Alex & Emma (2003) Script

♪[It all depends on you by desylva, brown and Henderson]

♪ I can be happy, i can be sad ♪

♪ I can be good or I can be bad ♪

♪ it all depends on you ♪

♪ I can be lonely, out in a crowd ♪

♪ I can be humble, i can be proud ♪

♪ it all depends ♪

♪ on you ♪

♪ I can save money, or spend it ♪

♪ go right on living, or end it ♪

♪ you're to blame, honey ♪

♪ for what I do ♪

♪ I know that i can be beggar ♪

♪ or I can be king ♪

♪ I can be almost any old thing ♪

♪ it all depends ♪

♪ on you ♪

♪ let me tell ya ♪

♪ I can save money, or I could spend it ♪

♪ go right on living, or end it ♪

♪ you're to blame, honey ♪

♪ for what I do ♪

♪ oh-dodee-oh, i can be beggar ♪

♪ or I can be king ♪

♪ I can be almost any old thing ♪

♪ it all depends ♪

♪ on you ♪

♪ I don't mean mostly ♪

♪ it all depends ♪

♪ on you ♪

♪ don't mean your sister ♪

♪ it all ♪

♪ depends on ♪

[Clunking]

♪ You ♪

♪ oh, god! ♪

[Computer keyboard clacking]

[Typing]

It is and that stinks.

[Men yelling]

(Bobby) what happened to all the money?

(Bobby) you'd be lucky for looking like me.

(Tony) i can't afford to look like...


[Knocking at door]

(Bobby) Mr. Sheldon?

(Tony) maybe he's not here.

Mr. Sheldon?

Aren't you home?

Help me, lord.

How are you doing?

[Alex gasping]

I was just looking for a sweater.

We'll teach you. When was the last time you take a bath, huh?

Ah...

What you think, Tony? Maybe we should open a window.

Si.

No, no, wait! Wait! As soon as I finish the book, you get the money!

(Bobby) you say that last time. And the time before.

Wait! wait! Wait!

[Yelling]

There's nothing but pavement. There's not an awning in sight.

Wait! wait! I swear I'm almost finished! I swear!

How close?

Close. very close. Insanely close.

Ok. ok. Ok.

[Screaming]

Yeah, you know, it was a little slow going at the start, but I'm really cooking along now.

Show us.

Show you?

Show us.

[Panting]

Have you guys been working out together?

I mean, how do I get that look?

You know, see, i think I've been doing too much cardio.

You write on this?

Yeah, it's all right there. Just a couple of chapters to go.

It's good, though. It's good.

Show us.

Well, you know, an--an author doesn't really like to show what he's-- show us the book, Mr. Sheldon.

I can't. I'm blocked. I--i haven't started.

You lie?

Yeah. yeah.

Well, that's bad.

I know. I know.

Very, very bad.

What do we do?

Well, I'll tell you what we're going to do.

We're gonna do a little science experiment.

Wha-what are you doing?

Sit down.

Curious what it's like to be "cooking along" on a computer.

Oh, come on, please don't do that!

How do you expect me to write if I don't have a computer?

We don't expect you to write, Mr. Sheldon. We expect you to fly.

(Alex) wait, wait! Please don't do this.

Let's rethink this. Come on, guys. Let's rethink it.

[Screaming]

I'll double what I owe you! $100,000! $100,000!

In 30 days.

Ok! ok! 30 days, that's good!

I'll do it. 30 days. You'll have your money in 30 days.

I gave you $75,000. Where did that go?

Florida gaming commission.

What?

Hialeah dog track.

You gambled away $75,000 on dogs?

Well, a little more than that.

See, I borrowed from some Cuban gentlemen down Miami way.

You know, Alex, you have a major talent, but you're pissing it away.

Now, you get $125,000 when I get the manuscript.

That's the deal we made.

I've given you a year. What have you been doing?

I fell in love. It didn't work out.

Perfect!

A love affair gone bad, gambling, criminal types.

All the elements of a bestseller.

You see, they're gonna kill me if I don't get the money in 30 days.

Then you'd better get to work.


Hi.

Hi. sorry, um...

Is there possibly another Cambridge street?

I'm looking for the law offices of polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and Van buren.

That's us.

Miss...

Dinsmore. Emma dinsmore.

Alex Sheldon. Won't you come in?

No, I don't believe i will. This doesn't look like a law office.

Doesn't even look like a nice place to live.

Yeah, I know.

Our offices in the prudential tower, which by the way, are very impressive, you know, law books, conference tables, leather, they're being redecorated, but there's been a holdup with the marble.

Something about the cutters in carrara wanting better health benefits.

[Creaking]

[Crashing]

Mr. Sheldon.

Mr. Sheldon, I'm going to leave now.

How can I leave if I have a dead lawyer lying on my foot?

How can I do that?

What kind of person would I be, huh, Mr. Sheldon?

Not a good one. Not a very good one.

Ok, come on.

I'll get you out of the door, put you in the reception area.

Better yet, let's put you in your conference room.

This way, if you're preparing for your big case, you can just do it here.

Mr. Sheldon.

Mr. Sheldon?

Yeah, I'm fine.

[Exhaling]

This--this has only happened to me, uh, one time before.

Little league, championship game.

I was up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.

I hadn't eaten lunch that--

I have to go.

Please, wait a second. I need your help.

Unhand me!

Did you say, "unhand me"?

I won't be taken advantage of.

Miss dinsmore, i had no intention-- oh, no, then why did you ask my company to send me up here?

Because you're not fooling anyone, Mr. Sheldon, if that's even your real name.

This is clearly not the law office of polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Van buren, who just so happen to have been presidents of the United States.

Y-y-you're right. This isn't a law office, and yes, indeed, they were presidents.

Yes, so what other conclusion can we draw from this, Mr. Sheldon, except that you're trying to take advantage of me?

Well, we--we could also conclude that I'm a liar.

Yes, we could, and in fact, we have.

I--i--I'm sorry.

It's just that i--i really need your help, miss dinsmore.

You see, I'm a brilliant novelist-- yeah, and I invented nuclear energy.

If you'll excuse me, i have to split some atoms.

Wait! wait! Wait!

Miss dinsmore!

Miss dinsmore!

Could we please try to put this behind us.

I just want your stenography services. That's all.

I assure you, I'm a desperate man.

Well, I don't intend on spending my time in the personal apartment of a desperate man.

You want sex, Mr. Sheldon. You are barking up the wrong body.

Miss dinsmore, i know my veracity has been called into question, but I swear to god that barking up your body is absolutely the furthest thing from my mind.

Well, I don't believe you.

Right now, i--i can't think of any woman I'm less interested in going to bed with.

Nice meeting you.

What was that supposed to mean?

Well, I only meant that, uh, while I'm sure there are many men who'd be thrilled to find themselves in bed with such a forthright woman as yourself, I just have different tastes, that's all.

I prefer women that are more...

Less forthright.

Mr. Sheldon, didn't you expect that whoever showed up would immediately find out that you weren't a law office?

Miss dinsmore, I owe some guys $100,000 and I got to get it to them in 30 days.

The only way I can do that is by finishing my next book, and the only way I can do that is by dictating it to a stenographer.

How much do you have left?

All of it.

You want to dictate an entire book to me?

That's right.

In 30 days?

Correct.

I get $15 an hour, and I expect to be paid at the conclusion of each day.

