Before Midnight (2013) Script

-So you got everything? You gonna play video games the whole flight..

..or do you think you might actually crack a book?

-Probably read some.

-Well, if I write you an email, don't be scared to write back.

Let your old man know what you're thinking about, what's going on.

..Yeah/ If you want, we could try Skyping..

..once a week or something/ All right.

Yeah. Okay.

You got the drawings for your science deal?

Yeah, think so.

Well, they turned out great, by the way. Really great.

Thanks.

What..? ls your computer charged?/ Yeah.

What do you think is the first thing you're gonna do when you get home?

I don't know.

I really cherish this communication we have. You know, it's just..

Your answers are so../ What?

Just keep practicing the piano. You're really good.

They spend so much time at that school of yours..

Music is something you'll use in life.

And don't forget to.. You want those sesame things.

Yeah/ All right.

There you go. Thank you.

Okay.

I'll probably make it over there in October. I'll try to see you in that first recital.

And hopefully catch a soccer game while I'm there.

I might not even play soccer this year.

Oh, that'd be a big mistake. Trust me.

I'm not that good/ Oh, no, you're pretty good.

You are.

I missed summer training camp. The chances of me starting are miniscule.

Well, just tell the coach the situation.

Your dad lives in Europe. You really wanted to be there.

You know, blame me. "My parents stink, but I'm really serious."

But I'm not serious, Dad.

I don't care that much.

Well, you don't have to decide right now. You know, just think about it.

All I'm saying is that team sports are important, you know?

Here we are.

I love this airport/ It's awesome.

It's cool, right? You excited about seeing your mom?

Yeah, and all my friends.

Yeah. What about your boarding pass, passport?

You feel confident about making the connection?

I did this before/ But not with a tricky connection like this.

Remember, when you land, you stay in your seat..

..somebody from the airline is gonna take you to the gate, all right?

It's not a problem/ Okay. All right.

Oh, boy.

Well, looks like maybe we should just do this thing, huh?

Okay, come here. Oh, God.

I'm gonna do my best to make that recital, okay?

You know, I wouldn't bother.

What makes you say that?/ I'm not being mean, but it'd be easier..

..if you didn't come to the recital/ How come?

Be better if you visited on a "nothing" weekend.

But I wanna see you play/ It's because Mom hates you so much.

She'd be really stressed if you were there and then it'd be tense for me.

You know, go on/ Thank you.

We wouldn't have any time to hang out/ Don't worry. We'll figure that out.

I just don't want you to worry about it, you know?

I mean, you know how much I miss you, right?

Why do you think she still hates me so much?

I don't know. I think she hates Daniel more than she hates you.

Right/ Don't worry. I'll figure something out.

We should just do this thing/ Yeah.

Is there anything I can do to help?

I don't know/ But you know I love you, right?

Yeah, I know/ All right.

This has been the best summer of my life.

Really?/ Yeah.

Well, me too.

I told you this Greece thing was gonna be great.

And it was/ Okay. All right.

I love you, pal.

Love you too, Dad/ Okay.

Okay, shake my hand. All right.

Bye/ All right. See you.


Okay.


Okay.

So, what's going on?

They voted against it/ What? The wind turbines?

Six months dealing with those people, everyone agreed it was great.

So, what happened?

They don't like the way it looks on that hill.

No. I thought it was a done deal/ It was.

That's what's so infuriating/ Can they do that?

Of course, they've done it. That's it. It's over, finis.

I'm sorry/ No, no. It's just so frustrating.

I can't take it anymore.

I'm gonna take that job with Remy.

No, no. No, you don't wanna work for him.

Why not?/ For the government?

This is different. We need laws. That's the only way anything is gonna happen.

Not the only way. You have been getting good work done.

I've been thinking. This is the way to go.

Let me remind you you do not like that guy.

You worked for him before. You complained about him.

He gets things done. That's how I'm gonna be.

Okay/ A real bitch, okay?

Well, every time I look at that guy, all I see is ambition. Sorry, I don't trust him.

He's going from nonprofit to government to have people kiss his ass.

I don't care about him.

And I think you're gonna be miserable.

Just with all the politicking and compromise.

I've made my decision. I'm tired of being the dogooder..

..that rolls a boulder up and watches it roll down.

Isn't Remy the guy who used to throw his pens at his assistant?

I should have taken this job a year ago.

I was scared of the amount of work, but I think it's the best opportunity.

And it's more money, and I'm doing it.

Okay. Are you sure?

No, I'm not sure of anything, okay?/ All right.

What's gonna happen to everyone if I leave?

Like Francoise and.. I mean, they count on me.

What do you think?

Should I take it or not?/ I don't have an opinion.

I don't wanna see you rush into a decision because of this wind turbine.

Not just that. It's been stirring in me all summer.

I know/ I should do it.

All right.. Then do it/ I'm doing it.

I'm doing it. All right?

Oh, God. I wish things were simpler.

If I leave, I get fucked, if I stay, I get fucked.

There's always a catch.

The world is fucked/ Yeah, maybe.

Oh, God. We finally have a vacation and the girls are sick for two weeks.

I know. I have the perfect son. He lives a million miles away.

Or the love of your life can't clean up after himself or learn how to shave.

Who's that? I mean, you're not talking about Captain Cleanup.

Captain Cleanup. The one that's been missing in action all these years.

What'd you expect at this point in your life, missy?

God.

Oh, look at them. They're so cute.

They look like conjoined twins.

Oh, my God, I'm gonna take a picture.

Hey, did Ella finish that apple?

The../ Take food out of your child's mouth?

Yeah/ Okay.

Well, it's all brown.

No, no, no, there's a spot here.

Ella, this is evidence of your father stealing food from you.

If you become bulimic or anorexic..

Jesus/ ..It's not my fault.

Don't blame it all on your mother/ Ella, this is a family apple.

I'm teaching you the value of sharing. I love you, honey.

So sweet.

You will remember this vacation different than we will.

That's for sure. I see that with my mom.

She remembers my childhood different than I do.

Please, stop filming me/ Okay.

God. I love your mom. You're always so hard on her.

You missed the fuckedup years. You're just getting the good era.

The fuckedup years. That reminds me, talking about fucked up..

..did I ever tell you the story of my little Cleopatra kitty?

No/ No? I think you would remember if I did.

It's the story.. You know, when I was a little girl, I had this cat named Cleopatra.

Every spring, she'd jump the fence, get pregnant..

..and always end up with a litter of exactly two kittens.

Two kitties?/ Two kitties.

Every time, every year, two cats.

I mean, it's just amazing.

Then one day, I was, like, around 30, and was having lunch with my dad..

..and I was remembering.. Mentioning little Cleopatra..

..and he was like:

"The hardest thing I ever had to do was to kill those cute little kittens."

And I was like, "What?"

It turns out.. Listen to this.

There were sometimes up to seven kittens in that litter.

Oh, no.

He would take five of them../ Oh, no.

..put them into a bag with a bunch of ether.

That's terrible.

That was like..

He had forgotten the lie he and my mom had told me as a kid.

How did he decide which ones to kill?/ I asked him that.

"Did you take the fluffiest? Cutest?"/ Right.

You know? He just started to cry.

Poor Daddy.

We said we were gonna stop. They wanted to see the ruins.

Should we?

Well, Ella really wanted to.

Yeah, but should we wake them up?/ I don't know.

On our way back to the airport, we can catch them.

You know we won't/ Probably not.

Oh, God.

So long, ancient ruins. What's so great about you anyway?

Seen one, seen them all.

Oh, my God. We are shitty parents. We should have stopped.

It's okay/ It's culture. Go back.

You gotta put character into these kids/ Yeah, yeah.

We're teaching them a valuable lesson. If you snooze, you lose in this world.

And when the girls are in rehab..

..recovering from 10 years of addiction to coke and speed..

..they'll say, "We never felt comfortable falling asleep.

Daddy used to tell us, 'You snooze, you lose."' And that'll be your fault again.

Yeah, well, we are shitty parents/ I know.

Saying goodbye to Hank sucked.

Why, was he upset?

No, no. He said it was the best summer of his life.

Well, that's great.

I mean, I wouldn't worry too much about him. We spoke a bunch.

You know what his main concerns are?/ What?

Pimples and how girls perceive him. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

What do you mean? I'm not like that/ Oh, please.

What?/ That's all you think about.

What?/ Women. I mean..

I'm not complaining, I'm getting a lot of attention.

But you never stop ogling girls, like,/ I don't ogle girls. I don't ogle girls.

I make love to them with my eyes.

I like the Spanish guy. Or is it Greek?

I don't know where I'm from, but I'm very hairy.

Well, I think.. You know, Henry might have, you know..

What?

With that little Melina girl.

I don't know. He had a crush, but..

Are you kidding?/ What?

Why do you think he said it was the best summer of his life?

Because he and I had a good time together?

Jesse/ No, huh?

So, what, you think they..?/ Of course.

They kissed?/ Yeah, they kissed. Yeah, yeah.

I was sworn to secrecy, but he told me/ What did he say?

I'm not supposed to tell you. I'm not gonna talk.

Come on/ Okay.

