Stepmom (1998) Script

DJ ON RADIO: Hey, good morning, New York.

Scott Zoe here at 102.7, WNEW-FM, where rock lives.

Beautiful autumn day in the city, and a great record coming your way, too.

♪ Pressure pushing down on me ♪

♪ Pressing down on you ♪ ♪ No man ask for ♪ Ben?

Ben?

Ben.

Get up, get up, get up.

Late, late, late.

Ben?

Come on, honey. Get up. We're seriously late.

All right, you may think this is funny, but this is so not... funny.

I'm not kidding around anymore, Ben.

You make yourself appear right this instant.

Ben?

Ben?

The clock is ticking, Ben. Come on now.

Ben.

Anna?

Oh, good. You're already up.

You forgot to wash my shirt.

I told you 100 times, today is purple shirt day at school.

I didn't forget.

Actually, I was up half the night thinking about it.

Yeah, right.

And I concluded that you are too special to look like everyone else.

So, orangy red.

That's your color. Few can carry it off.

Now, uh... Would you help me find your brother?

You lost Ben?

No.

I didn't lose Ben.

Ben?

Ben?

All right, Ben. Fine.

You explain to your teacher why you're late.

Your daddy said he had a very important case this morning, and he had to go to work early.

And he left us here to be responsible, that we could...

Shit.

You're so not funny. Not funny, and you're also late, and that means you have to get dressed right now.

Stay. No. Stay. Ben. Ben.

This is not funny, Ben. We've got to get you dressed.

We're running so late. This is not a game. Ooh.

Come on. Help me out. Ben.

Come on, Ben, really. We're so late.

I don't want to go to school.

No.

Mommy!

Mommy! Hi, sweetie.

Ben, you look like you're having such a good time.

But we're running a little late. Ben.

Sweetie, I thought you were supposed to be wearing purple today.

She forgot to wash it. Oh, hey.

Mmm, what a hug.

I'll handle it from here, Isabel.

I'm sure you will, Jackie.

Oh, my gosh. She made you a lunch?

Okay. Come on.

ANNA: Mom, why do we have to listen to this classical stuff?

JACKIE: Because I like it, and I'm driving.

And when you get your own car, you can pick the music.

Why does Isabel wear Daddy's underpants?

Doesn't she have underpants of her own?

Uh, well, I saw a whopping pile of laundry sitting on the washing machine.

Perhaps Isabel's underpants are in there.

They're right next to my purple shirt.

I'm never speaking to her again.

Never say never. Here's your vitamins.

She's always messing up my life.

It's not fair to say always.

I hate her. She's such a witch.

Hey. No name-calling. Use your words.

I hate when you say that.

Now that's a beginning.

Hate is a totally acceptable word.

You just have to be careful when you use it.

And only use it when you truly detest something.

BEN: Like what?

Well, like... The planet Uranus.

I hate that. It's a terrible name for a planet.

Your anus.

Yeah.

And the hokey-pokey. The hokey-pokey?

The hokey-pokey. I hate the hokey-pokey.

Putting your foot in and out at weddings. It's terrible.

BOTH: Oh, Ben!

I hate when you do that. I can smell your breakfast.

Point well taken.

Right here, let's just calm... Ladies, let's just calm down.

She'll be here.

She will be here. Isabel, where are you?

Come on. Any word?

Yeah, she's on her way up here.

She's on her way. I promise you.

Oh, really? Yes How do you know? I have sixth sense.

I'm here. I'm sorry I'm late.

What a crisis.

White pants, black top, and if it's the black top, is it the white or black bra?

And I just picked this...

All righty.

I'm here. I'm lame.

You got a Froot Loop in your hair.

All right. Get me the digital camera right now.

Russell, get this out of here, please. Thank you.

Quick. Come on, boys.

Here you go.

Why is she shooting this? I don't know why.

Isabel, we have been waiting for an hour.

I know, I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

Why are you shooting this?

Because I'm brilliant.

And I see something you don't.

So stand back and trust me, why don't you?

Oh, I trust you.

I just don't understand why you're shooting the craft service guy when I've got five male models in very expensive suits over here.

Thank you, ladies. That's lovely. It's a wrap, everybody.

No! No, no. It's not a wrap.

Not a wrap. She's kidding.

You're kidding, aren't you, Isabel?

I'm not kidding, actually. And if you meet me back here in an hour, I will prove to you why you hired me, even though I wouldn't sleep with you.

She's got such a great sense of humor.

Let's see if I can save both our jobs.

Wow.

The little guy in the suit. I like it.

What do you think? I like it.

I like it. Good work. I like it, too. Very creative.

MAN: Congratulations, Duncan. Thank you.

Congratulations, Duncan.

MAN 2: Well, the suit takes pounds off him.

While change is exhilarating for an adult, it can be quite a challenge for a child.

I won't get that.

That's fine.

Change. You were talking about change.

Well, the fact that you two are remarrying obviously has Anna overjoyed, and she's very excited about the move to Switzerland.

She said we are remarrying?

Mmm-hmm.

And my concern is that Anna seems apathetic towards her work, knowing she's leaving before the semester.

Mrs. Franklin, we are not... No plans on getting...

Remarried. There's no move... To Switzerland.

No. Really?

Really.

Well, then my concern for Anna, is that she...

Are you here? I'm here.

Because you don't seem like you're really here.

I'm here.

The judge is about to rule on a motion that could make or break this case I've been working on for eight months, but have I answered my beeper?

So turn it off.

I'm wondering if there's anything going on at home that could possibly be intensifying Anna's need to create this fantasy.

I've been seeing another woman for the past year.

In the three short years since our divorce, he's seen a number of women, and...

I saw a few women when we first split up, but I've been seeing one woman for the past year.

Without very much warning to the kids... After discussion with her and the kids, I might add, she moved in last month. He's living with a woman half his age.

Isabel's not half my age. We're not discussing your age.

Then why bring it up?

When they go to your house, they want to be with you.

They want to be with their father.

When they come to my house, they want to be part of my life.

Isabel's part of my life.

Mr. Harrison, I hear you talking about your life, your needs, but are you really in touch with what Anna needs?

Anna needs a home where she feels safe and loved.

What I'm trying to give her. I thought that's what she already had.

I would walk through fire for Anna.

Gladly.

Any day of the week.

Except Thursday, when Isabel forgot to pick them up.

Jackie, she was five minutes late, for Christ's sakes.

Well... She was five minutes late.

I'm wondering if Anna could be responding to the underlying hostility that exist between your girlfriend and Mrs. Harrison.

Well, of course she's responding to it.

Mrs. Franklin, do you think any of this is easy for us?

Do you think it's easy for Jackie to watch her kids being looked after by another woman?

Not to mention a woman who really has no experience being a mother.

Of course, Jackie's going to be irrational, hostile, defensive.

Thank you, Luke.

I didn't say that. Why would I say that you and Daddy are getting back together?

Sometimes people make up stories about things that they wish would happen.

I don't want that to happen. Why would I want that to happen?

Okay, pick a card, any card.

Because you're upset?

You know, because Isabel moved in, and...

I'm not upset. I'm not gonna get myself upset over her.

Okay, tear it in half.

Look, sweetie, if it means that... Again.

If you really... Again.

If you want... And again.

Time out.

If you don't want to talk about this now, it's okay, really.

You don't have to.

But don't look me in the eye and lie to me.

It hurts my feelings, I get angry, and...

Anyway, you're only allowed so many lies before it starts showing in your face, and you wind up looking like...

Like who?

Well, he's not president anymore, so why be petty?

I'm sorry I said it. I...

I guess sometimes I just...