And I'd really like to do that, but unfortunately, I can't.

At the end of each week.

At the end of the job. I get paid when I turn in the manuscript.

What happens if you don't finish in 30 days?

I'll finish in 30 days.

But if you don't finish in 30 days, then what happens?

I get killed.

[Sighing]

[Knocking at door]

(Emma) i forgot my scarf.

I forgot my scarf.

Mr. Sheldon, i forgot my scarf.


What's your book about?

It's the story of a man who's frightened of commitment, yet so desperately in love with a woman, he's afraid it might kill him.

It's a comedy.

Does it kill him?

You'll have to read the book.

What are you doing?

I want to see if he dies.

You can't read the end first.

Then tell me how it ends.

You have to read the book.

This is how I read books.

If I like the ending then I'll know I'll like getting to it.

If I don't like the ending, then I know not to waste my time.

[Pages rustling]

See? now I want to read this.

[Sighing]

What's your new book about?

It's about the powerlessness of being in love, and how it devours the insides of a person like a deadly virus.

Another comedy?

Yeah.

Will you have another fit if I ask you how it ends?

I don't know how it ends.

How can you write a story if you don't know how it ends?

Because I know the characters, and they tell me where the story goes.

Interesting.

You're going to do it?

Yes.

Great!

Ok.

(Alex) ok.

Read me back what we've got so far.

The summer of Adam shipley's sabbatical from andover.

Maybe if you add a year, you know.

The summer of Adam shipley's sabbatical from andover was in...

And then any 4-digit number gets you a complete sentence.

Yeah, but not a particularly good one.

How about the summer of Adam shipley's sabbatical from andover was really hot?

What's that noise? What noise?

That high-pitched ringing sound.

Kind of like "eee."

I--i think I may be getting a brain tumor because that's one of the early signs.

Ok. how about you shorten it?

Adam shipley took a sabbatical. Period.

No, no, see, look. You want the first sentence to set the tone, to grab the reader and take him into the story.

"Call me ishmael." Right?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

"In the beginning god created the heavens and the earth."

Do you see why I can't begin?

The giants that have gone before me.

Does it seem foggy in here?

There's this haze that...

I--i--i think the tumor could be spreading in my occipital lobe.

I have to go.

It's only 7:00.

I know. These last 5 hours have just flown by.

Will you be back tomorrow morning?

I can't see why.

What do you mean?

Very well.

Here's what I've been figuring.

You've got exactly

8 words so far?

Since a typed page is 350 words, that's roughly 6 weeks per page.

With one week off for Christmas, 2 weeks summer vacation, 300 pages would take approximately 37 years which, quite frankly, is a little more than I'm willing to allocate to this project.

Uh, miss dinsmore, i think you're underestimating the process.

I mean, this isn't a comic book, it's a novel.

There's character development. Symbolism. Subtext.

Which do you prefer, Mr. Sheldon, the pepper spray or the stun gun?

Adam shipley had given up on love.

Art was to be his mistress.

And so it was that in the summer of 1924...

We're rolling. We just got started.

Ok?

Adam shipley had given up on love.

Art was to be his mistress.

And so it was that in the summer of 1924, he took a sabbatical from andover to write, if not the great American novel, then certainly one that would make the world sit up and take notice.

To support himself while he worked, he accepted a position as an english tutor for a French family vacationing on the island of...

Saint Charles.

Never heard of an island called Saint Charles.

It's off the coast of Maine, northeast of nantucket. Beautiful.

Still never heard of it.

I made it up.

You got a 2nd paragraph?

A what?

If it's going to be 300 pages you're going to need more than one paragraph.

Oh, that ringing sound.

I have to go.

Uh, Adam boarded a train in Boston, headed for the ferry at Saint Charles.

And then?

Saint Charles was an exclusive island, known for palatial mansions, manicured lawns, and an exquisite gambling casino.

There was also an especially large French contingent who had claimed the island after it was discovered by Jacques cartier in the 16th century.

Wait a minute.

What, I'm going too fast?

I thought you said you made up the island.

I--i did.

But you just said it was discovered by Jacques cartier in the 16th century.

Yeah?

Jacques cartier was a real guy.

You can't have a real guy discover a fake place.

I can't?

No. it's a perversion of history.

If you have a fake place, you have to have a fake explorer.

Now, if you have a real place, then you-- miss dinsmore. Miss dinsmore.

[Chuckling]

I mean, I'm laughing, but I'm not laughing.

If you could type and I could write, that would be really terrific.

[Sighing]

I thought that's what we were doing.

Adam found himself seated next to a man named John Shaw.

(Alex) a man who had the uncanny ability to make a 2-hour train ride seem like 10.

I've been summering in Saint Charles since I was a boy.

It would be my 2nd home if I didn't own 3 others.

(Alex) Shaw was a short, round man in his 50s.

And the word "second" was said with a whistle as his breath escaped between the space which separated his 2 front teeth.

(Emma) i hate it when they do that.

Who? what?

You. authors.

You use a name like John Shaw, and I picture in my mind, thin, with a stylish mustache.

And when you finally get around to describing him, he's this fat old fart with a hole in his teeth.

You remember the part about you type and I write?

We really have to adhere to that, miss dinsmore.

You're the author. You're god.

You can create whatever comes into your head.

Characters we like or characters who make us want to shut the book and never open it again.

Shaw was a slight man with a thick blond--

(Emma) thin black.

(Alex) thin, black moustache.

So, who's this family you're to tutor?

Saint Charles is a small island. I'm sure I know them.

They're from Paris. A divorcee and her 2 children, an 8-year-old boy, Andre, and a 6-year-old girl, Michele.

The mother's name is-- polina delacroix?

Why, yes.

Would you care to join me for some tea in the dining car?

All right.

[Train whistle blowing]

Madadelacroix seemed very charming in her correspondence.

Oh, she is. And quite the little trooper, too, putting on such a brave face under the circumstances.

The circumstances?

The family is in desperate financial straits.

If it weren't for a wealthy grandmother in Paris who's dying, they'd have no hope at all.

Are you absolutely certain?

Because from their correspondence they seemed like-- it's a facade. It's all a facade.

But don't worry, she has enough to pay you.

How can you be so sure?

Because I am returning just now with a bank draft from my personal account which will provide polina with enough to cover her expenses through the summer.

She asked you for a loan?

Well, we're calling it a loan, but it really doesn't matter.

I intend to ask her to marry me by summer's end.

(Emma) now, why did you do that?

What? why did I do what?

Don't you think it's kind of coincidental that Adam just happens to plop down next to his employer's fiance?

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I didn't know Shaw was the fiance when Adam plopped.

What do you mean you didn't know? How could you not know?

[Sighing]

Ok.

I wanted Adam to learn from Shaw that the delacroix family was almost broke and desperately waiting for the grandmother to die.

Then I realized, as soon as Adam heard this, he'd be worried about his wages.

This was a problem i hadn't anticipated till I got there.

Then I had the idea...

What if Shaw agreed to loan polina the money to cover her expenses?

But why would he do that? Perhaps he's in love with her.

Shall we continue?

You started having absolutely no idea what was going to happen, and then, by pure luck, it just worked out?

Well, i--i--i like to think it's more than luck, but every writer does depend on the muses smiling down on him occasionally.

And if the muses don't smile?

My head starts ringing and my eyes fog over.

So, is there smiling now or are we heading back into the fog with the ringing sounds?

