What If... (2010) Script

Bus 27, Dearfield, will be arriving at 9.25.


Here you go.

It's just 8 months, then we're never apart again.

I know. I know.

Nothing, nothing is gonna change.

Trust me.

I do. It's just...

We're still gonna get married.

We're still gonna build a life together.

Just keep reminding yourself how good this is gonna be for us when it's over.

I got this for you.

It's beautiful. "To Ben from Wendy.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. "

This is awesome.

Ben, I still feel like you're gonna change out there.

What if this changes?

I won't let it.

But what about our plans for our ministry?

You're such a good preacher. You can still do seminary.

We've been through this before.

It's not something I want to do, but we can still do the ministry we discussed.

We can still help people even more now that I've been on the ground floor of a company where I can build a good career.

I have to do it in the City, and you know that.

That career stuff just doesn't...

I just want to be with you.

Hey, we're gonna be great, we are.

This is your final boarding call for Green Line 277 serving Long Mount, Zion, Manitou, Westville, now boarding at gate 2.

Green Line 277 final boarding call at gate 2.

Okay, I gotta go.

I know.

Ben, this doesn't feel right.

What if this is one of those moments, a moment we're gonna regret later?

It isn't, and it won't be.

Have faith.

I do.

Bye.

Here you go.

I love you.

I love you too.


Good morning, sir.

Happy birthday, Elaine.

Mr. Walker, shouldn't have.

Yellow roses.

Don't want to make Jim in HR jealous, yet.

You never bring me flowers.

It's not your birthday.

I bet you don't even know my birthday.

It's on a day in one of those months, right?

Stop, you're embarrassing yourself.

September 24th, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Kenosha, it's near Milwaukee.

How they doing in there?

Got about three calls asking for you.

Don't you think they've waited long enough?

Almost.

You're terrible.

No, I'm the best.

Nice of you to join us.

Well, fine, so should we...

Can you believe they charge $4.50 for a cup of coffee?

I think we're in the wrong business.

And you are?

I'm a fortune teller. I can see the future.

Somebody'd pay a lot for that.

They already do.

Okay, I think the issues that we need to discuss are right here on page 6.

You know, a couple thousand years ago, Rome was the most powerful nation in the world.

No one was even close.

Didn't he say he was gonna say something about the future?

Rome was so strong that when she bent her gaze in the second most powerful nation in the world, Egypt, the Egyptians surrendered without a fight,


I'm turning inside out. Running into doubt for me.

Turn around.

Whoa, wait.

What's going on? No, no, no. No, no, no, no, come on.

You're kidding me.

This is a brand-new car.

You think this is funny?

Boom!


You need some help?

Who are you?

Oh, tow truck driver.

Nope, I'm an angel sent here to help you straighten out our life.

Uh-huh.

Listen, I need to get back to the city right away.

Well, that's not gonna happen.

Okay, look, whatever you normally get, I'll add 50%.

Don't worry about that.

Oh, they're so cute at this stage.

No, I'm heading back to Clearville and so are you.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop, stop, stop.

Clearville, no I'm not...

We're at Clearville.

Wow, I drove a long way.

Look, I'm not going back to Clearville.

You see, I spent my whole life trying to escape from there.

Well, that's where your car is headed.

I guess it's your call.

But...

Whatever happened to you?

You had such potential.

Hey pal, did you happen to notice that the car on the hook back there is a $250,000 Mercedes?

That's just what I'm talking about, fast cars, faster women, big promotion.

How did you know about the promotion?

I told you, I was sent here to help you.

I don't need your help.

I just need to get back to the city.

I told him you were gonna say that.

But once he makes up his mind, well, you know how he is.

Who are we talking about, Mr. Big of the towing industry?

Have you ever taken a moment and stopped to think that you've lived your life up until now and completely missed the point?

Life is life.

You live, you die, that's it. There is no point.

That's the dumbest thing you've said so far.

I don't understand why he chose you.

Okay, you know what?

Stop the truck, all right, right now.

I want to get out of here.

All right, look.

Now that we're here, you're gonna find things have changed just a little bit.

Well, things have changed a lot.

The most important thing to remember now...

Why won't this open?

Ben, pay attention here, will ya?

How do you know my name?

Look, you're just gonna have to go with it.

For right now it's reality. It's your reality.

You're just going to have to accept it.

Don't do anything stupid like jumping out in front of a car or sticking your finger in some light socket to see if it's real, okay, because it is.

Okay, but can you just let me out now please?

Oh yeah, one more thing, Megan, her name's Megan.

Who? The little girl.

Oh, she'll freak out if you forget.

Now, close your eyes, count backwards from a hundred.

Uh, no.

Trust me, it will be a lot better if you close your eyes and count backwards.

Yeah, trust you? I don't even know you.

Fine, all right, well, have it your way.

I'm gonna put on lipstick too.

Dad, you need to brush my hair.

Wendy?

Ben, honey, I just needed a few minutes to finish getting ready.

You seem so real.

I got this, honey. Ben, what are you doing?

You know, this is a big day. We need your help.

Okay, just relax.

This isn't really happening. You're not really here.

Okay, you just go get ready. I'll fix this.

Mommy, daddy's crawling on the floor.

Ben, stop playing around. You're gonna be late.

I don't want to go to church.

Well, then you don't have to go.

Really? Thanks, dad.

Dad, dad, no. I'm not your dad.

I'm not anybody's dad.

I knew I was adopted!

Honey, you are not adopted, and you are going to church.

Daddy said I didn't have to.

Ben Walker, are you trying to drive me crazy this morning?

Or does it just come naturally?

Either way, you're gonna have to explain to your daughter why it's so important that she goes to church.

Oh.

Um, well, see there are certain things in life that are, you know, very important.

You know, like, like uh, like um, a healthy nutritious breakfast, you know, and hard work and certain amount of exercise is good.

And?

Oh, and going to church.

I'm not going.

Well, let me make this easy for you.

First, you're gonna go because I said so.

And second, if you can't start thanking Jesus for everything he's given you, then maybe you should start giving some things back, like starting with your cell phone.

