The Perfect Man (2005) Script

Holly, you've gotta open up. I'm not so sure about this. Come on open the door, tough guy. Okay.

You look awesome. Turn.

I cannot believe that you talked me into going to the dance.

I thought you said you've been to like, a million schools.

Schools, a million. Dances, zero.

I'll get it.

Go.

It's a simple matter of self-preservation.

I mean, when you move around a lot... you just don't let yourself get attached.

Much less, make plans to go to school dances.

I hate to break it to you, but in exactly one week... your streak is officially going to end.

Maybe you're right.

Surprise!

Come in. Jean.

We need to talk.

What?

Jean.

Why? How could you? Jean.

Wait, don't you "Jean" me. Just calm down. Please, calm down.

We can be civilized about this.

I'll be right back.

Civilized?

Just calm down. No, why are you telling me this?

Are you in love with her? She meant nothing to me.

Well, technically, they meant nothing to me.

"They"?

"They?"

Look on the bright side. It's out of my system.

Have a nice day.

Explain this to me again.

Patsy's back.

It's packing time.

Does this mean you're not going to the dance?

We'll be gone by the end of the week.

I'll stay in touch.

Bye.

I'll miss you.

Where are we going this time?

There's a spot open at Dolores' bakery.

You know, I've always wanted to go there... and you kids will love Brooklyn.

It's time for a new adventure and...

I'm sorry, honey.

I know you were finally making some friends here.

It's no biggie.

There's friends everywhere. Right?

Hey, all you bloggers. It's me: Girl on the Move. Well, here's a big shocker. My mom got her heart broken. Again. Yep, we're starting off on another big adventure. That's my mom's word for running away.

"T- I-C" Tic.

Trick.

Stick.

Come on, little Miss Mary Sunshine.

Play the game. Give us a word with "tic" in it.

Fine.

Tragic.

Fantastic.

Pathetic.

Ecstatic.

Thank you.

Sarcastic.

Psychotic.

It's genetic.

By some miracle... my mom only got one speeding ticket the whole way. It's Miss Jean Hamilton.

Are you married?

He should write her a ticket for reckless flirting.

Wow!

I will say one thing, though. For those of you who haven't done it yet... put "Must see New York skyline"... on your list of things to do before you die.


Oh, wow!

Oh, girls!

I bet it's full of quaint details, pretty moldings on the ceilings... and old hardwood floors.

And charming little rat droppings in the breakfast nook.

How delightful. Cut it out.

It's going to be perfect.

The sad thing is, I'm actually getting good at this. If all else fails, I have a very promising future... as a professional mover. Our new apartment has history and character. And exotic local wildlife.

My mom calls it home. I call it the Witness Relocation Program.

Mommy, look!

There it is. I told you.

The same one as in Wichita.

It still comes out every night.

Even in hard times.

To remind us that every day holds the potential for beauty.

It's getting late, and I'm wiped. So, time to hit the sheets. Even though I have no idea which box they're in. Keep reading my on-line journal for more days... in the life of a teenage gypsy. I'll be here. The same me, just a different zip code.


No! That's it! I'm not going. You go with him.

Sorry.

Check her out. Hey, you.

Yeah, you.

How much your kicks cost you?

What?

I paid $50 for mine.

You? Free.

I pulled them out of a garbage can somewhere in Portland.

You win.

See you, freak.

Hey, you're new here?

Yeah, how'd you know? Your skin.

My skin looks new? It looks virgin.

No piercing, no tats.

See, us Brooklyn girls, we lose our skin virginity by fifth grade.

In fifth grade, I was just learning long division.

Attention, all students. Check in with your homeroom monitor each day... That stinks.

You're going to have to take your yearbook photo... with all the losers who missed it in the fall.

I don't do yearbook photos.

You have no choice.

It's like taxes and death.

Mandatory pain. If you don't do it yourself... they'll hunt you down like an animal and force you to smile.

Not if I'm not here anymore, they won't.

I'm so glad you came. Thanks.

Now, we keep the mixers in the back.

But I got to warn you, they're all older than God.

They don't really mix very well... they just kind of move things around.

So I hope your manual mixer's in real good shape.

And watch out for our no-good oven.

It's worse than that one in Chapel Hill.

Off by a good 10 degrees.

Well, you know me.

I'm off by way more than that. Yes, you are.

And this is Gloria. Gloria, this is Jean... the one I was telling you about. Really nice to meet you.

Likewise.

Do you know anything about wilting rose petals?

The fondant's too soft.

You need to add more cornstarch.

See, I told you she was good.

No wonder my rum cakes always look so drunk.

Help me. I like you.

You never eat the cakes?

You made it on time? Yeah, I'm here.

Attention, all students. Talent show auditions will take place... this Friday evening in the auditorium. Come on out and show us what you got.

That's my seat.

Is there assigned seating?

No, but... Why don't you take one of those?

I don't like sitting up front.

Me, neither.


Isn't it big?

It's gorgeous! It's so heavy.

I need a crane to lift my finger.

Well, baby, if he's any good at all... you'll never have to lift a finger again.

I'm so glad I listened to you.

He was a customer.

Dolores coached me through the whole thing.

When to give him an extra doughnut, when to hold back.

You never told me that. I told you.

You just didn't want to listen.

So I've had a few bad relationships.

Honey, if ex-boyfriends were dollars... you'd be loaded by now.

Now, baby, what you gotta do is...

Mom, what you gotta do is sign my enrollment form.

4:00 already?

Girls, this is my daughter, Holly.

Hi. I'm going to get my purse.

Look at you! All grown up.

Got your little speed bumps and everything.

Welcome to Brooklyn, Holly.

See you girls tomorrow.

Don't embarrass her. I've known her for so long.

So, tell me. How was it?

It was good. Tell me more.

Excuse me, real quick, I was just, I was over here.

I was just wondering, did it hurt at all?

Did what hurt?

When you fell. You know, from heaven.

'Cause I was just thinking with a face like that... you gotta be an angel, right?

