The Last Days of Disco (1998) Script

Hello?

Hi, honey. It's me.

I went to see the doctor today, 'Cause ever since you've been gone, I had a pain deep down inside.

He says there's nothing really wrong with me.

I'm just missin' my man.

So, honey, please... come on home as soon as you can.

I heard you have a much better chance Of getting in if you come by cab.

You're really worried about getting in?

Yes.

I thought you'd been here several times before.

Not the front way.

They were private parties.

We came in the back.

We look really good tonight.

I'm sure we're going to get in.

Get back.

Let's get a cab.

Maybe you're right.

When we get out, don't stop where the crowd is.

Just follow me right in.

When we get out, we just follow you in.

Yeah.

Why don't you put this on?

What?

Just until we get inside.

I don't get it.

We're all together.

Van!

Only him.

We're together. Come on, Van.

This is important.

These are my friends.

You can go in, but they'll have to wait.

Hey, nice coat.

Don't worry, Jimmy. We don't care.

I can't believe it.

Yeah, what an asshole.

You know, that had nothing to do With you guys.

Van just wanted to put me in my place.

Apparently, it happens all the time.

Jerk.

It's happened to you before?

No, but it was overdue.

You know, none of us really wanted to go anyway.

Yeah, we're exhausted.

No, I really wanted to go.

There's Jimmy Steinway.

I can't believe it... He's already leaving?

You like him?

I could never be interested in anyone Who worked in advertising.

God. You were right.

This place has gotten really hard to get into.

Who's the other guy you were interested in?


Phew. Oh, god. We made it.

This is the last time I'm coming here.

I always want to be able to say, "I got into the club."

Of course we got in.

Who was the second guy you were interested in?

Tom Platt.

Oh, well, that's a lot better.

How do you mean?

Well, Tom Platt's smart and somewhat cool, A lawyer involved in environmental causes...

Not to mention tall, dark, and handsome.

Nina! Please... stop!

Nina!

Nina!

Please... stop.

Hey, McGrath!

Come back here!

It's not what you think.

I'm...

I think I'm gay.

What?

That's not possible.

How?

It's always been there, I guess.

I've only begun to acknowledge it now.

You really think you're gay?

Taxi.

I was just starting law school When the first up-tempo Philadelphia international hits broke:

Some people don't consider that disco...

Because it's good...

But I remember feeling absolutely electrified.

You feel electrified often.

No, but this was different.

I loved the idea that there'd be All these great places for people to go dancing, After the terrible social wasteland Of our college years. Uhff.

You've been to a lot of discos?

No. In fact, practically none.

For me, law school wasn't easy, And I haven't had much of a social life Since coming to the city, either.

But I still consider myself a loyal adherent To the disco movement.

It's a "movement"?

Sort of.

What I found terribly encouraging Was the idea that when the time in life came To have a social life, There'd be all these great places For people to go to, Because, as you'll remember, For many years, there were none.

Yeah.

What I didn't realize... is that it gets so impossible to get into.

Let's call it a night.

No, wait. I have an idea.

Jimmy.

Here take this. Jimmy!

Take this. Jimmy!

Oh, hi.

Hi.

You're Des's friend.

Yeah, hi.

Where are Marshall and Steve?

They've gone back to the hotel.

Jim, come on.

I can't believe it.

Jim, let's go.

They wanted me to apologize for them.

They were really bushed.

What a disaster.

No.

I can't believe it.

Wow!

Do you like nightmares?

No.

Well, I do.

It's not obviously connected, but...

I think that's what made me a little more tolerant Of the guys at Hampshire.

What do you mean?

You were a bit critical.

The guys there preferred women more..."laid-back."

I'm laid-back.

For whatever reason, You didn't have much of a social life there.

I had a social life...

Just not one of those terrible pretend-marriages.

The Hampshire guys were jerks, hippy-dippy suburbanites with all this hair...

And extremely dim intellectual interests.

I'm sorry, I don't consider the guy who did The Spiderman comics a serious writer.

Alice, one thing I've noticed Is that people hate being criticized.

Everyone hates that.

It's one of the great truths of human nature.

I think it's why my parents got divorced.

I'm sorry... it's just that you're so terrific...

It makes me sick to think that you might get in That terrible situation again, Where everyone hated you...

Hated me?

You're wonderful.

Maybe, in physical terms, I'm a little cuter than you, But you should be much more popular than I am... it would be such a shame If what happened in college repeated itself.

Why would it repeat itself?

You're right.

I just think it's so important To be in control of your own destiny...

Not to fall into that fifties cliché Of waiting by the phone for guys to call:

The right ones never do.

Those who do, You have to make the most ridiculous excuses to:

The nice ones get hurt feelings and hate you;

The jerks inevitably corner you Into going out anyway.

Late at night you find yourself With some awful guy with disgusting breath, Thrusting his belly up against you, Trying to stick his slobbering tongue In your mouth. Ugh, yecch.

Thank god this is a whole new era in music And social models!

We're in complete control.

Look down.

There are a lot of choices out there.

Fantastic. This place is better Than I could have imagined.

It's too bad Steve and Marshall didn't come...

They really would have loved this.

Don't worry about it. So what.

It's so stupid.

I'm sure it's Jimmy.

I think it's much better to wait Until things happen naturally.

Forcing things never works.

That's not true.

Forcing things usually works beautifully.

You know, even if he's in advertising, Someone will want him.

I just think it's so important That we be in control of our own destinies.

It doesn't matter.

Marshall's a really good guy.

He doesn't really care about this kind of stuff.

I can't believe it.

Uh, excuse me... has anyone ever told you you look just like Kate Preston's brother rod?

Who?

Rod Preston. Do you know him?

Uh, no.

Have you ever noticed that people who look just alike Never seem to know each other?

Hunh.

Hi.

Hey. How've you been?

Fine. How are you?

He's really depressed.

God, isn't this place great?

It's fantastic! I love it.

I really like this song.

Yeah.

Do you like to dance?

W-W-Would you?

Sure. Great.

Shall we all go?

I... I think he's too depressed to dance.

Hey, Jimmy, we're going to dance... come on.

I'm too depressed to dance.

Go ahead.

What's wrong?

Absolute disaster.

What?

I had to get some clients into the club, So I gave the boss my coat to wear...

"Here, wear this."

It's really stupid.

I can't believe what an idiot I am.

Why? Your coat's nice.

It is nice.

But this guy's... Marshall's...

Clothes are hideous.

It's famous.

But to give him my coat to put over them...

It's so stupid.

It's just really stupid.

It's not stupid.

This club's really hard to get into.

It was unbelievably, incredibly dumb.

He's a really nice guy, and I insulted him.

This nice guy that I stupidly insulted Is basically my boss.

God, it was really stupid.

Guess you're right.

It was pretty stupid.

Uh, can I get you a drink?

Yeah, thanks.

Des, you're a wonderful man.

Take care of yourself, Des.

Ok, Van, what's up?

Keep that ad guy friend of yours out of here.

Hi!

What do you mean?

When I turned him away with a group of his clients, He snuck around back, where you let them in.

I didn't let 'em in.

They're inside.

Rick just saw them.

Is this really important?

I'm not out here on jerk patrol So you can let them in the back way.

Bernie promised me he'd fire you If that guy's in the club.

I can't believe that.

You made Bernie promise to fire me?

You really think Bernie keeps his promises?

I need to see Bernie.

Bernie's not around.

He's pretty mad, Des.

Van told him you were letting people In the back again.

When you let people in the back, Is a cover being charged?

Because that money should be coming here.

Of course we're not charging a cover in the back. God!

Uh, Bernie... this thing that Van's saying About your promising to fire me If Jimmy Steinway's in the club, That isn't true, is it?

No, it's true. I can confirm that.

This Jimmy Steinway, I don't want in the club.

Why?

Come here.

You promised to quit letting friends in the back.

No, you said we could still let in people From the list.

Don't contradict me, Des.

I don't want a lot of ad people in the club, Particularly not this guy.

Well, I didn't let him in.

If Van didn't either, he's not in the club.

Did I ever tell you that my first job Was in advertising... at Y&R?

In those days, the big thing was to be nice to everybody...

To the secretaries, to the "media department,"

To the art director, to the client...

Well, I don't think it's that way now.

I don't care.

I don't want that element in the club.

Jimmy is, like, my best friend.

