Love the Coopers (2015) Script

Ah, the holidays. The most wonderful time of the year.

And so, begins my tale.

On the snowy morning of Christmas Eve, as Charlotte Cooper set out her 37th snow globe, trying to create the perfect Christmas for her family, she remembered a moment, she'd hoped she could hold on to forever.

Meanwhile, her husband, Sam Cooper, who I can read pretty well, was recalling the moment just after that moment... trying to remember if he knew he was happy, at the same time, the happiness was going on.

And their beloved dog, Rags, remembered how good it felt to be a Christmas present.

And all over town, the Cooper clan, and then some, were starting their morning too.

Who are all these people?

Well, that's the story.

I can't just give it away.

But for now, they're heading into their holiday, searching for comfort and a little more joy.

That's fine. That's fine.

All right. Make gingerbread houses.

Can you just have them at my front door at 9:00 am?

Yeah, but it's Christmas morning. What if they want to sleep in?

What kid sleeps in on Christmas morning?

I don't know.

Why do you have to change things?

God forbid, I wanna spend another 15 minutes with my kids.

Why do you have to be such a dick?

Merry Christmas. Season's greetings.

Merry Christmas.

We hope to see you tonight, Angie.

Hey, Charlie, Merry Christmas. Shh!

Don't take that personally.

Take it as a group, he hates everybody.

Hi, Grandma. Hi, Grandpa.

Merry Christmas, Bo. Bo! Merry Christmas.

Charlie, please don't ditch your brother at the mall.

Thank you for taking Madison today. I really appreciate it.

I can't be late for work.

But it's Christmas eve, Hank. Come on.

Yeah, I know.

Job's a job, right?

Um...

Madison's been doing this weird thing.

And I made the mistake of laughing at it the first time.

So, now she does it all the time.

Do me a favor. When she does it, don't laugh.

And then, hopefully, she'll just stop doing it on her own.

Sure. Of course. What is it?

Hi! Hi, Madison.

There she is.

Grandma and Grandpa are here, they're going to take you for the day.

Can you say, "Hi"?

You're such a dick.

Dad, don't. Stop it.

Okay, let's go.

As Ruby served her 19th Holiday Special, she remembered serving Christmas dinner to her brothers.

While her mother, six eggnogs to the wind, was passed out on the couch.

Although her childhood had left her feeling separate from the world, Ruby felt an unexpected connection to Bucky Newport.

For the last five years, she looked forward to starting her mornings with him.

She loved how he wore a suit and bow tie, every day, just like did when he was a teacher.

Always straightening it and only making it worse.

Good morning. I'm furious with you.

What'd I do?

That ending shattered me.

Well, it's supposed to.

That's what makes it one of the most significant endings in the history of film.

But Chaplin's face...

Full of hope and fear and shame and embarrassment and God knows what else.

But the genius was that it's his subconscious autobiography.

He had fallen in love with several young women over the years and he was their mentor.

But he was endlessly terrified that they're going see him as he saw himself.

Which is nothing but a busker, in the streets of London.

It's amazing.

Bucky looked away from Ruby because, oddly, he felt closer to her than anyone in his life.

He understood the absurdity of the situation.

He had shown her 67 movies. Ate at her diner, daily.

And hated the food there.

You want the special?

Uh...

What day is today? Friday.

Friday? It's not so special.

How about Wednesday's?

Or Thursday's hash browns?

Sold. Hey, Ruby.

The Coffee's cold.

You'll be fine.

Sit down.

Spending Christmas with the family?

Ruby recalled the joys of gift giving.

Nope.

Believe me, I understand.

Christmas comes around, somebody yells, "Time for comfort and joy, it's Christmas."

Everybody panics as if you can schedule happiness.

Can't do it.

You going to your daughter's?

Oh, yes. She's a very good cook.

I don't know where she got it from, because when their mother died, the only thing I could teach her was how to order out.

I don't know what it is. Everything is a contest with my girls.

Except I have no idea what the prize is.

I try to ease the tension, but they don't really hear me.

Hey, Ruby, my coffee's still cold.

Why don't you come over here and warm me up?

Sorry, I got to go.

Clearly, an emergency.

I just don't feel like spending any money on her.

She never spends a dime on me.

My own sister. Oh!

You know what she'll do. She'll make a donation in my name.

Oh, that's really festive.

And they never say how big a donation, so there's no way of knowing how much I'm supposed to spend.

I am tempted to get the rattiest thing I can find, just to see my sister Charlotte's face.

Hold on. I'll call you back.

When Emma was a little girl, she overheard her parents say that her sister, Charlotte, was planned, but that she was an accident.

She faithfully behaved like one, ever since.

Ma'am, ma'am, we need to detain you.

Give it to me.

Come on. Let's just make life easier on everybody.

Spit it out.

Spit it out.

Give it to me.

Merry Christmas.

Thank you so much. Thank you. Best ever.

Thank you.

Our last number is one of my aunt's favorites. So, this is for you.

Aunt Fishy.

Rags! Get down, Rags.

Okay, then. Ready, Mrs. Pinkins?

Hit it.

♪ Joy to the world The Lord has come

♪ Let earth... ♪ That's not the right lyric.

I'm sorry, Mitzi, but I think it is.

From the top, please.

I'm not going to play to the wrong lyric.

Don't play it, Mitzi.

Mitzi's right.

It's not the right lyric. Of course it's the lyric.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come.

No, it's not the Lord has come, like God reached orgasm. Please...

What?

Mitzi!

Well, so, Merry Christmas, everyone.

I think that ends our little program.

Thank you so much. You've been a wonderful audience.

We will be back next year.

But will they?

Yeah, you don't have to worry about that after tonight, that's for sure.

You don't have to say it like you're never going to see me again, Charlotte. I'm not dying.

No. But we are.

Hey, Tinkerbell.

Aware of the growing distance between her parents, Eleanor Cooper found herself drawn to public displays of affection.

She remembered a time in her life she had not been so guarded.

This is quite fun.

If you show me yours, I'll show you mine.

Okay?

Oh.

She remembered a moment she'd wished she could forget, the day a stolen kiss caught her eye.

She recognized that kiss.

It was her fiancé's.

Eleanor was shattered.

Alas, she could never climb the wall that built up around her heart.

Still, Eleanor secretly searched out strangers' faces for the moment they flickered with unguarded emotion.

Can I have a Dirty Martini, shaken over ice, please?

I'd be honored to buy you a drink.

I can pay for my own drink, thank you.

Not you.

Thanks.

I'll have a Dirty Martini, shaken over ice.

Put the presents for the kids in the trunk.

And I'll get your tip next time.

No problem.

And take the Internet, it's faster.

You got it, Aunt Fishy.

My nephew called me that.

He and wife are going to Africa and I'm babysitting the kids.

I'm your nephew. Can you remember my name?

Um...

Sam.

Yes. I'm Sam, that's great.

