Whatever Works Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Whatever Works script is here for all you fans of the Larry David movie directed by Woody Allen. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Whatever Works quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Whatever Works Script


That's not what I'm saying, you imbecile.

God, you completely misrepresent my ideas!

Why am I even bothering
talking to such idiots?

-Boris, calm down.
-No, don't tell me to... I am calm.

Don't jump on us just because
we don't understand what you're saying.

I didn't jump on you.

It's not the idea behind Christianity
I'm faulting, or Judaism, or any religion.

It's the professionals
who've made it into a corporate business.

There's big money in the God racket.
Big money.

-Here we go.
-We know, Boris.

Hey, the basic teachings of Jesus
are quite wonderful.

So, by the way,
is the original intention of Karl Marx. Okay?

Hey, what could be bad?
Everybody should share equally.

Do unto others. Democracy.
Government by the people.

All great ideas. These are all great ideas,
but they all suffer from one fatal flaw.

-Which is?
-Yeah, what's that?

Which is they're all based
on the fallacious notion

that people are fundamentally decent.

Give them a chance to do right
and they'll take it.

They're not stupid, selfish, greedy,
cowardly, short-sighted worms.

They do the best they can.

Speak for yourself, man. Speak for yourself.

All I'm saying is that people make life
so much worse than it has to be

and, believe me,
it's a nightmare without their help.

But on the whole,
I'm sorry to say, we're a failed species.

-I wouldn't go that far.
-Not Ed.

That's why this woman you like, Joe,

so what if she's an embalmer's assistant,
so she stinks from formaldehyde?

For Christ's sake, you got to take
what little pleasure you can find

in this chamber of horrors.

A little formaldehyde, okay,
but she reeks of it.

You know, they don't know your story.
Boris, tell them your story.

My story is, whatever works. You know,
as long as you don't hurt anybody.

Any way you can filch a little joy

in this cruel, dog-eat-dog, pointless,
black chaos. That's my story.

No. That's not... Tell them the story.

-Tell them.
-Yeah. Tell them.

You just want me to say it again,
so they can hear.


-Who's them?

-You see something out there?

What are you? An imbecile?

There's an audience full of people
looking at us.

-An audience?
-What's he talking about?

You feel you're being watched.

They paid good money for tickets,
hard-earned money,

so some moron in Hollywood
can buy a bigger swimming pool.

Okay, you're saying there are human beings
out there who bought tickets to watch us.

Well, mostly they're interested in me,
I have to say.

Yeah, they're just sitting there.
Don't you see them?

Some are eating popcorn,
some are just staring straight ahead

breathing through their mouths
like Neanderthals.

So they're there to listen to your story?

-Total delusions of grandeur.

Why would you want to hear my story?

Do we know each other?
Do we like each other?

Let me tell you right off, okay?

I'm not a likeable guy.
Charm has never been a priority with me.

 And just so you know,
this is not the feel-good movie ofthe year.

So if you're one ofthose idiots
who needs to feel good,

go get yourself a foot massage.

-Mom, that man's talking to himself!
-Come away, Justin.

What the hell does it all mean anyhow?
Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

Nothing comes to anything, and yet
there's no shortage of idiots to babble.

Not me. I have a vision. I'm discussing you.

Your friends, your co-workers,
your newspapers, the TV.

Everybody's happy to talk,
full of misinformation.

Morality, science, religion, politics,
sports, love.

Your portfolio, your children, health. Christ.

lf I have to eat nine servings
offruits and vegetables a day to live,

I don't want to live.
I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables.

And your omega-3's
and the treadmill and the cardiogram

and the mammogram
and the pelvic sonogram

and, oh, my God, the colonoscopy!

And with it all, the day still comes
when they put you in a box

and it's on to the next generation of idiots

who'll also tell you all about life
and define for you what's appropriate.

My father committed suicide because
the morning newspapers depressed him.

And could you blame him?

With the horror and corruption
and ignorance and poverty

and genocide and AlDS
and global warming and terrorism

and the family-value morons
and the gun morons!

"The horror," Kurtz said at the end
of Heart ofDarkness. "The horror."

Lucky Kurtz didn't have the Times delivered
in the jungle, then he'd see some horror.

But what do you do?

You read about some massacre in Darfur

or some school bus gets blown up,
and you go, "Oh, my God, the horror!"

And then you turn the page and finish
your eggs from free-range chickens.

Because what can you do?
It's overwhelming.

I tried to commit suicide myself.

Obviously, it didn't work out.

But why do you even want to hear about
all this? Christ, you got your own problems.

I'm sure you're all obsessed with
any number of sad little hopes and dreams.

Your predictably unsatistying love lives.
Your failed business ventures.

"Oh, if only I'd bought that stock!"

"lf only I had purchased
that house years ago!"

"lf only I had made a move on that woman."

lfthis, ifthat. You know what?

Give me a break with your "could haves"
and "should haves."

Like my mother used to say,

"lf my grandmother had wheels,
she'd be a trolley car."

My mother didn't have wheels.
She had varicose veins.

Still, the woman gave birth
to a brilliant mind.

I was considered
for a Nobel Prize in physics.

I didn't get it.

But, you know, it's all politics,
just like every other phony honor.

Incidentally, don't think I'm bitter
because of some personal setback.

By the standards of a mindless,
barbaric civilization, I've been pretty lucky.

I was married to a beautiful woman,
who had family money.

For years we lived on Beekman Place.

I taught at Columbia. String theory.

What's the matter, Boris?

I'm dying!

What is it?

I'm dying!

Should I call an ambulance?

No! No, not now! No, not tonight!
I mean, eventually!

-Boris, everybody dies.
-It's unacceptable!

Your panic attacks are getting more frequent
and more intense.

You have to go back on your medicine.

I'm not going back
on my goddamn medicine.

I won't have my mind
befuddled by chemicals

when I'm the only one who sees
the whole picture for exactly what it is.

Where's the goddamn vodka?

Boris, I have clients to see
tomorrow morning.

-It is 4:00 a.m.!
-Clients. Right. Wealthy bankers.

To design their chic apartment, to fill it
full of art and expensive possessions,

so they can flaunt their money

and be in the top 1% ofthis shameful,
violent, prejudiced,

illiterate, sexually repressed,
self-righteous nation!

Christ, it is 4:00 a.m.
Can you spare me this sophomoric tirade!

I'm a man with a huge worldview.
I'm surrounded by microbes!

And what about me? Am I a microbe?
ls our son at Yale a microbe?

Let's face it, Jessica, okay?

Our marriage hasn't been a garden of roses.

Botanically speaking,
you're more of a Venus flytrap.

You are a very difficult man to live with.

-Is that why you had an affeir?
-I didn't have an affeir.

lt was a brief interlude of infidelity,
and it happened years ago.

You still can't forget it!

I see everything so clearly now. Everything!

-I married you for all the wrong reasons.
-What's that supposed to mean?

You're brilliant. I wanted someone to talk to.

You loved classical music, you loved art,
you loved literature.

You loved sex! You loved me!

Those sound like pretty good reasons to me!

Yes! Exactly! That's the problem!
That's the problem!

lt was rational, it made sense!

I don't know what went wrong.

When you examine it,
there is so much right about us.

On paper we're ideal.

But life isn't on paper.

Boris? Boris, what are you doing?

Close the window!


Can you believe I hit the canopy?
I hit the goddamn canopy.

Months in the hospital! Moron doctors!
Look. Look at this limp.

I never had a limp before.

Meanwhile, I divorced Jessica,
moved downtown and gave up.

I eke out a meager living
teaching chess to incompetent zombies.

Checkmate, you little patzer.

Hey! He's only eight years old, Mr. Yellnikoff.
You're supposed to be teaching him...

He'll be an incompetent idiot at 58.

More important than how I make my living,
is why I bother to live at all.

Nights, I have trouble sleeping
and hang out on Mott Street,

trying to explain to cretins that
while a black man got into the White House

he still can't get a cab in New York.

Almost 100 years
after the abolition of slavery,

a man couldn't play a game of baseball in
the big leagues if his skin color was black.

You're harping on one point.

Oh, good. Okay, forget blacks. Take Jews.

-Here we go.

For years they restricted the number of Jews
in schools, medical schools.