He told me he was worried.. You know, concerned about the kissing.

You know, tongue. Her tongue.

What, he kissed her?/ Yeah.

But he was so cute, all nervous, all red, biting his cheek.

Like when he was little.

So he and Melina were a real thing?/ Yeah.

What's gonna happen now?

I don't know. They must be friends on Facebook.

Keep in touch for a while/ What if they end up..

..spending their life together, you know?/ You're so corny.

Sometimes, I'm just like../ No.

What are you, a 12yearold girl?/ I'm just..

First love, do you even remember who it was?

Yeah, I do. It was you/ Oh, please, like you were a virgin at 23.

You said first love, not first sexual experience.

Fine. I'm the first woman you ever fell in love with?

Yeah/ I don't think so.

First one I felt truly connected to, sure. What, I wasn't your first love?

No, of course not.

No, I just.. I thought I was.

Jesse, stop this. It's dumb/ It's okay. Not a big deal.

No. Okay, how old are you? Come on.

I'm 41 and I've loved only you.

You are so, so working on our little night already.

Hell, yeah. I got a Trojan in my billfold, and a rocket in my pocket.

I'm stuck with an American teenager.

I can't believe it.

Do we have to do all that stuff later?

What? Oh, yeah, come on.

It means a lot to Patrick. Ariadni and Stefanos are already there prepping.

The kids wanted one more big time/ No.

No, no, but I meant the hotel later.

I just.. I'm not sure I want to go.. Hi, sweetie.

Yeah.

Oh, okay, okay, okay. Well, it's fine. It's fine.

Call me from London. Have a good flight. Bye.

They were telling them to turn everything off.

And I asked him to call me from the plane. I don't like when he flies.

What?

What is it?/ It's just..

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

I just don't think I can keep doing this.

What?

It's just every summer, every Christmas. You know, it's like..

It makes me ill every time/ It wouldn't be so bad..

..you know, like if we were sending him to boarding school or just..

I don't know, if his mom and I got along a little bit better.

It's like we're sending him back across enemy lines.

It really hit me this time.

It's, like, he's gonna be a freshman in high school.

Four more years and he's gonna be on his own.

Maybe that's good. Only four years/ This is the crucial time.

I just feel like I should be there for him. Like it's now or never, you know?

No. What do you mean?

I just thought somehow he'd end up living with us somewhere along the way.

You know, time's going by so fast.

And here we are, it's high school.

There's girls. Next thing you know, it's college applications.

You're right, maybe it's time.

I mean, it's time to tell his mom all this and ask if he can come and live with us.

He'd love it. We can put him in that bilin..

That's never gonna happen, all right?

She's never gonna give me one thing she's not legally obligated to.

You wanna call that lawyer again?/ No. He's terrible.

Should I call his mother?

No. Please. Never again.

Look, he doesn't even know how to throw a baseball.

Who cares?

It's just.. He leads with his elbow. He throws like a girl.

It's not your fault/ No, it is my fault.

A father is supposed to teach you that/ He just doesn't like baseball.

It's an example. It's a metaphor for everything.

He's turning 14, and he needs his father.

Jesse, I'm not moving to Chicago.

Did I ask you to? Where did that come from? I'm thinking out loud.

This is the one thing I promised myself I'd never do..

..and I look up and I'm doing it.

Well, listen, you're a wonderful father. He loves the relationship you have.

He loves the letters/ He doesn't read the letters.

He reads them. He doesn't compliment/ I know if I miss these years..

..they are never coming back.

Oh, my God/ What?

This is where it ends.

What are you talking about?

This is how people start breaking up/ My God.

You just jumped off a cliff/ No, I'm marking this.

This is the day you light the ticking bomb that will destroy our lives.

Yeah/ Okay.

First, you don't light a ticking bomb. You set it.

It has a timer. That's why it ticks/ Whatever. Well, it's ticking right now.

This is how it happens. You're unhappy, you blame it on the other person.

Resentment grows, you break up/ You're just doing this to shut me up.

Not at all. No/ That's what you're doing.

I'm surprised we lasted this long/ The hyperbole.

We're on parallel tracks, but now the tracks have crossed.

I'm going west. You're going east.

This is how it happens. I've seen it. Katherine and Alexander..

You're kidding, right? You're kidding?/ Well, no.

I'm kidding.

And I'm not.

All right?

I'm just..

This is it/ How much longer to the ruins?

Oh, they were closed.

Yeah/ We.. Yeah.

We're gonna catch them on the way back when we're going to the airport.

Okay?/ Exactly.

We'll leave early, right? Yeah/ Yeah. Yeah.

What happened to my apple?

Your apple..

Right?

Give me the list/ I don't have it.

It's in your wallet.

In your wallet.

Okay/ Yeah.

Okay, I'm the general.

Who made you general?/ The general, okay?

Private Cleanup. You don't touch anything.


Nina!

Ariadni.

You gotta do better than that. No, no, no.

I got you.

Oh, where's my team? Where's my team?


The red ones.

Okay. Pepper.

I read both. The first one is That Time, second is This Time.

First is This Time, second is That Time.

We've got a joke in our family that This brought us back together..

..and That paid for our apartment/ Okay.

It must be a little weird for Celine, the way she's in the book like that.

Why? She's gotten used to it.

Second one is sexy. He misses the plane, they black out the windows..

..and they have sex for days and days and days like there's no tomorrow, whoa.

Did you guys actually do that?

You did that?/ You read Jesse's third book?

It's better than the first two.

Took longer to write than the first two put together.

Third one I didn't read. My wife gave it to me, but it's too long for me.

The title is long. What's the title?

Temporary Cast Members of a Long Running But Little Seen Production..

..of a Play Called Fleeting/ Well, exactly, my point.

Everybody else thought it was too long.

Well, it's a better book. It's so much more ambitious.

What's that?

No, he says he likes all the books.

He does.

Well..

I love it here. This place is amazing.

Those tomatoes are so amazing. I can..

I can smell them.

It smells so good.

Yeah, Patrick is very proud of them.

I know it's stupid, but when we were about to leave Paris..

..I was nervous to come here. Now we're about to leave, I don't wanna go.

Why were you nervous?/ Yeah, why was that?

This place, it's so full of thousands of years of myth and tragedy.

Thought something was gonna happen.

You thought the minotaur was going to eat your children?

Yes. Exactly.

Well, I've been working on this idea..

..about a group of people with all these brain abnormalities.

So the book would be like a day in their life from all their unique points of view.

This older lady has a condition that makes you feel..

..like you're in a state of déja vu.

Every single experience she has feels like she's had it before.

She could be sitting here, seemingly functional.

In her head, she's thinking, "Didn't he already say that?

Weren't we were here yesterday having this exact same conversation?"

Like déja vu/ Except all the time.

That's the thing, right? Everything she takes in.

Breakfast, a newspaper, a movie. She's convinced she's encountered it already.

That's a real condition?/ Yeah, it's called persistent déja..

It's real, but I can't pronounce it.

Then there's these two other characters with facial recognition extremes.

There's this one guy and he can't recognize his wife of 20 years.

He looks at himself in the mirror, and he feels this disconnect..

..with that man he's looking at.

Then the other character is the opposite. A middleaged housewife..

..with exacting memory of every face she's ever seen.

She lives in a big city, but to her, it's a small town.

Like, a taxi drives past and she thinks: "That's the driver who dropped me off..

..at Place des Vosges three Christmases ago."

Like some old lady walking on the street, she thinks:

"She sat two seats down from me on the Metro last year."

So everyone she meets, you know, to her, feels intimate and connected.

I'm like the first guy.

Like I feel connected to nothing most of the time, man.

Achilleas, Anna. Hey, you guys.

Hey, look at this kid.

He's having the best summer of us all.

So you were saying there's three characters, right?

Not just three. It's a whole group of people.

I'm working on a chapter about a young Greek man named Achilleas.

Me?/ Well, he's named after you.

The guy is caught in a loop. All he sees is the transient nature of everything.

He looks out at the sea, thinks it's gonna be dry and littered with fossils.

Well, I don't know.

What?/ Sounds pretentious.

It won't be pretentious. It's gonna be funny.

Really funny. Like, he picks up a book..

..and he wonders, "Who's gonna be the last person to read this?"

And that's funny?/ Sometimes I kind of think like that.

Okay. So he doesn't get excited about tits, cars, booze? Nothing.

He just thinks about death.

Well, not so much death, right? It's just like transformation.

Like he's seeing too far into the future/ Okay.

I like this idea for a novel.

Add a character of an old man who can't remember what he had for breakfast..

..but can still hear the song playing when Sheila Campbell danced topless..

..on the bar at Jury's when he was 14 years old.

That'd work/ Okay.

You have these people lost in time. But what's the connection?

Are they gonna have sex? Don't you need that?

It's not time they're lost in. It's perception. That's the deal.

No, I'm thinking of setting the whole novel at a movie.

Like every character comes in contact with the film On the Waterfront.

Have you seen On the Waterfront?/ On the Waterfront?

Oh, with Brando?/ Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. Okay, the first chapter is opening weekend, Times Square, 1954.

