Interiors (1978) Movie Script

I had dropped out of law
school when I met Eve.
She was very beautiful,
very pale and cool in her black dress
with never anything more than
a single strand of pearls.
And distant.
Always poised and distant.
At the time the girls were
born it was all so perfect,
so ordered.
Looking back, of course, it was rigid.
The truth is
she created a world around us
that we existed in,
where everything had its place, where
there was always a kind of harmony.
Great dignity.
I will say,
it was like an ice palace.
Then suddenly one day,
out of nowhere,
an enormous abyss opened up beneath our feet
and I was staring into a face
I didn't recognize.
Basic popularity and appeal of Mao
for so-called American Marxists.
This is supposed to go in
under the sequence in reel two
about South Africa.
What we want to do is get to examples.
But the idea is, Mao's style
was Marxist-Leninist,
but that he was accessible
to the lower classes
because of his use of homilies.
The example would be,
"The hardest thing is to act properly
throughout one's whole life."
What the hell does that mean?
Or even worse...
I wasn't expecting you.
I hope I'm not disturbing you.
No. I just couldn't imagine who it was.
Is Joey here?
Joey's in the shower.
Can I get you anything?
Some coffee, if you don't mind.
All right. It's no trouble at all.
I think I found a very
nice vase for the foyer.
You'll probably think it's an extravagance,
but it's not, all things considered.
These pieces are becoming increasingly rare.
Isn't that exquisite?
I hope you like it, because it's perfect
for what I have in mind for the foyer.
We already have a vase in the foyer, Eve.
Yes, but this will never look
right when we redo the floors.
I've never understood why the
floors have to be redone.
We discussed all that, Michael.
Don't you remember?
You agreed.
You know, it costs money to have these
things done and redone three times over.
But it's such a large floor space.
That's why we agreed the paler tones
would make a more subtle statement.
The pale woods would be lovely.
I never agreed about anything.
I'm always being told.
I wouldn't put it that way.
How would you put it, Eve?
First the living room was
finished, then it wasn't.
Then the bedroom needed more work.
Now the floor has to be stripped again.
You picked the sofa, then you hated it.
It was lovely. It was just the wrong scale.
This is not an exact science.
Sometimes you just have to see it.
Then you get the feel of it.
You didn't like that in the bedroom?
I knew you were gonna say something.
I get better use out of it here.
Well, that's fine. It's meant to be used.
It's just that it's part of what
we were trying to do in the bedroom.
The shade and the bedspread set
each other off so nicely, I thought...
How much is the vase?
Give me a break.
All right, Michael, I'll return it.
Would you mind closing the window?
The street noises are just unnerving.
I hope you two aren't
having another argument.
I love that suit.
It's a unique color.
Renata calls it ice-gray.
It makes you look very beautiful.
Isn't she beautiful, Michael?
Very lovely.
I don't feel lovely. I'm exhausted.
I've been running up and down
Second Avenue all day.
Wow. Is this for us? It's exquisite.
I was just showing it to Michael.
It's too expensive, Joey.
Really? Well, that's too bad.
Eve, let's keep it.
Yeah, let's keep it. It's beautiful.
We'll work something out.
No, I was just carried away by it.
I don't know why.
I guess it's because it's so unique.
But it is an extravagance.
I'll just look for something along
the same lines at a better price.
But I have to point out, this
really belongs in the bedroom
because it's too insignificant
a piece for in here.
This shade is just wrong against
all these slick surfaces.
- I'll put it back.
- I'll do it.
I just want to try it in a different spot.
I'll pick something for you,
something more inexpensive.
I've seen some nice pewters.
I should have done that.
And I can make the shade in
smoother fabric, if you prefer.
But we should stick with
my beiges and my earth tones.
"My beiges and earth tones."
Stop picking on her.
Nobody's picking on her.
She's a sick woman.
That's great.
Yes, it's nice.
So, how do you feel?
I'm fine. I'm just
a little tired, that's all.
Thank you.
I'm doing so many jobs.
It's just exhausting.
Yeah, I know. I can't get over
how you jump right in and do it.
Well, I like it.
I like to be busy.
And I think by now I can say that
my comeback is over the shaky period.
- Wouldn't you say?
- I think so.
I think your work is better,
in fact, than it's ever been.
- Do you?
- Yeah.
Well, I have to admit I have received
some rather special compliments lately.
Yes, well, my spirits are high.
I'm feeling good about myself.
Not to say that I don't run
into an occasional setback,
but I haven't really felt so
confident in a long time.
I can see it. You look better
than you have in ages.
Have you talked to Dad lately?
No, he's still in Greece.
Well, when he comes back I hope he'll
corroborate the state of my well-being.
Of course.
I've certainly pulled myself together
in a way he never thought possible.
You're really impressive.
Well, maybe a reconciliation
could finally be discussed.
Think so?
I mean, it hasn't been that much time.
I really... I don't know.
Why are you always so negative about it?
I don't think that was negative.
You're always reluctant to encourage me.
I don't know why.
Mother, I know you're optimistic,
but it's important to be realistic too.
Is there something you know
that you're not saying?
Dr. Lobel doesn't think it's unrealistic
to hope that your father and I
might reconcile.