I know your name.

I'm not a zombie.

You better step on it.

You're going to miss your plane.

Aunt Fishy, that was 30 years ago.

Really?

Well, how was the trip?

We didn't go.

Well, you were dying to go.

And you and Charlotte, saved your money for years.

We had a rough year, so we postponed it.

Oh, Sammy. And then you never went.

Weren't you supposed to go, again this year?

Yes, we were.

Who can say what ends a marriage?

Perhaps it's unreasonable to ask human beings to grow at exactly the same rate for 40 years, six months and three days.

But the canceled trip was the last straw.

And Sam was moving out.

You seem out of sorts. Give me the keys, I'll drive.

As Hank Cooper waited for his 17th job interview in the past month, he wondered how long he could keep up the lie that he was still taking family portraits at Sears.

Big smiles, guys.

You're going to have this picture for the rest of your lives.

It's going on a wall. All right, right here. Ready?

Oh! Yes.

He missed his job helping unhappy families appear happy.

Love the sweaters, right? Chipper.

Yes. And that's beautiful.

It was his superpower.

Unexpectedly, he thought of a woman he saw just once and never again.

Then he thought of the automated voice that had replaced him.

Merry Christmas. Toes on the line. Cheese.

Did that voice have children?

Did they now have unaffordable gifts on their Christmas lists, too?

Dear Santa, please bring me a blue bicycle.

I'll be waking up at my father's, but opening presents at my mom's.

Hank thought of the unbridled joy he had Christmas mornings.

Mister Cooper?

Determined, Hank entered the office with his left foot.

He'd read this was lucky.

I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

I really appreciate it.

I know that you're not actually hiring anyone till the new year, but just know that...

I'm ready to work now.

You know, I could start today if you needed it.

I take pride in my work.

I take a lot of pride in my work. I...

At my last job, if a family took a bad picture, I insisted on taking another, because I care. I care. I just...

I hated the idea of anyone sending out a bad holiday card.

You know, you don't get another shot at that for a whole year.

You know how many relatives are going to see that?

Who's going to care about that now, Bob?

Who's going to care about that?

Dude, you are way too intense for Staples.

So what your deal? What do you do?

I am a writer.

Oh! Wow. All right.

What do you write?

Are you familiar with the Pottery Barn Catalog, Outdoor Furniture Edition?

All-weather wicker.

You know my work?

I write plays, actually. I don't know why... Yeah.

Wow. That's cool. Yeah.

My last play was almost produced.

And then...

...my lead actor slash ventriloquist left for a paying job.

He was a Republican, naturally.

Republican ventriloquist.

Oh, no. No.

You're way too cute to be a Republican.

Ah.

Well, the good news is I'm not a ventriloquist.

Just tell me you're not one of those churchy Republicans, who believes in Fox News, but not evolution.

Okay. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why are there still, monkeys and apes?

It's funny because my dog asked me the same thing about wolves yesterday.

All right.

Look, you believe in God, right?

Which one?

Any one, just pick one.

They all need too much validation for me.

It's all, "Love me most or go to hell."

I have a hard time believing I'm less needy than God.

Yeah, I have a hard time believing you are too.

So you don't believe in much, do you?

You know what I believe in?

I believe in the sound of Nina Simone's voice.

I feel like that is the closest I'll ever come to believing in God.

I haven't heard her. Wow.

Sorry.

It'll make you a convert.

What are you doing in an airport bar anyway?

Shouldn't you be with your people in denying science, or wherever you're from?

I'm just trying to get home, but everything's snowed in.

Isn't that what you're doing here?

No, I flew in to see my family.

I have to be there at 5:00.

I'm just here to kill an hour or six.

All right.

Hey. Whoops.

I hope Eleanor's plane wasn't delayed.

And something's up with Hank.

He always does that weird piglet snort whenever he's trying to hide something.

People snort, Charlotte.

No. This is not a universal snort, like.

It's not. It's a kind of a... It's...

It's specific like.

It's...

Merry Christmas. Anyway. All right.

Well... Oh, my goodness, look.

Oh, I've got a surprise for you, Madison.

This is genuine, guess what. Look.

Gingerbread house. Yes.

Maybe I should bake a peppermint cake.

Why? Because it's Christmas, Sam.

For God's sake, it's Christmas.

You can't cook this away, Charlotte.

People are going to look back on tonight and realize it was all a performance. We should have, at least, warned them before they came.

No, but I want them to wanna come, that's the whole point.

This is the only time of the year when we're all together.

And it's our last chance to feel like a family before we tell them.

I want the kids to have the memory of one last perfect Christmas.

And I know that you think that I'm ridiculous...

No, I don't think you're being ridiculous.

Under the circumstances, yeah, you are being a little ridiculous.

♪ ...Comfort and joy Comfort and joy

♪ Oh, tidings Of comfort and joy ♪ We clearly have a major difference of opinion and I can understand why you are wrong.

If you treat them like they're not resilient, they're going to be not resilient.

Hank is still reeling from the divorce... and you know... I'm sorry, okay, go ahead.

No, you go ahead. I'll listen.

Well... I feel like a fraud.

The whole thing feels wrong. I'm going to tell them the truth.

We'll all be together. Wait a minute.

No, we made an agreement.

You cannot break an agreement, mid-agreement.

I disagree. No, you agreed to the agreement.

You agreed to one last Christmas and then you can just move out.

You want to leave, you can just go ahead and leave.

Hold on, you're the one who chose not to go.

You don't care enough about the marriage to make...

Will the parents of the lost child in aisle seven Please come up to the front and claim her?

You're such a dick.

Oh, my God.

Bo was on a mission.

He had to find the perfect gift that would bring back his brother, who had become an alien since his parents' divorce.

That gift had to have healing powers and it had to be cheap.

He even sacrificed his one-on-one with Santa.

Nothing about this mission was easy.

But Bo would not be thwarted.

This is a whole misunderstanding.

Look, I'm somebody's mother.

I have three kids. They're teenagers.

They're teenagers.

Already, they don't take me seriously.

My husband's an ethics professor.

He'll never forgive me.

My entire family is coming over at 5:00 for Christmas dinner, which I have to cook.

Please. Don't you have any compassion?

So, it's all a misunderstanding?

Yes. Okay. So, clear it up.

How'd the jewels get in your mouth?

Right. This way.

I though it was a lozenge.

Shortly after his mother moved out, Charlie felt as unclaimed as a lost Christmas package, lying in the back corner of the post office.

In spite of this, he arrived at the mall, vowing he would kiss Lauren Hesselberg, once and for all, or die trying.


Unnerved, he began to watch himself.

He told himself to coolly say, "What's up, Lauren? What's up?"

Hey, Lauren.

Hey, Charlie.

What you doing here?

I, I work here.

Of course.

When, at last, he stood in front of her, a clear directive repeated itself in his mind, "Don't look at her boobs.

"Do not look at her boobs."

