Husbands And Wives Script - Dialogue Transcript

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Husbands And Wives Script

            Einstein was then celebrating...

          ... the 70th birthday anniversary...

          ...and there was a colloquium given for him.

          And he said.:

          "God doesn't play dice with the universe. "

          No, he just plays hide-and-seek.

          Learn to write screenplays, television scripts, plays--

          Jesus, they're so full of it.

          You can't teach writing. You expose students...

 good work and hope it inspires them.

           Some can write, others will never learn.

            You lose patience if the student isn't Dostoyevsky.

            No, that isn't true. That's crazy.

            It's worth it when you get a gifted pupil.

            A girl in my class wrote a great story:

            "Oral Sex in the Age of Deconstruction."

            -It's full of insight, romantic-- -They're here.

            Jack will wanna take us for Chinese food again.

            I think Sally's tired of our pasta places.

            -Hi. -Is it supposed to rain?


            Let me take your coat.

            I opened some white wine. You want some?

            They're doing something at   th.

            Jack? You want some cold white wine?

            When I go to your place, it's murder.

            So, Chinese, right? I can't talk you into ltalian?

            Listen, don't get crazy, you know?

            Before we go out to dinner we wanna tell you something.

            -You want to? -Go ahead.

            -What? What? -Somebody tell us.

            Jack and I are splitting up.

            Oh, I see. It's just-- Nothing serious.

            We discussed this for a long time and we both think it's for the best.

            You are joking, of course.

            Don't make a big deal, okay? We're fine.

            -Are you serious? -We are. We're fine.

            -We both-- We discussed it. -It's mutual.

            What do you mean?

            Let's go talk about this at dinner.

            I'm not going out to dinner.

            Since when has this been decided? What are we talking about here?

            We've been discussing it.

            Don't be worried. There's no hostility.

            You see? We're fine.

            -What is the reason? -Don't--

            Gabe, it's none of our business.

            Don't turn this into a tragedy. It's a positive thing.

            How can you break up? It's insane.

            You're Jack and Sally. You got two kids.

            Our kids are grown up. They're in college.

            We won't bore you with details.

            I can't get my mind around this. Since when? You get along so well.

            She's right. Have you met other people?

            Gabe, it's not our business.

            -I'm fascinated by this. -I feel sick.

            We didn't wanna ruin anything.

            -We wanna see what it's like to be-- -Apart for a while.

            Don't not support us. We've gotten the nerve--

            This is insanity. You'll be back together--

            She's keeping the place in Riverdale. I'm looking for a place in town.

            I just feel shattered.

            -Oh, come on, Judy. -I do.

            Come on, let's eat.

            What do you mean, " Come on, let's eat"?

            " Come on"? I can't eat.

            -Don't get angry. -I'm not!

            -I'm not angry! -I knew it.

            You march in here and announce you're breaking up?

            You have two kids! Why are you doing this?

            This is not our business.

            Why not? They're our closest friends!

            There is no one traumatic event.

            People grow apart. It's a lot of little personal things. Now stop it.

            I don't wanna hear this bullshit.

            -Why is she so upset? -Judy--

            She cares about us.

            Well, I care about you too.

            -We're fine, okay? -Judy!

            -We wanna do this. -This is crazy.

            Why are you taking this so personally?

            I'm upset! All right? Can't I be upset?

            I've discussed this in therapy.

            You have? You never said a word!

            -You said this wasn't our business. -We were all so close!

            I assumed we were.

            She's very upset.

            Will you please not turn this into a wake?

            Why is this such a personal thing for you? I don't know what to say.

            Let's just go out to dinner and forget it.

            -Judy, come on! -I knew this would happen.

            So why were you so upset?

            I don't know. I really don't know.

            -It was a total shock? -Yeah, completely.

            They were so casual about it.

            They didn't seem to be appropriately upset.

            Were you hurt because Sally never mentioned anything to you?


            I think, if I look hard-- Searching over the time...

            ...when we were alone together--

            She may have occasionally remarked about wondering...

            ...what it would be like to be single.

            Now, with all she knew, all she'd experienced. That kind of thing.

            But she never said anything negative about Jack.

            Before we go on, tell us something about yourself.

            So we know who you are.

            Okay. My name is Judy Roth. I'm married to Gabe.

            We've been married about     years.

            I work for an art magazine. We don't have any children.

            I have a daughter from a previous marriage.

            I was married when I was very young, to an architect.

            It didn't work out. It's nobody's fault.

            Judy told us they did finally go to dinner.

            She said she was tense and nervous, although the others seemed fine.

            Afterwards, they walked home.

            She tried to participate, but found the atmosphere strained.

            All in all, she said, it was a very peculiar evening.

            It's amazing, isn't it?

            You think you're friendly with people and it turns out...

   really have no idea what they're thinking.

            Do you ever hide things from me?

            Me? What kind of things?

            I don't know. Feelings, you know.

            Longings. Complaints.


             -Do you? -No.

              Sometimes, maybe.

              Really? Like what?

              I don't know. You know how you're always so critical?

              We've had this conversation.

              You're definitely in a strange mood tonight.

              I'm fine. I'm sorry.

              Jack never gave you an inkling? It's strange, you guys are so close.

              I remember one incident he mentioned at his office.

              Jack, trust me on this.

              This girl is to die.

              Shawn Grainger, she's built out to here.

              You will have the time of your life.

              And for $    believe me, it's a bargain.

              I'm not gonna do it. What about AIDS?

              She's not a whore. She's a high-class call girl.

              She'll do anything you want. And on top of it, she's got friends.

              What about my wife? It's dangerous.

              Who was the guy who told me...

              ...that your sex life wasn't so terrific?

              Come on, at a two-martini lunch I'll say anything.

              Shawn has got a mouth like velvet. Believe me.

              She was a former Miss Something-or-Other.

              What exactly did I say at lunch?

              You said that Sally was cold, and you were...

              ...dying to fuck your aerobics trainer.

              I should never drink at lunch.

              I'm gonna write down the number.

              -I advise you to-- -What are you doing?

              Hey. What--?

              Have I steered you wrong?

              -I've never-- -Get out of here.

              There it is. Use it.

              He called. I thought it was about a month after he got my number.

              He was polite on the phone. A little tense.

              I can always tell who's inexperienced.

              He wanted to meet at the Americana Hotel.

              When I got there he was very polite, very gentlemanly. Very nervous.

              He couldn't go through with it. He couldn't get it up.

              He had pains in his chest. I thought it was...

              ...a heart attack, but they passed.

              -That was the last you saw of him? -He called a month later.

              We met at the same hotel. This time we had sex.

              Then I started seeing him fairly regularly, every two, three weeks.

              He said he'd seen a psychiatrist and worked out his problem.

              Once I couldn't make it so I sent a friend.

              Then he started seeing both of us.

              Then neither one of us ever saw him again.

              -At least he threw the number away. -Well, as far as I know.

              But Jack is not a hooker guy.

              He's very strait-laced.

              And Sally's cold in bed.

              That's no surprise. She's very cerebral.

              Am I cold in bed?

              No. Why would you say that?

              But I'm inhibited, right? You said that.

              You can't forget that. We had one minor argument years ago.

              Which you blew up into a major confrontation--

              Do you ever want to sleep with a whore?

              Me? No, definitely not.

              When I was in college, I did.


              You're in an odd mood. Their breakup has definitely affected you.

              You think--

              You think we'd ever break up?

              What? I'm not planning it, are you?

              -No. -Okay.

              But I don't know how I'll feel if you still don't wanna make me pregnant.

              Are we gonna have that conversation again?

              -You have a daughter-- -Yeah.

              I want another.


              It's cruel to bring life into this terrible world.

              Don't glorify your refusal on philosophical grounds.

              You should see the angry look on your face when you say that.

              You wanna make love?

              Okay, if we can get into it in some way.

              -I can't just do it on command. -We can get into it.

              Okay, so put your diaphragm on.

              You'd never say you were putting your diaphragm on...

              ...and then not do it, right?


              What a thing to say!

              That's a terrible thing to say.

