At Middleton (2013) Script

♪ I head east towards the city ♪

♪ And when the sun goes down ♪

♪ I'm heading home again ♪

♪ The city lights have left me empty ♪

♪ They've replaced the stars ♪

♪ That used to shine so bright ♪

♪ But I will smile ♪

♪ And I'll keep you close ♪

♪ And when the sun breaks ♪

♪ In the morning... ♪

It's a fanfare.

It's great... arrival music.

It's "Fanfare for a Son"... a classic.

Dad, I caved on the shirt. I'm not wearing the tie.

A young man in a tie makes a statement.

What, that my father dresses me in the morning?

Nobody wears ties to these things.

What?

Without the tie, we're having the sex talk.

Oh, my God.

I need a six-letter word for llama.

Llama? Yeah.

Vicuña.

How could you possibly know that?

Give me another one.

Okay, um, feckless.

What's another word for feckless?

Feckless? Yeah.

Honey, feckless is the other word.

Come on, it's nine letters.

♪ It's getting cold out on that big lake ♪

♪ And the water's painted blue ♪

♪ Don't let the skyline fool you, baby... ♪ Mom. Yeah?

You just missed the turn. No, I didn't.

You looked right at the sign that said "Middleton Campus Not This Way."

I don't know what you're talking about.

What is wrong with you? You're gonna make me late.

It's pointless!

What's pointless?

The goddamn nine-letter word for feckless.

Pointless.

Right?

Look, Con rad, I know that Middleton is not at the top of your list, but just give it a chance.

Sometimes a place can surprise you.

I'm surprised no one's wearing a tie.

Can't you just park head in, like most every other driver on the planet?

I've told you before, you have much better visibility when you're exiting a parking space...

Dad, you just got parked.

Hi. Excuse me.

Excuse me.

Excuse me. Hi. Good morning.

Hi. Good morning.

Uh, you took my spot.

I thought you were pulling into that one.

No, I was gonna back... you know, I was going to go like... and then come in and back into this one like that.

Ah, you're one of those.

What does that mean? Look, it's a parking lot.

There's a space. Celebrate.

Celebrate?

Of course a guy who wears a bow tie would back into a parking space.

Morn, just let it go.

Celebrate.

I bet you he irons his underwear.

I bet you he waits 30 minutes after eating before swimming.

You know fuming is feckless, right?

Yeah, and I bet you he made his boy wear that tie.

Oh, my God, let's go!

Of course she drives an X5 with 40-inch wheels because we all know how treacherous these paved roads can be.

She had Colorado plates.

Yeah, well, God save the grizzlies.

All right, hey, everybody.

Gather round. Here we go.

Hope everybody had a good drive in, 10:00 tour.

Okay, welcome to Meet Middleton!

First, let's meet Justin. Hi.

That's me. I'm Justin. Great to meet you guys.

Hi, Justin. I'll be taking you around today.

Let's just pass these bad boys out... a little brochure, a map of the campus, know where we're going.

Thank you. Okay, cool.

A couple things about me... I'm a junior at the college and a double major in music and horticulture... unfortunately known as a dingleberry.

Thank you.

Um, we're gonna take a two-hour tour, after which we'll break for lunch.

And then we're gonna have a pretty exciting thing.

You're gonna meet the faculty member from the department of your choice.

And by the time the afternoon bell sounds...

you'll have fallen in love.

I guarantee it.

Well, all right, so let's get this little tour bus on the road, you rock stars.

Come on! Let's get going.

They have a planetarium. It's an observatory.

It's an observatory, chief. A fun fact about the walkway we're currently on... it was built by a thousand children in 1842.

What a waste of a perfectly beautiful tie.

Tell me about it. I'm just kidding. Just 100...

Lovely day. Let's go over here.

Come on in. Come on in. Don't be shy.

It's just me.

Now, the college, which is situated on just over 100 breathtaking acres, was founded in 1887 by Lowndes Pope Middleton, who as a young man made a fortune in whale blubber before finding his true calling in education and philanthropy.

Now, his bronze likeness once stood upon this pedestal, but fell prey to some bandits in the late 1960s.

Why didn't they replace him?

Well, you know, these boots have sort of become a living metaphor for the mission of Middleton.

Have you had any deaths on campus?

You'd be surprised. There are a lot of deaths.

I'm just kidding. There's... no.

Very, very safe here.

We have a security team of students. They're volunteers.

They're constantly patrolling. We give them small nightsticks.

And they make sure everybody sort of stays in order.

It's a good system.

I see the toe of the boot is fairly worn out.

Is that a tradition... to rub the toes there?

It is. It is. Thank you for bringing that up.

Before an important day or test or something, you're supposed to kiss the boot.

Any rapes? Oh, my God.

A lot of rapes. But that's typical at college, you know.

That's what you're getting into.

Yeah. So it's a fantastic tradition.

I need a coffee. You had two cups in the car.

Do you want one? Can I get you one? No.

Cool. Any more questions? Love questions.

They're not even gonna notice I'm gone, okay?

Excuse me. Our next stop on the tour is gonna be the Pope Library.

Now this thing is brand-spanking-new, so you're gonna be pretty impressed.

Okay? Just remember, don't smudge the glass.

It's the hospital. I'll see you in the library.

All right. And wipe those boots before entering.

Come on, you rascals.

We're having fun. We're having fun.

Say it.

Hello. Yes. Dr. Hartman.

Yes. Hello?

Yes, Dr. Ha... hello? Hello?

Unbelievable.

One of those, please.

Make it two.

I hear they keep the doctor away.

I talked... doctor... but... when... George, are you...

The connection... George?