I love the way Stewart does a little food dance when his meal arrives.

And how Sarah still puts lipstick on for Hal.

I like the way Paula Anderson rests her breasts on the table, as if they were tired.

We were so sad to see you go, Ruby. I'm gonna miss you.

Take care, okay?

Merry Christmas. Bye, guys.

You're going somewhere?

It's my last day.

What? Yeah.

You tell the lady with the lipstick on her teeth and you don't tell me?

I don't... I didn't know how to tell you.

It's like that movie you gave me, Born Yesterday, right, when Billie Dawn walks out on Harry Brock.

There's a better kind of life than the one I got.

You told me, right here, you said, "Starting over, you could be the hero of your own life."

You can be a hero, here.

Where are you going?

Hot Coffee, Mississippi.

I found it on a map when I was 14 years old.

It seems like the perfect place for a waitress.

Look, I don't understand. I'm confused.

You've never even been there. It's the worst idea I've ever heard of.

But I... I want to start over. I need...

I need a change.

No, no, no, no. Leaving doesn't change anything.

Everything just comes with you.

Hot Coffee, Mississippi?

That's a place? It's like a line from a sitcom.

Bucky.

You're a bird watcher. You watch us all from a distance.

We're just characters that amuse you.

Not true. You love everybody at arm's length, keep it up and you'll end up alone, Ruby.

That's a terrible thing to say to me.

Well, it's a terrible thing to watch.

It's very cowardly.

So, in other words, you think that I'm a coward.

No. Not in other words, those are the words.

You think you can run away, hiding in Hot Chocolate?

You're a coward.

You can pay up front.

You tell everybody at the restaurant you're leaving and you don't tell me.


May I ask you something?

Is this something that they teach you at the Police Academy?

Or have you always been a robot?

I can understand that you need professional distance from a hardened criminal.

But when there's a poor, downtrodden housewife, sobbing in the back of your car on Christmas, one has to wonder.

I'm guessing it's something they teach you.

No one's born that way.

Though Officer Williams never engaged with suspects in the back of his car, Emma unknowingly pierced his armor.

I'm not a robot.

What?

I have feelings, just like everyone else.

Would you like to talk about it?

I'm not talking to you.

Take me to your leader. Shut up.

Listen.

You landed in a pot of jam, arresting me.

I've been a doctor for 20 years.

People pay me a lot to listen to their problems.

You're a head-shrinker?

What Emma did not know was that Officer Williams had once sought out counseling, but couldn't get over the fact that he would have to talk.

And we're off, with Rudolph, right here, to see Santa.

And Donner, and Vixen...

And Blitzen and Nixon...

Look at this. It's beautiful.

Silent Night reminded Charlotte of a part of herself that now felt inescapably out of her grasp.

She caroled to deflect the fact that she missed that person... as much as Sam did.

♪ All is bright

♪ Brown young virgin

♪ Mother and child... ♪ What?

Really? You think it's a song about a brown young virgin?

And her mother and her child.

Oh, my God.

I didn't write the song, Charlotte.

Look, Sam, I was a music teacher.

Round. That's what it is. She's a round young virgin.

Yeah, it's much better. Very Christmassy.

Oh! Oh. Yes.

Don't worry. We're going.

Off we go. Next stop, where?

To see the one, the only, Santa.

And Santa's army of helpers.

Right. It's Santa's brothers.

Anta, Janta, Mylanta...


Oh, man, look at that. They...

I love moments where people are so unchecked, so unselfconscious.

I know. It's ridiculous. I like watching people.

I just love that moment when a face floods with feeling.

Oh, I get it. I do.

All right.

Hit the pool? Mm-hmm.

Yeah. Oh, God.

Where'd you go? Bailey?

Bailey? Oh, God, thank God.

I thought you were gone. That is very effective camo.

All right.

Did you always want to join the army?

Uh, it's a long story.

Oh.

Father in the military?

Mm-hmm.

Short story, really.

It was the right thing to do.

Hey, I admire it.

I can't imagine putting my life on the line for anything.

What if I was wrong?

That certainty, that's amazing.

Thank you. In like a... corporate-loving, government-trusting, gung-ho kind of way.

Uh-huh.

As opposed to your mistrusting, sideline-hugging, passive sort of way.

Right. Yeah.

How does your family feel about you leaving?

They're happy I'm finally getting my life together.

Oh.

Yeah. They haven't seen me since I looked like...

This.

Oh, wow!

That's an extreme transformation!

That's incredible. Can I keep this?

I'm going to need to keep this. Wow!

How long have you felt robotic?

I don't.

I see, so you believe you're in touch with your feelings then?

Yes. Both of them?

Apparently...

I... have trouble expressing myself in relationships.

How old are you?

I just turned 40.

And, uh, how's your sex life?

How's your sex life?

I have sex with people, okay? But...

But you don't connect emotionally?

And what's your biggest fear?

I don't want to end up alone.

And gay.

What?

You're 40, you're single.

"People" sleep with you?

Are you serious?

Are you gay? No!

Only in bed.


You all right, Grandpa?

Yes, yes, exceptional. Never better.

How did it go?

Exceptional. Never better.

That bad?

Yeah, what the hell am I going to do?

I got to find a job by the new year.

You don't have to find a job by the new year, that's an arbitrary deadline.

You can find it January 11th, March 17th, it makes no difference.

I'll lend you the money.

I don't want to be that guy.

I like that guy, he's a very fine guy.

Now then, what shall we get Charlotte?

Poinsettias or poinsettias?

How about poinsettias?

Good idea.

I got it, I'll take care of it.

That's all right. No, no, I got it.

I got it. I got it!

Let me... I got the god damned flowers!

You get the flowers.

$8.99.

I'll get that back for you.

Hank, you don't have to hide this from your family.

They're your family.

I don't want to ruin Christmas for Mom.

Well, then tell Angie. She will understand if the alimony is late.

No, I was a failure at marriage. I refuse to be a failure at divorce.

You're not a failure. Some marriages have a shelf life, that's all.

But you and Angie were never happy.

Angie was always looking over her shoulder for what she didn't have.

FOMO.

FOMO? Fear of missing out.

We fought about it all the time.

Look, I understand. There's history there, you were high school sweethearts.

No, that...

That's not true.

We were not sweethearts. That is family fiction.

We were lab partners.

We dissected rats together.

Then, out of nowhere... band practice at Travis Howard's house, Angie pounced on me... while My Sharona was playing.

I got as far as "My, my, my, my," and then, boom! Done.

I became a dad, same day I failed Biology.

Listen, don't let this one moment define your entire life.

I'm telling you this from the heart now.

Angie talks while she chews with her mouth wide open!

It's like a fireman's hose.

It speaks of her character.

She's worse than my Aunt Edna.

Look, Hank, I had kids young, just like you did.

I had to raise them while I was still raising myself.

Trust me, this is one small chapter in your great, big life.