In America, as much as they hated blacks,
they hate Jews even more.

Blacks they were scared had too big a penis.
Jews they hated, even with little penises.

For God's sake, I'm eating here.

You! I've been looking for you.

-I want to talk to you.
-Who are you?

Did you pick up a chessboard full of pieces
and hit my son with it at his lesson today?

That idiot's your son?

Do me a favor.
Don't send that cretin to me anymore.

I can't teach an empty-headed zombie chess.

I'll have you know
that he is a very bright child.

In your opinion. In your opinion.

Which is skewed,
because he's your unfortunate issue.

So you threw a chessboard at him?

I didn't throw it at him.

I picked up the board
and dumped the pieces on his head

as an object lesson
to shake him out of his vegetable torpor.

You wait until my husband gets back
from Florida.

-What's he doing in Florida without you?
-He will punch you in the nose.

Her husband's in Fort Lauderdale.

He's probably hanging out with naked coeds
on spring break.

He tells her it's a business trip.

Your son's an imbecile.
Teach him tiddlywinks, not chess.

You handled that beautifully, Boris.

You know, you should open
the Boris Yellnikoff Charm School.

Let's get out of here. It's late. I'm tired.

Good night, Boris.

What? What are you doing?

Where are you going? That's it?

-Hey! What?

What the hell are you doing?
My God, you scared me. For God's sake!

You creep up on me like that,
you little vagrant. What do you want?

Can you help me get something to eat?

Oh, God, no, I don't carry any money.
Now, come on,

you can tell that to your partner,
wherever he's hiding.

-Please, I'm so hungry!
-Back up! Back up!

I haven't had anything to eat all day.
I think I'm going to faint.

Yeah, listen, I'm wise to that scam,
little girl, okay?

I know about professional beggar school.

Please, I'm desperate.

God, stop that! You look terrible!
What's wrong with you?

Just... All right.

Come up for two minutes. That's it.
And then...

-And then go.
-Thank you!

Two minutes, okay? That's it.

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday, dear Boris
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday, dear Boris
Happy birthday to you

ls this your birthday?

You don't know you have to sing
Happy Birthday twice to get the germs off?

You said you were starving.
What do you like?

I like oysters, blackened redfish,
gumbo, crab legs, black-eyed...

Are you nuts? What do you think
I'm running? A Creole restaurant?

-How about a can of sardines?
-Oh, yes, please.

Gumbo. So what's your name?

Melody. Melody Celestine.

Melody Celestine.

Melody SaintAnne Celestine.

It's French.
My mama's family was from New Orleans.

I'm from Mississippi, Mr...

Muggeridge. Lionel Muggeridge.

Mr. Muggeridge.

Eden, Mississippi. You ever hear of it?

No, I haven't. Not even the people
who live there have heard of it.


So what are you running away from?


Could you be more specific, Melanie?

Melody. Melanie was
from Gone with the Wind.

Oh, yeah.
I preferred the one who played Scarlett.

Why? Melanie was the nice one.
She marries Ashley.

Ashley. What an imbecile!

I couldn't stand him,
I couldn't stand his wife,

that goody two-shoes, sexual nothing.

Scarlett, bitch that she was,
with those green eyes...

You know, I came in first dressed
as Scarlett O'Hara in one ofthe pageants.


My mom always used to keep me busy
in all these beauty contests.

That's why I didn't get to schooling much.

All right, my advice to you, go back home.

Oh, no, I'm never going back home.

You're a brainless little twit
who won't last three days in New York.

You'd be dead now of starvation
if I hadn't a heart as big as all outdoors.

I can't go back home, Mr. Muggeridge.

-All right, stop calling me Muggeridge.
-But that's your name.

No, it's not my name.
My name is Boris Yellnikoff.

I was using an alias. I thought, who knows,
you might be from the Taliban or something.

Can I stay here?

Stay here? What are you? Nuts?
How old are you?

-I'm 21 .
-Twenty-one? Yeah.

You're 21 like I play for the Yankees.

You're a professional athlete with that limp?

-Oh, Christ!
-All right, look, I don't want to go back.

Okay? I want to make
a new life here in New York.

You'll wind up a prostitute, like those Asian
girls who come here full of high hopes.

And then they wind up
turning tricks to keep alive.

And many ofthem
are actually good-looking.

That's so funny you just mentioned tricks!
You know, I do magic.

I do. I can show you. I just need...
Do you have any silk handkerchiefs?

Yeah, you know, some other time, you're...

Look, you're a sweet kid.
Stupid beyond all comprehension,

but you'll never survive here.
You got nothing going for you. Zero. Zilch.

You know, you may be beauty contest
material in the Deep South,

but this is the big time. Here, you're a three.

A five maybe after you bathe.

Did you get that limp
playing for the Yankees?

Imbecile child. Brainless inchworm.

I didn't play for the Yankees!
I was being sarcastic before.

-Oh, you... I took it seriously.

I usually get jokes. At the church's social,
I was the comedian twice.

-I've a way with jokes. Yes.

-Spare me and just get out.
-No, Mr. Muggeridge...

Stop calling me Muggeridge, okay?
I already explained that!

I know, I know. I'm sorry. I just...

I just need a place to stay for a few nights,
till I get on my feet.

I don't have anywhere to go.

And if you throw me out
and I wind up an Asian prostitute,

that's gonna be on your conscience.

I give up. Sleep on the couch, imbecile.
I'm too tired to prolong this brutal exchange

between a bedraggled microbe
and a Nobel-level thinker.

-Keep out of my way.
-I will, I promise.

I'm just gonna use the little girI's
to freshen up,

and then I'm gonna go right to sleep.

Yes, yes, use the little girI's. Freshen up.
Don't forget to tip the attendant.

-I won't. Thank you so much, Mr...
-Oh, what?

-You were going to say Muggeridge again?

It's Boris Yellnikoff!
You call me Muggeridge one more time,

I'm gonna throw you
out the goddamn window.

-Do you mind if I watch a little TV?
-Yes, I do, simpleton.

I just like to turn
some on at night to unwind.

Yeah. You touch that dial, I'll unwind your
head with my bare hands. How about that?

-Did you hear about Boris?

I tried to call him yesterday
and a woman answered the phone.

No! Who is she?

He got conned into
letting some little runaway

bed down in his apartment
while she looks for a job and gets settled.

Apparently she's never been
to New York before

and she's asked him
if he would show her around.

-Boris is going to be sightseeing?

-Not a chance.
-No way.

No way.

My whole life I've lived in New York,
I never wanted to go to Grant's Tomb.

-Now I know why.

I should never go to a tomb, ever.

My mom brought me up to believe that

the good Lord has a plan
that we're all a part of.

-He has His eye on the sparrow.
-Yeah, I pity the sparrow.

I'm not getting into heaven, though.
I sinned.

You? You're kidding. You sinned?

I made love before I was married.

Oh, my God.

Plenty of my friends have, but in my house,
that's just unforgivable.

I just couldn't resist Bobby Klaxon.

All right, okay,
spare me the details, all right.

No, it was really beautiful!
I mean, he was just

this pretty boy guitar player
in this amazing rock band.

I mean, if you think you're a genius,
he can double on the drums.

-No! Doubles on drums?

All the girls had a crush on him,
but he liked me.

He was so sweet and sensitive,

and he caught the biggest catfish
in Plaquemines County.

I wondered who caught that catfish.

Hey, you know, my mom always told me
that it was gonna hurt the first time,

you know, she said it was, you know,

it's a woman's duty to just lie down,
bear it and...

You know, she said there were a lot
of perversions involved, and that, you know,

it's God's will, you shouldn't do it

unless you were married
and you planned to have kids and...

She said it could be dangerous,
but I just felt like it was

the most natural thing in the world.
You know, it just felt right.

And all the little extras were just fun.
lt wasn't complicated at all.

And I think Bobby really liked it, because
he was going to dump his Betty Jo Cleary,

this girl he was going steady with.
But I wouldn't, I wouldn't hear of it.

lt was just what it was, you know, it was a
nice moment behind the tent at the fish fry.

That is the most disgusting story
I've ever heard.

You and this adenoidal guitar player slaking
your lust at some barbaric social function.

You don't like to make love?

No, I do not. No.

That's crazy!

Boris, do you want to
be buried or cremated?

