobile phone and then throws it in the pool before the electrics can sizzle. Verity dives in thinking it's hers but it turns out to be the Cropper's phone. Hmmmm.

It's now Monday. We see a babbling brook by the side of the road where Roy and Hayley are waiting by a bus stop. Apparently, Glen and Verity were up late and were rather noisy. Roy was not happy. Hayley slept well but Roy accuses her of being drunk. She defends herself as only having a couple of drinks. She's on holidays, after all! They discuss their sightseeing that day, in the local village and a monastery before trying out a local cafe. Roy, thriftily, has brought cheese sandwiches and tea made from teabags from home. Marvelous.

The bus does not seem to be forthcoming. This causes more fractious arguing over the schedule. More time passes. Roy now has his jacket off and pant legs rolled up.

They return to the house, finally, in the midst of an argument. Inside the other couple is very loud, and it sounds like vigorous sex happening upstairs or an enthusiastic game of snooker in the games room, which is what they later tell Hayley they were doing. Shortly they come downstairs looking disheveled and out of breath and wondering why the Croppers have returned. The non-running bus is blamed and Verity says she's seen some bikes near the garage. Hayley stumbles, saying she's not ridding a bicycle since she was a little b... well, since she was small but they turn to go find the two wheelers.

Bikes and helmets, they set off. Glen urges Verity to get up them stairs! The Croppers head down the road. Roy is delighted to be on a bike after many, many years. It takes him right back to his childhood but as he's expounding on the delights, his bike loses the chain. Back to the mansion, i guess. Glen is eating and dripping brown sauce over the carpets. He offers to drive them into town.

In town, they make a date to meet up at 5. Hayley offers to buy them a coffee to thank them first. Glen, spying a Newton and Ridley sign (eh?) agrees. Verity doesn't look impressed. We next see them sitting at an outdoor cafe. Glen is having a beer. Roy is fighting off a wasp that lands on a glass of tomato juice. Glen is terrified of the little beasts and whacks at the glass, sending its contents all over Roy. He offers Roy another football shirt that he has in the trunk of the car. Roy is hesitant but having no choice, dons it.

They have proceeded to the monastery. Roy is very uncomfortable in his football shirt, thinking it inappropriate. Hayley sighs and tells him it's a blue and white, perfectly inoffensive tshirt. In town, after another beer or two, Verity tells Glen they have to go. He reluctantly gets up but notices a football game on the telly inside the bar and goes in, much to her frustration.

Roy and Hayley have enjoyed their visit, well, Roy has for sure. They have wandered back into the village. Roy even donates a bill to a local busker playing on the side of the road. A voice singing a team song at the top of his voice floats out of the cafe over the square. The Croppers follow it inside where both Glen and Verity both are legless. Hayley has to drive them back. She creeps along the road slowly where even a horse cart passes them, nervous of driving a brand new car on an unfamiliar road. Glen is shouting the odds at all passers by. A black clad biker drives by. Glen stands up in the car (it's a convertible) and shouts. The big bruiser biker stops, gets off and starts to walk back. Glen urges Hayley to step on the gas now!

Later, back at the house and by the pool, Roy is hollering at Glen and Verity for putting Hayley through a horrifying experience. Seems the biker followed them for 18 miles at top speed! Hayley is so traumatized she's gone to bed. Glen and Verity are starting to experience a hangover. They're sat by the pool suffering and are in no mood for Roy's haranguing. Roy throws Glen's tshirt back at him and insists that they will have no further intercourse. Poor Hayley, Verity muses. SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, Roy spits! He spins around on one heel and heads back to the house.

It's Tuesday. Roy is keeping his distance. Glen approaches and apologizes for both of them. Verity says they should bury the hatchet. They have to cohabitate for the next few days and might as well call a truce. Glen and Verity offer to drive them anywhere. Hayley, ever the optimist, suggests Bram's Castle which is unfortunately misnamed as Dracula's castle. Glen perks up at this and is keen to go, are the Croppers coming or not?

They are. In the car, Glen wants directions. Roy suggests the GPS but Glen says he has no idea how to work it (in spite of it leading them to the house on the first day. Hmmmmm.) He asks what music they might listen to as there are several cds in the car. Roy suggests Romanian folk music on the radio. The camera pans across the lovely rural scenery to the tune of said folk music to show the passing of the time and miles. They come upon some roadworks. They stop and Glen turns off the radio and Roy's running commentary. They chat about music and the castle.

Arriving there shortly after, there is, as Roy predicted, all manner of vampiric tat for sale at numerous market stalls which Glen loves! They bicker about various things as they approach the castle and a tour of it. Glen wants to look around by themselves but Roy is keen to hear the guide and the history. They agree to part company. The guide herds them up the stairs and when Glen sees that the guide is an attractive woman, he changes his mind.