Go out and get some!

Just get some? Get some.

It's... The thing is...

Yes?

You've only been with Angie?

Yes, that is the thing. Mm-hmm.

This is solvable. This is a solvable problem.

Doesn't it suck how we can want to run from our families, but impress them at the same time?

I just disappoint mine.

I think the build up to facing their disappointment is actually the worst part.

"Anticappointment," I call it.

I can't face the anticappointment.

Is that why you're avoiding them?

I just hate the holidays.

I hate having to reduce everything I'm doing down to a sound byte and then defend it.

And I just...

I hate reverting back to how everyone saw me.

Maybe you should join the army. Yeah.

Are you scared?

No.

Here.

Take that.

How about a little Nina Simone?


Even though he knew he would never see her again, Joe would always remember this amazing moment, that only happened in his mind.

You know what, Madison?

Guess what, you can really see the North Pole from up here.

Did you know that?

This is your daddy's favorite place in the whole wide world!

Three for the red lane, please.

You know, or maybe what we could do is we could join Aunt Fishy for a nice cup of hot cocoa.

What a wonderful view. This was so much fun. Let's go.

Oh, come on. We're not shooting her out of a cannon.

You used to love those.

Where is your sense of adventure?

Buried in a good book? No!

I am not, you are... That's just ridiculous!

Come on, Madison. Let's just go. We're gonna show him.

Nice and easy does it, right, sweetheart?


Every time I go home, I'm told it's so okay that I am not in a relationship.

It's so okay.

So, how come you're not?

How come you're not?

Who says I'm not?

Oh.

Ooh.

I'm not.

Yeah, I just wanted to see your reaction if you thought I was.

Okay, Are you?

I don't know. Sort of.

He couldn't get away for the holidays.

Prison?

He's with his wife.

Oh.

Yeah.

Yeah, that's not the kind of thing you'd want to share with mom and dad, huh?

No, I don't like to brag.

Wait, look.

I don't believe in marriage, okay? Love fades.

Yeah, so?

Every time a face floods, that's over a new relationship.

Right? No.

Don't do that. Don't throw me up to me.

Do you even know any happily married people?

Yeah, my parents.

I mean, you know what I'm worried about, is that I'm never going to find what they have.

I'm worried that I will.

The second we left the house, my parents' marriage imploded.

They fight all the time now.

So do mine.

You just said they were happy.

Passionate.

Ugly. Honest.

Heartbreaking.

So, who was he? What?

This guy that messed with your head. I mean it's got to be somebody right?

Otherwise, you wouldn't settle for a married guy.

You think he's going to leave his wife for you?

Nope. That was never on the table.

And, besides, we live in different states.

That's good.

Wouldn't want to go wasting your life, right?

You want to know what's a waste of a life?

A know-it-all with a freshly shaved mullet, who slaps on a uniform and thinks it gives him the moral high ground.

When, really, he's just risking his life to please his dad.

Best of luck.

Does your mother know?

She knew before I did.

How do you know?

Listen, if it's hard to talk about, maybe a little role-play can free you up.

I could play your mom and you be you.

Hi, sweetie!

Hi, Mom.

Stop. You're not doing you right.

What?

You're not a robot yet.

You're still a little kid.

I'll be you, you be Mom.

Hi, Mom. It was career day at school.

And Odell said that he wanted to be a podiatrist like his dad.

And I said, I wanted to be...

Percy, don't gesture so much when you talk.

Well, Kenisha said that she wanted to...

Percy, stop tilting your head.

Percy, stand with your legs apart.

Percy, don't smile so big.

I said that I wanted to be...

An explorer.

And now you wear a "Do not enter" sign across your chest.

You couldn't be a gay man, so you became a stereotype of a man.

Oh, it's so sad.

The things we do in our childhood, just to fit in, make us stand apart as adults.

Cold, hard truth is, when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never said, "alone."

You feel alone with three teenagers?

Oh, them. No. I lied. I don't have any kids.

I don't even have a husband. What?

Yeah. I knew you'd think, "She's alone, "she's not getting any younger. Of course she'd swallow a brooch."

I opened up to you and you lied to me.

No, I lied before you opened up.

I would never lie to you now.

The conversation part of this arrest is over.

What?

What?

That scream you made, coming down the hill.

Is that the Whitehead kid?

The one we used to call Schnozzle?

Quick, quick, what was his name?

Skippy. Don't say. "Skippy"

Oh, here. Oh.

Hey. Think you can drop me at the mall?

Get in. All right.

Thanks.

Seriously, what's his name? I can't remember.

Schnozington.

Oh.

Get in the back, Rags.

Does your mom know you're out hitchhiking?

No, she took my keys away when she caught me with pot in the car.

Well...

What?

It's not like we never got stoned, Charlotte.

We grew up in the '60s.

You grew up in the '60s?

Cool!

Hear that, Charlotte? What?

Schnozzle Whitehead thinks we're cool.

Wait. What did you call me?

Yeah we used to... It was groovy.

We knocked around. We went to concerts.

Charlotte met Bob Dylan.

Are you serious? What was he like?

No, I only met him for a couple of seconds.

Till security dragged you off of him.

Were you guys hippies? Yeah!

No. What do you mean, "No"?

Oh, my God!

She used to speak at rallies, in front of anybody. You should have heard her.

No, it's just that I liked how loud my voice sounded over the microphone. It's nothing at all.

Oh, no. You were fearless, man, you had passion.

I don't remember much of that at all.

You don't remember that day?

No.

Really?

That was a long time ago, when...

That was our... first time, huh?

Your idea to go up in the woods.

That was not. I followed you, I did.

Oh, no, I followed you.

I couldn't take my eyes off you.

Yeah, neither could your dog.

Who could blame him?

You can just let me out here.

If you want.

Right here is good, actually.


Look, I crossed the line.

I'm sorry. All right.

I came on a little strong.

No, I shouldn't have said that. That was below the belt.

I wouldn't let it go. It's on me. All right?

It's true. It is your fault.

You're a total hussy.

Look, sometimes things happen... when you're not even looking for it.

He tell you that? Yeah.

Great.

Hey, I would love to have fallen for someone as presentable as you.

Okay? Trust me.

No. You just want to fall for me because you know I'm leaving.

Do you always speak in country lyrics?

Well, it's been, um...

Exhausting. Yeah.

Have a good...

Yeah, you too.

I'll think good thoughts for you in the new year.

Oh, wow! You sound exactly like my mom.

Cool.

I have four sisters, so...

I can sound like anyone's mom.

Oh, well, mine would love you.

Anyway, bye.

Yup.

Come with me. What?

Look, I know you don't know me, you're not even sure if you like me, but... be my boyfriend. Uh...

Listen, I can't deal with that look on their faces again.

Okay? Just be my boyfriend for one night.

Oh, no way. What are you going to do?

There's no flights until morning.