It's just a goal.
Fine. I didn't say anything
to get in the way of that.
You always make it sound
as though it's impossible.
I didn't say it was impossible.
Yes, you did.
You implied that a lot.
- Renata thinks it's going to happen.
- Renata.
- I'm sure she didn't say that.
- Yes, she did. She implied that.
- Maybe you read into...
- No, I didn't.
She just looks on the bright side.
That's wonderful. I just don't think
you should delude yourself either.
You don't think there's any chance your
father will want to live with me again?
I didn't say that.
Renata thinks there's a good chance.
Just wait and see.
You just refuse to encourage me.
Why don't you discuss it with Renata?
I will, thank you. I will.
Mother paced all the time.
She was an insomniac.
You could
always hear her upstairs,
pacing in the middle of the night.
But that was more when she
got back from the hospital.
I saw her
the first day that they brought her back...
She had had all this
electric shock therapy,
and her hair looked gray.
I couldn't believe it.
It was like
she was a stranger.
After that, she was always sort of,
coming in and
going out.
You never knew.
Before her breakdown, she was a very
successful woman, very demanding.
She put Dad through law school and
financed the start of his practice
so, in a sense, it was like
he was her creation.
We kept getting shuffled
around to aunts and cousins.
I guess Joey had the worst of it 'cause...
As a kid, Joey was very high-strung.
She was a bright kid.
She was very sensitive.
We'd spend some time with Dad,
mostly long Sunday breakfasts.
I always resented his relationship to her.
I always felt that he favored Joey.
It just seemed that they were very
close and that I was left out.
I like Frederick.
He has dignity,
and promise as a writer.
My own strength is visual.
Your images are visual, Renata.
But, in all candor,
I much prefer Frederick to Mike.
Mike's fine, Mother.
He uses a very strong after-shave.
It permeates the house.
I don't want to talk about it.
Do you think, if I bought him another
kind of cologne, that he would switch?
Can we talk about something else?
Well, let me give him some.
Then we won't have to talk about it.
It'll just be my gift.
Could we please talk about something else?
I want to say something.
I'm going to be very direct.
I think the occasion calls for it.
I've done a lot of thinking
about this matter,
and a great deal of soul-searching.
Now that the girls are all on their
own, I feel that for my own self
I must come to this decision,
though I don't take it lightly.
I feel I've been a dedicated husband
and a responsible father,
and I haven't regretted anything
I've been called upon to do.
Now I feel I want to be
by myself for a while.
So, consequently, I've decided
to move out of the house.
I don't know how I'll feel
about it when I finally do it,
and it's not irrevocable,
but it's something I have to try.
Though, as I say, it's not
an irrevocable situation.
It's a separation.
It may be for the best.
I mean...
I wanted to lay it on the
table in front of everyone
so that everything is open
and as direct as possible.
Will you please not breathe so hard.
I'll move out.
What does that mean?
I don't want to live in this house anymore.
Eve, think about it.
Move out.
Look, it's not irrevocable.
It's a trial separation.
I can't be alone.
I don't want to
discuss the details just now.
It's a very bad time for me.
My impotence set in a year ago.
My paralysis.
I suddenly found I couldn't
bring myself to write anymore.
I shouldn't say "suddenly." Actually,
it started happening last winter.
Increasing thoughts about death
just seemed to come over me.
A preoccupation with my own mortality.
feelings of futility in relation to my work.
Just what am I striving to create, anyway?
To what end? For what purpose, what goal?
I mean,
do I really care if some of my poems
are read after I'm gone forever?
Is that supposed to be
some sort of compensation?
I used to think it was,
now, for some reason,
I can't seem to...
I can't seem to shake
the real implication of dying.
It's terrifying.
The intimacy of it embarrasses me.
Are you still thinking about your mother?
I can't believe Renata encourages her.
She fills her full of false hope.
She's just trying to keep her spirits up.
I want to quit my job.
I can't keep my mind on it.
I can't concentrate.
I sit there reading
other people's manuscripts,
and halfway through I lose interest.
I get headaches from the words,
and then I'm supposed to write an opinion.
It's not fair to the authors.
A month ago you said you'd finally
found something you enjoyed.
Well, I was wrong.
I think about going back to acting.
I'm not an actress.
Can't do that again.
Flyn's the actress in this family.
Why don't you work with me?
Because political activity
is not my interest.
I'm too self-centered for that.
That's my whole point.
It would get you off yourself.
Sometimes I think if we had a child...
That really makes me anxious.
It's totally irrevocable.
Whatever happened to your photography?
You have so much potential.
You used to be so hot on that.
I hate it. It's stupid.
I feel a real need to express something,
but I don't know what it is I want
to express or how to express it.
It's always so difficult getting
Mother a birthday present.
It's impossible.
Let's not stay long at the party.
I want to finish proofreading those galleys.
Come on, Frederick.
I hardly ever see Mother.
I hardly ever spend any time with her.
It won't be so terrible. Flyn will be there.
Terrific. We'll get caught up
on her latest Hollywood gossip.
Come on, Frederick. You know Flyn likes you.
And don't behave condescendingly.
She senses that you talk down to her.