George? Hey.

George, are you the...?

Can't hear... you there?

George, I'm dying. Help me.

Larry, are you there? Larry.

George, you still there? Yeah, I got you.

George? Listen, Larry, there's nothing to worry about, okay?

You're in good hands. I need you to relax.

Call me anytime, all right? Larry? Larry?

These things are so feckless, don't you think?

Excuse me?

These tours.

Feckless? Mm-hmm.

Let me guess... you're a high school English teacher.

Wrong. How about you?

Wait, let me guess. Let me guess.

Are you a Brooks Brothers model?

I'm a cardiac surgeon. I was speaking with a patient.

Mm, so you can fix a heart over the phone?

Depends on the data plan.

Well, is he gonna make it?

I'm not sure.

Oh.

George Hartman.

Oh.

What?

Heart man?

Oh, yes. Well, what can I say? I like things neat.

I'm Edith Martin.

Edith? Oh.

Oh, I know, I know, but it's gonna make a comeback.

Just wait and see.

Excuse me.

Do you know where the Pope Library is?

Yeah.

It's the building next to the building behind that building.

So next to the thing?

Exactly.

43 grand a year and that's the best they can do?

You made your boy put on that tie, didn't you?

You mean the waste of a tie.

Well, it's obvious he doesn't want to wear it.

I was just trying to be encouraging.

Well, your girl seemed very determined.

Audrey. Yeah, I named her after Audrey Hepburn, but it was a serious miscalculation. I should have named her Benito.

A smartphone fascist? Right?

Oh, my God.

If Audrey had to give up either her phone or a kidney, she'd be on dialysis, I'm sure of it.

So is Middleton your first stop?

No, it's our only stop.

Yeah, I couldn't get her to look anyplace else.

My husband was supposed to chaperone, but... he couldn't get off of work.

I told my wife that...

I wouldn't miss this for the world.

I think it's a little slice of heaven.

Middleton?

Yes, Middleton.

Eh, a little small for my taste.

We all like books here a lot at Middleton.

We're big fans of books.

Our library, the Pope Library, has on hand over 200,000 volumes of books as well as a huge collection of rare books.

It's not small. It's intimate is what it is.

God, these things are like a dog and pony show.

They give your child no idea whatsoever what it would be like to actually go here.

It's just a day.

Books are like the magazines of the gods. Am I right?

Sometimes a day can be an eternity.

Particularly if you're in the company of a man who backs into a parking space. It's a good place to come and study.

There's actually a floor upstairs that you're required to be quiet.

These tours are like a first date.

She's smart. She's pretty. She smells good.

Maybe you'll try to stick your hand up her shirt.

Shh!

My favorite is "Cat Fancy" and "Dog Fancy,"

"House and Garden," "Botanist's Weekly,"

"Architectural Digest"... a whole array of stuff.

A lot of good magazines here.

I'm just always trying to keep up.

Now, this is pretty exciting... currently we have on loan from the British Library a manuscript from renowned poet and author Charles Dodgson.

Now, Dodgson didn't write under his real name.

Lewis Carroll.

Very good. Very nice.

Um, Carroll's masterwork

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"... that's gonna be here till the end of the month, so we're very excited.

Excuse me.

I find it extraordinary that Lewis Carroll's masterwork would be available to such a small college.

I think it's incredible. I do.

But, you know, a lot of really cool stuff happens here.

Um, this past weekend Snatches of Pink played a free concert on the quad.

Justin. Hmm?

On a scale of one to 10, could you rate the effect on your life respectively of the visiting manuscript versus the Snatches of Pink concert?

The Snatches were tight.

The Snatches were tight, George.

So let's... Tight.

Hey, let's float on over to this residence hall.

Ooh, speaking of floating... I know what that means.

Just up the stairs and, ironically, it's just past the Ps.

All righty, so come on.

This dorm we're gonna go see... it's actually named after the fourth of Middleton's seven illegitimate children.

Osborne. You're killing it.

You're on fire.

She's the one to beat, you guys. Uh-oh.

Seven children from seven women... hey, Middleton was no Moby Dick.

Hey. Hey.

I am on fire right now. This woman's driving me crazy... completely loony.

You look very handsome.

A little pinch in there and we'll be all set.

What do you think of it so far?

Of what? Middleton.

It's small.

It's not small. It's intimate.

Why are you cramming this place down my throat?

Who's cramming?

Can't you just let me figure it out myself?

How are you gonna figure it out with this kind of feckless approach?

Feckless? Feckless.

That would be "not tight" to you.

Dad, please don't say "tight."

Where are you going?

I'm going to figure it out myself.


I think he's rounding second.

Hey. How are you?

You think they're freshmen?

Yeah.

Carry on. Carry on.

You know, it's not polite to stare.

I'm not staring. Oh, you were a statue.

How long were you there? Just long enough to catch you staring.

What are you doing up here? Going to the bathroom.

Is that your story? Because my money's on you followed me.

I did no such thing. Of course you did.

Yeah, I could easily say that you came up here so I would follow you.

You could. And you'd be wrong.

Excuse me. Hey. I'm trying to write a paper here.

You know, this is a library.

I'm sorry. We're being rude.

What paper are you working on?

You wouldn't be interested. Give it a shot. I might surprise you.

What have you got there? Hemingway? Steinbeck?

That's cute. "Images of Sexual Alienation As They Relate to the Monkey Garden in 'The House on Mango Street."

I got nothing for you. Good luck.

What, you guys get separated from the tour?

Yeah.

Dingle-berry? Yeah.

You're better off on your own.

Thank you.

Okay, I did follow you.

Ha! Why?

