Danny Collins (2015) Script

Wow, you're Danny Collins. Yeah.

Jesus H!

You mind if we listen while we talk? Sure.


Is this cool? Sure.

Smoke?

No. No, thanks.

Well, the album's going to be massive, kid. Who got you there?

I'm sorry? Your influences, who do you dig?

Who makes you hard?

Well... I guess, I... If I had to think...

Hold on.

June 30th, 1971.

Guy DeLoach with the apparently pre-pubescent Danny Collins.

For Chime Mag.

More than anything, it's your writing.

You write like fucking Lennon, man.

That's... Thank you.

I guess he's probably the one who... you know, makes me the hardest.

Jesus H!

Well, you're going to be huge, kid.

Richer than rich. Famous as shit.

More women than you know what to do with.

I'm telling you this, and I've got to ask, why are you sitting there staring at me looking like that information scares the livin' shit outta you?

Because it does.

Jesus H!

Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny.


Break a leg, Danny. Just tell me whose.


Hello, L.A.! It's good to be back!

Danny!

Hey, baby doll, what's goin' on?

Sweet baby doll, I'll sing my song!

For you!

You were strong when I was weak With a kiss upon my cheek We could fly so far away from here My baby!

Baby!

Hey, baby doll!

What's goin' on?

Sweet baby doll, I'll sing my song for you!

Hey, baby doll!

What's going on...

Excuse me, Mr. Collins? Do you think I could bother you for a quick picture?

Just real quick. Real quick, my mom will die.

I hope not.

Awesome. Beauty...

I will tweet this to you. Awesome.

It was a good show tonight, kid.

Awesome.

Hey, Sylvia Plath, you okay?

If what I just did qualified as singing, I'd be great.

You know...

Little birthday blues, I guess.

All right, everyone. My guy needs a little rest here.

Bye, Danny.

Sally, thank you for coming, honey. Tell your dad I said hello, Kate.

See those Golden Girls in the front row?

Eating the licorice the entire show. Can't choose your fans, Danny.

Three of them. Each one older than the next.

Made one pack of licorice last the whole show.

Just sat there gummin' it for two hours.

New billboard went up on Sunset.

You should check it out on your way home, yeah?

All right, enough of this crap.

So, your birthday's tomorrow. Is that your big problem?

Pregnant women in Africa, feeding half their village from their titties.

Those ladies got problems. Not you.

You're so right. Yeah.

Of course I'm right, I'm always right.

So you go home now to your stunning, half-your-age fiancée who insists on throwing you this massive surprise party tomorrow, which I didn't just tell you about, and then go tell the sore-titted African ladies your problems.

Okay?

Okay.

See you at my surprise party, buddy.

Hey. Yeah?

It was a good show tonight, kid.

Really.

Okay.


We'll have to get that fixed for you, Mr. Collins. How was the show?


I'm home!


Babe?

I'm in the shower.

Listen, I'll be out in a minute. I'm just finishing shaving.

What'd you do tonight?

Just busywork around here.

You're always doing busywork.

We have a big house. Running it keeps a girl busy, right?

Oh... hon? Yeah, just a second.

You know... Jesus, Sophie.

What?

Okay. The kid out front? Could you maybe say something to him?

Because I don't need a half-hour of chit-chat every time I pull into my house.

He's your fan, he's just trying to impress you.

Well, he's failing.

I'm gonna go rest before my surprise party.

God damn it, fucking Frank!

Surprise!

Oh, no! No way! You did this.

You guys should know better, you know, you don't surprise a guy my age.

You'll give me a heart attack.


She looks like a young Jackie O.

I look absurd with her. Yes, you do.

We have to make her sign a prenup, don't we?

Yes, we do.

I'm way too old to be putting this much shit up my nose.

Yes, you are.

Jesus, Frank, don't give me all the good stuff at once, will ya.

You're really earning that 10% tonight, pal.

What do you want me to say?

Oh, no, Danny, you look perfectly normal standing next to a coked-up teenager who can't keep her nipples covered for more than five minutes.

Prenup? Who needs a prenup?

I mean, sure, you've gone through three wives already, but this one seems like the real deal.

Oh, look, I can see her vagina again.

That's cute.

Thank you, I try.

So, I know how fanatical you are about Lennon.

So I started futzing around on the Internet, and I... get in touch with this one guy. He's a collector.

I tell him that I'm looking to get you something special.

Holy shit.

I've been holding onto this for three months.

No, no, no. Wait, wait. Hang on, wait.

You remember doing an interview when you were a kid?

Something called... Chime Magazine.

Fella named DeLoach?

Yeah. Maybe. I don't know. Yeah.

Well, I don't know what you said to the guy, I mean, you must've mentioned Lennon or something.

But that doesn't matter, the point is Lennon read it.

The interview.

And...

He wrote you a letter.

What the hell are you talking about?

John Lennon wrote you a letter, pal, in 1971.

He sent it to you care of this DeLoach guy.

Now DeLoach smells money, so he holds onto it, never tells you.

Then DeLoach dies.

But he's not the point, the point is he sold that letter to a collector.

Can you believe this shit?

I'm not following this, Frank.

Open the box. Open the box.

John Lennon wrote you a handwritten letter in 1971.

Can you fucking believe it?

Read it!

"Dear Danny Collins.

"Yoko and I read your interview.

"Being rich and famous doesn't change the way you think.

"It doesn't corrupt your art.

"Only you can do that.

"So, what do you think about that, Danny Collins?

"Stay true..."

"to your music.

"Stay true to yourself.

"My phone number is below.

"Call me, we can discuss this.

"We can help.

"Love, John."

It's crazy, right?

I've been holding onto this for months now.


I'm home!

Whatcha doin'?

Packing.

Where are we going?

We're not going anywhere. But I'm going away.

Where you going?

Where?

Where is he? Who?

Whoever you were just in bed with. That's who.

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

Come on, Sophie.

I didn't pull in the way I usually do, so the kid outside couldn't call you and stall me.

Okay, listen. I'm not mad, I promise you. I am not mad.

I just want to know who the fuck is in my house. That's all.

Hey! Wherever you are, it's okay, I promise, I'm not mad.

I just wanna see your face.

Jesus, just come out.

It's okay.

Busywork.

Judd. No, "Busywork."

I'm going to call you Busywork because she's always doing busywork.