Ben. Huh?

Go.

Go where?

You know, they say only one in a hundred people dreams in color, and apparently I'm the one, though I never knew it before.

Wonder if I'll remember when I wake up.

Here's your tie.

You're kidding me. I wouldn't buy this.

I know.

It was a father's day gift from Megan, remember?

Oh. Okay.

Since when do you know how to do that on your own?

I'm okay as long as I don't think about it?

Hmm.

Wow.

Um.

Wendy, there's something I feel I should tell you, which is really strange given that this is only a dream and you're never gonna believe me, but you have to because it's important.

It's important for you to know.

Mm-hmm.

I'm not your Ben.

I mean I am, but I'm not.

I know.

You do?

You think I don't know when my husband isn't himself?

It's not easy to come here and save the day.

It's a lot of pressure, but I know you're gonna do great.

You always do. I have no doubt.

Now put on your coat. We're gonna be late.

Okay, just go with it until we can find Mike and get out of this.

Yeah.

Wait, Megan, one second.

Uh, aren't you forgetting something?

What?

Oh.

Okay, let's hurry.

Okay.

We're gonna be late. Okay, let's go.

Ha! L... I drive a minivan.

Yeah.

Let's go. Let's go.

Hmm, convenient.

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost.

It's a little far forward, don't you think?

Cut it out, Ben.

I haven't seen this place in years.

Sure could use an upgrade.

It's probably got the same gum underneath the seats.

Reverend, it's already time.

They're ready for you now.

Reverend? Reverend?

This is a very exciting day for the Little White Church, so please join me in giving a warm welcome to our new pastor, Reverend Dr. Benjamin Walker.


Okay.

Uh, hi, it's a... it's good to see you all here.

Some of you are with your families.

I'm with my family as well.

Wendy there with Megan and my other daughter whose name escapes me at the moment.

Oh, you know I got my Bible here.

Yup, it's... you're probably expecting me to read from the Bible, right, 'cause that's what a lot of preachers do.

You know, I'm a little different.

You know, I... I...

The Bible's old. It's really old.

So I think it'd be good to talk about some modern things.

You know, 'cause things, things are important, and we all need certain things.

And God, he wants us to have what we need, right?

Noah, look, there's Noah. He had an ark.

Noah had an ark.

And well, he couldn't have afforded to build the ark without money.

You know, so God obviously wants us to have money.

And God wants us to be happy.

So, so...

...try to make more money, so you can buy things, and then you'll be happy.

God bless you.

Oh, um...

Uh, that was our message for today.

Make more money?

Are you out of your mind?

I was, you know, completely unprepared.

But you had 3 weeks to learn that sermon, which I might add, only lasted less than a minute.

The collection was down about 70% from last week when we had a prayer service without a minister.

Oh, that not using the Bible thing, that was different.

Well, you know, it's important to keep it fresh.

Yup. Uh-oh.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

If Pastor McKennett wasn't already gone, that sermon would have killed him.

Personally, I thought it was great.

No wasted time. Right to the point.

Things are good, make more money.

It works for me.

See you next week, Reverend.

Don't count on it.

Hey, you know, I'd really prefer to get to know his parents a little bit more before they get too close.

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

I didn't know you went to this church.

I didn't know the new pastor was your dad.

His sermon was...

Oh, I know he can be such...

Can you give us a moment?

What do you care?

After all, I'm just the daughter whose name escapes you at the moment, right?

We like to have fun, don't we?

But seriously, though, I need to have a few words with this young man.

Look, kid, I'm new to this father thing, but I know a deal closer when I see one.

You're new to the father thing?

Yeah, so here, I'll give you 80 bucks to stay away from my daughter.

Apparently, it's all I've got.

Are you serious?

Oh, yeah.

But no phone calls, no stopping by to chat, no working on homework together.

As of this moment, she doesn't exist, you got it?

Uh-huh.

Okay, you can leave now.

Bye-bye, thanks.

Okay.

Wait! Hey!

What is wrong with him?

L... I don't know.

Come on!

Mike! Come on, I'm right here.

Why didn't you stop?

Does this look like a taxi to you?

So have you figured it out yet?

It's a dream, right?

A long, involved, incredibly complex and convoluted dream.

You feel pain in a dream?

No, why?

Ah!

What'd you do that for?

Well, now we can rule out a dream.

But delusions, well, that's a lot trickier.

You see, they come with taste and smell, and the whole deal.

Well, how can you tell the difference?

Well, it usually takes another person, a disinterested third party to confirm or deny that what you perceive is real.

And that would be you?

Oh yeah, sure. I could do that for ya.

Just... just so I'm clear, you honestly expect me to believe that you're an angel?

I don't expect anything from you.

I am what I am.

Well, then prove it. Do something angelic.

I'm not allowed to use my power while in earthly form.

You have an answer for everything.

Not everything.

I don't know what's wrong with your car.

Okay, you know, accepting for the moment the ridiculous notion that you are an angel, what is this?

What's Wendy doing here?

Why does everyone act like they know me?

Oh, that's simple.

It's called the great what if.

What if?

Yeah, see, every now and then he chooses someone to re-examine their life.

What if you had said yes instead of no?

What if you had made different decisions?

What if the Lord was calling and you answered the call?

And what if, well, you followed God's plan for your life instead of your own?

Well, apparently, I would be a second-rate preacher at a third-rate church in Clearville.

Well, you knew what you had.

You just have to see what you passed up.

Why?

Well, I think it's probably better if you figure that out.

What if I don't want to?

Of course you don't want to.

Humans never want to do what's good for 'em.

Anyway, it's good to be you.

That's what you said before.

So this is all part of being you.

Well, that's not good enough.

It better be 'cause that's all you're gonna get.

Excuse me, I got work to do.

Angel.


I thought you weren't coming.

We already prayed. You can sit down.

Meatloaf, that's awesome.

What are you talking about? It's your favorite.

No, no, I mean it. It's awesome.

It's leaving me in a cold sweat contemplating the culinary triumphs still to come.