I wanted to apologize. For what?

For being that guy. Oh.

Oh, pshh. You're not really that guy.

I mean, your son thinks you're that guy.

But trust me, you're definitely not that guy.

Monkey Garden back there will grow up to be that guy.

Anyway, apology accepted.

Thank you.

Where do you suppose they are?

Well... uh, library.

According to the schedule, Osborne Hall.

Yeah?

Is Osborne Hall... Is where? around here?

Oh, it's in the building next to the building behind that building.

Osborne Hall, which is where I'm going.

Okay, let me guess... you sell... antiques.

Hmm.

Gardening equipment. Mm.

Antique gardening equipment.

Children's furniture. Really?

High-end children's furniture.

And what constitutes high-end children's furniture?

It being in my store.

How about you?

So you fix broken hearts. Do you have any other children?

No. You?

No, Audrey's all we can handle.

I thought they would be here.

Yeah.

Hello?

Up in this building... Hi. Where are you?

Where are you? I thought you said we were gonna do this together.

Well, yeah, that's what I thought, until it became obvious I've become some endless well of embarrassment for you.

You know how important this day is to me.

Why are you doing this?

I don't know. I don't know what you're talking about.

"How many people have been killed at Middleton?"

Oh, come on.

You're indicting me for being a caring parent?

No, I'm indicting the succubus that body-snatched your soul and is walking around in your clothes today.

She just called me a succubus.

Succubus? Listen to me, Audrey.

Okay... No, Mom, you listen.

This is the beginning of my Middleton experience.

And I'm not gonna let you ruin it.

I'm going here. I'm gonna study with Emerson.

And you know what else? I'm gonna finish.

Okay, what does that mean?

It means that I won't have to settle for selling furniture the rest of my life.

Ooh!

I can't. I can't. No.

Oh, God.

Okay, you know what?

I'd say that you're behaving like a five-letter word that means "female dog."

Okay.

So, listen, when I was in the library, I happened to run into the dean of students who just volunteered to give George and me a personal tour of the campus. What?

Dean Pruitt? Yeah, in the flesh.

But what we're seeing isn't on the regular tour, no.

You get to meet Middleton. We get to feel her up.

Really? Really.

So take your personal space.

Enjoy the cookie-cutter tour with the Dingleberry.

And, you know, call me when you need a ride home.

That was very impressive. What?

The way you so convincingly lied to your daughter.

Yeah? I'm not even warmed up.

Okay, guys, I can't help it.

At this point, I've just got to tell you some really great things about Middleton...

Hi. Oh, hey. What's going on?

Audrey Martin. Hi. Conrad Hartman.

Parking lot earlier.

Yeah, I remember. Yeah. Yeah.

Nice to meet you. You as well.

So where is your mom?

Um, who cares?

What do you mean?

She seems pretty cool, for a mom.

Why didn't your morn make the trip?

You know, this is Dad's thing.

And Dad's thing's really Mom's thing.

I guess he wanted it to be some kind of bonding experience, but I'm totally not feeling it.

It just seems all so feckless.

You said "feckless."

Yeah, feckless.

Yeah.

You know, maybe Monkey Garden is right.

Maybe we'd do better on our own.

Are you advocating tour hooky?

Yep. What do I tell Conrad?

Oh, you know, I don't know. Just give him some space.

You know? Let him loosen his tie.

But this visit was my idea.

He's gonna think I flaked out on him. He doesn't even have lunch money.

I don't think so.

You know, they're probably in class. Look, we'll bring them right back.

No. This is fate.

This is theft, Edith.

When was the last time you rode a bike, George?

Yeah, my point exactly.

Now get on.

According to the Dingleberry, we have a little over 100 breathtaking acres at our disposal.

You know? We need the speed.

Come on. We'll bring 'em right back.

Come on, Hartman!

Get the stick out of your ass!

Hey.

All right.

12. What?

Last time I rode a bike, I was 12.

Are you sure you're okay, George?

You strike me as a helmet-wearing kind of guy.

Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!

I think I lost a testicle.


Oh.


Wow!

Oh...

You okay?

Yeah. Just give me a second.

Unbelievable.

Look, you can see the entire campus.

You can see the town. Yeah. Yeah.

You can see the one car parked backwards.

Yeah. Yeah.

Get over here. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah.

Did you read up ever on this bell tower?

Hmm? No.

Yeah, there's a legend of the bell tower.

I saw it here in the... oh, here it is.

Edith, Edith, don't do that.

Don't lean over like that.

Says here the tower was completed in 1917, the year that the United States entered the First World War.

More than 150 Middleton students enlisted for military service. Hmm.

And there was a young woman by the name of... a freshman, name of Matilda Reynolds, whose boyfriend, Seymour Sternshine, was among the newly minted doughboys.

Upon his departure, she ascended the steps of this very tower and stood in the east window, facing Europe, of course, yeah, where she silently pledged her eternal love to him, vowing that she would rise into the tower at the same time each day until he returned safely from the war.

Aww. Young love.

And what happened?

What happened?

It says... oh.

Seymour was killed.

Yeah, he was killed by... by a stampede of rogue swine in the Loire Valley that also claimed the lives of almost all of his platoon except for his young brother, Ernest Sternshine, who was the bugle man who lived to tell the story.

Apparently the high C notes drove off the rogue swine... the very sensitive ears that their swine have.

Seymour Sternshine.

All right, so I have a little trouble playing poker in a brightly lit room.

Come over here.

Come over here. You can't miss this.

No, I'm good. There's a nice breeze here.

Huh?

A nice breeze here. Come here.

No. Yes.

