Mermaids (1990) Script

My sister kate learned to swim when most babies... were still gnawing the sides of their playpens.

I adore her. Everybody does.

The day she was born, I wanted to name her after Saint Gobnet, the virgin beekeeper, But mother, Mrs. Flax, thought I was a little peculiar.

I don't agree.


Mrs. Flax doesn't believe in ritual or tradition.

No.

Maybe.

I think so.

But I'd wanted to repent since the first time...

I saw a girl with ashes on her forehead... cross herself and chant Hail Marys... before a spelling bee.

Charlotte, We're Jewish.

What is this?

Cheese ball pick-me-ups accompanied by miniature franks, and, for dessert... marshmallow kabobs.

A word about Mrs. Flax and food.

The word is hors d'oeuvres.

"Fun Finger Foods" is her main source book, and that's all the woman cooks.

"Anything more," she says, "is too big a commitment."

It's Fred. Okay, how do I look?

Like a woman about to go forth and sin.

Oh, good, exactly the look I was hoping for.

Good night. - Don't wait up.

Mrs. Flax is dating her boss.

That means we'll be moving soon.

Wait. Wait a minute. Wait.

Did you just tell me that not only am I not going on this trip, but that you're taking another woman?

Honey, she's not just "another woman."

She's my wife.

We've moved 18 times.

It gets easy to read the signs.

I feel I've wasted half my life in cars.

I try to be charitable: taking care of Kate and not killing mother, But, I ask you, who ever heard the word of god... going 70 miles an hour on the interstate?

President Kennedy arrived at Hyannis Port this afternoon, leaving the rigors of Washington behind.

On hand to greet him as the Presidential helicopter touched down were his daughter--

I don't think he wanted those gifts they gave him.

Frankenstein and birds?

No, sweetheart.

The three wise men brought the baby Jesus...

Frankincense and Myrrh.

Oh.

It's not that I don't know about these things. Charlotte Just I choose to believe something else.

I got an idea. How about some fudge?

Yeah.

Charlotte, you want to go make some fudge?

I can't do anything... until I have everything the way it was.

Charlotte, the whole point of moving... is so that everything can be different.

I don't like waking up and not knowing where I am.

Well, then I'll make you a little sign for over your bed that says:

"Good morning, Charlotte."

"You are now in East Port."

"Have a lovely day."

Oklahoma was great.

I liked living there.

I know. And you'll love living here when you get used to it.

Yeah, and when you get used to it, we'll move... and everything will change again.

Life is change, Charlotte. Death is... dwelling on the past... or staying in one place too long.

Charlotte, remind me to get you a decent pair of shoes.

I don't want any. - Don't be ridiculous, Charlotte.

Every woman wants new shoes.

But those are from him.

"Him"? Oh, him.

Charlotte says he'll visit one day.

How will he know we're here?

Charlotte, you know what?

The only thing you can rely on about your father... is that he can't be relied on.

Right there. Hold on, hold on.

I only have one memory of my father.

At least, I think it was my father.

Honey, it's an Eclipse. Put these on.

One day he'll come back.

I just hope he can find us.

Dear God, please don't let us be leaving right away.

Please let me stop lying all the time.

Please don't let me fall crazy in love so much... and please let someone fall crazy in love back.

And please send me a sign.

Amen.

Hello there. - Hello.

Hey! - Come on.

"Chief maintenance man for apartment house or hotel."

Let's move it, huh?

"Experienced mechanic." "Sheet metal worker."

Somehow-- Charlotte, you drive like old people make love.

Mom, I'm only 15. I get nervous.

Move it over!

Driving happens to be one of the two... most important skills a woman can have.

You should be tickled pink that I taught you early.

Let's go!

Wait a minute. All right, this sounds good.

"Bright, personable young secretary..."

"with cheerful disposition required by small law firm."

Why are you signaling?

The turn is two miles down the road.

All right, just pull over.

Step on it!

Blow it out your ear! - Kate--


Hi.

I just wondered if you got moved in all right.

Yeah, we got moved in fine.

My name's Joe Peretti. I work up the hill.

So if you need anything done, Ma'am--

"Ma'am"?

Well, what exactly is up the hill, Mr. Peretti?

The convent.

Protectors of the blessed souls.

This is a sign. Thank you, God.

This is a real sign.

Our nearest neighbors are nuns?

I suppose you think this is divine providence?

You know what? There is one small thing, Joe.

Here. That porch swing up there? - Yeah?

I just can't seem to reach it.

Okay. I'll take a look.

So, Joe, how old did you say you were?

Twenty-six and cute as a button.

Too bad you're set on being a nun.

You know, Charlotte, I think you might be old enough for a boyfriend now.

If I'm old enough, maybe you're too old.

Don't be ridiculous.

A real woman is never too old.


let's go! Let's go!


Please, God, don't let me fall in love and want to do disgusting things.

Dear God, I love the way he throws.

Come on.

Mrs. Flax...

I'm taking my fiancee out to lunch.

I expect you to be here when I return.

Hi, sweetie.

How are those depositions coming?

They'll be ready.

Assholes.

Do you like your new boss, Mom?

No, sweetheart, I don't.

You make out the list?

Yeah. Kate needs a new swimsuit.

I need notebooks, pens and underwear.

All right, I only have a half an hour for lunch, so after we pick out the shoes, Then I'll give you money and you can buy the rest. - Okay.

I want red ones. - All right.

Bright red ones. - All right.

With a red strap. - Yes, Katie.

I don't need anything. - Charlotte, don't aggravate me.

You're starting a new school on monday and those boots aren't.

What's wrong with them? - Everything!

Because I'm the best mother in the world. - Yes.

I'll be right with you.

Hail Mary, full of grace.

- Katydid. - Let me try them on.

