Collateral Beauty (2016) Movie Script

WHIT: Thank you. Thank you.
But no, give yourselves a hand
because it was your hard work
that gave Yardsham Inlet the best year
in the history of this agency.
Before we let all that success
go to our heads,
we just thought we should get together
and reconnect with the fundamentals
of what actually got us here.
For that, I'm gonna turn it over
to our resident
poet philosopher of product.
The rebel command of brand.
He's the guru
who terrifies Madison Avenue.
My partner, my better half,
Howard Inlet.
(SOFTLY) Love you.
- Yes!
Oh. What is your "why"?
Why did you even get out
of the bed this morning?
Why did you eat what you ate?
Why did you wear what you wore?
Why did you come here?
Other than the fact that
I would fire you and hire someone else
if you didn't show up for work, but...
- Not that. The big "why."
We're certainly not here
to just sell shit.
We are here
to connect.
Life is about people.
Advertising is about illuminating
how our products and services
will improve people's lives.
how do we do that?
Now these three abstractions
connect every single human being on Earth.
Everything that we covet,
everything that we fear not having,
everything that we ultimately
end up buying
is because at the end of the day
we long for love,
we wish we had more time,
and we fear death.
Let's begin there.
How long did this one take?
Five days.
That's pretty impressive.
- Maybe he came back too soon.
- Are you kidding me?
It's been six months
of this zombie routine.
We can't indulge this anymore.
Especially because
we're getting fired by Danworth Financial.
- CLAIRE: What? You're kidding me.
- No, Whit, come on!
- I'm sorry, what?
But I just talked to them yesterday.
WHIT: I know. Everybody's been doing
their best to cover,
but that entire account
is built on Howard's relationship.
Half our billings are built
on Howard's relationships.
This is a disaster. This is a disaster.
No. Not yet.
We have an offer from Omnicom
for $17 a share...
- Oh, come on!
- ...but they want an answer
- by New Year's.
- Shh.
(WHISPERING) Let's be honest,
we're not worth $14 a share
if my partner takes a sabbatical
as the local domino champion
of Crazy Town.
That's a little harsh, Whit.
WHIT: I'm sorry, but it's true.
Simon, I am empowering you.
Go make the deal with Omnicom.
I wish I could,
but Howard controls the voting shares.
I'll deal with the Howard part, okay?
Just push the papers, Simon.
CLAIRE: I still don't understand
why Howard got 60% of the voting shares
and you only got 40.
Because I needed cash to settle my divorce
and Howard did me a huge favor
and let me sell him some.
So, if you never had an affair
with some junior creative,
we wouldn't be in this situation?
Inaccurate and unfair
to put it squarely on my shoulders.
- Well, I'm just pointing out the facts.
Oh, my God.
Don't you just love that smell?
Wait. Stop.
Close your eyes.
Breathe it in.
Doesn't that remind you of your childhood?
Claire, come here.
Come on, I got to tell you something.
I have been doing something
about our situation
that you need to know about.
What did you do?
I hired someone.
You hired someone?
Yes. Look, when Eloise caught me cheating,
she used a private investigator
named Sally Price.
She's this woman
who looks like a Mormon grandmother,
and it makes her very good
at the whole stealth thing.
You hired the woman
who caused your divorce?
No. I caused my divorce.
Sally Price just documented it.
Wow. That was actually enlightened.
I have hidden depth. We've discussed this.
why did you hire the Mormon grandmother?
Because we need to document
what's going on with Howard.
We need to show that
he's not mentally fit to vote his shares.
No. We're not really
in that place where we're...
We're actually gonna be the people
who would do that to a friend?
It's not that he won't sell,
it's that he won't even
have a conversation about selling.
I try to talk to him, I try to reach him,
and it's like I'm not even
in the same physical space with him.
He's not there.
His kid died.
That was two years ago, Claire.
What are we gonna...
This is our lives at stake.
We're not kids anymore.
You look me in the face
and tell me that you're willing to have
everything you've worked for
for the last 10 years just evaporate.