Where were you, daddy?

If you must know, I was having an argument with an angel.

Did he have wings?

No, he had greased-stained coveralls.

What?

Why, he's a mechanic.

He had bad breath and a nine-dollar hair cut.

Mmm, this angel, what did he say to you?

We both agree on Ben Walker, but I'm not your Ben Walker.

See, more specifically, I'm not your husband, and I'm not their father.

Is daddy having a nervous breakdown?

You know, you're all very sweet in your own parallel universe, "It's a Wonderful Life" sort of way.

And if I had to choose a family to be my make-believe family, it would be you.

Girls, go to your rooms. Your daddy and I need to talk.

Now.

First you move us here.

You uproot the girls from their friends and home to get back to the pastoral work that you want to do for a church that needs you, and I supported you.

But the first thing you do when you get here is you alienate yourself from the congregation, insult and ignore everyone that talks to you, including me and the girls, and you act as if you barely even know me.

Is there something you want to tell me?

Wendy, I know you're gonna think I'm crazy, but I'm the Ben Walker who's a successful investment banker at a huge firm.

And the reason I'm having trouble being Pastor Ben is that I haven't set foot inside a church in over 15 years.

In my real life, I just closed a complex but profitable deal.

Our fees alone were only $25 million.

And at the moment, I'm supposed to be in Paris celebrating with...

This Ben Walker you're talking about, what's he doing here?

Apparently, I'm supposed to figure it out on my own.

Well, that man you just described...

...I didn't marry him.

The sheets go down first, then the blanket.

Gotcha.

Are you and mom gonna get a divorce?

No, absolutely not.

She and I... no, no, why do you ask?

When Liv's dad slept on the couch, they got divorced the next week.

Your mom and your dad, they're... we're, we're not gonna do that.

Can I say my prayers out here?

Yeah, come on.

Okay.

Dear God, please bless mommy and daddy, who we all know is going through a tough time right now and probably doesn't know that he's making mommy sort of nervous.

And maybe you could help his brain because he seems to be forgetting a lot of stuff he should know.

And please bless Kimberly and Jonah, even though I keep forgetting to change his water.

And thank you for dying to save us all, Amen.

Amen.

Bedtime, Megs.


The great what if, huh?

Well, what if I just drove back into the city?


What?

You've got to be kidding me!

Reverend Dr. Benjamin Walker of Clearville.

They thought of everything.

No, no, stay focused. Stay focused.

It's meant to distract you.

It's not real. It's not real.

No cash, what?

What, no credit cards.

This guy's a loser.

We're married, right?

I mean, what's yours is mine and what's mine isn't in my wallet right now.

Daddy, what are you doing with mommy's purse?

Well, I'm... I'm just...

Don't go anywhere.

No, no, no I couldn't take that from you.

No, it wouldn't be right.

Hey.

It's prepay after 11:00.

Yeah, I know.

How much gas will this get me?

Huh, huh, look at that, huh, huh?

It's um...

...it's a dollar.

I'm swimming in the red, drownin' in the blues.

I ain't rollin' in the green like I likes to.

My piggy bank is empty. No chicks in the coup.

I need a cash cow, a little moolah, wooh!

There's too much...

See ya.

Oh, come on.

You gotta be kidding me.

Are you...

Ah!

Oh. Oh, great.

Yeah, big surprise it's Mike.

Yup, big surprise.

I'm going back to the city, you can't stop me.

Don't intend to.

So you can just knock off the twilight zone...

You don't?

So you're not here to drag me back?

No.

Boss thinks it'd be a good idea if you just saw what the world would be like without ya.

Come on, jump in.

This is a big mistake.

I think so too.

I mean for you.

See, once we get back into the city, this "what if" charade of yours is all gonna fall apart and I can go back to being me.

Ben, this isn't a trick.

It's not some local phenomena like a thunderstorm where it's raining here, 10 miles away it's clear and sunny.

It's all changed.

It's different, the whole world.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.

Look, I'm an angel.

We don't lie. We can't lie.

But you do whatever the boss tells you to do, right?

Yeah, exactly.

So what if the boss tells you to lie?

I don't mean a big huge, you know, hurtful lie, but just a teeny, teeny little white lie?

Wow, never thought about that.

You know, I wonder if God could build a rock so big that he himself couldn't pick it up.

Yeah, exactly.

Ben, I'm just gonna have to let you go and see for yourself, huh?

So why do you want to come back here so bad?

Among many things, have you seen Cynthia?

She's gorgeous.

Oh, not our type.

Not your type?

My life is great. People envy me.

I get what I want. I love my life.

Ironically, this little stunt of yours has reminded me of how happy I am with the choices I've made.


Can I help you, sir?

Hey, Elaine, I'm in to see the old man.

Excuse me, sir. You need to wait here.

Do you have an appointment?

No, I'm pretty sure that becoming partner means I don't need to make an appointment.

Oh, Claire, can you tell me what's going on here?

Elaine's acting like she doesn't know who I am.

I'm sorry, and you are?

Oh, right, yeah, you don't know who your boss is from the last 5 years.

Hey, Jim, Jimbo, how you doin'?

Hey, is that Ross Bessette in there?

Is the Bessette Industry's deal going forward?

That's none of your business.

Who are you here with?

I'm...

Are you a reporter or with the SEC?

Jim, seriously, are you putting me on?

Joel, this gentleman has an interesting question.

He wants to know if that's Ross Bessette in there of Bessette Industries.

It's nothing, we're just reviewing their foreign holdings, tightening up their portfolio.

Okay, you know what?

This charade is over. It's not funny anymore.

We all know that I belong here.

I graduated top of my business school class at Harvard.

Moody, that's Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, doctorate in theology, minor in biblical archaeology.

Carry on.

Believe it or not, we already have all the biblical archaeologists on staff that we need.

If you'll excuse me, I'm running late.

Love the jeans.

Soda water. I need soda water.

What happened?

Oh, some soccer mom let her little brat spill juice all over my new Versace.

What is this?

