Le Week-End (2013) Script

I think I'll just... Okay.

You've got the euros.

I've got the euros, have I?

Don't start.

You never lose anything.

I'll lose you in a minute.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can now purchase metro tickets... Thank you.

From our buffet between coaches six and 13, as well as a Paris pass giving you access to museums and access to...

Pardon, monsieur.

We also sell discounted...

This is exactly what I needed. Can't we have lunch immediately?

Are you starving? I'm practically dribbling.

I like a man who knows how to dribble.

Rue Myrha.

This is Chateau Rouge. We've come out here.

Ah, Montmartre. Ah.

Merci.

Practically fluent.

I'm thinking in French now. You look French.

Oh, pardon.

Oh, it was you. Oh, yeah.

Spritely.

Once you get in the rhythm, you've got to keep going.

You're just showing off now.

Surely not.

They've tarted it up a bit.

They have?

All right?

Yep.

I reckon if you stood on tiptoe with a telescope, you could see the Hunchback of Notre Dame's arse.

It's, um.

Beige.

There's a certain light-brownness about it, yes.

Meg.

Meg, don't do this, Meg.

Last time, when we were here before, it was bigger, plus grand, different colour, différente couleur.

So you recommend we should redecorate?

I can't do that.

Merde.

Meg. Sorry, sir.

How can you do... How can you treat... Meg!

Meg!

I'm really sorry, sir. Meg!

Taxi! Don't.

Taxi! We do have a complimentary breakfast if you'd like to try... Wait! Wait!

Sir? Wait, wait, wait!

We have croissants, sir.

This was your idea.

How terrible to be in Paris. You want us to sleep in a coffin.

Give me the euros. What?

Give me the euros.

Wow.

Oh, Meg. Stupid...

Let's get started.

Meg!

Look, look, look!

Ah. Paris.

Meg, stop it. Merci.

Fuck's sake.

What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where are we going?

Why? What? Ooh, what? We're in Paris!

Yes, exactly. Why don't we just stop and enjoy it?

Just look!

You'll need this.

Okay.

Merci.

Meg! No! Please!

Bonjour.

No, no, no, no, no.

Non.

Pardon. Monsieur, non, non.

Jesus.

Meg? Meg!

Whatever it costs is fine.

Hello, sir. Hello.

I'm so sorry, madame, but unless you made a reservation, we are completely and utterly full.

You see?

They've taken our bags.

What now? Back on the train? Good idea.

Get a taxi to the Gare du Nord.

Sit in silence all the way back to Moseley before killing ourselves in a suicide pact.

Perfect.

I knew this trip would be a fucking disaster.

You didn't even want to try. I did.

But why did you book that dreadful place?

I was foolish enough to want to try and please you.

You actually said you wanted to go back.

Not that far. Madame?

Anyway, it was the wrong place. It wasn't.

It was. It wasn't.

They'd just redecorated. That's all.

Madame, there is one possibility.

There is? As a special offer, we have a prestige suite available for two nights.

In fact, Tony Blair once slept there.

Well?

As long as they changed the sheets.

Thank you.

May I have your passports, and a credit card, of course?

Of course. You've got the passports.

Passports.

Bang goes the bathroom.

Just close your eyes when you go in.

My only remaining ambition was to have a bidet.

Well, I think we've earned a very good time.

You know I'm anxious about money.

We might live for ages as a burden to others.

I've taken up Zumba. I'm redesigning my body.

Why? Who's going to see it?

Meg?

The keys, sir. Oh. Merci.

Anything else, sir? Non, non.

Merci, ca va.

Do you want me to show you the room?

No, no, it'll be all right. Thank you. Merci, ca va, ca va.

Thank you, sir. Merci.

Thank you, sir.

See you later, no doubt. Au revoir.

On, my God!

Oh!

It really is wonderful.

Quite spectacular.

Time for some refreshment, don't you think?

Right.

Meg, Meg, stop. We're not that thirsty.

So far this city is a brilliantly designed machine for extracting all our money.

What are you saying?

What I'm saying is that we can't proceed with the bathroom until you've made a decision about the tiles.

What's that got to do with this?

Well, I thought that now we're in Paris together, we could discuss important things.

Like tiles?

It has to be done.

Suppose I want you to choose the tiles?

Aren't you interested?

I'm not sure I am, actually, no.

Here's to us.

I love you. Lots of love, darling.

Mmm.

Can I touch you? What for?

This last five to ten years your vagina has become something of a closed book.

Now we've paid all this money, I'd rather see the Eiffel Tower than your partially erect sausage.

See both at the same time. Wouldn't take a moment.

I was thinking, we could try taking our lovemaking into another dimension.