That old lady with perpetual deja vu walks into the matinee screening, right?

Except the whole time she's thinking, "Haven't I already seen this?"

Yeah/ Another chapter is a 1979..

..Paris film studies class.

Then we have a Kazan retrospective in Munich, 1993.

That is time. How is that not time?/ Yeah, it's time. But it's more perception.

You don't like it?/ I think it's gonna be too long.

Well, I like it.

Don't listen to him. He makes bicycles. Send it to me in galleys.

Will do.

Watch out.

In France, we stuff tomatoes with tomatoes and peppers with peppers.

We use the same for both because of the way it reacts differently in terms of taste.

Okay.

Celine, make sure you don't stuff them too much..

..because of the way it overflows in the oven.

Okay/ Gets nasty.

You're doing fine, Celine/ And especially don't listen to Stefanos.

Because he's never made this dish before or any other dish for that matter.

You know? I mean..

Let go.

Let go of me! Let go.

You guys are fighting.

With knives? Okay, stop it. Stop fighting with knives.

We're not fighting. We're negotiating/ Yeah.

Negotiating. That's how you call it?

It's a system that we have.

You found a system that works for you.

I thought it was a relationship. I like system. That's good.

Not too many, right?/ Not too many.

We used to have that system.

Not too far, you guys!


I don't wanna let this meal go by without saying thank you to everyone.

And especially you, Patrick.

We had no idea what we were getting into these last six weeks.

A letter arrives from the university..

..inviting us to the southern Peloponnese of Greece..

..to the guest house of a great writer?

Sure, why not?

And then at the airport earlier today..

..Hank says this has been the greatest summer of his life.

That's nice/ And I have to say the same.

Thank you, Patrick. Not just for what you've done for me and my family..

..but for all the ways you're giving back. To Patrick.

Thank you, thank you. When I first saw you at the airport, I thought, "No way a man dressed like that could be a man of letters."

But now, now I think I've learned your secret.

We've had many great writers here over the past decade.

But never one who had a partner more interesting than themselves.

I keep telling you.

And Celine, it's been so great to have you..

..and your daughters' wonderful vitality around here.

And I'm so happy that you were able to meet my dear friend, Natalia.

Whose husband Elias was like a brother to me.

Sorry about the curtains/ Shouldn't have given cherries.

It was my fault/ So beautiful.

Thanks for including Anna and me this summer.

He usually puts me to work.

But when I bring Anna, he lets me sit at the table of the grownups.

Welcome to the grownups table.

How long have you two been together?/ Since last summer.

We met one year ago in my last few days here with Grandpa.

Before I had to go back to Athens/ We met at my cast party.

I was doing Shakespeare at Epidavros. Yup.

So who did you play?/ I was Perdita in Winter's Tale.

And she was fantastic.

Remember, Patrick, we went to that?/ Perdita.

"When you do dance, I wish you a wave 0' the sea..

..that you might ever do nothing but that."

The way he just performed that was better than the guy at the play.

People are still talking about that.

The afterparty was even better. It's where we met.

Yeah. I had an old BSA motorcycle.

Nice/ Yeah. So we drove around all night.

And then I had to drive her back to the theater to get her stuff.

And it was dawn/ I'll never forget it.

It's outdoors and seats 12,000 people, but it was now completely empty.

And she was sitting way up in the back row.

So I went up on stage and whispered to her..

Acoustics there are incredible. I could see his mouth move..

..and then three seconds later, I could hear his voice in my ear.

What did he say?

Okay/ Private. Private.

And then she had to fly back to Paris a couple of days later.

How did you keep in touch?/ We Skyped every day since then.

When we're apart, we have a thing of putting our laptop by the pillow..

..and fall asleep together.

Oh, that's the new romance.

And when I wake up, the screen is usually frozen.

And Anna's face is in some funny position, like:

Let me ask.. Can I ask a question?

Please?/ Yeah.

When you guys Skype, do you, you know..?

Do you go a little crazy?/ Oh, God, you're being so vulgar.

I'm just being an amateur anthropologist..

..interested in virtual worlds on a theoretical level.

So now you're an anthropologist?/ Yeah.

For instance, the sex of the near future, I'm not making this up..

..but is gonna be just like plugging in, attaching something to your genitals..

..and you'll be having virtual intercourse with anyone of your choice.

You'll be able to program in all your preferences.

You'll be able to type in what you want Marilyn Monroe to whisper in your ear.

I might like that.

All right. Come on/ Yes.

Oh, thank you. Thank you. Here, here.

I mean, why not? More and more of our experiences..

..are going to take place in the virtual world, you know?

You're a writer. How are you gonna feel when a computer can write a book..

..better than War and Peace?/ It'll never happen.

It's only a question about when it's going to happen.

I think I'm gonna feel about it the same way Kasparov felt when they could..

..no longer compete with that computer/ Big Blue.

Right. Nobody thought a computer could beat our best.

"A machine lacks that ineffable human instinct."

And then.. You know, and now we can't even compete.

I saw a documentary where they were doing an experiment on a lab rat.

And he was wired up..

..and he could push a switch and have an orgasm.

And so the scientists were sort of laughing at this pathetic little creature..

..while it ignored his food and water and didn't do anything else.

And eventually it just died.

I mean, I think that's the future of humanity.

You know, just, And die.

Well, well, maybe so..

..but every generation believes that they're witnessing the end of the world..

..but I feel that I'm actually living it.

Okay, I have a question for you, Patrick. I think a lot of people are feeling that way.

That we're this kind of pleasureobsessed, pornaddled..

..materialists, ceding our humanity to technology..

..at the same moment that computers are becoming sentient.

So, what my question is, is this notion of self to begin with.

Well, it's written over the portals to the temple of Apollo at Delphi.

It says, "gnothi seauton," which means "Know thyself."

But we're kind of 99 percent automated already.

No. Our personality or this thing we think of as ourself..

..is a tiny fraction of what the brain is doing.

Most of it is automated body functions. What is it we're ceding?

No, if this notion of self is such a small percentage of you, sweetie..

..how come I always hear so much about it?

Well, just like my penis. It's not that big. It's a small part of myself..

..but it needs a lot of attention/ His too.

And how did you two meet?

You don't know?/ What?

You have to read Jesse's books.

If you wanna know what it's like to have sex with me, read away.

Read away/ Oh, excuse me, Stefanos.

No, no. I mean it's wellwritten.

Yeah/ Thank you. We met about 18 years ago.

We kind of, sort of fell in love a little bit, and then we..

A bit. Then we lost track of each other. A decade later, we ran into each other.

We didn't run into each other/ We didn't?

No. You wrote a book "inspired" by our meeting.

Yeah/ I read about it and went to look for him.

Pretty romantic/ It was.

Not really. Not really. He neglects to mention..

..he was married, had a kid../ Details.

That part was a disaster.

It wasn't. It was inevitable/ Yeah.

The first time we have sex without a condom, twins.

I've been chained to the sink ever since/ One pitch, tworun homer.

It's not that bad. The girls are so beautiful.

They're cute.

Okay. No, no. It has some upsides, okay.

Let me tell you right now, Anna, how to keep a man.

You gotta let them win at all the silly little games they like.

When I met Jesse, we were playing pinball. I was winning.

The foundational lie to our relationship.

I let the ball go down the middle/ She can't beat me.

It builds their confidence.

If I didn't let him win at every game, we would never have sex.

I mean, I'm sorry to say it, but he's actually a closet macho.

He dreams of having a bimbo for a wife.

It's my greatest aspiration, a bimbo/ Dreams.

So..

Yes.

So you're a writer?

Yeah. Yeah, sure.

So you write, like, books?

I've written a few, sure. Sure, yeah.

I've never met a writer before.

No?/ You must be really smart.

You know, I can't even write my own name sometimes when I'm tired.

What kind of books do you like?

Well, I like stories with a meaning behind it.

Like a really beautiful love story/ Oh, sure, yeah.

You know, I read this book once, Romeo and..

Juliet.

Right?/ Yeah.

Oh, yeah/ You know it.

It's very good. It's a play, actually. It's not a book, a play.

I thought it was a book based on the movie.

No. No, a play. Yeah.

Okay, it was a play.

Well, I didn't read the whole thing because sometimes..

..I have to keep up and read those magazines..

..to know what's going on in those people's lives.

Well, that is important/ Okay, well, you're very, very smart.

And I bet you have a gigantic penis.

Why am I finding myself so attracted to this woman?

For real! And that's the funny part of it.

The notsofunny part of the closet macho, okay..

..is today, after we dropped Henry off, he tells me even though I have an offer..

..for an amazing job, he wants me to move to Chicago.

That's not what I said. I missed him/ So we can babysit for his exwife.

I thought I was in a../ Hey, stop it.

It must have been hard saying goodbye to Hank.

Yeah, of course/ He's such an amazing kid.

Tell him I miss my chess partner/ I will.

When Stefanos and I split up, I'm getting full custody.

That's okay for a while..

..because me and my 20yearold girlfriend will be a little bit preoccupied.

I love men/ And I love you.

Okay, I have a story that my husband here loves.

Gonna tell you everything you need to know about masculine and feminine.