And you've been a good friend to him, Des, But this Jimmy is not a good friend to you.

He's out of control.

He's an egomaniac.

Uh, Jimmy.

Where were you? What a nightmare?

Listen, I don't know how you got in, But you'd better go.

What?

This way.

You're asking me to leave?

Van has gone crazy.

He made Bernie promise to fire me If he found you here.

Bernie hates ad agency people. It's nuts.

I can't believe it!

That's like something out of the Nazis!

Come on. I will get you back on the list, But tonight, it's best if you go.

Could I at least go tell my client That I've got to go...

No.

Please.

Tell him I got ejected.

His name is Hap.

Ok.

And that's for this irritating girl Who's occupying my booth. Alice.

She's irritating?

I thought she seemed nice.

You know her?

Well, she's been here 2 times before.

How is she irritating?

I can't believe it.

You're really gonna throw me out?

Yeah.

Thanks, Des! You've really been a good friend to me!


Hey.

Join us.

It's ok.

Think we'll get in?

This usually works.

Des, I think we need to talk.

Yeah... there's something I have to talk to you about.


Who's she?

They call her "tiger lady."

It's actually a cheetah pattern she's wearing.

At some point, she wore a tiger pattern.

It's always something very slinky and sexy.

You consider her sexy?

Ah, yeah.

The banquette.

Where's Jimmy?

I don't know. He went to get drinks.

What would you like?

Uh, vodka-tonic.

Me, too.

I'll go with you.

Ever since I was 6 years old or so, I sensed I was somehow... different.

Then, every time you made love to me...

You must have wanted to vomit.

No. No, no.

Oh, you're beautiful!

You don't have to be some sweaty, horny, Hetero he-ape to admire and... and appreciate... female beauty... only very, very recently Did the final realization come.

Exactly when did the final realization come?

2 days ago.

I get up late and usually turn on the TV, Sort of as a reflex.

Wednesday afternoon, There was a rerun of wild kingdom, Mutual of Omaha's nature program with marlin Perkins And that... attractive, younger guy.

It triggered something.

Suddenly everything fell into place.

I'm gay... and always have been.

You only found out you were gay On Wednesday?

Only then definitively.

Wednesday was... gay day for me.

Finished eavesdropping?

I wasn't eavesdropping.

Come on. Anything interesting?

Shh. God!

Listen, it's much better you're with Tom than Jimmy.

You two really look great together.

You think so?

It's too bad we weren't closer friends in college.

I think I could really have helped you there.

For most guys, Sexual repressiveness is a turn-off.

You're saying this for my benefit?

You're a good conversationalist but... there's something of the kindergarten teacher About you.

It's really nice, but... the guys you like also tend to be on the ethereal side.

It can get pretty far away From any kind of physicality.

This is gonna sound dumb, but it really works.

Whenever you can, Throw the word "sexy" into your conversation.

It's kind of a signal.

Like, um...

"there's something really sexy about strobe lights."

Or, uh...

"this fabric is so sexy."

Yeah, it is.

Josh?

Uh, hi.

What are you doing here?

In New York or in the club?

In the city.

I'm an A.D.A. in Morgenthau's office.

An assistant district attorney for Manhattan.

They call us "A.D.A.'s."

You're a prosecutor?

God, how did you get that?

It's not such a big deal...

I'm perfectly competent to do the job, Des.

Great. Good.

I wasn't implying anything.

I was just surprised to see you here.

Going to Harvard must have been great.

Well... the people at Hampshire were nice, And pretty smart, in a nontraditional way, But I was out of place there.

I'm sorry, I don't consider the guy Who did the Spiderman comics a serious writer.

Yeah, I thought it was the green hornet People took more seriously.

Um, excuse me, are you Alice?

Jimmy Steinway gave me this vodka-tonic to give you, But I'm afraid I sampled it.

I'll get you another.

Jimmy's gone?

You're "Hap"?

Yeah, he wanted me to tell you he's sorry, But he was ejected from the club.

He was ejected?

Apparently he snuck one of his clients In the back of the club.

That's odd he knew I drank vodka-tonics.

I never told him.

It's uncanny.

You mean, it's a complete cliché?

"All women recent college graduates drink vodka-tonics,"

Or something like that?

Well, maybe.

So Jimmy think's I'm a total cliché I ordered a vodka-tonic, too... so what?

You're plenty original Without having to order some weirdo drink.

Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it.

Can I get you another?

Thanks. Actually, if you don't mind, I think I'd prefer... uh, uh, a whiskey sour.

Ok.


You're going already?

It's really late.

I didn't peg you as such a nightcluber.

I mean, you really seem to like it.

I do. This is a great place.

It's what I always dreamed of... cocktails, dancing, conversation...

Exchange of ideas and points of view... everyone's here... Everyone you know And everyone you don't know.

You should be proud, Des.

This is quite an accomplishment.

Yeah. I am.

Who's the girl you were dancing with?

Oh, Alice Kinnon.

Oh.

Thanks a lot for getting me in.

Great.

I'm a little worried about that guy.

I think he might be having A manic episode of some kind.

Now, Des, don't get started on that.

So you're one of the club's managers?

Yeah.

You knew Tom would be here tonight, didn't you?

God, you're much craftier than I thought.

No, I didn't.

We're going to check out this after-hours club Jimmy told Hap about.

Why don't you come?

Jimmy might be there.

I don't know.

We were all at Harvard together.

How did you get involved with environmental causes?

I think that's great.

You're interested in the environment?

Very much so.

Actually, there's one theory That the environmental movement of our day Was sparked by the re-release of Bambi In the late 1950s.

For many members of the baby boom generation, It was traumatic... the hunters killing Bambi's mother.

Yeah, it was terrible.

For 6-year-olds, it's devastating.

To this day, no one wants to identify With those hunters.

I think you're right.

You're living in some women's residence, Aren't you?

Yeah. It's terrible.

No guests.

Huh.

Wow.

It's really nice.

Thanks.

Would you like anything to drink?

What?

Um... could I have... a pernod?

Sure.

This is supposed to be good For cigarette mouth.

Do you smoke?

When I drink or go out at night, I usually smoke.

I live dangerously.

On the edge.

I'm no kindergarten teacher.

What's this?

Um, I collect original edition Scrooge McDuck comics.

It sounds a little odd.

Not at all.

This is original artwork by Carl barks, Who created the uncle scrooge comics.

He's considered a bit of a genius.

There's something really sexy about scrooge McDuck.

You really think so?

I love uncle scrooge.


"the author's brother is, "According to Tibetan Buddhism, "God.

Recommend..."

"Very kind decline."

Anything interesting?

Not really.

What time did you get back?

I don't know.

You don't know?

I didn't check.

Well, was it light or dark?

Why do you care what time I got in?

Sorry. No reason.

We've got to get an apartment of our own.

Do you know how long it takes To become an editor?

You mean associate editor.

Yeah. Associate editor.

What's the minimum amount of time To become an associate editor?

How many years?

That's hard to say.

Approximately.

Maybe 4 years.

But more than years, Before you can become an associate editor, You have to have a best seller.

How can you be sure you'll get a best seller?

You cannot.

But what if you don't find one?

You have to.

Show them the outline.

You might want to see this.

It's the Scott Meredith best seller outline.

"Create sympathetic characters, "With whom readers identify.

Give them problems, make these problems big."

Could I photocopy this?

Yes, but I need it back.

I'd like a copy, too.

That stuff is such crap.

This does describe a lot of best sellers.

That's true.

It's completely formulaic.

Of course it's formulaic. It's a formula.

That's why I prefer nonfiction.

It's good you want to be an editor so much.

In this era of television, You are devoted to the printed word.

Actually, ultimately, I'd like to work in television.

But right now, what I need's a raise.

Alice and I have been looking at apartments, But we can't afford one on what we get as assistants.

That's so comical.

What?

That girls like you really worry about paying rent.

Aren't your fathers heavily subsidizing Your living expenses with big allowances?

They're not big at all.

In a few years, you'll marry Some incredibly rich corporate lawyers.

It's not as if you really worry about paying the rent Like the rest of us.

Oh, you worry about paying the rent?

Yeah.

Then you're way ahead of us

'Cause we don't even have an apartment.

What if, in a few years, We don't marry some corporate lawyer?

What if we marry some meatball like you?