Yeah? Yeah.

You're afraid of heights? "Afraid" is a strong word.

Let's just say I try to organize my life in such a way where heights don't really play into the equation.

So you will open up a person's chest with a very sharp knife, but you won't stand over here by this railing?

It's a little more complicated than that, but pretty much, yeah.

No. Come on. I will... I'll help you.

No, listen... I'll help you.

I will take care of you. I promise. I'll take care of you.

Edith. Come on.

Edith, I can't go over there. You can.

No, I can't. I'll help you.

No, I can't go over there. Yes, you can.

Listen to me very carefully. I'll help you.

Edith. Edith. Come on. Come on, George.

I can't go over there. Yes, you can.

Come on.

Come on.

You can't miss this.

Okay, I saw a bird.

I saw a bird.

Edith.

Ahh.

Mm. Thank you.

Open your eyes. Oh.

Open your eyes.

Open your eyes.

Oh, my God. Open your eyes.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

I am starting to get Middleton as intimate.

Oh! No. Really?

So this is the church of Santos Dominicus Ignatius Aloysius and my favorite thing about this place is the reverberation.

Sometimes I just come in here and I sing.

♪ Amen. ♪ You know?

♪ Jesus. ♪ Stuff like that.

So I'm not a religious person, but I find it very powerful, so I come here on the tours.

Just halfway through.

We can just take a break and, yeah, have a seat.

If... if, you know, you feel like prayer, pray.

And if you feel just like cooling off, taking a break, it's fine to do that.

Just take a deep breath.

♪ Hallelujah. ♪

It's so small.

Compared to what?

On the virtual tour, it seemed bigger.

Well, there's always Princeton.

And what does that mean?

It just doesn't seem that you like this place very much.

Well, that's because I love this place.

Why?

Roland Emerson.

I hear he only works with upperclassmen.

What? That's bullshit.

Sit back, please.

He's one of the premier linguistic scholars in the country.

And?

And linguistics is the perfect foundation for any number of careers.

Like? Like law, business.

So what are you gonna study?

I'm just keeping my options open.

Hmm.

Yeah, yeah, that's a really strong department.

I'm just saying.

Whew.

How come this... they put a bench in front of a tree?

It blocks the view.

Well... What was here first?

The tree was here first, judging by the girth.

See that boy over there? Mm-hmm.

Ronald.

He is from Battle Creek, Michigan. Mm-hmm.

He will try, but fail to discover the cure for restless leg syndrome.

That one over there.

Oh, that's either Adonis or Samson, right?

One of the two.

He majors in geology and... see how he's looking up?

Astronomy. Uh-huh.

Which makes him, of course, a rock star.

Oh.

Oh.

And of course he'll forego the sciences to write a...

very successful novel entitled "My Life As a Spirochete."

You know what that is?

Any relation to a parakeet?

Well, it's a parakeet that spied in the Spanish-American War.

My turn.

Give me one.

The young girl there.

Ah, that is Tessa.

Tessa has just learned from her parents that her Rhodesian Ridgeback named Hedwig has croaked.

He's... he's movedomorg.

And she's just trying to consolidate her grief into, like, 40 characters so that she could tweet her sadness to the world.

Yeah, and she will.

How about that guy?

With the suit? Yep.

That's Georgie. Mm-hmm.

Georgie is enormously bright, but is hampered by the little brother complex.

He always wants to make his father proud.

He will marry the first woman he falls in love with.

And he will go on to a long and distinguished, but...

somewhat unfulfilling career as a surgeon.

I detect a sadness in Georgie.

No, it's not sadness. He has enormous resolve.

Can I tell you something about Georgie?

No.

I think that... that he has no idea just how special he truly is.

But, you know, that's probably the Dasani talking.

Have some more Dasani.

Come on. Come.

Get the bikes back? Yeah.

Thank you.

Hi. What's your major?

Good-bye.

Come on.

Georgie.

"The Appassionata."

You play?

I play at it. You?

A prodigy.

Prodigy?

Remember, I've seen you lie.

I'm gonna need some confirmation.

Stay.

Oh.

After you.

Age before beauty.


Prodigy.


Okay!

I'm trying to learn the Rachmaninoff's Second, okay?

And "Chopsticks" playing in the background... it makes it feel like you are mocking me.

Okay?

Yeah.

Whew. Yeah.

Rachmaninoff is so hard.

The guy must have had hands the size of trash can lids.

I know.

If I stretch any further, I feel like bones will poke out of my fingertips.

Yeah, these are Bach's hands.

You know? Stay away from the Russians.

You know, enjoy them. Admire their passion.

But, like, don't get obsessed with playing them.

No one's ever said that to me.

Thank you.

You're a lucky man.

Thank you.

Edith. Edith. Edith.

Okay, let's go. Let go. Okay, boy.

Okay, time to practice. Let's go.

Okay, let go. Let go.

Thank you. Good luck.

Come on. Come on. This way.

Campus police is outside looking for the bicycles.

Let's go. But we borrowed them.

No, no, no, I'd rather not have that discussion.

Come on.

Wasn't that nice? Oh, nice, very good. Nice kid.

Oh. Come on. No, George, I mean the duet.

What? It feels good to have a partner.

I think we should walk faster, Edith. Are you happy, George?

Happy? I'd be a lot happier if we don't end up in the pokey.

Pokey?

Oh! Oh!

Come. Come here, come here.

Come on, George, this way. Edith, I can't go up. Edith.

Come on. Yes, you can. Come on.

Negative. No sign of them. Don't look down. Look up.


Now don't get chilly.

Gotta get up and warm up.

Good. Let's go, the last time. Big-time. Go.