Now, I understand.

Okay, kids, you and Busywork here, I want you to stay here for a while, if you wish.

It's fine by me. You're young, have fun.

I'm looking for my address book.

'Cause I need an address in my address book, and I found it.

Sophie.

I was going to make you sign a prenup anyway.

You know, so you're not missing out on the big bucks.

If that makes you feel better.

I guess it does a little.

Okay, you guys, I'm off.

And, Busywork?

Take care of her. Okay?

My parents had their first dance to one of your songs.

Sir. Yeah.

Well, that's fucked up in all kinds of ways now, isn't it?

Hey, man. Listen. I need a plane.

Jersey.

Yeah, New Jersey.

Yeah. A car... you know what I like.

Make it red.

Yeah. I'm changing shit up.

What are you doing? It's just dead.

There's a dental convention here this week.

Like four people have been here.

Oh, shit!

Oh, shit!

Oh, nice!

Welcome to the Hilton, Danny Collins.

I mean, Mr. Collins. I mean...

Welcome to the Hilton, sir.

It's good to be here at the Hilton.

You can call me Danny. And what should I call you?

Nicky Ernst.

Nicky Ernst. Absolute pleasure to meet you.

You got a great face, Nicky. May I give you 100 bucks?

Try not to drool on the car, Nicky.

Okay.

Welcome to the Hilton, do you have a reservation?

No. But I hope that's not a deal breaker because I am rapidly falling in love with this here Hilton. Holy shit!

Holy shit! I get that a lot. What's your name?

Jamie. Jamie. I'm Danny.

Yeah, I know who you are.

How about that guy out front? Nicky Ernst. He's a great guy, great face.

Why don't you let him take you out for a ride in my car?

You'll fall in love. Okay. Okay.

Look at that face. Why does everybody in here have such great faces?

And so young. Why are you all so young?

We're just college kids. Just graduated. I'm off for the summer.

That explains it.

How long will you be staying with us, Mr. Collins?

I don't know. My GPS tells me that this is not far from a Hillsdale, New Jersey.

Now, is my GPS lying or giving me the straight shit?

Straight shit. You're five minutes away.

Okay, I will stay here. Indefinitely.

Hang on. Mary!

Man, if another wonderful face comes out of there, I don't think I can handle it.

That's it. I definitely can't handle it.

Look who it is. I see.

Hi.

He wants to stay indefinitely and we can give him the honeymoon suite.

He doesn't want the honeymoon suite. It's not my honeymoon.

And I'm not very sweet. Any room will suit me fine.

And what college do you go to, young lady?

So, you're staying indefinitely? Here?

I'm a huge fan of this Hilton.

Are you married, Mary? Oh, I'm sorry?

Are you currently betrothed?

No. Good. Dinner?

You're asking me to dinner?

Yes. I think so. Jamie? I asked her to dinner, didn't I?

Yup, yeah, you did. Proof.

I'm sorry, are you on drugs? Currently or in general?

Currently? No. Dinner?

No. I'm going to have to decline. You're not a fan?

Currently or in general? In general.

No. Oh, that's too bad.

But we have good patter.

Don't we? Don't we, Jamie? You following any of this, are you?

No. Look, I'll check you in, okay?

While you're checking me in, I'll check you out.

Oh, my God.


You know, I never actually saw this being done.

Watch the door. Okay.


Danny? Hey.

Frank. Oh, man.

Come to papa. Good to see you, buddy.

Oh, what a trip. I got on the first flight out.

Thanks, Frank. You been here before?

The bar at the Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey Hilton? No.

Oh, man. I...

Spoke to Sophie. She said...

I did. I did. Josh.

You wanna give us ice water for my handsome young friend here?

Frank, I decided... to make some changes in my life.

Some of the changes may come as a bit of a shock.

Some may actually affect you, financially.

I'm here as your friend, Danny. Not as your manager.

I want to cancel the rest of the tour.

I'm sorry? I'm not sorry.

I'm done, Frank.

Done. So, help me, God, I will never be forced to sing those songs again.

Danny, you're spiraling. Are you on something? What are you taking?

I'm done with all of that shit too.

No more, no more drinking, no more drugging.

You're drinking right now, Danny.

True.

Let's forget about what I said about drinking.

I mean, I'm not running for Pope.

And this is because of Sophie?

Frank, please. Give me a little credit, will ya? Sophie?

Okay. What would have happened if I got that letter when I was supposed to?

I would have called him.

For sure as shit, I would have called him.

Maybe my whole life would have turned out different.

Don't... Don't...

You're too hard on yourself, kid. You always have been. Now, come on.

Frank.

I haven't written a song in 30 years. Thirty years.

I'm a fucking joke.

I'm an MC.

A fuckin' court jester with a microphone.

I was the real thing once.

Right. I was the real thing.

One album... my songs didn't sell, they handed me their songs to sing. And I sung.

I gave up.

Danny, you're having a breakdown.

I hate to tell you, buddy. I've been breaking down for 40 years.

I'm broken. Ain't nothin' left to break.

I've been abusing my body for the better part of four decades.

If I'm going to find any kind of redemption, I can't waste any more time.

But why the fuck New Jersey?

One shock at a time, Frank.

Hey, Jamie.

You talk to that kid Nicky Ernst about that ride yet?

Not yet, Mr. Collins. You got to do it.

Meet me at 7:00 for dinner. Still going to have to pass.

Mary, you keep passing, I'll keep making passes and we'll see who quits first.

Have a nice day, Mr. Collins.

Big day. Big day for me. I'm meeting someone for the first time.

How do I look?

Honestly?

If this relationship is going to go the distance, Mary, I think we should be honest with one another.

Okay. Well... you look slightly ridiculous.

Nah. I look sharp.

See you at 7:00. No, you won't.

Hey, Jamie, don't forget about Nicky.

He's a wonderful boy.

Don't say anything to anyone.

Nicky Ernst! It's ready for you, sir.

Oh, man, I don't know what you did to that girl inside, but, wow, all she does is talk about you. You should ask her out.

Jamie? That's the one.

Don't go after Mary. Mary's mine.


I like your lawn.

Thank you.

Hello!

Hello.

Hope, you're not to open the door to strangers.

He's not a stranger, we saw him on TV.

Told you.

I told you.

You didn't listen, but I tried to tell you.

I was unsure of... what was appropriate.