I don't talk down to Flyn.
I love hearing about her hair, her weight,
the latest TV junk she's done.
Well, that's her life.
Anyway, you have to admit
she is a sexy little girl.
No. Flyn is the opposite of sexy.
What about a scarf?
Flyn suffers from the same thing
my last book suffered from.
She's a perfect example
of form without any content.
That's very profound.
You haven't even started drinking yet.
Yeah, I am profound. And I'm
not the award-winning writer.
You're the one who's supposed to
be giving me insights into sex
and other world-shattering phenomenon.
- Really.
- Let's go.
Come on.
You look fabulous, Mother.
But the main thing is
that you're feeling well.
But I tire so easily.
Can I help you with something?
Joey says you're thinking about taking
on decorating projects again, Mother.
Yes, Joey pushes me.
But I won't accept anything
until I'm sure I can maintain the
level that I expect of myself.
Mother, I can't believe this view.
It's just beautiful.
I'm getting used to it.
- I miss the sea.
- Yeah.
I can't get over how sexy Flyn got.
Yeah. She looks beautiful, doesn't she?
Your new film is in Arizona?
No, it's in Denver.
I leave tomorrow morning.
I have to shoot on Monday.
I have so many lines to learn. But
it's just a television movie.
Did you speak to Dad?
Yeah, I spoke to him on the phone once.
Did he mention anything?
He said he visits here.
Just now and then.
I have nothing to live for anymore.
Come on, Mom, don't say that.
It's true.
You know that's not true.
It's all right, Mom.
What's the matter?
Nothing. She's fine.
Mom, it's a trial separation.
Of course. We've been through this before.
It just takes time.
Everything will work out.
It's her birthday. Let her enjoy it.
I don't think that's exactly the right way.
Do you like it?
That's beautiful.
That's lovely.
That'll be really good for you.
It's exactly like yours.
Very nice. Thanks.
I hope it fits.
I think it... I'm pretty positive it will.
Frederick has finished what I've already
told him is his best work by far.
You said that about the last one.
But I feel this one really comes off.
It's terribly concise.
Yeah. You said the same thing.
"Concise." "Spare," you said.
You couldn't think of anything
you liked about it
so you had to call it something.
Concise. Spare. Pithy. Lean.
Okay, okay, well, you just can't
handle a compliment, that's all.
No, I guess I can't.
We gotta go.
Really? We hardly had any chance to speak.
I know.
So, how are you doing? You look okay.
I'm good.
I read something of yours in a magazine.
New Yorker, I think.
A poem called "Wondering."
It was very beautiful.
It's an old poem. I redid it.
Now, when I reread it,
I find it much too ambiguous.
Yeah, I may redo it again.
We're starting our drive back.
Can we drop you someplace?
I have to catch a plane
really early tomorrow morning.
Right. You're shooting a movie in
those cold Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Couldn't be someplace like Acapulco?
That's my idea of fantasy.
Lie around on a beach,
get waited on hand and foot.
Really? I can't take Mexico.
I always think I'm gonna get shot
just walking down the street.
What was that?
"Happy birthday. Love, Arthur."
They're beautiful.
I like white roses better than
any other flower on Earth.
There you are, Mother.
I knew he wouldn't forget.
Mom, and you were worried.
They're a good sign. Don't you think?
Are you getting dressed, or what?
Are you talking to me?
We said everything.
Don't blame me. I've been
nothing but understanding.
You don't help by patronizing me.
I wasn't patronizing you.
Your work is great. Who cares
what the critics think?
That's easy for you to say. You
get nothing but encouragement.
You're their little darling.
They're lenient with me,
obviously, because I'm a woman.
It's because you're so damn good.
So are you.
The book didn't get
the response it deserved.
I hate to tell you how often
they've missed the boat.
Stop lying to me. I count on
you for honesty, not flattery.
I'm not lying. And who
cares what anybody thinks.
They think what I think. My work once
showed promise, and I haven't delivered.
Your work's not fashionable, Frederick.
You should be thankful for that.
I mean, what are you after?
The superficial acclaim of some little
book reviewer in some room somewhere?
We've always talked about fine work
that means something in the long run.
I don't care about fine work.
I don't wanna wait 25 years
to be appreciated.
I wanna be able to knock somebody over now!
They're stricter with you
because you attempt more.
They refuse to consider that.
Stop looking for excuses.
I'm not writing for a time capsule.
And half the stuff that's written
is garbage, they pay sky high.
The baby-sitter will be here in a minute.
I'm not going!
We can't not go.
What is the matter with you?
I'm not in the mood for your lesbian friends
and a lot of vacuous gossip
about New York poetesses.
Stop pitying yourself so much.
It's nauseating. I'm going.
Why can't you, just once in a while,
consider my feelings and my needs?
I'm sick of your needs. I'm tired of
your idiosyncrasy and competitiveness.
I have my own problems.
There'll be lots of superficial
chitchat about the nature of poetry,
your symbolism, your imagery,
your contribution to whatever.
We never see Marion and Gail.
I don't understand.
You used to like them.
I can't stand them. They're so enthusiastic.
College kids. I get embarrassed.
Well, don't get embarrassed.