Of course, she doesn't remember me either, right?

Yeah, okay, last time I saw you, I was your Benny bear.

Benny bear? > >

That's my fiancée you're speaking to, Barney bear.

Fiancée, what? This guy?

Are you kidding me?

You're engaged to me.

Oh, really?

Yes, we met 2 years ago on your father's yacht in the Caymans.

You were wearing your purple bikini.

I was having way too many Mojitos.

I have never laid eyes on you before in my life, unless, of course, you detailed my car or served me coffee?

Now you know why I love this woman.

You know, if they continue with this behavior, their application for weeping and gnashing of teeth will be approved.

All right, I'm not leaving here.

I'm not leaving here.

Call security.

Seventeenth floor, please.

You got a black Benz too. Are you kidding me?

Hey, hey, this isn't over!

I did it once and I'll do it again!

I'll build this place up.

I'm gonna... Ben.

What?

You're embarrassing yourself.

Well, you're embarrassing yourself.

Oh, it's not like I didn't warn ya.

Well, you were a big help.

Look, I need you to close your eyes and count backward from a hundred.

I'll take care of the van.

No, I'm not going back there.

You can't make me.

Oh, I love slow learners.

Look, Cynthia's coming back.

That's not Cynth...

Little twirp's been in my closet again.

I was not!

Your sister is not a twirp.

You're right, mom, she's a stupid twirp.

I am not stupid.

You go apologize to your sister and then come back downstairs for breakfast and apologize to me.

Of course you take her side.

Any idea what my morning looks like?

Ten a. M., commitment testing?

We're meeting with Brittney and Carl, the couple that wants to get married.

Commitment testing?

Right, you know how, you know, from your standpoint, would you best describe commitment testing?

To discourage them from making the wrong decision, if they're unequally yoked.

Shake 'em up a little.

Yeah.

Daddy, why did Jonah die?

Well, I don't know, maybe he didn't love Jesus the way fish are supposed to.

Mommy, my goldfish is in hell!

Really?

Megan.

Probably not the best thing to say, huh?

I thought it was funny.

"Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib

"he had taken out of the man and he brought her to the man.

"The man said, this is now bone of my bones

"and flesh of my flesh.

"She shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.

"For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother

"and be united to his wife.

"And they will become one flesh.

The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame. "

Now, that's what I'm talking about, hmm?

But seriously, Carl, why do you want to get married?

Because we love each other.

Want my opinion?

This is isn't love. It's hormones.

Carl, how much money do you make per month?

What?

I'm guessing your after-tax income isn't much more than 3K, am I right?

It's something like that.

And once you bring your girl into the mix, the monthly net doubles.

I mean, that's not gonna kill you, but once she's got a bun in the oven and stops working, are you gonna be ready for that?

And even if we assume that you get your income up the typical 10% over the next couple of years, that's not gonna be nearly enough to protect you from all the money arguments that cause over 50% of divorces.

And then you two are gonna be back in here saying, "Pastor Ben, Pastor Ben, why didn't you stop us?

Why didn't you stage some sort of intervention?"

He's just playing devil's advocate.

See, when the Lord blesses a union, he sends a thousand little consolations every day, most of which we never even really notice.

Grace is to help us endure the trials of life and learn to treasure the precious moments along the way.

They're his way of letting us know, to him, marriage is sacred and it is special.

Yeah, special.

It's like that 4 by 4 you drove up in.

I bet you're fond of that, huh?

Yeah, I love that truck.

Brittney loves me in it.

Mm-hmm, a year from now, it's a minivan.

Trust me on this. Attractive, right?

It's hard to look hot when your ride has child safety seats, isn't it?

Yeah.

What?


Well, that went well.

You wanted me to push 'em, right?

Within biblical parameters.

Ben, you compared marriage to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

What's next?

You gonna rewrite the beatitudes?

"Blessed are they who remain single for they can be

"as selfish as they want drinking beer and watching ESPN all night"?

Where did that come from?

I feel like I don't even know you right now.

Kimberly, what's going on?

Dillon just dropped me off.

Why?

Everybody's talking about me.

What? Why?

Daddy paid Dillon Jordan, the most popular guy in Clearville, $80 to stay away from me.

Please tell me that isn't true.

I knew I should have given him a hundred.

He wasn't supposed to say anything.

How could you?

This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me, and it's all because of you.

Kimberly.

Ben, are you kidding me?

You told me to handle it.

I didn't mean to hurt her.

Kimberly!

I don't know how to do this.

The Bessettes have always been stubborn about staying a family business and not being owned by anyone else.

And in this case, it's going to be their downfall.

You'd be wise to avoid purchasing any of their stock until this situation is settled.

Couch again, huh?

Actually, it's more of a doghouse than a couch.

It's your fault.

I know.

Any piece of their company.

Quite frankly, I think they're in trouble.

Why are you watching this?

Bessette Industries is about to become a takeover target.

Is that good?

I used to think so, but I don't know now.

Don't worry, it's all gonna work out.

Ya think?

Hey, sugar bear.

Daddy and I have to have a little talk.

Will you go upstairs and get ready for bed?

Oh, thank you.

Where's mine?

I wanted to ask you something.

Do you still like us, this family?

Of course, I do.

Then why are you acting like this?

You know, back when you were still at Moody, Dr. Heron's wife, when she heard we were getting married, she pulled me aside and she said, "If you're gonna

"marry a minister, you need to know about the moment.

"Every man who dedicates his life to ministry goes

"through one, when he questions if he's been wrong about everything, including his faith. "

Unless I'm wrong...

This is my moment.

Will you read this to me?

Right there.

"Love is patient. Love is kind.

"It does not envy. It does not boast.

"Is not rude, not self-seeking.

"Is not easily angered. Keeps no records of wrongs.

"Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

"It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. "

Now which one of those would you say best describes you lately?

Ben, this life is a life that we chose together.

Minister, husband, father, mother, wife, friend.

Now we're in this for the long haul, but if you're there's some changes that you want to make about where we're going and what we're doing, then we need to talk about it.