              You really trust no one. No wonder people accuse you of cynicism.

              -Okay. I apologize. -Jesus!

              -I'm tired. It's   a.m. -We don't have to do it.

              -Are you still attracted to me? -Yes, I am.

              -Truly? -Of course.

              -We do it less and less. -Our schedules are not exactly--

              When we wanted to, we found time.

              -Come here. -Parties, people's bathrooms--

              Sit and relax for a minute, will you?

              If you remember clearly, when we used to do that spontaneous sex...

     never really liked it. You were always tense.

              You always heard people in the next room making noises.

              Now you remember it in a glorified way.

              -Are you ever attracted to other women? -Like who?

              Like all the women you have in class, who are so talented and insightful.

              I'm sure they worship you.

              Can I tell you that they don't want an old man? All right?

              I think an old man does better than an old woman.

              Then we're definitely stuck with one another.

              Now, come on. You're really....

              Come on.

              Some time later, Sally had a date with Paul...

              ...a colleague at work who had always liked her.

              -Sally. Come in. -Thank you very much.

              Come into my rent-stabilized den.

              -Can I take your coat? -It's lovely.

              I love it. Thank you.

              I thought we'd have a drink.

              I was able to get tickets to Don Giovanni.

              -Great. -You all right?

              -What would you like? -Anything. White wine?

              White wine.

              I hear the staging of this opera is not to be believed.

              Oh, really? How fabulous.

              That's lovely.

              Oh, hey, don't worry about it. I'll get it later.

              -Can I use the phone? -Yeah, sure. You all right?

              -I'm looking forward to it. -This way.

              A good friend of mine did the sets.

              It's me. You are living with her, aren't you? You've moved in together.

              Don't lie to me, Jack. You are.

              Because I know.

              Because I do.

              Yes, I heard.

              It's been three fucking weeks!

              How did you meet someone so fast?

              Bullshit. You had to have known her before.

              Bullshit! Don't give me that shit!

              Oh, you're in love?

              So fast?

              I don't fucking believe it!

              You were seeing whoever it is all along.

              Of course, I expected things to happen. But not so fast!

              Are you that sure?

              No, I'm not.

              Oh, God, it's just fucking dishonest bullshit!

              Hi, you--?

              I'm fine.

              -If you're having a personal-- -Really. I'm okay.

              I'm looking forward to tonight. What are we seeing?

              Don Giovanni.

              A Don Juan story.

              I can only think of it as Mozart.

              Fucking Don Juans.

              They should have cut his fucking dick off.

              Can I get you some more wine?


              You know, we don't have to go.

              No. I'm not gonna put my life on hold.

              I've been dying to see this opera.

              -Excuse me one second. -Sure.

              Hello. Me again.

              I know who she is.

              Bullshit! It's Gail.

              She's been after you since she joined the firm. You both like sports!

              Don't lie to me, Jack.

              She's your type. She's got that look.

              She's bright and all that Princeton bullshit! No!

              I thought it was an experiment! I didn't think it was final.

              I didn't realize you were having an affair!

              That's bullshit! I don't buy a fucking word of it!

              -What time do we have to be there? -Listen...

              ...l don't really think I can do this. I'm feeling upset.

              What are you upset about? Fucking men!

              A woman gets to this age, it's a different ball game.

              Don't defend your sex! It's true!

              It's great till you start to show your age, then they want a newer model.


              Sally, you're--

              You're a very attractive woman, for any age.

              It was a terrible blow to my ego. I thought he loved me.

              That we were experimenting.

              But if you had met someone first...?

              Probably right.

              Probably would've done the same thing.

              I had fantasized about being single many times.

              It's hard to keep a marriage going smoothly.

              All the frustration and baggage. I don't know.

              I don't know.

              Gail came to his office the year before.

              I'd met her several times.

              Look, what can I say? She's...

              ...cultivated, intelligent.

              It's what he likes.

              She'd been over to the house a few times.

              She loved my taste in everything. She even dressed like me.

              What can I say? She's me, but she's younger.

              Listen, your short story was absolutely fabulous.

              -Really? -Yeah.

              I was very impressed, I must say.

              It was probably the best this term.

              -It was wonderful. -That's great!

              The insights were great, the prose was very graceful.

              You know, in general, I was impressed.

              -God, I'm blushing, right? -Well, don't--

              My face gets all red.

              I may just cry.

              Well, don't take it that badly. I meant it as a compliment.

              It was great. Wonderful.

              Your approbation means more than anybody's.

              You're the reason why I wanted to write.

              -Really? -Yeah.

              My family and l, we used to quote "The Grey Hat."

              How do you remember that story?

              "Giving up his hopes...

              ...compromising one's dreams, is like putting on a grey hat."

              I love that!

              You remember that. That's great.

              Listen. You can hear my heart beating.

              How'd you get the name Rain?

              My parents named me after...


              -Did they? -Yeah, it's my mother's favourite poet.

              So that's how I got it.

              Are your folks, you know, writers?

              No, my dad's an investment banker and my mom works at Lincoln Center.

              Are you an only child?

              -Why are you asking these questions? -I'm interested.

              I was so impressed.

              I gave it to someone else and she was also impressed.

              Oh, really?

              -Are you from New York? -I'm from East End Avenue.

              -Are these too many questions? -No.

              It's just the only child one. Yes, I was an only child. Yeah.

              So how did you manage to write something so deep?

              I mean, have you had a--?

              Have you been married and divorced?

              Is your whole family stormy and tempestuous or--?

              What? I didn't know I was stormy and tempestuous.

              Well, the writing was very--

              -It was intense. -I don't know.

              It's just a trick, you know? It's like...

              ...when I was     I wrote this story on Paris...

              ...and I'd never been there.

              You don't have to-- It's just a trick.

              -You don't have to know or-- -Can you just turn it out?

              There are a number of very good professors who are notorious...

              ...for seducing their female pupils. This goes on...

              ...because it's a cinch.

              You know, they look up to them.

              You know, they're older men...

              ...and students are flattered by the attention.

              It's not something I've ever done. Not to say I haven't had daydreams.

              Some of those women are very attractive and interesting.

              But I've never--

              I've never acted on it.

              I've never cheated on Judy.

              Or any other relationship in my life, really.

              Because that has not been my style.

              But, once--

              One time, many years ago...

              ...l was living with this fabulous, interesting woman...

              ...named Harriet Harmon.

              I'm ashamed to say this, but Harriet Harmon...

              ...was the great love of my life.

              It was a very passionate relationship. I loved her very intensely.

              And, you know, we just made love everywhere.

              She was sexually carnivorous.

              We did it in stalled elevators...

              ...and in bushes and people's houses, at parties in the bathroom.

              In the back of cars, she'd put a coat on our laps...

              ...and grab my hand and stick it between her legs.

              She was really something.

              And she, you know, she was highly libidinous.

              You know? She wanted to make love with other women.

              She got into dope for a while. She'd break that thing...

              ...that you sniff when she'd have her orgasm.

              I was getting a real education.

              I was fascinated. I was absolutely nuts about her.

              And ultimately she wound up in an institution.

              I mean, it's not funny, it was a very sad thing.

              She was great, but nuts.

              See, I've always had this penchant...

              ...for what I call " kamikaze women."

              I call them kamikazes because they crash their plane.

              They crash it into you, and you die with them.

              As soon as there's little chance of it working out...

              ...something clicks in my mind. Maybe because I'm a writer.

              A dramatic or aesthetic component becomes right...

              ...and I go after that person.

              There's a certain dramatic ambience that's almost...

     if I fall in love with the situation.

              Of course, it has not worked out well for me.

              It has not been great and--

              A few weeks after Jack and Sally split--

              You know, he and I didn't speak much.

              I found him elusive. We spent more time with Sally.

              She was depressed. We'd try and cheer her up.

              I'd be scared to live alone where you live.

              It's really scary.

              There have been burglaries. My neighbour was robbed.

              And nearby, people were at home.

              It's lucky for them they didn't wake up.

              I would die. I'd never close my eyes at night.