There's smiling.

Good.

What happens next?

Adam falls in love.

With whom?

(Alex) there's no accounting for love or why one look, one casual touch, one breath of perfumed air can ignite feelings so strong, it's almost painful.

(Emma) mmm, he seems awfully shallow.

What are you talking about?

He just looks at her and he's in love?

So, you've never heard of love at first sight?

Right. that must be it.

Continuing on.

Polina delacroix. It's a great pleasure to meet you, Mr. shipley.

You, as well, madadelacroix.

Oh, please, call me polina.

[People chattering]

Um, this is John Shaw.

(Together) we've met.

This is Andre and Michele.

[Speaking French]

We are very pleased to be meeting you, Mr. shipley.

Very pleased to be meeting you, too.

Allow me to introduce the others. This is my father.

And this is madablanche, a close friend of my father's.

Enchante, monsieur.

Oh, uh...

[Laughing]

Well, let's be off.

Claude, could you please fetch Mr. shipley's belongings?

Oh, that's ok. I can fetch. I don't mind fetching. I love to fetch.

(Polina) don't be silly, Mr. shipley.

[Grunting]

I wouldn't want to be silly.

I think it's going to be a very special summer.

Oh, yeah.

[Grunting]

[Emma laughing]

You like that?

It's very funny.

Thank you.

He's like a fool.

What? no.

He's smitten. He's blinded by love.

Oh, right.

Because I didn't see the attraction at first.

But then when she said those intoxicating words:

"Claude, could you fetch his belongings," who could resist that?

All right. Good.

Uh, what do you say we call it a day?

Ok.

Good, because I have to type all this stuff up tonight.

How many pages we got?

I'd say about 8.

That's not bad.

Considering the somewhat awkward beginning.

So, I guess I'll see you tomorrow.

I'll be here around 9:00?

Great.

Thanks for a good first day.

You're welcome.

Bye.

[People chattering]

(Alex) Saint Charles seemed almost unreal, like a magical playground for the well-to-do.

Something besides the affluence and beauty of Saint Charles which filled Adam's brain until he could barely breathe.

It was polina's perfume and the application thereof upon her ample bosom.

(Emma) oh, please!

(Alex) what?

"Ample bosom"?

What's wrong with that? It's literary.

Oh, well, in that case, you forgot the heaving.

The what?

In every book I've ever read, whenever there's an ample bosom there's always heaving.

Do we have to talk about this right now?

You're the one who introduced the bosoms.

I'm simply asking if you'd like them to heave.

Fine, let them heave.

(Alex) though he had always considered himself a member in good standing of that great army of destitute artists, upon arriving at the delacroix estate, Adam began to consider that he may have been a bit hasty in condemning the acquisition of large sums of money.

Mr. shipley, ylva will help you get settled in the guest cottage.

(Emma) ylva? what kind of name is ylva?

(Alex) it's Swedish.

That's not a real name. Who made that one up? Jacques cartier?

It's her name, ok?

Ok, how do you spell it?

Just like it sounds.

I-l-v-a.

No, it's y-l-v-a.

Y-l-v-a? that's not how it sounds.

Well, that's how she spells it!

Ok, you want y-l-v-a, it's y-l-v-a.

Good.

Fine.

Just so you know, it's not how it sounds.

(Alex) she's this pain-in-the-ass au pair.

[Swedish accent] Well, here we are.

Thanks, uh...

Ylva.

Ylva, now that's a beautiful name. How do you spell that?

Y-l-v-a.

Uh-huh.

Just like it sounds.

(Emma) very funny.

(Alex) what? I take from life.

I am to unpack for you.

Madatold me to unpack for you.

All right.

So, uh, she seems very nice, madame.

Has she been keeping company with Mr. Shaw very long?

She does not love him.

Really?

But she will marry him.

Why?

She is desperate for the money.

I thought she was supposed to receive a large inheritance from her grandmother.

Yeah, but grandmother, she takes a very long time to die.

So if polina had money, she wouldn't have to marry Shaw.

I see what you're doing. You've got the triangle.

We already know Adam and Shaw both like polina.

Now we find out they both have obstacles.

Yeah. it's called a plot.

And the reason you're being sarcastic with me is?

Because if I don't finish this book in 28 days, 2 very large Cuban gentlemen are going to see to it that I'm not around to enjoy a 29th.

Fine.

Except for the typing, I'm not here.

Why do I think that will never be altogether true?

(Alex) as Adam settled into his routine at the delacroix estate, he knew he had a job to do.

Teach those children english like they'd never been taught before.

Focus. focus. He had to focus.

[Groaning]

Ah, who was he kidding?

There'd be no focusing with polina on the premises.

On Tuesday, he caught a glimpse of her ankle and was forced back to his room for prayer and reflection.

Adam wondered: Was it possible?

Could a woman like polina actually be interested in an ordinary man like himself?

This wasn't India. There was no caste system here.

This was America, where everybody had a shot with everybody.

There was no denying it.

Her feelings for Adam were as real as the egg salad in his lap.

It was another glorious day in Saint Charles as Adam chased Andre and Michele who giggled as they conjugated the verb "to run."

I run.

(Andre) you run! He run!

No, "run." We run. You run.

They run.

[Speaking French]

No, you do not run. You go wash your hands.

Ah, Elsa.

I have finished mit der strudel.

(Emma) wait a minute. Wait a minute. Who's she?

Elsa, the au pair.

I thought ylva was the au pair.

Yeah, I didn't have a real fix on the character.

The Swedish wasn't working for me. She needs more edge.

Swedes have no edge?

No. it's common knowledge. They got that light blue flag.

It's better if she's German.

Of course, because all Germans have edge.

No, not all.

But some, certainly.

I mean, Hitler Springs to mind.

Fine, she's German.

(Polina) thank you, Elsa.

Would you be so kind as to take the children?

I must speak with Mr. shipley.

Yes, of course.

Let's go! Wash hands. On to the house!

Our family is in something of a crisis, Mr. shipley.

Yes, I've heard.

Oh, Adam, what a disaster it all is.

(Alex) hearing his name from her lips for the first time was almost more than he could bear.

Children shouldn't have to deal with burdens like this.

I'll do my best to see that they're protected.

I want to see them happy.

I'll make sure they're happy.

All I want is a simple life, and a man to share it with.

A man who will truly love me for me.

Is that too much to ask?

I think that's very reasonable.

Would you kill for me?

I beg your pardon?

Would you kill Shaw for me?

You want me to

[laughs]

Kill Shaw?

I owe him so much money.

And if he lives, i will have to marry him.

Yes.

Well, I'd kill him in a second, you understand.

It's just that, uh,

when you're a tutor, and people see the word "murderer" on your resume, sometimes they have a tough time getting past that.

[Laughing]

I'm teasing, of course.

(Alex) it was at this moment that Adam realized that all that stood between him and the perfection of polina's arms, was inexhaustible wealth.

What is it with guys like Adam?

What do you mean?

Do they really like being driven crazy by women like polina?

They're like lemmings running into the sea.

They can't wait to be drowning in their own misery.

If they're not in agony, then it can't be love!

Why do men want women like that?

Maybe you're not picturing polina the way I'm picturing her.

What?

Gorgeous, exciting, incredibly sexy?

[Toilet flushing]

Maybe you are.

Yeah, that's great for a weekend, but what do you think will happen in the long run?