Has that line ever worked for you?

Well, I got you to laugh, right? That's Step One.

I'm Lenny Horton. I'm the bread manager.

I make, you know, the bread.

We got Italian bread, French bread, bulky rolls... different kinds of kaiser rolls, pita bread.

You like pita bread? I'm Jean.

This is my daughter, Holly.

Hey, how you doing, Holly?

Great, and I think we gotta go before you learn Step Two.

Lenny, tell me you didn't use the heaven line.

First days at new schools always feel the same. Like suddenly you're on a new planet, breathing a new atmosphere. Can you scan this into Match. Com?

Mom, I'm busy.

Doing what?

Do you have to do this right away?

Can't you just wait this time... and see if you meet a guy the normal way?

Have you seen these lines?

I am in a race against time.

Now get on in there and scan this thing.

Every second counts. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

If a student brings a cell phone to school, it will be confiscated... regardless of how...

Excuse me. I don't even know why we're here.

It's not like they're going to be my teachers four months from now.

That's negative imaging, Holly.

...are not permitted in the school building.

Only winter hats will be permitted between the months of November... and February and kept in your lockers.

Now, I'd like to introduce to you the Head of our Guidance Department.

Dr. Charles Fitch. All right, Fitchy!

Hey, Fitch!

Hey, Dr. Fitch! Hey there, everyone.

Let me tell you how I run the Guidance Department.

I have an open-door policy, which means you can stop by my office... whenever you want.

I also have an open-mind policy.

There are no stupid questions.

So please, if you have something on your mind, knock on my door.

Mom.

Or raise your hands.

Woman in the back. Go ahead. Hi.

Instead of once a year, have you considered a monthly forum where... students and teachers could exchange thoughts in an effort to enhance... communication and bridge gaps?

That's a...

That's a great comment, Mrs...

Miss Hamilton.

I also wondered if you'd thought of monthly mixers for single parents.

Not that I don't want to meet married parents as well.

I would.

It's just that sometimes we single parents... have different concerns than married ones.

Different priorities. If you know what I mean.

And by priorities I mean:

I need to meet a good man.

In that case, where do I sign up?

Okay, well, this was interesting.

Where were we here?

So you're just not going to talk to me for the rest of your life?

Come on, Holly.

Every unmarried parent there appreciated the suggestion.

Did it ever occur to you that the point of the meeting... wasn't for the needs of the single parent?

That the point of the meeting was maybe for, I don't know... the kids? Well, sure.

I was just thinking... About you!

Because you're always thinking about you.

She's doing it again. Only this time, I can't smile and play along. Because the truth is I'm tired... of bubble-wrap and change of address cards, of figuring out new towns... and finding new friends. It's just not fun anymore. It's just not.

You know what the entire student body... is talking about this morning?

The Krispy Kreme truck that got in a wreck on Eighth Avenue.

There's donuts everywhere.

It's a total free-for-all.

Between the excitement and the sugar buzz, everyone's pretty much... forgotten everything that happened before 8:00 this morning.

It could have been worse.

Don't worry, it will be.

It always starts the same.

I mean, she starts out hopeful, and then when the perfect man... doesn't come around in two weeks, she gets desperate... and hooks up with some loser.

Some guy who's not even good enough to mop her floors.

And then, when it doesn't work out, because it never works out... we pack up and move again, and there's nothing I can do about it.

I can't even run away because that's what she does.

I thought you said you didn't mind all the moving around.

I didn't. I mean, I don't. I just got here.

The River Bistro.

What are we doing here?

I can't even afford to pee in a place like this.

Much less actually eat here.

Relax, it's under control.

My uncle's the owner.

Him?

You've got to be kidding. No, him.

No, you didn't do that, did you?

Well, how long did you keep her waiting?

What? An hour?

Of course she's mad.

What? Hold on.

This is Holly. Hi.

Hi, Holly. Nice to meet you.

Why wouldn't she be mad?

Well, there's only one thing you can do: Flowers.

And you can't go cheap, either. Nope.

A dozen, long-stemmed.

He knows about females.

He knows more about females than I know about females.

In my opinion, roses always work, always.

He doesn't actually believe that, does he?

But who am I to know?

Call me tomorrow and let me know how it worked out. Bye.

Yes, I do believe that. Don't you?

That flowers always work? Yeah.

Not if the guy's a loser.

The flowers aren't going to change anything.

Flowers are just flowers, right?

Wow, your friend's so cynical.

Sounds like she's not into romance.

You know what?

This is for you. Why?

Because a flower like this is perfect.

And giving a woman a dozen of them, it's like saying... there is such a thing as perfect.

And it's out there.

Don't give up. You'll find it.

Really?

A yellow rose says all of that?

Actually a yellow rose is for your sick grandma.

For a woman, a red rose.

But if you really want to knock her socks off, you give her an orchid.

Why? What do orchids say?

You ever seen an orchid?

How it floats in the water, so delicate and beautiful?

When a woman gets an orchid... well, she feels like... she's floating on a cloud of infinite possibility.

I swear I'll pay you back.

I still don't get how flowers from you will fix things.

Well, they're not flowers, they're orchids.

And they're not from me. They're from her perfect man.

Then let him pay.

I would, if he existed.

I'm lost.

Do you remember what your uncle said?

An orchid will make my mom feel special.

Which will make her happy. And not so desperate.

Which would make me happy, and then everybody wins.

Holly? What?

Are you sure this is a good idea? I'm sure.

A few flowers never hurt anyone.

"Annoying mammal. "

Six letters.

Hey, Mom. Badger.

Boy, am I thirsty.

Was that the buzzer?

Five letters for "In line to get, maybe. "

Mom, wasn't that the buzzer?

The Times thinks they're so clever.

I've got to go take a shower right now.

Hey.


Excuse me.

Hello, that's my flower.

No, it's not, it's mine.

Is your name Jean? No, that's my girlfriend.

Okay, what's the card say?

It says, "To my dearest girlfriend...