              -You wanna get something to eat? -Sure.


              -This is Sam. -Hi.

              -This is Gabe and Sally. -This is Judy.

              -I have to go. Sorry. -Don't be silly.

              No, I have an appointment.

              -Really? -Don't be crazy.

              -I have to go. -We were gonna eat.

              I just wanted you--


              -Some coincidence. -I know.

              -What was your name? -Sam.

              Sam. Right.

              -So you guys are just walking? -We just had lunch.

              -What do you do, Sam? -Aerobics.

              And I'm a trainer and some nutrition.

              You wanna have dinner at the house?

              -She's a great cook. -I am.

              I don't think--

              -It's vegetarian. -We can't.

              -You don't eat meat, do you? -I don't. She eats a little.

              I used to eat meat, then I gave it up. Then I had some again...

              -...and I got so bloated! -Or there's a Mexican place.

              -Oh, yeah! I flip over couscous! -You feel like cooking?

              -Whatever you want. -Let's do it.

              Yeah. We'll watch the Grammys.

              I'm not watching that.

              -I bet Jill over the best single! -I'm not watching the Grammys.

              -My mother's in town. -Yeah, she's here for a week.

              Okay, maybe later. I've been meaning to call.

              I'd like to pick up some decaf.

              Oh, there's a great store. I need some ginseng.

              She is so great. You know, she's got a degree in psychology.

              -She's into fitness. -You're fucking nuts.

              She is terrific. She's a nice girl. Her family's from Delaware.

              Her father's in police work.

              I can't get my mind around it. You leave Sally for this? I'm shocked.

              -Careful. I'm serious about her. -You're my friend, I love you.

              It's like your IQ is in remission.

              -It's like you had a stroke. -Don't give some moralizing discourse.

              -You're not my rabbi. -I just can't believe it.

              You're with Sally for years. You raise a family. She's wonderful.

              -So she's a ball-breaker sometimes-- -She is.

              I lived with her, you don't know her.

              I don't? So tell me something terrible.

              There's nothing terrible to tell you.

              I don't wanna hurt her. That's not what this is about.

              Suddenly you take up with a cocktail waitress--

              -She's not a cocktail waitress. -I think of you and Sally--

              She's warm and she's nice and I can relax around her.

              Sally was hyper. You know that.

              She's great, but she's cold and difficult.

              Her Radcliffe friends and the crap about her decorator.

              I was bored at the opera.

              She'd never go to a game. We'd never just relax.

              If I put an ashtray down in the wrong place, that was it!

              -It took     years to understand this? -I should've done it before now.

              But we had kids and we're all scared of being alone.

              I love Sally. But what's wrong with aerobics?

              -What am l? A snob? -What's it got to do with aerobics?

              Big deal. So she's not Simone de Beauvoir.

              I want somebody who screams when I fuck her.

              She's a fucking cocktail waitress.

              That's not your business. You don't know what goes on between us.

              I'm tired of being corrected and criticized.

              That's all I ever did with Sally.

              And your mother is not in town. She's in Florida.

              I think no matter how hard we worked, the marriage wouldn't have lasted.

              How long were you and Judy married?

              Five years.

              -Why did you split up? -I thought I wanted out.

              I felt I had just run out of gas.

              But as I look back, I think it was Judy who wanted out.

              So she left you?

              No, she'd never-- That's not her style.

              Don't let Judy fool you. She's what I call passive-aggressive.

              Everything is, " Poor me, give me a break."

              But she gets what she wants.

              I remember when she met her current husband, Gabe Roth.

              My husband and daughter are staying...

              ...but I'm leaving tomorrow. I have to work.

              -Let me give you a lift. -No, don't be silly.

              -Why go on the train? -It's fine.

              -Would you like something to eat? -Me? No. I'll get you something.

              -I was just on my way. -Don't be silly.

              -Pasta? Anything else? -That's fine.

              -I can easily get a cab. -Why should you?

              See? He winds up getting the food.

              He changes his schedule, drives her home.

              And all the time it's, "No, I'll be okay. Don't help me. "

              What he doesn't say is that for the last two years of our marriage...

              ...he was virtually impotent, when it came to me.

              He was just raging because I didn't turn out to be what he thought--

              He thought I'd be one thing. His mother, to be exact.

              And I couldn't take the fact that he was unromantic in every way.

              He'd give you an appliance for your birthday.

              I never got her a Melior coffeemaker for a birthday present.

              I got her a camera once.

              And an enlarger for our anniversary.

              She asked for it.

              What are you thinking about?

              I don't know.

              I was thinking about that manuscript you're reading.

              -It's just a terrible novel-- -Very autobiographical.

              -What else can I work on? -Should I be insulted?

              Why insulted?

              The way we met. That party in the Hamptons?

              "He spotted her from a distance and Harriet leapt to mind.

              He was drawn to her instantly because she reminded him...

              ... of his only genuine passion.

              His sixth sense told him to move on it.

              But she wasn't Harriet. The minute he met her, the dream evaporated. "

              -So she wasn't crazy. -No, just boring.

              She's the best. That's why he marries her.

              -But he pays a price. -This is junk. I'll throw it away.

              You're wrong. It's full of vitality and wit. It's good.

              -You're prejudiced, you're my wife. -Your dull wife.

              I don't know why you ask for my opinion. You don't care.

              -It's not true. -It is true.

              I think it's a mediocre novel.

              You have no respect for my judgment. If somebody else said that...

    'd accept it totally. -I would not.

              After some time, Judy and Sally had lunch.

              Sally made a surprising announcement.

              I like being single.

              You do? I had the opposite impression.

              That's anticipatory anxiety.

              You realize it's not as bad as you fantasized. Like pulling a bad tooth.

              All the festering wounds of your marriage, the disappointments...

              ...the resentments, they're gone in one clean yank and you're free.

              After years of accumulating problems and swallowing one's anger...

     have a chance to begin again. -Yeah. I can imagine.

              The clock ticks faster for a woman. Do it while you have some allure left.

              The one advantage of being older is...

     have a lot of experience.

              I have a better shot at making things work out...

              ...if I met someone.

              If Gabe and I met now, knowing all the things we know...

              ...we'd have a better relationship. No question.

              Would you still marry him?

              God, what a question!

              You know, for me, I just--

              The thought of breaking up is just so painful.

              You can't stay out of fear. You know what you become?

              -What? -My mother and father.


              ...l've pictured myself free.

              -I know you have. -How do you know?

              Because you got so angry that night...

              ...when Jack and I said we were splitting.

              I realized we must have touched a nerve.

              -No. -Yes! It's like Hamlet and Oedipus.

              You were angry because I did what you really want to do.

              You're over-dramatizing. Gabe and I are okay.

              -Nobody has it perfect. -I know. I know.

              When it's good, nothing's better.

              Listen, I think maybe I have a possibility for you.

              -Tell me. -Michael Gates?

              The one you said was attractive? ln your office?

              He's only been there a few months.

              He had a girlfriend, but they've broken up.

              I do think he's attractive. He's charming, he's bright.

              The timing's perfect.

              Come up to the office now and meet him. See how you feel.

              If you're interested, we could all...

              ...arrange something or go out together.

              Michael, this is Sally. I'm finding some back issues for her.

              -She's with the Preservation Committee. -Preservation?

              I don't believe in capital punishment except for New York builders.

              Not just New York.

              There's always a blind passion for the new, the young.

              Listen, you two wait here and I'll be right with you.

              -Take your coat off. -All right.

              Throw it anywhere. We're putting out an issue...

              ...of German furniture styles in the '  s and '  s.

              I hate that period. I did my college thesis on Bauhaus architecture.

              It was called " Function and Fascism." This was years ago at Radcliffe.

              It was very unpopular. Not that it won't make a good magazine subject.

              Have a look at that chair. Remember that?

              -Isn't it wonderful? -I truly dislike that chair.

              -This one? -I hated that.

              What do you think? lsn't he sweet?

              -Well, yes. He seems nice. -Yeah.

              -I think he's great-looking. -And he's single and not gay.