But not you personally, But someone with similarly low socioeconomic prospects?

Can you believe that?

They really think that way.

Disco sucks.

What a dope.

Would you ever go out With anyone who worked in the company?

Fortunately, There's absolutely no temptation.

Charlotte, telephone.

It's a man.

Hello?

Oh, hi.

We were thinking of having some people for dinner Saturday night.

Wanted to know if you could come.

About 7:30.

Ok. Where?

Actually, I'll have to call you back with that.

Yeah.

Thanks.

Ok.

Bye.

That was Jimmy Steinway.

He's coming for dinner Saturday night.

You called him?

I thought you said you could never be interested In anyone who worked in advertising.

No one could say something like that seriously.

It was obviously a joke.

Anyway, it's not like it's a date or anything.

He's invited as part of a group.

It's really important There be more group social life, Not just all this ferocious pairing off.

You like Tom.

Invite him.

We don't even have an apartment.

How can we have a dinner party?

Well, it's another incentive to get one.

Does the Lexington avenue express stop at 86th street?

I think so.

We'd better hurry.

Do you really think we know each other well enough To room together?

Well, maybe that's good.

It's not just that we don't know each other well.

I'm not even sure we really like each other.

That's ok.

You know, Alice, I'm not so much of a bitch as I might seem.

You'll find Holly's a little sensitive About her intelligence.

She's dumb?

Harvard guys, even the ones that Seem reasonably cool on the outside, Are all essentially wimps and bookworms On the inside.

They love being seen out with this lovely girl, But after a date or two, Rather than risk rejection, They pretend to drop her, Going around complaining about how dull she was.

Is she dull?

A little, but that's not the point.

Once you start worrying about something like that, You're lost.

Holly was devastated.

She stopped dating entirely, And weekends either went home Or just hung around the library at pine manor.

What do you think you're doing?

Shove off, Mack!

Deviant!

Creep! Off!

So I wouldn't develop any illusions About Harvard guys.

They can be amazing creeps, too.

Ah, there you are.

Hi.

Our friend still isn't here.

Sorry. I forgot which way the numbers went On the east side.

It's what's called a railroad apartment.

It's long and rather narrow like a railroad car.

Each room opens directly onto the other.

It's very nice.

The closets are here.

This is the other bedroom.

The bathroom is back here at this end.

And the kitchen.

So to get to the bathroom from the living room, You have to clomp through both bedrooms?

Well, there are 2 outside doors, So in theory, You can use the exterior hall To go between the kitchen and the living room.

Huh.

Even with 2 roommates, the layout is a bit awkward.

You can't afford something bigger?

We all work in book publishing.

Couldn't your parents help?

They already are.

So what do you think?

I think it's really nice.

Isn't the layout a bit awkward?

Well, I think we should take it.

Here you go.

It's good to see bourgeois girls Building up a sweat.

Why is that good to see?

You live around here?

There was a guild meeting at asphalt green.

A guild meeting?

The newspaper guild is organizing clerical And editorial staff for book publishing.

I'm supposed to organize our department.

Oh, my god. We're all gonna lose our jobs.

You should support this.

You were just complaining how lousy the pay is.

Are you rooming with them?

That's gonna be really tough.

Aren't we behind schedule?

Nope. This recipe's extremely fast.

Hello.

Uh, it's Dan.

Dan?

Hi. Come up.

Dan from your department.

I invited him.

Departmental Dan?

You know... he went to Harvard.

So?

Yeah, I've got to meet some clients at 10:00 And get them into the club.

Tom isn't coming?

If he does, he'll be very late.

Isn't this what they call a railroad apartment?

Uh-huh.

People always say how terrible they are, But it seems pretty nice.

Well, the layout's not so good.

It's amazing the little things in life One doesn't appreciate until they're missing, Such as hallways.

These apartments were actually planned In the last century as tenement housing For working class families.

Now all the yuppie roommate combos Are crowding them out.

Well... that's just tough.

Fight!

Rumble!

Actually, I was thinking I'd go home.

What?

You should come.

I don't know.

I'm not really a disco type.

Well, who is?

I probably wouldn't get in anyway.

Of course you'll get in. Holly's gorgeous.


Thanks, Jimmy.

Have fun, Jack, Harry.

Thanks a lot, Des. I really appreciate it.

Fine, cool.

I'm starting to realize how important eye contact is.

I can't talk to people in this thing.

They get nervous. They don't know who I am.

Well, that's the point.

You think tonight would be a good time To talk to Van?

Try to patch things up, get a reprieve of some sort?

Uh, no.

My job's sort of on the line, Des.

And not all clients will be such good sports As Harry and Jack.

If it's a question of groveling, I can do that.

Just point me in the right direction.

Shh! God!

Can I show you something?

Sure. What?

You know something about banking, don't you?

Yeah. Manny Hanny used to be a client.

Manufacturers Hanover.

I know what Manny Hanny is.

Note... no lock.


10 is the cover charge.

God. Paying a cover charge to get into a club?

How humiliating.

That's your reaction?

Look at this.

Kind of worrisome, don't you think?

Yeah.

To me, shipping cash to Switzerland In canvas bags Doesn't sound honest.

To me, it suggests possible illegality.

Well, what are you gonna do?

Well, I'm not going into that room anymore.

Uh, gimlet, please?

Domestic beer or bud?

Um... whiskey sour?

Excuse me.

You're Alice Kinnon, aren't you?

Yeah.

We met at that party in sag harbor, Labor day weekend.

You were just coming in as I was leaving, And you asked me where the kitchen was.

Do you remember?

I do remember getting to the kitchen.

Uh, excuse us.

We're here sort of as a group.

If you don't mind?

Excuse me.

Why did you say that?

I didn't like the look of him at all.

Didn't you notice how he was eyeballing you?

Creepy.

Frankly, I thought he might've been the guy That bothered me on the subway.

I'm sorry if I overreacted.

Poor guy.

It's no big deal.

That kind of thing happens all the time.

Anyway, you've got Tom.


Hey.

I'm sorry I'm so late.

How did it go?

Fine.

You know, they closed the airport.

We had to land in Washington Until LaGuardia reopened.


Do you remember the conversation we had Labor day weekend?

Had a huge impact on me.

Really?

Jennifer and I had been talking all year About either acknowledging The permanence of our relationship and marrying Or finally just breaking up.

I had no idea you were even dating anyone.

I thought you knew.

No. We've been together since college.

But the weekend after labor day, We had this long talk.

Jennifer proposed a trial separation, Which normally I'd have considered ridiculous, But I couldn't help thinking of you And went along.

Out of some sort of Residual loyalty to Jennifer, I didn't call you immediately And instead started coming to the club.

I'm not a very good dancer, but...

No, you are.

I was also curious if the sexual revolution Went as far as everyone said it had.

But emotionally, I couldn't handle it.

I got so depressed, and... when I saw you that night, You were... a vision, Not just of loveliness, but of... virtue... and sanity.

What?

I shouldn't talk about it.

I'll just end up sounding like an idiot.

No, what?

You're very sexy And good-looking and modern and hot.

But what I was craving Was a sort of sentient individual Who wouldn't abandon her intelligence To hop into bed with every guy she meets In a nightclub.

Why... why is it that when people have sex-with-strangers on their mind, Their I.Q. Just drops, like, 40 points?

All that affected Sexy seductress slinking around?

And uncle scrooge is sexy?

I mean, my god, is there no limit?

No. That was to...

Do you think I'm an idiot?

I'm so sick of all the lies and nonsense!

Alice?

Alice, what's wrong?

What happened?

McGrath! Where is he?

I'd say it's definitely not a good idea To approach Van tonight.

There he is.

McGrath!

Drew McGrath.

You're out of here right now.

What?

Bernie. Bernie!

Where is he? Here he is.

Bernie, this guy's through.

What's going on?

We had a public safety situation in the front.

This jerk comes out, trying to make it worse.

Is this true?

Public safety situation? Give me a break.

It was a joke. I'm sorry.

We had a public safety situation.

The cops came. It was no joke.

I tease him a tiny bit.

No teasing, Des.

No teasing?

Either he goes or I do.

Come on, Van. Des, grow up.

Cut it out.

Ok. Sorry.

It's the ad guy.

So, it's the dancing ad man.

You're finished.

Ok, I work in advertising. Is that a crime?

What's happening in this country?