He's at work.

I brought bagels.

One, two, three...

The itsy-bitsy spider came up the water spout Yeah.

Down came the rain and it washed the spider out Out came the sun and dried up all the rain And the itsy-bitsy spider Climbed up the spout again That's beautiful. You have a natural singing voice.

Oh, my God. Just comes out naturally.

How did you find us?

Oh, well, you know, I had tracked him down years ago, you know, just never got the nerve up to... come see him.

I want a bagel. Can I have a bagel, Mom?

Yeah. Okay. Let me just...

Wow. On so many levels. Wow.

How far along are you?

With...

Six months, more or less.

Boy or girl? You know? It's a boy.

Boy. Wow.

On so many levels.

I have to call him. I mean, I have to call him.

Oh, yeah, sure.

Sure. Sure. Sure.

I just finished the first grade.

And my teacher is named Mrs. Williams.

Her aunt died last week, so we had a substitute.

He had a mustache.

She had a mustache?

He. Oh, it was a he. Oh, okay.

Why are you on TV?

Because I'm a singer.

Are you a good singer?

Well, I don't know, you know, not really.

I didn't think so. Hope.

You didn't think so?

And why didn't you think so?

Because when you were on the TV, my daddy said, "Shut it off, Samantha!"

And Mommy turned it off really fast.

And Mommy said, "Tom..." And Daddy said, "N-O."

And that was that.

But I thought you were great. Really. You thought I was good?

Danny Collins showed up at our house.

He's having bagels in the kitchen with Hope.

Why don't we take a break from that? Okay. Let's just color.

Look at this. Startin' to get it.

What was I supposed to do? Why don't you do it really slow?

I do, yes, I do. Okay.

Bye, honey. Slowly makes it more...

Didn't I already color that? You did. You told me that.

Well, he's coming home.

Daddy's coming home.

That should be... interesting.

This is going to be interesting.

Mommy, look! It's Yo Gabba Gabba! I see it.

The orange alien guy has one eye just in the middle.

Look, it's on TV!

Hey, Hope. Settle. Calm.

Thank you. Okay.

She seems a little... energetic.

Or severely hyperactive.

You know ADHD, it's the thing.

Learning issues, behavioral stuff, all of it.

We do the best we can, but it's a battle.

Why are you here?

Well, you know, I'm just...

Making some changes in my life.

It's a little late for that, isn't it?

Maybe. I don't know. I hope not.

Tom's the best man I've ever met.

He's solid, kind, funny.

We've had one fight in 12 years, we've had one serious fight.

A couple years ago I got backstage passes for one of your shows.

I thought it was...

You know, he should at least meet you, right? After all this time?

He disagreed.

He disagreed strongly.

So, this is not going to be pretty? I wouldn't think so, no.

Okay.

So, you think maybe... you know, you could help grease the wheels a little?

Mr. Collins.

My parents are dead. His mom is, too.

I mean, I would love for our children to know their one remaining grandparent.

I would love for my husband to know his father.

In a few minutes, my husband is going to walk through that door and when he does, I feel pretty confident this will be the last time I ever see you.

And despite your celebrity, and despite what I want for my own family, I will not try to stop that.

You did this.

You did this to yourself.

Shame on you.

That was good.

Thanks. I've been practicing since you gave me the bagels.

It has a certain feel to it.

Oh, he married well.

He did. I'm great. Yeah.

See what you missed out on?

Perfect daughter-in-law.

Well...

Daddy! Daddy!

Look who it is, it's the man from TV! It's the man from TV that we saw singing!

And Mommy said... Easy...

And he brought bagels. He brought bagels.

Mommy called you. And you're home early. Hope, your favorite flower is a...

Rose.

To smell it, you breathe through your...

Keep it in, long as you can go.

Then let it out in one big... blow.

Hi, honey. Hey, baby.

Speak to you outside for a second?

Of course. Sure.

Okay.

If I have, I am truly very sorry, that I missed out on you.

Thank you for the bagels.

Okay. Hope, say goodbye to Mr. Collins.

Goodbye, Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins, say goodbye to Hope.

Goodbye to Hope.

Come here.

You're so tall.

I'm sorry, what exactly do you want?

Well, you know... Are you sick?

Is that what you're doing here? Are you dying?

No, I'm not sick.

You have every right to be angry. No. No. I'm not angry. Really, I'm not.

I'm a little confused, and strangely, not interested. So... if you have anything to ask me, just go ahead.

'Cause this is the last time we'll see each other.

So, what do you do for a living? I work construction. Local, residential.

It's not my dream job, but it's steady, and, you know, Princeton wasn't exactly in the cards.

What else? Your mom?

She... She died of cancer 10 years ago.

Never married, never spoke about you except to say that it was a wild thing she did when she was 23 and got drunk backstage after one of your concerts.

I use her last name. Anything else?

You're clearly angry. Look, I don't care enough to be angry.

I am wondering what I'm going to tell my little girl about who you are.

And I'm thinking, I have to be back at work in 20 minutes.

Are we done here? I sent checks.

I ripped them up, okay? Okay.

Okay. Nice to meet you. Have a good life.

Are you happy? Am I happy?

I don't know.

You have a happy life?

I hate my boss.

Fucking Mets break my heart every year.

But I have the most amazing wife in the history of wives, and an amazing little girl.

One that I wish I could do more for. That I really wish I could do.

But you know what, if it makes you sleep better at night, yeah, I'm happy.

And fuck you, you selfish prick, I am angry.


Mr. Collins.

How we doing tonight?

Peachy. Thank you for asking.

Good. I'm really glad to hear that.

Mr. Collins, I was wondering if you could help me with something.

Shoot. Okay.

When a famous musician starts getting fall-down drunk in a hotel bar and you're the manager of that hotel, is there a protocol on how to handle the situation?

Because actually, we have had a shortage of famous fall-down drunk musicians lately, I'm a bit out of my depth.

I see.

Well, you know, I had a bad day.

Oh. Okay.

This is just water.

Oh, really? Yeah.

Yeah, that's just because you drank all the booze and the ice is melted.

Don't be mean to me. I really had a bad day.

Yeah? Yeah.

Well, I had a bad day too. Yeah?

Can I buy you a drink?

Bay Breeze?

Wine spritzer? Maybe even one of those frozen...