You know, sometimes I do wish you and Daddy would...

Well, you know. Yeah.

I figured if I said it out loud, it just might come true.

Yeah, I know.

ISABEL: It's not that I can't cook, it's that I choose not to cook.

There's a big difference.

Well, you don't have to cook.

Could we... Save some of the wine, will you?

I need it for the sauce. It's too late.

Hi. Hi.

Mmm-mmm.

Mmm-mmm. Mmm-mmm. Mmm-mmm.

You better get it. Okay.

Hello?

Hello?

Who was there?

Nobody there.

I missed you today. Yeah, I missed you, too.

I miss you every day. How was your day, baby?

It was pretty good, except I gotta go back to Pittsburgh.

No.

Yeah, I gotta go tomorrow till Sunday.

Oh, but I'll have to order in.

Well, we got the kids for the weekend, so I figured that you and the kids and me could all go to Pittsburgh.

Yay! Never gonna happen.

No? Come on, we could get a great hotel room.

We could go take in a baseball game or something.

What do you think? Pass. No, no, no.

All right. Well, then I'll call the baby-sitter.

What for?

I don't expect you to handle them yourself.

Hmm. What?

Can't handle them myself. That's what you mean, isn't it?

No.

Hello?

You don't trust me to be alone with your kids.

Yes, I do.

No. Of course I do. It's just that...

What? Well, that they're a handful.

Luke, by keeping me apart from them, it's like you're saying, "Hey, kids, this is fun. Keep on hating her."

Oh, come on, don't say that. They don't hate you.

Really?

Look in their eyes, honey.

Look in your ex-wife's eyes.

Jackie's just trying to protect the kids.

What do you expect? It's hard for her.

And it's complicated. You don't understand. You don't have kids.

Okay, um, so, it's just complicated for you and Jackie.

For me, it's pretty simple, because I don't have kids.

Look, I'm trying to make things work here, trying to give you guys some time to get used to living together.

All right, then. Back off just a little bit.

And give me a chance, okay?

Hello.

Hello.

What is your problem, asshole?

You are my problem.

You're absolutely right, baby.

Your kids don't hate me. I'm just...

I'm just paranoid. Call your daughter.

I trust you.

Really?

I'll give you a chance, if you still want it.

I do. You sure?

Yes.

Okay.

Thank you. You're welcome.

Don't fight with me when I'm hungry.

ANNA: So, how long are you going to be out of town?

LUKE: Sunday morning.

Well, I'm worried.

About what?

About being alone with her all weekend.

I mean, what if she burns the place down?

Well, just keep an eye on her and make sure you've always got the fire extinguisher handy.

You ready to launch her? Yeah.

Okay. Give her a good push. Give her a good push.

So, why did she move in with you, anyways?

Because we love each other and... because we want to share our lives together.

Well, you already had a life with Mommy.

But Mommy and I weren't getting along very well, and it wasn't fair to you guys, us fighting all the time.

I fight with Anna all the time.

Can I move out?

No. But you guys are brother and sister.

Well, you were husband and wife. Doesn't that mean something?

Yes. It does.

But... Well, when you get older, your relationships get a lot more complicated.

And there are all kinds of feelings flying around.

And sometimes, some of those feelings change.

But did you fall out of love with Mommy?

Well, yeah.

I guess I did.

I still love your mom.

It just became a different kind of love.

That's all.

We're still really good friends, and we always will be.

Can you ever fall out of love with your kids?

No.

That is impossible.

Like Mission: Impossible? Yeah. Exactly like Mission: Impossible..

Powdered lizard brains.

Crushed werewolf ears.

And vampire eyes.

Whoa!

God.

Cool.

Check it out. Magic potion.

It's cocoa.

I put a spell on it. Whoever drinks it will go to sleep for 1000 years.

Whatever. If you spill any on my drawing, I will put you to sleep for 1000 years.

Hey, you guys.

I have a surprise for you. Come over to the sofa.

Please?

With a little enthusiasm.

Sit down.

All right, and close your eyes.

Please.

Okay.

Okay, now. Don't open them till I tell you to, okay?

And open.

Wow! What do you think?

Will he eat my bunny?

No. Puppies don't eat bunnies.

Anna, what do you think?

Well, I'm allergic to dogs.

Uh, your daddy didn't tell me that.

Well, he doesn't know much about me. He's never around.

Why don't we name the puppy? Puppy needs a name.

I know. Isabel.

I beg your pardon?

Well, he kind of smells like you, and I'm allergic to you, too. Fits perfectly.

Ben, why don't you name that puppy, and I'll be right back?

Listen, young lady, let's get one thing straight.

Don't touch my things.

Look, I would really like it if we could get along.

I don't have to listen to you. Yes, you do.

No, I don't. You're not my mother.

Thank God for that.

What I meant, and perhaps I didn't say it well, is that you have a great mom, you don't need another one.

But I would like to be treated with some respect when you are in this house.

Well, this is my dad's house.

Well, this is my house, too.

Well, this is my room, so treat it with some respect and get out.

All right.

"Run, run, run, as fast as you can.

"You can't catch me. I'm the stinky cheese man."

Aren't you going to drink your cocoa? I made it specially for you.

Yes, of course.

Special cocoa.

Delicious.

"A little boy looked up and sniffed the air, "and said..." No, now you're cheating.

You skipped the part about the cow.

Mmm.

It's bedtime. Can we finish this in the morning?

No. Now we have to start from the beginning, and you have to read the whole thing.

I can't sleep otherwise.

Okay.

"Once upon a time, there was a little old woman

"and a little old man..."

"Who lived together in a little old house."

Hey, you are on to something there.

Why don't you read to me a little bit?

"They were lonely, so the little old lady

"decided to make a man out of stinky cheese.

"She gave him a piece of bacon for a mouth

"and two olives for eyes..."

Isabel? Isabel?

Isabel?

Food poisoning. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

What's the matter?

I killed her.

♪ Killed her, killed her ♪

♪ Killed her ♪


Good morning. It is 7:23.

You were supposed to be here at 6:30.

She has missed her morning riding lesson.

No, it's Monday. Her riding lesson is on Tuesday.

Except for the third Tuesday of the month, which switches to Monday, and in November, when she rides on Thursdays.

I mean, it is not that difficult.

Don't you have some little black agenda book that you can write all this down in?

May I have a cup of coffee, please?

We don't have coffee.

Good morning, Betty Ford.

Hey, monkey-man. Hi, sweetie. How are you do...

Anna?

Anna?

Sweetie, go change your shirt.

What happened to Anna? What did you do?

Maybe you could just back off me a little bit.

What happened?

Nothing happened. I...

Luke was in the shower this morning, and...

Anna sort of walked in without even knocking.

Well, I don't see why that would upset her.

I mean, there have been people in our family that have taken showers before.

Well, I was in there with him.

And did either of you talk to her about it afterwards?

No. I thought it would be uncomfortable for her.

You mean for you.

A 12-year-old girl is trying to cope with the fact that her father is never moving back in here with his family.

She sees her father naked in the shower with another woman for the first time, and you think it would be better for her if everyone just pretends nothing happened?

I am so unbelievably sick of your imperious bullshit.

I never said I was June fucking Cleaver...

Look, you don't use that kind of language in this house.

And if every time life hits her hard, you want to have some 12-hour conversation every third Tuesday of the month, you go right ahead, lady. I have a life.

Oh, and I don't? Because I have children?

You know what your problem is? You are so self-involved.

You couldn't be a mother.

Maybe the problem here is your daughter.

And that she is a spoiled, wise-ass little brat.

Get out of my house.