There they are! Get 'em!

Get the tin man. Get him.

Get this jerk out of the club.

You're fired, Des. You're out of here.

You can't fire me, Van.

Only Bernie can fire me.

Ok.

You're fired.

And take this yuppie scum with you.

Good riddance!

Yuppie scum?

In college, before dropping out, I took a course in the propaganda uses of language.

One objective is to deny other people's humanity Or even right to exist.

In the men's lounge, Someone scrawled "kill yuppie scum."

Do yuppies even exist?

No one says, "I am a yuppie."

It's always the other guy who's a yuppie.

I think for a group to exist, Somebody has to admit to be part of it.

Of course yuppies exist.

Most people would say you two are prime specimens.

We're not yuppies!

You think we're yuppies?

You're seriously saying you're not yuppies?

No.

Yuppie stands for "young upwardly mobile professional."

Nightclub flunky is not a professional category.

Contrary to popular belief, junior-level ad jobs don't pay well at all.

I wish we were yuppies:

Young, upwardly mobile, professional.

Those are good things, not bad things.

Where we going?

Rex's. Oh, no.

What's wrong with Rex's?

Well, you can't dance there, And it's full of boring preppies.

Oh, and we're so interesting.

You can dance at Rex's.

Yeah, but why Rex's? Why not some other place?

Well, for one thing, Everyone at the club knows that I go there, So when they come looking for me, I wanna be there.

Why would they come looking for you?

What happened tonight was a mistake, Which even now Bernie's probably very much regretting.

He's a smart guy.

Not without good qualities... even if very few.

I wouldn't be very surprised if he's already called Rex's To retract my dismissal.

How can you be so sure of that?

Well, I'm not sure of it.

Hey. Hey, Rex.

Welcome to Rex's.

Alice, you look like you've seen The dark side of the moon.

What did Tom say?

No. I feel much better.

I love your idea of social life as a group, Without all this ferocious pairing off.

I couldn't have stood being alone tonight.

I thought Bernie was smarter than that.

What a blunder.

When they do call, we'll get you immediately.

Thanks, Rex.

Rex is such a great guy.

Yeah. Charlotte says she can tell if a guy's gay or not Just by looking in his eyes.

How?

Maybe it's related to how they look at you.

It's hard to define, But I think women can tell.

I can't.

Are Jimmy or I gay?

Come on, don't.

Jimmy?

No.

Well, not your eyes, But you do have a gay mouth.

A gay mouth?

I have a gay mouth?

What does that mean?

Just what I said.

It's true, Des. Your mouth does look gay.

God! How moronic can you get?

What nonsense!

Don't think I don't know your whole act.

Excuse me?

Pretending to be gay To get sympathy from women While cruelly dumping them, And to seem cooler than you actually are.

I despise your whole pathetic act.

You're not fit to lick the boots Of my real gay friends.

Well, I don't want to lick the boots Of your real gay friends.

You know, I could be gay.

I see through you completely.

Oh, you see through me completely.

Yeah, I do.

That's the dark side of feminism.

What?

You have a kind of free pass to make any kind of wounding Or derogatory comment you want.

I am hardly a militant feminist.

No, you're not.

A militant feminist would be a lot fairer.

It's women like you whose attitudes to men Are so dehumanizing.

Like what?

That men are swine, Obsessed with large breasts And the sex act, Devoid of any idealistic or romantic sensibility When in fact, We have that idealistic sensibility In spades.

For instance, you have no idea What men really think about women's breasts.

What do men think about women's breasts?

Well, it's not something you just blurt out.

It's far more complicated and nuanced than that.

Ok, I'll tell you a story.

When I was in college, There was a girl I had a crush on Who always had older boyfriends, Invariably some senior.

Finally, they all graduated, And one night we went back to her room alone.

Suddenly, her shirt was off, And I was confronted with these breasts, Which turned out to be completely surprising And frankly, disconcerting.

They were rather large and not ugly Or especially strange-shaped, But in all the time that I had thought about her, These breasts had never figured.

She took off her shirt so quickly, There was no time for adjustment, And I said something arrogant about it, As if her abrupt unveiling of her largish breasts Was somehow going to slay my swinish male self, As if I hadn't already been slayed On a much higher level.

Her name was Alice, too.

Oh, come on, Des.

You know that's not true.

What do you mean, it isn't true?

Her name wasn't Alice.

Well, I'm not gonna use her real name.

Would you like to dance?

Do you mind?

If what's bothering you relates to Tom, I wouldn't take it personally.

Did you know Tom and Jennifer Had a trial separation, Which was to end tonight?

What you might not know Is that about a week ago, They started seeing each other on the sly, Cheating on their trial separation.

How do you know that?

Working at the club, You find out all kinds of things.

You know, this is the way people used to dance in bars In the old days.

Do people ever really dance in bars?

I thought that was a myth.

People my older brother's age, uh, they did.

Your brother must be a lot older.

Before disco, This country was a dancing wasteland.

You know the Woodstock generation of the 1960s That were so full of themselves And conceited?

None of those people could dance.

Huh.

What happened over there?

I think she noticed That, for a moment, I flinched.

She dropped me like a rock.

I was crushed.

I couldn't take it, so I dropped out And got in the night club business early, Thanks to which I probably owe my success today.

Let's share a cab.

We're thinking of going.

You're all going?

Yeah.

Have they called yet from the club?

I don't think they will call.

Bernie will probably send some emissary.

That's more his style.

What should we do with the oz costumes, Just, uh, bring 'em by the club tomorrow?

Actually, those costumes are mine.

Just get 'em back to me when you can.

I thought we were here as a group.

You talked about the tremendous importance Of group social life.

Well, it's really late.

Yeah, Alice, it's getting really late.

We'd better get going.

Hey, thanks again, Des.

Ciao.

Bye.

Bye.

All week Charlotte's been talking about The tremendous importance of group social life, Opposing all this ferocious pairing off.

Well, group social life has its place, But at a certain point, Other biological factors come into play.

Our bodies weren't really designed For group social life.

A certain amount of pairing off Was always part of the original plan.

God, I can't believe you'd say that.

What?

What did I say?

What you mean to say is that they've all gone back To screw their brains out?!

No, I didn't say that!

I said they were going to pair off.

Well, wait, don't go!

I didn't mean to say anything Anyone could be offended by.

Oh, thank god. He's here.

Des, Bernie regrets what happened.

It was a mistake, and he wants you back.

I'm sorry. I know why you're so upset.

I mean, I know what really happened with Tom.

What?!

That he thought You were really slutty or something.

That's so stupid!

You can't worry about what misinterpreters think!

That's so unfair!

Come back to my place. We should talk.

Nothing will happen!

I just need somebody to talk to.

Maybe you do, too.

89th and first.

89th and first.

Hi.

Hi.


Alice, what would your dream book to publish be If you could publish any book?

Anything that might become a bestseller.

Aside from that. Your dream book.

I'd say... a collection of new J.D. Salinger stories, But more in the direction of the laughing man Or raise high the roof beam, carpenters, An introduction.

Did you know that, in his own day, Mary McCarthy and Alfred Kazin Wrote devastating pieces on Salinger?

No.

Yeah. They really destroyed him.


Maybe we should go the outside way like Alice.

I'm sure it was Jimmy.

It's very quiet.

Get out! Get out!

That was pretty bad.

God!

What's the matter now?

What?

All the noise...

Clomping around, banging pans.

Sorry. I didn't realize it.

You obviously intended it.

What do you mean?

That's very aggressive.

You don't clomp around, banging pans For no reason.

Like what reason?

You know perfectly well.

Because I only bang pans?

Well, frankly, that's not what I heard.

Ok. Anything I did that was wrong, I apologize for.

But anything I did that was not wrong, I don't apologize for.

God, Alice is such a Scorpio.

Come here, Rufus. Did she hurt you?

Come here, Rufus. Let's see. Let's see.

Aww. Aw, poor Rufus...

Rufus!

Rufus!

Come here, boy!

Rufus!

Come here!

Hey! Never do that! How dare you?!

Shame on you!

Bitch!

I've decided to go ahead With the Tibet book proposal.

What?

The memoir by the Dalai lama's older brother?

Oh.

I'd like to bring it up At Wednesday's editorial meeting.

You really liked that?

Other people liked it, too?

Yeah.

Ok. I'll take another look.