Look at this, you're just going to spend Christmas by yourself, eating dinner at Wetzel's Pretzels?

All right. Okay, stop! That's crazy. You're being deployed.

You deserve a crazy, pull out all the stops, home-cooked meal and I can guarantee you that.

You would make my parents so happy.

I mean, really, isn't it the Christian thing to do?

Okay, well, fine, but...

It involves a tiny white lie, yes.

But a lie that provides comfort.

And it's really perfect because you are going to war.

And, you know, that's a win-win.

I'm just...

Sorry.

Wow.

That is, kind of, a beautiful moment.

Look, hey...

All we would have to figure out is how long we've been together.

And what your name is.

I just got you...

It's Christmas, so, I got you a mistletoe!

It's lame, whatever, I'm stupid.

Never having French-kissed before, Charlie felt Lauren's tongue in his mouth and he thought she was having an epileptic seizure.

When he realized she wasn't, his heart began to soar.

Francis, the mall cop, contemplated breaking up the young couple, not because they were kissing, but because they were doing it so badly.

But, before he could, not knowing why, every kiss Francis had under a mistletoe flashed before his eyes like a Christmas gift.

Ugh.

Get out! Get out of here!

Sorry.

Boo.

What's your problem, Lauren? You're not such a dog.

What are you doing hanging out with this pus-face here?

Shut up, Brady. Ooh.

You're going to let your girlfriend talk to me like that, Blisters? Huh, pussy?

Mommy ever teach you about deodorant?

He doesn't smell that bad, okay?

You smell a little bit, but not that bad.

I smell?

I can smell you halfway across the mall.

You leave my brother alone!

Oh, yeah? Make me.

Yes!

Run!

This was the story Bo would tell his friends for years.

Now, what really happened.

His mission to rescue his brother abruptly terminated, Bo sat empty handed, contemplating the cataclysmic consequences of his failure.

Okay, we met where?

Airport bar. Too trashy.

Okay, how about where I do volunteer work?

Okay, where do you volunteer?

I don't. But I've always wanted to.

Now I don't have to.

Yeah, I don't think just talking about volunteering counts.

Pretty sure it does.

Okay, how come you never mentioned me?

You're a Republican.

When I first saw him, I thought... this is never going to work.

But, he was brave.

She was... plucky.

He uses words like, "plucky."

That laugh.

First time I heard it, I was floored.

He was open in a way that I never could be.

I wasn't even put off by his faith.

I actually thought it was kinda hot.

The whole time she talked about "evolution,"

I wondered... what it would be like to touch her neck.

You have a great neck.

Oh.

I like the way he touches his lower lip when he's feeling vulnerable.

I don't do that. Like this.

I don't do that. Yeah.

I wondered what it would be like to kiss that lip.

Really? No.

But, that's what I'm going to say to my mom and she's gonna eat it up.

All right.

So good.

Before I saw her, I... didn't believe in love at first sight.

Thought it was bullshit.

And then I saw this...

reckless girl who had forgotten how beautiful she was, and I thought,

I thought if I could wake up every day and look into that face, I could get through anything.

And you... were standing right next to her.


I thought you were having dinner with your daughters?

You're going to ruin your appetite.

I'm trying to.

Cranberries get on my nerves.

I didn't want our last conversation to be remembered as our last conversation.

Order whatever you want.

It's on the house. It's my Christmas gift to you.

When I was younger, I worked in a restaurant for a while.

And if an ugly person came in, I would often give him a free dessert.

And I thought of myself as being really special for...

treating the uglies well.

It's not what I'm doing.

I'm happy to hear it.

I'll get you some pie.

Ruby? Listen...

You're not a coward.

You're the opposite of a coward.

You're brave and you're beautiful and generous and big hearted.

Can we have a minute's privacy here, please?

Thank you.

All that sadness.

That feeling like you've landed in the wrong life.

Everybody feels that way, Ruby.

It's all just going to become an anecdote.

You don't know that yet, Ruby, but... you're grand...

You're like a grand piano... around a bunch of little toy pianos and uprights...

Thank you. But... you're the grand piano.

And for a brief moment, time was their friend, as Ruby saw Bucky the way he felt inside.

Do you know why I came here every day?

Twice a day, sometimes.

So I could see you.

Just to see you...

So I could be around you.

Now I have to say goodbye again.

I have a fear that I am an impostor.

My first play got a lot of attention.

So, basically I peaked at 19.

I also have a fear of silence.

I know.

Okay, yeah.

I'm dyslexic, so, when I was growing up, I thought I was just stupid.

I had a sister.

She was born with a weak heart.

So...

Sometimes I think I might be unlovable.

I hear myself trying so hard to be funny.

I think you're funny, 'cause you're sad.


Percy? I confess.

Okay, I did it. I took the brooch.

I did.

I know.

For my sister.

I was just being small and petty.

I'm always measuring out how much love and attention I'm getting and then giving back just exactly what I think I got.

Like I think I'm gonna be gypped in some way.

What makes a person behave like that, can you tell me?

A grown person.

And the three kids?

It wasn't a lie.

It was a wish.

As she heard herself say it aloud, Emma remembered the moment she began to feel unremarkable.

It was the first time she felt jealous of her sister, who she always loved and looked up to, until she couldn't live up to.

Emma had told herself it was just an accident, and yet somehow today, Emma knew it wasn't.

So, my mom has one sister, Emma, she's always late.

Their dad is Bucky.

And my dad's aunt will be there, Aunt Fishy.

Don't ask. Nobody knows why we call her that.

And your brother is Hank, and his kids are Charlie, Madison and Bo Joshua, Maddie and BJ.

BJ.

What kind of a parent is gonna name their kid BJ?

They're gonna see right through me.

Oh, no, they're gonna love you.

Just don't mention gun control, women's rights, or religion.

Why don't you just tell them I don't speak English?

No, I just don't want them to think I'm dating some narrow-minded birther.

The whole point of you coming home with me is so I disappoint them.

Whoa. No, don't take it personally.

They are liberally judgmental.

Look, we have a plan, let's just stick to it.

How come you begged me to come home with you, if I'm such a narrow-minded disappointment?

No, you misunderstood me...

Maybe you misunderstood you.

Of course, you're so open-minded, how is that even possible?

Right? Hey, calm down, man up, and let's lie to my parents.

Okay?

Damn, lying comes easy to you.


Oh!

Sorry.

Charlotte, come with me.

Sam...

If we just got away from everything, all the distractions, the kids, we might have a shot.

I'm giving this one last try here.

If we can't find ourselves here... how're we going to find ourselves on some worn out dream we had of a trip to Africa.

It's so much more than a trip and you know that.

For 30 years I've given us a pass, because you promised, once I retired, you would do this for us.

And moving out is for us?

No the trip is for us, because we've become invisible to each other.

Now? You want to go now?

What, with everything that's going on with the kids?

They're not kids anymore!

That doesn't stop!

Don't turn your back on me, Charlotte.