Very good. Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-muh-muh.

Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-muh-muh.

This way.

Edith. Edith.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh. Good. Br-r-r-r.

Br-r-r-r.

Again.

All the way.

Good. Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-m uh-m uh.

Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-muh-muh.

Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-m uh-m uh.

Puh-puh-puh, buh-buh-buh, muh-muh-muh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Duh-duh-duh, nuh-nuh-huh, tuh-tuh-tuh.

Good. Take a deep breath. Ahh.

Good. Let's go all the way down.

Get up and take the deep breath.

It helps you to relax.

And exhale in one tone.

Ahh.

Beautiful.

Let's stretch. All the way.

And let me see you move with the sentence.

Shh.

Beautiful. Let's change the legs.

Br-r-r-r. Shake it up.

Br-r-r-r.

Now let's have the last intense sentence.

Go.

Beautiful.

Let's get ready for the scene work.

Hey.

Can I help you?

Hi. Hi.

Hi. Hi.

Hey, class. Wonderful class.

We came in the wrong door.

There are no wrong doors. All the world's a stage.

Not in my world.

Who are you?

We' re... We're... we're... we're...

We're... we got lost... We got lost from the... separated from the tour. Yeah. Yeah.

Oh, Dingleberry.

Hey, can we watch your class for a bit? Do you mind?

I'm sorry, but no one audits my class.

I require full participation.

I'm gonna kill you, Edith.

Sorry, some other time.

Thank you very much. We'll be right down.

Edith. George.

Let's go this way. No, come on.

Edith. Edith. George, let's go.

Edith. George, now.

All right, you guys, I don't want to see any tears, but this concludes the tour portion of the day.

Aww.

I know. I hope it's been fun and informative.

And this is the cafeteria right here to our right.

You know, go in there. Don't have the chowder.

It's pretty nasty.

And I hope you guys can fill out your evaluation forms.

And enjoy the rest of your visit.

Oh, thanks. Thanks. Good job.

Thank you. Hope you give me all fives.

Thanks. All right.

Excuse me. Mm-hmm?

I just have a few questions.

I love questions. Shoot 'em.

Is it true that Roland Emerson won't work with underclassmen?

I'm sorry, what is a Roland Emerson?

He's a person.

The premier linguistics professor in the country.

Roland Emerson. Roland Emerson.

No, I'm just kidding. I know him. He's a big hit here.

Roland and I are like this.

Okay, let me tell you exactly how to peel the Emerson onion.

So.

How did you get out of your shackles?

Wait! What about the onion?

Girlfriend stuff.

I can't wait to fail your evaluation.

Dingleberry.

So how was your day, honey?

It was good. What's for dinner?

I'm leaving you, Gerald.

No, you're not. What's for dinner?

There is no dinner. I'm leaving.

And I won't be talked out of it this time.

No, you're not. No, you're not leaving, come on.

I'm leaving. You're just leaving?

I'm just leaving. That's so silly.

What's silly about it? I'm sorry.

I thought these two were supposed to be married.

That's correct.

No married couple in the history of marriage talks like this.

Yeah, I can't say it was working for me either.

George, Edith, take the stage. No.

Yeah. No.

Yeah. No, it was working fine.

Make it real for us, please.

No.

No, Edith.

Come on. Edith.

Please.

I'm going to give each of you separately an objective which you will attempt to achieve through an improvised dialogue.

Yeah. Let's go. Come on.

Easy enough?

Please have a seat.

So, Edith, why don't you try to get...

And, George... to make Edith to go to bed with you, into bed as soon as possible.

No. No. Give me another objective.

Save it, George. You know the rules.

Remember, just stay in the moment.

Connect to your partner, and it's all good.

No, I understand. No, really, I need another objective.

Give me another one. Come on, George.

You are a successfully married couple.

You know each other from the inside out.

This should be a piece of cake.

Please.

Edith is trying to get George to bake a pie and George is trying to get Edith into bed.

Trust your instincts and follow each other.

Call upon your own experience and emotion as necessary.

Okay?

Please.


Are you happy, George?

Maybe this isn't the right time, Edith.

No, I think it's the perfect time.

If I was happy, would you have to ask?

So we're gonna be honest today?

I've been honest every day of...

of this...

My marriage.

I haven't.

It's probably time I tell the truth.

Go ahead.

Okay.

I am profoundly unhappy.

And I'm lonely.

And lonely.

Let it ring.

Edith, let it ring. You started this.

I want to hear what you have to say. No, you don't want to hear.

You don't want to hear anything that isn't about you, your wants and your needs.

When did you stop loving me?

What?

When did you stop loving me?

Did you ever love me?

Did you ever love me? It's a simple question.

George.

George.

Right.

George. George.

I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry. It's not your fault.

Wow.

Thanks for having us.

Carry on.

Mm, I should probably call him back.

Oh, yeah.

Okay, sure. Ahem.

Hi. Sorry I missed your call. We were in a thing.

Yeah. Oh, it's great. It's a little slice of heaven.

Mm-hmm.

Oh, she loves it, yeah.

I can tell it's gonna be work getting her back in the car.

Did you talk to her yet? Did you...?

Oh, it's beautiful. It's a beautiful campus, you know.

Well, how are you? Yeah?

Uh... Try texting her.

Hi. Yeah.

What? Yeah, mm-hmm.

Just checking in before you left.

We'll see what she says. She hasn't met him yet, but I'm sure...

No, everything-everything's fine.

Conrad is passionately indifferent towards Middleton.

No big surprise.

What? Yeah?

It's beautiful here.

Really beautiful. Okay, we'll just... we'll talk later.