Get out.

Are you sure? I didn't see that on the schedule.

Honey, I've got your Halloween costume.

Let's see if it's the right size, okay?

A hippie?

Didn't you say you wanted to be a hippie?

That was last month.

Oh, well, okay. What do you want to be this month?

Elvis.

Elvis? What kind of Elvis?

You mean, like black leather jacket Elvis?

Gold lame Elvis.

Gold lame Elvis. Like, that's pre-drugs, pre-chubby, pre-army, pre-bad-movie, all of that Elvis? Yeah.

Oh, honey, um...

Uh...

When Daddy was washing Isabel in the shower, what did you think that was about?

Well, sex, of course.

Oh.

Okay.

Why does Isabel scream?

Scream? During sex.

How do you know she screams during sex?

I live in the same country.

Um...

Why are you asking me? Just checking.

I like to talk to you about stuff.

I like talking to you about stuff, too.

So, since Daddy's gonna be working, do you want to do something on Saturday, just you and me?

Sure, but it's gonna have to be in the evening, 'cause I'm helping Bonnie Lyons move into her apartment and...

So you're gonna be with Isabel.

Again?

That really sucks.

Well, you're gonna be at a professional photo shoot in Central Park.

You guys are gonna have a lot of fun.

ISABEL: Switch your hands. Put your top hand down and your bottom hand up.

Dylan, can you take just one step up for me, please? Just one big step.

Rapunzel, if you could reach your hand out like that again?

Wouldn't it be cool if her hair came out of her armpits?

Oh, sick.

I think we can get this finished before lunch.

All right, folks, we like this light.

We're gonna try and get this in before lunch.

Well, come on, it's been five hours. We're hungry.

Yeah, we're starving.

Um, get yourself another ice cream, okay?

And I'll be done soon.

I promise.

We're rich.

Sleeping Beauty, wake up.

Where's your brother?

I don't know.

Ben?

Ben?

What if he's kidnapped?

He's not kidnapped. He's just... He's hiding.

Ben!

Maybe he's in the castle.

That's a good idea. Don't touch me, you bring bad luck.

Ben!

Ben?

Ben!

Ben!

Ben!

Okay, watch very carefully.

Come on, come on, come on.

All right.

Ben? Ben.

Mommy. Hi, sweetie.

Oh, baby.

Are you all right? I knew where I was all the time.

I'm sure you did. We found him in the zoo.

In the zoo. My God.

Hold his hand, don't let him out of your sight.

Jackie, I am so sorry...

I'm gonna say this one time, so listen carefully.

That woman is to have nothing more to do with my children.

Our children.

Do you realize what could have happened to your son?

How lucky we are that the police found him instead of some lunatic?

I mean, they could... Jackie, you don't have to make it any worse.

Isabel is sorry. She feels terrible. It could have happened to anyone.

Not to me.

You've made mistakes. People make mistakes.

Well, I am not gonna sit here and wait for the next one.

I'm not gonna watch our children fall through the cracks of this arrangement.

Just calm down... No, I'm not gonna calm down.

I'm going to a lawyer.

Don't do that. We promised we'd never do that.

Well, we've broken a lot of promises, haven't we, Luke?

Don't take this out on him.

It's my fault. Isabel, why don't you just...

Honey, I'm so sorry.

But you're not making this any easier on anybody.

It is not my job to make it easier for you.

It is my job to take care of those children, and they don't want to be with you.

I'm getting a court order, and you are never going to be with these children again, alone.

Do you understand? Ever.

Mommy? What, sweetie?

It's not Isabel's fault that I ran away.

No, you're right. That was your fault.

But it's her fault for not taking care of my precious son as if it was her priority.

Which means her most important job.

Isabel's job is she works.

Ben, mommies work, too. They work very hard.

In fact, I work harder as a mommy than I ever did when I had an outside job.

I just don't get paid.

Does Isabel make a lot of money?

Well, people like Isabel, who think only about themselves, often do make a great deal of money.

I think she's pretty.

Yeah. If you like big teeth.

Mommy? What, sweetie?

If you want me to hate her, I will.


What do you want?

Anna left her soccer stuff at the loft.

Figured she might need it this week.

Thanks.

Did you talk to the lawyer?

Yep. I have an appointment for the day after tomorrow.

Don't do this.

You're going to tell me not to put the kids in the middle of a war.

Luke, I'm doing this for their own well-being.

Partly.

And partly you're doing it because you're mad.

You know the kids aren't in any real danger.

This is about Isabel, and you know it.

She made one mistake, but she's trying. She's learning.

Oh. Slugs have a faster learning curve, okay?

Trees. Clams.

Give her some time, will you? Don't drive her away.

I'm supposed to care about her?

You're supposed to care about me, like I care about you.

Like you cared about me three years ago, when you walked out?

You kicked me out! You were gone long before I asked you.

Don't give me this shit. I was working, for God's sake! I didn't have any choice...

I'm sorry. Look, let's wait a second.

Don't...

Please don't do this thing with the lawyers.

The kids'll be okay if we're okay.

I'd do it for you.

Okay, I'm gonna give you one last chance.

Thanks.

Thanks.

Good night.

This is incredible.

This is the one that I like the best. She's got a really long...

She's great in that. He couldn't be more flexed.

Yeah, very studly. C-14.

Excuse me.

You know, the way he's leaning back, and he's more...

Bill. Bill! Kill that music, please.

No. No, but that looks passive.

This is dynamic. He's going up, he's gonna get that girl.

You're the photographer. You're the genius.

Isabel, it's Anna's school.

They're looking for Luke.

Hello. Yeah, I'm looking for Luke Harrison.

No, he's not here. This is...

The children are here waiting for their mother to pick them up.

Well, are you sure you have the right kids?

Yeah, Anna and Ben Harrison. Why?

Because Jackie Harrison would never forget to pick up her kids.

I'm sure that's true, but they're still waiting.

Are you absolutely sure it's them?

Positive, lady. No one's picked them up.

Okay. We're locking up in 30 minutes.

Of course. I'll be right there.

Okay. I will pick them up. Thank you.

What?

Isabel, may I remind you that the clients are gonna be here at 4:30?

I know, so I have to hurry. Is everything okay?

Everything's gonna be fine. Don't worry. I'll be back, and I will dazzle you with my punctuality.

Mmm. To the button.

Isabel, don't do this.

Hi, guys.

Barbecue. I know they're your fave. Wait.

How could she just forget us? I mean...

Yeah. That's something you would do.

To tell you the truth, I did.

Your mother had to help a friend with this emergency, and so she called me to switch days.

But I got caught up at work and just forgot all about you.

BOTH: Mommy!

My little chick.

How are you, sweetie? I'm sorry you got stuck.

Were you scared?

You must be starving. Yeah.

Yeah? You hungry?

You want a good meal? Yeah. Yes.

How'd you do on your math?

Who is it?

JACKIE: It's Jackie. May I come in?

Sure.

I have another appointment this afternoon, and I...

I need somebody to take the children to the park.

And have federal agents jump out of the bushes and serve me with a court order?

How many years do you get in this state for giving second-rate care to minors?

Whatever it is, it's not enough.

Well, look, I'm on thin ice already with my boss, all right?

Fine. When I ran out of here yesterday, I actually thought he was gonna fire me.

I can get somebody else.

Wait. God.

I'll figure something out. I'll do it.

After-school snack. Refrigerate if possible.

Band-Aids, Neosporin, hand wipes, Kleenex, Tylenol.

Why not just bring the whole pharmacy?

Ben likes to be read to. You know Dr. Seuss?

Not personally.