              I'm telling you, he just broke up.

              I don't know him that well.

              He's quiet. I like that about him.

              He's got a great sense of humour. He's a very charming drunk.

              There was a party here and he'd had a lot.

              He was quoting Yeats' poems and he was crying.

              He was? He weeps?

              But in the sweetest way. So shall I get us all together?

              He already asked me to lunch.

              He did?

              We both took courses at Cambridge.

              He suggested we have lunch next week.

              That would be great. I'd be the matchmaker.

              I took an instant liking for Sally. I was immediately attracted.

              She spoke her mind, she spoke her thoughts.

              And she's very sexy, you know?

              Look, I wasn't looking for another relationship because...

              ...l'd just split up with Amy and sworn off getting involved.

              But with Sally, there was something that just hooked in at once.

              -So you were grateful to Judy? -Yes, I was. Very.

              It's funny, you know. When l--

              When I first got to know Judy, I thought she was flirting with me.

              And I thought she must be unhappily married.

              I met her husband, they seemed fine. That's typical of her.

              She's very giving...

              ...and she did me this favour by introducing me to Sally.

              Your second story was as interesting as your first. It was wonderful.

              -Great! -I was knocked out.

              I'm thrilled. I'm so glad you like it.

              You're so encouraging to me. I want you to know that.

              Don't be silly. I'm just one opinion.

              You're the opinion.

              Your line was great. " Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad TV."

              -I think it's completely true. -Right.

              I can't tell you how much your opinion means to me, you know.

              Listen, you wanna go for a walk? I mean....

              A walk?

              -You're busy, right? -No, no.

              I just meant for a walk, to discuss....

              You want to hear more about your story.

              The way you structured the story-- The tension built up...

              ...beautifully and you released the energy in the last paragraph.

              -That was very sophisticated. -Thanks.

              I spent five days searching for the word to describe the husband...

              ...and came up with "appucious." -Appucious.

              -I couldn't find it in the dictionary. -I made it up.

              -Oh, really? -Yeah, it described it perfectly.

              Tolstoy is a full meal.

              Turgenev is a fabulous dessert. That's how I characterize him.


              Dostoyevsky is a full meal with a vitamin pill and extra wheat germ.

              " I fall upon the thorns of life. I bleed."

              I used to think that was so romantic.

              To write, to fall in love, and to experience real passion.

              Really? You think passion could actually be sustained?

              I don't know.

              Time magazine said you lose your sexual attraction...

              ...for the other person in four years, I think it was.

              Time must know, right?

              I sometimes think of living in Paris.

              Europe in general. I find that romantic.

              I like café life. I'd like to write, get a flat.

              Sounds great.

              Walking the streets is fun in Paris.

              Until you've been kissed on a rainy Parisian afternoon...

    've never been kissed.

              -And were you kissed? -I wasn't kissed, I was the kisser.

              Okay, I was wondering...

              -...if I could read your novel. -How'd you know I had a novel?

              You mentioned it when we had lunch that time.

              -I'm very disenchanted with it. -Yes.

              I know. I'm only asking you because I could learn a lot from it.

              I would like to know what you like and what you don't...

              ...and why you're so critical of it.

              Let me think about it.

              -Are you okay? -Yes.

              Let me think about it. I'll think about it.

              -I shouldn't have asked you. -No, no, no.

              -Let me think about it. -Okay.

              Gabe. He's always picked the wrong women. Except for Judy.

              She's the first sane woman he fell for. He's attracted...

     the crazies, the nut cases.

              I got a couple of theories about it. One is that...

              ...he knows it's not gonna work and so he suffers.

              That kind of atones for some sort of...

              ...early-on guilt he's got over-- What, I don't know.

              Another is, like all of us, he grew up on...

              ...movies and novels where doomed love was romantic.

              How are things going with Sam?

              Great. Absolutely great. Saturday, we got up.

              We had a run down by the river. It was a beautiful day.

              It was terrific. I'm down to a good weight. I'm exercising.

              It feels incredible to get in shape. I eat great.

              Salads, no meat. Never touch meat.

              Later in the day, we rented some kind of a video.

              Some sort of dopey, funny, stupid little thing.

              Something Sally wouldn't have allowed. I laughed like hell.

              I had a terrific time and I didn't have to feel guilty about it.

              She's not Simone de Beauvoir. We argue sometimes.

              Trust me. It's King Lear. Shakespeare never wrote about a King Leo.

              Well, Mr. Intellectual. Shakespeare wrote in English, not Japanese.

              That's wonderful.

              I was just gonna make some cappuccino. You want some?

              -No. -You're sure?

              I'm positive. Absolutely.

              Don't start getting excited. I don't have my diaphragm.

              I want to make love to you without your diaphragm.

              -What are you talking about? -I was thinking about it.

              I thought maybe I've been resisting having...

              -...a child too strenuously. -What?

              -Since when? -I don't know.

              These are some thoughts that I've had. Maybe....

              Maybe it would be helpful.

              What kind of help did you have in mind?

              Are you unhappy in our marriage?

              I don't think about it that much. Which is probably a good sign.

              It's late, I'm tired. Do you want to talk about this now?

              All I said was, it was a good idea to have a baby.

              -It's not such a good idea. -Why not, all of a sudden?

              We have some straightening out to do before we have a baby.

              You wanted a baby. Why are you in a bad mood?

              -Do you want somebody new? -No.

              Who? Like who? Do you?

              -Certainly not a baby. -So forget it.

              -Because I thought you wanted-- -Okay, fine.

              Something you wanna say to me and you're not?

              We don't want to get into something you can't get out of.

              You don't want a baby, right? That's what I should--

              -You know I do. -Then we have to work on it.

              But not tonight. Any thought of sex is now....

              -I'm sorry. -Not your fault.

              I'm begging you to have a baby I don't want.

              -I knew you didn't want it. -I don't mean it that way.

              You know, it's late and I'm confused.

              We have a fine marriage. I don't know what all this talk is for.

              Michael? I brought you a won ton soup since you were busy.

              Thanks, Judy. You're a sweetheart.

              -I see you're going to Carnegie Hall. -To see Mahler's Ninth.

              -Really? -I hope Sally likes Mahler.

              She will. It's my favourite. Here are some napkins.

              I've got this great place to bring her to after the concert.

              A little supper joint. It's very intimate.

              -Courtyard, trellis, fairy lights. -That's beautiful.

              It is. It is.

              It's funny seeing someone who's just left a long marriage.

              I bet it's been a while since she was romanced, eh?

              Yes, I'm sure.

              I'm such a square. I'm old-fashioned. I eat all that stuff up.

              Music, intimate restaurants, candlelight joints and stuff.

              Amy used to say I should have been born in the      s.

              -She found it all a bit corny. -No, not at all. It's very sweet.

              You go for that stuff too, don't you?

              -Oh, sure. -Yeah.

              -Tonight was fun, eh? -Yes, it was good.

              And that music was fantastic.

              I usually hate Mahler, but it was good.

              The last movement's too long.

              The second movement was good. It began well.

              -Then it gets sentimental. -Yeah.

              The conductor fought his way out.

              Dinner was wonderful.

              Although I should teach the chef how to make an Alfredo sauce.

              -Sorry. -Want to...?

              -Is it okay? -Coffee?

              I'd love to.

              I'm yawning because I'm hyper- oxygenating. The ride made me sick.

              I'm sorry. I'm not the greatest driver in the world.

              No, your driving was fine, for the most part.

              I shouldn't have had the last one. Three's my limit.

              I couldn't finish the second.

              Ah, this is lovely.

              Very homely. English pine. It's the finest.

              I prefer French. My decorator screwed me.

              It's too big. I have to get a place in town.

              It's funny how your whole life changes. I'm scared here alone.

              -There's been robberies. -I bet.

              Do you want to get married again or do you like being single?

              I love being single.

              Because I think certain personalities just need to be married.

              -I disagree. -Well, that's what they say.

              Not me. I thought I did.

              I do. I do. I think it's time for me.

              So why have you never got married?