What did you have in mind?

I thought we could pretend to be other people.

A man who still wants to make love to his wife.

That's unusual, if not a far-out perversion.

I might do it for you later.

Really? If you stay awake.

Last time we did this, we could breathe.

Have your knees gone yet? Not yet.

Nothing's gone yet.

Who'd want to live anywhere else?

Let's do it.

What?

Sell up, get a little apartment here.

You'll find we'd still have to earn money.

Haven't we worked for long enough?

What else would we do?

We could be artists.

Nick, we're from Birmingham.

Not by birth.

Hello. Hi, Dad, it's me.

Hi, man!

Dad, are you at home?

No, we're on the continent.

In France, in Paris.

No, we haven't argued yet.

Not at all, no. It's wonderful.

I'm falling in love with your mother all over again.

What?

Another one? Oh, fuck! Yeah, another one.

What's going on? The place is teeming with them.

I'm going inside.

It's important. Dad? Dad?

It's a rat's nest. Oh...

And I don't know what to do about it.

Have you spoken to the estate agent? No, not yet.

You should, that's the first thing to do. Think they'll be able to help?

Yeah.

Hmm.

Definitely not.

Come on, Meg, it's an emergency.

How can you let them stay in a house full of rats with a three-month-old baby?

We just got rid of them.

You know what she's like.

She makes his life even more intolerable than you make mine.

You make my blood boil like nobody else!

That's the sign of a deep connection.

Meg! Meg!

Do not mock or patronise me!

Come on.

He's our son.

Come on. Stop!

Why won't you ever let me touch you?

It's not love. It's like being arrested.

I'm a phobic object for you.

Kiss me now, then.

Go on.

God!

That's us in ten years.

Is that the height of your ambition? Huh?

Ow! We're in Paris, give us a kiss.

God! What the fuck are you doing?

Don't you like to be spanked?

No! Don't you know me at all?

Whoa! Ow!

Oh, God, Nick!

Nick, I'm sorry.

Sorry, are you okay? No, no, leave it. Leave it, it's my knee.

Oh, come on, old fella.

Take me to Casualty. Stop it. Stop it!

Don't be such a girl.

No, really... It really hurts.

Oh, God, Nick, can't you be a man for once?

I'll leave you here. You do that. Go on.

Jesus, God! Oh!

Oh...

Ah! Oh...

It really hurts!

I'm serious.

It's not a terrible limp!

Here?

You choose lunch, I choose dinner. Usual arrangement.

How's your knee?

Let's keep walking.

Good boy.

Too modern.

Too empty.

Too empty.

Too touristy.

And they've got an English menu.

We have lift off. You sure?

Good.

Madame, monsieur, bonjour. Bonjour.

Bliss.

Madame, monsieur, le menu. Merci.

Merci.

I can't think when I've ever had a harder decision to make.

Monsieur?

Madame.

Vivant.

Rosé.

It's the nicest thing I've ever put in my mouth.

Listen.

Thanks for bringing me.

Try.

Mmm!

Oh, God.

I was sceptical. But I'm so glad we did this.

Why sceptical?

You've been attacking me a lot, lately.

Do you know why?

DO you?

You're making that noise.

Am I?

Have I always done it?

Like an old horse at the trough.

Enjoyment, some people call it.

Lack of inhibition, freedom.

Are you free?

I'd love not to give a fuck.

This is it, isn't it, my love?

This is where I want to be forever.

You always did edit out the arguments and misery.

You can't not love and hate the same person.

Usually within the space of five minutes, in my experience.

But you like things steady.

Too steady.

Why have you got your constipated face on?

The fact of the matter...

Actually...

What's happened...

About a month ago, the college insisted I take early retirement.

Oh, Nick.

Oh, fuck.

One of the students made an official complaint.

What did you say?

I said, "if you spent as much time on your studies as you do on your hair, "you might have a chance of escaping your background."

She complained to the dean.

Apparently her hair is her history, her identity.

And something else, I forget what.

Ah, oui.

Yes, yes, we're finished.

Why didn't you tell me before?

I wanted it to be a surprise.

I couldn't think about it.

It's just here. I hope it's dirty.

I could do with cheering up.

Definitely earthy.

Is this it?

Are you expecting me to die?

Unfortunately, I'm expecting you to live forever.

Baudelaire, Soutine, Sartre, Beckett...

Your heroes.

They're all here.

But it's not as though they're actually here, is it?

Don't panic.

It's only dust and bones.

That's the problem.

As Beckett says, "Do we mean love when we say love?"

What else do we mean? That's stupid.

I think he means there's more to love than loving or being loved.

Come on, where's Sartre? This is fun!