"on her birthday, I love you so... " Give me my flower back.


Could you be any more crazy?

I was just bringing them to you.


Wow! How beautiful.

Who are those for? Me.

Isn't that weird, someone left me flowers?

Who? What's the card say? Let's see.

"How many women can look like a goddess in a bakery uniform?

"You are a vision. "

Who sent them?

"A Secret Admirer. "

Who could it be?

Well, obviously, someone that saw you at the shop.

Yeah, but how would he know my name?

Well, you wear a nametag, don't you?

Or where I live? Duh? Google.

Or that I love orchids?

Maybe he followed you home.

It's very strange.

No, it's probably scary.

Mom, look, this is the most romantic thing... that a man has ever done for you.

Quit questioning it and enjoy it.

You are absolutely right.

Why are you wearing jeans under your robe?

How would you like to have bruises all over your body?

Your uncle is a genius.

It worked? She was singing happy songs!

She never sings happy songs.

Yeah, well, neither do I, but don't send me flowers, okay?

I like it that way.

Hey.

Hey, check it out. Do I got juice or what? Look at Jean.

A little attention from me and she's all poofed up like a peacock.

It's the guy peacock who poofs up.

You know what I'm saying. It's an animal thing.

She's like a lioness letting the lion know she's ready.

It's the guy lion who poofs up, too.

People, don't forget to read Chapters 42 and 43.

There will be a test on Friday.

Peter, can I see you a minute, please?

Hurry up!

What's that?

Nothing. Is that supposed to be me?

No, it's somebody else.

The face.

This looks exactly like my face.

No, it isn't.

Okay, the face a little bit.

But that woman is on a horse.

You're not on a horse.

That's a completely different person.

It's pretty good.

My dad sponsored comic book conventions when I was a kid.

He'd take me.

If you hang around long enough, you pick it up.

So you hung out with your dad a lot?

No. Actually, after he and my mom split up... that's pretty much the only thing we did together.

But, hey, at least I learned how to draw, right?

Divorce as a career builder. That's nice.

So, hey, have you ever been?

Divorced? Not yet.

No, to a comic convention.

No, not that, either.

Well, there's one coming up.

Six weeks from now. Westside Convention Center.

It sounds geeky, but it's kind of fun.

Yeah. I'm not much of a planner, you know.

Has anyone been asking for me?

Like who? I don't know.

Anyone? No.

Hey, Jean.

This has your name written all over it.

Dolores, you're crazy.

No! She's right. You're way too good for this place.

This contest is for professionals.

I mean, I'm basically a salesperson.

Explain this to me.

How come when it's a man you're looking at... you're blind to his flaws... but when it's you, flaws is all you see?

Hmm? Mmm.

Is it you?

Yeah, it's me, babe.

Hi.

Hi.

I love orchids. Thank you.

This is a rose. Which I also love.

So are you free Saturday night?

What did you have in mind?

Nothing short of rocking your world, babe.

Well, my world doesn't rock that easy.

That's right, make him work for it, girlfriend.

That's on account of you've never had... your world rocked by Lenny "The World-Rocker" Horton.

Okay.

Let's say I check my social calendar... and it turns out I am free Saturday night.

Where are we going?

Only to hear the greatest American band... ever to pipe out a power ballad.

Styx concert.

Something I've never done.

You're a Styx newbie?

These are really hot tickets.

I must really like you.

Okay, so Saturday night. Saturday.

Saturday.

What? Stop!

It's impossible that Lenny is your secret admirer.

Nothing's impossible.

No. Some things are.

Like a man that sends you an orchid, the most romantic flower... and then turns around and sends you a yellow rose.

That's the kind of flower... that someone sends their sick grandmother in the hospital.

I'll get it.

Mom, please, can you just listen to me?

I read that note, okay?

A man like that... a poet, he doesn't take a woman to a Styx concert.

Well, it's different.

So is a peanut butter and glue sandwich.

That doesn't mean you eat it.

Holly, I like this guy. He seems to like me.

Would it kill you to give him a chance?

Princess Zoe? Yes.

You can tell I'm a princess from all my beautiful necklaces.

N- E-C-K-L-A-C-E-S.

Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.

Hi, Lenny.

Wow, Jean. Whoa! Great outfit.

Damn, where did you get that?

Who's-a-hottie. Com?

All right. So, you got everything you need?

Yeah. Let me just put this on. Okay.

Hey, Holly, your mom said that Saturday night is movie night.

So, what do you say on me... you take Princess Zoe here, you guys go see Bambi?

I'm not actually sure that Bambi is still in theaters.

Which is such a shame because I'm just dying to take... my 7-year-old little sister to a movie where the mom gets... killed by the evil male hunter.

I want to go see that.

Thank you, Lenny. That's very nice of you.

Thank you, Lenny. That's very nice of you.

Be good.

Wow! It's great.

Yeah, it's a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am two-door hardtop.

Got the original paint, the original exhaust.

I re-built the tranny, tweaked the mill.

And as a matter of fact, I got... some new passenger mats right here, so would you mind... just taking your shoes off? Before you get in?

I should have bought a pair of those hospital booties.

Wait, do you have any?

Let me guess.

The sick-grandma argument didn't fly?

She barely even heard it. She was too busy picturing herself as Mrs. Lenny Hair Band.

He's got to be derailed.

By what? I don't know. Listen, I'm going to drop Zoe off at Dolores'... and I'll meet you at the Bistro in 20.

Ice cream is going to help.

No, but your uncle will.

He knew exactly what to do about the orchids... and he'll know what to do next.

Ciao.


Lenny, I don't think that's Styx.

No, they're Kilroy, they're a tribute band to Styx.

Yeah, the singer's not as good as the original.

But if you close your eyes, you can't even tell the difference.

Yeah, you can tell.

We have a question.

Mel, put those two tables together.

Kid, can it wait? I'm a little busy.

No, it's really important. It's for our school assignment.

Due tomorrow.

We need to know what the perfect man would do... as a follow-up to the orchid.