Okay/ Okay, ready?

Yeah/ My mom used to be a nurse..

..so she was there when people were coming out of their coma.

Listen/ I'm listening.

It's an interesting story/ I'm listening.

So she was the one to tell them:

"Hi. My name's Katerina. You're coming out of a coma.

You've been in a really bad automobile accident..

..but you're gonna be okay.

You're gonna be fine." You know, stuff like that.

She said that every woman, the very first thing..

..the first reaction she would have, would be to ask about everyone else.

"How are my kids? How's my husband?

Is anyone else hurt?"

Every man, with no exception, when they were told this..

..what was the first thing they did?

Look down at their cock.

You know what? You gotta make sure it's still there.

You gotta make sure it's still working.

Alive and kicking/ Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And only eventually they'd come around to asking about their kids..

..or about someone else they might've accidentally killed.

Stuff like that.

Doesn't that say it all? Penis first, then the rest of the world.

Penis, penis, penis Okay, okay.

But if you can explain it all on strictly gender terms..

..why do you, or why does any woman, waste time getting mad at..

..or bother trying to change a man?/ If it's all biology, what is the problem?

And you're so good at turning things around.

No, I mean, like, he's a genius/ It's like getting pissed at a frog..

..for being green/ Yes. Exactly.

Hearing all this, I wonder if this idea of love affair that lasts forever..

..is still relevant to us.

I mean, we know that we are going to break up eventually.

Definitely/ Are your parents still together?

No way/ No? And what about you?

They are. But they could be divorced/ They could be.

I think if they had more money, they wouldn't still be together.

God, you guys are so practical. I was born into the wrong generation.

My grandmother's mother wrote to our whole family..

..a 26page letter from her deathbed.

And she spent three pages on the costumes she did for a play..

..and one paragraph on her husband/ She an actress too?

No, she was a..

She was a..

Seamstress. A seamstress/ Seamstress.

And she had all these wonderful friends.

And about my greatgrandfather, she mentioned three events.

He went to the war, we moved because of his job, and he died.

Her big advice was to not to be too consumed with romantic love.

Friendships and work, she said, brought her the most happiness.

I couldn't agree more.

I mean, that's the thing that fucks us up.

This idea of a soul mate, of someone who will come to complete us..

..and save us from having to take care of ourselves.

With Stefanos, I set the bar extremely low.

I know he's not gonna meet any of my needs.

Definitely not.

What about Grandma? Was she soul mate?

Well, sounds appealing, but actually your grandmother was more rational than that.

She took care of herself and asked me to do the same.

We had plenty of room to meet in the middle.

Yeah. That sounds ideal/ That is, actually. It is.

But it must be obvious my wife is not here today.

We were never one person. Always two. We preferred it that way.

That's so beautiful.

I think my husband is always trying to almost colonize me, you know?

I colonize you?

Yes, but I colonize you too, darling/ Okay.

But at the end of the day..

..it's not the love of one other person that matters, it's the love of life.

That's good to know, because life, I can handle.

Ariadni, on the other hand. We all know the Greeks invented tragedy.

And on top of that, she's from the region of Mani..

..which is short for maniac.

Ask them about the hotel.

If we can't make that hotel room tonight, could you get a refund or use it yourself?

No, we don't get a refund, man/ Are you trying to get out of it?

It's such a great gift, but I'm so stressed..

..getting all the packing ready../ No.

We made a deal, guys. We watch the kids. You're gonna love it.

We're gonna watch yours/ Really good.

It's a fantastic walk to the hotel. And you want to grab it.

And we'll be very offended if you don't go.

Okay. Thank you.

You're going.

Well, when I think of Elias..

..what I miss the most about him..

..is the way he used to lie down next to me at night.

Sometimes his arm would stretch along my chest.

And I couldn't move. I even held my breath.

But I felt safe.

Complete.

And I miss the way he was whistling walking down the street.

And every time I do something, I think of what he would say:

"it's cold today. Wear a scarf."

But lately, I've been forgetting little things.

He's sort of fading, and I'm starting to forget him..

..and it's like losing him again.

So sometimes, I make myself remember every detail of his face.

The exact color of his eyes, his lips, his teeth..

..the texture of his skin, his hair.

That was all gone by the time he went.

And sometimes.. Not always.

But sometimes..

..I can actually see him.

It's as if a cloud moves away and there he is.

I could almost touch him.

But then the real world rushes in, and he vanishes again.

For a while, I did this every morning..

..when the sun was not too bright outside.

The sun somehow makes him vanish.

Yes, he appears and he disappears, like a sunrise or sunset.

Anything so ephemeral.

Just like our life.

We appear and we disappear.

And we are so important to some..

..but we are just passing through.

To passing through/ To passing through.

To passing through/ To passing through.

And eventually he catches his face in the window's reflection.

He realizes he's no longer a 9yearold boy.

He's suddenly old. He's got a beard, his eyes are watery.

This one seems sad. I thought you were gonna tell me about the guy..

..that has an imaginary friend/ Which one?

When he's in his 50's.

Imaginary friend shows up again/ Hummingbird?

That one. It's funny/ Yeah. You like that one?

Remember that letter that you let me read..

..that you wrote when you were 20 to yourself at 40?

I remember. "Dear 40yearold Jesse, I hope you're not divorced."

I didn't remember that part. I meant all the other things in that letter.

You're the same guy.

We always think we're evolving, but we can't change that much.

Know how I think I've changed the most?/ How?

When I was younger, I just wanted time to speed up.

Why?/ So I could be on my own..

..be freed from parents, school, all that shit.

I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up and be an adult.

Now I feel that happened, and I just want everything to slow down.

I've always had this feeling no matter where I am in my life..

..that it's either a memory or a dream/ You've always thought that.

Me too. Like, is this really my life? Like, is it happening right now?

It is/ I know.

Every year, I seem to get a bit more humbled and more overwhelmed..

..about things I'm never gonna know or understand.

I keep telling you, you know nothing/ I know. I'm coming around.

But not knowing is not so bad.

I mean, the point is to be looking, searching, to stay hungry, right?

It's true. I just wish it was a little easier.

How do you mean?

Just to maintain a certain level of passion, you know?

I mean, it used to come so naturally.

I remember when I was younger, me and all my writer friends, we, like..

It felt like we were doing something important. This was our time.

But you were all arrogant little pricks.

No. Well.. All right, maybe.

I don't know. It grew out of all this energy and this creativity..

..or whatever ambitions people had.

I think you gotta be a little deluded to stay motivated.

Young men have this thing about comparing themselves.

They have all these signposts they judge themself by.

You used to do that all the time/ Do what?

It was like "Rimbaud wrote this by 17."

Oh, yeah, definitely. Balzac wrote a book before breakfast, so, what am I doing?

Women don't think that way as much/ You don't think so?

No. We have much less to compare ourselves to maybe.

Women who achieve anything, first time you hear about them, they're in their 50s.

It was so hard for them to get any recognitions before then.

They struggled for 30 years or they raised kids..

..and were stranded at home before they could finally do what they want.

Actually, you know, it's kind of freeing. We don't have to spend our lives..

..comparing ourselves to Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Tolstoy.

What about Joan of Arc, right?

I mean, she was a teenager, and she saved France, so..

Who wants to be Joan of Arc? Forget France.

She was burned at the stake and a virgin, okay?

Okay/ Nothing I aspire to.

What a great achievement.

Oh, God/ What?

No, nothing.

What?/ This is so weird.

What do you mean?/ Just this.

Us, walking, having a conversation..

..about something else than scheduling, food, work.

Yeah, how long's it been since we just wandered around bullshitting?

Do you hear what I hear?

The sea?/ No.

What? Oh, no small feet.

No.. Nothing being knocked over, nothing we have to clean up..

..no injustices being done.

Yeah. So when was the last time?

When we had nowhere we had to be?/ Yeah.

Remember Luxembourg Gardens?/ Yeah.

Used to kick your ass at PingPong?/ Congratulations.

You beat a woman pregnant with twins.

It's better than losing to a pregnant woman with twins.

Okay?/ Oh, God.

You know what I think?

From the time we leave our parents' house until we have kids.

That's the only time your life is completely your own.

I had about a decade of that. It was great.

It was just like one long flowing..

A day, a week, a year.

There wasn't much difference/ I used to keep track of time.

Through jobs, boyfriends, stuff like that. Now I can tell you every detail..

..of the past seven years based on what was happening in the girls' lives.

Yeah, right. Totally/ You do that too?

Yeah. I mean, time's demarcated now/ Really?

What?/ No, no, no. No, I just..

I'm surprised. I'm surprised you do that. No, but.. Okay, quick test.

Oh, no/ You know, August, 2009.

No, August.. Come on. It's a quick one/ Why?

What was happening?/ August..

We were on vacation with your parents.

Nina got the chicken pox first, quickly followed by Ella.

I'm so impressed/ So do I get a gold star?

Maybe.

Hey, can I ask you a question?/ Sure.

If we were meeting for the first time today on a train, would you find me attractive?

Of course/ No, but really, right now, as I am?

Would you start talking to me?

Would you ask me to get off the train with you?