Josh, give me tequila, rocks, something añejo, and a splash of soda.

Right away, boss.

You're not the only rock star in this hotel.

Apparently not.

So, you had a bad day?

Why'd you have a bad day?

Okay, I work with a bunch of well-meaning... Thank you.

But remarkably dim twenty-somethings who are just passing time until they go back to college.

And one of them screwed up the computer system and it took me half the day to reprogram every reservation manually.

What about you?

I tracked down my grown son, who I've never met before.

I met him, his wife, my granddaughter.

And then he told me, quite emphatically, to fuck off and to die.

Well, it was every reservation, each one had to be reprogrammed manually. I hope I made that clear.

Can I ask you a question?

Not if it's about why I never met my son until today.

Oh, shit. Well, that was my question.

We lost our patter.

It's gone.

You know, I saw you in concert once, about five years ago.

You did? Yeah, my husband... My ex-husband.

He was a big fan. Oh, he loved it.

And you?

I appreciated your zeal.

Oh, shit.

What? Zeal is not awful. Zeal's not great.

Hear us? "Zeal's not awful. Zeal's not great."

We got our patter back.

How about that? We should take this on the road.

You and me. The new Nichols and May.

Well, May and Nichols. I would want top billing.

You're good.

I want to drink to you.

Toast. Oh, okay.

You'll have to come a little closer.

Oh, that was so good. See how I work it?

What does that drink need? It needs a lemon.

No.

Then he writes, "What do you think of that, Danny Collins?"

John Lennon? John Lennon writes, "What do you think about that, Danny Collins?"

Yeah.

Well, you know, John.

I think, maybe... you should have sent the letter to my house.

And then maybe I could have avoided living such a bullshit life for the past 40 years, that's what I think, John.

Well, I might have that last sip.

I'm sorry. I'm a little giddy. Laughing, no...

No, I just don't... I usually don't drink this much.

You've emptied it. I wonder if anyone's noticing.

There's one of those people at the...

No, the girl at the desk. She's the one that screwed up the computer.

This is Danny Collins. Oh, geez.

He's our guest.

Do you have a name, sir? Hiroshi.

That's nice, Hiroshi. Hiroshi.

This is my daughter. She's 18.

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Wow. Don't say it like that.

I'm ready. Okay. Oh, my God!

It just turns me on.

Rick and I split last year.

Most parents, they try to wait till their kids leave for college.

But we actually did the opposite.

We tried to do it at the time that it would really screw her up the most.

Well, did it work? Yes. Yeah, perfect.

She's a complete mess, hates us both.

Guess what? What?

She hates him more.

That's perfect.

My second wife actually was one of the stars of Gilligan's Island.

Ginger? No.

Mary Ann? Yeah.

Wait, that's insane. I know.

You were married to Mary Ann? Yes.

Oh, my God. So, what's she like?

I don't remember.

"...doesn't corrupt your art, only you can do that.

"So, what do you think about that, Danny Collins?"

That is unreal. Yeah.

You know, you better have something to play me because if this is just a lame attempt to get me to your room then...

I have something to play you. Yes.

You're really going to play?

Now, I haven't written anything in a long time.

And piano's not my first language.

Piano's my first love, but it's not my first language.

You're nervous. Yes.

I love that. So what?

So bear with me.

It's spring In my mind But the autumn leaves They fall...

Oh, keep going. Keep going.

That's it. That's as far as I got.

Honestly, this kind of was just a lame attempt to get you up to my room.

Jesus Christ.

No, no, no, don't go now. Stay. Good night, Danny.

Come on. I'm an old man with 10 Scotches in him.

What am I going to do?

Please, I mean the chances of anything risqué happening is so fucking remote.

Good night, Danny.

Good night, Mary. Good night.

You know, that song, it's beautiful. It's just a little short.

But other than that, it's beautiful. Thank you.

And you know, what we were talking about before, you shouldn't give up.

I agree. Yeah.

Dinner tomorrow? Not that. Your son.

Oh, yeah. I know.

Okay. But don't give up on dinner either.

Dinner... tonight?

She'll have dinner with me.

That's right. A six-year-old girl. Well, you know, money's no issue. So...

I'm running my operation out of the business center.

He said he was sending it to me. Well, I haven't gotten it yet.

Yeah, it's for my granddaughter.

What's he doing?

He's bitch slappin' the business center is what he's...

Hey. Hey.

Hey.

Hey, Ray! Steve, Mr. Collins.

You'll always be Ray to me. Fine.

Oh, fuck me. Language, dear.

We don't want your music!

You don't want my music?

Tom explained to Hope how you're a musician and sometimes musicians travel door to door to sell their music.

Just like Girl Scouts sell their cookies. Yeah.

And sometimes you don't want Girl Scout cookies, so we're not being rude 'cause...

Yeah, we're not rude. Yeah. Just don't want any.

I get it. Okay.

Possibly more complicated an explanation than is required for a seven-year-old.

Possibly. You know what, I get it.

Mommy, do you see this?

Hey, Jimmy! Hope.

Sorry. Hope. No, no, it's okay.

No, no. He's got her. He's got her. Thank you, Jimmy.

So, are you just out running some errands?

Yeah, you know. I was in the neighborhood. So, you know.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Look at this, there's three of us. You got to be fucking kidding me.

Have you heard of the New Compass School in Manhattan?

What?

It's the most progressive private school in the country.

It's got a multi-modal approach towards treating children with learning issues, particularly ADHD.

I pulled some strings, and you have an interview in two hours.

It has a shower! I know.

You can go in there, it doesn't work.

Wait a second, do you really think we haven't looked into every school there is?

Not this one. How do you know that?

Well, you know, you can't afford it.

Steven, would you mind your own fucking business, please!

I'm sorry, excuse me. You mean that we have an interview, as our family, today, in two hours at the New Compass School?

People wait two years for such an interview.

Two years. You have it in two hours.

Just give me a day to do something good for you.

And then, you know, I'm gone, forever.

And you still go to heaven because you're so damn tolerant.

And I will still go to hell because, you know, you can't buy redemption.

Everybody wins. Let's do this thing. Come on.

Bring your friends, you have friends? We got room.

Hey!

This school, it's not like there's a two-year wait.

It's like there's a six-year wait. What are you saying?

I'm saying I'm gonna get Hope and you put on a shirt with some fucking buttons.