Well, can't we talk about it tomorrow?

Wait, what could be more important than the perfect man?

Duh, perfect shoes.

Lance, please.

Don't "Lance, please" me.

Take a break and help these girls out.

You try the new Shiraz... sit at your table and let good old Lance handle the floor.

All right. Five minutes.

Don't play with your hair at the bar, Lance.

So, what are you writing a school paper on, dating or something?

Yeah.

Well, what class would that be? English.

I'm looking at romantic heroes, like in literature.

You know... Romeo.

Right, or Heathcliff.

Taking guys like that... and comparing them to their real-life counterparts.

But you don't believe in romance.

I'm stretching.

Well, girls, I'm really not an authority on this.

Hot!

What makes today's Perfect man perfect?

What is it that he says or does that makes him a woman's perfect man?

Well, that depends. Every woman's different.

But yet, orchids work for all of them?

Well, as a gesture, they do. I mean, but that's just a...

That's a beginning, that's...

He's got to have a deeper connection than that.

He's got to know what makes her tick.

Which is why, if you don't know who the woman is... it's rather a moot point.

She listens to Patsy Cline when she's sad.

Hypothetically.

Say she does.

Then what?

Patsy Cline's her sad music?

Wait a minute.

Now.

This is very happy music.

Keep it. But you know what?

Even if he does cheer her up... he can't be a guy that's afraid of tears.

It's like he wrote it about us.

What if she's into word games?

Scrabble, you know, stuff like that?

Oh, yeah. Good stuff.

A little wit, a little wordplay. I like that.

And if she's been dumped a lot? Then what?

A lot?

That's a tough one.

I guess the perfect guy would be...

He'd be someone who could...

He could be anywhere in the world... but he chooses to be with her because... life is better with her by his side.

What do you think? Did I pass the test?

Very nice to meet you.

Stop it!

Big problem.

Hey, cutie. Hi, Amber.

Hey, okay. Designer dress, bias cut, wedding chic.

Where's the problem?

It's a small fortune.

No, that's a lie. It's a large fortune.

It's your day. Do it.

Really? Yeah.

I adore you.

Okay, what about the cake?

You know what, girls? I got to go to work. Really.

I was thinking of something layers, chocolate, strawberry.

Amber, let's talk about it tomorrow.

Lance, step away from the purse.

She's gorgeous. Yeah.

Together they look like the winners of a genetic lottery. Come on.

Here, let me get this for you. You got it?

Thanks. Well, Lenny, I... Whoops, we're wet. Watch it.

I don't even know what to say. It's been...

Now, Jean, I had a fantastic time.

I got to tell you, I really, you know.

I really, I could get used to this.

You're a good kisser.

It was a really good time.

All right. So, I'll see you at work, okay?

My shoes. I'm sorry.

How was the '80s flashback?

You scared me!

His stupid car is louder than a jumbo jet.

He probably woke up the whole entire neighborhood.

Holly, for me, would you give Lenny a chance?

Mom, for me, would you go slow this time?

You don't know who else is out there.

No, but here's what I do know:

Tonight I had a pretty good time.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave

"When first we practice to deceive!"

Who wants to talk about what that means?

He needs to write her a letter. Who?

The perfect man.

Adam, care to elucidate?

Yeah, you.

What do you think Sir Walter Scott was talking about?

You're going to forge a letter? I have to. If I don't... my mom's going to be walking down the aisle... to the sound of Mr. Roboto. Well, I think, it's that lies get complicated.

Because?

Usually if you tell a lie, you have to tell another lie.

Except she's totally going to recognize my handwriting.

She won't recognize mine. True.

And each lie turns into another lie... and another lie, and it makes things complicated.

Until, eventually, you're left with this big mess of lies... that you can't find your way out of.

We'll do it right after school. Perfect.

Perfect. All right. I'll buy that.

Alana, what does "tangled web" symbolize?

What if she's into word games?

Scrabble, you know, stuff like that?

Oh, yeah. Good stuff. A little wit, a little wordplay. I like that. I know what I'm doing borders on delusional... but what can I say?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Trust me. If you met Lenny... you'd lick the envelope and lend me a stamp.

Hi.

Where did her troops go?

She needed some quiet time... to think things out.

What kind of things?

Well, you know, like what her next step is.

You know, whether she's going to form... a powerful alliance with a prince or go it alone.

Which is she gonna choose?

I think she's going to go with the prince.

Really? Oh, yeah.

He's kind of a great guy, you know.

He's handsome. He's very nice.

And the thing with the...

Jousting. Jousting. Yes.

You should see him joust. He is like Joe Jouster.

Any time that anybody ever wants to hang out with him... he's like "Guys, I can't. I've gotta practice my jousting. "

Do you want to sit?

No.

I made plans with someone. So...

I thought you weren't much of a planner.

Yeah. Right.

Holly? Do you think we're going to stay here?

I don't know. Why?

There's a big spelling bee coming up with all the other schools.

My teacher entered me.

I bet you're going to win that. You're the best speller I know.

Yeah. Only, it's not for a couple of months.

Well, you never know, we might still be here.

I hope so. I've never entered anything.

Hi, girls.

Mommy, are you sick?

What?

You don't look normal.

I got a letter.

What kind of letter?

It's a love letter.

What does it say?

One second.

Hey, you! Give me that!

"My dearest Jean.

"The letters J-E-A-N used to spell out just another word for denim. "

This guy is great, Mom.

"But, since I found you, I hear those four-letter words...

"and all I think about is another four-letter-word:

"love. L-O-V-E."

Love? Yeah.

He loves you? That's what he said.

Zoe, he's trying to be romantic.

"Being near you is like standing on a triple word score. "

He plays Scrabble.

"Everything matters three times as much.

"The sun shines three times as bright...

"and I am three times as happy. "

What's this?

He gave you a present? I like him now.

Smart, witty, romantic.

You can't still think this guy is Lenny, right?

It is kind of hard to picture Lenny playing Scrabble.