What do you mean, like the next weekend?

No. like when it's time for the first laundry.

I know. I know.

In great romantic novels, there's no laundry.

There's people like ylva or Elsa to do it.

Maybe that's why i like them.

They can wash their own clothes.

[Sighs]

Ok, where were we?

(Emma) oh, yes. Adam needs a fortune so he can live happily ever after with his true love.

(Elsa) who is it?

Elsa, it's me, Adam.

Oh, Mr. shipley, I'll be right there.

Oh, I'm sorry. Am I inconveniencing you?

No, I was just washing mein hair.

Come in.

Won't you sit down?

I can't stay long.

Sit down!

All right.

I'll make you tea.

(Emma) oh, this is good.

You're creating another triangle: Polina, Adam, Elsa.

No, she's just someone he can talk to.

He feels comfortable with her.

You know, now that she's German.

I hear there's a casino on the island.

Yeah?

The general goes there often with madame blanche.

Where is this casino?

Right off the boardwalk, next to the regency.

But, Mr. shipley, you're not thinking--

Elsa, do you believe in destiny?

Destiny?

That a man and a woman are meant to be together?

Yeah.

But only if they are both ready.

With love, one must be patient.

You must not eat the fruit until it is ripe.

The baby must crawl before he can walk.

The farmer must sow before he can reap.

The butcher must kill before he can--

Elsa, you struck oil. Stop drilling.

I'm talking about fate here.

When feelings are so powerful, it's as if some force beyond your control is guiding you to someone who can make you happy beyond your wildest dreams.

I never thought I could experience feelings such as these, until now.

I thought they only existed in story books.

But now I know it can be real.

It can?

Yes, Elsa. Yes.

Oh, Adam.

And once I have money, my destiny, polina shall be mine.

(Adam) oh!

Oh!

I am so sorry!

Maybe if you blow on it!

Will you ever forgive me?

(Emma) why should she ask for forgiveness?

Are you kidding? She poured scalding hot water on his crotch.

He led her on. He made her think that he wanted her.

She misinterpreted.

No, I don't think so.

And don't tell me that Elsa winds up getting hurt, because that would be so unfair.

I don't know.

Can't always control what happens to characters.

Sometimes they take you to unexpected places.

People get hurt in books. People get hurt in real life.

Adam left a disappointed, but resilient Elsa, like a...

Adam left a disappointed, but resilient Elsa, like a man on a mission.

A man on a mission with hot, wet balls.

Alex...

Ok, lose the balls.

(Alex) Adam entered the edifice that he hoped would transform his life.

$200 was all he had to his name.

It was enough to get him through the summer but certainly not enough to win a woman like polina.

(Croupier) place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

(Alex) the atmosphere was intoxicating.

There was more money than he had ever seen in his life.

[Speaking French]

17, black.

How do I, uh...

Merci, monsieur.

[Speaking French]

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

[Speaking French]

(Alex) his heart beat like a drum.

He understood instantly that this wasn't just a game he would play for his amusement.

It meant a lifetime of love with polina.

Every roll, every bounce of that little ivory ball would bring him one step closer to paradise.

(Croupier) zero! zero!

Zero? that's green.

I thought there was only red and black. There's green?

Oui, monsieur.

So what is that, like a do-over?

No, monsieur, you lost.

I lost?

You lost.

Adam would have to find another route to polina's heart.

And what is so wrong with poverty?

Ah! the voice of the common man.

No, really.

The--the proletariat are not as miserable as they're made out to be.

Wealth does not make for happiness, Mr. Shaw.

It is love which sustains us.

The joy of family. The wonders of nature!

The supreme pleasure of spending a life with someone devoted to you!

And no amount of money will ever give us these! No amount!

I see you found the casino.

Very interesting concept, Mr. shipley.

Poverty as an aphrodisiac.

[All sniggering]

Pay no attention to him. He's jealous of your purity.

Yes, I long for insolvency.

Oh, please, John.

[Claude speaking French]

Oui, Claude.

She's dead.

"Grandmother is gone. Stop.

"We have closed up the house. Stop.

Details to follow. Stop."

(Alex) could it be?

Money was no longer an obstacle?

Polina found herself with feelings she never knew she had.

What she assumed would be the answer to all her problems, left her with unexpected sorrow.

Her grandmother had been a kind soul.

And polina was filled with the loss of the woman who had so often held her in her arms and comforted her with her warmth and wisdom.

[Rain pattering]

That's beautiful.

You don't like it?

No, I'm saying it's beautiful.

Well, thank you.

You're welcome.

I think that about does it for today.

Ok.

You know, you're not at all like you seemed at first.

How's that?

Well...

At first you seemed kind of like...

What?

Well, kind of a mess.

A mess.

Yeah. you live like a slob. You're a hypochondriac.

You're extremely insecure, and you lie.

Thank you.

It's true.

But...

Somehow all those qualities combine to make something...

I don't know. Nice.

I think your qualities combine nice, too.

What do you say we get an early start tomorrow?

Ok, great. Early.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Ok.

Oh-oh!

[Gasps]

Oh, my god!

Wait! wait!

(Bus driver) All right, honey! It's all right. Take your time.

Oh, my god!

Oh, my god! Oh, my god!

[Knocking on door]

Hi!

You said you wanted to get an early start.

My alarm didn't go off.

What time is it?

(Emma) 6:45.

No wonder it didn't go off.

What time did you get up?

Around 5:00. I'm an early person.

Some people are early people, other people are late people.

What kind of person would you say you are?

Are you moving in?

No, I just bought some groceries for us, that's all.

For us?

Well, for me, really.

I can't keep working without eating something normal, but you're more than welcome to them.

I mean, don't get me wrong.

I like fish sticks and cap'n crunch as much as the next guy.

Sorry, I just got caught up-- oh, you don't have to apologize.

I understand. You're a creative genius.

You shouldn't have to worry about things like food or eating.

Why don't you go take a shower and I'll make you some breakfast?

No, no. We don't have time.

We still need at least 150 pages.

We'll eat as we work.

Let's see what we have from yesterday.

Yesterday?

Yeah. let's go over yesterday and see where we are.

You know, why don't we just keep going?

Like you said, we don't have a lot of time.

If we keep going over and over what we've already done, then we won't get finished.

"Adam walks through the casino

"and sees lots of people sitting around and doing stuff like playing roulette and drinking booze and yakking."

I thought that Adam...

"Adam liked polina, but he also knew she was kind of weird.

"So, even though sometimes he thought it was love, all it really was that he was hot for her."

Well, Alex, it's true.

No, it's not!

He's madly in love with her from the first minute he sees her!

And where's what I wrote?

I was getting on the bus.

[Sobs]

And there was rain and a huge puddle.

And my feet just tripped.

And it just spilled. And I'm sorry. And I tried.

I tried to fix it!

It's not your fault.

Yeah, it is.

I'll fix it.

I've lost pages before. It'll be ok.

It will?

Yeah, it will be fine. How many pages got wrecked?

18.

18.

[Alarm ringing]

[Sighs]

Time to get up.

(Alex) as polina mourned for her beloved grandmother and tended to family matters, Adam struggled to keep his feelings for polina in check.

Adam's friendship with Elsa continued to grow.

Unaware of the deeper feelings she held for him, he regaled her with stories of the exciting life that he would share with polina.

Adam's passions continued to rage out of control.