Stay home, drink yourself unconscious.
That's one of the cliches
of being a novelist
you've had no problem with.
Yeah, I sure can drink.
Yes, you're fine as long as
I keep everything going.
"Keep everything going"?
Do you mean the monthly check from Daddy
so that you can write yourself
into immortality?
I also raised the family
that you thought you wanted.
Hey. You made some noises
about experiencing motherhood.
I'm sure you thought it was
great potential raw material.
Now you've got another human being.
Three of us.
It wasn't my idea. And I'm not
ashamed to be subsidized either.
I turn things out.
Yeah. You do.
You turn things out. You're incredible.
Frederick, you have so much to offer.
I want to help, not hurt.
I can't go out.
I'm not in the mood.
I'm liable to kill somebody.
I'm going. Good night.
You look as good as I've
seen you in a long time.
And in no time at all, you've turned
this place into a lovely home.
I saw Joey last week.
I may be working on her apartment.
Mike seems amenable. He isn't
really what I had in mind for Joey.
But I'm getting more used to him.
She has no direction.
I expected such great things from her.
She was an extraordinary child.
How are you getting along, Arthur?
Fine. I'm fine.
It's important to keep busy.
Did you like the Matisse drawing?
It was on sale at Parke Bernet.
Yes. It's lovely.
So delicate.
we'll talk, Eve.
Good night.
She's got to go back to the
sanitarium for a while, at least.
Poor Joey. Poor Joey.
She spends so much time with her.
But what's the point?
We can't watch her constantly.
There's no way you can be
with her all the time.
How is Joey?
I worry about her.
She seems to be floundering.
I don't know. I guess she
hasn't found herself yet.
Couldn't you help her? She looks up to you.
I do, Dad. I try. I try to be supportive.
I've tried to encourage her.
I'm not criticizing,
but it just seems to me there's always
been an antagonism between you two.
You know Joey. She tends
to be competitive with me.
Well, you're very successful.
I think you hold that over her.
Come on, Dad. That's not true.
Now, Renata, I'm not blind.
I see what's going on.
You seclude yourself in Connecticut,
acting out the part of the aloof
artist, and no one can get near you.
I don't want to discuss this right now.
Can we just avoid the subject?
I'm upset. You're upset.
Joey had such potential. Now
it's come to nothing...
It's so typical. It's so typical.
As usual, you're obsessed with Joey
- while Mother's in a hospital room.
- Don't blame me for that.
That's nobody's fault.
How's Frederick?
He's going to be teaching at Barnard.
How nice.
I read something he wrote recently
in the Sunday Times. A review, I think.
It was very nasty, but very funny.
It's a giraffe.
Enormous. Cory would love it.
It's probably way too much money,
but I'd really like to buy her one.
She's so cute.
She sits and has conversations
with the television set.
She's such a pretty thing.
How's Mike?
We'd love to get together
with you and Frederick.
That'd be great, but, you know,
it's been a rough week for me.
It doesn't have to be this week.
I mean, I gotta give Frederick a
chance to get settled in at Barnard.
Rennie, why do you keep pushing me away?
I don't.
Yeah, you do.
It's like you don't want me near you.
Joey, come on.
You know I've been having work problems.
I need isolation. I need to be alone.
The creative thing, it's very delicate.
Well, that's great, isn't it?
You're hiding behind your work,
Flyn's never here, and I inherited Mother.
I see Mother too. I phone her.
Yeah, but you're in Connecticut
and I end up with all the dirty work.
Look, I can't help it if you feel guilty
about your feelings toward Mother.
You can't seem to do enough
to make up for it.
What's that supposed to mean?
You know what it means.
You could never stand her.
I don't believe this. My whole
life I've only wanted to be her.
Yeah? Well, for a while there
you were her, weren't you?
I don't know what you're talking about.
You know what I'm talking about.
All those headaches when she'd
come home from the hospital?
You never wanted her to come home.
Incredible. You twist everything I say.
I give up.
You okay?
I just experienced the strangest sensation.
Well, you look kind of pale.
It was as if I'd had a sudden
clear vision where everything seems
sort of awful and predatory.
It was like...
It was like I was here,
and the world was out there,
and I couldn't bring us together.
Could you maybe have dozed off and
had one of those dreams again?
No, because the same thing happened
last week when I was reading upstairs.
I suddenly became hyperaware of my body.
I could feel my heart beating,
and I began to imagine that.
I could feel the blood
coursing through my veins
and my hands and in the back of my neck.
I felt precarious.
It was like I was a machine
that was functioning,
but I could just conk out at any second.
You're not gonna conk out.
You gotta put those kind of
thoughts out of your head.
It frightens me too, you know, because
I'm not that far from the age when.
Mother began showing signs of strain.
You're not your mother. You're not.
You've been under stress,
you haven't been sleeping
well, things like that.
That's all.
What, are these...
Are these Joey's photographs?
Let me see.
They're not very good, I'm afraid.
No, she doesn't really have an eye.
She's gonna want to know what you
think, so you'd better get ready.
Poor Joey.
She has all the anguish and anxiety
of the artistic personality
without any of the talent,
and naturally, I'm put in the
position of having to encourage her.