Come on, Mom, let's dance.

You go, Mom!

Mom.

No! Come on.


I can't believe it.

And he sent you a present, too?

Yeah, a CD of a band I'd never heard of, but I loved.

It's like he knows me better than I know myself.

So why is he hiding?

He's not hiding. He's just... Just what?

Excuse me? Can you help me?

Dinner's ready.

There must be something wrong with him.

Who? Mr. Wonderful.

What? No, there's nothing wrong with him. He's perfect.

Then why all the secrecy?

Why doesn't he just come on over, show his face, and say hello?

Like a normal person.

Listen to yourself.

The man wants to be the least bit romantic... and all of sudden you think he's not normal.

How do I know if he is? And if he is, what does he look like?

Is he tall, is he short?

Does he have blond, curly hair, straight, black hair, what?

I bet he has a big, fat wart on his nose.

I bet that he's really, really handsome.

And how would you know?

He writes like he's really handsome.

Honey, have you seen pictures of Shakespeare? Bald, skinny.

Does that even really matter?

Yes. Because you can't have a relationship with a man... you've never laid eyes on.

Honey, I've got a party of 50 coming in a half an hour.

It will only take a second.

Oh, You can take my picture. Just be sure to get my good side.

Over here, Brad Pitt. Over here, David Spade, not so cute.

No, I'm just swamped, I'm sorry.

Hey, Uncle Ben, what's that stuff you put on top of your spinach salad?

Parmesan what? Cheese.

Ben. It's a nice name.

Uncomplicated. Dependable. Ben.

And it's way better than Lenny. And he's way cuter than Lenny.

Don't you be mean about Lenny. He's a good egg.

Just not the egg for me.

I like this egg. I want this egg to be my boyfriend.

When's he coming over? As soon as he gets back.

Well, where did he go?

He's opening up a new restaurant in China.

And the phone lines there are impossible, evidently.

So as soon as he gets back, he's going to call.

Cool. What else does the letter say?

That's private. Excuse me.

China. How are we ever going to get a stamp from China?

We won't.

Now that he's traveling, he asked her to send... her e-mail address to his e-mail address.

He has an e-mail address?

Brooklyn Boy, this new account that I'm setting up.

Well, at least it's consistent, since everyone lies in cyberspace.

But we can't use the computer at my house in case my mom finds it.

I'd offer ours, except my brother's on 24/7... buying those little Yu-Gi-Oh cards on eBay.

Who else?

It's kind of messy.

It's kind of dark.

Oh, yeah.

Should be on.

Thank you so much for letting me do this.

You must think that I'm crazy, but at least my mom's happy, you know.

It's such a change...

'cause she usually spends most of her time depressed or with idiots.

Maybe I should try it.

My mom only smiles once a month when the alimony check comes.

And if she's been dumped a lot? Then what?

A lot?

That's a tough one. I guess the perfect guy would be... He could be anywhere in the world... but he chooses to be with her because... life is better with her by his side.

Dear Passionate Baker... I'm spending my days with very serious business people... and I know I should be listening to every word they say... But all I keep thinking is... what am I doing all the way in China?

Unbelievable. Listen to this. Come on. Let's go.

It's from Ben.

"I planned this restaurant before I'd ever laid eyes on you.

"If I had to do it over...

"I'd buy the building right next to yours and open there. "

He'd rather be with me.

Why don't you write him back?

Good.

Excuse me.

Dear Brooklyn Boy... if your food's half as good as your letters... nothing would make me happier than having your restaurant on my block. But I'd hate to deprive the nation of China... of that kind of satisfaction. So open your restaurant there first. Dear Passionate Baker... as long as I'm in the kitchen cooking... it doesn't matter where I am.

It's a real specific kind of satisfaction, isn't it... cooking for people?

I'm only a baker, but I put as much creativity and passion... into my cakes as a painter puts on a canvas. Granted, when all's said and done, all I've made is a cake. But then again, you can't eat the Mona Lisa.

Waiting, the Passionate Baker. Dear Passionate Baker... creativity and passion, huh?

I'm starting to figure out what makes you tick.

And as for the Mona Lisa... after a few thousand years... people are going to get tired of her smile. But a good fudge brownie is eternal. Dear Brooklyn Boy... I'm modest about some things, but not this. I make the best fudge brownies on the planet. Well, it just so happens... I make the best homemade ice cream. Ice cream and brownies. Now that's a good combo. That's all I'm looking for. My own good combo. Someone I can bring out the best in... and someone that brings out the best in me.


How you doing?

Surprise, surprise.

Lenny, there's something I need to tell you.

We don't need words.

I know what you're going to say. And I feel the exact same way.

No, this is important for me to say.

I met someone... "And his name is Lenny...

"and he's rocking my world. " I know.

And I know you're scared. I'm scared, too.

But I also know if the world turned upside down... baby, I know you'd always be around my mind.

The best of times.

These are "the best of times. "

I met someone else.

What?

I mean, I didn't meet someone, but I might.

But the perfect man is standing right here, next to my cuddles.

Lenny, I'm sorry. I really am.

You are a great guy.

I'm sorry this wasn't...

"the best of times. "

Hey.

I'm in the middle of writing my mom an e-mail and she just logged on.

IM her. Should I?

Yeah, It will make Ben seem more real, won't it?

Okay.

Fancy running into you here.

What time is it there?

Late.

I thought it would be morning.

It is. Late morning. What are you doing?

Just thinking. About what?

You'd be bored.

Try me. If I stop replying, you'll know I fell asleep.

Well, I have kids. Have I mentioned that?

No. That's great.

Two daughters. Seven and sixteen.

They're lucky to have you as a mom.

You are the only person on earth who would say that. And it's just because you haven't met me. I've made so many mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes.

Yeah, well, I make whoppers, over and over... and my kids are the ones who suffer. It's not fair.

This wasn't the plan, you know. I had a big future in mind when I was younger. I was going to be a famous baker. Like Julia Child, but with desserts. I was going to go to a fancy cooking school. Write cookbooks. Make people fall in love with baking again. I had all the applications, too.