Do you have a word limit that you have to hit every day, or may I finish?

Here's the kids' schedule, my beeper number, in case of emergency.

If not, I'll see you at 5:00 at the park.

All I'm asking is that my children still be alive when I get there.

Jackie, I wanted to ask you something, uh...

There's a Pearl Jam concert on the 5th, and I would like to take Anna.

Is that a weekday?

I think it's a Thursday.

You want to take a 12-year-old girl to a Pearl Jam concert on a school night?

I just thought it would be something nice that she and I could do together.

It's ridiculous. She's too young.


It's spread?

But I did...

I did everything right. Everything I was supposed to do.

DOCTOR: We found some cells in your lymph nodes, in three of them.

But you said the last time that you got it all.

So if you were wrong the last time, there's a good chance you're wrong this time, because the last time you... The last time was a year ago.

We found a tiny lump, we treated it. We thought we got it all.

We were hopeful, but there were no guarantees.

But people... You... We can beat it.

I mean, you can... People beat it all the time, right?

Every day, more and more.

Okay. So, what's the plan?

What do we do? Another round of radiation?

Chemotherapy.

That's necessary?

Let's give it our best shot.

Right. Okay. Excuse me, I gotta get the kids.

We'll discuss this at your next appointment.

And you should share this with your kids and your ex-husband.

How would his worry or my kids' worry make any difference?

Sooner than later.

You need to.

Jackie?

Okay. Okay. Think about it.

Hi.

I see her.

Hi.

How are you? Hi.

Thanks for coming.

You're welcome.

You look pretty.

Thanks.

Listen...

I'm glad you called, 'cause there's something I want to tell you, too.

Oh. Okay. Well, you go first.

Well, let me have a drink here.

I'm going to ask Isabel to marry me.

Wow. Yeah.

I know you don't think much of her... Oh...

She's a special person. Uh-huh.

She really is, Jackie.

And now... Why are you telling me this?

I want you to tell me that it's okay.

You don't need my approval.

The kids do.

WAITER: Good evening. Ah.

Would you and your wife care to look at the menu?

I'm not his wife. Oh.

No, thank you.

Give me a drink, though, please?

This... This... Whatever this is.

I think it's gonna be hard for the kids.

And I... I was hoping we could tell them together.

And that'd make it easier for the kids? Or for you?

Because, you know, you can't just decide to be a "we," an "us," whenever it's convenient for you.

We... No, we are over. We are over.

We are still their parents for the next 100 years.

Why?

Just tell me why you think this marriage is gonna work, and ours didn't.

Um, what did you want to talk to me about?

Nothing. It's, um...

I think we have quite enough to deal with just with your news.

Mmm.

Good morning. Good morning, baby.

I got something for you.

Me, too. Yeah?

Mmm. But you have to wake up to get it.

Oh, okay.

Hi. Hi.

I'm awake.


Hmm.

Uh...

You shouldn't have?

The first time I got married, we'd been together since college.

And marriage just seemed like the next step.

It was just something that happened.

But I think for two people to really love each other, to really commit to each other, it has to be...

It has to be an act of will.

Or a decision.

And I think two people have to live that decision every day, even when things are hard and you feel like giving up.

You have to hang on to that decision,

that choice to love each other, even if it's only by a thread.

I...

Let that thread break once.

This time it won't.

Will you marry me?

Yes. Yes, I will.

JACKIE: Sweetheart, don't get upset.

I'm not upset. Why would I be upset?

I mean, no one asked me when you got a divorce.

No one asked me if I wanted a new mother.

No one even asked me if I liked her.

If you guys don't care about keeping our family together, then why should I?

Anna, Daddy and I tried very hard, really we did.

No, you didn't. All you did was name-call. I heard you.

You didn't even try to use your words.

Okay, buddy.

Baby, Isabel's not gonna take my place as your mom.

LUKE: No.

It's just that Isabel's gonna be in your life, and hopefully you can learn to accept her.

Hmm?

Oh, sweetheart.

Oh, honey.

You know, life is full of hard things.

And sometimes it isn't fair, and...

But, you know, you have a choice.

You can either take the hard things and make your life better, or make it worse.

Like how?

Like trying to see the good side of Isabel, and what she brings to your father's life and to yours.

You know, there comes a time in every family when you've got to be there for each other.

Okay.

I'll be there for you.

How about you, buddy?

Yeah.

You'll be there?

Yeah.

Oh, damn it.

What's the problem?

Nothing.

It looks good.

I can't get the trees to look real.

Hmm.

Mind if I try?

I already messed it up anyway.

Let's see. First a little brush-smooshing.

Smooshing.

Very technical term.

Cool. Where'd you learn how to do that?

I took an art class when I was at NYU.

Why don't you give it a try?

It helps if you make that little "psh-psh."

Thanks.

You're welcome.

ANNA: I was thinking about what you said about Isabel.

JACKIE: Uh-huh?

You know, seeing the good side of her, and, you know, you're right.

She knows all about clothes and stuff, and she knows every rock 'n' roll song ever written.

I mean, she's kind of like a kid herself.

Like a big sister. Yeah.

She knows all the cool junk-food places to eat at.

I'll bet.

Once you get to know her, she's kind of cool.

Yeah?

But don't tell her I told you. I...

I just... It's our secret.

Thanks.

ANNA: Ben. wait up.

♪ Listen, baby ♪

♪ Ain't no mountain high Ain't no valley low ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough, baby ♪

♪ If you need me, call me ♪

♪ No matter where you are ♪

♪ No matter how far Don't worry, baby ♪

♪ Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry ♪

♪ You don't have to worry ♪

♪ 'Cause, baby, there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough ♪

♪ To keep me from getting to you, babe ♪

Not strong enough, huh?

Hey. Wow!

Did you have a good day? Yeah.

Mmm. Well, you are one lucky boy, because, guess what.

You get to watch a tape tonight. I'm going out.

Colleen's baby-sitting.

Yeah! Cool.

And you are wearing make-up?

Well, no. Isabel gave it to me. Oh.

No, she just put a little on in the car, playing around.

Oh. Well, you don't usually see that color in the afternoon, except on working girls.

Anyway, um... Wash your face, because, uh, you and I are going out in 10 minutes.

On a school night? Uh-huh.

Pearl Jam? Yeah.

Oh, Mom, you are the coolest.

You only live once, right?

Isn't my mom the coolest?

It was a great idea. Thanks.

Have fun.

Chemotherapy. There's a day's dose stored here.

This is a portable IV. Feel it.

It's pretty light. Yeah, nice and slim.

You can wear it everywhere.

Play tennis, jogging.

You can hide it right under your clothes. That's cool.

Side effects?

Some days you'll experience drowsiness, nausea, and then other days, you'll feel perfectly fine.

Am I gonna lose my hair?

Maybe.

Maybe not. It varies with each person.

Let's do it.

Good. When?

I'm available tomorrow evening.

Oh, tomorrow evening's bad. It's spaghetti and meatball night.

Ben really looks forward... Okay. Tomorrow's good. Fine.

Hello?

Hi, honey. How are you doing?

Mom! I've been waiting for your call.

Mom, you're not gonna believe it. What?

I'm telepathetic. You mean telepathic.

That's what I said.

I just discovered it today.

I can read minds.

No way.

Yeah, I just tried it with Dad and Isabel.

And guess what. What?

I always knew exactly what they were thinking.

That is incredible. Want me to read yours?

Absolutely. Think real hard about something.

I'm thinking. Close your eyes.

Okay.

Concentrate. I am concentrating.

You're thinking about me.

Wow. That is amazing.

What else?

And you're wishing you were here instead of where you are.