Well, I mean, you're asking a theoretical question.

What would my life situation be? Wouldn't I be cheating on you?

Why can't you just say yes?/ I did.

I wanted you to say something romantic and you blew it.

Okay, all right, wait, if I saw you on a train..

..I would lock eyes with you, walk up to you..

..and say, "Hey, baby.

You are making me as horny as a billy goat in a pepper patch."

Stop it! That's disgusting!

Billy goat? No. The truth is, okay, you failed the test.

The fact is, you would not pick me up on a train.

Would not notice a fatassed middleaged mom..

..losing her hair/ Okay. Losing..

Yeah, that's me.

You set me up to fail on this one.

Okay, true, true, true/ You did. All right.

But in the real world, baldy, okay, on game day when it mattered..

..I did talk to you on a train, okay? I did. It was the best thing I ever did.

Really? Look at the goats/ Hey.

Hello/ Yeah.

But, you know, that's not even a good question.

The real question would be, if I did ask you to get off a train..

Yeah?/ ..would you get off with me?

Of course not. I have people waiting for me.

You know, and a 41yearold, horny billy goat.

How creepy. I'm creeped out right now. Help!

I can't believe I'm 41.

Yeah, me neither. You've gotten so old.

I never thought I'd sleep with anyone over 40.

Actually, you're the oldest guy I've ever slept with.

That's something. I'm not the oldest guy you've ever blown.

What?

That conference in Warsaw.

What conference?/ Lech Walesa.

Lech Walesa?

What are you talking about?/ It's okay.

It was before we were together. It's.. You can admit it.

I can remember the way you talked about how he opened your heart.

You definitely blew him. Definitely/ Oh, okay. You're really crazy.

That was Gorbachev, okay, you geographicallychallenged..

..footballobsessed, doughnutloving American. That was Gorbachev.

I got my Eastern bloc leaders mixed up.

And I didn't blow him.

At all. Okay? Take it back/ Okay, okay, okay.

God.

So was it Vaclav Havel?

All right, you know..

Listen to this. I was gonna wait to tell you this till later..

..but I'm so bad with secrets.

You have a tumor in your brain? Gonna die?

No, no, no. Nothing like that. All right?

Well, actually, it's kind of like that.

My grandmother died.

What? When?/ Yeah. My dad texted me before we ate.

I'm so sorry. Why didn't you tell me?

Everybody's been expecting it. She lived a long time, had a great life.

She was 96.

Didn't live much longer after your grandfather died?

Barely a year.

I mean, the funny thing is, this woman was a freaking saint. Okay?

She was a nurse in the war. She took care of all of us.

I mean, she never said an unkind word about anybody.

I wish I'd met her/ It's okay.

It's okay. By the end, she just really wasn't into meeting new people.

I mean, after a lifetime of being sweet as pie..

..once Grandpa died, she got kind of ornery.

It happens. She was in mourning, no?

Well, my dad said she was just waiting to die.

How long were they married?/ Seventyfour years.

Fuck. How is that even possible?

I know.

How old will we be if we are together 74 years?

When would we start counting from?

I guess from the first time we had sex/ Okay. Yeah, good.

Okay/ So 1994.

Okay, '94.

Fiftysix years from now/ Yeah. We will be 98.

Will you be able to put up with me for another 56 more years?

I don't know if I'm gonna be able to put up with you.

It's crazy if you think about the change they saw.

When they met, neither of them had electricity.

He used to take her to school on his horse.

So romantic/ I know.

He was Valedictorian and she was salutatorian.

What is that?

He was top of the class. She was second.

She got a couple answers wrong to make sure he didn't feel threatened.

If she wanted to get laid, she better have/ Yeah, like you know who.

All right. Anyway, so I called my dad after I got the text, just to tell him I was sorry..

..but I think I screwed up.

At some point I told him, "You're an orphan now."

You know, and he didn't think that was funny.

No, it's not funny at all/ Yeah, I guess not.

He's next, then you/ I know.

Well, he told me that my grandparents wanna have a joint service.

Right? They wanna have their ashes intermingled and be buried as one.

Grandfather didn't have a funeral?

They vowed never to attend one another's funeral.

Oh, yeah.

I kind of like the idea of you attending mine.

What?/ No, I know.

What?/ ..You know, imagining you in a suit..

..cleanshaven for once, holding hands with the girls. I like it.

You're gonna outlive me.

Well, we'll see. Or I guess, one of us will see.

Well, you think you wanna go to the service with me?

To Texas?/ It's not gonna be in Paris.

Okay. How bad do you want me there?

I'd come, but it's expensive with the flights.

Truth is, it'd be simpler to go alone.

Oh, hello/ Yeah, hello, buddy.

And if I'm not there, it'll be easier for you to fuck your cousins.

Yes, that's true/ Yeah.

Isn't that common where you come from?

You didn't answer the question/ What question?

Well, will you be able to put up with me for another 56 more years?

I am looking forward to it.

Shit, you're really working it.

The nectar of your sex ages like a fine wine.

My hairy Spanish lover is back.

Greek. I'm Greek now/ Oh, you're Greek now.

Look at this.

This place reminds me of a movie I saw when I was a teenager.

It was a blackandwhite film from the '50s.

I remember a couple walking through the ruins of Pompeii..

..looking at bodies lying there for centuries.

I remember the bodies, caught in their sleep..

..still lovingly holding each other.

I don't know why. Sometimes I have this image in my mind..

..when, you know, we're asleep and you hold me.

Of being buried alive under molten ash? That's what you're thinking about?

That's not very fun.

Well, I don't know. It's not horrible.

They had bodies with little kids sleeping between them.

Oh, that's nice/ Yeah.

I was young and a bit morbid.

You romanticize the idea of dying with the person you love.

You wanna die with me?/ Right?

Maybe. You know, if we were..

You know, our first night together then, a long time ago..

..but now, no, I'd like to live.

I wanted you to say something romantic. You blew it.

Oh, no. I blew it.

Okay, if we're both 98, you can ask me again.

But anytime sooner:

Sorry/ Hey.

This is the chapel I was telling you about from the Byzantine era.

It's 1000 years old/ Can we go in?

Yeah, I think so/ Okay.

Check this out.

Hello? Yeah.

It's a shrine to Saint Odilia, the patron saint to eyesight.

People come from all over, leave dedications to the blind..

..to help restore sight.

I'm sure it works.

Hey, these paintings here..

..they make me think of those Japanese monks, you know, impermanence.

They paint with water on rock on a hot day.

By the time they're done, it's evaporated.

Eyes are scratched out. Is that about the blindness?

No, I thought that too, but the caretaker guy..

..he told me that the Turks did that during the occupation.

That's it. I'm never eating Turkish food again.

Okay, that'll send a shiver through the international community.

Okay, fine. Then I'll never suck another Turkish cock.

Okay, that's gonna have a global impact.

Oh, that's terrible.

I forgot you're a closet Christian. Is it bad to make blowjob jokes in church?

It kind of is, okay? We've done worse.

The girls asked me again what our wedding was like.

Yeah? What did you say?

I say it was very low key/ Yeah.

Very low key. So low key we don't remember it.

Very Quaker.

I don't know why they want us to be married so badly. It's important to them.

We're in a church. Wanna get married?/ No.

It's just all those fairy tales they like so much, you know?

Remember when they were little..

..and at the end of every cartoon, they'd be like, "They're getting married"..

..even if it was Pinocchio and his dad, Donald Duck and his nephews.

If we're gonna spend 56 more years together..

Yeah?/ ..what about me would you change?

What?/ One of your can'twin questions.

I'm not answering that/ What do you mean?

There's not one thing you'd like to change about me?

I'm perfect? Okay/ Okay, actually..

One thing/ If I could change one thing about you..

..it would be for you to stop trying to change me.

You're a very skilled manipulator.

Well, I am on to you. I know how you work.

You think?/ I know everything about you.

Let's go through here/ I don't think you do.

No? Okay. Well, I know you better than I know anybody else on the planet.

But maybe that's not saying much/ Right now..

What?/ ..this is great. I feel close to you.

Yeah/ But sometimes..

..I feel like you're breathing helium and I'm breathing oxygen.

What makes you say that?

See? I'm trying to connect../ I'm being myself.

..and you make a joke.

That's exactly what I'm talking about/ Come on.

If we're ever gonna truly know one another..

..we'd probably have to get to know ourselves better first.

Yeah.

Do you remember this friend of mine, George, from New York?

No.

Oh, no, that was before/ What was?

No, no. Anyway, he was this friend of mine..

..that when he found out he had leukemia and was probably gonna die..

..the first thing that came to his mind was relief.

Relief? At what?/ Yeah.

Before he found out he had nine months to live, he was worried about money.

And now his thought was, "I have enough money to live nine months. I've made it."

Oh, okay/ I mean..

He was finally able to enjoy everything about life, even being stuck in traffic.

He would just enjoy looking at people, staring at their faces, just little things.

And then what happened?

What do you mean?

Well, like, is he still alive?

No, he died a long time ago.

Last night, I had this dream where I was reading a book.

Okay. It was a lost classic. The Rovers.

The Rovers?/ Like roving around, wandering.