All right, I really don't want to
talk about that. Okay?

-I think I want to be cremated.
-All right, will you shut up, cretin?

There's no worms.

-What is this?
-A knish.

And what's it made of?

I've been eating these things for years,
they're delicious.

I don't know what's in them.

I don't want to know what's in them.
Don't even talk about it!

-Oh, my God! The horror! The horror!

-Are you all right? What happened?
-No, I'm not all right.

-Are you sick?

Did you have a bad dream?

Yeah, it was terrible.

-Come here. It's okay.
-Oh, I can't...

Oh, baby, you're sweating. Come sit down.

Night sweats. I get them.

I used to think it was AlDS, but it's just that
I have a morbid fear of the dark

-and you turned my night-light off!
-Oh, I'm sorry.

Does your stomach hurt?
Could it be the kwish?

Knish! Not kwish.

Well, here, I'll put something on TV.

-I saw the abyss.
-Don't worry, we'll watch something else.

-Oh, this is...

Fred Astaire. Yeah.

Leave that.

That's good. Leave that.

There, that's it, okay?
Can we get the hell out of here?

Oh, my God, that's it! It's the actual one!

I've only seen it in pictures!

"Bring me your tired,
your poor, your huddled masses..."

I'm surprised you know that, terrible as it is.

I closed with it for the Miss Greenwood,
Mississippi pageant. I think it's so moving.

But the huddled masses were
never welcomed with open arms.

Soon as they came over, each ethnic group
was met with violence and hostility.

Each one had to claw and fight its way in.

People always hated foreigners.
It's the American way.

Our pageants like to focus
on the positive things aboutAmerica.

Yeah. The blacks were kidnapped
from Africa! Chained in ships!

My daddy says that
America bends over backwards

for the blacks because we feel guilty,
and it's crazy.

Oh, yeah, your daddy. Your daddy's
a cracker. He's a bigot moron. Your daddy!

Well, you're probably right,
'cause you're a genius,

but for a little Mississippi girl like me,
this is really exciting!

So what kind of genius are you, anyway?

-What kind?
-Yeah, what are you genius at?

Quantum mechanics.

Yeah, but what field? Like, music?

When you see kids tossing a ball,
does it ever make you miss spring training?

All right, I've never played for the Yankees.
Do you understand that?

I have never played any sports
whatsoever in my life! Okay? Ever!

Joe, Leo, you gotta help me out.
I can't take it anymore.

-Just kick her out.
-Can you believe it's been a month already?

-A whole month? God, time flies.
-Well put.

Well, at least is she pretty?

-She's won some beauty contests.

Tall? Short? Blonde? Describe her.

Well, she's blonde. Nice height. Nice eyes.

Didn't quite realize
how blue they were that first night.

Her face is a little more symmetrical
than I had originally conceived.

She's not a ten. In a pinch, six.

-Good in bed?
-How would I know? I just want her out.

-Can I ask you to dance with me?
-It's too crowded.

I don't mean now. In a few minutes,

the dance will be over
and evectone will go home.

Well, the band will go home, too.

Why, there'll just be the two of us left,
and we can imagine the music.

We can pretend
there's a big orchestra ofviolins

and they're playing just for us as we dance.

You know, it's been proven
television eats away the brain.

Oh, hi! Shoot, I was gonna surprise you!

What? What's all this?

I'm making you a special dinner.

-Really? For me?

And me, 'cause we're celebrating.

We are? What is it?

-Crawfish! I found some at the market.
-Jesus. It's stinking up the whole house!

No, they're so good. You'll love them.

Listen, Melody, seriously, we have to talk.

Oh, yeah. I know. We'll talk over dinner.
It's almost done.

Melody, you're a very nice young woman.
Really, very nice.

You have a lot of nice attributes,

but, you know, you just can't
continue to stay here ad infinitum.

Yeah, yeah, but that's my news.
Guess what?

I got a job! I can start paying you rent.

Rent? I don't want you to pay me rent!

I want my life back. What kind ofjob?

I start tomorrow as a dog walker.

A dog walker? Oh, my God. Seriously...

Melody, don't you think you should
go back home and finish high school,

maybe even go to college?

I thought the other night
you were talking about how America has

one ofthe worst education systems
in the Old West.

-No, no, the Western world.
-Yeah, right, exactly,

and how most colleges just turn out
mindless zombie morons.

You could benefit from classes.

I think the crawfish are ready.

What is that song?

They played that song the first time
I went out with Jessica.

-Where did you go?
-We went to a dance.

We were both students
at the University of Chicago.

She had a high lQ and a low-cut dress.

Boy, they really don't write them
like they used to.

Oh! That's a cliché.

Good, Melody. You caught it.

Well, you always get so mad
when I do them.

Yeah, I shouldn't really. Sometimes a cliché

is finally the best way
to make one's point.


what would you say if I was to say

that I was developing a little crush on you?

-I'd say don't.

Because anything deeper, more significant
between us, is out ofthe question.

Because why?

Because it's too preposterous
to even dignity with an answer.

lt is?

Every single thing is against it.

Our ages, our backgrounds,
our brains, our interests.

Not to mention, I have no desire to have
a relationship with a woman, any woman,

nor any urge to make love,
nor any desire to be anything

but isolated from the world.

And, you know, you're a beautiful girl

who should be meeting normal healthy men
and going out.

Yeah, but I don't like normal healthy men.

I like you.

l... You're hallucinating!
I'm sure you'll make some man very happy

at a fish fry or a dog fight
or however you people spend time.

You really think I'm beautiful?

I admit I didn't give you your full due at first,

However, as only a great mind can do,

I've reassessed my

position, and changed my mind.

So you could never think of marrying me?

Have you lost your mind?

Why on Earth would you even
fantasize about such a thing?

What could I offer you,
but a bad temper, hypochondriasis,

morbid fixations,
reclusive rages and misanthropy?

And what could you offer me?

A character out of Faulkner,
not unlike Benjy.

The answer to your question is no.

I think you should stay here for a while,
accumulate some money,

and then find a place of your own,
and move on with your life.

Well, what about your life?

Let me teach you
something about love. Okay?

Naturally, there are exceptions
to what I'm going to say,

but they're the exception, not the rule.

Love, despite what they tell you,

does not conquer all.
Nor does it even usually last.

In the end,
the romantic aspirations of our youth

are reduced to

whatever works. Okay?

Why do I think
your bark is worse than your bite?

Cliché, Melody.

Oh, I don't care! lfthe shoe fits, wear it,
and that's another one.

We need to talk for a minute.

Can you believe this little inchworm
setting her sights on me?

Yes, yes, we had some pleasant moments.
Some dinners, some walks in the park.

I gave her the benefit
of my vast knowledge and experience.

Tried to impart to her the perceptions
and values

of a truly original mentality.

I only wish I could do a Pygmalion on her.

But if Henry Higgins ever tried to
transform Melody SaintAnne Celestine,

he, too, would have jumped out the window.

Come on.

-Oh, boy! New friends.
-I'm sorry.

Oh, yeah. They like each other.

It's okay. I rather like dogs.

Well, I'm more of a cat person, myself.
I just do this professionally. Sorry.

I never met a professional dog walker.

Really? It's not really
the career that I want, but...

What do you want to do?

I'd like to work with children.

You're very pretty, you know that?

-Shut up! Thank you.
-Can I ask your name?

It's Melody. Melody SaintAnne Celestine.

What a beautiful name!
Mine's Perry Singleton.

-It's nice to meet you.
-Yes, nice to meet you.

May I walk along with you?

I don't see why not, you know,
since we're all doomed anyway.

-Pardon me?
-Well, you know, everything ends.

I don't think I follow.

Well, you know, it's like the cosmos,
or eternity.

Whichever's bigger.
I just know that we're all flying apart.

What is that? What is that? ls that a move?

Well, I thought your bishop was...

My bishop what? What?
You patzer, you earthworm!

How many times do I have to tell you?
You don't take that pawn.

That's called the poisoned pawn,
because look!

-Look what happens!

-Sorry, Mr. Yellnikoff.
-Yeah, you're sorry,

you're sorry.
Use your head next time, you won't be sorry!

-Yeah. Do your homework next week.

Don't waste my time.