I was in the middle of filling them out when I learned I was pregnant. I thought it was good news. A baby fit into my happily-ever-after plan just fine. But it didn't fit into the guy's. Or maybe it was me that didn't fit. Whichever. I was on my own.

So you had your kid instead of fulfilling your dream.

I guess I did.

If you had to do it all over, would you have gone to school instead?

Life definitely would have been easier if I'd done that. Gotten my act together first. Had kids later. But those kids... wouldn't be Holly and Zoe. And life without Holly and Zoe, I can't even imagine it. It's just no life at all.


Special message... to all you bloggers out there being raised by single moms. Give the old lady a break. She's doing the best she can.

Yeah.

Okay, one cherry cake.

Yeah, that would be great.

$12.99. Thanks.

Thank you. Bye.

Can I help you?

Attention, shoppers. Need a little pick-me-up?

Why don't you head on over to our coffee corner... and pick yourself up a half-caf caramel macchiato?

But remember, coffee can be hot.

It can have an intensity like you've never felt before. Searing deep into your flesh. Is he joking?

Your tender, vulnerable... so-easily-hurt flesh.

So be sure to ask for a protective sleeve when you pick up your coffee. Maybe ask for another one to slip over your heart.

Thank you.

And I bought these butterfly clips so that you can use it... and clip the braids back. But don't pull.

Okay. It hurts.

Okay, I'm taking Zoe to her play date, then I'm going to Gloria's shower.

Don't burn the place down.

Wow. Look at you.

Where they having it, at the Ritz?

Close to it.

Some whoop-de-do spot named the River Bistro.

No! Ow!

Isn't that way over everybody's budget?

Yeah, but Gloria's cousin's wife works with their dairy guy... and he got her a deal on the party room.

I heard the food's really bad there.

Everyone who eats there gets really sick. Vomiting for days.

I'll take my chances. Let's go, sweetie.

Where is he? I don't know.

Maybe the restaurant. Maybe home.

Okay, you go to the restaurant. I'm going to go to his place.

If I see him, I'll stall him. Now, what's his address?

"To begin again in Egypt. "

Seven letters.

Oh, The Times thinks they're so clever.

Hello? Hey, thank God you're here.

Who is this? It's Holly.

Who? Amy's friend, Holly.

Oh, Holly. Yeah, well, Amy's not here.

I know. I came to see you, actually. It's something really important. Okay. I'll buzz you in.

The door's open up here.

Hi. Hey, straight ahead.

Hey. Hi.

Wow!

This is the most amazing kitchen...

I've ever seen in my whole entire life.

Really? Yeah.

Thanks.

I know someone that would just kill for this kitchen.

I bet Amber likes it a lot, huh? Amber?

Well, she's got her finger on everything I do... but not this kitchen.

How about you have a seat and I'll get you a soda?

Is that okay? Okay.

You do The Times crossword in pen?

Yeah. Is that a bad thing?

How do you feel about the moon?

Excuse me?

Do you think that it's a little piece of magic... that comes out every night, even when times get hard... to remind you that every day holds potential for beauty?

What has Amy told you about me? Nothing.

She just said that you were really smart.

And I'm new to town.

It's a new school.

I don't really have a dad to turn to for advice, either.

So thought I'd ask you.

Well, all right. I guess I can try to help.

I'm not really a, you know...

What did you want to know?

It's nothing.

It's just, I'm going through my teenage years.

And that's confusing.

I'm confused about who I am and what my purpose is in life.

What college I should go to.

If I should even go to college.

I'm trying to resist peer pressure to do all sorts of things... that I know that I shouldn't do, but some of them I kind of want to do.

If you know what I mean.

I'm considering getting my nose pierced and my belly button... and nine other parts of my body.

But my mom said she would totally kill me if I did that... so now I'm just thinking about getting a tattoo on my back.

But it wouldn't be really considered my back... because it would be so low that you wouldn't be able to see it.

Unless I wore my jeans low enough. I'm really confused.

Where?

Yeah? Ben.

Yeah? We got big problems down here.

Huge, massive. What?

The pilot light on that big thing that cooks the food? It's out again.

No, it can't be broken. I just bought it two months ago.

Ben, I am telling you, the only gas I'm smelling is coming from Pablo.

Okay.

Calm down. I'm coming right now. Goodbye.

Holly, I got a problem at the restaurant, so I have to go.

No, you can't! Why not?

I mean, can I come? Yeah, why not? Come on.

I've got to go to the bathroom really bad.

Yeah, well, go.

There's the bathroom there, but hurry up.

Right there through that door.

I love this.

You have got to be kidding me.

This isn't going to cover anything.

That's exactly the point.

Houston, we have a problem.

What kind? The very, very bad kind.

He's on his way to the restaurant now.

Oh, my God! What do we do?

Create a distraction. A really, really big one.

I'll see you there. Bye.

Do we have to take a cab? I hate cabs.

Maybe we should walk. What are you, crazy?

We're going to the River Bistro. I get carsick.

Boys!

Come on, get your free beer.

Free beer!

Bring on the beer.

Yeah, bring on the Beer.

Look, it's time for your break. Bye-bye.

Hi! How are you? Good.

Some sort of Village People convention in town?

We saw the sign outside and we want the free beer.

Free beer? Why would I give you... I'd give you free beer.

You look absolutely parched.

Thanks a lot, my friend.

I think I'm going to need another mimosa... to open the rest of these gifts.

I'll get the waiter.

Lance!

Hi, Mom. What are you doing here?

I just, I miss you.

Free... Lance!

What is this? What, nothing.

Is this your idea? No.

No, I would never do...

Well, actually I would do that, but I didn't do it.

Why didn't I? The sign says free beer.

We want our free beer. Yeah.

J-E-T-S! Jets!

What's that?

Look! What a neat gift!

I feel like a queen.

Fellows, we're not a sports bar, but one free beer on the house... but that's it. Free beer!