You must be Mrs. Flax.

Joseph told us... that a nice Jewish family were our new neighbors.

Welcome to East Port.

Oh, God, please let Mrs. Flax control herself.

Look, Mom. - You're still a perfect seven, Reverend Mother.

You know, most women's feet get bigger.

Only if they marry.

- Oh, no. - Your feet swell.

When you get pregnant, your feet swell.

How could she? How could she?

I know mine got swollen when I was pregnant.

Mother, how could you say that?

She's a holy vessel.

What a lovely red shoe.

Thank you.

So where are you ladies from?

I used to live in South Dakota myself.

Can you imagine... trying to keep Kosher in South Dakota?

I can't imagine trying to keep Kosher anywhere.

Yeah.

Will that be all, Reverend Mother?

Only one new addition?

Every year, fewer and fewer of us now.

Nice to meet you, Mrs. Flax.

I hope you enjoy living in East Port.

Yes, dear?

I desperately wanted to ask what color her bra was... and if she had pure thoughts every second of the day, but--

Well, good-bye.


Oh!

She's got a pair that she likes. What about you?

I don't need any shoes. Thank you.

Nice boots.

Maybe I'll see you at the Parent & Teachers' Night.

Maybe you will.

Oh... Good. Yeah. I'd like that.

Yeah.

Come on, Miss Katydid, we're gonna be late for registration.

Bye, Sergeant. - Bye, Fish Head.

Well, look who's driving the school bus.

Why, Miss Charlotte, I do believe you're blushing.


Come on. Don't make such a deal about it.

Just put it in your mouth and smoke it.

I can't. Mary, I'll throw up all over. - So...

How was your date with Scott Jones, Mary?

He's an animal.

Does that mean you had a good time?

We had oral sex by the old railroad trestle.

I love it when they groan, don't you?

Mary, you're gonna get into a heap of trouble.

I know. I can't wait.

Girls.

The bell rang five minutes ago.

Sorry, Mrs. Crain.

If she tells my mother, I'm dead.


Noree? - Here.

Class, we have a new student today.

Charlotte Flax.

I'm sure you'll all do your best to make her feel welcome.

Charlotte.

Charlotte, right down there.

Charlotte Flax, Right?

F-l-a-x. Here.

- Uh, Kent? - Here.

Bye.

Talk to me, Joe. Please talk to me.

So how do you like the house?

Sorry?

How do you like the house?

I hate the house.

I was born there.

I love that house.

You were?

Under the kitchen table.

God strike me down. That's almost as good as a manger.

Give me strength not to sit on his lap.

Um...

So was that you who carved "Red Sox" on the door?

That used to be my room.

I'm in his room.

When my mother died, I sat on my bed for two days holding her sweater.

I didn't care about anything anymore, not even the Red Sox.

I'm gonna burn in hell for sure.

He's talking about his poor dead mother, and I can't stop wishing his hands were unbuttoning my dress.

Okay.

That will be Carrie. She sells cosmetics.

Oh... She's gonna love my Mom.

Okay.

I was gonna ask, I was wondering, what do people do here on the weekends?

Sunday's my day off.

Sometimes I go fishing.

Really? I love to fish.

Well, sometimes I just sit by the water and think.

That sounds great too.

Well, Maybe you and your sister--

Oh, well, um...

Kate's actually scared of the water, Oh.

But, um... I'd love to.

Well, I drive right by here on my way to the cliffs, so--

What time?

Seven.

Okay, that sounds great.

Okay, I'll wait for you.

Okay, bye. - Okay, bye.

Know your colors and know your fabrics.

That's what I tell all my little girls.

Honey, I would kill to have your hair.

Swimming's fine for your figure, but it can damage your hair.

Got anything for Sharks and Jellyfish?

What, dear? - She means body grease.

Miss Kate's going to swim the English Channel one day.

Oh. Well, I'm not sure I have exactly what you're looking for, but try this.

It was meant for crow's feet, but never really caught on.

You are finished.

Now, why don't you try the other side?

Tell me about that Caretaker, the one at the convent.

You mean Joey? Is he handsome or is he handsome?

In high school, he was quite the golden boy.

No one could touch him on a football field.

Then in the middle of his senior year, he lost it.

He couldn't run to save his life.

His girlfriend had just left town kind of sudden.

My theory?

I believe there's a little Joey junior walking around somewhere.

If I wasn't married to a real son of a gun, I'd go after him myself.

Joey, Joey, Joey.

Entering the convent for the sin of getting a girl pregnant.

A penitent man. Makes me love you even more.

Oh, honey... You have very special eyes.

Only you and Liz Taylor can get away with those eyebrows.

Come.

Let's put some color on you.

This one's planning on being a nun.

Difficult age.

All Charlotte's ages are difficult.

You never came to Parent & Teacher Night before.

I don't see what's so special about this one.

Charlotte, you read the invitation.

"Community begins in the classroom."

I am your mother.

It is my job to watch over your education.

There's so little of it left.

What took you so long?

Ooh, we're gonna play my favorite game.

Who's the worst mother in the world?

Don't tell me. Let me guess. Who could it be?

Could it be me?

All right, you know what? I'll make you a deal.

You stop being a little bitch for let's say an hour or two, and I won't knock the religion of your choice for a week.

Deal.

Who's that? - That's Mr. Crain.

He's my history teacher, and he's very nice.

He is an asshole. - You haven't spoken to him yet.

Charlotte, I don't need to speak to him.

He's driving an Edsel, for Chrissake.

Okay.

We don't have a prayer against...

Stockton's little league if you don't release him--

Some agendas here and there's some refreshments in, um--

Uh... Mrs. Flax, hi.

I'm glad you came tonight.

You have two weeks. I'm asking for one day.

- I'll think about it. - Thanks, Coach.