Oh, that's for sure.

Where are you, anyway?

I'm in bed with the flu, and I'm green and barfing.

I knew that.

And you're wishing you were here making me spaghetti.

So I wouldn't have to eat Daddy's sucky lamb chop.

Oh, you're right about that.

See? I'm pathetelic. Telepathic.

That's what I said.

Mommy? Yeah?

When am I going to see you?

Tomorrow, after school.

Oh. I was wishing I would see you tonight.

Well, we're just gonna have to have one of our dream dates and meet somewhere special, in our dreams.

Where haven't we been in a while? How about Disneyland?

Nah. Last time the lines were too long.

Okay.

The beach.

Yeah. On a hot summer day.

With gigantic waves.

And boogie boards. And corn dogs.

Yeah. Awesome.

Cool. All right, now don't forget to put on your sun block, okay?

It's a dream, Mom. You don't need sun block.

That's right. I forgot.

Mommy? You still there? Yeah.

LUKE: Ben, time for dinner.

I gotta go. See you tonight, okay?

All right.

I'll see you in my dreams.

Bye, Mom. I love you. Bye.


She doesn't really have that killer instinct, does she?

Defense, fall back.

Hey. Hey.

Are you feeling all right?

Yeah. I'm fine. I'm great.

You look a little bit tired.

I hate when people say that.

It's a polite way of telling you 'you look like shit'.

I didn't mean it like that. I'm just... I have some things on my mind.

You've been really busy lately.

Are you seeing somebody?

Ah, no. I wish that was the reason I was tired.

I... Um...

I've been spending a little time with my old boss, trying to decide whether or not I'm gonna go back to Random House.

Really? That would be great. Yeah.

Oh, Ben. Easy, easy, easy.

Ben, Ben, Ben, be careful, sweetie.

You are a dead man, Captain Blood.

Ow!

Ben. Ben.

Ow.

Man, that was really cool.

Sweetie, can you move your leg? Yeah.

Does it hurt? No.

Are you okay?

Yeah, but can I still go to Tucker's party tomorrow?

Um, probably. But we gotta get it cleaned up and have somebody look at it, okay?

Gotta go to the emergency room.

LUKE: Yeah.

Five stitches. Is he okay?

Yeah, he's doing fine. He's not crying?

Can I see my son now, please?

NURSE: I need your insurance information.

Here, I'll do this. Oh, thanks.

He's in 152.

I don't see any broken bones.

'Cause you don't have any.

I'm very proud of you. You were awfully brave today.

It didn't hurt that bad.

Besides, it'll be cool to show my friends.

Yeah.

Hey, would you do me a favor?

Um... Maybe. Depends what it is.

Will you ask Dad to give me a white dove for Christmas?

We'll see. Come on!

Every magician needs a white dove, a real one. They do.

Well, that's a long way off, and I think that we should talk to your mom and just see, okay?

Ow, ow, ow.

Did it hurt again? Yeah.

Lay back. Take a deep breath.

Will you sing me a song?

My mom always sings to me when I get hurt.

Okay, um, hard to think of a song on the spot.

♪ If I needed you ♪

♪ Would you come to me? ♪

♪ Would you come to me ♪

♪ And ease my pain? ♪

♪ If you needed me ♪

♪ I would come to you ♪

♪ I would swim the sea ♪

♪ For to ease your pain ♪ Feel better? Yeah.

A little bit.

ISABEL: Puts a girl on the spot.


ISABEL: Hello?

Hi, it's Jackie. Hi.

Look, I just got a call from Random House, and they want me to come in and meet an editor this afternoon, but I'm afraid I won't get back in time to pick up Ben at Tucker's birthday party.

Do you... Yeah, no problem. I can do it.

Oh, good, great.

I'd be happy to.

Yeah, well...

Ben'll be happy, too, that you'll pick him up, yeah.

What time? It's 4:30.

What's the address?

At 22 Williams Road.

Okay, I'll be there.

Great.

Sure. See you later.

Thanks. Bye.


How hard can this be?

Okay.

It's gonna be okay.

OPERATOR: Directory assistance. What city?

Manhattan. What listing?

The number for Random House, please.

Please hold.

WOMAN: Hello.

Hi, may I speak with Jackie Harrison, please?

I'm sorry. Mrs. Harrison's not here.

No, she has a meeting with the editor today.

I'm picking up Benjamin from a birthday party, and I lost the address.

I just need to speak to her for one quick second.

Um, Miss, I'm the senior editor.

I haven't seen Mrs. Harrison since she left Random House 11 years ago.

Uh, okay.

Um, thanks anyway.

Balloons. I beg your pardon?

Just look for a house with balloons. It never fails. The kids'll be there.

Thanks very much.


JACKIE: Hey.

Hey, look at you.

Come here.

Can you see me? Hi.

You had a good time, huh?

Hi. Hi.

Hello. Hi.

Let's get that shirt cleaned. How was Tucker's party?

Good. Yeah?

Did he like the present? Yeah.

Yeah? Yeah.

JACKIE: Did they have the snake guy or...

BEN: Snake!

JACKIE: The snake guy.

BEN: It bit Tucker.

It bit Tucker? Did it eat him?


Did you have any trouble finding the place with my directions?

No.

Well, thanks.

I know your secret.

I saw the airline tickets and the note from your new boss.

I know you're not working at Random House in New York. I talked to them.

You're taking the kids and moving to Los Angeles.

What the hell are you doing reading my mail and snooping around behind my back like some little dishonest...

Dishonest? I wouldn't have to snoop around if you were honest with Luke.

I would have thought this was the answer to your prayers.

You lose the witch and her two little brats in one swoop.

Simplifies everything. You get your life back.

Come on. There are plenty of publishing houses in New York.

Surely you can get a job here.

So I'm supposed to rearrange my life so that I can accommodate your schedule?

If you are so damned concerned, why don't you get a new career?

Why don't you and Luke move to Los Angeles?

Oh, but you can make plans to rearrange everyone else's life without consulting us.

Bicoastal parenting. People do it all the time.

Luke gets the kids one month during the summer and every other holiday.

It's not ideal, but people make it work.

No, you can't do that. You can't take Luke's kids away from him!

Yes, I can.

No, we can't live like that.

We?

Look. Luke has a problem with this, you tell him to talk to me.

This is not about you. This is not your problem.

It is my problem.

Why is that?

Because I'm going to marry this man and we're going to share our life together.

I love him.

These kids are everything to him and he would be devastated not to be near them.

And if...

Huh.

You guessed the wrong secret.

Charlie Drummond is, um, a colleague of mine from Random House in New York, and she...

She moved to the west coast office and I'm gonna be crashing with her while I'm getting protein injections that are recommended by my oncologist.

You can only get them in Los Angeles.

Oncologist?

Yeah. Life's a tradeoff.

It's finally legal to smoke dope, but you gotta have cancer.

Are you dying?

Not today.

We'll beat it.

It's a walk in the park. Yeah.

Thanks for the "we."

You're not alone in this, you know.

You don't have to go through this by yourself.

You know that.

You understand what I'm saying?

What are we gonna tell the kids?

I think we should tell them the truth.

They can handle it.

It should have been me instead of you.

I'll go along with that.

Look out.

You didn't see.

Whoosh! Gotcha.

JACKIE: I don't understand what to do.

ANNA: They're organic.

Did he beat you? Here, look, 35 marshmallows.

35. Your sister put them in.

So, what's going on? Who's gonna marry who this time?

Mommy's marrying Isabel.

Oh, so cute.

Oh, no.

Guys, Mommy's sick.

You still have the flu?