Hey, Hope. Come here, baby.

Everything is back there!

I love it! It's so cool!

And I love everything in it! It looks like it could be a house.

And maybe he lives in here! And I'm sure he really does.

But it's still cool, and I can't even stop talking!

I wrote him, and then I talked to him on the phone.

So, do you know Dr. Kurtz?

Sometimes he does a talk-back thing on his blog.

On his what? His blog. He writes a blog.

What's a block? A blog. It's a...

A blog. I can't believe I'm going to meet him.

Everything is on this bus!

This is a school?

The blog doesn't do it justice. I know.

Sorry to keep you waiting. Sorry.

I'm dressed like Jack LaLanne, I'm elastic-only on the weekends.

I'm Dr. Kurtz. Shock-ma-a-lya!

You really are Danny Collins!

Yes, I am. You're really Dr. Kurtz. You really are.

Tom Donnelly. My wife, Samantha. My daughter, Hope.

My balls are in her purse. In case you want to meet them later.

You're a lot different than talking on the phone.

Well, I hope so.

You must be Hope.

I'm Tom. Tom. Then you must be Hope.

Hi, Samantha Donnelly. I follow you on Twitter.

Well, thank you. She reads your blog.

Then who's Hope?

I'm Hope! Over here! That's me! I'm seven! I'm Hope!

How are you? Let me show you around.

Come on you, you started all this. Oh, I did.

Mom, Dad, you're not going to believe it!

Hope! Hope!

She's okay. She'll be all right. She's fine.

It was in the first grade when we started to notice that she was having some trouble.

Yeah, we got a tutor for her once a week, and I do these exercises with her, every night really.

But she's got trouble with focus. It's been a real struggle for us.

Really. Yeah. Yeah.

Most schools try to train children like Hope to fit into their systems.

We prefer to tailor a program to the child's needs.

It's like one big IEP here.

Individualized Educational Program?

IEP.

You've been doing your homework. Got it right here.

Come on, let me show you the rest.

Do you remember who did the original assessment?

You having fun?

A little, yeah. I'm very excited.

We're only half speed during our summer programs.

But you can still get a sense of the place.

Oh, yeah, I got a sense of it already. How about that?

So, is this just K through 5 or all the way K through 8?

No, elementary and middle.

We'd carry her through the 8th grade and then we'd place her in one of our...

No, no, no. We live in New Jersey. We can't come all the way in...

No, she'll have a driver. Every day.

To and from school. Every day, through college.

Put that in writing. Guaranteed.

A more formal interview is required, obviously.

But considering Mr. Collins' generous donation and what I see in Hope's records, I suspect the interview will go well.

You have a lot to discuss, but trust me, you want this.

This can change the course of Hope's life. I'll give you guys a minute.

Thank you, Doc. You're a good grandpa.

Thank you, man.

Thank you so much for... Thank you. Yeah.

So, now that the educational portion of the day is over, let's get to the fun stuff.

What fun stuff? Like... No, we're just gonna go back home. Right?

No, you said a day. Remember? No, I didn't.

We agreed to it, Samantha. Yes, he did!

Yes, he did. I don't think "agreed" is the word.

I didn't agree to a day. Samantha. For God's sake.

Okay. Okay. We agreed. We agreed to a day.

And when I check it, day ain't over yet.

It's not over, Dad!

Every single thing he says upsets me. Let him have this one day.


Stay here, I got her.

Kiss?

I wanna say something, but I'm afraid I'm going to be too nice.

Good night, Samantha.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Jimmy, you wanna help her, please?

Watch your head, honey.

Thank you so much, Jimmy. Thank you, guys.

Jimmy, give us a minute. Thanks.

You are a ridiculous man.

You know, I've spent my entire life trying to become the man that you aren't.

I am exhausted.

You have no idea how exhausting that has been.

You know, when I met your mom, I was so strung out on God knows what.

And when I found out, you know...

I... tried to help. Send money.

She wouldn't have any of it. Refused it.

But, you know, my life was so extreme. It was so full of drugs and women...

Traveling. All that rock star shit.

I always thought, whoever you were, that you'd be better off with a more normal life.

More normal people.

I don't know how I allowed it to go on this long.

What you did today, your slate's clean with me.

But that's as far as this goes, okay?

I want to be a part of your life. It's not a good time right now.

This is not the right time, okay?

Why is this not the right time? It's not the right time.

What's the matter? I'm sick.

Shit.

You're sick? What do you mean?

It's what Mom died...

It's in the blood.

It's pretty bad.

Fuck.

Fuck, you're kidding me?

I just met you. You gotta be fucking kidding me!

Oh, man, I'm sorry. Obviously, that wasn't a great thing, a great reaction.

I'm sorry. No, that's okay.

I'm sorry. It's okay, man. Look...

Look, I'm the one that should be sorry. I mean, after all, you're...

You're Danny Collins, right? I mean...

Who the fuck am I to get in the way of your happy ending?

Tom, Tom, Tom...

Let me ask you something. How did you think this was going to end, that little movie you've got going on in your head?

What, you thought you'd just show up out of the blue, out of nowhere, really, and fix my little girl, and then, what, you and me hold hands and cry as the music swells, is that it?

Don't you fucking touch me. If I meant that...

Don't fucking touch me!

You want a little bit of the real world? You wanna do, like, normal?

How's this for normal, superstar?

I got a $200,000 mortgage. I got a pregnant wife.

And, oh, yeah, I got this rare form of leukemia that's probably going to kill me.

Welcome home, Dad. See what you missed? I don't know what to say.

I don't need you to say anything, man. I just need you to leave.

Let me go back inside and talk to my wife before she asks me what the hell we're talking about. Wait, hold it!

She doesn't know?

Are you crazy?

That's no good, man.

Look, I got a great doctor in New York.

He's talking about three weeks of this target therapy shit.

I'm not going to lose my hair.

Within a month, they know if it's taken. If it's taken, then maybe I stand a chance.

And if it doesn't, then it happens quick.

Sam is six months into a rough pregnancy.

So I'll tell her after the baby.

I'm going to Delaware on a job. That's what she knows.

I mean, you're going to need help. You have a friend?

She's my friend.

Then... Whatever. I'll be there.

I mean, what else is there? Be where?

Wherever. I mean, you need me, I'll be...

No, no, no, I don't need you. That's not what this is about.