              Oh, I don't know. I got close...

     my   s once, but it didn't work out.

              -Is wine okay? -Lovely. Thank you.

              I want to be alone for a while at least.

              I want to have a few experiences. If it happens, great.

              If not, that's just fine.

              I'm sure you'll get what you want.

              -You're a very beautiful woman. -Oh, thank you.

              -I can't go so fast. -I'm sorry.

              It's just, you know....

              -It's not my rhythm. -I understand.

              Thank you.

              I haven't been in a social situation...

              ...that's meant anything to me in a very long time.

              Thank you. I'm glad to know you care.

              I wouldn't be with you...

              ...if I wasn't at least interested in exploring it.

              -Well, cheers. -Cheers.

              Tonight's meant a lot to me. Thank you.

              Lovely. That's nice.

              -What's the rush? -I'm sorry, I apologize. I'm just--

              I'm overanxious because I like you a lot.

              Oh, dear. Michael, what can I say?

              I haven't made love in such a long time.

              My marriage, I told you, was dead. For years.

              I don't know why. Yes, I do. The second law of thermodynamics.

              Sooner or later, everything turns to shit. That's my phrasing.

              Strange, often one doesn't even see it happen.

              I did.

              That's the part that kills me.

              I was in town working. Jack was on business, in Chicago.

              All of a sudden, by sheer accident....

              -Hi. How you doing? -Hey, how was Chicago?

              It was good. I mean, it was busy.

              The old guy doesn't want to settle.

              He's a tough old bird, boy.

              I couldn't bring it up.

              I was so hurt. And so full of rage.

              And scared.

              For weeks...

              ...l waited for him to say he'd met someone. He never did.

              Although I was suspicious, I never found another incident.

              So I chose to overlook it and I hoped it would go away.

              But it didn't.

              Because I began thinking...

              ...of getting rid of him...

              ...and being single.

              And things just got worse between us.

              We put up bigger and bigger fronts.

              Now I'm single.

              And I realize I'm one of those people who needs to be married.

              -Hey! Hey! Come here. -Hi.

              -Where are you going? -Home.

              -Come on, I'll give you a lift. -Great.

              Come on.

              -I have a surprise. -What?

              I don't know if you'll think so. You can read my novel.

              Oh, great! Oh, that's great! Thanks.

              -You have to go easy on it because-- -Oh, of course.

              -Wanna come up? -Now?

              Meet my parents. They're so in love with you.

              Don't you wanna see how I live? What are you doing here?

              -This is why I don't see you. -What do you mean?

              -You're mistaken. -I wanted to see what he looked like.

              You're not what I imagined.

              This isn't my boyfriend. He's my professor.

              -Your professor? -Yes.

              -I'm Professor Gabriel Roth. -Nice to meet you.

              -Columbia? -Stop.

              -Barnard. -How interested are you?

              -Come on. -I want to ask you something.

              -You seduce all your students? -I don't know what this is about.

              Okay, just go, please.

              -What are you doing here? -You led me on!

              I did not! I told you from day one.

              When you have her in your arms, what does she say to you?

              -I don't know what to say. -Why are you acting childish?

              You're acting like a    -year-old-- I'm sorry.

              You're sorry. What do you think I am?

              -I don't know. -Why don't you just go in?

              I am. What? I'm trying to help you out.

              -I'm cold. -I'm sorry.

              This is my mother. Gabe Roth.

              It is such an immense pleasure.

              -That's my father. -Oh.

              It is an honour, sir. What can we get you?

              Nothing. I'm just-- I'm fine.

              Just a sedative, if you have one. Who was that character downstairs?

              I'll tell you about it later. It's got so sunny all of a sudden.

              We're fans of yours. We wish you'd still write those...

              -Let me take your coat. -...funny stories.

              What were you going to tell me about that guy?

              I better start from the beginning if I'm gonna tell you.

              My father, he had this... this colleague who was...

              -...his business partner. -This guy was his business partner?

              This is why I have to start from the beginning. It leads up to him.

              My father's business partner, he'd come by the house fairly often.

              And one day, he told me that he was in love with me, right?

              I was very flattered, to say the least.

              He was real bright and single.

              We started having this affair. Naturally, we told nobody.

              I have this friend, Jane. Her parents were divorced.

              Her father, Jerry, developed this mad crush over me, right?

              And before long, I was seeing both these men.

              Instead of being happy, I was just miserable.

              I couldn't get my feelings straight, so I went to an analyst.

              I tried for a few months to work things out.

              Then, one day, he said he was gonna stop treating me...

              ...because he felt it wasn't the thing to do...

              ...since he was falling in love with me.

              I was taken with him. You can imagine, he's quite brilliant.

              And I started seeing him.

              I did. I broke off from the other two.

              Something inside me told me he couldn't...

     a very stable person, let alone a good analyst.

              So I never really let things get too far with him.

              Then one night I met Carl.

              He was very sweet and he really came on with me.

              I came to my senses. I said to myself.:

              "What am I doing with these older men?"

              So I cleaned up my act and I've been dating Carl.

              As you can see, Richard is so unstable. He really took it badly.

              God! You've got material for your first novel and the sequel...

              ...and an opera by Puccini here! This is incredible.

              Yes, but don't you think I'm right? I mean, Carl, he's fun.

              What the hell am I doing with the midlife crisis set?

              They're all wonderful, rather accomplished men.

              In the end, I felt like I was a symbol of lost youth...

              ...or unfulfilled dreams. Am I being dramatic?


              Rain's birthday is coming up, and we'd love you to come.

              -I don't know. -He doesn't want to come.

              We would love you to come for a drink. You and your wife.

              Mom, he's not gonna come to my birthday.

              You've been a great influence on her. Inspirational.

              Well, she's great.

              I'd consider it an honour if you'd come by.

              Just as Gabe gave his manuscript to Rain, Judy also showed her writing.

              Listen, I finally got around to reading these lovely poems.

              -You can be honest. -I am.

              -It's just a hobby. -I was moved. They're full of feeling.

              -What does your husband say? -I'd never show them to him.

              He'd be much too critical. He has very high standards.

              -He'd be right too. -The two you wrote about New England?

              There's a graveyard there where I'd love to be buried.

              I used to say to Amy, that's the place I'd choose too.

              -Do you want to eat lunch outside? -Sure.

              -Are you soaked? -No. What about you?

              I think just my coat.

              -Your hair's wet. -Is it?

              Thank you, Annie.

              -That was fun. -Yes. My hair's a mess.


              -Judy, can I speak frankly to you? -Sure.

              -Thanks for introducing me to Sally. -Oh. Oh, yeah.

              -I think I'm in love with her. -Gee, that was quick.

              Not that she shares my feelings or ever will.

              -She hasn't been single that long. -Yeah, but it's like...

              ...l like someone and can't wait for the other shoe to fall.

              You probably had--

              You're just a little gun-shy from some bad experiences.

              Is she as terrific as she seems?

              She is. She's wonderful. She's...

              ...honest and decent.... I can't say enough good things.

              Thank you, Judy. You know I respect your opinion.

              Do you mind if l--?

              I'm just feeling a little funny.

              -I'll get you a.... -I'm fine.

              I don't know why I introduced them. Why did I push them together?

              When obviously, I had feelings for him myself.

              I was just confused. I didn't know what I wanted.

              You look good. You don't get any older. You work out, huh?

              Since Sally and I broke up, I'm single. I gotta watch it, you know?

              I saw Sally the other night. She's dating some guy.

              Nice-looking. Claire can tell you.

              Yeah, I think-- What was he? He's an editor.


              What's the deal? Are they seeing one another or--?

              We don't know.

              I'm drunk, so don't hold me responsible. You gave up a great one.

              Ken! He's having a good time.

              No, he's right. I know. Look, we were together a lot of years.

              She's a great lady.

              She'll be all right. This guy, Michael something, seemed fine.

              -Let's go. -I'm not out of line.

              You're okay, right? That girl, Samantha, should be in the Olympics.

              What do you think? Are they serious?

              -Don't know. -What did she say?