No, I have cancer.

Do you know what that is?

It's what Aunt Mary died from.

Aunt Mary had a different kind.

There are lots of different kinds, and hers was very, very bad.

Is yours bad?

I've been working with a doctor to get better for a while now, and she says we have every reason to hope that I'm gonna be fine.

Huh.

Check this out, Anna. Look at this.

This is so cool.

No, it's okay.

Look at this. I don't even have to go to the hospital to get my medicine.

It comes right in this.

This looks like Game Boy.

It kind of is, huh?

It's gonna make me strong, so I can fight the disease.

It's cool, huh?

Can I catch cancer?

No, sweetie. It's not contagious.

So you've known about this for a long time?

Yeah.

And you never told me.

Sweetheart, your mom wanted to wait until the right time to tell you.

Oh, guys, I'm sorry. Look, I just...

I know how scared I get when you're sick, and I thought it would be best to wait for a while until it got smaller.

So you lied! You lied when you never told me.

If you lied then, maybe you're lying now. I can never believe you again!

I made a mistake. Anna, people make mistakes.

Where's Isabel? What?

It's Thursday. We're supposed to be with Isabel.

She should have picked us up by now.

I'd rather be with Mommy.

Well, she's dying. Isabel is your mother now.

Anna, don't say that!

Anna!

You do not run out on your mother.

No, that's your job.


♪ Listen, baby ♪ JACKIE: Ow!

♪ Ain't no mountain high Ain't no valley low ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough, baby ♪

♪ If you need me, call me No matter where you are ♪

♪ No matter how far ♪

♪ Don't worry, baby Just call my name ♪

♪ I'll be there in a hurry You don't have to worry ♪

♪ 'Cause, baby, there ain't no mountain high enough ♪ I'm sorry you're sick.

What?

I said, I'm sorry you're sick.

I can't hear you.

Then turn down the music!

Okay.

What?

I said, I'm sorry you're sick.

Oh.

That's what I thought you said.

So what are you guys doing?

Oh, Marvin and I are getting our act together. Right, Marvin?

Right, Tammi. Yeah.

But that's one of Isabel's songs.

Look, Isabel might know the words, babe, but I invented the moves.

Right, Marvin? Right, Tammi.

BEN: Yeah. In fact, we're looking for somebody to do backup with us.

Right, Marvin? Yeah, Tammi.

♪ Listen, baby ♪ Ooh!

♪ Ain't no mountain high Ain't no valley low ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough, baby ♪

♪ If you need me, call me ♪

♪ No matter where you are No matter how far ♪

♪ Don't worry, baby ♪

♪ Just call my name ♪

♪ I'll be there in a hurry You don't have to worry ♪

♪ 'Cause, baby, there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough ♪

♪ To keep me from getting to you, baby ♪ Whoa!

Hey! Whoa!

♪ Oh, darling No wind, no rain or winter cold ♪ Oh, my God!

♪ Can stop me, baby ♪ Cool!

♪ No, no, baby 'Cause you are my goal ♪

♪ If you're ever in trouble I'll be there on the double ♪

♪ Just send for me Oh, baby, oh, baby ♪

♪ 'Cause my love is alive Deep down in my heart ♪ Sing it!

♪ Although we are miles apart ♪

♪ If you ever need a helping hand ♪

♪ I'll be there on the double Just as fast as I can ♪

♪ And don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough ♪

♪ To keep me from getting to you, baby ♪

♪ Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ This land is your land ♪

♪ This land is my land ♪

♪ From California ♪

♪ To the New York island ♪

♪ From the Redwood Forest ♪

♪ To the Gulf Stream waters ♪

♪ This land was made for you and me ♪

♪ As I was walking ♪

♪ That ribbon of highway ♪

♪ I saw above me ♪

♪ That endless skyway ♪

♪ I saw below me ♪

♪ That golden valley ♪

♪ This land was made for you and me ♪

♪ This land is your land ♪

♪ This land is my land ♪

♪ From California ♪

♪ To the New York island ♪

♪ From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters ♪ You look great! Thank you.

Hi! Hi!

Your dad's meeting's late, so I came to watch you.

Oh, okay.

♪ I roamed and rambled ♪ I have to tell you something in confidence.

You're having Michael Jackson's baby.

That and Anna is over her head for Brad "the Flame" Kovitsky.

No way! I can't believe she would...

JACKIE: After the way he was with all the girls in the class.

Oh, how... I didn't know anything about this.

She was afraid you'd make a big deal about it.

They've been going out for two weeks, which of course in the 6th grade doesn't mean anything.

They don't go anywhere. They don't even have lunch together.

It's just their declaration...

Yeah. I know, I know. I had kids of my own once.

Anyway, today in the lunch yard, he announces publicly, in front of her friends, that he's breaking up.

In front of everybody? That little shit.

Not you. Just go.

Anyway, that's the whole point of going out, right?

So that one of them can dump the other one, and they can act out this passionate, adult soap opera tragedy.

She must be devastated.

She spent an hour in the girls' room crying.

Ah! You think you've got problems.

ISABEL: This is serious.

♪ This land is your land ♪

♪ This land is my land From California ♪ Oh, so, my point.

Anyway, I pick her up from school today, she tells me the whole story, and she asked me what to do.

What'd you tell her?

I said, "Beats me. Ask your mom."

So she's gonna, tomorrow. Be ready.

I'm ready! I'm ready.

♪ This land is your land This land is my land ♪ What the hell is this? It's Thanksgiving dinner.

These are the Clintons. We're having dinner.

That is my son, the turkey!

♪ This land was made for you and me ♪

♪ This land was made for you and me ♪

Did they...

Yeah, they killed him, but he does it so great.

Sweetie, did you really think at 12 you would meet someone that you'd want to spend the rest of your life with?

No.

It's just every time I'm in the lunch yard and he's with 10 of his butt-kissing little weasels...

Ooh, you don't like his friends.

They all yell, "There goes the virgin queen" or "the ice princess" or some real clever cut like that, like it hurts my feelings.

You didn't let him kiss you.

Not with my mouth open.

That's my girl. Good for you.

Does that mean, though, that you let him kiss you with your mouth shut?

Mom.

Oh, sorry. Okay, right.

What do you say to him when he says something like that?

I call him a fart face or pervert or something equally lame.

Sweetheart, you have to just ignore him.

He doesn't exist. You don't see him. You don't hear him.

He's just nothing. He's not there.

You are too much of a woman to even bother with such a little boy as him.

You're kidding, right?

No, all he wants is the attention.

Once he doesn't get it, he might try harder, but then he'll get frustrated and give up.

So I just ignore him, keep my mouth shut.

Yep.

Well, you think Isabel would do that?

It's just she's younger. Maybe she remembers how to do this.

So this'll work, huh?


Hi, sweetie.

What's wrong? Nothing.

Is it time for you to go to LA?

No, it's still night time and it's snowing.

I got a baby-sitter for Ben.

Do you want to go someplace special with me right now?

Yeah.

Okay. Just you and me.


JACKIE: I'm never, never going to forget this.

Never say never.

There's a loophole, you know.

You can say "never, never" if you mean it enough to say it twice.

I'll remember always, always.

Promise, promise.


MAN OVER PA: Let's have that carriage move back to the end of the street and start again.

Everybody, keep moving.

Go back to the starting point, turn around and come back.

It's 1:45.

COOPER: Want a lens?

Thanks, everybody! That's a wrap!

Thank you for a great day, folks.

MAN: That's a wrap everybody. No.

It's 1:45. I told you I have to pick up Anna and Benjamin.

Thanks, guys.

You're not... You have to finish.