With his beloved Red Sox well out of contention for the American league pennant, baseball no longer provided a viable diversion.

Shaw was not to be underestimated.

Despite the insubstantial mustache, he'd proven himself to be a formidable foe.

Adam knew that all too well.

He had to make his move. But when?

Can I?

Yeah, sure. Go ahead.

I'm formulating.

I don't like tomato skins.

Who are you?

What?

We've been in this room for over 3 weeks.

A-and besides the fact that you have an opinion for just about everything that I do, and a rather odd way of eating pizza, I don't know anything about you.

Like, where are you from?

What have you been doing with your life?

Do you have friends? A boyfriend? Parents?

It's my personal life, Alex.

I know. I know.

And if you don't feel like sharing, i completely understand.

I live in Jamaica plain. Both my parents are dead, I think.

My mother died 6 years ago. My father left when we were very young, and I heard he drank himself to death.

Like I said, if you don't feel like sharing...

Did you mention whether or not you have a boyfriend?

I didn't.

Do you think you will mention it?

Maybe.

Do you think you'll mention it now?

I do have a boyfriend.

And I met him last year at a hockey game.

Oh.

Now, is it serious or is it just one of those hockey romances?

We're planning on getting married next June.

Oh.

Well, I think I'm about done formulating.

Where was I?

Uh, Adam was deciding when to make his move.

Yes.

(Alex) Adam could wait no longer.

He felt like a kid who had just finished counting in hide-and-go-seek.

It was now, "ready or not, here I come."

Yet still, his overture must not appear insensitive or indelicate.

[Moaning]

(Emma) wait a minute. Wait a minute. What are they doing?

(Alex) what does it look like they're doing?

Just like that?

Why not?

Her grandmother just died.

Exactly.

She's looking for comfort.

I thought you said Adam was going to be sensitive to her.

You're right. I did.

I am so sorry that your grandmother died.

(Emma) Alex, it just isn't right like this.

Are you nuts? It's fabulous like this.

No, it's not.

Yes, it is.

No, it's not.

Look, I'm the writer, ok?

And I'm saying it is.

And I'm the reader, ok? And I'm saying this is really bothering me.

I'm trying very hard to like Adam, and you're making it extremely difficult.

You know what?

This isn't about Adam.

You've had it in for polina since the very beginning.

Oh, please! You have.

I do not have it in for a fictional character.

Ok.

She's flighty. She's flirty. She's a flawed character.

Oh, of course! The 3 fluhs: Flighty, flirty and flawed.

Yes. and clearly, if he's chasing after someone like her, he's sitting on some pretty major issues.

Oh, really?

She's the hottest girl on the island by a factor of 10!

So, uh, maybe he's not the one with the issues.

What is that supposed to mean?

He's not the one who values propriety over passion.

Are you saying i don't believe in passion?

No.

I--I'm sure you do, just so long as the laundry is done first.

Adam and polina tumbled passionately into bed.

Adam and polina tumbled passionately into bed.

Oh, boy! Now you're talking!

[Moaning]

[Moaning]

This--this is a great island!

What?

Whoo!

[Adam groaning]

[Yelling]

What?

Whoo!

[Moaning]

[Both sighing]

I'm exhausted.

I bet you are.

Ok, so now what?

What do you mean?

Grandmother is dead. Everything's worked out for our lovebirds.

Polina has her money. Adam has polina. Shaw goes away.

Now what happens?

I have to vomit.

[Alex groaning]

You have no place to go from here, do you?

You've written yourself into a corner.

[Alex continues groaning]

You're supposed to put your head over the toilet.

Yeah, i--I've been vomiting since I was 6. I believe I can handle it.

I think I'm dying.

You're not dying.

No, really. I'm burning up. I feel real bad.

[Panting]

You're not that warm.

Why does everyone just tacitly accept the-hand-to-the-forehead test as being medically reliable?

You're fine.

I've got a pain in my chest. This could be serious.

Ok.

Listen, if these symptoms persist and you really think you're having a heart attack, now this is important, I want you to call me immediately.

Because there's no point in my wasting bus fare if you're just going to be dead.

Have a nice evening.

[Door opening and closing]

(Emma) so, what are you saying? You're still blocked?

(Alex) totally.

I mean, who said it better than you?

Grandmother's dead. Polina's got the money.

Adam's got polina, and I've got nowhere to go.

You're not going to vomit again, are you?

I've got to get out of here.

Where are you going?

We don't have much time left. Shouldn't we keep working?

This is working.

It is?

Yeah. when I get stuck, i need to get my mind off things for a while.

I need to look at birds, trees, people doing things like throwing frisbees, rollerblading, that kind of thing.

Good. maybe once you clear your mind, you realize he should have never jumped into bed with her like that.

[People chattering]

(Alex) i wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.

My parents got divorced when I was 8.

I started writing stories as a place to put my feelings.

I--i found it was a lot easier to have characters say things than to say them myself.

That's the beauty of writing. You can have things work out the way they never seem to in real life.

Sometimes things work out in life.

Hey, I'm all for it.

Have you ever been married?

In real life? No.

Let me guess.

You just haven't met the right woman.

Exactly.

And I know what you're going to say:

You have to be the right man in order to meet the right woman.

But i--i know in my heart that I am the right man, and I know that the perfect woman is out there.

Someone who's smart, funny, and beautiful.

And here's the tricky part: Interested in me.

I know she's out there. I just can't seem to...

It's like...

I--i feel like one of those greyhounds at the dog track.

You know, chasing the mechanical rabbit? I get so close, but I can never quite seem to catch it.

They never do.

I know.

Maybe you don't want to catch it.

♪ What did you say? ♪

♪ I know I saw you singing ♪

♪ my ears won't stop ringing ♪

♪ long enough to hear those sweet words ♪

♪ what did you say? ♪

♪ All your love ♪

♪ is a lost balloon ♪

♪ rising up through ♪

♪ the afternoon ♪

♪ till it could fit on the head of a pin ♪

♪ what did you say? ♪

♪ I know I saw you singing ♪ I hope today helped.

It did.

Things are starting to percolate.

I had a great time.

Me, too.

Oh, this is it.

Oh.

Well...

♪ I just wanna hear those sweet words ♪

I got it! I got it!

What?

I never should have had the grandmother die.

This is great! Thank you! Thank you!

I love you!

You know what I mean, right?

Yeah.

This is great. Great.

All right. I'll see you tomorrow. The grandmother lives!

Look who is alive!

The telegram said you were gone.

Well, of course I was gone.

If I was not gone from there, how could I be here?

Weren't you worried taking such an arduous trip considering your health?

My health is fine.

Those stupid doctors, all idiots.

They should have their licenses revoked.

Every last one of them!

First, they gave me a year to live, then it became 6 months.

Then less than a month.

To listen to them, I'd be dead 10 minutes after I got here!

[Laughing]

(Emma) what are you doing?

The dead grandmother's what got you stuck in the first place.

Now she's dead again?

No money at all?

Oh, your mother had acquired one of the most extraordinary collections of rare perfumes in the history of France.

Worth a fortune.

As you know, your mother, god rest her soul, made it to 90.

Sadly, the perfumes did not.

What?

They all evaporated.

The last of it, during her brief struggle with scurvy.

Your mother's fortune has evaporated?

Every penny of it?

She had scurvy?

(Alex) upon hearing grandmother's money had gone the way of all Chanel, Adam pondered his fate.