She tells them the history of the castle. Glen interjects and makes a tit of himself, as you might expect, through the tour. Roy actually ticks off the guide when he corrects her as to the truth of whether Vlad actually even lived there. Hayley tries to silence Roy but he has gone too far and the guide kicks them off the tour. Roy is insulted and Glen and Verity have slipped away to look around on their own and get away from the Croppers Roy and Hayley take up the search for them through the various rooms, the incidental music is The Monster Mash!

Outside, later, Glen has taken off his vampire gear. They're bickering and then dismayed to find Roy and Hayley standing by the car waiting for them. Hayley tells them off for spoiling Roy's day (but he did a good job of that himself as well). Verity and Glen make plans to go to the village bar. They don't figure Roy and Hayley would come along, not that they would.

At the bar, they discuss what they're going to do. Glen says they'll have to be obnoxious (more so) so that Roy and Hayley will leave.Glen as spied something and says There is a God! Verity looks over her shoulder and is pleased at his idea.

At the house, Roy is scrubbing a stain off the carpet. He's angry and fed up. Hayley gets down on her knees and hugs him and says she can't stand it much longer either. Roy thinks they should tell the other couple they can't stand them but Hayley thinks you just don't do that. Hayley thinks they should just lie to get out of the situation but Roy doesn't want to do that either so they will just stick it out.

Wednesday arrives. Very early. It's 3 a.m. and the lights come on with a crash. Glen and Verity burst into Roy and Hayley's room with a karaoke sign, insisting they all go, causing Roy to lie quickly and say their daughter, Becky, has gone into labour and they will have to leave. Glen and Verity are pleased but pretend it's due to the impending grandparenthood. I guess they didn't think it would be so easy to get rid! They leave the room.

Later at a civilized hour, Glen carries the luggage to the car and they arrive later at the airport. They say their good byes. Just as they are about to turn to head into the building, they hear ROYSTON!!!! bellowed out behind them. Becky???? She's delighted they have come to meet her! Seems she and Steve have had an argument. He's told her she can't have her jacuzzi installed at the Rovers. Seems the Croppers are rumbled.

Back at the house, they lay on the guilt, making Roy and Hayley feel terrible. The Croppers offer to go to the airport hotel but Becky arrives in her pink bikini and tells them all they can get along if they try. She dives into the pool, watched intently by Glen. Bygones be bygones, he says. Verity watches him suspiciously.

Later, Glen is barbecuing again, wearing his Statue of David apron. Becky finds out about the karaoke and she's keen. Glen suggests they do Abba. Hayley can play one of the blokes1 Becky offers to do it instead but Glen says she's a ringer for the good looking one and Verity can man up instead. Verity is insulted. What??? Glen doesn't get it.

At the bar that night, a bearded Romanian with a headband on is enthusiastically singing Kung Fu Fighting. Roy has stayed home scrubbing the barbeque and wearing the apron! Hayley and Becky are wearing glittery accessories and Verity has a moustache pencilled on. Glen has been plying Hayley with Pink Ladies and she's already feeling the effects.

Hayley has tell Becky some of what has been going on. Becky admits her row with Steve isn't' serious but she'd already bought the tickets by the time she'd forgiven him and, in addition, she misses Roy and Hayley!

Back at the house, Roy is eyeing the jacuzzi bubbling in the corner. Is he going to try it? Yes he is! And it looks like he's absolutely blissful!

At the bar, the faux-Abba group performs quite well. Glen is at one end by Becky and using any excuse to put a hand on her body. Verity watches with increasing jealousy. It's late. At the table later, Verity and Hayley are ready to go home but Glen wants to keep on partying and Becky is certainly not ready to go home. Verity puts her foot down and Glen is led out. Becky is determined to stay. Hayley worries how she'll get home but Becky says she'll be ok, and sends Hayley home. Becky heads to the bar for another drink.

At the mansion, Verity tells Glen they're leaving in the morning. She says they thought they had a good thing but there's no shifting the Croppers now Becky's there. Glen insists they can get them all out. Trust him!

At the bar, Becky sees a drinking contest going on with the Kung Fu Fighting singer and a local. Becky looks on with interest when she's told this man is unbeatable. That's a challenge. She stumbles over and throws some cash down on the table. He looks as if he thinks it will be a doddle. Becky downs the first two shots as if she were throwing down the gauntlet and stretches her neck to either side to loosen herself up. Line 'em up!

They trade shots, Becky keeping up her end steadily. The other bloke looks a bit sweaty and shaky. Becky downs one last shot and survives. Buddy tries, but collapses. The king is dead, long live the Queen!

Back home, Glen is up in the middle of the night making a cuppa. He picks up Roy's guidebook for a browse and sees something that seems to give him an idea.