Hi, Mr. Landsky. - Hi.

How are you? Is your mom here?

Yeah. Right over there.

I've been meaning to get in touch--

Hi.

How are you?

Good. Even better now.

Excuse me. - Sorry.

Any of these yours?

Oh, no, mine are grown and long gone.

- Lou, how you doin'? - Hi. Fine.

And where's Mrs. Landsky tonight?

She's long gone too.

Oh, so you're a widower man?

Oh, no. She's just gone.

Oh.

Would you like some punch?

Sure. - This way.

She just up and left one day... right in the middle of vacuuming.

She didn't even switch the damn thing off.

Is there a Mr. Flax?

No. He, too, made a rather sudden and unexpected departure.

Not in the middle of vacuuming?

No, I was in the middle of labor with Charlotte.

Yeah? - Yeah, and to add insult to injury, the son of a bitch stole my car to leave in.

Yeah? - Yeah, it was a great car:

Red Buick convertible, white sidewall tires.

When I think about it, it still pisses me off.

It's kind of obvious it really means a lot to you.

I remember the first time I got behind the wheel of that car.

I thought, "Rachel, this is heaven."

Cars mean freedom.

If you hate a place, you can get in your car, Poof, you're gone.

So your first love was a Buick?

Yeah, before I met my husband.

Big mistake. One of many.

Are we talking cars or men?

I don't know. I've been taken for a ride by both of them.

Mrs. Flax. - Yes, Mr. Landsky.

I, uh--

I try not to get involved with women... when the World Series is about to start, but, for you, I'd make an exception.

Should I take that as a compliment? - Oh, yes.

I would really like to know you a whole lot better.

So call me Lou.

So, Lou, call me.

How about Sunday? I'm free all day.

How about breakfast?

Great.

I'll bring bagels.

I'll be there. - So will I.

You see that woman there?

- Yes. - That's my Mom.

When I grow up, I want to be just like yours.

Mary... You already are.

I'll make real sandwiches;

Big ones a man can sink his teeth into... and use both hands to hold.

He's late.

Oh, god, please don't let him forget.

Be patient, Charlotte.

Patient as Saint Bridget, lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur.

It's after 7:00, Charlotte.

He's late.

I will not start the day with an argument.

I will tally up my evil thoughts for the week and ignore her.

When a man's late, it's time to clear the decks.


No! - What?

Forget it. Never mind.

Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

Or don't do anything I would.

Rachel Flax.

I want to scream out the window like a maniac, "I'm running away with the Caretaker man!"

My speedometer's broken.

I'm trying not to drive too fast.

After my Mom, nothing seems fast.

Now my lips are touching his.

She seems like a nice person.

Oh, yeah... She is... and a wonderful Mom.

Oh, God!

My whole life I never saw anybody treat a bagel this way.

Where were you raised?

Well, believe it or not, my parents owned a Kosher bakery.

Yeah, they made me crazy, of course.

And the night I ran away from home, I stood in the kitchen, Cigarette in one hand, ham sandwich in another.

Why were you running away?

I had my High School Diploma, my first paycheck, why would I stay?

Hi. Bye.

Wait a minute.

Katie--

Bye, Mom.

Bye, honey.

Bye. Mr. Landsky.

Bye.

Where did you meet your husband?

In a writing class. He liked my poems.

So we moved into a one-room apartment.

It was a dump, but if you stood on a chair...

you could see Lake Michigan.

Must have been tough times when he left, raising the kid on your own.

I coped.

Um...

Who was Kate's father?

Are you always this nosy? - This nosy?

No. Small-town boy.

I like to know other people's business.

Do you mind?

No. When I mind, you'll know I mind.

It's kind of obvious.

So who was he?

Well, actually, I never caught his name.

He came to Saint Louis for a Swim Meet.

And if he won, he was headed for the Olympics.

You were on the same team?

No, I was the maid in his hotel.

And one night, I delivered more than his towels.

You're a hell of a woman, Rachel.

I know.

Gosh, it's been a memorable breakfast.

I'm glad you liked it.

I didn't say I liked it. I'm never going to forget it.

Oh, I'm sorry. No offense. - No. None taken.

Uh...

Okay. Uh...

You, uh--

What you want to do?

We got all day.

You want to go out someplace?

Do you want to go out someplace?

Not really. No.

Do you want to go out someplace?

No, I'm fine.

So, Joe, tell me about the nuns in the convent.

Do they wear underwear in the shower?

I don't believe I said that.

You know, I always I'm too embarrassed... to take a shower after gym.

Mary O'brien she dances around naked, screaming about her boyfriend's quivering loins.

Shut up, Charlotte. Shut up.

The boat's down there.

Please, god, let him throw me on the ground... and make another Joey junior.

You okay? - Yeah, I'm fine, thanks.

I do want to be good and virtuous, but it isn't easy.

Come on.


Do you want to bait your own hook or do you want me to do it?

Mary, Mother of God... He still wants to fish?

What's funny?

You're a sexy guy.

You have to look surprised when you say that?

I am surprised. - Oh.

Sometimes age has its compensations.

I wouldn't go that far.

It's been a while since I've felt this good.

Don't spoil it.

How long? - Too long.

You haven't been with any other women?

No. - You're lying.

- I am? - Trust me. I know about these things.

Okay. - Okay, what?

- I'm lying. - I don't care.

That's a shame.

Lying's my main thing.

I'll miss it.

Look, in my experience--

Which, we've established, is considerable. - Yes.

Men lie about everything. - But women don't.

I don't know about "women," but I don't.

But from me you expect it. - Absolutely.

When you expect the worse from people, they usually deliver.

Are you always this aggressive after sex?

You call this aggressive?

Oh, Yeah. Hey, this is fun.