I'm not saying I'm gonna like it, but we need to talk about it.

I'm not gonna let you keep doing what you're doing, torturing yourself and everybody else around you.

I don't want it for me.

And I won't let you do it to our girls.

Do you understand?

Yeah, yes. Yeah.

Hey, this thing isn't working.

This thing?

Yeah, this what if?

I mean, my kids hate me.

Wendy's convinced that I don't love her anymore.

I divide my time between saying stupid things and doing stupid things.

And the church, the church is a disaster.

I mean, it's a race to see which happens first, the villagers grab torches and pitchforks or I reduce the congregation to zero.

You need to end it.

It's not even close to my decision.

But I'm hurting these people, and I don't want to hurt them.

I mean, I keep doing everything wrong, I mean everything.

That's simple, do everything right.

But that's ridiculous.

Exactly.

Now you're on the right track.

You're not even listening to me.

I can't be the Ben that they think I am.

Look, the guy who won Wendy's heart, the father of those children didn't do anything you're not capable of by definition.

Yeah, but I'm not him.

Yeah, that's because you don't want to be.

You want to be like him?

Then study him. Learn from him.

Read what he read. Feel what he felt.

Then maybe, maybe you'll discover that you are him.

Can't be that simple.

Oh, you want to make it harder?

All right, simple, huh?

How's this?

Everything in life boils down to this, God loves you, so love other people.

God sacrificed everything to be with you, so sacrifice everything.

That's not simple.

It is, it's just hard.

Okay, you know, when this is all over, I can still go back to my old life?

Well, yeah, if that's what you want.

God's call always involves a choice.

You can always say no, in fact, you already have.

You know, when you walked away, you broke two hearts, Wendy's and his.

Now he's giving you anotherchance, and you're not getting out of this until you totally embrace the situation.

Total surrender, even on a trial basis.

And then if you want to go, my guess is he'll let ya, if that's what you really want.

Total surrender.

You know, you're pretty tough for an angel.

Yeah, well, you ought to read your Bible, Ben.

Book of Genesis.

It was a cherub that delivered the eviction notice in the garden of Eden.

And that was a cherub.

Let's not even talk about the seraphim.

So are you a...

Seraphim?

Yeah, seraphim.

I mean, where do you rank?

Did they send me someone important?

Well, the fact that I'm sitting here babysitting you should tell you where I rank.


Oh, what are you doing?

Something I should have done a long time ago.

Well, can I fix you something?

Some bacon and eggs, maybe?

Sure, thanks.

I haven't seen you like this since you were in seminary.

What's gotten into you?

I guess you could say Ben Walker.


Is this my turn coming up?

Uh, hello, Woodrow Wilson. You only graduated from there.

I just wanted to make sure they didn't move it.

Yeah, dad.

They moved it across town since you dropped us off two weeks ago.

I'll see ya this afternoon.

Bye.

She still likes him.

I know.

This hasn't been easy.

I mean, I know in my heart that you brought us together.

And I know that there's good times and there's bad times.

He's been a wonderful father and husband all these years, and I know that you can help him through whatever it is he's going through.

Help him to remember who he is and why he chose this life and how much you love him and how much we love him, Amen.

Hey, Charlie.

Hey, well, here you go.

Thanks. Yup.

Owe on gas, electric bill.

Oh, the termite inspector's report came back.

And?

And we are a home to a number of the Lord's smaller creatures.

So how much to get rid of 'em?

Well, three times what we've got in the general account.

Insurance fund?

Empty.

Building fund?

Don't make me laugh.

Well, maybe, you know, the Lord will see us through.

You working on your sermon?

Couldn't be any worse than last week, right?

Your words, Pastor, not mine.


Hmm.

I better be right about this.

Surprise!

Ooh.

Oh, I blew out your candle.

Is that carrot cake?

I love carrot cake.

It's... is it with...

Axelrod's cream cheese icing?

Yeah.

And it was very hard to find here, I might add.

You're not out of the woods, but we wouldn't skip your birthday.

Thank you.

Thank this one.

She's the one who shredded the carrots, and her finger.

Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie.

It's okay.

And I know that we're tight on money and we said no gifts, but Charlie had this software on his computer and he helped me with this.

Thanks.

It's us, all of us on D VD.

It's birthdays and Christmas mornings, and there's even some clips of our wedding on there.

All the best moments of the last 15 years.

Thank you.

Come on. Come on.

Yeah, let's cut that.

I'm gonna re-light this for you.

Make a wish.

You want to help me blow it out?

One, two, three.

All right, save a few pieces for yourself.

You're eating for two now.

Come on, let me see that tummy.

Kimberly, happy birthday.

Happy birthday, Kimberly.

Look at you. You're so cute.

I mean, you know, you still are, but look at you.

And that's Megan in there.

I mean she must have been born not long after this, huh?

You're acting surprised.

Well, you know, I just haven't seen this in a while.

Hey, I know I've been a jerk the past few days.

Oh, really?

Easy.

I'm saying I've been off my game, but I'm gonna try harder to, you know, not be a jerk.

So can you wait a few more days before you officially hate me forever?

All right, three more days.

How's five?

Four, but you gotta earn it.

A negotiator, Nice. All right, four.

Whoo!


Oh my goodness. Hello, little Megan.

Give your sister a little kiss, okay?

Kimberly, don't you love her?

She's... look at her.

Hey dad.

Pretty amazing, huh?

Mm-hmm.

Little Megan. Your little sister.

You gonna be a good sister? Yup.

Promise? Yup.

Not gonna make her mad? Nope.

Not gonna make her cry. Nope.

I don't believe you. It'll be your job to bug her.

Mm-hmm.

Mm-hmm. Yes, it will.

I gave you that one.

I got you!

First word, flew over the cuckoo's nest.

You didn't think you could get it.

Oh, yeah, I could get it.

Okay, what's next?

More, more, more. Hey, sweetheart.

First boat ride. First boat ride.

Up here, can we look this way?

Look at this one.

You see how high that is?

Oh, see, see.

There's a... yeah, you're right.