Mm-hmm, okay.

All right. Bye.

Okay, try you later. All right.

Good reception.

Look at that... parents and their children on a college tour eating lunch together.

What a novel idea.

I think it's overrated.

You know, all I wanted was for her to just let me have my day.

She's not the one who's gonna go here. I'm going here.

And all I wanted was for her to shut up and be present.

Is that so much to ask for?

What's the big deal? Just give her a call.

Yeah, but I shouldn't have to give her a call.

Why are you so angry? I'm not angry.

I should eat somewhere else.

Wait. What?

Conrad, I'm sorry.

Okay?

I'm a nice person, I promise.

Look, sometimes I push away people I like.

It's one of my few flaws.

Please?

Yeah, I'll stay.

They have omelets.

Would you excuse me for a moment?

I've got a bladder the size of a ball bearing.

Okay.


Absolutely not.

Do you want me to call your mom?

No.

She's on a private tour with the dean of students.

Can you believe that?

Hi. Yes, I'm Audrey Martin and I'm a rising freshman currently on a tour of Middleton campus.

Um, do you think it would be possible to have a brief word with Dean Pruitt?

It's very important.

Uh-huh.

Yeah. Okay, thank you.


Excuse me. Oh, shit.

Excuse me.

Hey.

How was the tour with the dean of students?

The tour with the dean of students, yes.

It was... it was great. It was great.

We saw some fascinating... have you seen the bell tower yet?

We saw the... we were up into the bell tower.

It's beautiful. And we went into a class.

We went into an acting class and they taught us how to breathe... you know, how the actors breathe.

It was like...

Ahh-hh.

Gotta make a sound like that.

Ahh-hh.

The dean of students is at a conference in Toronto.

Ahh-hh.

It's like...

Excuse me.

Okay, where's my mother?

Uh, she's... planetarium.

She said something about the planetarium.

It's an observatory. Well, yes, exactly... the observatory.

Yeah. I've just been calling it the... planetarium.

Have you seen Conrad? Have you seen Conrad?

Hey. I just ran into your dad.

Was he looking for me? No.

What's up with your mom? I'm tracking her down.

I cannot wait to find her deceitful ass and expose her lie.

What's the rush?

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a now kind of girl.

George.

What are we doing here?

We're having lunch.

Is that what you call it... having lunch?

What do you call it, George?

Just look at me straight in the eye and tell me that we're just having lunch.

I need...

I need some...

I need some ketchup.

Come here. Hey, come on.

Edith, Edith, sit down.

Come on.

What just happened in that acting class?

What was that?

It was two adults making believe. Making believe?

Is that what you call it... making believe?

Well, what do you call it, George?

Well, uh, if you want to know the truth, I'm afraid to give it a name.

Because what I've got swirling in my head right now...

it's scaring me half to death.

I just saw your daughter.

Audrey is here?

No, she's not here.

She's not here because I looked her in the eye and I told her a lie.

What did you say? She wanted to know where you were and I told her you were at the planetarium.

No, I think it's an observatory. Yes, I know. I've heard.

Why did you lie?

Because I don't want our day to end.

Come on, help me out, Edith.

Say something.

What do you want me to say? Say anything.

Tell me that this day has meant more to you than just killing time or your daughter's just looking at a college.

Tell me that. Give me that much.

We're married.

And we have kids. Hey, stop avoiding.

Listen to me, Edith, please.

Just tell me you feel something for me and I'm not imagining this.

We should probably get back to our children.

Edith. Okay, listen, I'm sorry.

Don't go. Listen. Just talk to me a second.

I'm sorry, George. Edith.

I'm sorry.

Edith. Edith.

The college was founded in 1887 by Lowndes Pope Middleton, who made his fortune as a seafaring entrepreneur before devoting...

Excuse me. Yes?

Where's the observatory? I've gotten separated from my daughter.

It's on the hill behind Franklin. I'm sorry, where's Franklin?

Excuse me, some of us who didn't desert our children would like to continue with the program.

I politely interrupt to ask a simple question and you think that gives you the right to indict my parenting?

Wow, look at you.

Look at you.

You think you've got it all worked out, huh?

Yeah, 18 years, right, of saying the right things, making good choices, telling yourself it all adds up to little Johnny here having what it takes to skate through life, huh?

Well, I've got news for you... it doesn't add up.

Nothing adds up.

It's all just a feckless dingleberry monkey garden.

Here's how it works, okay?

You love them. They love you.

But after that, all bets are off.

After that, if you've done your job right, they just leave.

And you know where that leaves you?

It leaves you alone with a stranger who you realize you haven't really gotten to know over the last 18 years.

Look, Okay, here's all you need to know about the Middleton experience: it doesn't include you.

Come on, let's go. That was fun.

Excuse me?

Nothing.

That was fun? I'm sorry.

Sorry.

It's beautiful here in Middleton.

It's really beautiful.

You need to celebrate.

You okay?

Maybe she's waiting for you at your meeting.

I think it's locked.

This is unbelievable! Where is she?

I'm done.

I think I'm just gonna go to my meeting.

So you want to leave, too? What is this, take-a-shit-on-Audrey day?

I don't mean this in a bad way, but you're kind of a lot of work.

Oh, really? Yeah.

So we're taking the gloves off, huh?

Please, Conrad, I know you.

I know you better than you know yourself.

You think your million-dollar smile will give you an all-access backstage pass to life?

You know what? The fairy tale ends.

It's all downhill from here.

You've peaked.

Have a nice life.

Yeah, that's it. Go ahead.

Confusion has a lot of great soundtracks.

I'm going there.

Audrey.