I got offwork early today and I thought
maybe we could walk home together.

Maybe I can make black-eyed peas
and crab cakes for dinner.

-No, I'm not hungry.
-What's the matter?

-My ulcer's been killing me all day.
-I thought you didn't have an ulcer.

No, I said they can't find an ulcer,
not that I don't have one.

Those malpractice medical mental midgets.

They drop that endoscope down my throat
and probe me like coal miners,

and they always come up with nothing!

Well, guess what happened today?

I got to talking to this boy on the job,
and he asked me out on a date.


I could tell he liked me right off

and we went and had coffee
and just had, you know, funny banter.

You know what banter is, it's like flirty talk.

Yeah, yeah, I'm familiar with banter.

Yeah, so, anyway,
he asked if I had a boyfriend.

I said, "Not really."
He said, "I'll pick you up Friday at 8:00."

What do you think?

Great. I just hope he's not a Ted Bundy,
you know.

A who?

You have to keep an eye out
for serial killers.

He's not a serial killer.
At least he didn't mention it.

Yeah, well, you have to be careful.

Sometimes they put you in the trunk
of a car and you can't breathe.

I'm not... I'm serious.

I told him your theory
about capital punishment.

What did you say?

That it should include people
that don't pick up after their dogs,

people who ride their bikes on the sidewalk,
people who call mothers "moms" and...

I can't remember them all, you have so many.

-How do I look?

Why? What's wrong?

That's an awfully aggressive ensemble.

You looking to wind up
in an abortion clinic?

I want to look nice.

Just kind of give him an idea ofwhat
he might be in for if he plays his cards right.

Oh, yeah? What's he in for?

All the stuffwith a woman that you reject,

because you're a genius
and you're above it all.

But I happen to be pretty sharp, too,

and I have a natural talent
in the field of fooling around.

Yeah, well, I just hope
you're saving your money

so you can move out quickly, you know,
now that you're working.

-Hi, Perry!
-Hey. Sorry I'm late. I got stuck on the train.

No, it's fine. Come on in.

This is Perry.

Hi. Your daughter is very lovely,
Mr. Celestine.

I'm not her father.


Perry, I told you I was staying with a friend.

So what do you do, Perry?

He's studying.
Investments and investing things.

You got any


-Pardon me?
-You know, driver's license, birth certificate.

No, sir. I never carry around
my birth certificate. Why would l?

Be careful,
Bundy sometimes posed as a banker.

I'm just gonna go finish getting ready.
I'll be right back.

Melody tells me you're a very brilliant man.

lf an lQ of 200 is brilliant.

She explained to me your theory
about life being meaningless.

Don't let it spoil your evening.

-Okay, let's go, Perry.

Hey! Come here.

-Don't give him any information about me.
-Like what?

You know, dates, credit card numbers,
blood type, things like that.

Goodbye, Boris.

Oh, and hey, if I'm not here
when you get back, don't worry.

Oh? Where are you going?

-Okay, fine.

-Yeah, I have friends, too.
-Okay. Yeah.

I even heard the opening's
supposed to be good.

Yeah, they are. Have you seen them before?

No, no. This is my first concert in New York.

You didn't tell me that.

Get the hell out of here. In America,
they have summer camps for everything.

Rich kids, basketball camp, magic camp.

-Tennis camp.
-Tennis camp. Movie director camp!

They should have a concentration camp.

Two weeks mandatory
for all kids growing up,

so they would finally understand
what the human race is capable of.

Brilliant! Except who'd send their kid
to a concentration camp?

A responsible parent
who wants their child to grasp reality.

All right, all right, all right, let's change
the subject. Meanwhile, Harry Lawson died.

-Harry Lawson?
-Yeah, I heard.

-Yeah. Just celebrated his 51st birthday.

-What a great chemist.
-But he was a smoker.

A smoker. The minute a person dies,
he's a smoker or overweight.

Hey, I got news for you,
thin non-smokers die, too. Okay?

Abstinence isn't going to save you.

You're pleasant tonight.

-What are you talking about?
-Where's Melody tonight?

She's out listening to some
eardrum-busting bilge posing as music.

I thought you were going to kick her out.

Well, hopefully this guy tonight
will take her off my hands.

You know, why not? I mean, she's pretty.

Now she's pretty?

What? I'm just saying she's not
atrocious-looking. That's all.

I'd say a seven or eight.

Anybody here?

-Oh, you're up!
-Yeah, I just got in.

And what did you do?

I went dancing at a Latin club.
lt was limbo night.

Shut up!

You were talking about people

and politics and all that stuff
you guys like to hate.

How was your date?

-It was a big washout! Yeah.

This particular rock band wasn't any good?
I don't know how you can differentiate?

No! No, the musicwas fine.

-Just that guy and his friends! I just...

Well, his taste! He just... He likes everything.

Life, love, human beings!

And the couple that we double-dated with,
they were just protons!

-Do I mean protons?


Cretins, that's what I mean. Yeah, they didn't
know the first thing about string theory.

I think you're a little drunk.

I did have a few drinks.

But can you blame me?
Hanging out with those inchworms?

I mean, they actually think that
love is the answer to everything.

I told them about Jethro Paige
from back home.

He got caught doing it with a sheep.
Making love with a sheep.

And they were all laughing and everything,

but I just looked at them and said, "Folks,

"as Boris would say, whatever works."

-What are you looking at?

The chance factor in life is mind-boggling.

You entered the world

by a random event

somewhere along the Mississippi.

l, having emerged through the conjoining

of Sam and Yetta Yellnikoff in the Bronx,

decades earlier.

And through an astronomical

concatenation of circumstances,

our paths cross.

Two runaways

in the vast,


unspeakably violent

and indifferent universe.

Can you believe I married her?
What possessed me?

This search in life for something
to give the illusion of meaning.

To quell the panic.

All right, so it's been a year.

Three hundred and sixty-five days
of married life.

And you know what?
Not the worst year of my life, either.

What are these?

-They're grits.

They're actually disgusting.

She's cheerfuI, not demanding.

Okay, not as briIIiant as Jessica,
but not as ambitious and predatoct, either.

Jessica's prcblem was she made up in ego
what she lacked in superego.

But not Melody.

She Iikes being a nanny.
She's happy with other peopIe's kids,

so mercifully she doesn't bother me
about having our own.

Once a week we see a movie.

Maybe she doesn't understand evectthing
I take herto,

but she tries and she's a good sport.

She sits up nights with me
when I have my panic attacks.

She keeps me company
at the emergency rcom

when I'm convinced
my mosquito bite is a melanoma.

Yes, my life is circumscribed,
but I manage to avoid stress.

I've achieved a delicate balance.

And as long as I can maintain it,
I feel less inclined to ending it.

Oh, no, no, no.

-Unacceptable. Come on, this is not good.

I like music I can dance to.

I know, I know, but this is brutal.
Here, you know what I want you to do?

Put this on. Okay?
And then when I come out, we'll discuss it.

All right, I'll try.

It's Beethoven's Fifth!

Think of the music
as fate knocking on the door.

Maybe a little story
will help you appreciate it.

Fate knocking on the door.


Oh, it's you!

-Oh, my God.
-It's my baby!

I finally found you, praise Jesus!

How did you find me?

Oh, my prayers were finally answered!

I can't...
You're just the last person I expected to see.

Well, when you least expect it,
fate has a way of knocking on your door.

Yeah, it does. Okay. Oh, you have a bag.

What are you doing here?

-Well, I was trying to find you, honey.

-I came to find you, honey!
-You did?

Oh, we searched and searched.

The police looked for clues.
Everything led to a dead end.

How we worried.
I developed crow's feet from the worrying.

Now look here. I had a little work done.

Mother, I left you a letter.
I told you I'd be all right.

Melody SaintAnne,
I'd hardly call this all right!

Well, what's wrong with it?

What's wrong?
What's happened to your senses?

Everything's wrong.
You're living like a sharecropper.

But it's clean as a whistle.
I clean it myself every day.

You clean? You don't have a woman?

Boris can't really afford help.


-Who's Boris?
-My husband.

-That's right, Mama, I got married.

-And he's taken you to live here?
-No, no, I moved in with him.

I have to have a drink.

I need to sit. I need an anesthetic.

Okay, okay, have a seat.
We don't have any bourbon or nothing.