              We didn't talk. For a few minutes we--

              She looked great. Has she had face work?

              -Face work? -We gotta go. Good to see you.

              Where is Sam?

              If astrology were true, twins would have the same fate.

              -It is totally provable! -From gypsies?

              Why wouldn't it have an influence on our personalities?

              You know who believes this? My babysitter.

              There is more crime during the full moon.

              Well, who knows?

              It's like the universe knows this stuff.

              You guys just don't get the fundamental basics--

              You should meet my babysitter. She doesn't know anyone in New York.

              -She's been with me two months. -Fabulous....

              -My ex-wife believed in this. -You should listen to her.

              I'm just making a point. Because the position...

              ...of the planets is crucial to your life.

              I can't stress this enough. And your body--

              -Be logical. -But I'm totally logical.

              I would not put a Sagittarius--

              Sam, we gotta go. Come on.

              -We're just getting started. -It was good to see you.

              -It's early! -It's getting later. See you, guys.

              -It was nice meeting you. -Come on.

              If you don't know what you're talking about, why don't you not talk?

              They don't know what they're saying!

              You feel obligated to talk. How about listening?

              -I listen! -That's a novel idea for you.

              You are so rude. I can't believe you just did that!

              -You're the expert. -That's the most embarrassing--

              Let's get out before you make it any worse.

              -This bullshit astrology. It's stupid. -It's not stupid.

              I'm sick of listening to your crap about soybeans and Zen foods.

              -Get in the car! -Leave me alone. No.

              -Who do you think you're talking to? -You wanna embarrass me?

              They're making intellectual talk, and you're jerking off about tofu.

              -Believe me, they're just stupid! -Get in the car.

              -I'm not going. -You are.

              -Help! -Shut up, will you?

              Shut your mouth! Are you crazy?

              -I wanna embarrass you! -Embarrass me?

              -Are you coming? -I hate you and your...

              ...stupid fucking asshole friends!

              Get in. Get in the car.

              -Where's my bag? -I don't know. It doesn't matter.

              Here. Get in the car.

              Goddamn, I must have been out of my mind. You're crazy.

              -You're too drunk to drive. -Just shut up and let's go.

              -Goddamn it! -Look what you've done now! Just--

              Let me out of here! Let me out of here!

              -Will you just stop?! -I'm not stopping.

              -Get in the car! -You maniac!

              Trying to be cute?


              -Get in the car! -No!

              -Oh, I don't believe this. -No! Help!

              What am I doing? Get in the car, you infant!

              Get in the fucking car!


              You had an orgasm with Michael and not with your husband?

              I didn't. I was trying very hard.

              -I was tense. I came close. -What makes it so difficult for you?

              My mind gets racing with thoughts. You'd laugh.

              -I get so mentally hyperactive. -Like what?

              I liked what Michael was doing to me...

              ...and it felt different from Jack. More gentle.

              And...more exciting.

              How different Michael was from Jack.

              How much deeper his vision of life was.

              And I thought...

              ...Michael was a hedgehog...

              ...and Jack was a fox.

              And then I thought...

              ...Judy was a fox...

              ...and Gabe was a hedgehog.

              And I thought about all the people I knew...

              ...and which were hedgehogs...

              ...and which were foxes.

              AI Simon, a friend, was a hedgehog.

              His wife, Jenny, was a hedgehog.

              And Cindy Salkind was a fox.

              And Lou Patrino was a hedgehog.

              I had the impression that at times...

     weren't quite into it.

              No. No!

              I mean....

              You know....

              I told you the problems I've had with Jack.


              It was wonderful.

              I've hurt your feelings, right?

              Don't get the wrong impression. I loved it.

              Me too.

              I used to get excited when we got married.

              Somewhere along the line, it slipped away.

              It's okay.

              What? That I'm not responsive?

              We had a nice experience.

              We had two separate, nice experiences.

              -But they were nice. -They were separate.

              -No wonder your husband went crazy. -Very funny.

              Oh, come on, Sally.

              -You hungry? -He said, changing the subject.

              Oh, stop it.

              What was that?

              -There's been some burglaries. -Is the alarm on?

              Well, call the police.

              -Who are you? -Who are you?

              -Jack, my God! -You changed the lock on my own house.

              -Who's this? -This is my husband.

              -None of your business. Leave. -I don't want to.

              -Are you all right? -Am I all right?

              Is he living here?

               -Don't get upset. -Is he fucking you?

                -This is my house, pal. -Let's not get ugly.

                I can talk to him. Go upstairs.

                -Where's he going? -Please. I know.

                -You going up to our bed? -It's not our bed anymore.

                Listen, you need some black coffee. Then just go.

                Listen, I want to come back.

                -You're drunk. -Oh, please. My life is such a mess.

                This is not the place to discuss this. Please go.

                -This is my fucking house. -This is my fucking house.

                This is my house now.

                -I want to start over again. -That's not possible.

                Sally, can I help?

                -Oh, please. -Would you get lost? What is this?

                -This is ridiculous! -I can handle this.

                -I don't believe this. -You don't have to. Go.

                You.... Listen. God, l....

                This was not all my fault. It takes two of us--

                -I didn't say it was all your fault. -You're so hard to live with!

                I would just break my back all the time. See? Perfect.

                What do you want me to say?

                Our marriage was full of problems. I know that.

                Some were my fault, some were yours.

                You lied to me, you cheated on me--

                Why don't you run upstairs--?

                -There's a stranger here. -He knows.

                He knows. Swell. That's perfect too.

                You show me one couple that doesn't have problems.

                It's tough. Everybody has a tough time, you know?

                -What about the one you lived with? -That's total bullshit.

                -Well, I've met someone I like. -What? You what?

                I met someone I like.

                What about all the years we had together?


       had no problem wiping them out when it suited you.

                But l-- I didn't know what else to do.

                No! No! I can't discuss this now. Please! Go!

                -You'll feel better tomorrow. -I'm gonna feel like shit tomorrow.

                Oh, shit.

                Hi. I need to speak to Jack.

                -You're gonna leave me out there? -I told you--

                I have never been treated this way before!

                -Perfect how you ruin a life. -Then see a psychiatrist.

                -I need to see a shrink, slimebag! -Come on in.

                This is about all of us.

                -We don't have any secrets here. -Bullshit.

                -I never met a Scorpio who wasn't-- -Will you stop?!

                I'm going to bed. Get out. Both of you!

                What's the big deal?

                So I did some things wrong. Does it have to be irreversible?

                The heart raged, grew melancholy and confused...

                ...and toward what end? To articulate what nitwit strategy? Procreation?

                It told him something. How millions of sperm...

                ... competed for a single egg, not the other way around.

                Men would make love with any number of women...

                ... even total strangers, while females were selective.

                They were catering to the demands of one small egg.

                While males had millions of frantic sperms screaming.:

                "Let us out, let us out!"

                It was like personal ads.

                Dozens of requirements followed by, "Non-smokers only. "

                Feldman longed to meet an attractive woman with this personality.:

                A sense of humour equal to his...

                ...a love of music equal to his and a love of...

                ...Bach and balmy climates. In short, himself as a pretty woman.

                Pepkin married and led a warm, domestic life.

                Placid, but dull. Knapp was a swinger.

                He eschewed nuptial ties and bedded different women.:

                Nurses, housewives, students, a doctor, a salesgirl....

                They all held Knapp between their legs.

                Pepkin, from the calm of his fidelity, envied Knapp.

                Knapp, lonely beyond belief, envied Pepkin.

                What happened after the honeymoon? Did desire grow...

                ... or did familiarity make partners want other lovers?

                Was the notion of ever-deepening romance a myth...

                ...along with simultaneous orgasm?

                The only time Rifkin and his wife experienced one...

                ... was when they were granted their divorce.

                Maybe in the end, the idea was not to expect too much out of life.

                So the book was wonderful.

                Entertaining, imaginative and moving....

                You don't have to say this. You can be critical. Be honest.

                You make suffering so funny.

                The lost souls running around.

                That's funny. I've had so much trouble with the book.

                -Has anybody else read it? -Not exactly, you know.