Is this PI good?
She caught me cheating.
Oscar could have caught you cheating.
Who the hell's Oscar?
My son.
Oh. (STAMMERING) That Oscar?
This private investigator
isn't gonna find anything
that'll pass for moral turpitude.
(WHISPERING) Not on Howard,
but if she can raise concern
regarding legal capacity,
then we'll be in business.
I do really think that
we are out of other options.
You know, he terrorized
the grief counselor for six months.
He totally blew off the Ayahuasca shaman
we flew in all the way from Peru.
And our...
Our intervention was a disaster.
I just...
Look, uh, this doesn't feel right.
I know.
But when something starts
with a six-year-old dying,
nothing is gonna feel right.
SALLY: He writes letters.
CLAIRE: Letters? What kind of letters?
SALLY: This might be the strangest thing
I have ever come across.
- You got the letters?
- Oh, yeah.
SIMON: Can we ask you how?
Cost me $800
to get this cut.
And just so you know,
it's a federal offense
to steal mail directly from a mailbox.
- You could...
- Yeah.
- So, three letters.
- Who are they to?
- Oh, not who.
- What do you mean?
Howard doesn't write letters to people.
He writes to things.
- WHIT: What kind of things?
- Time.
The three abstractions.
CLAIRE: "Time,
"they say you heal all wounds,
"but they don't talk about how you destroy
"all that's good in the world.
"How you turn beauty into ash.
"Well, you're nothing more
than petrified wood to me.
"You're a dead tissue
that won't decompose.
"You're nothing."
That doesn't prove anything.
We can't use that, right?
No. I mean,
kids write letters to Santa Claus,
it doesn't mean they're crazy.
No. This is therapeutic.
It's so sad.
Yeah. Anything else?
Usually after work,
he goes to a small dog park in Brooklyn,
even though he doesn't own a dog.
Just sits there for hours.
Does he write letters to the dogs?
Are you serious?
Well, that would be
like the home run, right?
I mean, that's what we need.
- Does he?
- Not that I saw.
- Okay. What else?
- That's it, really.
Goes home to his apartment.
Rarely leaves before morning.
No Wi-Fi, cable, phone. Nothing.
"You're a dead tissue
that won't decompose."
Hey, it's Claire.
I swung by that place down the street
and got you some dinner.
It's that shrimp thing you like.
Okay, I'm gonna leave it right here,
in case you haven't eaten.
Hey, don't keep leaving the food there.
He doesn't eat it.
Oh, I'm... I'm sorry.
And he's late on his rent again.
He doesn't answer his door,
and I don't have a working number for him.
Yeah, he doesn't have a phone anymore.
(SIGHS) Um, how much does he owe?
I'll write you a check.
SUPER: If that's what you want to do.
And, uh, if you're not doing anything
with that shrimp...
Broccoli rabe last week was delicious.
Here he is.
Hey, where's your stuff?
I wanted to text you,
but Mom said I had to call.
Text me about what?
But then Barry said
I had to tell you in person.
Are we taking life advice from Barry now?
What are...
What are you trying to tell me?
I'm not coming to stay with you.
I'm going with Barry and Mom
to the Bahamas.
No, no. Wait, wait, wait.
How you doing?
Can I get, like, five minutes,
maybe a couple feet
just to have this conversation
with my daughter?
Honey, I got...
I got all kinds of stuff planned.
I got a Christmas tree for us.
Then sucks for you.
I got us tickets to Hamilton.
Then sucks for Hamilton.
That's a tough ticket, Allison.
I've already seen it.
(STAMMERS) You did?
You saw that with Mom and Barry?
And Odell Beckham Jr.
And Odell Beckham?
He's one of Barry's friends.
Why don't you want to spend
the holiday with me?
I miss you.
Because I hate you.
Because you're a philanthropist.
Because you broke Mom's heart.
- (STAMMERS) Philanderer.
- ALLISON: What?
The word you're looking for
is philanderer, not philanthropist.
They have a slightly different meaning.