This is not open for discussion. This is not open for discussion.

You're going to have to deal with it.

Because I'm here to fucking stay.


Hi. Hey.

So, how'd it go?

Well, yeah. You know, it was just...

You know, yeah.

No, I get it. I get it. Family can be messy. Right?

Yeah, that is true. That is definitely true.

In this case, yes.

Exactly, I mean, you're meeting your grown son for the first time.

You didn't expect it to be easy, right?

I thought it'd be fucking easier than this.

Right. Yeah.

You know, every part of me right now would like to just go in there and get soused with you.

But...

I'm going to go upstairs instead.

That's good, right?

Yeah, no. There's a piano up there with your name on it.

Only if my name is Steinway.

So we got our patter back.

You're cool.

I am not cool. Yes, you are.

I am not cool.

It's spring in my mind But the autumn leaves they fall

As I am walking by I collect them all Now I have had success with this in the past.

But I'm not going to lie to you, Mr. Donnelly.

The next several weeks aren't going to be pretty.

Most people are a little alarmed at how awful it can feel.

And that will get worse.

This okay?

Who is Jackie Joyner-Kersee?

You don't like chicken noodle soup?

How the fuck do you not like chicken noodle soup?

I don't like noodles, okay?

Makes me think of worms.

Surprise.

My uncle took me fishing one time. He took the worm, put it in his mouth and he ate it just to fuck with me, okay?

And now, whenever I see a noodle, I think of my fat slob of an uncle eating a worm and it freaks me out.

Well, look at this. This technique...

You made the picture. I made the picture. Yeah.

Don't get cocky.

What kind of uncle screws up a little kid, makes him phobic about chicken noodle soup?

That I don't get. Get out!

A, B minor, C sharp.

I don't know what that means. No, no. Listen, let me teach you.

Let me teach you, petulant little fucker.

Okay, so three weeks from today we'll go over the test results together, and that'll dictate what our next steps should be.

Now, let's just hope for the best. Stay positive, all right?

Yeah, thank you.

Thanks, Doc. Thank you.

I'm walking blind upon this road In search of higher ground I'm walking blind upon this road In search of higher ground Walking blind upon this road In search of higher ground Don't look back

Don't look back

Don't look back

And don't look down

Come in! It's unbolty thinged.

Hi. Hi.

Yeah, so, I got your note. Yeah, so, what do you think?

Well, okay, okay.

"Pictures from my life as I'm walking down the hall.

"As I'm walking by, I collect them all."

What do you think? Well...

You're aware that I have no basis in musical knowledge or theory.

Okay. Yeah. Okay.

So, you still want my opinion? Of course.

Well, I think I kind of liked it better the way it was, with the leaves.

Really? Yeah, the leaves and... Yeah.

Me, too.

I just wanted to get you back in my room again.

So now I can ask you out to dinner, right?

Play this in a concert, okay? Then you can take me to dinner.

You're a dinner tease. I am not a dinner tease.

You're a huge dinner tease. I found you out.

Oh, you're terrible.

This is my second time in New Jersey in two months.

I am not happy about that.

Frank. Gee, I owed you a call.

Oh, Frank. I'm so sorry.

But you know what it's like when I'm workin'.

I've been so busy... Yeah, apparently.

May I...

Oh, yeah, sure. This is Frank Grubman.

My manager and my best friend.

Hello. Hello. Hello.

This is Mary. She's my new girlfriend.

Oh, really?

I'm working on it. You know, I mean...

She's a big dinner tease. I'm not. I am not.

Yes, yes, yes. She keeps moving the goal post. No?

Mary, would you mind if I had a word with Danny in private?

Oh, no, of course. Of course. Excuse me. Excuse me.

Yeah, I think you've said enough.

Okay, dinner tonight. Yeah, you're ridiculous.

She's lovely. And age appropriate.

No, not really. Baby steps.

Yeah. All right, sit, sit, sit. We need to talk.

I know. There's a lot I want to tell you, pal.

Unfortunately, I have my manager hat on right now.

Okay.

What's up?

I've been going over things with Bill and... you're not exactly where you think you are.

Okay. Where am I?

A little ahead when we sell properties. But only a little.

I mean, we shouldn't have sold your publishing rights so early.

All those properties, the housing market has collapsed.

The private plane, your lifestyle.

The Madoff thing, that absolutely killed you, as you know.

But... you're not bankrupt or anything.

It's just that you need to understand how serious it is.

Okay. So what do I do?

One of two things. You start living like a normal human.

You buy a Prius, you fly Continental, you know, that kind of shit.

Or you go back on tour.

And this last tour was my retirement plan for you.

I mean, we had a big piece. I know.

Concessions! I know.

Merchandise! I know.

I'm writing, Frank.

Danny. I'm telling you, it's good.

Mary thinks it's really good.

Oh, the Woodcliff Lake Hotel manager? Oh, oh, okay. Well, now I feel much better.

Just get me a gig.

A gig? A gig, yeah.

Something small, not a big arena.

Just, you know, something like Springsteen would go do.

"Like Springsteen would do." Yeah, he just pops into these places...

Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny...

Do you even hear yourself?

This stuff is good. Just give it a chance.

And then, we'll tour.

And the bonus is that...

I won't think about killing myself every night.

Okay?

Okay.

Okay, I'm going to make an announcement.

All right. All right.

Are you ready? Yup.

I'll be playing a gig in a bar. Oh, a gig?

On Friday night. A gig?

What's a gig?

A gig. A gig is where I sing in front of people.

I wanna hear you sing. And I want you to hear me sing.

I want you to hear me sing more than anything in the world.

But we have to check it out with Mom and Pop and see if it's okay.

It's at a bar? I'm going to go to a gig at a bar.

It's an upscale bar. You know, it's got...

What's an upscale bar?

Fully appropriate cocktail menu. Cover charge...

Cover charge! Really? Yes, that's right.

You're doing things with cover charges now?

This place big enough for you to be able to do your moves?

Man, nothing holds my moves back.

That's what we're looking for. Yeah.

Another Danny Collins? I think it's called "the Danny Collins."

Hey, baby doll, what's goin' on?

I don't want that to start.

So what do you think? Show starts 7:30.

Done by 9:00. 9:00?

Yeah, it's late. But not too late. That's late. I don't know.

You sure your crowd's going to be able to stay awake until 9:00?