I am going to make the dump salad.

The problem was, they both were right.

But the fight about the trip wasn't about the trip.

It was about the thousand microscopic hurts that accumulate over 40 years.

You don't want to get into this, well, we are getting into this.

Yes, you are a wonderful mother.

But what happened to us?

We used to slow dance in the living room when the kids went to sleep.

What happened to that couple?

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

There ought to be a whole separate language for you.

Wait, where's the pepper? Did I put the pepper in the mash potatoes here?

Oh.

Dad called, he said he's bringing a friend, probably an old student, I don't know.

No, Rags!

Oh, my God! Rags!

Rags.

Get down, Rags.

Good boy.

Go on. Go on, go on, Rags.

Why are you laughing?

I don't understand how we're going to have Christmas without mashed potatoes.

Charlotte, it's funny.

My God.

When did we become Alfred and Dizzy Ludwig?

Who are you talking about?

The dullest, most lifeless couple my parents knew.

I'm not apologizing for 40 years of marriage.

We raised a spectacular family.

We made a beautiful home...

And now you're afraid to leave it.

Stop saying I'm afraid like I'm afraid.

You are terrified.

You're terrified to be alone with me without a kid between us.

Look, Mom.

You're terrified if you take your eyes off those kids for one second, something will happen on your watch.

I have known you for most of my life and clearly you have no idea who I am.

You're right.

We lost track of each other, raising the kids.

And then Lizzy died.

And we stepped back.

And we kept stepping back, until that was comfortable, until that was us.

Why do you just accept that?

Did you ever consider that this trip is not my dream?

It's an old dream.

I was in my 20s.

It has no meaning for me anymore.

Then do it for me.

Where did you go?

You got so small.

I'm in love with a girl that doesn't even exist anymore.

I exist.

If you want to go on a trip with a memory, then be my guest. Go ahead.

Well, I'm going. That's fine, go.

You just go.

One day, for God's sakes, that's all I asked for, was one day, all you had to do was hang in for another 12 hours and then we'd be done, but, no, you have to ruin this day for me too.

Well, you know what, you can just leave now!

Just leave... Hi.

Merry Christmas. Happy...

Merry Christmas.

Mom, Dad, this is Joe.

Hi.

Well...

We're engaged.

Oh, God.


What's wrong with you? What are you talking about, engaged?

A boyfriend is one thing, but engaged is a completely different story.

I made a mistake.

You think?

When I agreed to come here with you, this whole thing is way too insane.

Well, now it is. I mean, engaged?

You probably don't believe in global warming, okay? I could never marry you. I'm sorry, but, please.

Why? 'Cause I'm not already married?

Oh, that's nice. That's nice.

You know what? I've wasted enough time.

Merry Christmas.

No, Joe, wait. I'm sorry, Joe, one sec...

Okay? Yeah.

Hi, honey. Congratulations.

Where's Joe?

Oh. Honey?

Mom, please, just don't make that face.

I swear to God, if I look up and you're making that face I'm gonna lose it.

But I'm not making a face.

Actually, Charlotte, you are.

Sam this is my everyday face.

You're going like this. No, I'm...

I am not.

Okay, I'll be a Sphinx, right?

See? Hi, honey.

Oh, God, there it is!

What?

Now, Buttons, calm down.

Calm down? Really, Dad, calm down?

Nothing makes people less calm than being told to calm down.

And now you're making that face.

Dad, you're just as bad as Mom.

Honey. Honey-bunny.

Oh, God, please, stop mothering me.

But I am your mother and I feel for you.

No, you feel sorry for me.

And you make me feel that I'm a person that people should feel sorry for.

That- But you know, hey, it wouldn't be Christmas without Eleanor coming home to disappoint everyone.

You're not a disappointment.

Right, okay.

Well, let me just give you your Christmas present early.

Mom, Dad, Joe is actually...

...a smoker. He is a chain-smoker.

That's right.

Just can't seem to quit.

It's tough. Oh, well...

You know what, this calls for a toast.

Yeah. Bubbly, bubbly.

I'm an alcoholic. Wow.

I'm just kidding. Yeah.

Quite a kidder.

Yeah, just can't help it.

Aw, try. Hey.

We're here.

Oh, Mom? Yeah, what?

Just don't mention anything about the engagement, okay?

'Cause we haven't told Joe's parents yet.

That's fine, that's good. Okay.

Charlie, what happened to your face?

Oh, he...

Oh, my God.

Everyone, um, this is Joe.

And, yes... And Joe and your Aunt Eleanor are engaged.

Charlotte! What? Oh, my God.

Mom. It just slipped out, I don't know.

I'm sorry, I don't know what...

Right hand, orange, and left hand, blue.

Okay, yes.

I got a right on orange.

I thought we just said it ten seconds ago.


♪ Angels we have heard on high

♪ Sweetly swinging o'er the plains

♪ And the mountains in reply

♪ Echoing their joyous strains

♪ Gloria

♪ In Excelsis Deo

♪ Children, go where I send thee

♪ How shall I send thee?

♪ I'm gonna send thee three by three

♪ Three for the Hebrew children

♪ Two for Paul and Silas

♪ One for the itty-bitty baby

♪ Born, born, born in Bethlehem Hey!

♪ Hava nagila, hava nagila

♪ Hava nagila ve-nis'mecha

♪ Have yourself a merry little Christmas

♪ Let your heart be light

♪ Hang a shining star

♪ Upon the highest bow

♪ And have yourself

♪ A merry little Christmas

♪ Now ♪♪

Wow.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, huh?

Kiss her, Grandpa. Oh, my goodness.

Oh.

Oh, Bo. Oh, dear.

You're suppose to kiss me. Oh, okay.

What are we doing here?

Is this where you left your car?

Yes?

Merry Christmas.

Thanks for the ride.

If I ask you a question, would you answer me honestly?

Try me.

Are you really a psychiatrist?

Of course, I am, sort of. I'm a life coach.

But you said you were a doctor.

Well...

You heard of Dr. Seuss?

I'm Dr. Newport.

Wow.

Officer Williams?

Can I give you a hug?

No.

All right, then.

A word of advice?

Certainly. If I were you...

For you, not from you.

Of course.

You should buy your sister the most expensive gift you can find.

Try and be be the person you want to become.

Emma was filled with a tiny distant memory she wasn't sure even happened, when her world was still open to the possibility of magic.

Yeah. Carrots.

Everybody make sure you try those potatoes.

Single perfect form, you be...

Oh, Dad?

I've been thinking about our family a lot today.

And I have something that I'd like to say.

I want to tell you...

No! Please, no.

...how happy I am that we're all here together.

Well, hear, hear.

We don't spend much time under the same roof,

but no matter what happens... we are family.

Oh, God, look at Bo's shiny, little face.

Well, I think that what Grandpa is... trying to say is...

that celebrations like this they just kind of... remind us of... how...