You know, it's considered a little self-indulgent To read too much of a manuscript If it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Have you known Holly long?

Just since we found the apartment. Why?

She's very, uh... quiet, isn't she?

Well, I would say, not more than normal.

Your standard of normal could be different from other people's.

How do you mean?

I don't understand that.

I guess what I'm asking is...

You do like Holly, don't you?

Yeah, of course.

But... she is intelligent, isn't she?

Well, sometimes I question Her dating choices.

God, you're tough.

I'm not tough in the least.

No. You're really tough.

Congratulations, Alice.

Yeah, your first book. Great.

It could be a bestseller.

Charlotte. Oh, Charlotte.

That was so moving, What you said about our obligation to writers.

Thanks.

And how often we fall short of that.

Well, let's face it, Most authors are still conceited dopes.

Oh, you... you can't say that.

You're an editor.

You don't have to deal with them on a daily basis.

When you're an assistant, It's harder to dodge their calls.

Good going, Alice.

I'm really glad we got this book.

I understand that you know some people at the club.

Do you think that maybe, um, Sometime you could, uh, get us in there some night?

Yeah. Certainly. We'll arrange that.

Very good. Thanks.

Thanks a lot, Dan.

Sure.

Do you have any idea why Jimmy's Suddenly so interested in your social life?

No. He's interested in my social life?

Haven't you noticed? He's always wondering Why you don't go out or go to the club.

He is?

You know, Alice, You've been hanging around the apartment a lot.

You've kind of set up office there.

None of the rest of us has any privacy.

The railroad apartment wasn't my idea.

Yeah, that's true, but it's just odd That you're so much friendlier to Jimmy Now he's with me.

I just think the situation's kind of awkward.

What do you want me to do, Promise not to talk to him anymore?

I'm sure you know perfectly well How to subtly get a guy to cool it If you really wanted to.

Oh, damn.

Oh, damn? Thanks.

You're here to see Van?

You don't mind, do ya?

Well, I sorta do.

I hate asking that guy for favors.

They're not gonna keep me on much longer If I can't get clients into the club.

It's that important to you To stay in advertising?

Ok. Better see him while he's still on his upswing.

Hey, Des.

Hi.

God, what happened to you?

Jesus. Josh, you're a mess.

I'm a mess.

I got to talk to you.

You sure you don't want to clean up a little?

It's kind of serious.

I'll look for Alice and Charlotte, See if they've come in.

That's Audrey Rouget, The youngest person ever to be made an editor In the history of Farrar, Straus.

How do you know her?

She interviewed me.

How did it go?

Have you ever been in an interview And gotten the impression they see through you completely?

I didn't get an offer.

You don't want to clean up a little?

No.

You know, you look really bad.

I know. That's actually good in my work.

It puts people at ease, looking like this.

They feel, frankly, superior to me And say things they ordinarily wouldn't.

It's very disarming.

Phew! What happened?!

I was having drinks With some friends in the village, And there was this terrible guy Really bothering this girl, So I decided to intervene, But it turns out they were married.

What's this now? You're not here On official business, are you?

Knowing that we went to college together, They asked me to talk to you.

Who is "they"?

I can't tell you.

I couldn't believe you'd be involved In the kinds of things That have been going on here And told them so.

I consider you a person of some integrity, Except, you know, In your relations with women.


No, I don't want to play that stuff.

All right. I'll let him know.

Take the tortoise and the hare.

Ok, the tortoise won one race.

Do you think the hare is really gonna lose Any more races to turtles? Not on your life.

I liked that tortoise.

So do I, but if you were a betting person, Would you say, "that tortoise won against the hare.

In future races I'm backing him"?

No. That race was almost certainly a fluke, And, afterwards, the tortoise is still a tortoise, And the hare, a hare.

Domestic beer. A bud.

Mm-hmm.

Vodka tonic, please.

Um, I'll just have a coca-cola.

You're not drinking?

Alice is not having a cocktail?

I can't believe it.

Well, I'm not.

What is it?

Do you have strep throat or some flu You're taking antibiotics for?

Oh, my god! You have the clap, don't you?

You're on antibiotics, And the doctor told you not to drink Or something.

That's why you're not drinking.

Usually there's no coming between Alice And a cocktail.

How could you?

No. I'm sure I'm right.

The bottle of tetracycline On her bureau top.

Tetracycline's specific for the clap.

How could you say that?!

Oh, come on. Everyone gets something.

Alice.

I am so, so sorry.

I should never have said that.

I have some sort of sick compulsion To say everything that occurs to me.

I just want to let you know, As soon as I can find a new rooming situation, I'm moving out. I can't take it anymore.

It's not possible.

You're not serious.

Just let me know when you're ready to go.

Ok.

Please, Alice.

Rooming with you and Holly Has been the most important thing To happen to me in my life.

You're the first woman friends I've ever had.

The anger you're feeling now Is actually more justified than you know.

When we were at Hampshire, I really hated you.

You seemed so moralistic and judgmental.

I had no idea, then, how you really were.

When guys wanted to ask you out, I'd talk them out of it.

Oh, my god. I can't believe how evil I was.

But I've completely changed.

If you will give me another chance, I'll be the best friend you've ever had.

If the apartment situation weren't so impossible, I'd move out now.

I can understand how you'd feel that way.

You're right to.

But things aren't always as they seem.

Bad and inexcusable as what I said back there Might have been, I think you'll find It'll actually improve your reputation With these guys enormously.

You'll be more popular than ever. Watch.

VD's not all bad.

You'll find there are actually positive aspects to it.

What?

Well, you know that "please inform All previous partners" thing?

It's actually a terrific way To get back in touch With guys you might have liked But have lost contact with.

Just in my own experience, It's twice led to renewed relationships With guys that lasted quite a while And were really... sweet.

I'm not talking about herpes infections, Which are far more serious And apparently incurable, Just standard VD and other conditions Easily treatable with antibiotics.

God, are you following me or something?

You said you weren't taking anything.

Well, I'm not. It was a gift.

I never buy the stuff, And anyway, it hardly affects me.

Oh, no.

Actually, what I'm high about Is the situation with Alice.

This makes her seem much more accessible.

She's not operating on a plane So far removed from the rest of us.

There's hope for me.

What did Josh want to talk to you about?

Is everything ok?

Uh, no... not exactly.

I'm sorry to bug you about this, But I'd be really grateful If we could talk with Van soon.

The way it's going, if I can't get people in here, I'm going to lose my job.

Des! You lied to me!

I thought you were a wonderful man, But it was all lies!

No!

You said you loved me!

And then you said you were gay, But you're not!

Everyone knew but me!

You completely humiliated me!

I could be gay.

You're saying again you're gay?

Tell me honestly, Have you had sex with men?!

Well, that's defining it rather narrowly.

Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!

Bullshit!

Between games, as planned, A huge box containing thousands of disco records Was blown up.

The rest was unplanned.

Fans stormed out onto the field in the thousands.

Disco records were hurled like frisbees.

Bonfires were set. Bottles where thrown.

The batting cage was torn down and destroyed.

Fistfights broke out.

Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau, At his press conference, Congratulated prosecutors on their successful convictions In the probe of...

...speaking for the first time on his real estate task force's

18 convictions of executives at 6 commercial brokerages, Promised a vigorous prosecution Of corporate and white collar crime In a wide-ranging series of investigations...


I'll just be a second.


Alice, congratulations on the TV sale.

Thanks.

Hi.

Hi.

How's Holly?

Fine.

Is she, um, going out with anyone?

Yeah, this really nice guy who went to Denver university And works in real estate.

He found her this incredibly cheap apartment.

She no longer lives with you guys?

You hold what happened against me.

Not that you broke up, Just that you go out with people Based primarily on looks.

Holly's also very nice.

A lot of people are nice.

You only asked out the fabulously good-looking one.

You hold that against me.

Well, pretty shallow.

You know, Alice, except for politics, We've got a lot in common.

We're both pretty serious And, I think, respect each other's Bases for judgment.

Occasionally, I get reactionary thoughts, too.

I'm not reactionary.

Well, aesthetically.

Oh, well, aesthetically.

You mean you think I gave it to you?

How can you be sure?

I'm sure.

Well, you were a lot more active than I was.

You were obviously very experienced.

No.

Oh, come on.

How did you know all that?

Well, I read a lot.