He was no fool.

He was a tutor, for god's sake.

He knew it was only a matter of time before polina would find herself once again in the arms of his rival, the odious John Shaw.

He pondered the engagement. He pondered the wedding.

And then he pondered the wedding night.

It was at that point he realized maybe he should stop pondering.

Eldora!

[Speaking Spanish]

Oh, senor shipley, you must try to forget her.

Here, have some paella.

(Emma) oh, whoa! Whoa!

What? eldora?

Eldora.

Eldora, the Spanish au pair, who was Elsa, the German au pair, who was ylva, the Swedish au pair?

Si. no. Alex, absolutely not.

Even if eldora was the greatest character since Scarlet O'Hara, which quite frankly seems like a long shot, we don't have time to change everything.

I know, but--

3 days, Alex! We have 3 days.

I know, but something's missing.

Maybe he needs another obstacle to keep him from polina.

He's broke. She's marrying another man, and if you ask me, she doesn't even love him.

I think he has enough obstacles.

Wait. wait. I got it.

It's not an obstacle, it's the 2nd triangle.

You were right about the 2nd triangle. This can work.

And the changes will be easy.

She's an American from Philadelphia, and her name is Anna.

Hello, Adam.

What?

You seem different today, Anna.

Did you do something to your hair?

(Alex) there was something in Anna's eyes that Adam, until now, blinded by his love for polina, hadn't seen.

A deep sadness, combined with a quiet strength that made her seem incredibly beautiful.

(Emma) are you sure you want to do this?

Absolutely.

It's not very attractive, you know. He's just rebounding.

No, he's not.

Rebounding like a wild man.

What are you talking about?

This is the triangle heating up.

Anna has feelings for him. He has feelings for her.

But he also has feelings for polina.

This way, the reader doesn't know who he'll wind up with.

You hook them in.

Who does he end up with?

See? hooked.

What do you say we head into town?

I have to-- you don't have to do anything.

You're making stew. That's why they call it stew.

You let it stew.

Come on. Live a little. I--i--I'll buy you lunch. Are you hungry?

Not really.

Perfect. i don't have any money.

Sounds good.

How did you come to work for the delacroixs?

I answered an ad for a summer job 5 years ago.

I've been with them ever since.

Summers in Saint Charles, winters in Switzerland, and the rest of the year in Paris.

It sounds exciting.

Yeah.

Now that didn't sound exciting.

I'm living their life, not mine.

[People chattering]

Maybe we can do something about that.

What?

Now, I'm just spitballing here, but how about this?

I like living my life.

(Alex) while those of a more cynical nature might think that Adam was merely on the rebound...

(Emma) cute.

(Alex) ...the truth is that he found comfort in Anna.

And with each passing day, his feelings for her grew stronger.

It's so interesting watching this process unfold.

I didn't really understand what you meant when you said the characters would lead you.

But now it's so clear why Anna and Adam would end up together all this time.

They've been so close to each other without seeing what they had.

Who says they're gonna wind up together?

They're not?

I don't know.

How could they not end up together after they were so romantic?

That's exactly the point.

See, if he's crazy about one, but only lukewarm about the other, where's your triangle?

But if he feels equally strong about both women, that's a real dilemma.

Yeah, but then you have-- no.

Now we've got to stir things up a little.

Shipley, how goes it, my good man?

We're certainly in a good mood today, old bean.

And why not?

Tonight, I shall ask polina for her hand in marriage and by week's end, we'll be off to Paris to prepare for the wedding.

Tonight?

Congratulations.

And you're sure she'll accept?

I have 500,000 reasons that say she will.

500,000.

That's a lot of reasons.

The lovely polina has expensive tastes.

(Alex) Adam thought he had gotten over polina.

But the imminence of her betrothal made one thing abundantly clear.

It was time to start pondering again.

How does one choose between 2 women that one loves so dearly?

One pulls one's head out of one's ass and realizes the obvious.

What we have is substantial.

[Birds chirping]

When you lie in bed at night, is that what you dream of, something substantial?

Or do you dream of glamour, excitement, a life of adventure?

Dreams are often only that.

Excuse me?

I am just saying our love is based on something real.

It's based on caring, understanding, mutual respect.

You left out that you gave him the wildest, most passionate sex he's ever experienced.

Oh, wait. That was me.

(Alex) he was wracked with confusion.

For the first time in his life he understood the true meaning of the expressions, "horns of a dilemma" and "between a rock and a hard place."

Although the concept of "paying through the nose" had always tormented him.

How does the money get in the nose in the first place?

Once in, is it pulled out by hand or is a sneeze involved?

And who would accept such a transaction?

Burning questions all, but he had bigger fish to fry.

What do you have to think about?

I'm here.

I'm in love with you and she's not even available.

I could be.

Yes, for $500,000 which you don't have.

A small obstacle for a great man.

A small obstacle for a great life.

I need money.

(Emma) oh, no!

Good. that's exactly the reaction I want.

I want the reader to be surprised.

Do you want the reader to hit you over the head with the book?

Think like a writer. There's more to play with here.

Where does he get the money?

You got the ticking clock with Shaw's proposal and you still don't know who he's going to wind up with.

If he makes a play for polina and loses, Anna would have to be an idiot to take him back.

I don't know.

The human heart, it's an ethereal web of contradicting emotions. Hmm, impossible to decipher in all its complexity.

Yeah, an idiot.

Ok, good. Can we, uh...

Although his feelings for Anna were undeniable, his feelings for polina were slightly more undeniable.

♪[Band playing]

(Alex) in the course of the summer on Saint Charles, he had made many acquaintances, some more savory than others.

Do you dance the flamenco?

Well, I, uh...

Because real men dance the flamenco.

Are we loaning money to a real man?

I have been known to flick a castanet on occasion, yeah.

(All) prove it!

[Shoes squeaking]

Stay with me, boys.

He's good.

The interest is 200 percent.

We give you $5,000.

In one year, you pay us $15,000.

200 percent? That's outrageous!

Senoyou are a desperate man.

You're dancing the flamenco to get money.

This is not a strong bargaining position.

200 percent. I can't!

200 percent.

You're thieves.

Take it or leave it.

Ok, 200 percent.

Fine.

You pay us back in one year or we kill you.

I have $5,000.

Will the casino remove its limit for me tonight?

[Whispering]

As you wish, monsieur.

[Speaking French]

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

(Alex) for Adam, the moment had come.

He knew this time it would be different, and it was.

[Croupier speaking French]

Yes!

[People cheering]

Yeah!

[People cheering]

[Croupier speaking French]

[People cheering]

[Croupier speaking French]

[All chattering]

[Whispering]

The management has asked me whether you might be willing to retire for the evening?

One more bet.

My entire stake, $320,000, on black.

[All exclaiming]

Ok.

Very wellmonsieur.

(Alex) one more win and polina would be his.

There are times in life when for no apparent reason an unexplained sense of well-being comes over you.

You're at one with the universe.

You know exactly who you are, and your place in the world is secure.

For Adam, that sense of ultimate bliss was destroyed by 2 words.

[Croupier speaking French]

(Croupier) 36, red.

(Alex) just like that, it was all gone.

His money, his future with polina, and Adam was convinced, his life.

[People chattering]

[Kettle whistling] Please don't tell me he's gonna go running back to Anna.

I don't know.

Again, you don't know.

[Knocking on door]

I'll get it.