Irreplaceable. Irreplaceable...

So, just...

But you know what, that is enough said on that front, right?

Let's just toast to celebrations, everyone.

Cheers!

Okay. Cheers.

I'm hungry.

I know. I hate to say it, but Emma's not here yet.

I think we should wait.

I think it's important for us to wait for just a few minutes.

Maybe the storm has knocked out some traffic signals.

Yeah, but she's always late.

Let's just dig in! Yes.

Go ahead. It's Christmas, right? Yes.

Aren't we going to say grace?

Well, just let me finish, for one second, Joe.

Dad, would you like to say grace?

Not really.

Well, maybe you'd like to listen to Bo say grace. Bo, would you like to give thanks?

No, thanks.

Okay. You know what, I'll do it.

Oh. All right.

Oh.

Dear Lord, or whoever is listening, thank you for this beautiful meal when there are so many who have so little.

And although I'm not with my own family tonight, I'm grateful to be sharing Christmas with such a thoughtful, loving family...

Oh, my God.

Jesus Christ!

Holy...

It's Rags.

Mother of God, what are you feeding that animal?

Oh, Rags. Yikes.

It's okay. At least, dinner smells good.

Right? Fabulous.

Let's dig in.

What's the matter?

The pepper?

Is that what it is?

It needs more potato.

I can't believe you're getting married, El.

Congratulations.

Yeah, congratulations.

I just can't believe it.

Mmm. Stop saying that.

It's just...

Joe, do you really know what you're getting into?

Yeah, I've never been more certain.

Actually, I got down on one knee when I proposed.

She had her doubts, but I didn't.

Yeah, I knew it the minute I met her.

Kiss her. Kiss her.

Come on. Kiss!

Go ahead.

Give her a kiss. Come on.

That is a kiss.

When Emma entered the dining room, she remembered to be the person she wanted to become.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

You're finally here. We've been missing you.

But when confronted by family, she forgot.

Good, you started without me.

Don't get up.

I'm so sorry. Dad and Eleanor both brought guests.

Oh, can I sit here near you, Madison?

I'd like to sit next to the prettiest girl at the table, is that okay?

You're such a...

Madison?

As Aunt Fishy slept, she dreamt of dancing at the Mocamba, Christmas of '46, knowing for certain she could get any man in the place, Never considering she would be anything but young.

The night had become so haunted by ghosts of Christmases past that Rags began to stress-eat.

I think it's time to go around the table and tell each other our wish for the new year, right?

Oh, God.

What?

What? I mean, everybody loves this game and we play it every year.

Everybody hates this game.

And no one has the nerve to tell you.

Emma.

Does anyone enjoy this?

I'd just like to say, it's so wonderful to see my daughters together.

I remember when Charlotte wouldn't even be in the Christmas play, unless they let Emma in too.

They would sneak down and eat the cookies Effie made for Santa and they thought we didn't know about it, but we did.

Dad, you're so right.

You're my sister, and I love you Okay.

Mash potatoes?

Did you get the B-I-K-E-S for the K-I-D-S?

No. I thought we could go with something hand-made this year.

Hank, we agreed on the bikes.

Right, I just... You know...

Hand-made gifts are from the soul, right?

They can't ride a soul to school, they wanted bikes.

Kids want bikes.

Sam, that was the best dinner I ever had in my entire mouth.

I'm so glad to hear that, Aunt Fishy.

How was the trip, dear?

Fantastic.

Rags knew he was eating his emotions, but could not stop himself.

Could you pass the, uh, green beans?

Yeah, sure.

You know what, here, let me get them for you.

It's okay. I got it.

It's all right, I'm holding it.

I can get my own green beans, it's fine.

Can I, please, just get my own green beans?

Yes, just trying to be helpful.

You know what would have been helpful, is if you would have done what you said you're gonna do.

Now I have two helmets sitting under my tree.

This is exactly why I left.

This is why you left? Yes.

Seems like you had a whole lot more reasons than that, 'cause you left so fast there was a cartoon swoosh cloud in the doorway.

I should have left a long time ago.

Stop fighting!

Why can't you stop fighting?

Why wont you stop?

All right, everybody, let's just stop it, okay?

Just shut up and eat.

I mean, we all...

We love each other and it's Christmas.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Storm took out the power lines.

Stop it. No.

Madison, don't be scared, all right?

Bucky! Bucky!

Dad!

Dad?


We're setting up a CAT scan immediately.

I can only imagine how shaken up you all must be.

It's quite the Christmas present.

Thank you, Doctor.

Hank...

FOMO.

You have to wait back here.

Wait!


What the hell are you doing with your life?

You're sleeping with that oily doctor when you're engaged?

Dr. Morrissey?

That's... Mom, I really don't know where you got that, but you're having a rough night so I'm going to let it slide.

But, honestly, Mom, that's ridiculous.

You know something, you always talk too loudly when you're lying.

I do not. That's... Uh-huh.

That's not even...

Fine.

I knew you wouldn't understand.

In fact, I knew you would react exactly like this.

I see.

And... Oh, perfect. There's the face.

Did I do something wrong?

Was I too preoccupied with Lucy?

Did I make you feel like you don't deserve more?

Please, stop, this isn't about you.

Stop treating me like I'm something that's broken.

Okay? You can't fix me.

Just go fix yourself.

This is who I am.

You need to accept that I'm never going to be the person that you want me to be.

You are the person I want you to be, except... Except.

Yeah, except, you deserve more. I think you could build a life with this Joe.

Oh, Mom.

Joe is a prop.

Joe is a stranger I picked up in an airport bar.

He is something I invented, so that I didn't have to face your face.

Eleanor. Just...

This could happen to anyone, Madison.

There was a lot of yelling going on, I'm surprised... it doesn't happen more often.

In your defense, it was probably the dump salad.

There's a reason it's called that.

I tried, Madison. Damn it, I tried.

What? She doesn't love me anymore.

Forty years.

Gone.

Poof

Thank you, Tinkerbell.

I don't even think I kissed him hello tonight.

You can kiss him tomorrow, because he's gonna be all right. Really, Emma.

Oh, that's right, Charlotte. Everything's always balloons and Jello.

Wow, I realize that we haven't been close but I guess I just didn't really know how much... you don't like me.

It's not that I don't like you, it's just that I love you more when I'm not with you.

It's like we're allergic to each other.

But, hey, we were branded from birth.

I'm the coward. Dad always said you're the brave one.

No, Dad didn't say that at all.

Dad said you're the brave one and I'm the nice one.

No. I'm the smart one, you're the brave one.

No, please...

I'm the coward.

No, I'm the coward.

No, I am, that's what Dad said.

For God's sake! I'm the coward.

No. Don't even kid yourself.

Dad said that you're the brave one and I'm the nice one.

I am the coward!

You are the brave one and you're the smart one.

I'm the coward. Ladies! Ladies! Shh.

Yes, of course. Sorry.