You must've been with some guys.

You weren't a virgin.

I didn't consider myself a virgin, But... what?

I don't know.

Technically...

what?

If I'm making love, The man... spurts... outside the woman, Does that count as sexual intercourse?

"Spurts"?

If it squirts outside, without getting in, Does that count as losing your virginity?

No part of the man got in at any time?

I don't think so.

I think part has to get in... to be considered sexual intercourse.

So then I was a virgin.

Oh... I can't believe that.

The first time you make love, I...

I give you both "g" and an "h" infection.

"H"?

Your move.

I'm beginning to think that maybe That old system of people getting married Based on mutual respect and shared aspirations, And then slowly, over time, Earning each other's love and admiration, Worked the best.

Well, we'll never know.

Almost ready.

God, waiting around all night For the unemployed guy to get around to shaving.

You're so busy you can't shower until midnight?

Excuse me. Unemployed is not who I am.

I'm a fully-employed person Who just happens not to have a job right now, Largely because of some structural problems In the advertising industry.

I'm sorry. That was really inconsiderate.

Please forgive me.

Of course, if you talk enthusiastically About your work in advertising, You sound like a total cretin.

No. Your enthusiasm Is actually enormously appealing.

In fact, I used to not think so well Of people in advertising, But it's one of the great things About getting out of college and into the real world, How experience changes and improves your views.

During college, I remember seeing couples With crying babies and thinking "how horrible."

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time With my niece and nephew.

Saturday, I took my niece, who's 7, To see the Disney movie, Lady and the tramp. She loved it, Was so cute.

I'm beginning to fall in love With the whole idea of having kids.

I hate that movie.

What?

It's so... tacky, Not to mention depressing.

This sweet movie about cute cartoon dogs, You found depressing?

There is something depressing about it.

And it's not really about dogs.

Except for some superficial bow-wow stuff at the start, The dogs all represent human types, Which is where it gets into real trouble.

Lady, the ostensible protagonist, Is a fluffy blonde cocker spaniel With absolutely nothing on her brain.

She's great-looking, but... let's be honest...

Incredibly insipid.

Tramp, the love interest, Is a smarmy braggart of the most obnoxious kind:

An oily jailbird out for a piece of tail Or whatever he can get.

Come on.

No. He's a self-confessed chicken thief And all-around sleazeball.

What's the function of a film of this kind?

Essentially, it's a primer on love and marriage directed at very young people, imprinting on their little psyches the idea that smooth-talking delinquents recently escaped from the local pound are a good match for nice girls from sheltered homes.

When in 10 years, the icky human version Of tramp shows up around the house, Their hormones will be racing, And no one'll understand why. Films like this Program women to adore jerks.

God, you're nuts.

The only sympathetic character, The little Scotty who's so loyal and concerned about lady, Is mocked as old-fashioned and irrelevant And shunted off to the side.

Isn't the whole point that tramp changes?

Ok, maybe in the past he stole chickens, Ran around without a license, And wasn't always sincere With members of the opposite sex.

But through his love for lady And the beneficent influences Of fatherhood and matrimony, he changes... and becomes a valued member of that, You know, rather idyllic household.

I don't think people really change that way.

We can change our context, but we can't change ourselves.

What does that mean?

Well, you've changed.

Come on, Des.

That's a little different.

I agree with Josh.

The Scotty is the only admirable character.

It would have been a much better movie If lady'd ended up with him.

I'm really surprised.

I think tramp really changed.

Maybe he wanted to change, or tried to change, But there's not a lot of integrity there.

First, he'd be hanging around the house, Drinking and watching ball games And maybe knocking lady around a bit, But pretty soon he'll be back Down at the town dump chasing tail.

Oh, give me a break.

Are you taking your medication, 'Cause what you're saying is Completely nuts! God, Des... no! I think people should know That our friend here has a certain condition.

How can Morgenthau shut up! Employ you?

He knows about mass. Mental health And the loony tunes junior year?

Of course he knows about it.

God!

Jimmy, do you know where Alice is?

No. I don't know where she is.

Uh, excuse me.

Were you at Leo Burnett in Chicago?

Oh, my god, how are you?

Um, do you know Betty?

Jimmy Steinway, hi.

Hi.

Are you still with Ishmoco?

Yeah. There's a sales conference at the Americana.

I'm actually with the international side now, Based in Spain.

How's that?

Barcelona's beautiful, But, in human terms, uh, pretty cold.

How 'bout you?

I was at McCallum, but just got sacked.

Have you found anything else?

No.

Any leads?

No.

You know, there're a lot of agencies in Spain Looking for people with experience from here.

There's one in Madrid Some Burnett people have affiliated with.

I could give 'em a call.

That sounds great.

Michael.

Good times.

I don't identify with tramp at all.

I was just sticking up for him Because no one else was.

I actually identify With the loyal Scotty dog, too.

I've changed.


I can't continue on this case.

There's a conflict.

Well, we know that.

You told us. You know this guy...

Des McGrath.

That's ok.

No, but now there's a real conflict.

Hi. Hey.

God, what a dump.

Yeah.

No. I don't mean your place.

Outside.

Oh.

You iron your own shirts?

Well, if I'm going to court, I wear a laundry-ironed shirt, But, otherwise, I do it myself.

That's a great moment in life When you can start Sending all your shirts out for laundering.

At the agency, after my last promotion, I briefly had that.

In any case, I doubt I'll be working there much longer.

What?

I'm thinking of quitting.

You can't do that.

Why not? What's it to you?

You assured me if I helped you, You'd be around to protect Des.

Well, the situation's changed.

How's it changed?

I can't say.

You can't say.

Maybe Des is more involved than I thought.

Or more involved with someone you know.

That's a conflict, Josh.

I still can't believe Alice is really serious about Des.

Why not?

She seems smarter than that.

That doesn't matter. There's something Deeply ingrained in human biology.

Women prefer bad over weak and indecisive And unemployed.

I don't know about that.

You think they do prefer weak, indecisive, And unemployed?

Jimmy's terribly closed off now.

His previous girlfriends weren't very nice to him.

I still think I'll be able to break through To him emotionally at some point.

Oh...

Bernie wants to see you.

Could you wait for me?

Let's have breakfast together.

I have something I want to talk to you about.

Ok.

Come on.

18,886.

Uh, Bernie, you wanted to see me?

Yeah.

Sometimes I get the impression You hardly know me, Des.

I care about ideas.

I care about them a lot.

Did you know that in college, My senior paper was on Ernest Hemingway?

Thanks, baby.

I'm not a nice person, Des.

But some things are important, Such as loyalty.

Loyalty's not eyewash, not like niceness.

I've been loyal to you, Des.

I could've fired you, lots of times, But never did.

Maybe you're not aware of this, Des, But there's some sort of investigation underway.

I think to myself, "how could this happen?

"How could they get this information?

"Has some disgruntled employee, "Former or current, informed on us?

"Is there some sort of spy here?

How could agents even get in?"

I mean, really, They would stand out in this crowd And, normally, not get past the door.

Do you know how they got in?

Uh, no. Could Van be letting them in?

They're coming in as ad agency clients.

What?

Oh, I can't believe it.

After all I did for that guy.

So, you don't know anything about this investigation?

No! Well, a sort of acquaintance of mine Who now works in Morgenthau's office approached me, But I didn't tell him anything.

You didn't tell me about that.

I didn't think it was important.

It only just happened.

When? Tonight. Just now.

Why did you use the past perfect then?

I used the past perfect?

Yeah. "I was approached..."

Sounds like a while ago.

Des. Get away.

Don't talk to me.

Bernie knows about the investigation.

I haven't told you anything.

There was some leak at the precinct level.

Bernie had an informant, but it's been fixed.

It's not a problem any longer.

It's a problem.

I've never said anything to you.

You have to make that clear to everyone.

That doesn't matter.

What?

When everything comes down, It's gonna be very rough.

Your whole life will be open for examination, And it might not look so good.

Cut out the drugs, Des.

What?

Don't make such a spectacle of yourself as a drug user.

Don't receive them, don't consume them, And don't pass them on to others.

What are you talking about?

You could be charged with dealing.

Dealing? Those were gifts!

Well... who's accusing me of this?

This is you, isn't it, Josh?

That's a conflict. We both like the same girl.

So, you really want to go to a beef house?

A beetha.