Just bring me the drink with the
highest volume of alcohol you have.

You know, Mama, I'm kind of happy.

Kind of happy?

You leave a loving home in Eden,

run offwith some crazy kid,
I'm guessing he's a rock musician

who can't earn a respectable living,
and you wind up

in this decadent city, living in a rattrap.

This is exactly why I ran away.

Why, why, Miss Sweet Pea?
Why did you forsake your loving home?

Because, Mama, you're...

You're overbearing. That's it.
You're overbearing

and you fail to see the big picture.

What big picture are you talking about?

I don't know.

All I know is that nothing moves faster
than the speed of light,

so you may as well relax.

I'm just gonna have
a little moment of prayer.

Mama, you're still caught up
in that Christian superstition?

Happy birthday to you

What's that?

That's Boris.

It's his birthday?

No, he's just washing his hands.

Happy birthday, dear Boris
Happy birthday to you

Who's this?

Boris, this is my mother.

Mother, my husband.

Mama! Mama!

Walk her around,
she's obviously a boozehound.

Mama, are you all right?

-Did he drug you?

-Are you on sodium pentothal?

That's what they do, the secular humanists.

It's uncanny. She's exactly
the kind of moron you described.

You are not the gentleman I was expecting.

I'm sure not. I'm sure you'd be happy

if she married the guy who caught
the biggest catfish in Plaquemines County.

I'd be happier if she married the catfish.

No, you see, Mama, Boris is a genius. Okay?

He doesn't have a lot of patience
for us inchworms.

-We, we inchworms.

Some genius.

I was almost nominated for a Nobel Prize.

That's right, Boris.
And what was it for again? Best Picture?

I need more booze.

You know, you never said
how you found me.

Oh, Melody. I have a sad tale to tell you.

What happened, Mama?

Your father left me.

-Aren't you shocked?

And with who, of all people?

-My best friend, Mandy.
-Your best friend, Mandy.

-How did you know?
-Oh, Mama.

lt was as plain as the nose on your face.
Cliché, sorry.

At first I thought he was acting peculiar,

because things was going
so bad for us, darling.

How often did you have intercourse?

Are you going to close
that insulting mouth?

By bad, I mean he lost a lot of money
in the stock market after you left

and we were forced to sell the house.

-You sold the house?
-I'm sorry, yes. We took a beating,

because we were so desperate.

And then he lost his job,
the company went out of business.

And then we spent all our savings
on medical bills,

'cause I came down
with a case of the shingles!

-Oh, my God.
-Christ, this is like Job. No locusts?

Darling, I turned to Jesus in a deeper way
than I had ever done in my life.

I prayed and I prayed,
every day and every night,

asking God to help me.

Let me guess what happened,
your shingles got worse.

I said, "Lord, just give me one sign
that all my suffering is for a purpose."

I said, "Please, God, just say something."

"Break your silence.
I can't take any more misery!"

Nothing, right? And all that money you put
in the tin box every Sunday.

Abortion is murder,
that's the long and short of it.

-That's how I feel. Well...
-Even if the woman is raped?

Why are you wasting your breath,

You're dealing with an aborigine.

You don't mind killing the unborn,

but when some fiend
has raped and murdered,

you're against giving him
that big old injection?

Well, not me, Mr. Genius, and I don't care
how many Academy Awards you've won.

I've never won an Academy Award
and I've never played for the Yankees!

-Where's the little girI's? Thank you.
-It's back there.

Don't forget to sing
The Star-SpangIed Bannerbeforeyou sit.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

I realize this is forward, but who's
that beautiful young girl you're with?

May I ask why you want to know?

Well, because she's very beautiful.
And I'm assuming she's your daughter?

What did you say your name was, darling?

-Randy. Randy Lee James.
-Randy Lee James.

Nice to meet you.

It's too good.
I think they're putting mayonnaise in here.

-No, they can't put mayonnaise in hummus.

Oh, thank you.

-Who were you talking to?
-I wasn't talking to anybody. Nobody.

Listen, listen, I want to go someplace fun.

Take me someplace fun!
It's New York! Let's go.

Boris, where can I take her that's fun?

How about the Holocaust Museum?

-Oh, for God's sake, Boris.

-Oh, the wax! The wax figures.
-Oh, yes.

-Yes, yes, let's go. Come on.
-Let's do that.

-It was so nice to meet you, Leo.
-You, too. Have a nice day.

-Bye. Bye, bye.

Have fun!

You know, I have to say,
even with a textbook right-wing mentality,

your mother-in-law has
beautifully shaped breasts.

You know, you're a man of learning,

of cultivation of aesthetic sensibility.

This is what you take away
from the school-prayer hokum

and "my country right or wrong"?
Her bosom?

It's not just her bosom.
Her behind is also beautifully contoured.

Well, I'm sure you'll have no problem
getting her into bed.

She's vulnerable,
she's stupid and she's been abandoned.

Personally, I lose all erotic inclination

when the woman's a member
of the National Rifle Association.

It's pear-shaped.

Degas used to distinguish between
an apple-shaped behind and pear-shaped.

And I'm a big fruit eater.

-That's so weird.

Oh, my God. Oh, hello.

-They're made out of real wax, too.
-Oh, it's Billy. Billy...

Billy Graham!

Oh, sweet pea, sweet pea, this is the kind
of man you should be married to,

not that Communist
who sings Happy Birthday

every time he washes his hands.

How long are you staying, Mom?

Honey, I don't know where else to go.

I have nothing to hold onto. Nothing!
I have to have something.

I mean, I'm never going to attract a man
again, but you can. Yes.

I don't want to get in an argument.

Honey, I met a young man today
who is perfect for you.

-Yes. Listen to me.

He is talented, handsome, sweet,

and he has the proper reverence for life
and its higher purpose.

What are you talking about?

Face it, Melody,
Boris is not like a real husband.

He's more of an outpatient
and you're his keeper.

I really wish you hadn't showed up, Mom.

-His name is Randy Lee James.

This delightful young actor.
He fell in love with you at first sight.

-He did. He did.
-Mom, I'm married!

I refuse to recognize it.
What are you doing with a gimpy chess bum

who has to sleep with the light on?
How'd he get that limp?

He jumped out the window
and his suicide didn't work.

Well, you can't win them all. Now, listen,

I have a good law yer
who can get all ofthis annulled.

-All of it. Yes. Yes.
-No, no, Mom, no, you're crazy!

Oh, hello.

Happy birthday, dear Boris
Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday, dear Boris

Happy birthday to you

-Who could be calling at midnight?
-Could be burglars, casing the place.

-To steal what? Your Flomax?

Oh, hi.

Yeah, just a second.

-It's for me?

Don't give away any information about me!

Hello? Oh, hello, Leo.

-It's Leo Brockman.


Well, that sounds wonderful.

Well, yeah, Sunday's fine. Yeah.

3:00? Well, 3:00's perfect.

Okay. Yeah. See you, darling.

"See you, darling"? "See you, darling"?
Oh, God, poor Brockman!

Good night, y'all.

I'm going to say my prayers.
I'm praying Brockman has herpes.

That was so wonderful! I never in my life
saw a movie in Japanese before.

-Did you like it?
-Oh, yes!

I've never seen a movie made by a foreigner.

John, my husband, took me to see
stupid movies, which was all there was.

How do you say this? "Chateau" what?


-The what?


-It is so delicious.
-I'm glad you like it.

What do you do? What do you do, Leo?

I teach philosophy at the university
around the corner.

Tell me something. ls Boris really a genius?

There was a time
when he was a very fine physicist.

Yeah, your daughter's very good for Boris.
It's my theory that she keeps him going.

Would you like to see
some pretty pictures of Melody?


-Well, all right.

Look, here they are. Look at these.

Right there,
that's where she is Miss Natchez.

-Look at her. And she was Miss Tupelo.

Oh, God! Look how gorgeous she is!
She's so beautiful. I love her! I love her!

-Very lovely.
-I was so proud of her.

These pictures are kind of interesting.

I know! She's just gorgeous!

And she has this...
She's just my little sweet pea.

I mean the photos. Did you take them?

-Yes. Yes.
-And this?

That's our house. Well, it was.
ls there more wine?

Yeah. You took all these?