There's a bird right there.

I got...

We got 'em pretty good, huh?


Hey kiddo.

Hi dad.

You got a minute?

Sure.

What's that?

That's a fish tank.

I mean, what's it for?

Well, I happened to be walking past a pet store and I accidentally went inside, and apparently, I bought this.

The gravel's pink and purple.

Yeah, I figured you'd like that.

You see, it's got a lot of space, has a filter.

There's even a little bubbler, you know, give him a lot of air.

And then there's even a little heater, in case he gets cold.

But Jonah's gone.

I know.

But this guy still needs a home, and I thought, you know, maybe he could stay with us.

What should we call him?

Well, I was thinking maybe Jonah the second?

Or Jonah Jr? Or little Jonah?

Do you think Jonah would mind if little Jonah has his treasure chest?

Hmm.

I think he'd want him to have it.

Love you, daddy.


Megan, stay still, please.

Where's Kimberly?

She's still upstairs.

Okay, I'll go get her.

Don't think I'm not still mad at you.

I know, you should be.

I should?

Sure.

You're not a little girl anymore, and I shouldn't treat you like one.

Does that mean I get to go to Angelina Buckner's homecoming party?

No, It doesn't mean that at all.

I'm pretty sure your mom wouldn't approve, and neither do I.

See, that's the problem.

You say I'm not a little girl anymore, but you treat me like one anyways.

What's that?

It's two tickets to the Toby Mac concert at the stadium.

It's because you're not a little girl anymore.

I don't have anyone to go with.

Actually, there's a guy who'd really like to go with you.

Who?

Dillon.

Dillon?

Yes, that Dillon, the I gave him $80 to stay away from you, Dillon.

But what if he doesn't want to...

Oh, he does.

I already talked to him, trust me, he wants to go.

You didn't...

No, I didn't pay him.

What do you think I'm crazy?

Okay, and this is not a date.

I'm gonna have Wendy, your mom, drive you, and she's gonna sit a few rows behind you along with his mom.

But I won't be within a hundred miles so you don't have to worry about me, you know, messing things up.

Thanks, daddy.

You're welcome.

Come on, let's go.

Pastor has to be on time, right?

So there's Moses, he's minding his own business.

He's tending his sheep, whatever that means.

He's, you know, poking at them with a stick.

He's whistling at them.

He's doing something. He's tending to them.

And he sees a burning bush.

Be a little freaky, it's a burning bush, and it speaks and it's God.

And god says, "Moses, take off your shoes.

This is holy ground. "

And he did.

And God said, "I've seen the pain and heard the cries

"of my people in Egypt, and I'm going to deliver them

"from the hand of Pharaoh.

And you are how I will do it. "

Whoa.

And Moses said, "But Lord, I'm a wanted man in Egypt. "

And God said, "I don't care. "

"But Lord, this is no ordinary man.

This is Ramses. "

And God said, "I don't care. "

"But Lord, I can't speak. "

And God said, "Your brother Aaron

"will speak for you.

"And you know, by the way, who are you to tell me, "who made you, what I can and cannot accomplish in you?

"For your greatest weakness is my greatest strength.

And I will be with you. "

Now, do we let God say that to us?

And do we listen when he does?

Thank you for coming.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Good to see you. Good to see you.

Thank you, have a good day.

Hey, look at you guys.

Yeah, I got a little handshake.

That's nice, thank you.

Thank you very much.

Pleasure. Thank you.

Thanks for stopping by.

How'd we do?

If I was a termite, I'd be preparing to meet my maker.

All right.

Pastor Ben.

Hey, just want to thank you.

For?

Shaking us up during the commitment testing.

Making us think about some of the things that we're facing.

It was pure genius.

I have to admit, it actually worked.

I went home to my mom looking for a little bit of sympathy, and she was on your side.

She said most girls spend more of their time thinking of their bridesmaid colors instead of the stuff that really matters.

What did you decide?

We traded in the truck for a minivan.

Really?

We figured we might as well get a head start.

Well, congratulations.

Thank you.

Huh?

What can I say?

I'm good at what I do. Thank you.

Thank you so much for coming. It's good to see you again.

This is the most romantic thing you've ever done.

And since when do you know how to do a cordon bleu in mornay sauce?

Well, since the Clearville house of pizza doesn't deliver, I knew I had to come up with something.

Well, Ben Walker, you are something else.

Take a walk with me.

Okay.

Remember this place?

Our first kiss?

I've been checking out places around town that remind me of when we first started dating, even the bad spots like the bus station.

Oh, I don't consider that a bad spot.

That's where we said good-bye.

Almost.

I still remember the bus driver's annoyed face when you made him stop.

So I never left?

I know you weren't sure about it all, but I really feel like we avoided making some bad decisions that we would have regretted.

And that's why we ended up here.

Do you ever regret it?

We'll, you know, I've had a recent odd spell, a really long one, actually.

But I'm rapidly coming out of it.

Come here.

What is this?

It's for you.

Thank you.

When we were first together years ago, I felt like I was always trying to get away from here.

And I think lately I've been missing some of that fast life I was trying to get to.

But I want to recommit to what we're doing and to our home, to what you wrote in my Bible.

It's beautiful.

We're gonna start some work on the house next week.

I've already spoken to a contractor.

What are you talking about?

We can't afford that.

Well, I took out the $837 we had in the checking account.

Ben, that's all we had.

Well, not anymore.

There's this company called Bessette Industries, and I knew they were about to be taken over so I bought a chunk of call options.

The stock price went up 24%, 18% above the strike price so I exercised my option for... I am losing you, aren't I?

How do you know about all this stuff?

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

So how much did we earn?

Well, enough to put the $837 back in the checking account and make a generous donation to the termite fund, and enough to take care of a few small things around the house.

Wow.

Is it weird that I find this incredibly romantic right now?

No.

Wendy.

Ben, I'm sorry.

There's an emergency down at the hospital.

We gotta go.

But...

There's a guy down there that needs you.

He's dying.

We don't have much time.

No, you go.