I was brilliant at school.

Bit of a star at university.

I have to say, I'm amazed by how mediocre I've turned out to be.

You can draw, you're musical.

You can explain Wittgenstein to the illiterate.

You contrived to chuck them away, your numerous talents.

I did? Why would I do that?

Masochism?

It's not too late for you to find another direction.

Why don't you think about it?

Do you think so?

People don't change.

They do.

They can get worse!

Why have you cheered up so much?

What is wrong with you?

Come on.


Can you see anything there?

Have I got skin cancer? Yes.

I knew it.

You also mentioned early onset Alzheimer's and stomach cancer.

That's right.

And a lazy eye.

What else?

You'll be sorry that you never loved me enough.

Mmm.

♪ Kidding you

♪ You used to laugh about

♪ Everybody that was hanging out

♪ Now you don't talk so loud

♪ And now you don't seem so proud

♪ About having to be scrounging

♪ Your next meal

♪ How does it feel?

♪ How does it feel?

♪ To be without a home

♪ Like a complete unknown ♪

I've got the key.

Hold on. Hold on. Where are my keys?

We're not at home. Even you might have noticed.

I get anxious if I don't know where they are.

I help you find things all the time, even when it's futile and stupid.

And don't use my toothbrush. You'll give me gum disease.

That's not even yours. It bloody is!

The blue one. Oh, yes.

Blue toothbrushes. It's a panda welcome.

The welcoming committee.

Why's that panda staring at me?

I'm worried. Bonjour, monsieur. Bonjour.

Catch me!

Pardon.

Bonsoir.

Bonsoir.

They'll take our last penny.

If it's the end of the world, I want to go down gulping oysters.

Come on.

I love it when you're in this mood!

Do you think you're bi-polar? Tri-polar, possibly.

Do you think that part of the reason you invited Jack and Angie back into the house was because you can't bear being alone with me?

I can't bear to be apart from you.

Well, you are pathetically dependent.

Why don't you want to help young people?

Shut up.

Idiot!

You're a fucking idiot, sometimes.

I want a new start.

Sorry?

I wanted to tell you.

I've gone as far as I want to at the school.

I'm fed up teaching Biology GCSE.

I don't want to run the department.

That's mad. What would you do instead?

I don't know.

I want to learn Italian, play the piano, dance the tango.

Is it such a terrible idea?

Once the kids have gone...

What's left of us?

You've picked our anniversary to dump me?

We must at least be able to talk about it.

Right?

Of course.

Come on, love.

Let's enjoy our dinner.

Come on. Let's talk about the bathroom.

I've got some good ideas.

Nick?

The least you can do is buy me a last supper.

My pleasure.


Go outside and smoke.

I don't smoke. And wait.

Get your coat.

And get my coat too.

That's all you have to do.

Right.

Fucking hell.

Right.

Excusez-moi. My coat, please.

Of course.

Is everything okay for you, madam?

Yes, great, thanks. Thank you.

Ah, excusez-moi.

Pardon.


Nick!

Nick! Over here!

For Christ's sake, what are you doing?

Get this thing. They've plastic on it.

Come on!

Come on, give it a really good pull!

Yes!

Ah!

God! Come on.

Rock and fucking roll!

Don't tell the kids.

Merci.

Come on. Come on.

Let's do it all again. What do you mean?

Try me again and I promise it'll be more fun this time.

Get a room!

Hey, Nick Burrows!

It is. Nick Burrows?

No. Is that really you, under all that terribly un-English passion?

My God! Good God, hello there!

Yes, hi, how are you? How the damn devil in the entire world are you?

Tell me everything!

Wow! Great. Good.

Um... Not bad.

Well, then, this is my wife, Meg. Hello.

Meg, Morgan. Morgan, Meg. Your wife?

I've never seen a man kiss his wife like that.

Well, look at her. She's so... She's so beautiful.

May I... I gotta try a little of... A little of that. Hello, Meg.

Let's see. Wow, that's just delightful!

Well, what are the two of you up to around here?

The weekend, you know, in Paris.

Oh, really? For old times' sake.

What about you? I thought you lived in New York.

Yeah. I know, I thought I did too.

But I'm back here and I've got a brand new wife, as a matter of fact.

I'm scribbling and, you know, prostituting myself as usual.

Economics, politics, the whole collapse.

I understand it, apparently. Who am I to disagree?

Hey, listen...

We're having a little thing tomorrow.

I'd love it if the two of you could come along.

I don't know. I think we're free.

You are? That's great. May I?

May I write a little something?

Seriously, Nick, this must be synchronicity.

We gotta catch up on so many things. Thank you, Meg.

Mmm. There's so much to talk about.