All these young people/ Is that a real book?

No, but it was great. it was fresh, funny, experimental, had all this energy.

I love that you read in your dreams/ And they're really good.

I have, like, major actionhero dreams.

Like I'm flying around like a superhero, breaking through walls.

And at the end, I have an orgasm.

Well, I'm gonna try to make your dreams come true, baby.

Still there.

Still there.

Still there.

Still there.

Gone.

I need your credit card.

I think the room is paid for.

Yeah/ Yes, it is, but the credit card is for..

..for all possible outcomes/ Incidentals.

Right. Of course.

Mr. Wallace?/ Yeah.

I am such a fan of these two books.

My husband gave me your book on our date..

..and when your second book came out, we read it out loud together.

Would you please sign them to us?/ Of course. Of course.

I love the artwork on these Greek editions. It's really nice.

What are your names?/ Make it to Sophia and Pavlos.

Okay.

How's the Greek translation?

Well, it's called:

But I'm not sure it's the correct word/ You never read them in English.

Exactly.

That's great.

Could you sign them too?

Me?/ Yes, you're the real Madeleine, right?

Madeleine? Not really.

I mean, people assume it's me, but it's not me at all.

He's got a big imagination.

Would you be so kind? It would mean so much to my husband.

I can't sign a book I didn't write. it../ She'd be happy to.

Okay/ Great. Thank you.

I'm happy to.

Thank you.

Okay/ Great. Thank you so much.

Check it out.

This is nice/ Yeah.

Clean, air conditioning.

I love it. Oh, my God/ Isn't it great?

A bathtub. My God.

Hey, check this out.

Stefanos and Ariadni got us a bottle of wine and a couple's massage.

We have to get them a present before we leave.

We should get something for the kids/ Yeah, I know, for sure.

Oh, I miss the girls.

I don't.

This is such a nice view.

The only view that I am interested in..

What? What?/ ..ls right here.

Yeah. It's this.

What?

It's funny, I never noticed until today, but all the red in your beard is gone.

It used to be one of the things that made me fall for you. It's crazy.

It's not gone. It's just white.

You're not gonna tell me that your love is dependent on pigment, are you?

Huh? No?/ No, no, but, you know..

..I see the red in our girls' eye lashes.

I look at them and it makes me think of when we met.

Know what I'm looking forward to..

Yeah? What?/ ..after..

After?/ ..you know?

What?/ Ls waking up next to you tomorrow.

You mean, without Nina and Ella jumping on our heads?

Exactly.

I haven't heard you think in years now.

Think?/ Yeah.

I used to wake up to that sound of your eyes opening and closing.

That brain of yours going 2 million miles an hour.

I miss it, hearing you think.

When you said you could hear me think, I thought you could.

But it's just my eyelids. How dumb and romantic of me.

It was my favorite thing.

I miss thinking too.

No more thinking in the morning, no more morning sex.

Tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to it so much, I don't think I will sleep.

I'm looking forward to right now.

Okay.

Okay, let's stop talking so we can fuck..

..sleep, wake up, think, and fuck again.

Don't answer it/ No.

Oh, shit, who is it? No.

Who cares?/ Okay.

I said to call in case of emergency only. I hope the girls are okay.

Okay.

Oh, it's Henry. Okay.

Hey, sweetie, are you okay?

Are you in London?

Already? Okay.

Oh, no, no, we found it.

We'll mail it tomorrow. Don't worry. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Oh, they miss you too. I'll kiss them for you.

Yeah.

Okay, I'll tell him.

Good luck with your mom.

Yeah. I love you too. Bye.

Okay.

Okay.

He's fine. He says he'll call you from Chicago when he lands.

Why can't I talk to him? Twice you've done that.

You could have just handed me the phone.

He didn't have time. They were boarding.

What did he forget?

His science project. But we'll mail it tomorrow. It'll be fine.

Shouldn't have said that about his mom.

What? What did I say?/ "Good luck with your mom."

Come on/ I didn't mean anything by it.

I know, but it's not good. It reminds him. And I wish you wouldn't do that.

That's so American to just swipe it under the carpet and act as if it didn't happen.

Why put it into his head?

What if he doesn't wanna be thinking about that right now?

It means nothing/ It means something. It does.

I made a joke the other day..

..that his mom and I should settle it in one big mud wrestling contest.

Mud wrestling? You said that?/ And he laughed.

He might have more of a sense of humor than you do. Come on.

You say bad things about his morn, he hears bad things about himself.

I didn't say anything bad about his mom. I made a joke. It's on me as it is on her.

I know, I know. It's just, why conjure it up at all, you know?

I think he's old enough now.

I mean, he knows how bad it is between his mother and I.

His mom and me/ And I didn't do anything. It's all from her.

Okay, she hates me. Yes, I fucked her husband a long time ago.

Or should I say he fucked me?

Yeah, right/ Okay.

Making a joke that his mom and I don't love each other is not the issue.

That's not gonna traumatize him. That already happened.

And now you're trying to transfer your guilt and blame me.

No, I'm not.

On the contrary, if he can joke about it, maybe he'll be able to live with it better.

Okay, you're right, as always. Let's just not talk about it, okay?

Right. It's nobody's fault if his mom is a drunk and abusive psychologically.

Don't say that.

It makes me sick that he has to be with her.

But judges assume that women have the mother instinct.

She has the mother instinct of Medea.

Medea, huh?

Yeah. After all, it is a Greek myth.

Actually a play by Euripides, but..

A woman killing her kids to punish her exhusband.

That's what she's doing. Hurting him to get to you.

No, she's making my life hell through him, that's what she's doing.

And sometimes you say things that just go too far.

Stop blaming me for everything wrong with your wife.

Exwife, exwife. For a long time/ Okay.

Should have dealt with it. She wouldn't have hated us.

Okay, okay, I screwed up.

I just love this little rewrite you do..

..that everything that isn't perfect in our life gets laid at my feet.

And now you're putting this shit on me about Henry.

What shit? What are you talking about?

Let me tell you what I'm talking about. The moving to Chicago, giving up my life.

You mentioned that Henry needs you. How do you think that makes me feel?

I'm miserable. All right?

How can I take that job now?/ Okay.

Tell me. I'll feel too guilty. No, no, no/ Come here.

That's a choice you're making, to look at it like that. All right?

It is in the nature of women to be the nurturer.

The what?/ The nurturer.

The nurturer?/ Okay, I can't even say that fucking word.

I just naturally feel bad about everything. And you give that look, like it's my fault.

What look?/ The Iforgotthescienceproject look.

I know you blame me/ I didn't say anything.

No, you didn't say anything. You didn't have to. It's always my fault.

Yeah, right.

I read on the fridge at work..

You know those magnet words that people make sentences with?

Someone had put together, "Women explore for eternity..

..in the vast garden of sacrifice."

That's a sure sign from God/ Yeah.

That line is so damn true, and it's been for 10,000 years, but that's enough.

I don't wanna be one of these women.

Like marriage is important to gays, or contraception to women rights.

It's the same with giving up my hopes, with women that had to give up hopes.

I'm not gonna do it. This is bigger than me. This means more than me.

Bravo. The Nobel Committee is taking note.

I'm just.. Hold on a second. I'm gonna alert Sweden.

It must be a fulltime job carrying that much feminine oppression.

It is/ You suffered so much..

..growing up in middleclass Paris.

The agony in the trenches of the Sorbonne in the postfeminist era..

..I can't imagine/ You're an asshole.

You know what, sweetie, when are we moving to Chicago?

I wanna make sure we are able to find a nice house..

..and I can sew the drapes and pick matching bed covers.

This is how you now want to be spending this evening?

This is what you wanna do?/ You started it.

No, you are the one who will not shut up about it.

But if you wanna talk about it, really talk about it..

..I would prefer to have an unemotional, rational conversation.

Do you think we could do that?

Here we go, unemotional, rational.

You always play the part of the one and only rational one.

And I'm the irrational, hysterical, hormonecrazy one..

..because I have emotions.

You sit back and speak from your big perspective..

..which means everything you say is true.

I don't always do anything.

The world is fucked by unemotional, rational men deciding shit.

Politicians going to war, corporate heads deciding to wreck the environment.

Cheney, Rumsfeld, very rational men.

Cheney and Rumsfeld, yeah, okay.

The Final Solution, very rational thinking behind that.

Okay. So we're there now?

Us versus the Final Solution? Okay. Let's do it. All right.

Let me ask you this, all right?

Do you think Henry's life would be helped..

..by a more consistent presence by you and me?

Here we go/ No.

You won't drop it, so let's talk. Let me just ask you one question.

Think Hank's life would be better served..

..by consistent presence from you and me?

Yes, it'd be better if he lived with us/ Okay.

I think his mom is a fucking alcoholic, hateful cunt..

..that used the time we were in Paris and I was giving birth..

..to legally move Henry out of New York. Fuck her.

Okay. I agree with you.

Okay. Unfortunately, we cannot go get him out of America..

..but we could, if we wanted to, go to him.

Now, I know it would be a big move.

But what do you think? ls there any way that you could be happy in the U.S.?