They going to be conscious?

We're going to have to call the club and let them know that there might be a whole room full of snoring old ladies.

That's good, I'm gonna give them a call and give them a heads up, make sure they know. Oh, you're so kind.

So what are we going to do? We going to get your permission?

Are we going to get Mommy and Daddy to say, "Yes, it's okay"?

Because it's a big thing for me.

And it would help if I had these cheeks there.

These cheeks will be there.

There you go.

From the... cheeksy-mouth.

Babe? Do you hear this? It's been going on...

When are you going to get yourself to the doctor already?

It's just a little bug. It's not a little bug.

It's been happening for weeks, at least since you got back.

Hope, is your Daddy the most stubborn man on the planet?

Don't be so stubborn, Daddy!

I'm fine, baby. Yeah, don't be so stubborn, Daddy!

He'd rather walk around like the living dead instead of just get antibiotics.

Listen to Mama!

Gotta listen to Mama. That's a good idea. Listen to Mama.

Stubborn man.

Stubborn man.

Hey, baby doll, what's goin' on?

Yes, all the way. Yes!


Jesus. You look like Lee Trevino.

Samantha took me shopping.

You ever hear of this place, the Banana Republic?

Yeah, I think so. It's an amazing place.

Yeah, okay. The house is packed.

Oh, that's good. Band's out there, ready.

Phil can step in on piano if you need him for the new stuff.

Family's up front.

And I saved a spot for Mary. She's with them.

Speak of the devil.

Break a leg, kid. Just tell me whose.

Go on in. He'll be thrilled to see you.

Well, thank you. Thank you.

Okay, bye, see you later out there.

Oh, my God, thank you for the VIP ticket. I am right in the front row.

I thought I'd come back and see how you're doing, you know. You nervous?

Mary, you know, I've done this a zillion times.

I'm never nervous. Hand to God, not once.

Not once?

But I'm nervous now. No, that's nice.

So this...

I mean, I guess this means that finally you'll let me buy you dinner?

Let's see how you do first.

Give me a little more pressure. Just what I need.

You know, this is kind of weird to say, I know, because I really haven't know you very long. But I am very proud of you, Danny.

That is fucking weird, Mary.

You're sweet and weird. Just how I like 'em. There you go.

Okay. Well, there you go. Have a great time. You're going to be fantastic.

Thank you. I love you, Mary.

That's a show-business expression, you know.

Kind of means I sort of like ya.

You still there?

You look really nice.

You look really nice, too.

Oh, for Christ's sake.

Oh, right.


Hi, Grandpa!

Grandpa!

Thank you. Thank you again.

Thank you three times.

My granddaughter, ladies and gentlemen.

Okay.

Baby Doll! Baby Doll!

Come on, Danny, play Baby Doll!

Yeah, Baby Doll!

Play Baby Doll, Danny!

Play Baby Doll! Baby Doll!

Baby Doll, Danny! Baby Doll!

Play Baby Doll, Danny! Baby Doll!

Play Baby Doll, Danny! Play Baby Doll!

Phil.

Can you just...

Hello, everybody. Hi, Danny.

Just working out a little something.

But I know what you're here for.

I think you know this one.

Hey, baby doll What's going on?


Danny!

Sophie!

Danny Collins. What are you doing here?

Well, we heard about the gig and we're like, "Let's go support our sugar daddy."

Oh, yeah...

And I used your credit card for the flight. I hope that's okay.

What's up? What do you got on you? What do you mean?

Come on. Come on. What do I mean? Come on, babe, he wants to party.

I wanna taste. I got it all, baby. I got it all.

Yeah.

Here you go, Danny.

Oh, man. Yeah.

It's good.

I fired the pool guy and the gardener.

I really didn't like the way he looked at me.

You know, I decided to start... Grandpa!

Grandpa? Honey.

Hey, baby doll What's goin' on?

Come here. Come on.

Dad! What you doing? Go to Mommy. It's okay.

What are you doing? What are you doing?

Wasn't doing anything. I didn't know... I didn't know... Hi, Samantha. Hi.

This is my friend Sophie there. And her friend, Busywork.

So what's goin' on?

What's the look?

You just keep judging me, Tom.

You just judge me. Go ahead. You judge me all you want.

It's fine, that's what you're good at.

And when you're done, you know, being so fucking perfect and honorable, you should talk to your wife about what you did in Delaware.

What's that? What's he mean? Tom?

I'll tell you when we get home.

Stay the fuck away from my family. Tom.

Let's go.

Bye, Hope.

Oh, man.


Come on, let's get the fuck out of here.


Who are you?

Oh, I'm sorry, I work for the hotel. Oh, good. That's good.

We need more towels. Can you do that? Mary!

And some beer. Oh, Mary.

I'll get you some towels and some beer.

Mary, wait, wait, wait.

Mary, please.

It's not... What happened last night?

Well, you know... I...

Just... It wasn't right, you know? It wasn't the right time.

What are you talking about?

You've worked so hard and your whole family was there.

I know. I just couldn't... Come on!

I lost my nerve. Oh, well, you lost your dinner, too.

Okay...

You should have played the song, Danny.

You should have at least played the one fucking song.

Take care, Jamie.

You, too, Mr. Collins.

You be good to Nicky. He's a good boy. You got a wonderful face.

Yours isn't so bad either, Mr. Collins.

Look at that. Now we're getting patter.

Okay.

You know, for the record...

Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island, her real name was Dawn Wells.

And she was Miss Nevada before she got famous and she couldn't hold a fucking candle to you.

Bye.

Nicky.

Oh, Nicky. What a pleasure it's been.

Pleasure's definitely been all mine, Danny.

I'm gonna miss you.

Gonna miss you.

Look at this.

Ran out of hundreds. Don't even worry about it. Come on.

I'll tell you what.

I'm in a giving vein today.

Come on, get outta here. What are you talking about?

The second you stop appreciating this piece of machinery, then you give it to somebody else.

Deal?

Deal.

Go ahead, man.

God bless you, Danny Collins. Back at ya.

How much does insurance even cost... Fuck it, I don't care. I don't care.

Watch your head. Okay.

Okay, Danny.

I don't want the last thing I ever said to you to be mean, but I don't want to say anything nice.

So, Mr. Collins, on behalf of the Woodcliff Lake Hilton, we'd like to thank you for your stay.