Can we do it again next Friday?

You don't waste time, do you?

Life's too short. I'm sorry I got so old before I noticed.

I'm never growing old. - Hmm?

But time catches up. What can you do?

Keep moving.

I had a really good time.

Yeah, me too.

Kiss me, Joe. Please, kiss me.

Well, good night. - Good night.

- Bye. - Bye.


How was your date?

Uh... Fine. We had a good time.

Great. So did we.

I hate when she does that.

She's trying to break the world record.

I can't look.

If she's not up in ten seconds, call an ambulance.

So, when are you gonna see him again?

I don't know.

Well, If I were you, Charlotte, I'd go easy.

I mean I know you're planning a celibate life, but with half my chromosomes, I think that might be tough.

Yuck, five seconds off.

I must stop having impure thoughts about Joe.

I don't take the bus to school anymore.

That doesn't seem to help.

Maybe if I can figure out why I love him, the sick feeling will go away.

I love him.

He has the most beautiful skin in captivity.

I love him because he wears moccasins in the Winter, even though his feet must feel like blocks of ice.

Trick or treat! - Trick or treat!

Okay, I'm coming!

Anything for Halloween? - Yes.

I've got wonderful prizes for you!

Toothpaste?

Toothpaste! - All right.

All right, it's magic toothpaste.

Mom-- - It's magic toothpaste.

Bye. Hey, hey, wait, wait!

Miss Kate, in the house.

Come on, Mom.

Put your goldfish lips in the house.

Bye.

Okay. - Come on, let's do it.

Let's go, girls. Come on. Be Winner.

They're big. - I know, I know.

Okay. All right, team! Yeah!

Come on. Good.

Let's go, girls. Keep good.

Swimmers' meet! Quiet, please!

Swimmers, on the block.

Take your marks.

A regular Esther Williams.

What do I have? - Mrs. Flax?

Mrs. Flax? Coach Parker.

So nice to meet you. Hi, Lou.

I don't have to tell you how proud we are of Kate.

You know, I think she has Olympic potential.

But I guess that doesn't surprise you. - Not at all.

Does she get it from you? - Not at all.

Nice job, dear. - Thanks, coach.

Hi, Mrs. Crain.

Bye, coach. - Bye, dear.

Lou, I don't know what to say.

They're terrible.

Hey, I said painting was my passion.

I didn't say I was good, you know.

Hey, girls, you got back me up here.

Did either of you ever once hear me say to your mother... that I had talent?

No. - No.

I rest my case. Okay?

Now, will you stop being a pain-in-the-ass critic... and pose for me?

Yes, but if you make me look like that, you're a dead man.

Trust me. - Right.

Girls, follow me.

Already I feel inspired.

I'll show you where you're sleeping. Ladies?

Okay?

Yeah. - Yeah.

Forgive me if I don't linger, girls, But when the muse calls, the artist has to jump.

Good night. - Good night.

He's nutso. - Ha.

I did Sophie from memory.

I've never worked with a live one before.

Huh?

Now this is fun.

Don't you think this is fun?

Oh, Cleo, baby...

That is not very regal.


Sometimes I feel like you're the child... and I'm the grown-up.

I can't ever imagine being inside you.

I can't imagine being anywhere you'd let me hang around... for nine straight months.


What's wrong with this picture?

Compliments of Mrs. Landsky.

It seems she's frozen Lou's meals for the next decade.

Good morning.

Good morning. - Good morning.

What a good morning.

This is for you. - Thank you.

How did you sleep, Charlotte?

Did you weather the storm?

Yeah. Fine, thanks.

This is how you normally eat breakfast together?

Yeah.

Mm-hmm. - Mm-hmm.

Oh.

The time is Autumn, 1621.

The place is Plymouth Plantation:

An English colony in Massachusetts.

This is a harvest feast; a thanksgiving.

To share the harvest, the Englishmen have invited their friends, the Indians, Oh, God.

For games and contests of skill.

Oh, dear God.

What is it? Marsha? - What happened?

The President's been shot! - What?

The President's been shot!

- I can't believe that! - Benny, turn that off!

Listen. Listen.

Governor Connally was shot in the upper left chest.

The first unconfirmed reports say...

The President was hit in the head.

That's an unconfirmed report that the President was hit in the head.

The President's wife, Jackie Kennedy, was not hurt.

She walked into the hospital at her husband's stretcher side.

A Dallas newsman, Mel Couch, said he was riding behind the President in the parade.

He said, after the shots were fired, he happened to look up at the fifth or sixth floor... of the Texas book depository. he said he saw the rifle being pulled back in.

I want my father. Please, god, I want to speak to my father.

Tell us exactly what you saw, sir.

He was coming down the street... and my five-year-old boy and myself... were by ourselves on the grass there on Palmer street.

I waved and the man-- the man--

It's all right, sir. You waved at him.

As he was waving back, the shot rang out... and he slumped down in his seat... and his wife reached up toward him as he was slumping down... and the second shot went off and it just knocked him down.

- Two shots? - Two shots.

Did you see the man, who did it?

No, sir, I did not see the man. I...

I'm sorry I can't help you more, but I-I won't forget it.

Excuse me, Jack.

Here is a flash from the associated press, Dateline Dallas.

Two priests who were with President Kennedy... say he is dead of bullet wounds.

There is no further confirmation, but this is what we have on a flash basis from the associated press.

The pair of men have just administered... the last rites of the catholic church to President Kennedy.

President Kennedy has been assassinated.

It's official now. The President is dead.

Women here in shock; some have fainted.

Two secret service men standing by the emergency room, tears streaming down their face.

There's only one word to describe the picture here, and that's grief, and much of it.

As of just a few moments ago, the President of the United States is dead.

It feels like there isn't a single adult left... on the entire planet.