No. I've got it. It's in the can. Coop can wrap the equipment.

This is my star account.

These clients need choices. They need variety.

I've shot at 20 different angles, so they'll have plenty of variety.

Trust me. I don't.

What are you saying?

I'm saying that... That you're the best I've got.

Probably the best I've ever worked with.

But these last couple of months, your work is slipping.

It's still fine, but you've lost your edge, your focus, your dedication.

And your attitude is very disappointing.

You're making a career decision here.

If you walk now, I'm gonna have to let you go.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Isabel.

Oh, damn.

It's okay, don't worry. It's gonna be fine.

Hey, guys.

Sorry I'm late.

Hey, Benjamin? Yeah?

Why don't you go sit in the car, buddy?

Okay.

Don't drive away. I won't.

What happened?

You know that boy I was telling you about, Brad Kovitsky?

Yeah.

Well, he's been a real jerk lately.

My mom told me to ignore him.

So today, I did.

And you know what he called me? No.

He called me "Frosty the Snow Bitch" in front of everyone.

Well, men can be scum.

Yes, they can.

Is that little bastard around here? I'll kick his ass.

No, his mother's always on time.

I have an idea.

No, thanks. I don't need advice from a stepmother.

Oh.

Okay, yeah.

I can see how sitting out here in the cold and snow, crying, seems like a far superior idea to listening to a stepmother.

But, for kicks, let's lose the title.

Seems to me you have a choice.

You can either pretend to be an adult, or you can actually be one.

So, sit here in the cold, crying, by yourself, or do something about it, together.

Crying.

Do something.

Hmm?

What's it gonna be?

Do something.

Yeah? Yeah.

Well, can we start by covering up my hairy stepmother wart?

Because it must be showing.

You punk.

It's cold. Come on, let's go. Benjamin will drive us home.

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Baby love, my baby love ♪ Okay, come on! Come on! Come on!

♪ I need you Oh, how I need you ♪ ISABEL: Okay, next week, after school... Oh, come on!

...you walk up to him with attitude.

You hear me?

And you say, "Listen up, limp dick,

"'cause I'm only gonna say this once.

"As far as your pitiful knowledge of what a woman really wants goes, "I'm not going to waste my time with some loser

"who doesn't even know what snow-blowing is."

Uh...

What is it?

Hmm. Uh...

It's an...

It's an incredibly disgusting and not even remotely sexy thing that I once heard described in a movie that I would never take you to go see.

But it is real.

Now, the clincher.

You walk away, then you whip around and say, "The guy I see is in high school, "and it has to be said, "he laughs his ass off whenever we talk about you."

But I don't know anyone in high school.

There will be a suitable boy outside your school on Monday at 2:30 with a very expensive bike, and he will be a stone fox, even if I have to call an escort service.

I've had the worst day, until now.

Me, too.

MAN ON PA: United Airlines announces the arrival of Flight 86, service from Los Angeles.

Deplaning passengers may be met at gate number 12.

Okay, so I'm gonna get your bags and the taxis are just over there.

Thanks. Okay?

ANNA: Surprise!

Why is she in a wheelchair?

She's traveled a long way and she's tired, so give her a hug and be real gentle.

Look at this guy. Hi!

Let's go home, huh?

Welcome back.

JACKIE: Thanks. What a great surprise.

BEN: Hey, let me out! Come on!

JACKIE: Who's gotta get out? BEN: Let me out!

BEN: Hey! ANNA: Sorry.

I'm in the family, too, you know.

Thank you.

JACKIE: What's up?

We have a surprise for you.

No way! Yes.

What is it? We can't tell you. It won't be a surprise.

Yes, you can. Tell me.

Ben, tell me. No way.

Come on, tell me. No way.

Close your eyes.

BEN: Step, step.

No, almost. You're almost there. Don't open your eyes.

Come on, please, just a little peek?

Oh, gosh.

No, wait. Come in.

Come in. All right, ready?

One, two, three, open!

Oh.

Wow.

Isn't it great?

Isabel did it.

Isabel. Yeah?

Um, I'm working on a Christmas project for Ben and Anna, and there aren't any recent photos of me with the kids, and I was... I was just wondering if, um, you'd take some.

Sure. Love to.

Thanks.

BEN: Hey, guys, wait up. Wait up for me.

Stop right there for a second. Oh, great.

ISABEL: Perfect.

Benjamin, that's a dazzling display of horsemanship.

Come on, you lazy horse. Giddap!

No, no!

JACKIE: "One day, five men came in very funny hats

"to pick the biggest, fastest, roughest bull to fight in the bullfights in Madrid."


Hi, Mom!

Anna, Anna, Anna! Whoa!

Are you okay? There we go.

Almost.

Well, almost not falling.

That was the first time he fell.

Awesome fall. You're gonna try it again?

BEN: Yeah.

One over here, everybody.

Oh, cheese! Cheese.

Are you gonna go back? Yeah.

For more? Yeah.

All right.

Go for it. I'm watching.

You know, Ben was born in two hours, went straight to the breast, and camped there for the next four days, always with this mischievous look on his face, like he had a secret or something.

And his, uh, blanket always looked like a cape.

Even the nurses said so.

He loves hearing that story over and over, about how he was born a magician.

And her?

Twenty-eight hours.

The doctors wanted to go in and get her, but...

I knew she'd come in her own time.

That's just the way she is.

Can't let anybody rush her.

I'll keep that in mind.

BEN: Ow!

Didn't work, did it?

I'm sorry.

Hey, you did everything you could.

But there's still some options available.

There's a treatment in Paris, one in Switzerland, and they come highly recommended.

Thanks, but...

I think I wanna spend my time at home, with my family.

Yeah.

Christmas will be here before you know it.


I thought you might need one of these.

I do.

It looks great.

Wait a minute.

A little more.

A little more. Okay.

I think that's fine. Stop.

Oh, perfect.

Smells great, too.

Mmm.

Thanks.

What are we supposed to do without you?

You'll be fine.

You're a great father.

I just never really...

I didn't give you the chance to realize it.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas.

ANNA: As for your pitiful knowledge of what a woman really wants, I'm not wasting my time on some pathetic loser who doesn't even know what snow-blowing is.

BOYS: Ooh, loser!

Anna, good one.

Oh, and the guy I see is in high school, and it has to be said that every time we talk about you, he laughs his ass off.

Yeah, right.

You don't believe me? He's standing right over there.

No way.

Well, believe it.

You rule, Anna! You really rule!

You blew it. Loser.

He's a model. You're such a retard.

BOY 1: Loser. BOY 2: Yeah, I know.

Hi. What are you doing here?

I'm here to pick up my kids from school.

Who is that?

He looks familiar. He looks like that guy that's in his underwear on the side of a bus for Calvin Klein.

No, fully dressed for Ralph Lauren.

What? What?

Huh? No.

Oh!

GIRL: Go, Anna!

GIRL: He's such a loser.

Moron.

Oh, it worked, it worked, it worked, it worked!

Did you see the look on Brad's face?

Thank you so much! Oh, honey.

JACKIE: Okay, "limp dick" I know.

What exactly is "snow-blowing"?

It doesn't matter. I didn't explain it to her.

You're gonna have to explain it to me, because I'm gonna have to explain it to about 20 or 30 parents that are gonna call in the next half-hour.

Give them my number.

I think they're gonna wanna talk to Anna's mother, thank you.

What is it that you're worried about? Looking bad at the PTA?

Are you defending what you did?

Right to the ground.

You put filth in my child's mouth.

Oh, please. You had her lie about that model.

And it worked like a charm.