There is?

Thanks. Eight o'clock.

You can be unfashionably on time for once in your life.

Wow!

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow, oh, my God!

Nick... Burrows!

Rue de Rivoli. Wow!

We were at Cambridge together.

Haven't you got his book by the bed?

Possibly.

You read it twice and said it was a bad day for the English language.

It was very well received. It was a sensation.

He was in the year below me.

I introduced him to everybody.

What happened?

Life happened.

That's mine.

Give it to me! No.

You're gonna get gum disease!

Yeah, I'll give you gum disease.

Ow! Give it to me!

Oh, sorry.

Blood.

Show me your breasts.


Are you sleeping?

Awaiting your noises.

What are you thinking?

Should I have had the creme brulée instead of the poires belle Hélene?

It'll be my dying thought.

Would it be okay... Mmm?

For me to briefly mount you...

Mmm-hmm.

And soon after ejaculate a miniscule amount?

I'm dropping off.


Nick?


Nick?

Nick?


What is it? What's happened?

I thought you'd gone.

Wasn't that what you wanted?

Hold me.

I've got you, darling. I've got you.

I thought you'd gone. It's all right, it's all right.

I've got you. I've got you.

I never read short stories in the papers at home.

It's good.

Bonjour. Bonjour, madame.

Over here?

You know, Morgan seems to really like you.

He wasn't joking. He really does want to see you.

Why?

What have I got that he could possibly want?

Me, for a start.

Oh. Couldn't he help you?

I like your collage. You do?

Yeah, it looks great.

You look great. Thanks.

You've always had elegance and grace.

You've always had class.

Thank you!

Well?

Well... Thanks.

What about me? What about you, what?

Have I got class?

What?

I want to do the ultimate Cambridge novel.

God!

Beginning in the '70s.

Orgies, drugs, work, kids, divorce, multiple sclerosis, assisted death...

I'd rather stick pins in my breasts.

Haven't you got any less tired ideas?

Don't put me down.

Mistress Realism, you used to call me. You liked that.

Up to a point.

What are you doing?

Come on. Take what you want.

You can cut out the pictures.

I'll pay.

Be kind, don't look.

Every time I take off my knickers, I think there's going to be an eclipse.

I love to look at you.

Slightly chubby in places now. Voluptuous.

I don't want to be fucking chubby in places. Any places.

I thought you'd like to be appreciated.

Well, I am.

The other day, I'll have you know, a young man, not entirely retarded, tried to pick me up in Waterstones.

Doesn't surprise me. You're hot.

Thank you.

Hot but cold.

Our generation was into weird living:

Communes, vegetarianism, lesbianism.

Nothing straight where possible.

But I'm glad we got married. That's why I wanted to celebrate this weekend.

It's the commitment...

The sacrifice of other pleasures that makes it work.

You're terrified.

Of what? Being left alone.

You follow me round the house like a child with a popped balloon.

You really are becoming more self-obsessed, Nick. It's getting worse.

Some people brag about their ability to be alone.

But I've started to feel a sort of physical dread of desertion.

Oh, come on!

Why doesn't anybody want my company?

Do you like the shoes?

Do I please you, monsieur?

Tell me who you bought those shoes for.

What do you mean? You know who.

Who, for me?

For you? For me, you idiot.

I've decided to give up everything I like.

Why? It's a discipline, the only advantage of masochism.

I want to stop desiring things which are impossible.

You won't like this, then.

What?

What?

Get down.


Look.

Can you see?

Let me smell you.

Please... Just a sniff.

You're a naughty dog.

Get ready while I put my dress on.

Haven't got any... Anything to get ready in.

Stay here, then, and write your masterpiece.

Just leave it, like Jack does.

I wouldn't rely on him in matters of the head.

You envied him.

You made sure he had more of you than I did.

He was the child. Now you want him back in the house.

You can't let anyone go.

I haven't seen this since I read Gramsci and contemplated kidnapping a captain of industry.


This is the last time I save you.

What?

On the room, madame?

Always on the room. It's my new mantra.

"On the room."

Everything on the room.

I think I'm gonna ask Morgan to help you get your philosophy book published.

I'm not ready to start that.

What's so amusing?

You are always about to write a book or about to decorate the bathroom or about to tell me something which will alter our lives forever.

But you know what you are?

A potential Nobel laureate?

You are the postman who never knocks.

And you know why that is?

Please, darling, lighten my burden of ignorance.

I'm not sure you've got any balls.

When we met, you were part of the feminist Taliban and you insisted I contact my feminine side.

Have I not contacted it sufficiently?

Contacted it?

You practically married it.

Perhaps one day I'll be as tall and manly and as nifty with Microsoft Word as Melik.