You're a Jets fan, right?

Oh my God, hello! I live for West Side Story. Pablo, what happened? I don't know.

Now, these are brand new stoves.

What about the pizza oven? Try it.

Okay, I am getting the waiter.

Does anyone want anything besides mimosas?

That's working. It's got to be the gas line, right?

Champagne. White wine.

What happened? It's not lighting?

What are you doing? Sorry.

Mom! I'm going to get the waiter.

Why don't you sit here and enjoy your lunch?

Pablo, keep working on it. I got to call.

Waiter! Excuse me.

I'm calling from the River Bistro.

We have a problem here. I need someone right away.

This isn't working. I know, what do we do?

Think.

Go stall.

Put this on here.

It's so much more fun if you accessorize with color. Lance.

Please, please forgive me.

I don't know. I got to make sure that...

Front door, everyone.

Floor's wet. Be careful, don't run.

Don't panic. Front door. Don't panic.

Everybody out the front door.

Where's Holly? Holly?


We may be in big trouble, but that rocked!

I swear the CIA should hire us.

Nobody saw anybody.

I mean, are we great, or what?

Your uncle does crossword puzzles in pen.

What?

And his kitchen is, it's perfect.

So?

You know even though he didn't say it out loud...

I know that he knows that the moon isn't just a rock.

What are you talking about?

There is such a thing as the perfect man.

And I know exactly who it is for my mom.

Who? Your Uncle Ben.

What?

And now because of my stupid scheme, they can never meet.

I'm so beyond lost.

You were right.

I should have never bought that orchid.

The whole thing was just a huge mistake.

Hey.

I need to ask you a huge favor.

Hi to you, too.

I need you to break up with my mom for me.

When did I start dating her?

Not as you. As the perfect man, Ben.

No way.

Come on. Please.

Just call her at 7:00, put on a deep voice and tell her it's over.

What's my reason?

Men never have reasons. They just split.

Why can't you just break up over e-mail?

Because that's too cold.

Besides, I want her to hear his voice.

Yeah, but it wouldn't be his voice.

It would be mine, what with him not existing and all.

Come on, you know what I mean. Please, Adam.

If I tell her that this was all fake, she'll be crushed.

And she'll never forgive me.

But if he just dumps her, that she's used to.

Hello?

There's no way I'm doing this. May I ask who's calling?

Holly, can we just talk about it? Sure.

Mom, it's for you. No, no, it's not funny. Hello. Hi!

This is Ben calling.

Ben? As in "Ben" Ben?

I don't know.

How many Bens do you know? None.

I mean, one. I know you.

Wow.

How is China?

China.

It's very Chinese.

Lots of Chinese people.

Chinese food. You're funny.

And you're calling me... from halfway around the world.

Yes, because there's something that I wanted to tell...

It's really good to finally hear your voice.

Wait. Are you crying?

No.

God, yes.

Yes, I am, but only because I'm happy.

You make me happy.

Know what I mean?

I guess.

Yeah, I do.

God, my whole life...

I mean, everything's been so messed up... and I just started getting to know you, and I don't know, I just...

I started feeling just...

Clearer. Yes!

Yes. You know what I mean. Yeah, I do.

It's like all of the bad stuff that you went through... that you hated along the way... the people who disappointed you... the things that didn't go the way you wanted.

Suddenly you feel grateful to them because they're the things... that got you to here. To this.

Yes. Exactly.

I guess that's just what's it like when you, you know... No.

What?

Really like someone.

So, you like me?

Yeah. Yeah.

I do. I mean I might even...

You might even what?

Give me a ride, horsey! No. Not now, Zoe.

I might even...

Holly!

Love you.

Hello?

Hello?

Hey!

What were you thinking?

That isn't even close to what I asked you to do.

I got distracted.

By what? A lobotomy?

Because short of that, short of you telling me that somebody came... and actually removed your brain, I can't even begin to...

By you.

I was distracted by you.

Hey, Mom? Yeah?

Do you remember when we first got here... and you were feeling so lousy?

What about it?

Well, the thing is...

I just hated seeing you like that. And...


Will you shut up?

No way.

I'm sorry.

Rock out, buddy!


What are you...

Encore! Sweet! Very good.

Hey, take it easy.

Marry me?

Marry him!

Oh, God, please tell me that you didn't say yes.

Please tell me that you said no. I said I'd think about it.

What? What is there to think about?

Is there even a jewel in there?

Lenny is not your soul mate. Ben is.

Ben is in China. Maybe.

I mean, who really knows?

The only thing I know for sure about Ben is he is a beautiful idea.

But you can't grow old with a beautiful idea.

Why are you so desperate?

Oh, Holly, it is so easy for you to judge.

You haven't had to go through life alone with kids.

Nobody to turn to for help.

I'm not complaining. I made my bed.

But I have been slugging it out alone for a heck of a long time.

You two girls are the best thing that's ever happened to me.

In the blink of an eye, you'll be grown and gone.

And Lenny's a sweet guy. Maybe he'll be different than the others.

I don't want to wind up alone.


Do not unlock that door till I get back.


Hello.

Hi, I'm calling for Miss Jean Hamilton.

Yes, this is Jean.

This is Ben's secretary. Ben's coming back into New York... and he would like to see you. Really? How's tomorrow afternoon... under the Brooklyn Bridge sound?

Excellent. 4:00. He'll see you then.


Where's Ben? I need to talk to him. It's an emergency.

Oh, Too late, little lady. He's already gone.

Where? The almighty wedding.

Wedding? What wedding?

Well, Amber and... Amber?

Amber?

I know. He didn't really want to do it... but she's hard to say no to.

Where is it?

Liberty Grand Hotel. Thanks.

So not a party without me.

Whatever.

Sorry, guys.

We are gathered here in the sight of God... and in the face of this company... to join together this man and this woman...

If anyone present... knows a reason why these two should not be lawfully wedded... speak now or forever hold your peace.

He can't marry her!