A beefha.

A beefha.

They go topless at a beefha.

I hear San Sebastian's pretty good.

Oh, look, there's blood.

Ciao.

Ciao. Good night.

Look out.

Oh, god!

Oh, my god!

I didn't know anything about it.

The agency just funneled Clients they wanted to get into the club through me.

Usually, before I got into the car, I hadn't even met them.

I just assumed they were clients from out of town.

That the I.R.S. was our largest client Didn't occur to me then.

I swear I didn't know anything about it, Des, At first.

You scumbag.

Josh promised me you'd be protected.

Oh, great. What's a little shocking Is that they'd do something so obvious and clumsy And move so fast, No matter how richly I may feel you deserved it.

These were just some creeps Mad Van'd turned them away before.

Van's operating under tremendous pressure.

I'm starting to feel a lot of sympathy for the guy.

Oh, great. That's priceless.

You and Van, oh, I love that.

Oh!

Want a snort?

Guess not.

I have a very bad feeling about the club, Des.

It's like a meteorite is headed straight for it.

It's gonna destroy everything.

The greatest club the world has ever seen Is going to be smashed to smithereens.

Yeah, well, I don't think it'll be a meteorite.

Bye.

Alice and I are having breakfast together.

It's a date. You can't come.

Sorry.

Try to get some sleep.

That's what guys do who want to date you?

They say they have a book idea?

Maybe.

Did he say what the book was?

He said he had some crazy ideas For a book on the criminal justice system.

Of course. That makes sense.

Crazy ideas are the kind that Josh would have.

Be careful of that guy.

I was there when he flipped out.

Really scary.

He got up on a table at a cafeteria off Harvard square And started weirdly singing this hymn.

Apparently, religious mania is highly typical Of manic depression entering its manic phase.

Josh is not just your garden-variety loon.

He is a serious nutcase.

What gets me is that this serious nutcase Now presumes to judge others.

You really think the neurological effects of coffee Is similar to that of cocaine?

That's what I read somewhere.

In addition to amazing stories, There are a lot Of entertaining prosecutors' anecdotes.

And then there's the whole culture Of the downtown legal district.

It could be good.

Like everything, it all depends on execution.

This is sort of related.

It's an article I wrote for Harper's During law school.

Did you really just want to have lunch To discuss a book proposal?

Um... no.

How serious are you and Des?

Is it absolutely, completely, Irrevocably serious?

Did he tell you the story about How he was traumatized by a Radcliffe girl Taking off her shirt, Suddenly revealing her largish breasts, Which he never thought about before?

He tells that story all the time To get sympathy and to justify himself, As if he were the victim Of female aggressiveness and duplicity.

That wasn't true?

No, it was true. He was the victim Of female aggressiveness and duplicity, But so was everyone else.

Not everyone then went on a rampage Exploiting the opposite sex.

He thinks his problem is just that he falls in love a lot.

Well, a lot of people fall in love a lot.

I'm really surprised you'd be taken in by him.

You should notice I didn't answer your original question.

My original question, Whether you were absolutely committed to Des, You didn't answer?

What does "loon" mean?

Des calls me that.

I sort of like it.

It's, uh, short for "lunatic"

And also the lake bird with the eerie call.

It's the other terms Des uses for me...

"Nutcase," "freakazoid," etcetera...

I kind of mind.

A lot of people like to say They won't take "no" for an answer.

I just wanted you to know I'm not one of them.

I can be easily discouraged.

I will take "no" for an answer.

Ok.

No.

You don't mean that.

No.

I'm sorry. She's not in right now.

Ok. I'll have her call you back. Thank you.

Alice, sorry.

What?

You better see Bob.

Bob wants to see you right away.

It's something bad?

The author of your Tibet book doesn't exist.

He's a fraud.

Carol thinks it could be worse Than the Clifford Irving case.

Carol thinks it's as bad as the Clifford Irving case.

Turns out the author isn't the Dalai lama's brother, But a Los Angeles writer named John Disimio.

It's a shame. This is a really good book.

Dan thinks it's one of the best things Ever written on Tibetan Buddhism.

What a mess.

I'm sorry I haven't been more of a help.

I've been a little preoccupied myself.

I'm late for my period.

How late?

A day.

A day late, and you're worried?

I'm sure I'm pregnant.

But isn't that what you wanted?

What do you mean?

Well, I thought you said You wanted to have Jimmy Steinway's babies.

Yeah, but not this way.

I'm not an addict.

I'm a habitual user.

I'm sick of you and that nut case Going around judging everybody.

"Oh, he's an addict."

"Oh, he's basically honorable Except for his treatment of women."

I am not a womanizer.

In fact, I hate womanizers.

In any case, Alice completely changed all that.

Isn't that a little morbid?

Morbid?

Why take on all that baggage?

Isn't he a bit of a sicko?

From the start, you know he's defective.

Usually you don't find that out Until much later.

And what if you have kids?

It can be hereditary.

One thing about Jimmy:

I know he'll make a good father.

There's always some problem, some baggage.

Oh, my god, you're serious.

Well, not necessarily.

Coming.

Tonight I'm gonna tell Jimmy.

Wish me luck.

You know, I think my father could have Been an undiagnosed manic-depressive.

Hi. Uh, do you know Josh is downstairs waiting?

Yeah. Thanks.

Bye.

Bye. Bye.

Alice is so great.

I've gotta be a better friend to her.

Yeah.

Before leaving the D.A.'s office, I'd like at least once the chance to use The expression, "book this clown!"

Heh. I thought only police said that.

No, I think an A.D.A. could, In certain circumstances, Perhaps not very typical.

Are you aware All your clothes are slightly big?

I'm still waiting for my growing spurt.

Both my father and brother are over 6'3".

You can still grow in your twenties.

There are cases on record.

Tall people tend to have great personalities, This kind, compassionate comprehension Of the rest of the world.

My father and brother are both that way.

What's wrong?

Just remembering something.

What?

It's kind of maudlin.

It was here My depression first descended.

Oh.

"To the valiant seamen

"Who perished in the Maine By fate unwarned, in death unafraid."

Isn't this the strangest, Most forlorn monument?

Yeah, it's very sad.

What happened with your depression?

Nothing at first.

I just went back to Cambridge very depressed.

Then there was the incident at the Hayes-Bickford, After which I was taken to mass. Mental for observation.

While there, I cut my hand trying to open a stuck window, And they put me on a suicide watch, Though I don't think I was ever really suicidal, At least no more than a lot of people that age.

But you're ok now?

Uh... yeah.

Actually, a lot of people spend considerable sums of money To get the high I get absolutely naturally.

Now, with lithium, Which is, in fact, a naturally occurring salt, I can stay on a perfectly even keel, Perhaps too even.

Did they prescribe lithium right away?

Lithium wasn't so standard then.

There was a lot of muddling through various therapies.

Because my right hand was bandaged, I used my left to write friends cards, Which was a mistake.

My handwriting looked weird and really scared people.

I... I don't think I was ever that... that badly off, but others might disagree.

Do you know the words To the hymn dear lord and father of mankind?

While I was in the hospital, it became a sort of mantra.


What's wrong?

You think I'm a wacko?

What's wrong?

Uh, I don't know.

Charlotte's in terrible pain.

It's her back.

No, nothing happened.

We were just talking.

About what?

Charlotte said she had something important She wanted to talk to me about, But before we got to that, her period started.

Afterwards, I mentioned that it might be a good time To start thinking about Whether we were really right for one another Or we should start thinking about, You know, breaking up.

Josh hasn't called since that night.

Of course he hasn't.

What do you mean?

Oh, come on. You told me.

He sang a hymn or something.

You were totally weirded out.

I can't believe how intolerant you are.

Some of those old hymns are beautiful.

I've sung them on the street myself.

I didn't realize it was so controversial.


Sorry.

There are a couple of alternatives That aren't that that-bad.

First, some guy who's already been around a lot And almost certainly has it anyway, So it'd be no problem And, in fact, would give you something in common.

The other would be some guy So idealistic and in love with you That he'd want to commit himself to you Prior to that step because his dream would be To be with you forever, always, exclusively anyway.

I think skip's a bit that way.


What?

I need to see Des. It's urgent.

He's busy.

He'll wanna know this.

Des!

Des!

Des, open up!

I didn't let him in, Des.

He got by me.