Oh, God, what were you doing?

How could you let this happen?

I miss my father.

I wonder if he's watching television.

Maybe he's in the jungles of Brazil... and doesn't even know what's happened.


The old man who did this job before me--

He had Indian ways.

He could stand so quiet, his heels together, like a little dancer.

The world's gone crazy.

I know. I know.

I know.


Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread... and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

In 1990, the Age of Space will be entering its second phase, and our hopes in it to preserve the peace, to make sure that in this great new sea, as on earth, The United States is second to none.

Everyone's crying about the President.

I've turned into a fallen woman overnight, and no one can tell.

I've been as bad as I can be.

I should be burned at the stake.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, and in a holy place.

I kissed him.

I will starve myself... until I purge every sinful thought about Joe Peretti from my soul.

the sins of the saints never go unpunished.

Joan of Arc got burned at the stake.

Okay, so what are you going to do to me, Lord?

Flagellation? Mutilation?

I bumped into Mr. Crain on the way, leaving Sammy's house.

- That old witch woman? - Yeah.

Charlotte, dinner.

Well, you think about it, get back to me.

He's wanted a baby real bad.

I guess he's trying one of her love potions.

Wish I had trouble conceiving.

I can get pregnant if i hang my clothes next to a man's suit.

Oh, Lord, no. Anything but that.

No more fasting. You're driving me crazy.

I'm pregnant. Lord, how could you do this to me?

- How could you be so strict? - Are you okay?

All right, eat and get some rest, and we'll just talk about this tomorrow.

Mary didn't even kiss Joseph... and look what happened to her.

Oh, Lord, what have I done?

Can I talk to you?

Sure.

Well?

Hello?

Is anybody there?

Just give me a second. I'm trying, Mom.

- What? - I want to tell you.

What?

I may be pregnant with the next Jewish-Italian Messiah.

- What? - Nothing.

Charlotte, what in the hell is the matter with you?

What is happening in your brain when you just sit there, not moving, not speaking?

What?

What? What?

Dad, you're the only person who can help, and you're never here.

Where are you?


Joe doesn't know where she is.

We better get back.

So, she's angry, that's okay.

Blowing off steam-- that's okay.

But taking my car-- that's not okay.

That's going way too far.

Did she ever talk to you about anything bothering her?

Lou, I'm her mother.

If something bothers her, I'm the last person she's gonna talk to.

She's a teenager, for Christ's sake.

I'm amazed she talks at all.

Where in the hell can she be?

♪ Onward Christian soldiers ♪ I want to lead a violent and exciting life!


Excuse me, sir. I was out for a spin, and I seem to be having engine trouble.

Who is it? - It's all right. It's just a young girl.

I'm a shepherd who has lost my flock.

Your folks know where you are?

Oh, yeah, they know exactly where I am.

Especially my dad. He's that kind of guy.

Charlotte, you're talking like a crazy person.

Lou, I'm glad that you're here, but I don't need you to stay.

I'll always be here for you.

Okay, I won't always be here for you.

Just sometimes, if I feel like it or I happen to be in the neighborhood.

Is that better?

I know she's doing this to turn my hair white.

She's doing this because she has a problem, and she's probably too frightened to talk to you.

Why would she be frightened?

Rachel, you can be a little abrasive!

Shit, even I'm scared to talk to you sometimes.

She's a kid! Lighten up! Don't ride her too hard!

I don't need a lecture on parenting from you!

Okay, that's it. When she comes, I'm leaving.

And you wonder why she runs away from problems?

Will you listen to yourself?

Are we having a fight? - Yeah!

Why? - It relieves the tension!

Yeah?

Well--

The Discotheques, which are nightclubs, have been very well-known... and popular now for years in Europe and South America.

Paris, for example, has about 100 of them.

You're look at the frug, a combination twist, Patty-Cake and Hitchhike.

That's Killer Joe, society's favorite dancing teacher.

Killer Joe is also available, he told us, as a party stimulator.

You like pancakes? - Yeah.

Here you are. - Thank you.

A real, live father... living in the same house as his wife and kids.

They're perfect. This is like television.

Thanks.

Maybe they'll adopt me.

Do you like bacon?

Oh, yeah.

How about sausage? - Mmm.

Toast? - I love toast.

Thanks.

What's your name? - Sal.

How could you lie to them? They're being so nice to you.

Sal what, dear?

Val. Sal Val.

Uh-oh.

My parents, they love rhymes.

We stay up late every night trying to think of new ones.

Me, Mom, Dad, Sis and my big brother...

Al.

Hello?

Yeah.

She's all right. She's in New Haven.

Could you give me that address again, please?

When I was little, we lived in Brazil... and we owned this big diamond mine.

My father would dance with me all the time.

We would just dance and dance and dance... right in the middle of the jungle.

Me and my sister-- she has these beautiful, long red curls, and she likes to... wear this jewelled crown thing on her head. - Excuse me.

We would make this pear wine.

We would take the bottles and hang them from branches... and write on them with diamond dust.

Charlotte?

Bye.

Bye, dear. - Bye.

Bye, Val.

- Bye. - Bye.

Bye, dear.


Do you have the slightest idea what you've just put me through?

I thought you were kidnapped.

I thought you were dead.

I thought you were laying by the road someplace, chopped into a million pieces.

Go to your room!

I can't talk to you right now.

If I talk to you right now, I'll kill you.

Okay.

I've had a little scotch.

I'm real calm.

So, tell me, Charlotte...

What's going on?

You don't get it, Mom.

I think I'm pregnant.

It may be the Lord's child.

Are you trying to make me crazy?

You wouldn't understand.

You don't believe in religion. You don't believe in anything.

Why were you running?

Running away doesn't solve anything.

I'm a grown-up. I don't run away.