Tell me what happened to us?

You got the happy gene. I didn't.

That's not true.

Charlotte...

No.

You could be happy licking an envelope.

But, hey, I'd be happy too, if I had everything.

Everything? You think I've had everything?

If you ever just asked me once how I am, you'd know that my life is just as screwed up as your life.

Charlotte, look at me.

I am a fully grown woman.

You sat me at the kids table!

You have no idea what that feels like, and you never will, you have a family, I am alone.

Don't I count as family?

Don't my kids count as family?

They're your family too, god dammit!

They are your family. Ladies!

Out! Oh, God, I'm sorry.

Despite his broken heart, Sam asked Madison for a dance, determined to erase the image of the 2nd floor men's room of the First Butler Hospital from the memory of her 5th Christmas eve.

Miss Newport, I have some news.

So, your father had a small stroke.

He's stabilized now and he's gonna be fine.

You can see him later, but right now we'd like him to rest.

You can see him when he wakes up.

But he's okay?

His vitals are fine, he's just resting.

I'll check back in with you later.

Good, great.

Thank you.

He's sleeping right now.

Get outta town. Your doctor is "married guy"?

No.

Yeah, I met him a couple of years ago when I brought my grandpa in for a check up.

A little agey, isn't he?

Well, let him down easy.

I mean, even a married guy doesn't deserve to get dumped on Christmas, right?

Seriously?

You are not this person.

Kinda look like her, though, don't I?

No.

You don't even know me. What?

After today?

Wow.

Lying really does come easy to you.

Okay, how about this for the truth?

I've known you for eight hours, and you are leaving in five.

I'm sorry about your Grandpa, hon, but he's gonna be okay. I promise.

Be careful over there, okay?

Yeah, you too.

Lucky me. I get to see you at Christmas.

Wanna see what I got you? Yeah.

♪ The first Noel the angels did say

♪ Was to certain poor shepherds... ♪

Sorry, sorry.

Sorry, no.

Sorry.

Sorry.

Sorry!

Excuse me.

Wait. No. Hold the elevator!

That was a good one.

You would've loved to have seen you.

You didn't leave.

I couldn't. We're too good a story.

You picked me up in a bar.

You came on to me.

You stalked me in an airport.

You begged me to go home with you.

I couldn't get rid of you.

Yeah, we finally agree on something.

We're together just to say goodbye, you know.

I know.

You're like Clarence, sent down to save my wonderful life.

Merry Christmas.

Merry...

...Christmas.

Hey, Charlie.

Lauren?

I got your text.

My...

Oh, yeah, no, of course. Right, my text.

I text girls all the time. That's what I do, you know.

I didn't think you were gonna come.

It's Christmas Eve.

Oh, no. It's no big deal.

We're Jewish, so, we were just getting Chinese food, so...

Take your coat off and everything, these are my parents right there.

Well... Maybe we should... give them a little privacy.

Yes, that's probably a good idea.

Bo, Bo, come here.

Why don't we go over here for little bit?

Come over here, honey.

Stop staring. I can't stop.

Last year, the 3rd grade class picture came out all squinty.

They're interviewing Bud Bartlett, but he doesn't care about getting a good shot.

I could talk to the principal and...

Bo told me tonight.

I actually have to go, I'm sorry.

I promised my boyfriend that I'd meet his family.

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, you should get going.

And, Angie, I...

I want you to be happy.

Oh, God, what is that?

I, ugh...

There goes the tree.

Should we intervene? They need a referee?

It's disturbing. It's not safe.


Can I tell you something, without knowing anything about you?

I think you need Jello.

You have his smile.

I got lucky.

You know, I think that your hands were the first thing I loved about you.

I'm gonna miss them.

I think, at first, I held on so tight to the kids because of all that we went through and how much I loved them.

But now...

I think I'm holding on because...

I don't know who I am if I don't.

My love for them... it's so huge. I kinda got lost in it, you know?

And a part of me, like you said...

A part of me got small. No.

You're not small.

I didn't even agree with me when I said it.

You're beautiful and ridiculous.

No.

And as passionate as you always were.

It's about different things now.

Yeah.

We had a great run, Charlotte.

Nobody can say we didn't try.

No, we tried.

Let's go on the trip.

You don't have to.

No, look at me, honey, I want to go with you.

Really?

That's incredible.

Oh, Charlotte...

I don't really know if we should go to Africa.

What?

Bo said Hank got laid off.

Oh, my God, I knew it.

The tell tale snort.

That snort.

But, I can... take you out to a really amazing dinner.

We could go to some fancy Ethiopian place with native dress.

You can take me to IHOP, for all I care.

Yeah, me too.

Oh, my...

Hi, Sam. Hi.

Good for them.

Why waste a moment? We're here for such a short time.


I need a last minute gift that doesn't involve teddy bears, balloons or pictures of children with big eyes.

You can never go wrong with chocolate.

No.

Get me the most expensive thing that you have.

You shouldn't have done this. I feel so ridiculous.

Here we go. Oh!

Emma, no!

No, look...

What?

That's the most expensive thing they had.

I really like it.

'Cause what says Christmas better than a shower seat?

Exactly. Well said.

I could really use that shower seat.

Merry Christmas. To you, Mom.

To family.

Bucky woke up with an unexpected craving for lime Jello.

As everyone sat around the table, the past, present and future were coming together for one elusive night.

Fate was kind, playing that particular muzak just then.

Um, excuse me, Madison.

Might I steal this man away from you?

Oh, yeah?

Uh-huh. Can I? Mom.

Sam and Charlotte relished in the closeness brought on by the time well spent on the trip not yet taken.

I still got it.

I've never seen that.

Are they are really doing this?

Eleanor let go of her past enough to be in the present.

Instead of trying to present the perfect picture, Hank celebrated this moment un-photoshopped.

Do you want to dance?

Me?

Hank and Ruby took their first step on the right foot.

All the more meaningful, because Bucky had led them to it.

Whoo!


And Charlie would always remember his first kiss.

His sloppy, awkward, but very first kiss.

You look pretty, Emma. Do you want to dance?

Gosh, I would love to dance.

I would really love to dance.

Emma finally recognized she was already part of a large family.

As Bucky stood, taking them in, his family unaware of him, this thought entered his head, which he shared with a large Haitian orderly.

Such a fuss... when everything we want is right in front of us the whole time.

And at last, everyone appreciated that very sentiment.

Why is it they can never remember that?

Or maybe the point is, even just for a moment, they do.

Well, that's my tale.

Sometimes, I wonder about all the families sharing dinner together.

Each house, each family, each one with stories of their own.

I don't know who chooses our families for us.

Or if there's a reason we land where we do.

But my family will be home soon.

Loyal and affectionate, but untrainable.

Perfectly imperfect.

They're only human.

And that's enough for me.

Merry Christmas to all. Woof!


One, two, you know what to do.


Round young virgin...