Jesus Christ. Are you out of you mind?

It's about to start. Get rid of all your "gifts"

And anything else you might have.

Oh.

Step aside. Coming through.

Names.

Take this guy at the door.

We're on the list.

Jesus Christ, you're not gonna use that against me With Alice, are you?

Francesca was just feeling terribly needy tonight.

It has nothing to do with how I feel about Alice.

You're not gonna take unfair advantage of that.

Ok.

All right, let's go!

I'm a cop.

This way, gentlemen.

All right, let's go!

Downstairs first. Harry, Jack.

We're gonna come in here. This way.

You can't touch those.

Those are my personal papers.

Yeah. Well, they're part of the premises now, And as such, the warrant applies. Sam.

Book this clown.

Hi.

Hi.

What are you doing here in the dark?

I was just resting.

Have you seen Josh at all?

Yeah.

Is he ok?

Sure.

Why wouldn't he be ok?

I don't know.

He hasn't called in a while.

Josh is a bit thin-skinned.

He's the kind of guy who will take no for an answer.

Sag harbor.

Did you know I was sort of infatuated with you then?

I assumed you preferred Tom.

Also, you seemed a little... irritating.

How was I irritating?

Well... you weren't.

There's no chance of you Getting infatuated with me again, is there?

Just had to confirm that.

Let me keep your passport for you.

No.

Come on, help me out.

Should people just be allowed To steal from each other and the government, And out of selfishness or indifference Or a kind of fashionable cynicism, The rest of us do nothing?

I thought better of you than that.

You did?

Well, wrong again.

Listen, you've got all their books and all their documents.

Why do you need me who knew practically nothing?

This is the only body I've got.

Goodbye, Josh.

Kennedy airport.

Are you a bit of a cad, Leaving town with your girlfriend in the hospital?

It might look that way.

But it isn't?

I've been through this before.

After graduation, Laurie and I were gonna break up, But the same day, She came down with terrible back spasms.

I hung around the hospital all summer, And I almost bankrupted her parents.

And as soon as I left town, she recovered.

By going away and putting an ocean between us...

I.E., making a definitive break...

Charlotte's likely to recover much faster.

What makes you think putting an ocean between you Necessarily means a definitive break?

That's a depressing thought.

I'm gonna turn over a new leaf in Spain.

I'm gonna turn over several new leaves.

You know that Shakespearean admonition, "To thine own self be true"?

It's premised on the idea That "thine own self" is something pretty good, Being true to which is commendable, But what if "thine own self" is not so good?

What if it's pretty bad?

Wouldn't it be better in that case Not to be true to thine own self?

See? That's my situation.

The one I like is, "et tu, brute."

There are different ways of being loyal.

Some may seem on the surface disloyal, But they're not.

There's a higher loyalty.

The way I see it, Brutus was a good friend to Caesar.

By stabbing him in the back, Brutus was a good friend to Caesar?

You know, I probably should have stayed and testified.

Josh is right.

Bernie is a bad guy, probably worse than they know.

That's what Van thinks. Van's cooperating.

Staying and cooperating would have been the right thing to do, But instead I'm running like a rat Because to thine own self be true.

They say I can probably go home tomorrow.

Great.

There's something I've been meaning to ask you.

Do you think Jimmy's going away could have Had anything to do with him, you know... having some sort Of bizarre, pathetic crush on you?

I don't know.

Well, did he ever say anything?

Yes.

What?

Well, he...

"Why don't you love me Instead of jerks like Des and Josh?"

That kind of thing?

I knew it.

You bitch!

I knew it was something like that.

I don't think I want to room with you anymore.

Being around you hasn't been good for me or my back.

I'd like you to move out.

I don't know how I'll afford it, But my sanity and my integrity Are more important to me than money.

I have to start looking out for myself now.

Have you heard the news?

No, what?

They're selling the company.

What?

We're merging with Simon & Schuster.

There'll be the usual consolidation And economies of scale.

A lot of us are gonna lose our jobs.

God, that's sad.

I love the company.

They've been so great to us there.

Well, I don't know.

We were exploited, But they were nice about it.

Maybe it'd be good if they got rid Of some of the deadwood in that company, Particularly if it meant paying the rest of us Decently enough to live in this city With at least a modicum of privacy.

Why don't we do something?

Like what?

Well, at this time of day, Employed people often have lunch.

I can't. I've gotta go uptown.

Why?

Alice and I are having lunch.

You're having lunch with Alice?

Great. Let's all go.

It's, uh, at Lutece.

You're on unemployment And taking Alice to Lutece?

Um, doesn't irrational expenditures Signal the start of a manic phase?

If it were my invitation, you'd be right, But it's not.

Alice is taking you to Lutece?

Why'd she take you?

Celebrating her promotion.

When Alice wants to celebrate something, She calls you?

Alice made editor?

Associate editor.

Well, what happened with her book?

I thought it was some kind of fiasco.

What Alice did, rather cleverly, Was shift the category From nonfiction to self-actualization.

The book jackets hadn't been printed yet.

Reincarnation, life after death...

Mumbo jumbo of all kinds Has been highly commercial Throughout the history of book publishing.

The first printed book was the bible.

Actually, I'm not upset I was laid off.

This'll motivate me to get a better job in television, Which is where my interests truly lie.

I've watched television all my life.

If you're really Interested in television, You should come over and watch Wild kingdom sometime.

Sure.

Are you taking the "e" train?

Yeah.

$2. Thanks.

Hey, Van!

What happened?

Ah, the new owners couldn't make it work.

Finally had to hire people to stand outside, Pretend that they couldn't get in.

Anyway, disco's over. It's dead.

What do you mean?

Well, people just aren't going out like they used to.

They're tired.

Some are sick or strung out.

It's not just the prosecutions And all the owners that Bernie squealed on.

Could part of it be related to the herpes epidemic?

Maybe. I've got a friend At Casablanca records and tapes, And she says that, like, 2 months ago, The bottom dropped out of all disco record sales.

Suddenly, it's... dead, over.

God, that's sad.

We're getting older.

We've lived through a period that's ended.

It's like dying a little bit.

Disco will never be over.

It will always live in our minds and hearts.

Something like this, that was this big And this important and this great, Will never die.

Oh, for a few years, maybe many years, It'll be considered pass? And ridiculous.

It will be misrepresented And caricatured and sneered at, Or worse, completely ignored.

People will laugh about John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, white polyester suits And platform shoes and going like this.

Though we had nothing to do with those things And still loved disco.

Those who didn't understand will never understand.

Disco was much more and much better than all that.

Disco was too great And too much fun to be gone forever.

It's got to come back someday.

I just hope it will be in our own lifetimes.

Sorry. I've got a job interview this afternoon, And I was trying to get revved up, But most of what I said, I, uh, believe.

I was pretty furious when you had My passport lifted, confiscated, At the airport, but you were right.

I'm glad I stayed.

At least you saved me From being stuck in some foreign city With the likes of Jimmy Steinway.

But there's one thing I don't get.

You did a good job with the prosecution, Getting Bernie to squeal that way.

Why'd they lay you off?

There was a conflict involving Giving preferential treatment to a friend Which they felt I handled badly.

Oh.

Well, congratulate Alice for us.

Bye.

Bye.

Bye.

I don't envy her, though, stuck in book publishing.

Oof. Yeah.

I've gotta get to unemployment and sign up.

I'm going to Florida this afternoon.

So long.

Bye. Bye.

One of the things that makes me happy in life Is knowing that I don't envy anyone.

I don't want to be anybody else Or do anything but what I'm doing, Which, right now, is nothing, But I have good projects for the future.

Can I speak honestly?

Yeah.

You and I are similar.

We both got big personalities.

That's good. The world, frankly, needs more big personalities.

But perhaps ours burn too brightly, Are too big for people with normal, healthy-size personalities like Alice or abnormal, healthy-sized personalities like Josh or itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, polka-dot-bikini-size personalities like Jimmy Steinway.

That's why I'm confident I'll ultimately be successful in television.

Absolutely. See, one of the problems Of finding the right person and settling down Is it takes all the fun and interest Out of going to nightclubs.

I mean, if you're already living with somebody, Why bother going out?

Getting seriously involved with someone really just means ruining your nightlife.

What I mean to say is, Jimmy, Alice, Josh... so what?

That's what I say.

I think I agree with you.