I move on.

Look, if something is bothering you, tell me what it is. Maybe I can help you.

How bad can it be?

Look, I'm really tired. I just want to go to sleep, okay?

Let me tell you something, Charlotte.

Sometimes being the mother really stinks.

I don't always know what I'm doing.

It's not like you and your sister came with a book of instructions.

If I can help you, tell me.

I'll give it my best shot, but that's all I can do.

Where's Charlotte?

She's in her room, somewhere in mars.

What did she tell you? - Nothing.

Maybe her school counselor--

What? Mrs. Crain? Are you kidding me?

That woman couldn't find her ass with both hands.

Has she ever done anything this strange before?

She did get sent home from school one time before... for licking chalk off a blackboard.

God, her tongue was yellow for a week.

What did she do that for?

I don't know. She read in some book... that some saint had a vision after licking a wall.

Mm-hmm. - The teacher sent home a note that said... she thought charlotte had psychological problems.

What did you do? - We moved.

Oh.

Hi. - Hi.

I heard you ran away. You okay?

Yeah.

You want to talk about it?

It's kind of complicated.

Okay.

I was worried.

Joe, tell me about your girlfriend.

My girlfriend?

There's nothing to tell.

Did you love her?

Yes, I did.

But her family moved away, and I never got a chance to see her again.

People in town talk as if something happened between us, but it didn't.

Joe, do you like babies?

"Babies"?

Sure. I love babies.

Someday I hope to have a whole bunch of them.

Joan Ark?

Hello. I'm Dr. Reynolds.

How do you do? You konw, Actually, I just-- -

First time here?

Yeah, I just had a question. - How's school?

It's great. I wish we had it on weekends.

How old are you, Joan?

What? Uh... 18.

Is everything okay?

Is there anything inside me?

Just get dressed and come into my office.

Well, uh--

Joan, has your mother ever talked to you about sex?

Please, God, I want to die.

Yeah, all the time.

So you know how babies are conceived?

Oh, yeah.

We talk about everything. She's a wonderful mother.

Then why did you think you were pregnant?

You're still a virgin.

I want to die now, right now.

Okay, so it's crazy to think one kiss could get you pregnant, But how would I know?

What about the Virgin Mary?

And look at St. Perpetua.

She got transformed into a man and then fought with the devil... and walked on his head. Weird things happen.

Hi.

Hi. - Hi.

How are you?

Can you do me a favor?

I need to go to Boston on this jerk errand for my boss.

Could you give the girls dinner?

Yes! I got a great pot roast in the freezer... that Sophia left. Sound good?

Anything that's hot... and not shaped like a star sounds good to me.

Very funny. You know what?

Your mouth is starting to sound like your sister's, and I'm not pleased.

The Crain's are having a party for New Year.

Did you get an invitation? - Mm-hmm.

I'm going. Will you be there?

Lou, it's a goddamn costume party.

What do you think?

Go.

As what?

A goldfish.

You're a big help.

Charlotte?

As always, it was a pleasure.


- Where is everybody? - In here!

Where's here? What is here?

Hey, you guys, what's going on in here?

My young friend, Esther Williams, wanted to know what it would feel like to sleep at the bottom of the ocean.

Her wish being my command, presto!

Wall-to-wall ocean.

You're certifiable. You know that, don't you?

If that's true, I'm hanging around with the right family.

Let's show her. - Yeah.

You want to do it? - Yeah.

Oh, my gosh.

Oh, that is so neat.

It's beautiful. how's that? Sitting on the bottom of the ocean.

- Flying fish and everything. - Yeah.

- Wow. - It's good.

Dinner! - Dinner!

Let's eat. I'm so hungry.

You did all of that in one evening... and managed to cook dinner?

Charlotte we have to thank for the dinner.

A feast to put Sophia to shame.

Where did you learn how to do this?

Home Economics.

If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, I guess there's hope for you yet, Charlotte.

Personally, I've never found that to be true.

Mom. - Yeah?

- What do men care about? - Astroturf.

According to Lou, it's going to ruin baseball, not to mention the whole civilized world we know it.

So if you ever want to have a boyfriend, I suggest you start caring about it too.

Mom? - Yeah?

Why don't you marry Lou... so he can be our Dad?

We already have one, Katie.

Well, I've never seen him, and he wouldn't make me an ocean.

- Can we sleep over? - No.

- Please? - No!

- Please? - All right, I'll think about it.

Actually, you're supposed to have two forks.

Why do you need two?

You know what we did if we used the wrong fork or spoon when I was a kid?

What?

We had to go stick them in the ground, even if the ground was frozen solid.

We used to call it the hardware garden.

Can you believe that? - That's nothing.

A kid in school had an uncle who died... and got burnt up and sprinkled in a garden.

That's nothing.

St. Margaret of Antioch, she lived as a shepherdess... and she got eaten by this dragon, and it burst.

When I die, I want to be sprinkled in the ocean.

I don't care if a whale eats me.

I can live inside a whale like Jonah, with the Angel Guard. - Girls--

What if you got a whale doesn't had a living room inside... and you end up in someone's tuna fish sandwich?

Who are these people?

Once a man came to dinner and took his shirt off at the table... like we were running a nudist colony.

Oh, I remember him.

He was the one who kept yanking quarters out of your ears.

Why did he take his shirt off?

I think he didn't want to spill his dinner on it or something.

Can pass over Cranberry Sauce?

- Who wants some chicken? - What's happening here?

What usually happens when families sit down to a civilized meal together.

They talk.

- Cranberry Sauce? - Yes, please.

Who wants some chicken?

- I do. - I'd love some!

Wait.

I never said you could do this.

Do what? - Let Kate get so attached.

That's so terrible?

Yeah, this is not your family.