Yes, with my little old Kodak.

These are outstanding. I mean, there's such
a sense oftexture and composition.

In these? No.

No, I mean it. I know what I'm talking about.

I occasionally write about
the aesthetics of photography.

Oh, my God. I have to tell you something.

Aside from Melody's career, there is
nothing, nothing in the whole world

that gave me more pleasure
than taking those snapshots.

Of course, John... Cheers.
John hated them and didn't want me to do it.


he actually was fine,
and then I set up this darkroom

and he thought I was, like,
squandering all this time on silliness

and I guess he had a point, but...

I mean, nowadays,
who uses a Kodak anymore?

It's a little Kodak,
and I have to tell you something, it is...

lt is so simple to use. It's tiny!

I picked it up at, like, a garage sale

and it just is so much better
than those big foreign ones.

No, they're pretty good. They've got a real
haunting quality. They're very primitive.

I really think you should
talk to my friend Al Morgenstern.

He runs a photography gallery.

-Have you got more ofthese?

Oh, Lord, yes.
You know, all my travels with the pageants.

I have the kids and the towns
and the winners. And the losers!

The losers are the best.
And then I have all these show folk,

the twirlers, the magicians, the fire eaters,
you know, things like that.

They're amazing.
They've got such an original quality.

I'll talk to Al first thing in the morning.

Oh, no.
You know, I think you're making too much

over a little gift
the good Lord Jesus gave me.

That's not the only gift He gave you.

You know those clean-cut, churchgoing
young men, who are model kids,

and good to their neighbors
and quote the Bible,

and never do a wrong thing,
and then one day,

for whatever reason,

they grab a rifle, go to a tower
and pick off everyone in town?

Okay, this is her, but sexually.

She slept with Leo Brockman,

never having been to bed with anyone
before but her husband,

and suddenly,
the genie was out ofthe bottle!

She liked sleeping with Brockman, and
she liked sleeping with Brockman's friends,

Brockman's acquaintances,
Brockman's acquaintances' acquaintances.

Brcckman took her photos to Morgenstern.
He loved them.

He decided to show them in his gallect.

When he did, evectone thought
they were great. A brilliant primitive.

Soon Morgenstern wouId
become smitten with her.

First she moved in with Brcckman.
Then she moved in with Morgenstern.

Then she moved in
with Brcckman and Morgenstern.

She started dabbIing with coIIages.

SmaII ones at first,
but they would become bolder.

She started dressing differentIy.

Soon aII her deep-rooted beIiefs went
right down the toilet, where they belonged.

She experimented with exotic pIeasures.
A new Marietta was born.

The one thing that remained constant,
she hated her son-in-law.

-Well, there's some pictures over there.
-Yes, maybe that. Okay.

-What do you think, Mom?
-I'm not sure, you know, it's for this collage,

and I've had this vision in black and white
of nude men, women,

body parts, squares.

That sounds confusing.

-Well, it's an homage to lust. Yeah.
-To lust.

Excuse me.

Hi, I need a female opinion.

Which of these two would a young woman
prefer? I can't decide.

I don't know. They're both so beautiful.

lt depends. What type is she?

Well, she's quite young
and very lovely-looking.

Blonde hair. Blue eyes.

Yeah, but what's she like?

Well, okay. She's from the South,
although she lives here in New York now.


And she's a nanny.
I mean, well, to tell you the truth,

she's actually living with some man.

I mean, they're married,
although he's not the best she can do.

And she thinks she loves him,
but it's only because

she mistakes his pessimistic despair
for wisdom,

believing he's a genius.

I'd say she's more of a nurse to him than
a wife, because he's much older than she is.

That sounds so familiar.

I just can't... I can't put my finger on it.

-It's sort of like mine, actually. Yeah.
-It is?

I mean, not exactly, but I can't help
but seeing some similarities.

-I'd say that one.


-Here what? For me?
-It's for you.

Yes, I thought I'd buy you something lovely.

Oh, no, I can't accept a gift from a stranger.

-Well, why not?
-I'm married.

Yes, but it may not last forever.

Well, you know, nothing lasts forever.
Not even

Shakespeare or Michelangelo

or Greek people.

I mean, even as we're standing here
talking right now,

we're just flying apart
at an unimaginable speed.

-Gee, I never thought of it that way.

Should we be holding each other
so we don't fall?

Well, you have to hold onto whatever
love you can in this cruel existence.

Speaking of love,

I've been in love with you ever since
that first moment I saw you,

and met your mother at the Mogador Café
many months ago.

Oh, you're... You're...

-Did my mother...
-Randy James.

Oh, the actor! Of course.
I can hear your accent now.

Oh, my mother talks
about you all the time,

and she's always telling me
I have to meet you

and I'm saying, "Why?
Why do I have to meet him?"

"But he's so good-looking!"
And, yeah, you are.

Thank you.
I've moved to New York permanently now

and I live in a houseboat
with a friend of mine.

-You live on a boat?
-Yes, I do.

I'm very romantic by nature,
so I live on a boat

and I read and think and play my flute...

-Oh, be still, Melody.

There's nothing wrong with expanding
your horizons. I certainly expanded mine.

You know what? I'm really sorry, but...

I think that my mother badly gave you
the wrong impression,

because I'm happily married.

No, no, no, no, no, no, she's not, Randy.
She's nursemaid to a roach. He is.

Goodbye, Mother. Goodbye, Mr. James.

I told you you'd get the hang of it.

Okay, you know what?
Let's just stop. Let's stop.

-Let's stop. Yeah, yeah, yeah, stop, stop.

-Yeah. I need to sit for a minute.
-All right.

You know, I'm just doing it for the aerobics,
anyway. Otherwise, it's moronic.

I think it's relaxing.

Relaxing? What? Are you kidding?
It's too nerve-wracking.

To mingle with all those sub-mentals
on bicycles? It's like driving a car.

Those hostile, belligerent morons
all get driver's licenses.

Of course, to have children, you don't
need a license. No proof of anything.

You need a license to fish.
You need a license to be a barber.

You need a license to sell hot dogs.

You know, you read about these poor kids,
beaten and starved,

you wonder, why are these parents
allowed to even have them?

Okay, Boris, Boris.

You know, sometimes I think you're
so determined not to enjoy anything in life,

just out of spite.

You know,
like a child who's throwing a tantrum,

because he can't have his own way.

Wow! Listen to you!

That's a reasonably wise insight
for a simple-minded type like yourself.

Honestly. Yeah, you surprise and delight me
sometimes, you know that?

I really don't know what I'd do
without you, seriously.

What are you doing with that?

This? Nothing. I just got it at the flea market.

-Who needs an antique handkerchief?
-I thought it was pretty.

Yeah, but God knows throughout history
who blew his nose in it.

-Marietta? Honey?
-Yes, darling?

I think you should include these photos
at your opening next week.

-I love those photos. Al, what do you think?
-I chose those.

-Oh, you did?

-Sweetheart, you've managed to make...
-Thank you.

...an existential statement about

-sexual perversity and human freedom.
-Who? Yes.

-It's so full of erotic imagination.
-Okay, hold on a sec.

-Oh, thank you so much! Thank you!

-Who is it?
-Somebody named Randy Jones?

Oh, Randy, Randy James.

Hello? Hello? Hey!

Young man, hello, hello!

Listen, she's going to be at Uniqlo
at around 3:00.

You can run into her and try your luck.

You know, she saved the handkerchief
you gave her, so it's not a hopeless cause.

And I'm telling you, I saw fire behind her
eyes. Fire. Yeah. Good luck, darling.

-Who was that?
-Oh, nothing. Come on, gumbo! Let's go.

Who'd have ever thought that gumbo
would become my favorite dinner?

All this and she cooks, too.

Oh, my God! Hello.

So I guess you just happened to
be shopping here. Right?

Well, I was buying this shirt,
if you must know.

You like it?

-It's okay.
-Just okay?

I thought it'd make me look dashing.

Looks aren't your problem.

Oh, no? What is?

You're too forward.

-I think about you a lot.
-Well, I don't think about you.

So what's it like being married to a genius?

Who wants to know?

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be a boor, I just...

Just that, well, you know.

lt has its pluses and minuses.

Yes? And what are the drawbacks?

I don't know. I mean...