                I'm so thrilled you feel this way. I can't tell you how encouraged I am.

                Your feelings about it are really....

                But you are a sucker for my work. I shouldn't get too excited.

                I'm objective and, yes, I do love the way you write.

                -I had some criticisms-- -I'm sure you did.

                What were they?

                Nothing serious. The whole thing was just a delight.

                Really? I've had such a love-hate relationship with this book.

                -Oh my God, this can't be-- -What?

                I think I left it in the cab.

                You're kidding! ln a taxicab? Are you sure?

                I can't believe I did this to you! Okay, he was lndian.

                You left it in an lndian's cab?

                No. He was Armenian.

                That was the only copy.

                -I know. -You must be joking.

                -Hargopian? -Mr. Hargopian, Swami Hargopian, what?

                I was totally crushed. I wanted to die.

                This was the worst thing that happened.

                -You put up a false front. -The poor girl was wrecked.

                I was trying to bail her out.

                So this book was very meaningful to you despite what you said.

                -I guess so. -And the young woman, Rain?

                Her approbation was very significant to me.

                Why was her encouragement so pleasing?

                Your own wife liked it very much and you gave her a hard time.

                I don't know. There was some kind of rapport I felt here that was...


                Hey! Hey! Somebody found your envelope.

                They're waiting at the house now.

                It's-- It's so Freudian.

                What is?

                The whole thing, leaving the novel in the cab.

                Don't be silly. It could happen to anybody.

                No, I think maybe it meant something.

                -Like what? -Well...

                ...l don't know. Maybe I could have been threatened.

                -Threatened by my book? -Yeah.

                -I'm very competitive by nature. -That's absurd.

                Why, because I'm a young female?

                Don't get angry. I'm in your corner.

                -I'm your biggest fan. -Yeah.

                I just think I could have been threatened by certain things.

                Like what?

                Some of the attitudes towards women and your ideas on life.

                -You told me you loved the book. -I do. I do love it.

                -What were your criticisms? -Nothing.

                Tell me your criticisms.

                I was a little disappointed with some of your attitudes.

                Like what? What attitudes? With what?

                The way people just casually have affairs like that.

                The book doesn't condone affairs. I'm exaggerating for comedy.

                Are our choices really between chronic dissatisfaction and suburban drudgery?

                I'm deliberately distorting it. I'm trying to show...

       hard it is to be married.

                You have to be careful not to trivialize things like that.

                Jesus, I hope I haven't.

                The lead character's views on women...

       so retrograde, so shallow.

                What? You told me it was a great book.

                I never said great, I said it's...

                ...brilliant and it's alive.

                We're not arguing about whether it's brilliant or not.

                Triumph of the Will was a great movie, but you despise its ideology.

                So you despise my ideas?

                No, I don't despise them. That example was--

                Isn't it beneath you as a thinker...

       allow your lead character to waste so much energy...

                ...obsessing over a psychotic woman...

                ...that you fantasize as powerfully sexual and inspired...

                ...when she was pitifully sick.

                I don't need a lecture on writing from a   -year-old twit.

                You asked to read my book, you said you loved it--

                -And I do. -You leave it in a taxicab.

                You're weeping, I'm consoling you and you turn on me.

                Okay. Well, I must have hit a nerve.

                Well, yeah. You know....

                I'd hate to be your boyfriend. He must go through hell.

                Well, I'm worth it.

                -Any trouble finding the house? -No, it was very easy.

                Please. Step this way.

                I'm so glad you found the house.

                -This was so nice. -It's fine.

                I jumped in the cab and wound up sitting on it.

                That's so nice of you. Let me give you some--

                -No, it's okay. -Really, I can't--

                -I want you to stay for coffee. -No, you're--

                -I won't take no for-- -She won't.

                -We'll have coffee. -Okay, good.

                -I'm sorry-- -I'm sorry, it was my fault.

                It was totally--

                If you don't mind my saying, you have a beautiful daughter.

                I admit it, her argument in the cab...

                ...l found attractive. It attracted me to her.

                That she was not a passive, worshipful pupil.

                Something in me sensed...

                ...not that I'd do anything about it...

                ...l had, you know, certain daydreams about it.

                A week later, Jack and Sally reunited.

                This was celebrated over dinner.

                You can't just wipe out years of closeness.

                You think you can. But the roots are there.

                I think some people are just not meant to be single.

                Everybody screws up. The question is...

       you learn from it?

                I think the true test is how you weather a crisis.

                Everyone looks great when everything's going smoothly.

                It's great. If you can be that mature, it's great.

                It's not that. You just start...

                ...thinking about priorities.

                How long can you discuss physical fitness and the zodiac?

                And this Michael character was no bargain.

                -How was Michael? -I don't know, he was sick.

                I gave him a call and he did sound very terrible.

                I guess I really pulled the rug out from under him.

                Although his real crush is on Judy.

                -Not to offend you, Gabe. -I'm not.

                I love it when someone likes Judy.

                Gabe needs confirmation of his feelings when it comes to me.

                That's a terrible thing to say.

                I'd watch it if I were you, Gabe.

                He always talks about Judy in hushed tones.

                I think those poems you wrote impressed him.

                Here's to a good marriage.

                -The best two people can hope for. -Absolutely.

                -I didn't know about the poetry. -I didn't think you'd care.

                -Well, why not? -Because.

                I'd be embarrassed to show you my stuff.

                -Why? -You're so hard on everything.

                What are you talking about?

                -You're very, very judgmental. -I like poetry.

                I'm crazy about Shakespeare and Byron and T.S. Eliot.

                My stuff isn't that good yet.

                -I'd give an objective evaluation. -I don't want an objective evaluation.

                I'd like something a little more supportive and generous.

                -From that character in your office? -He's not a character.

                -Do you love him? -No! Why, because I show him my poems?

                -I saw Dr. Ritchie today. -Oh, where?

                I went back into psychotherapy.

                You don't need psychotherapy, and certainly not with her!

                Why? Because she's postmodern?

                Anyone who thinks the Sabine women had it coming to them--

                That's not it.

                -I don't flirt. -Don't tell me that.

                I've seen you do it.

                You put on a different personality.

                -You're crazy. -You pretend to want things you don't.

                -Like? -Going to Europe.

                That's flirting. You couldn't survive off the island of Manhattan.

                You misrepresented yourself to me.

                What do you mean by that?

                Like you had one child then decided that was it.

                -I'm not the same person I was. -That's why relationships go sour.

                -You hate change. -Change equals death.

                Bullshit. That's bullshit!

                Maybe your students think it's insightful, but it means nothing.

                Life is made of change.

                If you don't change, you just shrivel up.

                I don't want to. You get sexual at the oddest times.

                You use sex to express every emotion but love.

                You were attracted to me...

                ...because in some way, I reminded you of Harriet.

                But my sanity disappointed you.

                I liked you because you were decent and not crazy.

                -And you found that too boring. -No...

       it turns out you were as crazy as her.

                -So I did remind you of Harriet. -No...

                ...l had a feeling you were unstable.

                On the surface you were...

                ...but now that we're having problems, you're not.

                This is all very clear to me.

                --we both couldn't sleep one night, remember...

                ...and we found Wild Strawberries on cable...

                ...we stayed up all night watching it? That was great.

                We were going to the faculty dinner and we were on Fifth Avenue...

                ...on an icy black night. We were walking downtown.

                Suddenly we decided not to go to the dinner...

       was such a beautiful night. We walked into Central Park.

                You could see every star. You were so beautiful in that black dress.

                -Don't do that. -Why not?

                Because it's over and we both know it.

                Do we?

                All that stuff-- Those memories, they're just memories.

                They're from years gone by.

                They're isolated moments...

                ...they don't tell the whole story.

                Several days later, Gabe moved into a hotel.

                I wasn't being totally honest with Gabe.

                Because I didn't want to hurt him. But I knew what I wanted.

                I was in love with Michael. I wanted to be free to...

                ...pursue that and not have to lie or sneak around or anything.

                How could I be      honest with Judy?