Is that just out of the realm of possibility? That you could find a comparable job?

Comparable job?/ Yeah.

Are you kidding?/ No.

Why am I the one that have to make the compromises?

Don't be so dramatic. Okay?/ It should be..

Moving to Chicago is pretty fucking dramatic for me.

I'm not saying we should move. I just wanna talk about it.

Can you be my friend for two seconds so we can talk?

Two seconds/ All right.

Remember that time you were late to pick the girls up..

..and you were so stressed out because they were wondering what happened?

Okay, that is the way that I feel all the time.

Like I fucked up. I mean, I left him behind and I just wanna go get him.

You always get like this when you drop him off.

You're sad, so you start a fight.

He's fine.

He's a great kid, okay?

Truth is, he doesn't need you the way he used to.

You missed the opportunity to be with him every day of his childhood. You did.

And you can cry about it, but he's growing up.

You're a great father in other ways.

You got divorced like millions of other people. Was it ideal? No. But..

Listen, if in one month you still want me to quit my job..

..and give up everything I've been working towards, just ask..

..but right now I feel the same way I always have.

I would move to the U.S. if that exwife of yours would give us joint custody.

But every other weekend amounts to shit. That's less than 30 days a semester.

I don't think it's worth it for us to change our entire lives over that kind of time.

I know. You're right/ Right? Right?

See, I'm being the rational one.

Oh, it's just such a shitty position, you know?

Hank didn't do anything, but he's the one getting kicked in the teeth.

We all get dragged through our parents' lives.

Your marriage would have ended over something else.

Absolutely/ Or worse, he would've been raised..

..by two miserable parents/ Right.

I just really fucked that up.

You mean, you fucked up by moving to Paris to be with me?

No. That's not what I meant. Stop/ I knew that was gonna cost too much.

I told you not to do it, okay?/ Stop it.

Okay, I moved to New York with you for two years and gave up everything.

I needed to be home to give birth to the twins..

..and I wanted to be with my mother. You wanted it too.

Yes/ That's the one thing I asked from you.

The one thing and now you're gonna blame me forever?

Stop it, will you? Stop it.

If you don't wanna move back to the States, we won't. End of story.

I am just trying to find a way..

..where I could be a more consistent presence in his life.

And ideally, I'd like to do that as a family.

"As a family"? Or what?

What the fuck does that mean?

I feel a passiveaggressive threat in everything you say.

Either do this or I will resent you for the rest of our lives.

You know?

Am I right?

You know what? You know what? I'm sensing something.

I think the problem is, is that you don't want me to have a more substantial job.

On some level, you feel threatened by my achieving anything..

..that could diminish your status in our relationship.

My status in our relationship?

I teach two courses a semester at the fucking American School.

Okay. Wow, that's really some status.

I don't think it's coincidence you feel that..

..at the same time I have a truly exciting job opportunity.

This whole train of thought is complete horseshit and you know it.

I have a question for you.

If we didn't have the girls and all our crap, would we even still be together?

What?

You are the fucking mayor of crazy town, do you know that?

You know what I think? You need to move to Chicago. Henry needs you.

I stay in Paris with the girls and take this job.

Why are you doing this?

That is a ridiculous idea.

I'm gonna lose you and the girls? No. Why do you make everything so difficult?

You're unhappy. You're blaming me for taking you away from your son.

That is a completely irrational response..

..to something I'm just trying to feel my way through.

Listen, Jesse, we've just spent the last six weeks here..

..and it's been great.

You've been able to write every day and the weather's been nice.

But I didn't wanna come to Greece/ I know.

All right? There could be a revolution any second.

Oh, God/ People eat a lot of feta and olive oil..

..and they act all happy, but they actually talk about how angry they are..

..and it confuses me. I don't know what's gonna happen.

Let me tell you what's gonna happen.

The same thing that always happens.

Nothing.

All right. Know what? I have had absolutely zero time for myself.

I have 10,000 emails I have to answer that I didn't answer.

You think I don't?

I spend all day making dinner and wiping you and your son's pee..

..while you talk to fellow novelists.

Blah, blah, blah, you're a genius. Blah, blah, blah, no, you're a genius.

The second we say goodbye to Henry, you suggest I give up my dream job.

Oh, okay, now it's your dream job?

This afternoon you weren't even sure you wanted it.

Do you ever listen to yourself?

It is my dream job. Just because I have doubts doesn't mean I don't want it.

Okay/ But why do you care?

You go on your twohour contemplative walk under the olive trees.

Socrates. You should get a robe.

It's an hour.

By the time you leave and by the time you're with us, two hours.

I could never do that.

You're good at taking care of yourself. I take care of myself and everything else.

We go, you pack your bag. I pack everything else.

You would never let me pack the girls' shit. Never.

There would be no shoes and dirty underwear.

Yeah, right, so says you.

No, I'm happy you have time to contemplate the universe..

..because I don't. I barely have time to think.

I work, I babysit, I work, I babysit.

Could you hold on a second? I just have to tune up the string section.

You know what? Only time I get to think now is when I take a shit at the office.

I'm starting to associate thoughts with the smell of shit.

Well, that is a good line. I'm gonna use that in a book someday.

Yeah, I'm sure and that'll be the best line in the book.

And by the way, you may never, ever, use me or anything I say or do..

..in one of your fucking books again. That goes for the girls too.

A, you shouldn't have hooked up with a writer.

B, you weren't in the last book or the one now.

C, I'm gonna write about whatever the fuck I want.

As always, our life works for you.

No, no, no. Don't give me this putupon housewife bullshit. Okay?

This is not the '50s.

Sorry to ruin your perfect little narrative of oppression with the truth..

..but I am the one who's at home dealing with the bullshit.

You're at work until 6:30/ Six o'clock.

You take the girls to school, I pick them up. That's fair. That's our deal.

We live in Paris, France, for chrissakes/ And you remind me of it every day.

I have orbited my entire life around you and you know it. Okay?

Sorry if this summer's vacation.. And it is a vacation.

I've seen you frolic in the sea and shove salad down your throat.

But it is not indicative of you spending your life in domestic servitude.

You know what I love about men? They still believe in magic.

Little fairies around who pick up their socks..

..little fairies unload the dishwasher, little fairies sunscreen the kids.

Little fairies who make the Greek salad that you eat like a pig.

Okay, listen to me. All right?

You are great at taking care of us. You are.

I mean, you take care of the kids, you take care of your friends..

..you take care of the world. You were like that before you were a morn..

..and now it's only magnified.

But, and I've been telling you this for years now..

..you gotta do a little better job taking care of yourself.

Okay, stop patronizing me. All right?

I'm the one at home every day at 6, not 6:30. I'm reliable.

Have you ever booked a babysitter, ever, in your entire life? No.

What is the name of their pediatrician?/ Stop quizzing me. It's fucking boring.

Yeah, okay. You know what? I'm at home every night and I make dinner..

..give baths and read stories. Sometimes you're there..

..sometimes you're at a university event or a publicity tour. Okay?

When you get inspired, you keep on writing.

I get inspired too sometimes, you know that?

You wanna write? Write. No, but you remember..

..I used to sing and play guitar and write songs?

I'd still like to do it, but I don't get to. There isn't time.

Okay. Well, first off, my writing isn't a hobby. All right?

Secondly, I wish you would find the time.

You somehow find time to complain about eight hours a day.

I mean, I love the way you sing. Okay?

I fucked up my whole life because of the way you sing. All right?

If you took oneeighth of the energy that you spend..

..on bitching, whining and worrying..

If you put that energy into playing scales, you'd be like fucking Django Reinhardt.

Okay. All right.

You forgot your shoes.

Oh, God.

You think you're winning?

Few people realize..

..what it's like for an active or passionate woman to have a child.

Friends told me, "You'll wanna throw them out the window."

But I never wanted to hurt them once, but I thought about ending it for myself.

I was so confused and you were always away on a stupid book tour..

..or because of Henry's custody shit, and I didn't wanna be a burden.

I know why Sylvia Plath put her head in a toaster.

It was an oven/ Don't play with words.

You know what I mean. Toaster, oven, same thing.

You know how many times I was alone crying with no clue what to do?

Know the guilt a mother feels when she doesn't know what to do?

Do you think you have sole ownership of that feeling?

I don't think you understand. Okay?

You know what my secret fear is? With every man?

Is that they all wanna turn me into a submissive housewife.

Okay. No one could ever do that. All right?

I promise. It would be easier to fit your head into a toaster..

..than to turn you into anything submissive.

I don't think I've recovered since giving birth.

When they were born, I had no idea what to do.

People expect women to have this instinct that kicks in..

..like a female baboon.

But I had no idea how to do anything.

I loved them so much and I was doing everything wrong.

And you were away so often, calling me, and asking me how my day went..

..and I couldn't even say it to you because I felt so ashamed..

..to be so clueless.

I think you did great/ No, I didn't.

No, you did. Well, you did a good job faking it, then.

I just.. I remember the only way I could get them to sleep..

..was to drag that stupid double stroller down the stairs..

..and walk them for hours in the middle of the night..

..all the way to Pigalle and back. I almost got mugged once.