Well, naturally, with a very advanced mind,

you find a lot ofthings
wrong with everything

and, mainly, he just doesn't like people.

You know, he says at the rate they're going,

they're going to make themselves extinct.


lt can just be exhausting
being around a genius all the time.

So what are the pluses of being
the wife of such a dazzling mind?

-Well, he's smart.
-You said that.

He's clever.

He really means well, you know?
He's just a little crazy.

I guess the good part is that
I'm the wife of a genius,

which I never really thought I could swing.

Why not?

I guess I thought I'd have to be smarter.

You want to see my boat?
I mean, my friend's boat, where I live?

-I don't think that's a good idea.
-I dreamt about you last night. l...

Don't use that line. Because Boris said
that he dreamt about me last night.

And I really doubt
it's mathematically possible

for me to be in two dreams at one time.

It's down there, on the right-hand side.

Well, this is it. It's not much, but it's home
and I don't pay rent, so...

This is kind of sweet, living on the water.

lt rocks just the tiniest bit,
so I sleep like a baby on it.

Randy, I don't know what I'm doing here!
I'm married!

That doesn't mean
I can't have feelings for you.

You don't really know me.

Yes, but I'm a romantic
and I believe in love at first sight.

Well, that's true.
You know, Boris says that love isn't logical.

And I adore the way you talk
and the funny things you say.

Where can it lead?

Let's drink to love at first sight.

I can't. When I drink,
I get very silly and touchy and...

That's what your mum said. That's why
I bought the bottle. She's quite a mum.

Don't use that locution. It's for inchworms.


ls that you in the picture?

Yeah. That's me in Juno and the Paycock

I bet you're a really good actor.

I try. Although I'll never be a genius.

You certainly are handsome enough
to be a star.

Thank you. I'll cherish that compliment.

-Oh, my God.
-What are you thinking?


Yeah, entropy. Boris explained it.

It's why you can't get the toothpaste
back in the tube.

You mean,

once something happens, it's difficult
to put it back the way it was?

I mean, Boris says love is all about luck.

I think so, too, but isn't that just because

we're young and we think
we're going to live forever

and then we grow old
and get diabetes, and...


Look, I do agree there's not much
you can be sure of in this world, but...

Have you ever heard of
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

I've heard of it, yeah.

You know, the observer
influences the experiment?

It's just like

when my mother makes love to
one ofthe guys she's living with

a certain way when they're alone,

but when she's in front of the other guy,
she does it differently.

Is that Heisenberg?

I had no idea he was so sexual.

Wait. I always carry some Viagra with me.

That's all right. I eat a lot of red meat.

I really like the way these pants fit.

Hey, are you okay?
You seem awfully quiet lately.


We're going to be late
for Mom's gallery opening.

I hope you're not coming down
with anything.

You know, Brodsky's kid's got the measles.

Can you still get the measles?
I had a shot when I was younger,

but how long does it last?

Who's that?

I don't know. I'm not expecting anyone.


Oh, my little girl, I found you!

Oh, Lord, your mother and I searched
and searched, but then we ran out of leads.

I used every connection
I had at the police force.

We even called the FBl! But you're okay.

Things are going to be fine now.
Your ordeal is over.

What ordeal?

You were abducted!
Tell me if my theory is correct.

You were chloroformed
by polygamous Mormons.

They took you offto be someone's bride!

I was not abducted.
Didn't anybody read my letters?

Yeah, but I assumed you were forced to
write them at gunpoint.

-Who's this?
-Who are you?

-This is Boris, my husband.
-Boris, your who?

He's my husband. I'm Mrs. Boris Yellnikoff.

-Who are you?
-I'm her husband.

You want to pass out here
or go in the living room?

Where's your mother?

What do you care?
You cheated on her and then

dumped her for Mandy Blackburn,
of all people!

I made a terrible mistake,
I committed the sin of self-indulgence.

I've come to beg your mother's forgiveness.

-You might want to rethink that, Daddy.
-I want to see her.

I see death by culture shock.

You can tell me, Melody,
she has every right to hate me.

And she does, believe me.

I can handle the truth. Does she hate me?

Well, it was a pretty awful thing
you did with her best friend.

-Then she hates me?
-Yes, yes, she hates you! I can't stand this.

I hate you and I just met you!

Lord, you tell me
this creature took you to bed?

-No, no, no, no. Actually, she took me.
-Yeah, when I met Boris, he hated sex.

Yeah, think of it, Mr. Celestine.
The absurd choreography,

like a sewing machine, up and down,
up and down, up and down,

toward what end? Making more children?

What the hell are you talking about?

Reproducing the species over and over.
Toward what goal?

Carrying out what moronic design?

-What happened to Mandy?
-It was a mess, a nightmare.

Lord, I've sinned! Please forgive me.

Why do all the religious psychotics wind up
praying at my doorstep? Can you tell me?

Lord, in Your infinite mercy,
I've done wrong.

-You want to tell him, or should l?
-Tell me what?

Daddy, there's nobody out there!

Honest. You're praying to no one.

You're wasting your breath, just like
you're gonna be wasting it on Mom.

What? You're telling me
she met another man?

-Not just a man.

Daddy, you couldn't expect her to not, you
know, move on with her life and, you know...

Oh, Lord. What's he like?

He's got four arms and two noses.

You better butt out, stranger!

Melody will tell you I don't need my shotgun
to be a whole passel oftrouble.

Now, I want to see Marietta!

Now, Dad, try and remember,
you haven't seen Mom in a year.

A year is not forever.
How much can a person change?

And with that, they entered the gallery.

I had more people
than I knew what to do with.

Everybody said, "I'll be naked with you,
Marietta!" And I was like, "Okay."

Oh, my God.


John Celestine!
Look what the cat dragged in.

-Marietta, what happened to you?
-Oh, my God!

Well, darling, it's you that absconded.

-He showed up at the door today.
-Whoa, whoa. "Absconded"?

Yes, yes, with the promiscuous whore

-who called herself my best friend.
-Darling, I'll be...

I'll find you. Excuse me. Pardon me.

It's over, Marietta. Mandy and I were
a terrible mistake. I've come back for you.

Well, honey,
I'm in the middle of my opening.

Yeah, Dad, this is Mom's exhibition.
lsn't it great?

-Exhibition ofwhat?
-Well, the collages.

What? She's thinking
of buying this pornography?

I got news for you, she's the pornographer.

Marietta, who are you?

John, you never understood me, honey.

Your vision never extended
beyond the backyard.

You always had your gun clubs
and your fishing trips and football.

You never took a little minute
to find out about me.

And you were always too busy
putting her in pageants

and coaching her speeches
and teaching her baton twirling!

Yes, yes, that's true.
I was sublimating my own creative needs

and forcing them on our daughter.

-You were what?
-Yes, she was sublimating.


Honey, why don't you go on back
to Mandy Blackburn?

Her pygmy mentality
is much closer to you now.

-Much closer.
-Yeah. Well, I can't go back to her.

-Oh, why not?
-She cast aspersions on my manhood.

What are we talking? Size? Duration?
Erectile dysfunction?

Would you mind your own business?

Marietta, how could you forsake your own
family? I want us all back home to start over.

I'm a different woman, John.

I can't believe what I'm seeing. I mean...

Your clothes are different,
your speech is a little more affected,

but deep down, I know you're the same

pretty, small-town, God-fearing,
churchgoing, pie-baking...

I'm living with two guys.

...Girl Scout mom. You're what?

I'm an artist. I don't bake pies.
I don't go to church.

I do collages, sculpture, photography.

I live in Manhattan with two men who I love

in a very happy ménage à trois.

-A what?
-We all sleep together.

A ménage à trois.

I knew we should never trust
the goddamn French.

It's amazing, Melody.

Thousands of years ago, ancient peoples,
Egyptians, Romans, Mayans,

were walking home, just like us,

discussing where should they eat
or making small talk.

"Hey, we just bought a great house
on the Nile with a yard,

"overlooking the Pharaoh's new pyramid."

-Or, "My physician says

-"peacock tongues are bad for your heart."

Or, "I'm worried I can't get my kid
into a really good Aztec preschool."

What the hell does it all mean now? Zilch.

But they thought it was important.

Boris, can I talk to you for a minute?

And I was raised in a religious home.