No, tell her the truth. Get it over with.
Don't lead her on.
I don't lead her on.
But I can't break her heart.
You know how competitive she is with me.
I always think it's better
to level with a person.
I wish you'd done that with me.
I did.
No, you flattered me, and I liked it.
Frederick, you're good, and
I've never hesitated to say it.
There was something missing from my work.
I don't know.
I don't know if I've lost it,
or never had it, or what.
You're capable of being extraordinary,
and you stopped for spite.
No, not for spite.
I'll get back to it someday.
You throw everything away to spite me.
Let's not talk about it. Okay?
What are you gonna say to Joey?
She should marry Michael and stop her
obsessive worrying about being creative.
Sometimes she just annoys me.
Praise the Lord.
Jimmy's getting excited there, isn't he?
It's exciting to be a Christian.
I have a gentleman who's a friend of mine.
A fairly new friend, but our friendship
goes way back to the cross of Calvary.
Roy Schwartz, it's a delight
to have you here today.
Now, Roy, you are, by birth,
what nationality?
A Hebrew.
I was talking about God's chosen people.
You're probably very aware.
You've studied your history.
You're involved in this.
What part do the Jewish people
and the nation of Israel have
in God's timepiece today?
- You're late.
- I'm sorry.
It's 45 minutes.
Traffic was unbearable. I'm sorry.
You should take that into account...
Could we drop this, please?
My head is splitting.
What's the matter?
What do you think? I'm pregnant.
I thought you might be.
I'm so goddamned annoyed.
All right, we'll take care of it.
Naturally. I'm not having a kid.
We'll take care of it. It's nothing.
It's so stupid. How can I be so careless?
It happens.
Having a kid wouldn't be
the end of the world.
- For you, maybe. For me, it would be.
- I'm sorry you feel that way.
Michael. I've thought about it. It's absurd.
How could we have a kid?
I don't even know where my life is going.
Maybe it's not such a great idea.
You don't think so either?
I guess not.
What happened to you?
Nothing. I'm sorry.
We found something wonderful
for the bedroom.
This won't be too expensive, I hope.
A little more than we planned, but...
We had this discussion already...
Can we not have a financial dispute?
It's right over here.
I think you'll like it.
Your father's back from Greece.
- Is he?
- You know he's back.
You're having dinner with him
tomorrow at Renata's. Renata told me.
Were you not going to tell me?
Yes. I just know how you'd react.
Talk to him, Joey. He listens to you.
He's a grown man.
He makes his own decisions.
Yes, but he puts great store
by what you have to say.
If he wants to move back in, he will.
If he doesn't, he won't.
Why are you so reluctant to help me?
Reluctant? I do nothing but cater to you.
It's as though you don't care whether
we get back together or not.
Why wouldn't I want you to be happy?
You just shouldn't delude yourself.
Will you tell him how well I'm doing,
that my work is flourishing again,
and that my mood swings are less erratic?
He doesn't care.
He wants to know I'm on an even keel.
I have an inner tranquility now and...
Leave me alone.
Just leave me out of it!
Joey, where are you going?
Maybe it wouldn't be such a
bad idea to have a child.
- Please.
- Sometimes just taking an action...
I can't. Okay?
You mean you won't.
I don't understand why you stay with me.
I give you nothing but grief.
You should take the job
at the advertising agency
and we should think about getting settled.
Right. That's all I need. Start
writing copy and having kids.
I'd never get out of it. I'd be
swallowed up in an anonymous lifestyle.
I want to do something with my life.
God, now I'm guilty because I
left my mother standing there.
- She'll be fine.
- A lot you care.
It's your mother that can't stand me.
I hope the cat isn't in the kitchen.
Cory's gonna go upstairs and play.
I'll see you later. All right, good-bye.
I could get them all
out in a month and a half.
And then you wouldn't have anything
left to say, right? -
He was so excited when I spoke to him.
He saw that terrible movie
Flyn was in on the plane.
Nice to see you.
The traffic in this town
is getting impossible.
- Hi, Joey.
- Hi, Daddy.
Renata. Hi. Hello, Daddy.
This is Pearl.
- Hello.
- Hi.
I'm Mike. This is Joey, Renata.
- Glad to meet you. Hi.
- Hello.
- Frederick here.
- Hi.
Would you like anything to drink?
Whatever Arthur's having's fine.
Sit down there. It's probably the
only comfortable place in the house.
It's good to be back.
Well, you must have enjoyed Athens.
You can't beat the Greek Islands
for sand and blue water.
And the food. I could eat
lamb six times a day.
And this one and his ouzu.
The only problem I had was,
nobody spoke English.
Didn't matter. Everybody
understood what was important.
Did you get a chance to see any
of the temples, architecture?
Yes. It's so wonderful.
You're steeped in history.
We saw some great examples
from the fifth century B.C.
Remember that island with the temple?
Beautifully preserved.
I prefer the beaches.
She could sit in the sun all day.
That's enough ruins.
How many ruins can you see?
But that hot sand, that
blue water, that's for me.
I don't want to rush anyone, but maybe
we should continue in the other room.
First time I went to Europe
with my first husband, many years ago,
all we saw was churches,
one cathedral after another.