Conrad's meeting...

I gotta go this way.

These are definitely not Bach's hands.

Well...

Thank you.

What for?

Bye, Edith.


Edith?

What's the matter?

Uh... oh.

What's going on?

I didn't want anyone else to hear.

Hear what? What I have to say.

Edith, we just said good-bye.

No, you said good-bye. I didn't say anything.

I just... I don't want to be rushed.

Uh...

Edith. Yes?

I'm a board-certified cardiac surgeon.

I'm hiding in a dark room from a hallway of people who can't legally rent a car.

Okay, I get it.

Okay, George, um...

I don't want to say good-bye.

This makes me happy.

Say something.

No, don't stop.

You guys are so sweet, sneaking off to the projection room to steal a kiss.

No, we're... No, no, no, no.

No, we're not stea... No, we're... we're...

It's just that we haven't seen each other in a long time.

I'm Daphne. I could kill you, Edith.

Hi. George. How are you? Hi.

Nice to meet you. I'm Edith.

Hi.

Oh, my God.

You know this? What?

No. What is it?

"Les Parapluies de Cherbourg."

I haven't seen this in 20 years.

English, please.

"Umbrellas of Cherbourg." Oh. What's it about?

It's about young love.

Who's the woman?

That's a 20-year-old Catherine Deneuve.

19. Yeah? What's her name?

Wow. Genevieve.

Genevieve, right. And she falls in love with...

Guy. Guy, guy.

They're so beautiful.

How does it end?

That's cheating, George.

And, you know, French films are always complicated, aren't they?

Oh, always.

I got a call from the hospital. I gotta take this.

I'm sorry. Nice meeting you.

Bye.

Congratulations to the Middleton public safety officers Kleiman and Tallis for the successful recovery of two bicycles stolen earlier today by what are believed to be musical bandits.

And to all you aspiring Otters out there, today will be the last school-sanctioned Fountain Friday of the year, so feel free to get weird and get wet.

This Sugarwolf song is dedicated to my fifth-grade teacher Owen Perlmutter.

It's called "Bad Name."

Take a seat.

Does your watch say 2:00?

Because my watch broke years ago, but I know you are late.

Sorry. I just wanted to...

First lesson of radio: don't be late.

Silence is death.

I... Uh, uh, if it doesn't involve you and a coed, I don't want to hear about it.

What's your name? Conrad.

Conrad. That's great. We'll change it.

Boneyard Sims. Welcome to radio, my brother.

Okay, here's how we rock.

I've got to be there for Larry.

Who's Larry? George's patient.

Where's the nearest computer? Oh, that would be mine. Come on.

Well, what about the movie? I know how it ends.

Hi. I have an appointment with Dr. Emerson.

Audrey Martin? Yes.

I heard he refuses to sponsor freshmen or sophomores for independent study.

Is it true?

You'll need to talk to Dr. Emerson about that.

Is it true he works "The Times" Sunday crossword puzzle in under an hour?

In pen.

Do you know if he ever got my letters?

All six of them.

Miss Martin.

Hi. It's very nice to meet you.

Welcome. Thank you.

Would you like some tea? Yes, love it.

Hold on one second. I gotta access our BP.

She's all yours, George.

There it is.

Whoa.

Is that...?

Is that an angiography?

George, Edith, this is my boyfriend Travis.

What up? He's premed.

George is a cardiac surgeon and he's trying to save Larry's life online.

Is that Larry's heart?

What's left of it.

Yeah, call that in, dude.

Yeah. Yeah, we're gonna have to get Larry in surgery immediately.

Yeah, call Rob, tell him to scrub in.

And tell Larry I'm sorry I'm not there for him.

I'll be checking in and I'll see him in the morning.

Okay, thanks.

I've got a patient who's so afraid to die that he can't live.

I've got a son that most of the time probably wishes I were dead.

And I'm living a day that's making me realize I have been dead.

Damn, George.

That's a tad dark. Yeah.

You need to take the edge off.

Actually, I could use a drink.

You're out of luck on that. We're only 20, so... but we...

Yeah?

The white dragon.

Yeah.

Whew. It's epic.

I've never...

Here. Oh, thank you.

You're welcome.

Well...

I read "The Philosophy of Language" in ninth grade and it changed my life.

Really? Absolutely.

It's so simple, yet so passionate.

And from the first paragraph, I knew that I was in the hands of a genius.

And I felt so privileged to be able to share so intimately in his mind and his soul.

Well, what can I say?

"The most important element in all forms of communication is understanding the language of what isn't being said."

Good afternoon, Dr. Emerson.

Tea?

Oh, yes.

I can't imagine you're a student.

A student of life, my friend.

That was the Oath from Charlottesville, Virginia.

And if you ask me, they have all the pieces to become a really mediocre band.

Less bullying and more music, boys.

Okay, Boneyard Sims on a lazy Friday afternoon.

Don't you matriculators have some homework to do?

Where were we? Lesson number four.

Oh, yes, lesson number four: know your audience.

It's all about making a connection.

That's the beauty of radio.

Something goes on between you and the people out there.

It's living and changing moment to moment.

You can't see it, but you can feel it.

And you can't get that on VH1.

What are you listening to?

What are you listening to? Oh.

♪ Hang me tight, I'm gone from it all ♪

♪ Bring me down, this town ♪

♪ I love to love... ♪ Shit. Shit. Shit.

Bullshit. More shit.

Horseshit. Cow shit. More shit.

You got a great ear, kid. I think you're a natural.

Beer?

Uh, no, I'd better not.

Good call. More for me.

Slainte.