(Alex) who the hell could that be?

It's a lady.

[Speaking Spanish]

I hope we're not disturbing you, baby.

As a matter of fact, you are.

Oh!

It's a figure of speech.

How are you doing, boys? I like those shirts.

You've got a bat.

We're here for a reminder.

Wait a second. I got one more day. I'm almost done.

No--no, it's good. We help you to finish.

What are you doing?

[Gasping]

Jesus!

[Gasping]

No distractions.

Come on, that's my t.V.! What--what are you guys--

[speaking Spanish]

This is...

It's good. You finish the book.

You get the money. You buy a flat screen.

Better picture, man.

24 hours, chico.

Not 25.

[Speaking Spanish]

Bye, lady.

Oh, my god.

Are you ok?

Oh, my god! Are you all right?

Oh, my god! Should we call the cops?

I--i don't think that's a very good idea.

L-let's just finish the book. They'll get their money.

Everything will be fine.

(Sighs) wait a minute.

Those are the flamenco dancers, aren't they?

You borrowed money to gamble? Are you out of your mind?

Yeah, at the time, yes.

So is everything in this book true?

No. I mean, there are things I take from real life that work for the story.

Who else is gonna show up? Do you have some sick grandmother who'll come rolling in here and drop dead?

No. is there really a polina?

Look, Emma, the next time dimwit and lowboy come back here, they're not just gonna be smashing telephones and t.V.'S, you know.

So, please, let--let's just try and finish.

There are banks, you know.

Yes, I know.

If you want to take a break, I understand.

No, I'm fine. Ok.

You're the one they want to kill.

Way to bounce back. Here we go.

As Adam walked to... no.

As Adam wandered the streets of Saint Charles like a man who had not only lost all his money, but all sense of who he was...

He found himself lying under the boardwalk, next to an old seagull.

He stared vacantly into the gull's eyes and finally drifted off...

[Grunts]

Alex?

Alex?

How you doing?

Were you sleeping or just thinking?

I was sleep-thinking.

Maybe we should take a break.

No. we've got to keep going.

Alex, if we just get a couple hours of sleep, then we can make the final push.

Ok. 2 hours.

I'm gonna sleep here on the couch.

You take the bed. Set the alarm while you're up there.

No, you should sleep in the bed.

I'll be fine on the couch.

Look at you. You can't get any rest like that.

Well, neither would you, so...

All right, we'll both sleep in the bed.

You sure? Yeah.

Ok.

So you want to sleep together.

You're right.

You should sleep on the couch.

No, I'm saying it's a rarely used meaning of the term

"sleep together" where there's actual sleep involved with snoring, rem cycles and all that.

That's all I meant.

I'm setting the alarm.

Good night.

Can you say good night if you're only sleeping for 2 hours?

Good night.

Apparently you can.

[Sighs]

Good night.

[Exhales]

So, what's his name?

What?

What's his name?

Who?

Your fiance.

I thought we were trying to get some sleep.

I just want to know what his name is.

It's art.

Art greco.

Art greco?

Mmm-hmm.

Art greco, the discount dentist?

What?

The guy on all the buses?

Oh.

Yeah.

Yeah. huh.

He must be good because you've got excellent teeth.

Alex.

Wait a minute. I mean...

Maybe I'm being presumptuous here.

I mean, just because he's your fiance and a dentist doesn't automatically make him your dentist.

Maybe it's one of those conflict of interest things like a doctor that won't operate on his own family.

On the other hand, drilling a tooth isn't exactly surgery, although they do call it oral surgery. So, I suppose-- all right, I lied!

I don't have a boyfriend, i don't have a fiance.

I'm not getting married.

But art greco is your dentist.

I'm sorry.

But if you met you the way I met you, what would you have done?

I probably would have turned around and walked out.

I'm glad you didn't, though.

Me, too.

I'm also glad you don't have a boyfriend.

Me, too.

[Birds chirping]

(Alex) he awoke early the next morning to find the seagull sitting on his chest.

As the early morning mist on the beach and the one in his mind started to clear, his thoughts turned once more to polina.

Alex.

Yes?

Is there a polina?

What do you mean?

In real life.

[Sighing]

No. not really, you know.

She's an amalgam.

An amalgam?

Yeah. she's a combination of a lot of women I've known.

You've been with a lot of women like her?

No. you know, you meet people like that. They run in a fast crowd.

You've been in these fast crowds?

No. you know what I mean. You...

You read about them.

They're always running off to be with that guy on a boat or this guy on a private plane. And...

She's an amalgam.

(Alex) Adam went to find polina hoping against hope there was still a chance for him.

How much did you lose?

Everything. but I can win it back.

Would you be a dear and hand me that pumice stone?

Look...

Ahem. polina, I know it's a cliche...

[Clearing throat] A cliche to say that the best things in life are free and that money can't buy love, but that's how they become cliches, because they're true.

I--i mean, shouldn't love trump everything?

If only we lived in a world of shoulds.

We can.

No, we should. But we can't.

Polina.

Please don't deny yourself real happiness.

I'll try not to.

Could you hand me that robe over there?

[Sighing]

Oh!

Adam, there were times i just adored you.

(Alex) with the vacation coming to a close and with the pieces of his heart scattered by the summer winds of Saint Charles, Adam sought solace in the one person who had always been there for him.

She was a modern woman.

She would understand if he spoke from his heart.

He was certain she would take him back.

I don't suppose there's any chance you might-- no.

Because I went off-- yeah.

So even if I was to come-- no.

Because I've shown myself to be-- exactly.

Ok. so I'll just go-- yeah.

[Ship horn blowing]

[People chattering]

(Alex) for the first time in his life he truly understood the expression:

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Not to mention, "never bite off more than you can chew."

"Paying through the nose," on the other hand, continued to present problems.

[Horn blowing]

The end.

He ends up alone.

You think it's too sad?

It's the only way it can be.

He obviously never had a chance with polina, and Anna, who was a real possible, as soon as he felt himself getting close to her, he ran for the hills.

It's a classic case of fear of intimacy.

Yeah.

Your other book was about that, too, wasn't it?

No, that was about fear of commitment.

Oh.

Yeah. right.

Ok.

Well, it's a funny book.

And it's sad.

And it makes me feel for everyone in it, and you did it in 29-and-a-half days.

You should feel very good.

Yeah. so, where are you going?

I have 3 days of transcription to do.

We only have 6 hours until the Cuban invasion.

Do you really think it's good?

I think it's very good.

Thank you, Emma.

You're welcome.

Emma?

[Sighing]

I, uh...

You know...

I, uh...

I "uh" you, too.

Bye.

Hey, taxi!

Hey!

Merci, monsieur. Keep the change.

No.

[Ringing]

Hello.

[Static crackling]

Hello?

Polina?

Hi.

Hi.

[Clears throat]

You look good.

You, too.

Mmm.

So, how you been?

[Chuckles]

I left John.

Really?

[Sighs]

What can I say?

I shouldn't have gone with him in the first place.

No, you were looking out for your children.

That's my problem.

I never think of my own happiness.

You should have knocked me out, tied me up.

Taken me away with you.


Thank you.

Deep down, I always knew you were the one.

[People chattering]

Alex?

Alex?

Are you seeing anyone?

When I saw you on that dock, you were like something out of a fairy tale.

Mmm, Alex.

No, really, i became intoxicated like somebody had slipped something into the air.