And you became a hero, and I became a schmuck.

Basically, you taught my child that I am a loser who doesn't really care about her pain.

That's not what I was trying to do.

Well, that's what you did.

Did you think that I didn't have some dirty words for that little putz?

That I couldn't figure out some low blows?

You weren't passing them out.

I believe, in a crisis, you have an opportunity to learn something.

That's deep.

It was a lie.

Winning without dignity or grace is not winning.

She has to figure out who she is so she can stand up to peer pressure, so that she can steer her own course.

She wasn't steering her own course. She was steering yours.

Oh! That's what parenting is all about, little girl.

They are pleading for you to tell them how to do the right thing, and sure as hell, that's what you've done.

The next time something happens and the stakes are really high, she's gonna look back on this and she's gonna remember how easy it was and how good it felt.

And she's going to stand up for herself. Dear God, what have I done?

You have turned her into you.

That's what this is about.

That's all this is about.

Oh, how would you know what this is about?

You haven't been here from the beginning, worrying every minute of every day that the decisions you're making are gonna shape the people that they are going to be.

And you are not what I want my children to be.

I don't want that either.

But this isn't about me or you. It's about them.

And believe it or not, I am trying.

And I do have their very best interests at heart.


Would you like a drink? Patron, please, double.

What's up?

Last year, I lost Ben.

What? In the supermarket.

You're lying.

It's true.

That's impossible. You could never lose that kid for one second.

I did.

Ben never mentioned it.

He just remembers I found him.

Why didn't you tell me?

You know why.

I never wanted to be a mom.

Well, sharing it with you is one thing.

Carrying it alone the rest of my life...

Always being compared to you.

You're perfect.

They worship you.

I just don't want to be looking over my shoulder every day for 20 years, knowing that someone else would have done it right, done it better, the way that I can't.

What do I have that you don't?

You're Mother Earth incarnate.

You're hip and fresh.

You ride with Anna. You'll learn.

You know every story, every wound, every memory.

Their whole life's happiness is wrapped up in you.

Every single moment.

Don't you get it?

Look down the road to her wedding.

I'm in a room alone with her,

fitting her veil, fluffing her dress, telling her, "No woman has ever looked that beautiful."

And my fear is that she'll be thinking,

"I wish my mom was here."

And mine is she won't.

But the truth is she doesn't have to choose.

She can have us both, love us both.

And she will be a better person because of me and because of you.

I have their past,

and you can have their future.

BEN: Hey, guys, it's Christmas!

Wake up!

I hope there's a white dove. I hope there's a white dove.

I hope there's a white dove. I hope there's a white dove.

There's gotta be a white dove.

Hark, I hear the gentle sounds of Benjamin.

We'd better get out there before he starts ripping open all the presents.

LUKE: Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, have a little patience.

Can I open my presents now?

Um, actually, your mom wants you guys to go upstairs and open presents with her first. And then we'll open presents down here, okay?

Hmm, okay.

Me first.


Merry Christmas.

Sweetie, I think this has your name on it.

Wow, a real magician's cape!

Awesome! Whoa.

Here. Come here, I'll help you with it.

What does it have all over it? Could you see?

Pictures of me and you.

And this one right here? See that one?

That's our first official photo of you and me as a couple.

See that?

Did you know I was good-looking right away?

Everybody in the whole hospital was talking about it. Are you kidding?

But this good-looking was beyond my imagination.

Are you dying?

What do you think?

Yes.

Then I won't see you anymore.

Well, you won't see my body, but...

You know how a caterpillar becomes something else?

A butterfly. Yeah.

You just have to think of me as, um, off flying somewhere, hmm?

And, of course, the magician knows the secret, that just because you don't see something, doesn't mean it's not there.

So even though it might seem like I'm gone, the magician knows better.

So where will you be?

Right here.

Right here, inside the magician.

Can I talk to you when you're there?

Always. Always, always.

You won't hear my voice, but deep inside, you'll know what I'm saying.

It's just not good enough.

No.

No, of course it isn't, because it isn't everything.

And we want everything, don't we? Yeah.

But we still have one thing, one of our greatest things we're gonna always have.

You know what that is?

Our dreams.

We can still meet in our dreams.

We can talk to each other there, and go for walks together in the summer and in the winter and in the rain and the sun.

I can come and pick you up and we can go flying.

Nobody loves you like I do.

No.

Nobody ever will.

Hi, I brought you some tea.

Oh, merry Christmas, baby.

Merry Christmas.

Look what Mom made me.

Wow!

I'm gonna show Dad and Isabel.

Here. Thank you, sweetheart.

Oh, Mom, will you make sure Dad knows how to double-knot my sneakers, the way you do for school in the morning?

Yes.

Thanks.

That's yours.

Oh, wow!

It's a quilt. Mm-hmm.

And it has our pictures on it.

Here, put it here.

Whoa.

It's kind of like a scrapbook you can keep warm with.

ANNA: It's so beautiful. I've never seen anything like it.

See your horse here and your medals that you got.

Remember this? That was that dress you wouldn't take off in pre-K for three weeks.

Remember that? Yeah.

Your first step. Look at your foot.

Look at that little chubby-cheeked thing. Look at you.

Are you scared?

A little.

Mostly I was scared for you, but I'm not anymore, because I know you're gonna be okay.

I don't want to say goodbye. I'm gonna miss you so much.

Oh, sweetie, it's okay.

Oh, sweetie.

Oh, my sweetie.

It's okay.

It's okay to miss me.

It's okay.

You can miss me and you can take me with you.

You can.

I mean, when you're in trouble, have me there.

When you fall in love, have me there.

You can.

I mean, that's how... That's how people go on forever, you know, because somebody takes them along.

Hmm? On your graduation and your wedding and when you have your babies.

Take me along, will you?

Always, always and always.

You have made my life so wonderful.

Take that with you, too, okay?

Okay.

ANNA: Wow, Mom, it's so cool!

ISABEL: Let's see what you got there, Ben.

BEN: I don't know.

What's the matter, honey? You look a little disappointed.

Huh?

No. Everything's great, Mom.

Uh-huh.

BEN: I love my presents.

Hey, guys, it looks like we forgot one.

It's got your name on it, buddy.

Abracadabra!

What a beautiful cage.

Yeah.

It's empty.

Well, let's try it again.

I think maybe this time you should say the magic words.

Abracadabra! Allakazam!

Allakazoom! Boom!

JACKIE: Oh, my! It worked!


Why doesn't everybody get on the sofa for a picture, huh?

Baby, can you put that birdcage on the floor for me?

And I'll set up here.

All right. There you go.

On the count of three, I want to see big Christmas smiles.

One, two...

Benjamin.

Three.

Excellent.

Good one. Okay, now let's get one with the whole family.

Isabel?

Okay, let me just reset this.

Get ready.

♪ If you need me, call me ♪

♪ No matter where you are No matter how far ♪

♪ Just call my name I'll be there in a hurry ♪

♪ You don't have to worry ♪

♪ 'Cause, baby There ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough ♪

♪ To keep me from getting to you, baby ♪

♪ Remember the day I set you free ♪

♪ I told you you could always count on me, darling ♪

♪ If you're ever in trouble I'll be there on the double ♪

♪ Just send for me Oh, baby ♪

♪ 'Cause my love is alive Whoo! ♪

♪ Deep down in my heart Although we are miles apart ♪

♪ If you ever need a helping hand ♪

♪ I'll be there on the double Just as fast as I can ♪

♪ Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪

♪ Ain't no river wide enough ♪

♪ To keep me from getting to you, baby ♪

♪ Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough ♪

♪ Ain't no valley low enough ♪