Well, you would know.
Look, I agreed to tell you in person,
and now I have.
have a good Christmas.
Hold it.
So, rapid fire round while I got you?
Cavs are in town.
Christmas showdown at the Garden.
I never give your seat away.
I just go solo, but we could go.
Don't even have to talk.
Don't even have to look at each other.
We can do just what we're doing right now
and just watch the game.
Be like old times.
Right, number two.
We're gonna lose the Danworth account
because that's always been
your relationship.
And they're not feeling the love,
as you might imagine.
So that's gonna happen.
Whatever though,
because we've got an offer
from Omnicom, and it's real.
17 bucks a share.
Please consider it, because...
Yeah, yeah.
Because they leave total creative control
and they let everybody keep their jobs,
which I know you care about,
because you love these people.
Good talk.
The Beijing boys are here.
Oh, God. No one wants Chinese coffee.
Well, we're selling it.
The Manchurian macchiato. Mmm.
What are we casting?
- Cruise line.
- Now, see, that's good copy.
"Shed your skin, find your life."
Sorry, it's
"Life is found when you shed your skin."
- Does it really matter?
- Yes, because I wrote it.
Oh, well, my way's better.
- Really? How?
- AMY: Yeah.
Well... Wait, what is your way?
BOTH: "Life is found
when you shed your skin."
Which, you know, kind of hits you here.
"Shed your skin, find your life."
Hits you here.
That does hit me here.
You can have it for free.
Just, wait. Wait.
- Hey, Frankel.
- Yeah?
"Shed your skin, find your life."
"Shed your skin, find your life."
Everybody, okay?
Got it.
She made it better.
WHIT: Hey!
No, no, no.
Hey, hey!
BRIGITTE: "And you talk to me
in such tones
"as if it wasn't the breath in my lungs
that gave you life."
- You're late.
- AMY: Sorry.
"As if it wasn't a spark in my mind
"that gave that life meaning."
"Oh, you move your tongue,
you mouth syllables,
"you echo sentiment.
"But you do not breathe."
"You speak of spark?
"That is richness.
"For you deny the spark between us all.
"A spark that is more a sun
than the cold fire you claim.
"And you have called me
a temporary madness.
"A vicious soul.
"then ask if you will see me
just one more time."
So sorry. I literally just wandered in,
and I caught the tail end of that, and...
Can I just say that was beautiful?
What is... What is it?
It's just something
we're trying to put together.
I just... I love theater. I see everything.
So when's opening night? I'll be there.
There is no opening night
until we get this money together.
- You rich?
- Divorced.
You followed me from the casting session.
- WHIT: Absolutely, I did. Yes.
- Yeah.
WHIT: I almost lost you,
but the red hat helped.
Hey, um, I'm gonna say something
a little impulsive here,
maybe a little crazy,
but, you know, uh, I have something
about to happen for me.
I'm in the middle of a deal
that if it all comes together,
I'd be in a position to help.
Well, now wouldn't that be lovely?
WHIT: It would. Be great.
And you, you know, you fixed it.
So, we should get you back into casting
if you want the gig. I mean...
Sorry, I don't even...
I don't know your name.
- Amy.
- WHIT: Amy.
Okay. Well,
I'll be back, Amy. I'll be back.
Mmm. And I'll be...
Hmm. Sorry.
(CHUCKLING) I was on the stage!
I'll be back.
You're good.
Well done, you.
Apartment next door is vacant,
but the guy down the hall
says he didn't hear anything.
Ditto the manager.
Wait, they have a CSI: Cleveland now?
- MAN: Neighborhood like this...
- It's a new show.
Minding their own business.
WOMAN: What's a respectable
neurosurgeon doing in a crack house?
MAN: I don't know.
The werewolves,
they're meeting out front
all hours of the night.
I heard them. Yeah.
I think they're...
I think they're voting
on a new head of the syndicate.
I got a raccoon friend.
He's on the task force.
He put a bug out there for me
by the trash cans.
We're gonna tape everything they say
and we'll bust them on a RICO statute.