                I loved her and I didn't want to hurt her.

                What am I gonna say?

                That I'm becoming infatuated with a   -year-old?

                That I see myself sleepwalking into a mess?

                Then why didn't you stop yourself?

                There was something in my marriage that I was not getting. Rain--

                -There was excitement there. -Rain had a boyfriend.

                I know. Everything about it was wrong.

                That did not deter me.

                If anything, as usual, there was something interesting.

                So, what is it? You have a self-destructive streak?

                I don't know. My heart...

                ...does not know from logic.


                Oh, Michael, please.

                I can't keep discussing this.

                It was a decision I needed to make-- No. Wanted to make.

                I said I'm sorry. I can't keep discussing this.

                No. I don't want to have a drink. I have to go.

                Well, you make it hard! I have to go.

                Later, Judy helped Michael get over the loss of Sally.

                Here we go.

                -Heavens, Judy. -Pretty good, huh?

                That's mine, where's yours?

                I am so happy that's not true.


                Right, shall I be mum? Cheers.

                -It's a real treat. -You're welcome.

                -Where's your wife? -We're not together anymore.

                Oh, you writers. You're so....

                Happy birthday!

                Did you meet that woman Jessica?

                No, I met Angela, though.

                -Did you see that? -What?

                It's incredible, this time of year.

                Oh, I love storms.

                They said we were supposed to get some of that hurricane.

                -It's really coming down heavy. -How fitting. I was born in a storm.

                It's dangerous.

                She looks great.

                She's    ! It's absolutely incredible.

                -Our littler Rainer. -I'm gonna be   .

                It's our   th wedding anniversary in June.

                Don't worry. We got some light in here for you.

                I know I paid that bill.

                Take some of these candles out there.

                I can't believe this. I know I had a flashlight.

                Oh, this is just my luck on my own birthday. It goes black.

                You look very pretty in candlelight.

                Oh, did you see the lightning flashes?

                It's supposed to get worse. How's everybody gonna get home now?

                Happy birthday.

                I didn't want to give it to you in the other room because...

       could be misconstrued, so...

                -...l've been hiding it in my jacket. -Very nice.

                That's lovely!

                That is so pretty.

                Happy birthday.

                -Why would it be misconstrued? -It would just look funny.

                Because you have a boyfriend.

                People wouldn't understand.

                It wouldn't look funny at all. It's beautiful.

                -You know what I'd really like? -What?

                A nice birthday kiss.

                -You want a birthday kiss? -Yeah.

                Happy birthday.

                -That's all? -I'm drunk. This is not funny.

                What do you mean? That was a birthday kiss.

                You want me to stick my tongue down your throat?

                Come on, you know what I mean.

                You got a boyfriend in the other room.

                I know. It's not serious. It isn't serious.

                Listen, I can't even have this conversation.

                Not that I haven't thought about it.

                I have, but it's just too crazy. I--

                It's so disappointing.

                It isn't disappointing. You got a boyfriend.

                You couldn't ask for a more romantic moment.

                I mean, it's my    st birthday, and...

                ...we're in a storm, the lights are out and there's...

                -...the rain sweeping the skyline. -Why do I hear...

                ...$      worth of psychotherapy...

                -...dialling      now? -It's magical. I'm sorry.

                I'm sorry. I've had a little too much to drink too.

                -Me too. I had.... -I'm just....

                You want to kiss? I mean, you want a real kiss?

                You want an actual, professional kiss?

                -Yes. -Both lips, upper and lower.

                -At once? -I've thought about it.

                -I gotta tell you. -Come here.

                I was just hoping that lightning can't come into a penthouse...

                ...because it was tumultuous outside. It was crashing all around and...

                ...the scene had to be played. I mean, I was...

                ...l wanted to kiss her, it was pouring...

                ...but I figured, any second the lightning...

                ...would come right into the apartment and...

                ...and that I would die.

                I don't want to spend Sunday together, because I need time alone!

                -Be alone! I'm not pushing you. -Yes. Yes, you are, in that...

                ...quiet, steady way of yours. "Supportive," is your word.

                " Understanding." Stop being so understanding.

                I still have feelings for Sally.

                Feelings I don't think I could ever have for you.

                Oh, God! Where are you--? Oh, for--

                -I'm sorry. -I never want to see you again!

                -I need you. -It's good to know how you feel.

                I'm glad to know.

                -You are so self-centred! -I know.

                I didn't mean those things.

                -Why did you say them? -I'm confused.

                -I never want to hurt you. -Bullshit!

                It's not bullshit. I don't deserve you. I'm sorry. Please!

                -Did you shut the windows? -I was thinking...

      's a good thing we fixed that leak in the den.

                Even now I'm still scared of thunder. Any loud noise.

                We would have been nuts to use those theatre tickets.

                We'd have been swerving all over.

                -I'm glad we stayed home. -Me too.

                When we were apart, this storm would have terrified me.

                I was scared enough sleeping alone.

                Sometimes you can be alone when you're with someone.

                Should we have given those other tickets to Gabe or Judy?

                -We did buy them for them. -Yeah, I know, but...

                ...the situation's completely different now.

                A year and a half later, much had occurred.

                Judy was married to Michael.

                -So, you happy? -Go ahead.

                Yes, I think things have gone pretty smoothly.

                -He puts up with my idiosyncrasies. -No, she puts up with mine.

                She's passive-aggressive. Somehow, she gets what she wants.

                She wanted me, she wanted Gabe...

                ...she wanted the job at the magazine, out of her marriages...

                ...she wants Michael....

                I disagree.

                When Sally went back to Jack, I went after Judy.

                Not at first, but when I decided, I went after her.

                Gee, I hope I didn't push. I wanted it to work, it's true.

                We're doing fine. Really. We've learned to...

                ...tolerate our problems more. Don't you think?

                I've learned, anyway, that love is...

                ...not about passion and romance necessarily.

                It's also about companionship and...

      's like a buffer against loneliness, I think.

                That stuff is important. Somebody to grow old with.

                What kills most people is unreal expectations.

                What about things that can't be talked about?

                Like sexual problems, for instance.

                -Unresolved. -Unresolved?

                Well, there's some things you can't solve and then...

       have to live with it.

                You construct some kind of patchwork thing.

                -But sometimes they flare up. -They do, and when it happens...

       gets tough when that happens.

                You learn to deal with it and then push it under the rug.

                And it works. That's the weird thing. It's not bad.

                You can't force yourself to conform to some abstract...

       of love, or...

       know, marriage. Every situation's different.

                Whatever works is the deal.

                Ours is just one way.

                It's funny. Last year when we were at Gabe and Judy's...

                ...and we announced so flippantly we were splitting....

                -I wasn't that confident. -I wasn't either.

                I remember thinking they were so lucky.

                They had such a great marriage.

                It's ironic that we're together and they aren't.

                -Yeah. -Weird.

                I had a romantic moment...

                ...with Rain at her    st birthday party...

                ...and I could feel the old pull coming back.

                The old attraction coming back. Feelings I'd had...

                ... from my past. It was very vivid to me.

                That was a-- That was a...

                ...a great moment. I don't really think we should...

                ...follow up on it.

                What do you--? What do you mean?

                Well, you know, I just.... If things were different--

                If I was younger, or if you were older...

                ...or anything different, but somehow...

                ...l just feel I know how this is gonna come out.

                You sure?

                I am. You know, I really am.

                I knew how it would end.

                And I left and I walked out into the pouring rain.

                I just headed instinctively back to my apartment...

                ...because I wanted to hold Judy and kiss her...

                ...and say things to her, and then...

                ...then I realized that, you know, I really blew it.

                So, what's your life like now?

                I'm out of the race for now. I don't want to get involved.

                I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to get hurt.

                I don't mind living by myself and working.

                It's temporary.

                I'll have the urge to get back into the swing of things.

                That seems to be how it goes.

                I'm writing, I'm working on a...

                ...a new novel. Not the old one anymore, and, um...

      's fine. -Is it different?

                My novel? Yes, it's less confessional, more political.

                Can I go? ls this over?

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