Go do what you have to.

I'll be at the house waiting for you.

I'll be back.

Okay. Soon as I can.

This is some sort of joke, right?

No, it's no joke.

The guy's considered God in the past but he's always rejected him and now he thinks it's too late.

Whether he knows it or not, he's more open now than ever.

Why don't you handle it yourself?

That's not how it works, Ben.

I do the angel stuff. You do the people stuff.

By the way, here's your Bible.

But...


Hi.

Hi, may I help you?

Yeah, what's his name?

Henryk Zimmerman.

He hasn't had any visitors.

You're the first.

And the last.

What he's saying is that we just know that he's in bad shape.

It's okay. I'm a clergyman.

Oh, you're the new one over at the Little White Church.

Yeah, that's me.

Room 314, right down the hall.

We have him alone. He doesn't like company.

Difficult patient?

Some of our wealthier patients are a little used to having their own way.

If I was him, I'd be looking for a very small camel and a very large needle.

Ah, like I said, he's new.

What do you want?

I didn't ask for a priest.

Well, I'm not, actually.

I'm the same league, different team.

Oh.

I don't think it's gonna do you any good.

You're maxed out.

Can you fix it?

Sorry.

Then get out of here.

Or did you come to tell me I have a soul and you're gonna save it?

You are a soul. You have a body.

Not for long.

How would you like to tick off some religious people?

There's a story in here I just read, the parable of the vineyard owner.

It's this rich guy.

He owns a vineyard, and he needs some men to work it so he hires some early in the morning.

Goes in the marketplace around 10:00 a. M., he sees some more workers, and he hires them too.

Same things happen again at noon then again at 3:00, then again at 5:00.

At the end of the day, he lines 'em all up so he can pay them, starting with the ones he hired last.

He gives them a full day's wage.

And the guys that he hired first in the morning, that actually worked a full day, figured

"Wow, we're gonna get a lot more money. "

That seems fair.

But when they got paid, they got paid the same amount that the guys who just worked one hour got paid, and they were ticked.

And the owner said, "well, what's it matter to you

"what I pay the other guys?

I kept my deal with you. "

See, the vineyard owner is God.

The wages are entering into heaven.

So the point is it doesn't matter whether you come to God late or early, you get the same reward.

But this is last call.

I wasn't always in this business.

I used to be an investment banker.

Lots of money, expensive toys.

Something you can probably relate to.

Yeah, maybe.

What was it too hot in the kitchen for you?

No, no, I did just fine, but there wasn't any life in it.

I spent years thinking that I was happy, but I didn't know what happy meant.

See, there's more to life.

There are second chances and there's forgiveness.

It is real, Henryk, and I don't think I realized it 'til right at this moment.

Forgiveness, huh?

I don't deserve that. I've done things.

You know what? We all have.

We don't have much time, so I'm gonna cut to the chase.

I'm gonna give you some more stuff that I've learned from the gospels.

Judas, he was a friend of Jesus, but he betrayed him to the death, for money, and not much money at that.

But the Lord is still willing to forgive him, I mean really, really wanted to forgive him, if only he would ask, but he didn't.

He just felt so much guilt. And now it's too late.

So whatever you've done doesn't compare to what Judas did.

But God is willing, and he's looking to forgive you as well.

Well, how would we do this?

I mean if we...

Honestly, I'm pretty new to this myself, so maybe we can work through it together.

But it's simple.

I mean, there is no magic spell.

I mean, God knows your intentions, and I think if you admit all the wrong you've done in your life and ask him with a sincere heart to forgive you, I know he will.

That's not simple.

Yeah, it is. It's just hard.

Your guy's pretty good.

Yeah, but that's my line.

Oh, yeah?

It's a good one.

Thanks.

Still, 68 years I've been trying to get my guy to come on our side.

Your guy's doing it in just 5 minutes.

Oh, probably helps that your guy can see my guy.

Granted. But he's still good.

I like him.

Yeah. Me too.

Dear God.

Dear God.

I believe that you're the one true God.

I believe that. I believe that.

I believe that the Bible is true and Jesus is my Savior.

I believe that the Bible is true and...

Jesus is.

And Jesus is my Savior.

Do you want to take it from here?

Oh, no, no, no, I'm doing fine following you.

All right.

Would it be okay if I follow you quietly in my head?

> Yeah.

That counts, I'm sure.

Okay.

God, I'm glad that you love me and that you're there for me.

I'm sorry for the bad things that I've done.

For being so selfish, for ignoring you for so long and missing out on everything that you wanted from me.

I was so stupid.

Thank you for giving me a second chance.

Thank you for letting me make things right, even though I don't deserve it all.

I want to be yours from now on. I truly do.

Is there anything you want t add?

No, no, that was perfect.

All right, then, Amen.

Amen.

Amen. Amen.

So that's it?

Thank you.

Thank you.

You done good, like you were meant for it.

Yeah, he seemed at peace, so I'm guessing it will go quickly now, huh?

What's the matter?

That was me in there.

I was looking at myself 40 years from now if I stayed the old Ben.

Dare I say he works in mysterious ways.

Can you drop me home?

Wendy's waiting for me.

Let's go.

Hello.

But...

But he...

...yes, I understand.

All right, I understand.

Thank you.

Heh!

That was the boss.

It looks like you're going back.

Going back?

To your old life.

What are you talking about?

You dragged me into this life kicking and screaming and I do what I'm supposed to do, total surrender and now you're gonna send me back?

Not me, you know, him.

Well, then get him back on the phone.

Let me talk to him.

I can't do that, Ben, I'm sorry.

I really am.

Well, then, why?

Why am I here?

Why show me all this if I can't have it?

Why did you have me meet Kimberly and Megan if I can't keep them?

Do you have any idea what it felt like to hear Wendy pray for me, huh?

I mean, more than any deal that I've ever...

All right, look, point is taken.

All right, I'm in. I get it.

I'll sign up for whatever.

It's not real, Ben.

It's not the life you chose.

Maybe you'll go back to your old life with a changed attitude and renewed faith and become a better man.