The only reason why the guy didn't attack me is that I looked so pathetic.

The only upside of being over 35 is that you don't get raped as much.

I read it. It's true.

Oh, Jesus.

Once, I remember, I was watching the twins on a trampoline, you know..

..and they looked so beautiful..

..and I was happy because they were happy.

You know, one of them had this HulaHoop..

..that she was using as a jump rope, you know..

..but then the other one wanted it so they started fighting over it, you know?

And all of a sudden, I just saw it all.

You know, all this petty jealously and selfishness, you know?

And I remember thinking, "Okay, this is the natural human state."

You know, just always a little dissatisfied, perpetually discontented, you know?

I mean, look at us.

Here we are, we are in, you know, the Garden of Eden..

..and we can't stop fighting.

I don't think there's one natural human state.

The human state is multiple.

If that's what you see when you're watching the girls play..

..that means you're depressed.

Okay. Maybe I am.

No, but when I see them fight, I see beautiful energy of going forward..

..not letting anyone step on them or take away what they want.

I like it when they fight. It gives me hope for them.

You see anger as a positive emotion.

You know, you only end up hurting yourself, your work, the kids, me.

And you never get angry?

When I do, I don't see it as a positive.

You know something?

The way you write, people come up to me and think..

..I make love to some wildcat Henry Miller type.

You like to have sex the exact same way every time.

When you got it, you got it.

Kissy, kissy. Tittie, tittie. Pussy.

I'm a man of simple pleasures.

Yeah, very simple..

..and I've been meaning to tell you that lately.

You're no Henry Miller, on any level.

And you know what? This room gives me the creeps.

I was expecting something quaint, like the real Greece.

Place is real/ What are we doing here?

This is too planned, like we're supposed to have this great evening.

No room for spontaneity. It is all gone from our lives.

This is stupid and it's not working/ Obviously.

And I curse Ariadni and that perv Stefanos for doing this.

Okay. A couple's massage?

What the fuck is that? That sounds sleazy to me.

We don't have to do it! Okay?

Come on, this place isn't so bad.

I like hotel rooms.

I think they're sexy.

Yeah, I know you do..

..Mr. BookTour.

Mr. RadissonHilton.

And I know that time when you were doing that reading in Washington..

..when your cell phone supposedly broke that night. How convenient.

Swear on our kids you didn't fuck that lady from the bookstore. Emily.

Swear to me you didn't fuck that Emily girl.

And I'm not jealous because I'm not the type.

But I just wanna know. Okay? Be a man and admit the truth.

I am giving you my whole life, okay?

I got nothing larger to give.

I'm not giving it to anybody else.

If you're looking for permission to disqualify me..

..I'm not gonna give it to you.

Okay? I love you..

..and I am not in conflict about it. Okay?

But if what you want is a laundry list..

..of things about you that piss me off, I could give it to you.

Yeah. I want to hear/ Okay. Well..

..let's start at number one, okay? Number one, you're fucking nuts.

All right? You are. Good luck finding somebody..

..to put up with your shit for more than, like, six months. Okay?

But I accept the whole package, the crazy and the brilliant, all right?

You're not gonna change, I don't want you to. It's accepting you for being you.

I asked a question. If, while I was carrying that double stroller down the stairs..

..and getting assraped in Pigalle, you fucked that little Emily Bronté girl?

I don't know what Emily. What are you talking about?

The one that wrote the emails about Dostoevsky?

"Oh, Jesse, you're so right.

The Grand Commander is the deepest passage of all of Russian literature."

If you're asking me..

..if I'm committed to you, the girls and the life we built together..

..the answer is a resounding yes.

So you did fuck her. Thank you very much.

Do I ask about the time you went to your old boyfriend after his mother died? No.

Why? Because I know the way that your fucking French ass works..

..and I guarantee that you at least blew that guy, but I also know you love me.

All right? I'm okay with you being a complicated human being.

I don't wanna live a boring life where two people own each other..

..where two people are institutionalized in a box that others created..

..because that is a bunch of stifling bullshit!

Oh, God. Well..

You know what's going on here? It's simple.

I don't think I love you anymore.


Miss?/ I don't wanna talk right now.

Here by yourself or waiting for somebody?

I'm by myself and happy to be.

I'm an angry person and I hurt my kids, my work and everyone I love.

Just my type..

Okay. I'm not in the mood. I came here to be alone.

I've just been checking you out, and I don't wanna make you uncomfortable..

..but you are, by far, the bestlooking woman in this place.

Thank you/ I'd love to buy you a drink..

..maybe talk to you, get to know you a bit.

Are you here on business?

Okay. I see. You have a boyfriend?

Not anymore.

Jeez, sorry to hear that. God, you wanna talk about it?

I don't talk to strangers.

That's the thing, I'm not a stranger. No, no, no, we've met before.

Summer '94.

You're mistaking me for someone else/ No.

We even fell in love/ Really?

I vaguely remember someone sweet and romantic..

..who made me feel like I wasn't alone. Someone who had respect for who I was.

That's me. I'm that guy.

I don't think so.

See, I know something about tonight that you don't know.

Really? What is that?

Something important.

You see, I know because I've actually already lived through this night.

How?/ I'm a time traveler.

Okay.

No, I have a time machine in my room. I've come to save you, like I said I would.

Save me from what?/ From being blinded by the bullshit of life.

It's not bullshit.

I assure you, that guy you vaguely remember..

..the sweet romantic one that you met on a train?

That is me.

That's you?/ Yeah.

Guess I didn't recognize you.

You look like shit.

What can I say? I mean, it's tough out there in time and space.

You, on the other hand..

..are even more beautiful than I remember.

Bullshit.

Jesse, this is not a game.

You get all cute, you get in my panties. And next thing I know, I'm in Chicago.

Not gonna make it better by some pickup line.

I'm not trying to pick you up. No, you misunderstand me.

No, no, no. I'm only here as a messenger.

I've just traveled all the way from the future.

I was just with your 82yearold self..

..who gave me a letter to read to you.

So here I am.

I'm still alive in my 80's?

Oh, yeah.

How's my French ass?/ Nice.

Okay/ Really nice.

I don't care about the way I look/ There's more of you to love.

Great/ You want me to read it to you?

Do I have a choice?/ Sure. If you're not interested..

No, no, no.

Read it/ Okay. All right. Well, here it is.

"Dear Celine, I am writing to you from the other side of the woods.

This letter is lighting a candle that will.."/ Okay, stop it.

I would never write this. "Other side of the woods." What woods?

May I please continue?/ Okay.

"I am sending you this young man.

Yes, young.

And he will be your escort.

God knows he has many problems and has struggled his whole life..

..connecting and being present even with those he loves the most.

And for that he is deeply sorry.

But you are his only hope.

Celine, my advice to you is this.

You're entering the best years of your life.

Looking back from where I sit now..

..these middle years are only a little bit more difficult..

..than when you were 12..

..and Mathieu and Vanessa danced all night..

..to the Bee Gees "How Deep ls Your Love."'

I don't know about that. Anyway..

"Celine, you will be fine.

Your girls will grow up to become examples and icons of feminism."

Nice one/ Yeah.

I just noticed there's a postscript at the bottom. Looks important.

Maybe I should skip over some of this.

Yeah, skip away. Please/ Okay.

You sure? Yeah, okay/ Yeah.

All right/ Boring stuff.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah, it's like, blah, blah, blah, financial tips..

..horoscope stuff. Okay, here it is.

"P.S. By the way, the best..

By the way, the best sex of my life happened one night..

..in the southern Peloponnese.

Don't miss it.

My whole sexual being went to a new, groundbreaking level."

Groundbreaking. Great/ I don't know what that means.

Okay, Jesse, can you stop this stupid game?

We're not in one of your stories. Okay?

Did you hear what I said to you back in the room? Did you hear me?

Yes, I heard you.

What, that you don't love me anymore?

I figured you didn't mean it, but if you did, then..

Oh, fuck it. Know something? You're just like the little girls and everybody else.

You wanna live inside some fairy tale.

I'm just trying to make things better.

I tell you I love you, I tell you you're beautiful..

..I tell you that your ass looks great when you're 80.

I'm trying to make you laugh/ Okay.

All right, I put up with plenty of your shit.

And if you think I'm just some dog who's gonna keep coming back, you're wrong.

But if you want true love, then this is it.

This is real life. It's not perfect, but it's real.

And if you can't see it, then you're blind, all right, and I give up.

Oh, God.


So, what about this time machine?

What do you mean?

How does it work?

Well, it's complicated.

Am I gonna have to get naked to operate it?

I mean..

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's actually.. It's been a real issue, you know?

I mean, I.. Clothes, they don't travel well through the whole spacetime continuum.

It's..

You're so smart/ Oh, jeez.

Spacetime..?/ Continuum.

Continuum/ Yeah. Really.

There's something that I've been thinking about, about your letter.

Yeah?/ You know, you..

You mentioned the southern Peloponnese?

Yeah, yeah, and we're in the southern Peloponnese.

Yeah, and do you think it could be tonight..

..that you're still talking about in your 80's?

Well..

..it must have been one hell of a night we're about to have.