Melik.

The computer guy? Melik?

Yes, Melik.

Well? Are you going to admit it?

Admit what?

Your lover.

Yes?

That kid?

That bald, sweaty nerd in a badly-fitting T-shirt?

Are you having a nervous breakdown?

Admit it.

How many times do you expect me to believe your bloody laptop can go wrong?

Admit it!

You're ill!

I saw how you were with him. Tell me the truth.

You're an idiot. I've had enough of you.

Meg, tell me the truth.

Have I ever lied to you? Ever?

What on earth was I thinking of, depriving myself of love, of sex, of male company, to keep this pathetic thing going?

I thought you were interested in someone else.

It's me I want more of! Why? What for?

I want to sell the house. What?

I'm to be thrown out of my own home?

Get a flat. I don't have an income.

Divorce happens to everyone now.

You went with a student!

Fifteen years ago. How could you bring that up now?

Just as Jack was having all those problems at school, all you said was, "He'll be fine." I was out of my mind with worry.

You couldn't believe that any child of yours could possibly have anything wrong with him.

I was isolated. You preferred the boys to me.

Do you blame me?

Meg. Meg...

If we go in there, our lives will never be the same again.

Great! Let's hurry, let's open the door.

In fact, why don't you stay out here whingeing and complaining as usual?

I actually want to go to a party.

Come on, Meg!

Meg, please.

Fucking apologise!

Why should I?

You dressed up for him. You took him tea. You hung around wearing that scent.

I love you, Meg.

Take that seriously.

Love dies.

Only if you kill it.

Fool, you really are. Call me paranoid.

You are, you must be. Melik!

Cold, you. You're frozen inside.

Frankly, you'd freeze a penguin.

Ha, ha. That's not fuckin' funny. You're weak.

You won't even get through this evening without a nervous breakdown.

Welcome! Ah!

Thank goodness, you made it. That's so wonderful.

Ah! There we are. Hi.

Not far to go. Good evening.

Welcome. Here, would you like some champagne?

Thank you. Please. Come on in, come on in.

I was worried you guys weren't gonna make it.

I almost had a thrombo. Come on, come on.

There are some great people in here, and they're dying to meet you. I've been talking you up.

Thank you, Stéphane.

I've been thinking about you all day.

You have?

What gorgeous hell is this?

Merci. Merci.

Go on, go in.

They're French. I'm sure their lives are awful too.

Don't leave me on my own.

Isn't that what you want?

There we are.

Thought I'd lost you. Come on in.

I didn't see... Oh, look at that. Come on in, I'll introduce you.

I didn't see that black lacy... I wish I had my sketch pad.

May I introduce you to all these talkative types?

Hey, this is, uh, Nick, everybody.

Well, here's Robert and Dominique Ertel, my long-suffering publishers.

They do all my stuff here in France.

This is my great old friend, Nick Burrows, and his wife, Meg.

They're from London. He's a professor of philosophy.

Meg, I'm so sorry, I didn't ask you. Tell me what you do.

Writer? I'm a teacher.

That's so interesting. I wanna hear all about that.

Jean-Pierre. May I introduce our expert on Proust?

He's exaggerating. Not true.

He's so good. And you're currently translating Dickens.

Yeah. Bleak House.

Oh! Bleak House.

Oh, yeah. Victoire Lachapelle, the novelist, I'm sure you know, Américain, very successful...

And Harry Rose, the sculptor, who's got a very interesting show of drawings.

Where is that gallery? Think and Do Gallery, St Honoré.

I saw it, it's fantastic. I highly recommend it.

Christophe Aragues. Ara-gueth.

Ara-gueth.

He's a professor of economics at the Sorbonne.

And Valentin Lefevre, who's an economist at Le Monde.

Financial Times.

The Financial Times. Perhaps you've run into his stuff.

And the Mona Lisa over there, can you see, is my wife Eve.

Hello, my darling. Nick Burrows and Meg.

Thank you.

So there you go. Hey, come with me, Nick.

Can I steal your sweet husband away for a sec?

Take him, do. What are you gonna say?

Yeah, right.

There you go. Okay.

There you go.

There you go, Nick.

Oh, if I may.

Thanks. Can't wait to read it.

Oh, well, you know, it's actually just a rehash of my old articles.

But, you know, they put it into this book and it took off for some reason.

I got lucky, I guess. It could happen to anybody.

It didn't happen to me. Well, you're too serious.

You know, have you ever even said anything slight in your whole life?

I don't think so, not in the time that I knew you. Here have a...

Please have a seat.