So what happens to the kids, and the church?

Well, the church will still be there.

It's always been there, and nobody ever said you can't have kids.

I never got to tell her that I love her.

Yeah, I know.

Okay, look.

What if we get to your truck.

We take it there as fast as we can go, all right?

At least give me a chance to say good-bye.

No, there's not enough time.

Give me the keys.

I'm sorry, Ben, I can't.

Just give me the keys.

Ben, look.

Please, don't answer it.

Oh, you want me to stall him?

I don't think you understand.

Please don't.

All right, please, don't answer it.

Please don't answer it!

Oh!

Don't pick it up. Don't pick it up.

Please don't pick it up!

You're awake, finally.

What happened, where am I?

You are in the hospital.

You were driving your new car, which you didn't even tell me about, and you got in some sort of accident.

The doctor said the air bag blew at just the right angle and knocked you unconscious.

You mean I've been here the whole time?

Poor baby.

Don't worry, I'll change the reservations for Paris to next weekend.

I don't want to go to Paris.

What is that supposed to mean?

While I was gone, I mean while I was asleep, the strangest thing happened.

I was married. Huh.

To my ex-girlfriend.

We had kids and I was a...

Benny bear, it doesn't bother me that you were dreaming about your ex.

Let's just...

It wasn't just a dream.

I mean it lasted a couple weeks.

It was so real.

It was a hit on the head.

You've been out for a couple of hours.

Even if that's true, I can't marry you.

I've decided to make some changes in my life, and I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't want to be part of them.

This isn't funny, Ben.

It's not meant to be.

Well, my attorney says that an engagement ring is implied conditional under state law and that means that if you break the engagement, I get to keep the ring.

Yeah, your lawyer's right. You can keep it.

I don't want it anyway.

You don't?

No.

Ben Walker, you are making the biggest mistake of your life.

No, I did that a long time ago.

Oh, it's never easy.

Why, why are you doing this to me?

It's Thursday night.

She's here. She's at the church tonight.

She's here!

You really should stay another night, Mr. Walker.

Yeah, I know. I'm okay.

Sign there, please.

And sign here.

You hit your head very hard.

I know I did, but I'm telling ya, it feels just fine right now.

Here are your personal effects.

Thank you.

That's a nice watch.

You like this watch?

It's a Panerai?

You want it?

What?

What kind of car you drive?


You sounded desperate when you called, and the words are still ringing in my head.

We stood there silent on the phone, and no one spoke until I said I'm still with you, but I know I can save you, save you tonight.

Hey.

Can I help you, sir?

Charlie, it's me, it's Ben.

I'm sorry, do I know you?

Well, of course, what are you talking...

You don't know who I am, do you?

We have haven't met, have we?

No, no, I guess not.

I'm sorry, is Wendy Biederman here?

She was supposed to speak here tonight, I think.

Oh, that ended about an hour ago.

I'm just cleaning up.

Okay, do you know where she went?

I'm an old friend.

She wanted to say hi, but I... I got sidetracked.

She headed back to Chicago tonight.

Yeah, one of our members just dropped her off at the bus station.

Bus station. Of course.

Thanks.

Sure.

Oh, hey, this should take care of your termite problem.

Thanks again.

How'd you know we had a termite problem?

I'm still with you, but I know I can save you, save you tonight, until it breaks your heart.

Now I can save you, until it breaks your heart.

Wendy.

Ben?

Ben Walker?

What are you doing here?

Oh my gosh.

I got your note today so I got to the church, but you had already left so they told me you were here.

Yeah, yeah, my bus leaves in a couple minutes.

Shoot, I would have loved to have caught up.

Couple minutes, huh?

Yeah, I'm going back to Chicago.

I can't believe you're standing here.

When was the last time we...

Fifteen and a half years.

Wow.

I guess you're right, that's, good memory.

So do you have an e-mail address or cell phone?

I can contact you when I get back to Chicago.

Yeah, of course.

Oh, that's a nice card.

So, you don't have time to catch up, huh?

Well, it's so last minute and my bus is leaving, so...

Yeah, yeah, I understand it's no problem.

This is kind of weird, I know.

Final boarding call for Green Line 227 with service to Chicago, Green Line 227 to Chicago now boarding.

That's me.

Well, it was really good to see you, even in this way and I will definitely contact you when I get back, okay?

Yeah. Please do.

All right.

Bye.

Wendy, please don't go yet.

Ben, what are you doing?

What are you doing here, of all places?

I made a huge mistake. I was wrong to leave.

I was wrong to end things with you.

Ben, don't do this.

I have to.

Something's happened to me in the last... something's changed me.

And I've seen what a big mistake I've made in letting you go.

I turned my back on what God wanted for me, for us, and I have missed out on so much.

Ben, you can't do this. I'm leaving.

I'm leaving right now. I have to go.

Why did you send me that note?

Because I wanted to say hi.

Do you think about me?

What might have been, the life we could have built together?

The family what we could have had?

Please, don't do this. I have to go.

Just tell me.

Have you thought about us?

Ben, you broke my heart, and it's taken me so many years...

to get over the hurt and the anger that I've had for you, and the anger I had for God.

I'm fine now. I was fine.

Of course, I've thought about what should have been.

Then don't leave. Don't do what I did.

It was 15 years ago.

We don't know each other.

Yes, we do. Yes, we do.

Now can we take our time?

I'm going into the seminary and...

...I want us...

I want to try it again with you.

We can give it a chance, can't we?

No, no, no. It's too late.

Final call.

I have to go.

I have to go. I cannot do this.

Wendy, please.

Don't go.


Save a few pieces for yourself.

You're eating for two now.

Close up on the belly.

Kimberly, happy birthday.

Happy birthday, Kimberly.


One, two, three.


I was gone for way too long.

But you came in and took me home.

I was lost, couldn't find the strength.

But you turned a stone, carried me home.

Now the sky's so much bluer, the river's less like mud.

And the way I feel about myself is a whole lot more like love.

'Cause I was gone for way too long, But you held my hand and led me home.