Becky is now drunkenly telling the crowd at the bar about her plans to redecorate the bathroom, now spiraled down the drain. Then she's gushing about her sweet fella, Steve and how they fell in love, Steve lying through his teeth for her on the witness box. She lasts all night and we next see her on a horse drawn cart being driven across the countryside.

They're next seen all on the outside patio of the village cafe. Becky of course is hungover but happy. She assures them all she was a good girl and didn't chat to any blokes all night. But all the locals see her as they pass by and greet her enthusiastically, even a local priest! Glen mentions wanting to see the nearby Valley of Hell (gleaned from the guidebook no doubt) and they all agree to go for the allegedly spectacular views. It isn't far, apparently.

More camera views of the scenery. The intrepid crew are playing road games in the car on their way. But alas, the car seems to be making odd sounds, according to Glen who stops it and raises the hood on the car. Becky basks in the sun, Glen ogling her from under the hood of the car. Roy thinks they should wait until someone comes by. Verity is feeling ill from the sun. Glen is concerned and sends the Croppers off with a bottle of water to find a nearby farm. As the head off, with Becky, Glen calls back, Sorry about this! Hmmm... Hayley dismisses his apology. He can't help it, can he? (Can he?) But he does look guilty.

As they go out of view, he puts the hood of the car back down. When next we see the Cropper crew, they appear to be lost as the sun beats down. Becky goes off in one direction and Roy in another to find the road and car. Roy and Hayley decide to follow her. They stop and sit on a log. Hayley does admire the scenery. Hayley expresses sadness for Roy, who never joins in and has fun like she did at the bar the night before. She worries he's missing out on things for fear of enjoyment. She doesn't want him to change, but maybe he could be more open to new experiences. He confesses, he tried the jacuzzi. And he liked it. Just as they are about to have a little kiss, they hear the howl of a wolf! Eek! Roy admits there are wolves in Europe and possibly bears which freaks out Becky. They start to hurry through the woods.

They finally come out to a field where there is a flock of sheep and a shepherd. Who recognizes Becky!! They joyfully hug (It kind of looks like the guy that drove her home in the cart and indeed he loads up his cart with Croppers and takes them into the village, where they run into the police station to report that there are two people stuck in the mountains, one with sunstroke. The hills are then filled with helicopters and police cars.

Meanwhile, back at the house, the Croppers and Becky talk about the stranded people. Apparently the land line is not working so Hayley can't contact Frankie. But lo, up the drive comes a man looking very much like Dean, Frankie's husband. Yes, it is. He lit some woman's cigarette and Frankie got jealous and chucked him out and to make matters worse, he gets back and finds his car has been stolen from the long-stay parking at the airport. Hayley admits his Uncle Glen and Auntie Verity are stranded on the mountain. Dean looks confused. Who??

Yep, the safe has been completely cleaned out. Roy realizes they've been duped from the outset.

At the airport, Glen and Verity are waiting for their flight. Verity wonders if it was worth it. She's pretty much done with their scams. She's tired of staying one step ahead of the police. Romania was the last place they weren't known, aside from the Ukraine and thinks they should retire and go back to England.

Dean admits he gave his keys to the guy at the airport but that was Glen! Becky explains the scam and we flip back and forth between them, the couple in the airport and flashbacks. Easy to get an orange vest that looks like the real attendant's. The GPS is set for "home" so that's simple enough to figure out. Roy and Hayley's presence almost ruined the scam until Hayley admitted she didn't know Dean. Glen tells Verity that her story about being Dean's aunt and uncle was genius. The house tour gave them the lay of the land and location of the safe. Glen cut the phone lines and sizzled the Cropper's mobile. That vigorous sex? That was them trying to get the safe open when they heard the Croppers return.

Verity hopes the Croppers will be ok where they left them. Glen assures them they would be but she's worried. They never have hurt anyone. She decides she's not leaving until she knows they're safe. Oh they're safe all right. The Croppers and Becky and Dean have come to the police office to report the robbery but at the same time, Glen has called the police to report that three people have been stranded on the mountain. The police officer wonders where Glen is calling from. He declines to say but an announcement in the background gives him away so he drops the phone and runs.

Back at the house, Dean is on the phone to Frankie. Apparently, the robbers got away but they'd already checked in their baggage and all the stolen goods were in it so it's all been returned. Dean mentions Becky as a friend of the Croppers but that seems to have sent Frankie into a barrage of jealous hollering again. Roy suggests that Becky call Steve and make up. She admits she misses Steve and thinks maybe she'll go back to Greece.

Hayley and Roy decide to enjoy the sunset together. They hope the police catch up with Glen and Verity who are heading on the road towards the border (in another stolen car?) of Ukraine where a gruff guard welcomes them.

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