And we hope that you will make Hilton a home wherever your travels take you.

I'm grabbing a cab.

I see that. I gave Nicky my Mercedes.

You gave your Mercedes to Nicky? You are fucking crazy.

It's been said, yes. I can afford it, though.

Frank called me this morning and we're going back on tour.

I need the money. I got a family now.

So...

They hate my guts, but...

I'm told that's what families do.

Yeah, that's right. I've taught you well.

Yeah. I'm going to play my new songs.

Some of them. We'll see what happens.

I know what will happen.

Yeah, they'll throw tomatoes at me. Yeah, and onions.

You know, I'm going to be here in a couple of months.

You know, in the area. We're playing the Garden.

Yeah, maybe you'll come by, see the show.

We'll have... dinner afterwards.

You know what I like about you? You never give up.

Some dinners are worth fighting for.

I left something in the room for ya.

Yeah? You probably left me a big mess, is what you left me.

Well, you know, rock stars.

So...

Another life?

You never know.


Oh. Hi. Hey.

Hi, sorry, I don't think we met. I'm Mary, the hotel manager.

You must be Busywork? Yeah.

I'm Judd.

Judd, yeah, right. Okay, very good. Yeah, yeah.

Anyway, checkout's noon. Sweet.


Christ, what, did he send you out here to check up on me?

Well, the hotel didn't know what to do with the damn piano.

So I thought you might want it.

I don't want his piano. Yeah?

Well, it took six hours to move it out of the Hilton and I don't know anyone else in New Jersey. So tough shit.

Look, it's a $30,000 instrument, Tom.

Sell it, for all I care.

How's your health?

I find out in a few days.

Your age.

You know, when I was in my 30s, I started drinking, heavily.

Long line of drunks in my family.

All with the usual bullshit excuses.

Careful, gentlemen!

That is a Steinway!

Anyway, we were on tour in the Bay Area. I fell asleep at the wheel.

Almost killed myself and others. Danny bailed me out.

5:00 in the morning, he shows up at the San Jose police station, wacked out of his skull.

He drives me six hours to this Hollywood rehab joint drunker than I'd been the night before, the dumb shit.

He visited me every Saturday till I got dry, and then once a week for 37 years, I get four cases of bottled water, sent to me wherever I am in the world.

Always with the same note.

"Drink as many as you want. On me. Danny."

Best friend I ever had, your father.

Yeah, the man saved my life and got me stone-cold sober.

And was three sheets to the wind the whole time he was doing it.

I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing your point.

The point, my boy, is... that he's got a good heart.

He just keeps it up his ass half the time.

What you do with that is up to you.

My waters will keep coming, no matter what.

All right, boys, let's move that puppy! So I can get the fuck out of New Jersey.

So I'll see you guys in Pittsburgh?

Yeah. Frank is setting up the other events.

Okay, talk soon.

Okay. Now let's take a look at the computer system.

I still don't know...


Have fun at the doctor.

Your favorite flower is...

Rose.

To smell it you breathe through your...

Hold it in as long as you can go, and let it out in one big...


Hi. Tom Donnelly for Dr. Silverman.

Sure. Just have a seat, Mr. Donnelly.


So... she's pissed?

Nah, she's thrilled. Thanks for asking.

Oh, that was such a horrible night for me. It's no excuse.

Well, I can assure you it was a worse night for me.

So she's not going to come at all?

She can barely move.

Doctor's got her on full bed rest now.

Plus whatever this news is, I'd rather she heard it from me. Not some doctor.

Mr. Donnelly?


Listen, if this news is bad...

Tom... No, listen to me.

If it's bad, Samantha, Hope and the baby... They'll be taken care of, Tom.

Don't even think about it. Okay. Okay. Good.

Thank you.

I am not ready to leave them.

I'm not ready.

You know, Tom, I've been thinking.

I noticed something very interesting.

Whenever this doctor comes in here, he either calls you Mr. Donnelly or Tom.

You notice that?

Always one or the other.

Now, when he calls you Mr. Donnelly, it's never good news.

Next thing you know, he's shooting you up with some stuff that makes you throw up.

Or he doesn't like your levels.

But when he calls you Tom, it's always good news.

I mean, the time he liked your white cell count. Remember that?

He calls you Tom. It's here, I've been taking notes.

Literally, every time, it's a good thing when he calls you Tom.

So this is what we want right now.

We want him to come in here, open that door, call you Tom.

That's what we want.

You understand?

So let's... Let's focus...

On that.

Okay?

Okay.

Everything's going to be all right, son.

It's going to be all right.

You promise?

Have I ever let you down before?

You're a ridiculous man, you know that? I know.

I've been told.

Okay.

Yeah, he's going to come in here and he's going to call you Tom.

And everything's going to be okay... all right?

Everything's going to be okay.

Okay, Tom, so here's where we are.

It's spring in my mind But the autumn leaves, they fall As I am walking by I collect them all What happened was I did an interview with a magazine called Zig Zag in 1971.

After I've had my first album out.

And in it, I was asked by the fellow who was interviewing me whether I thought...

If I...

If I became, you know, rich beyond the dreams of avarice, you know, whether it would affect my song writing, you know, detrimentally.

And I thought... I said I thought it would.

Anyway, John, for some reason, took an exception to this and wrote a letter in.

It was a very friendly letter.

And he finished it with, "Well, what do you think of that?"

He had his own home telephone number in Ascot.

So, if I had got the letter, you know, when he sent it, I would have rung him. Right, yeah.

So that's the frustrating thing, you see.

Instant karma's gonna get you Gonna knock you right on the head You better get yourself together Pretty soon you're gonna be dead What in the world you thinking of Laughing in the face of love?

What on earth you tryin' to do?

It's up to you Yeah, you Instant karma's gonna get you Gonna look you right in the face Better get yourself together, darlin'

Join the human race How in the world you gonna see Laughin' at fools like me?

Who on earth do you think you are?

A superstar? Well, right you are Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun Well, we all shine on Everyone, come on Instant karma's gonna get you Gonna knock you off your feet Better recognize your brothers Everyone you meet Why in the world are we here?

Surely not to live in pain and fear Why on earth are you there When you're everywhere? Come and get your share Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun Yeah, we all shine on Come on and on and on, on, on Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun Well, we all shine on Like the moon and the stars and the sun