Don't misunderstand. They were beautiful.
But so you see two or three,
then enough already.
Did you know he was bringing someone?
Yes. Didn't I mention it?
Give me a good sirloin anytime.
Charcoaled. They talk about
club steaks and porterhouse.
Sirloin, charcoaled and blood-rare.
Pearl's husband was a chef.
He was an amateur chef.
Actually, he was in the jewelry business.
My first husband, may he rest in peace.
Adam, my second, was an orthodontist.
How many have you had?
Adam had a massive coronary.
Rudy was an alcoholic.
Would you like some more gravy?
- No, no, it's too heavy.
- Aw!
What are you worried about?
It's delicious. Try it.
Where are you from, Pearl?
We lived all over when I was younger,
but I prefer a warm climate.
I even lived in Australia for a year.
With my sister Faye, when Adam died.
I went nuts. It's dead there.
I was in Sydney, Australia, once.
Was I lying? Did you like it?
It was just vacation. I was
only there a couple of days.
Lucky. It's like a morgue.
Nothing to do at night, no pizazz.
I couldn't take that.
Here's a woman who
could go dancing every night.
Well, you know what I say.
You only live once, but once is
enough if you play it right.
Do you have any children, Pearl?
Yes. I have two sons.
Lewis and John.
Lewis is in real estate.
John runs an art gallery.
In the lobby in Caesar's
Palace in Las Vegas.
It's not exactly a gallery.
It's more a concession.
Paintings of clowns on black velvet?
That's right. Junk.
It's pure junk.
But people get a kick out of it.
He does very nicely.
Pearl collects African art.
I love black ebony.
I own some statues. Actually,
they're from Trinidad.
I love those real primitive statues
with the big hips and the big breasts.
I even have some voodoo masks.
I believe in that stuff.
I could tell your fortune, but I'd
need a deck of cards. Later, maybe.
This couple we met in Aegina
were raving about it,
so I cabled from the office to get
two tickets, and I'm glad I did.
It was fabulous. -We thought
it was very interesting too.
But depressing as hell.
It was pessimistic to the point of futility.
Fashionable pessimism
is all the rage nowadays.
When they sentenced
those Algerians to death,
I thought that was a good ending.
You call it fashionable,
but it's hard to argue that in the face
of death, life loses real meaning.
It is?
Well, I can't argue it succinctly,
but if you read Socrates or Buddha
or Schopenhauer or even Ecclesiastes,
they're very convincing.
Well, they should know.
I don't read that much.
What struck me was that the terrorists
only killed if they absolutely had to.
Never wantonly, just if they had
to to achieve their own aims.
I was very moved
when that Algerian boy said,
"We killed in the name of freedom."
That gave me chills.
It's still killing for an abstraction.
Why? You value the life of one person
over the lives of thousands of others?
I don't know. Who are those thousands?
It's another abstraction.
To me, the conflict over
the giving of the information
between the French doctor and the Algerian
was the best part of the play.
I know.
The writer argued both sides so well,
you didn't know who was right.
I didn't get that.
I mean, to me it wasn't such a big deal.
One was a squealer, the other wasn't.
I liked the guy that wasn't.
Well, it's a little more complex
than that, don't you think?
Why? You liked the squealer?
Did I miss something?
That's what made me anxious about the play.
How do you figure out the right thing to do?
How do you know?
I don't know. You just know.
I mean, you feel it.
You just don't squeal. I don't know.
Anyway, it was a good evening
in the theater for a change.
I'd love another piece of cheesecake, but...
Well, have it...
What are you worried about?
You'll live to be 100 if you give up
all the things that make you want to.
Am I the only one, or is it hot in here?
Can we open a window?
Okay, ready?
Okay, pick a card.
- Go on.
- Okay, here I go.
- Okay, put it back anyplace.
- Let me see it.
All right? Okay.
I'm ready.
All right.
Okay, now we shuffle.
- All right.
- What?
Nothing. Just go ahead.
- Was it that?
- No.
- That?
- Wrong.
- That?
- No.
It's none of those three, right?
None of those three.
It's not that one.
- It's not that one.
- No.
It's that one.
That's fantastic.
How did you do that?
What's the difference?
That is a miraculous card trick.
And I was watching really closely this time.
Where did you learn that?
I've been around.
I've picked up a lot of useless information.
You tell fortunes, you do card tricks.
You do seances too?
Not me.
Whatever's out there, it's their business.
Besides, you think I wanna
bring back my ex-husbands?
As soon as possible, Pearl and
I are going to get married.
That's gonna sink Mother.
She'll have a hard time at
first, but she'll get over it.
- That's easy for you to say.
- It's not easy.
How long have you know her, Dad?
Now a month.
A month? Isn't that a little hasty?
We've spent a lot of time together.
That's a lot of time, four weeks?
I expect you all at the wedding. Flyn too.
I insist that Flyn meet Pearl and
be there when we're married.
The whole thing does seem a bit fast.
It's going to be fine.
She's a nice woman, she's
kind, she's affectionate.
Christ, I'm 63 years old. I want to relax.
I'm happy just to lie on the beach with her.
I like it that's she's full of
energy, and demonstrative and open.