If you want to get closer to me, dial direct, But don't do it through my kids.

Never in my life have I wanted to hit a woman... the way I want to hit you right now.

When you are wrong... you are so wrong, it's scary.

Your whole life, you never did something for no reason... except to make somebody happy?

What is it you want from me?

A little trust would be nice!

And if you care about us, would it kill you to show it?

What do you mean, "us"?

Since when did you and my children become "us"?

You're just you, Lou. Okay?

Me and the girls-- that's us.

I was talking about you and me.

Mom, if you don't come out soon, it's gonna be new year's day!

You're gonna miss the party.

All right. I'm almost ready. Here's a little something.

Ooh, an arm. - This year, Mom!

Come on. - All right, all right. Here's a little more.

All right. Are you ready?

Come on! - Come on, Mom!

All right. One, two, three! Here I am!

You're a Mermaid! - No, I'm a Lumberjack.

I'm a Car Salesman. - Your beautiful tail!

Thank you. what you think?

If I would have had this costume when you guys were little, I would have done my ironing and all your diapers in it.

Oh, my God! Wait a minute! - Is this the Mermaid bus?

All right, I can tell by my Mermaid watch... it's time to get into my Mermaid car... and hit the Mermaid road!

And get the Mermaid out of here.

All right. You get my Mermaid coat... and you get my Mermaid keys.

Oh, my God.

Oh, I was hoping I would be fresh for the party.

Bye, Mom. - Bye, Mom.

Have fun. Bye! - Good-bye!

- Have a good time! - I will!

Bye, Miss Mermaid!

Good-bye, Miss junior Mermaids! I will!

Hi, Mary. How are you? - Hi, George.

Thank you.

Where's that handsome Hunk of a husband of yours, huh?

Out front, talking baseball.

He just bet 20 bucks... they couldn't name three players that batted over .400.

Hey! Buzz! I'll be right back.

Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Nap Lajoie!

You owe me 20 bucks!

The last day ever of this year.

You want to make some resolutions?

What are resolutions?

They're sort of like wishes.

I wish I could swim forever.

I wish I had known Anne Frank.

And that I didn't lust after Joe so much.

Oh, put that right here. Boy, can we use that.

Why don't you stick around and have a drink? It's almost midnight.

Oh. Sorry.

Hi, handsome. - Hi, Carrie.

Nice Caretaker's costume.

Hi, Joe.

Hi, Mrs. Flax. You look nice. - Thanks.

Mrs. Flax. - Yeah?

I think it's time you and I had a little dance. - Okay.

Little Bo Peep.

Honey, can you help us with these? - Yes.

All right, now spin me. - Yeah, okay.

Watch my tail. - Yeah. I'm sorry.

I'm on pins and needles. Did you win the $20?

What do you think? I'm planning a pilgrimage.

Lourdes? - No, Cooperstown.

Ask me why. - No.

I'm gonna tell you anyway. - Yeah, I thought you would.

Yeah.

The baseball hall of fame.

Before I bite the dust, there's three things that I want from life:

To touch Lou Gehrig's glove, To be in Florida for Spring Training... and to take you with me on both trips.

Two out of three, that's not bad.

All right, ask me in a couple of months.

You mean if you're still here. - Exactly.

Two minutes, everybody!

Get some champagne!

Turn up the TV!

Turn up the TV!

Streamers? Does everybody have a streamer?

What are we gonna do, Rachel?

About what, Lou? - This relationship.

What's the matter with this relationship? - It's stuck.

It has to move or it has to end.

It can't just stay the same.

You know, Lou, ultimatums don't sit really well with me.

- Noisemakers? - Thank you, Carrie.

Lou? - No, thank you.

What would you say if I asked you to marry me?

First, I'd remind you that you're still married, and then I'd probably write... from New Mexico.

Live with me.

No.

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One!

Happy New Year 1964!


So far, 1964's a big drag.

Are you coming home with me?

Another night.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, everybody, A Very Happy New Year.

Hey, Joe! - Yeah?

I think my car's dead.

You think so?

Can you help me? - Yeah, sure.

Good.

Thanks for the ride, Joe.

Sure. You bet.

Oh.

Sorry.

Could you help me? - Yeah.

I have trouble with this tail.

Happy New Year, Joe.

You kissed him?

You kissed him? How could you do that?

How could you let her kiss you?

Charlotte, for God's sake, it was just a little New Year's Eve kiss.

You don't believe in New Year's. - I know.

Hey, what are you guys fighting about?

Nothing. - Everything.

Come on. Get back in the house before you freeze your little butt off.

What's the matter with Charlotte? Is she gonna run away again?

God willing. No, just kidding.

Did you have a nice time? - I had a lovely time, thank you.

Are you gonna stay out there all night, Miss Poopy Face?

Why did you let her?

She kisses everybody. Don't you know that?

It doesn't mean you're special or anything.

It doesn't mean she likes you or anything like that.

She doesn't like anybody!


Okay, Mom. You want to drive Lou away, that's your business.

You want Joe... that's war.


Care to dance, Mrs. Flax?

Mrs. Polka Flax.

She's gonna kill you if you put those on.

Go back to your rocks, Kate.

Okay.

Act your age, not your shoe size.

Who's this?

"Know your colors, know your fabrics."

"That's what I tell all my little girls."

Katie, shall I tell you a secret?

Yeah.

I'm in love with Joe Peretti.

Do you kiss each other? - Yes.

On the lips? - Yes.

Like Superman and Lois Lane?

Well--

What's it like?

Sometimes when you kiss a person, it's like nothing happens.

It's like you're kissing your hand... or you're kissing yourself in the mirror, But when it's someone you love--

I know. There's chemicals.

You mean chemistry, Fish Head. - Oh.

Okay. How do I look?

Like someone drew all over you.