Over the years that I've sat in desks like this and, you know, in those times when I've tried to convince myself I had some kind of brain or just a little bit of rigour and integrity, you know what I've thought so often to myself?

"What would Nick Burrows do now?

"What would Nick say now?"

You have? Yes.

Thank you so much. Would you like something to eat?

No, merci. Are you sure? Thank you.

Thank you. Is it, Ju...

Julie. Julie?

Thank you, Julie.

Eve.

She's gonna eat me alive.

You know, I'm not... I'm not a total idiot.

But...

Nick, I was so depressed and I was just suffocating and I was dying.

I was seeing every psychiatrist on the Upper West Side.

Until I finally found one who, of course, told me what I wanted to hear and he released me and I slipped away from my wife one morning without even taking my toothbrush.

It was totally insane. And I wound up here.

But then, I decided to do the whole thing all over again.

Love, marriage and kids.

And so now here I am...

Mmm.

Enjoying...

Keeping the Mona Lisa fascinated.

And she adores me.

Can't see through me... Yet.

But we know she will.

I mean, she will.

So am I brave or am I foolish?

Why would you put yourself through all that again?

Because I'm vain.

Because I'm just ridiculously vain.

I wanna be adored and waited for and listened to.

Don't you?

I don't share your delusion.

What do you mean, delusion? How am I deluded?

That by giving up on someone, you're free.

No, no, no.

No, no. Mmm.

Mmm!

Do you know what I just flashed on?

Do you remember those mornings at dawn that we would get up to sell those newspapers in front of the factory gates?

I think we sold about four of them before the working-class heroes chased us away.

I'll bet those factories aren't even there any more.

How about the Brecht play, that you put on at the ADC with the Pink Floyd music?

Very brilliant. Very brilliant.

Were those the days?

Oh!

Wow!

I mean, we grew up so safe and easy, that's the truth.

You know, it's been just a breeze for guys like us.

It has? Well, look at you, you know.

Sitting comfortably in some 15th-century room, with your spectacularly striking, beautiful wife.

A weekend cottage ¡n the Cotswolds, I'll bet, and a Labrador, the royalties from all your books and a big pension at the end of all of it.

Am I getting my serve in the ballpark?

And you've got smart, bearded friends with whom you can discuss politics and philosophy while you all sing along to Joni Mitchell records?

You see me more clearly than I see myself.

I can... You know, I can do a little thing.

You know...

I think we've taken too much out of the world.

We were the spark. The '60s and '70s lit the fuse, baby.

Really?

Yeah. Feminism, racial equality, human rights, all that stuff.

Yeah, I wanna ignite some kind of blaze, you know.

I wanna go into the banlieues with some good people and some money and, you know, have discussions, political, literary, but shake things up.

Do you wanna come with me?

Me?

I could put you down for, you know, 2K. Neither of us'll miss that kind of money.

Make it four.

Make it 4K, I'll put a cheque in the post tomorrow.

Nick Burrows.

I knew you'd get it.

Oh, I knew it.

Here's to the future.

Are you an artist? I wish.

Well, you... You look like an artist.

Perhaps it's your hair.

So, what are you doing here?

Yes, that's a good question.

No, I mean, what are you doing here in Paris?

Oh, it's our wedding anniversary.

Really? Wow, how long?

Thirty years. That's amazing.

Yes, it is, isn't it?

Our children have left home. Nearly.

So now, we're alone together.

And now you will have time just for each other.

Mmm.

I know it's awful.

I can't wait to be with him every minute of the day.

He knows everything. I will never be bored by him.

Suppose he's bored by you?

Really? You think?

I don't believe in that.

"The one."

There are many ones. That's the problem.

People start to murder you. You have to be ruthless.

My husband claimed I was unfaithful.

And what did you say?

I thought, "What a waste.

"To be accused of being a whore and to be so innocent."

I'm sorry.

When's the baby due?

Oh, it's for April.


Sorry.

Who are you?

Nick. I'm Nick.

Do you like that music?

Uh... I like all music.

I give it a go.

Good for you.

Do you want a drink?

Aren't you, um, enjoying the party?

I'm not sure enjoyment's really my thing.

I don't quite fit in.

Even on my own, I don't fit in, let alone with anyone else.

You live here? Oh, I'm just here for the weekend.

I live in New York.

Crikey. Yeah, Morgan's my dad.

Oh, right.

How's that? Not too bad?

Does he talk in a loud voice all the time?

Even his emails are loud.

Hi.

Hi. Can I join you?

Please do.

It's high up, yes? Yeah.

It is.

Do you know Paris well?

No. No, not well.

So we have, over there, the Louvre, la Gare d'Orsay and the Tour Montparnasse over there.

Mmm-hmm. Les Invalides.