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ The reggae beat ♪

♪ Yeah... ♪

♪ I'm a cardiac surgeon, yeah. ♪

Isn't it supposed to be the kids that are going away to college and smoking weed behind the parents' back?

So what's the word? Are you guys digging Middleton?

Your kids are gonna go here or what?

Yes. No.

I gotta say, man, in my short life, you two are the coolest parents I've ever seen.

Aw, thank you.

Where did you guys meet?

College.

Yeah.

You got one.

So as I was saying, the trouble with Chomsky is he can't leave his politics out of it.

Now, that, for me, in my view, compromises his science.

Some would say Chomsky is just true to his conscience.

Ah.

Advise me.

Oh, I think you've worked it out pretty well on your own.

No, I mean, be my advisor next year.

I will not let you down.

You're a very serious young woman.

Well, thank you.

I didn't quite mean it as a compliment.

It sounds as though you're hurrying somewhere in such a way that the journey will yield very little pleasure.

Slow down.

College should not necessarily be about narrowing your focus.

It's about broadening your experience.

I'm sorry, but I can't be your adviser.

Okay, I know you don't take on freshmen, but with my AP credits, I'm technically entering Middleton as a sophomore.

I'm leaving Middleton.

At the end of next week, as a matter of fact.

Are you going to another school?

I'm going on a sabbatical.

Right.

There's a remnant of a Sioux tribe in South Dakota that I've arranged to study.

And I won't be in residence for the next four years.

You can't do this to me.

I'm sorry?

You're all I thought about this last year.

There are other linguistics professors at Middleton.

Well, I don't want other professors.

I want you.

Audrey, I... Miss Martin.

Miss Martin... Is this what this is all about... tea at the faculty club, I'll let her down easy?

Fuck South Dakota!

Hmm.

Okay.

Please excuse me.

The line between ambition and obsession is much thinner than one might imagine.

You would be well served to look down and see exactly where you are standing.

I can't believe my baby is leaving me.

♪ It's been a long time coming down... ♪

Conrad doesn't even know what's in store for him.

He's gonna get his buttocks handed to him.

Where did the last 17 years go?

Sleepovers, soccer games, slamming doors.

Yeah.

I mean, I don't feel like the way that I thought I would feel when this happened.

How do you feel?

Young! You are young.

Who defines young as having a child in college?

Larry.

Heart Attack Larry.

I won't have to wait up till 1:00 in the morning listening for Audrey to come home.

I won't have to fumigate his room twice a year.

♪ Yeah... ♪


Please, come on.

Hi, it's Edith. Leave a message. I'll call you back.


It's okay, George.

I still respect you. Mm.

Yeah, I respect you, too, George.

You know, I'd let you dig around in my chest.

Of course, not today, but, you know...

George, can I tell you a story?

When I was a kid, we had this dog.

This dog had a ball sack... oh, yeah... that was abnormally large.

When I say large, I mean it looked like somebody had grabbed him and just shoved two Crenshaw melons inside of his nut sack.

Anyway, one day the dog got sick, okay?

It had a liver thing or something.

And the sicker the dog got, the smaller the ball sack got.

Hmm.

The vet says he's never seen anything like it.

You know what I think, George?

The ball sack is life.

Hmm.

The ball sack is life.

Exactly.

I was sure that there was gonna be a point in there somewhere, but...

Yeah.

The ball sack is life. The ball sack is life.

The ball sack is life.

Come on, let's go! Come on!

Yo, it's Fountain Friday?

Oh, yeah.

It's Fountain Friday? Yes.

Are you guys in?

By my count, it's Fountain Friday, so get in that water, all you crazy kids, and don't forget your sunscreen.

Now to play some music for all you revelers is our guest DJ Con Fab.

That's Con for Conrad and Fab for "fabulous."

Take it away, pilgrim.

Um, this is for all you reluctant Middletonians who are thinking about not getting in that fountain today.

Do yourselves a favor, get in the water now.

You might be thinking it's too uncool or stupid, but you'll never know how you really feel about it until you jump in.

Go ahead.

Give it a chance.

And, hey, you just might like it.

This is usually where we play a song.

I've got a little over six million. Help yourself.

Um...

Not bad, kid.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

That's my son.

That's Conrad.


♪ Would you rather be more than the things that you say ♪

♪ Just be the words that you sing to yourself in your head ♪

♪ When nobody's around? ♪

♪ Or would you rather be a part of the crowd ♪

♪ Or just a single sound ♪

♪ Waiting to be heard? ♪

♪ Do you know what I mean? ♪

♪ Well, you could be one of the lovers or liars ♪

♪ Hiding all the things they do on the back of their hands ♪

♪ Well, it's just you and me ♪

♪ 'Cause everybody's got a little wrong ♪

♪ In all the right places ♪

♪ Just depends on where you are... ♪


Come on.


You were so right.

About what?

About everything.


Hey. Hey.

I just wanted to say I'm sorry about what happened today.

Yeah, me, too.

I was wrong about this place.

I think I could go here.

Well, you couldn't pay me to go here.

Bad day, huh?

Catastrophic.

I'm sorry to hear that.

It's not your fault.

I like you better without the leash.


Not yet.


I... I don't think we can...

Yeah. No.

I thought you fixed hearts.

It ends badly, doesn't it?

What do you mean?

The French movie... it ends badly.

That's what makes it so special.

Well, this can't be good.

Hey, what happened to you?

I mean, where have you been? Why haven't you answered my calls?

Here.

Okay.

Let's go.

I need you to drive.


Should I take 90 or Highway 2?

What happened to your glasses?


Mom.

We're gonna be okay.

You were right.

Middleton's not so bad.