Let's Celebrate.

Cool.

What are you doing?

Sucking out the pimentos. They give me hernias.

You mean, hives, Fish Head.

Hit me, sergeant.

Okay, but you can only have one, and you have to sip it. Okay?

Tell me about when I was born.

Aren't you sick of hearing this story? - No.

Okay.

You were born in a hospital in Minneapolis... on a cold Winter's day.

And when Mrs. Flax brought you home, I pretended you were mine.

Where was Pop?

I don't know.

Come on, I'll show you the convent.

Finish the story.

Come on. I'll show you the tower.

You've never seen it.


Look, there it is. Isn't it neat? - Neat.

I want to go up. I'm gonna go up.

Not me. I'll fall off. - No, you won't.

How you gonna get up there in those shoes?

I'll manage.

I'm gonna go collect rocks.

Okay. I'll be right back, so don't go anywhere.

Okay. - Okay, bye.


Oh, god, this is real.

This is really real.


Joseph! Come quick!

Get her inside.

Katie!

Look, Joseph, get an ambulance.

Oh, Katie! Katie! Oh, Katie!

Katie. Katie.

Katie, please don't die. Please don't die.


Joe, take Charlotte home, we'll call when there's news.

Tell Lou.


Katydid--

You were born in a hospital in Minneapolis... on a cold Winter day.

I brought you home... and Charlotte pretended that you were hers.

She even tried to make you call her Mom.

and we-- we--

We tickled your ears, and we watched you sleep... and... the only thing that--

The only thing that we ever agreed on... was that you were... a wonderful child.


Charlotte? Charlotte?

She's gonna be all right.

They're keeping her in one more night for observation.

Your mother's on her way home to pick up some clothes.

She's okay.

She's okay.


You look different.

You look beautiful.

Take care. - You too.

Okay. Bye. - Bye.


If you're smart, you'll just stay away from me.

I mean it.

You want to take the book?

What the hell were you thinking about?

She could have died!

Your sister, who you were supposed to be watching, could have died!

What was she doing up there?

What the hell were you doing--

I know what you were doing up there.

The whole goddamn town knows what you were doing up there.

Mom. Mom--

I'm warning you, I'm angry!

I'm crazy angry!

Don't walk away from me, Mom! You're not gonna walk away from me!

I am not invisible! Talk to me!

Now!

Yes, I made a mistake!

Yes, I am really, really sorry!

It was a big mistake! I know that!

You make mistakes! You're always screwing up, and we're always paying for it!

Every time you get dumped! Every time you dump on somebody!

And it's just-- it's not fair, Mom! It is not fair!

God!

I am sick and tired of being judged by you.

You're a kid!

Okay. When you become an adult, you can live your life any way you want to!

But until then, we're gonna live my life my way!

Start packing.

No! - I said pack!

This move is on you!

If loverboy doesn't like it, that's too goddamn bad!

This is not about him! This is about me, okay?

That's over! He is gone! He has left!

Surprise, surprise! - No, it's not like that!

Maybe your life works for you, but it doesn't work for me, and I want to stay! - And do what?

Finish High School!

Great start. What's your major? Town tramp?

No, Mom, the town already has one.


You know...

You're just one year younger than I was when I had you.

If you hate my life so much, why are you doing your damnedest to make the same mistakes?

How do you feel about this guy?

I thought I loved him.

That sounds familiar.

And I thought you were gonna take him away.

Did you love my father?

Yeah, I did.

What was he like?

Oh, he was charming and...

He made me feel really special... for about a minute and a half.

And then he was gone.

What did he look like?

He looked like you, only taller.

I don't have any pictures.

We took pictures at the wedding, and they didn't come out.

I guess I should have known then.

He's never coming back, is he?

No.

Has he ever even seen me?

Yeah, he did once. You were about four.

He wanted us back?

No, he met some other woman, and he wanted to get married.

How do you feel about Joe leaving?

It's fine.

I guess it's a little too late for our Birds-and-Bees Talk, isn't it?

Mom...

Can we please stay?

I don't know, Charlotte.

There's gonna be so much talk. This is such a small town.

You know, there's always talk.

It's just usually it's about you.

Sorry.

Just for a year. Just give it a year.

Okay?

I don't know.

Mrs. Flax promised she'd try and stay put.

I knew that would be a hard one for her to keep.

But three months later, she and Lou were still sparring.

He took us to the baseball hall of fame; his idea of heaven.

- Mom was kind of bored, - Come here.

But we thought she hid it quite well.

This-- this is Lou Gehrig's glove.

You see that?

Okay, you touched it. All right, guys.

- What's for lunch? - I don't know.

Hey... Come on.

If they squeeze your toes, chew them for a couple hours. It softens them up real nice.

You don't believe me? Eskimos do it all the time.

Their wives do it, yeah.

Would you do that for your old man, chew his shoes?

I don't think so. Bye-bye. - Bye.

Hey, give me a break.

I'm a nice old man.

I'd watch it if I were you, Lou.

I might decide to move to a real city.

I hate all these trees and weather.

Ta-ta.

She won't admit it, but they get along real well.

Yeah...

Trees and weather can really get to a person.

Let me take these for you.

I got quite a reputation for a while.

Even Mary O'brien was impressed.

It's not easy, but I'm trying to keep romance on the back burner.

Joe moved to California and opened up a Nursery.

We still write.

He sends me funny postcards with palm trees on them.

Greek Myths are my new passion.

Hi.

Charlotte, we're not Greek.

Kate's back in Olympic Form, But, since the accident, sometimes her hearing gets fuzzy.

I think I heard Mom say she'd be making a main course tonight.

Nah. - Nah.


Hey, what are you doing with that thing in here?

- Indoor Swimming? - No way.

- Take it out of here. - Mom.