L'Assemblée nationale. Oh, yes.

L'Obelisk.

You see l'Obelisk? It's pretty.

I mean, a weekend in Paris. What a drag!

The more out of it I am, the better.

You've obviously never been to Birmingham.

I'd make the most of this city, if I were you.

That's what my dad says. He does?

He and I don't really share that many interests.

That's not unusual.

I mean, he likes the idea of me being around.

He sends me air tickets, but he really freaks out if we're ever stuck in the same room together.

He feels bad, guilty, I suppose.

He hates being hated.

What about your mum?

She's okay.

She tried to, you know, kill herself.

Oh, fuck!

Yeah, she, like, threw herself out of a window.

Oh, my God!

Yeah, but she's okay.

She's over that now.

What are you thinking?

Sorry?

What are you thinking at this moment?

The, um, situation of a woman like me.

Boredom, dissatisfaction...

Fury.

And the clock ticking by.

What a great thing.

What?

To be so attuned to your own unhappiness.

Look...

You see La... La Rue de Rivoli?

Around the corner, there is a little bar where we could have a drink, if you like.

When?

Now, if you like.


What do you do?

I'm a teacher. A teacher?

Yes, really.

Jesus!

Is that a fucking monkey I see before me?

Do you know what my problem has been?

I am one of those unfortunate people who is congenitally faithful to his wife.

Unlike the rest of the population, I don't want to go to bed with strangers.

I only like her.

For me, there's never been sex without an attempt at love.

Uh-huh?

Love is the only interesting thing.

It's far, far more difficult to do than sex.

What is wrong with me?

What's he telling you?

Um, to be honest, it's difficult to make sense of it.

They want us to eat.

Having a good time?

A man asked me to have a drink with him.

Did he?

What did you say?

I said yes.

When?

Later tonight.

Don't do that. Please don't do that.

I want to go.

Um... Here, you should take these.

You might need them.

We are all here to celebrate the brilliance of this.

Ah!

Bravo!

Bravo! Bravo!

No...

Yeah, which he wrote while working, while running our lives, attending to me, buying art and learning Russian.

Yeah, that's true.

Yeah, he has the energy of 100 teenagers.

Yes.

But wait. He's dark. He's moody.

Moody?

Yes.

He talks all the time, all through breakfast.

In fact, he talks even when he's on the toilet.

I'm stunned. That's dessert talk.

Yeah, he has more exes, I think, than Pére-Lachaise.

But I... I agreed to take him on.

Mmm, pourquoi? Pourquoi?

Idiocy.

Idiocy? Idiocy?

No, love.

Yes, love.

To you, my love.

To Morgan.

Cheers. Santé.

Santé. Cheers. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you, sweet. Let me say it quick. Let me get this over with.

Thank you. What have I done to deserve such love, and from my wife of all people?

Oh, my golly!

Well, just very quickly, thank you all for coming.

Those books, by the way, they're gonna be in a box in the hall.

So on your way out, take five or ten, as many as you want.

Some are even unsigned. I think that makes them more valuable.

But may I take this opportunity not to say anything more about that lousy little book, which already is, frankly, wildly out of date, but about this fella right here?

Nick Burrows, who I found yesterday, as you do so often with old friends, kissing a woman passionately in the street.

He later claimed that that woman was his wife.

But, no, you know.

I'm thinking back right now, uh, on a time when you and I were skulking around and loitering in gloomy Cambridge pubs, presuming to figure out how to fix the world.

I made him take me on as his disciple and stalked him at meetings and followed him around to these little bring-your-own-bottle parties in bedsits and grubby little restaurants with names like Eros and The Whim.

He started to shame me into reading real things.

You made me concentrate for more than five minutes at a time.

And he made me say true things for the first time in my short and well-upholstered Yankee life.

My gosh.

I thank you publicly for keeping the torch burning, as you have done so magnificently over these years.

Ladies and gents, may we raise a glass to my friend Nick Burrows.

Thank you, Nick.

To Nick Burrows.

Santé.

Thank you, my friend.

Fuck.

Shit... Um...

Fucking hell.

Thank you for that, Morgan.

I'm grateful for what you said.

Um...

I'm surprised, too, and taken aback, quite far back.

But I was reminded of something.

Of myself.

Of the self I hide in myself.

I'm still an anarchist of the left, I suppose.

I'm still a fool for the truth.

Always my weak point.

So I suppose I should, on that basis, point out that the university where I teach is not a proper university, but it's an ex-polytechnic, which is now a factory on the outskirts of Birmingham, set up to produce only idiocy.

I should point out that I have just been sacked for apparently speaking inappropriately to a female black student.