What are you doing? You can't come in here.

He's got to marry my mom.

You might not even know it yet, but you will once you read these.

Holly.

It's pages and pages of proof that you guys are soul mates... and right now she's waiting to meet you under the Brooklyn Bridge.

And when you do, you'll know that you guys are perfect for each other.

You guys both do the crosswords in pen... and know what a kitchen should feel like and what the moon really is.

And without even meeting her, you picked out her favorite song.

And it's made her happier than she's ever been. And...


You know what, you guys?

I'm looking for the Silverman wedding.

Sorry. Carry on. My bad.

David, I'm so sorry.

Son, are you all right?

Holly!

I'm sorry. I made a mistake, okay?

Well, that's just the understatement of the year.

What are you thinking?

I thought you were the one marrying Amber.

Me? Lance said...

No! Amber's one of my dearest friends.

I'm catering her wedding.

What's left of it.

What are you doing? Read these.

No, that's not an answer. Yes, it is.

If you'd just read these e-mails, you'll see.

There's someone that you need to meet.


Hi, Mom. What are you doing here?

I didn't want you to think you'd been stood up.

He's not coming. What?

How do you know? How did you even know I was here?

I know, because...

Because?

Because I made him up.

What?

The flowers and the letters and the e-mails and everything.

The phone call? A friend of mine did that.

But it wasn't all made up. There was a man. There is.

Most of what I wrote came from him.

So there's a man out there laughing at me, too?

No! He doesn't know. He thought...

How could you be so cruel?

I wasn't trying to be cruel.

I was trying to make you happy.

Well, you have a lot to learn about happiness.

You haven't exactly showed me a road map, Mom.

Oh, so this is my fault. I brought this humiliation on myself.

What? Because we moved around a little bit?

A little? Whatever. A lot.

You never seemed to mind.

Yes, I did. You just never heard any of it if it wasn't about you.

That is not true. I hear everything you say to me.

You hear, but you don't listen.

You never listen to anything I want.

All right, fine. What do you want?

I want a mom that sees in herself what Zoe and I see every day.

That's talented and pretty and funny... and cooks great and dances great... and doesn't need a man to be those things.

Okay, so maybe the perfect man wasn't real.

But the perfect you is.


S-I-L-E-N-C-E.

Hi.

Hi.

I'm sorry that I didn't call you back.

I've been really busy. I drew you something.

"Princess Holly. "

Well, a side of her anyway.

I realized she doesn't need an army to protect her.

You don't let anybody close enough to hurt you in the first place.

Wait. Holly!

I want to move. What?

I hate this place.

I'm over it, and I want to move now.

We've moved more times for you than I can even count.

And just this once, I want to move for me.


Hi. Hi, I'm Adam. Holly's friend.

Is she home?

No, she's out getting packing boxes.

Why?

We're moving. Arizona. Red Rocks.

You want her to call?

No.

Thank you.

Could you give this to her?

Sure.

And tell her she only saw one side of the drawing.


I was inspired.

I miss you.

Why did you bug out on me?

Newsflash.

Everyone's scared.

That's no reason to run away.

It's what my mom does.

And you want to end up like your mom?

Some role model.

I heard once that... love is friendship on fire.

That's how I feel about you.

Do you really have to go?


Holly, guess what? I get to be in a spelling bee.

C-O-O-L.

What are you doing? Unpacking.

Yeah, but why?

I thought that we all agreed that it was time for a new adventure.

This is our new adventure. Staying is our new adventure.

What?

Why can't you ever do anything that I want?

I want to be alone.

Nobody wants to be alone. I do.

Okay, I'm through with these people and I want new ones.

Unfortunately, honey pie, new people are only new for a day.

After that, they're just people.

Who will excite you, disappoint you... scare you a little bit.

And, boy, I know how tempting it is to run away when that happens.

It's good for avoiding things. But the problem is you end up... avoiding yourself.

Avoiding people you love.

You end up avoiding life.

So, I've decided to start setting an example for you girls.

I'm going to try showing you what sticking it out looks like.

Really get to know people.

And let people get to know us.

I don't promise to be any good at it, but I will try.

Because I want you and Zoe to be better at this than I am.

I want you to learn how to let people in.

He's a sweet boy. I think it would be worth it.

Turn it over. Everything always has two sides.


You want a bigger ring?

Combustible.

C-O-M-B...

U-S-T...

I-B-L-E.

Combustible.

That is correct.

J!

E!

T!

S!

Jets! Jets! Jets!

Looks like we're going to the World Series.

Ladies and gentlemen, five minutes. Five minutes. We'll be commencing in five minutes.

First place goes to Number 73, Jean Hamilton.

You did it, Mommy!

Where? The second one?

Yeah, that's Mom.

Hi, may I help you?

Yeah, I heard that you can find... the best fudge brownies in the world here.

We try.

I'll take this.

Ben. Hi.

On the house.

No, I have to pay you somehow.

How about dinner?

I don't even know you.

Well, I don't know about that.

Thank you. That is very sweet.

But I don't think so.

Are you dating someone? Actually, no.

For the first time in my life, I'm not.

And, and I think I should stay this way... until I get my feet back on the ground.

I see. Yeah.

It's nothing personal. No, of course not.

You know, I should probably take a dating moratorium, too.

I recommend it.

Yeah, clean-out-the-closet sort of thing.

It's a good idea.

You know, get my head together and...

Exactly.

So, pick you up Saturday at 8:00?

Perfect.

It looks like Mom was right. Staying turned out to be... the greatest adventure of all. And let me tell you, it has made me do some crazy things. Like plan ahead and paint my room and hang pictures on the wall. I mean, I used a nail and everything.

Hi, come on in.


Sorry I'm late.

There was this Krispy Kreme truck that overturned on Eighth Avenue.

Thank you.

Here, let me deal with that.

It goes...

Relax. What is this? Like, your first dance or something?

Can you believe it?

The Teenage Gypsy has finally settled down. Now I don't just have a homepage. I have a home.

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