(Emma) all done.

Emma?

Uh, i--i--i didn't know you'd be finished so soon.

I mean, I was just on my way back.

It's ok, I found you.

[Car honking]

Emma, this is polina. Polina, this is Emma.

She's my stenographer.

I just finished dictating my novel to her.

She did an amazing job.

I have to go.

It was very nice to meet you, polina.

I've heard so much about you.

I'll be right back.

Ahem. Emma.

I didn't know she was coming.

I thought she was-- don't, Alex!

Please! 'cause you know what happens with these things.

Somebody always says something to try to make the other person feel better, but it never does, so if you could just not say anything!

Your stenographer?

You introduced me as your stenographer?

I--i--i didn't know what to say.

I--i didn't want to hurt either one of you.

No, Alex.

Who you didn't want to hurt was you.

Emma.

Wait a sec.

You know what i can't figure out?

What's it gonna be, sweetheart?

Yeah, one second.

I can't figure out what's worse, having to know every single detail about your desperate love for some other woman or having to know that you obviously never came close to feeling the same way about me.

Goodbye, Alex.

[Bus pulling away]

She's not just your stenographer.

No.

Is she your girlfriend?

Not anymore.

Come with me tonight.

There's a darling little charity ball at the ritz. Landmines, I think.

No, I don't think I can-- hey, it's perfect. You finished your novel.

We can leave for Paris in the morning.

It's beautiful this time of year, and the kids would love to see you.

I'll take you to giverny.

Have you ever seen the water lilies?

They're magical.

Polina, have you ever done your own laundry?

What?

Nothing.

(Wirschafter) you should have a gun to your head more often.

You like it? You kidding me?

Usually an author falls on his ass with his 2nd effort.

This is terrific.

Ok!

Here you go. Just like you requested.

$25,000 made out to you and $100,000 made out to...

Now, is it "Cuban mafia" or "the Cuban mafia"?

I'm kidding, cash.

So...

What do you think of the ending?

I like it. It's bittersweet.

Yeah.

[Dog barking]

[Phone ringing]

(Emma) hi, I can't come to the phone right now.

Please leave a message.

[Beeping]

(Alex) Emma, it's me.

If you're there, please pick up.

I'm not just calling to make you feel better.

I really need to talk to you.

Please give me a call.

[Clicking]

Can we talk?

Oh!

Did the fact that you called 17 times last night with no response from me send any kind of signal to you?

Yeah. I mean, I'm not an idiot.

I figured you wanted to talk to me, but your machine was broken.

Emma, w-wait a second. Emma, wait.

Look, I...

I think I'm in love with you.

I think I couldn't care less.

Emma, please, just--

(male announcer on t.V.) He screwed up big-time with his wife's cousin!

I did not start this whole thing.

(Announcer) he tells one version.

She was telling me the whole time that my wife was cheating on me.

(Announcer) she tells another.

(Woman) that's not how it happened. No. No, it's not.

Maybe my life is not so bad.

[Phone ringing]

(Announcer) his wife-- hello?

Emma?

Alex, if you keep this up--

I have your check.

I could bring it over if you want.

Because you worked so many extra hours I added in up-- send it to me.

I need to talk to you about the book.

No.

Look, the ending is not right. My editors think it's fine.

You're the only one i can talk to about it.

I'm not gonna do this, Alex.

I think Adam should end up with Anna.

I don't think so.

There are some things that are nothing more than what they are.

They're not meant to last.

They take their place in your heart and make you a little smarter the next time.

Emma.

If you care for me as much as you say you do, then please respect my feelings and let's move on with our lives, ok.

Ok?

Ok.

Good night, Emma.

Goodbye, Alex.

[Phone clicks]

[Dial tone buzzing]

[People chattering]

[Elevator bell dings]

[Keyboard clicking]

[Phone ringing]

Can I help you?

Well, I'm here for a deposition.

Is there a Mr. Taylor?

Ah, yes.

We've been expecting you. If you could just take a seat.

Your stenographer is here.

Yes, I'll tell her.

Someone will be with you in just a moment.

[Door opening]

Good morning.

I'm Marty Van buren. Won't you come in?

Yes.

Just follow me.

Jenny, uh, could you get me that deposition on the McKinley case?

Right away.

Great.

Ok, why don't you just, uh, go in here and set up and, uh, Zack Taylor will be with you in a minute.

Thank you.

[People chattering]

[Door opening]

Oh, Jesus!

Welcome to polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce & Van buren.

I take it you met Marty.

What is this?

He's actually my publisher. These are his offices.

He charged me an arm and a leg for all the new lettering, but the role-playing was free.

What do you want from me?

I told you. I wanna change the ending of the book 'cause, you know, some people, they go right to the last page. So, it's important--

I think you should get someone else to do this.

Look, there's no one else that I trust.

You're the only one who'll know if it's real, if it's honest.

Alex.

It's only a couple of pages. Emma, please.

Oh.

[Sighs]

Adam returned to andover filled with the dizzying emotions of the summer on Saint Charles.

Emotions that he hoped he could capture on paper.

When his thoughts turned to polina, it was as if she were some kind of dream.

I can't do this.

Please, Emma. Just keep typing.

Please.

He remembered her flawless skin, her dark, intense eyes, her captivating smile.

Then one day, that dream walked back into his life.

Her beauty was still undeniable.

Why are you doing this to me?

Because I need you to understand.

Just let me finish, Emma. Then you can walk out the door, and I swear I'll never bother you again.

Her beauty was still undeniable, but it wasn't the same.

As she spoke of her feelings for him, all he could think of was Anna.

Sweet, caring, beautiful Anna, and how his own failings had driven her away.

Anna had become part of him.

He had fallen so completely in love with her that it was hopeless to think he could ever be with anyone else.

And so he said goodbye to polina and set off to win back the heart of his true love.

Yes, polina had been a dream, like a creation from one of his stories, but Anna was real.

And for the first time in his life that felt more powerful than anything he could ever invent.

The end.

Nice last sentence.

I'm just a writer, Emma.

I don't know what to do to show you how much I love you. I only have words.

That's all I have.

Maybe I was wrong.

About what?

Maybe you can catch the rabbit.

♪ What did you say? ♪

♪ I know I saw you singing ♪

♪ my ears won't stop ringing ♪

♪ long enough to hear those sweet words ♪

♪ what did you say? ♪

♪ Another day ♪

♪ the hour hand has spun ♪

♪ before the night is done ♪

♪ I just have to hear those sweet words ♪

♪ spoken like a melody ♪

♪ all your love ♪

♪ is a lost balloon ♪

♪ rising up through ♪

♪ the afternoon ♪

♪ till if it could fit on a head of a pin ♪

♪ come on in ♪

♪ did you have a hard time sleeping? ♪

♪ 'Cause a heavy moon ♪

♪ was keeping me awake ♪

♪ and all I know is ♪

♪ I'm just glad to see you again ♪


♪ see, now love ♪

♪ like a lost balloon ♪

♪ rising up through ♪

♪ the afternoon ♪

♪ and then ♪

♪ you appear ♪

♪ what did you say? ♪

♪ I know I saw you singing ♪

♪ but my ears won't stop ringing ♪

♪ long enough to hear those sweet words ♪

♪ and you're simple melody ♪

♪ I just have to hear those sweet words ♪

♪ spoken like a melody ♪

♪ I just wanna hear those sweet words ♪