Job's wife was my favorite character
in the Bible, because she chose death

rather than obsequious acceptance,
like that masochist she married.

Boris, Boris, can we sit down for a second?

Well, butwe have to go home.

I know, but come here.
I have to say something.

But we always go home now.

I know. I know.
I know we have a standard routine.

I need to have my drink, and a shower.

And, you know, you see it as routine,

but for me the consistency helps keep me
from becoming unnerved.

I know you require a certain ritual.

And then after the shower,
our dinner, but not crawfish pie again.

I got indigestion from it last time.
I thought I had thyroid cancer.

Boris, I met someone else. I've fallen in love.

And then some Beethoven, maybe some
Schubert for a change, but, you know...

You met someone else?

I'm not saying I don't have
very deep feelings for you. I do.

You met someone else?


And you want us to live in a threesome,
like your mother?

Boris, when you found me, I was very young.

You're still very young.

Yes, but I've grown.

I've grown so much.
And mainly because of you.

Yes, it's true. I have been very patient
with your phenomenal ignorance.

You can always count on me for anything.

I just...

I guess I'm at a very impressionable age,
and l...

I can't think of a way to say this well.

-You don't have to say it well.
-I want to.

I completely understand. I do.

This does not run counter
to my convictions that

love relationships are
almost invariably transient.

I don't really think that's true if they're right.

Really? You have your own ideas?

Just a couple.
You know, they're not very deep, but...

As cruel as life is,
I miss participating in the world.

And I even miss people,
even the inchworms and the cretins,

because I don't really think they're bad,
I think they're just scared.

I think you're making the correct decision.

-I mean it.

I'm a profound and sensitive soul
with an enormous grasp

of the human condition.

lt was inevitable you would

eventually grow tired of being
so grossly overmatched.

Greatness isn't easy to live with,
even by someone of normal intelligence.

You're upset. I don't expect you
to understand. How could you?

Believe me,

if I can understand quantum mechanics,

I can certainly comprehend
the thought process

of a sub-mental baton twirler.

-It's okay.

I knew this day would come. I really did.

The universe is winding down.
Why shouldn't we?


I'll have another, too.

She left me. Can you believe it?

What am I talking about? I left her.
She's alone.

Now, no matter which way she turns
in bed, she's got a husband.

My wife left me, too.

I'm sure she was beautiful, just like my wife.


Norman was gorgeous.

He was the greatest runway model
Versace ever had.

I thought you said your wife.

We were married in Holland.

You married a guy?

What else?

But that would make you...

What? A widow? Norman didn't die.

Not a widow, a...

-A member of the...


The homosexual persuasion.

My God.

You make it sound like a religion.

Yes. lf it's a religion,
you could call me devout. A fanatic.

But that's a sin against God's law.

God is gay.

He can't be.
He made the whole universe perfect.

The oceans, the skies, the beautiful flowers,
the trees everywhere.

That's right. He's a decorator.

But what do you miss about him?
I still don't get it.


His face.

His kindness, his sense of humor.

Our mutual passion.

The way we'd dance and he'd dip me back
and kiss me.


Why did he leave you?
She leave you. Norman.

He wants to live in Paris,
and I can't leave my sick mother.

ls your mother a woman?

She used to look like Marlene Dietrich.

What's the difference?
They all hurt you in the end, every woman,

whether they're male or female.

Why did yours leave you?

I left her for her best friend,
but it didn't work out.

Why not?

Can I be perfectly frank with you?

I don't shock easily.

I couldn't make love to her.

Why not?

lt was fine at first, but then I lost interest.
I wanted Marietta back.

Which is funny, because in the last years,

I really didn't have
a lot of sexual interest in Marietta.

That happens with you heteros.
We always have interest.

Christ, if I'm going to be honest,

you know, I never, ever really had
a burning sexual desire for Marietta.

Why'd you marry her?

lt was the thing to do. Everybody where
I lived, you had a wife and children and...

Can I really level with you?

Of course.

John. John Celestine.

Of course, John.
I'm Howard Cummings, nee Kaminsky.

I married Marietta, because I was afraid.


The way I felt towards the tight end
on the football team.


Every time he got in the line of scrimmage
and bent over.

Bartender, another round for my friend
and me, please.

Can you believe I blew it twice?

I jumped out the window
and landed on a woman walking her dog.

She got hurt. I got off scot-free.

Don't you realize the consequences
of your actions impact on other people?

-Oh, come on. Seriously.
-No. What if you had committed suicide?

Think, think if you didn't exist,
how the world

would suddenly change
in ways you can't imagine.

Oh, my God. You know what?

You sound like that movie they ram
down your throat every Christmas.

-What ifthe guardian angel

had saved Jimmy Stewart,

and Jimmy Stewart was
the guy who smoked in bed,

and he lived and caused a fire
that killed 60 people? So?

How about that?
Everybody's life is still worth saving?

Even if it's Christmas? Come on, seriously.

You must have a very dim view
of the human race.

Oh, the human race. They've had to install
automatic toilets in public restrooms,

because people can't be
entrusted to flush a toilet.

Come on, flushing a toilet!
They can't even flush a toilet!

Visiting time is over.

-What? You're kicking me out?

-Yeah. Absolutely.

All right, listen.
Honestly, I'm really sorry about all this

and is there anything I can do
to make this up to you?

Can I get you something? What can I do?

lf I can ever walk again,
you can buy me dinner.

What do you do, Helena?

Me? I'm a psychic.

I'm sorry. Really?

I was born with a very rare gift.
I can see into the future.

lf you can see into the future,
how come you didn't know

I was gonna jump out a building
and land on top of you?

Maybe I did.

Happy new year to you.

We're so excited. Howard is selling the gym,

but we're going to open up
an antique shop in Chelsea.

Yeah. Art deco. We're going to have
a wonderful collection of movie posters.

Can you believe this cracker?
This red state Neanderthal?

This mindless zombie
of the National Rifle Association?

My shrink says that the guns were all
a manifestation of my sexual inadequacy.

Yeah, if it weren't for sexual inadequacy, the
National Rifle Association would go broke.

He's moved in with Howard Cummings,
nee Kaminsky.

And not only is he sleeping with a man,
soon he'll be celebrating Purim.

More important, for the first time
in his adult life, he's happy.

I should have known why I was failing you,
Marietta, not fulfilling your womanly needs.

Which turned out to be quite considerable.

Mine, too, but not with the sex I'd been
raised to be attracted to.

You're like a changed man, John.
Your whole personality is sunnier.

If only it had been that way.

I couldn't when I was making love to you.
I was a square peg in a round hole,

you should pardon the metaphor.

Well, I just hope you two lucked out
and found the right person in each other.

I know I lucked out.

What about you, Boris?

As you would say in the crude fashion
of your generation,

I totally lucked out.

lt just shows what meaningless blind chance
the universe is.

Everybody schemes and dreams
to meet the right person,

and I jump out a window and land on her.
And a psychic yet!

I mean, come on,
talk about the irrational heart,

not to mention I've developed
a fondness for grits.

I have a question,
am I a member of my generation?

Yes. Don't worry. I'll explain it to you.

Hey, hey, hold on! Hold on!
The balI's about to drop!

Come on!



eight, seven,

six, five,

four, three,

two, one!

Happy new year!

I happen to hate New year's celebrations.

Everybody desperate to have fun.

Trying to celebrate
in some pathetic little way.

Celebrate what? A step closer to the grave?

That's why I can't say enough times,
whatever love you can get and give,

whatever happiness
you can filch or provide,

every temporary measure of grace,
whatever works.

And don't kid yourself, it's by no means
all up to your own human ingenuity.

A bigger part of your existence is luck
than you'd like to admit.

Christ, you know the odds
of your father's one sperm

from the billions,
finding the single egg that made you?

Don't think about it,
you'll have a panic attack.

Boris, what are you doing?
Who you talking to?

What? There's people out there watching us.

-They're out there?
-Yeah, yeah, they're watching. What?

-Please, Boris...
-You know...

Well, there was when we started.
I don't know how many are left.

Does anybody see anybody out there?

-Out there? No!


See? I'm the only one
who sees the whole picture.

That's what they mean by genius.

Come on. Happy new year, Boris.

Special thanks to SergeiK.