My older son is a pot-head with rats in the house that we bought for him with the last of our savings.

His chosen profession is to watch television in the afternoons.

I'm broke.

Every bone and muscle in my body screams with agony when I attempt to tie my shoelaces.

I'm near shitting myself with fear and anxiety every moment of the day.

Plus the fact my wife is well aware that I only cling to her like a drowning man to a shelf of melting ice because no one else would touch me.

She's planning, in fact, to give me the slip later this evening in order to be with another man. Well, good for her.

And good for him, too.

So think of me as falling out of a window...

Forever.

For I am truly fucked.

Oh, man, that was awesome.

Is that it? Did I leave anything out?

Can I say something, please?

Go ahead, please.

I was on the balcony just now talking to Jean-Pierre.

I remembered something from the other day, when I was with a friend.

And my phone rang.

And, um.

I spoke with the person.

And at the end of the call, she said, "Who was that?

"Was it your secret lover?

"You sounded so pleased to hear from them, "and you kept laughing."

I was astonished. I said, "What do you mean?

"It was my husband."

it was my husband.

Nick?

Are you guys... Oh, are you...

Are you heading out?

That was genius. Genius, as always.

Gee, I wish you didn't have to rush away.

I'm so sorry if I... Did I say something possibly...

How long are you guys gonna be here for?

Because I know you said the weekend, but I don't know specifically.

Do you still have my number?

Did you transfer, uh...

'Cause you can text me. We don't even have to speak.

I love you!

You fucking idiot.

You genius.

How could you do that?

Talent.

I nearly...

Puked.

Thank you.

You know what?

The other day at that dinner at Ellie's, you did this thing.

You came over and you kissed me on the side of the head.

Just casually.

But I thought it was the loveliest thing.

Thanks.

Now.

Again, do it again.


Time to pack, I guess.

French stairs, my abiding memory.

You can get the lift.

What's going on? Madame, I'm sorry.

We have instructions to refuse you entry to this room.

You've been checked out. Why? It's not midday.

You are forbidden to touch anything in here. Again, I apologise.

Please, give me that hat, ma'am. Come on, give it to me.

It's an outrage! It's ridiculous! Give it to me. Come on.

Ha ha! Wahey!

Come on!

Quickly!

Pardon.

Pardon, monsieur. Pardon, pardon.

Excusez-moi.

Merci, merci.

Pardon.

Pardon, monsieur.

Excusez-moi, pardon, pardon.

Excusez-moi. Merci.

Ah, Mr and Mrs Burrows.

Please accept my deepest apology for our little difficulty.

But I'm sure we can sort everything out very quickly.

Will you please follow me? Yeah.

Of course, we have your passports in our safe.

But why?

The credit card you gave us is beyond its limit.

See... Here's the bill.

Right.

Mmm-hmm.

Oh, yes, that's, um...

Yes, that is quite a lot of money.

Yeah. There is also the matter, I fear, of the damage to the room.

There is? Yes.

Plus the tax, of course.

It looks like we got carried away. Oh?

It was worth it. Yeah.

Mr Burrows, you have another carol?

Only my bus pass, I'm afraid.

And how do you intend to pay?

With our lives?

Unfortunately, it's no longer a matter of laughing, madam.

In fact, it's a very serious matter indeed.

A very serious matter. Yeah.

I'm not listening to any more of this.

That's me bust.

What are you doing? Texting Morgan.

Why?

He's our only hope, isn't he?

Oh, shit.

Hi, Jack. Hey, Dad. Having a lovely time?

We're having a fine time. Making friends with many frogs?

No, we haven't met any French people yet, no.

Have you come to a decision?

Well, yes and no.

Your mother says it wouldn't be a good idea for you to move back in with us.

You'll be better off staying with a mate.

Yeah.

Yeah, we're enjoying being on our own now.

Well, we hope to be back soon.

But you do realise... No, sorry.

Sorry.

Hello? Hello?

Are you there? Can you hear me? Hello?

Hello? Hello? Dad?

We got cut off.

Yes!

What?

I said you had the euros.

Voilà, monsieur. Merci.

We can't do a runner from this place, we'd get beaten to death.

It's been the best time.

The best.


Oh!

Oh, my God, are you kidding? My pleasure!

What... What's happening?

Well, we've had... A couple of little problems.

Really? Like what? Well...

You guys have just been having like a great, great time.

We certainly have.

I guess you have.

I think you'd better stay at my place till you sort yourself out, which could take a while.

Thanks, that's kind. Yes, yes, my pleasure.

I'll get some food and we'll have a great evening in.

Do you like that idea? We'll play music and dance.

Yeah. Would you like to sing, by any chance?

I'd love to sing.