You just met her. She's a widow
and you're a wealthy man.
- What's that mean? She's after my money?
- She's not saying that.
Is that so far-fetched?
- I won't dignify that.
- Don't get upset.
It's just, a man in your
position has to be careful.
You don't know her yet. She's
a fine woman, and I love her.
Okay, but it's going to be
the worst possible thing
that could happen to Mother.
She still imagines we'll get back together?
Of course she imagines it, because
everyone except me leads her on.
I don't wanna hear that old story.
It's true.
From the day you moved out, all that
talk about a "trial separation."
You were never coming back. -I
wanted to let her down easily.
She's such a fragile thing.
She is not a thing.
We treat her like a hospital patient.
She's a human being.
But you treat her like a human being
by always throwing cold water on her hopes.
What hopes? Now look what's happening.
It was bound to happen sooner or later.
The most we could do is postpone it.
We're all she lives for.
Don't give me that responsibility.
Now you're abandoning her for this...
Don't go any further.
Dad, don't get all riled up.
Don't think I didn't see you two looking
at her in a judgmental, superior way.
Now you're imagining things.
We knew about your affairs before,
but your choices were more discreet.
Joey, shut up.
Dad, she's upset.
Why do you do this to me? Your
opinion is important to me.
She's a vulgarian.
Joey, be quiet.
I don't want to discuss this.
You should do as you feel with our blessing.
Joey, I count on you.
I'm sorry. I can't help it.
Will you tell him it's okay. Obviously
it's your approval he needs.
He had no trouble getting yours.
Clearly, it doesn't mean as much as yours.
I want the support of all my daughters!
I'm not just her to make
sacrifices and foot the bills.
It's time you thought of me.
I'm sorry to have hurried you through lunch,
but I wanted you to see this before
the place gets cluttered with people.
When you wrote from Greece,
you were telling me about the
mosaics in the orthodox churches.
But look at this, all these mosaics.
There, behind the altar.
And in a Romanesque church.
Isn't that amazing? Look at that.
And here in New York.
It's really incredible.
That's surprising.
It makes me homesick for our trips.
All those churches. You must have
seen a lot when you were there.
It'd be so marvelous to forget everything,
and take a nice, slow trip to the Far East.
It would get us back on the right track.
Eve, I said I had something
I wanted to say to you.
I think we should finalize our divorce.
You do?
I think sooner or later
we've got to face reality
and try to make new lives for ourselves.
It's very funny, because I thought
that's what might be on your mind.
It's not the end of the world.
It's not?
I think it's pretty goddamn terrible.
Now, Eve, everything's
going to be just fine.
I know that it's a little soon, perhaps,
to talk about a reconciliation
but I don't see why we have to
finalize our divorce.
I don't see why we can't
just go on the way we are.
- We should be free to make other plans.
- Like what?
Well, in the event
that we meet other people,
to become involved...
You want to remarry? Is that it?
I'm not discussing that.
Have you met someone?
- No.
- You're lying.
Of course you've met someone. Why
don't you be honest about it?
I have, but you'll make too much of it.
Never mind. Just don't talk about it.
I don't want to hear anymore.
I talked with your doctor.
He feels you can handle this.
You talked to him behind my back?
Not behind your back.
You discussed this with Dr.
Lobel behind my back.
That's so humiliating.
It's your doctor and myself.
How private can one be?
And he assured you that I can handle it.
Is that right?
How humiliating.
You're not humiliated.
I just want to die.
Now stop that.
I just hate myself.
I'm fine! I'm fine.
I can't breathe.
I can't breathe!
God, it's good to see you. How are you?
You look terrific. You really do.
That's a great sweater.
- No.
- No, it really is.
You've seen this sweater before.
No, I haven't. It's terrific.
Are you tanned, Rennie?
You been somewhere?
Why? Do I have on too much makeup?
You're the one who looks great.
No, I don't. I'm heavy.
I've gained weight.
My plane flight was so bumpy,
I thought I was gonna die.
I made such a fool of myself with
the man next to me. -
Have you met Pearl?
Yes. She's not what I expected.
God, isn't it strange
being back in the house again?
- Yeah.
- Have you spoken with Mother?
Yes. We're having dinner this week.
How's she holding up?
Better than we all expected.
Isn't that right, Joey?
She took it very badly at first...
but after the initial shock
she seemed to come out of it.
Joey feels that all of her Jesus Christ
nonsense is actually a bit of a help.
Well, whatever works.
- Hello, Flyn.
- Michael! Gosh, hi.
- Nice to see you.
- It's good to see you too.
Joey, what are you up to?
Yet another job. At an ad agency.
That's fabulous.
No, but it's temporary.
Here we are. I made some
cocktail franks and meatballs.
About time too. I'm starved.
There's plenty to eat and drink.
We have everything
your little heart desires.
Are you and Dad gonna be staying here,
or are you gonna take a place in town?
It's a little quiet out here,
but Arthur loves it.
Of course, the house needs redoing.
In what way?
I don't know. It's just the
two of us, and it's kinda pale.
Besides, I have so much furniture
of my own, pictures, knickknacks.
This place would look like a warehouse.
Would you like to hear some music?
Do I look older?
Yeah, I mean it. Do you think I look older?
No. Why would you think that?
I don't know.
I look in the mirror every day
and I feel discouraged.
Now I see you, and you don't change at all.
Your skin is like cream. I'm so envious.
I work at it.
No, I don't think that's it.
I have a few good years,
then my youth will be frozen on
old celluloid for TV movies.
Flyn, you're more than just beautiful.
You know you have a lot of talent.
Don't pump me up.
Why do you say that?
I know what I am.
I'm not treated seriously.
When really classy projects
come along, I get passed over.
If it wasn't for TV, I
wouldn't make enough to live.
You have always been
so self-deprecating, Flyn.
You're the gifted one in this family, Rennie.
I'm proud of you.
I wish you lived here. I really do.
Every time I see you, it just
reminds me how much I do miss you.
How's Frederick?
He's angry.
He's teaching when he really
wants to be writing.
Teaching something
that can't be taught anyway.
Now he's taking his rage out
in these critical pieces
under the guise of high standards.
I don't know. I guess I...
I don't think I've been very good for him.
Rennie, he idolizes you.
We ought to get back.
No, I'm going to stay a while longer.
Okay, I'll see you back there.
I love you.
You know I want you to be happy.
I want you both to be happy.
Tell her.
Tell Pearl.
I know she puts on a gay facade,
but she knows how you feel.
Tell her.
Will you?
You look deep in thought.
I'm deep in vodka.
Would you help me get my boots off?
That's the best offer I've had all year.
I paid 200 bucks for these
boots, and they kill my feet.
I did a terrible thing last week.
I wrote about this friend's book...
Not a very good book.
And I pointed that out, which is
what I was getting paid to do.
But I was extremely cruel about it,
and I took great pleasure in my cruelty.
My anger scares me.
I don't like what I'm becoming.
I happen to think you're a
very impressive person.
I think you have very impressive feet.
And I happen to think you're very drunk.
Come on. Not yet.
Yes. Thank you.
We are gathered together here,
in the presence of this company,
to join this man and this woman
in the bonds of matrimony.
Arthur, will you have this
woman as your wedded wife,
to live together in the ordinances
and the state of matrimony?
Will you love her, comfort
her, honor and keep her,
in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others,
keep you only unto her
so long as you both do live?
I will.
Pearl, will you have this
man as your wedded husband,
to live together in the ordinances
and the state of matrimony?
Will you love him, comfort
him, honor and keep him,
in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others,
keep you only unto him
so long as you both do live?
I will.
Inasmuch as Arthur and Pearl
have consented together in wedlock,
and have witnessed the same
before this company,
and thereto have pledged, each to the other,
and have declared the same
by joining of hands,
I, in accordance with the authority
vested in me by the State of New York
pronounce that they are husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride.
Well, Arthur, friends...
Jesus, I don't think I've ever
seen him dance before in his life.
Okay, don't forget.
Let me get you some champagne.
Come on, baby.
Jesus Christ! Be careful!
- You've had too much to drink.
- I'm not drunk.
Just because I don't act like an animal.
That's enough.
Please, just leave me alone!
Frederick, you're drunk.
Come on. You're always flirting with me.
You flirt. You like to be looked at.
Otherwise you don't exist,
except in somebody else's eyes.
Stop it, Frederick. You're drunk.
No, I'm celebrating.
You've got a new mother. She's a hot number.
Can't you feel the heat?
Come on.
It's been a long time since I made love
to a woman I didn't feel inferior to.
Or am I being tactless?
Is that you?
You shouldn't be here.
Not tonight.
I'll take you home.
You look so strange and tired.
I feel like we're in a dream together.
Please don't look so sad.
It makes me feel so guilty.
I'm so consumed with guilt.
It's ironic,
I've cared for you so,
and you have nothing but disdain for me,
and yet I feel guilty.
I think you're
really too perfect
to live in this world.
I mean, all the
beautifully furnished rooms,
carefully designed interiors,
everything so controlled.
There wasn't any room for
any real feelings.
Between any of us.
Except Renata,
who never gave you the time of day.
You worship Renata.
You worship talent.
Well, what happens to those
of us who can't create?
What do we do? What do I do when I'm
overwhelmed with feelings about life?
How do I get them out?
I feel such rage toward you!
don't you see?
not just a sick woman.
That would be too easy.
The truth is,
there's been perverseness,
and willfulness of attitude
in many of the things you've done.
At the center of a sick psyche,
there is a sick spirit.
But I love you.
And we have no other choice
but to forgive each other.
Are you talking to someone?
I thought I heard voices.
- Yes?
- What?
You said "Mother," and I said "Yes."
After the funeral service
we all returned to the beach house.
I couldn't help experiencing
some very nostalgic memories.
Naturally, of my mother,
and pleasantly, of the few
warmer moments we'd known.
I recalled how beautiful she was,
dressing to go out for the
evening with my father,
and of how Renata looked up to her
and her ideas about art,
and how Flyn was so impressed as a tiny girl
when Mother decorated a Christmas tree.
I felt compelled
to write these thoughts down.
They seemed very powerful to me.
The water's so calm.
It's very peaceful.