I don't know anything about that.
Hey, I'm your son.
(CHUCKLING) I know that!
I'll be right back.
Okay, I have kind of a wild idea.
And I know you're gonna laugh at me,
but remember that we're desperate
and hear me out.
So, my mom hasn't been totally
in her right mind since her stroke, right?
And I'm always trying to remind her
what's actually going on
and correct the, sort of,
daffy things that she says.
And it upsets her,
and it really stresses me out.
And it was pretty much just awful
for a while.
And then, someone said something
very, very wise to me.
They said, "Maybe you should stop
trying to force your reality on her
"and just...
Just go into her reality."
I thought you couldn't
afford therapy anymore.
- I can't. It was my Uber driver.
- Oh.
And he was totally right.
Totally right!
As soon as I started doing this,
everything got easier, you know?
Our life is like
this improvisational game.
She just... She says wackadoodle stuff,
and I respond to it.
And, uh, she's totally happy
and I kind of have fun.
- And that made me think of something else.
- Mmm.
When I was at FBW,
I had this account
for a psychostimulant drug, right?
And they went with some
bullshit generic campaign,
- but I kept the Hispanic market.
Here, watch this. Okay.
So, the teacher is really stressing.
He's saying, uh,
"Well, you talk all the time!
You never listen!"
And then here comes the monster.
"It doesn't have to be this way."
Teacher, "Who are you?"
Monster, "I'm your anger, man."
And the teacher says...
"I can't stand you, man.
You dominate my life."
And anger says,
"There's a solution, my friend.
"Docotrin, say goodbye to your anger."
Do you see where I'm going with this?
- (SIGHS) Not really.
- Okay, okay. Look, look.
We can't get Howard to deal with this
reality that we need him to deal with.
And he's writing letters to abstractions
which makes no sense.
But... But he's doing it.
So, what if we just go into his reality
and we get those abstractions
to answer him?
I'm sorry, I... I don't follow.
What if Love, Time and Death
show up in person
and answer the letters
that Howard's been writing to them?
How are Time, Love and Death
gonna show up?
We hire actors to be Love, Death and Time.
They find Howard and they confront him.
So, you want us to gaslight your boss?
- Huh? I'm sorry?
- Gas Light.
You know? It was a play,
then it was a movie.
Gas Light? Oh, my God.
Does nobody ever watch anything
longer than eight seconds anymore?
What she's saying is
you want us to make him think he's crazy?
No, no, no. It's not about
making Howard think he's crazy.
Howard's not in a good mental state,
and we know that.
It's about underlining that fact
so that other people can see it, too.
Okay. So you want us to perform
in this intervention,
and for that
you're gonna finance our play?
- That's it.
- Exactly.
Yeah, we'll finance whatever...
I mean, this looks
like a storage facility, but...
Okay. Well, actors. What do we think?
- No. No, no, no.
- Oh, no.
Listen, listen!
We take $15,000 each.
- Okay? $15,000.
- AMY: Are you completely out of your mind?
Okay, we'll do it.
$20,000, each.
Uh-uh! I just... You guys just said 15.
I heard you say 15.
- Mmm... I like 20.
- I like 20 as well.
Well, 20's just...
I don't know, it's a little steep.
I'm like... I was thinking two.
These guys probably live in Brooklyn.
- They pay 600 bucks a month.
- Stop talking. Just stop.
You did a good job pulling them down.
This is horrible.
This is completely wrong.
No, Amy. This is the work. This is acting.
Did you not hear them say
that this man's lost his child?
Yes. And that's why he's reaching out
to the cosmos for answers.
Well, we get to be that cosmos.
Okay, so you want us to manipulate
this guy's pain so that, what?
What, you cash out?
You make a lot of money?
- SIMON: No!
- No, no, no, no!
That doesn't sound good
when you put it that way.
- It's a lot more complicated than that.
- Is it?
CLAIRE: We love this man.
And he's not just a boss, he's a friend.
Howard is a brilliant,
creative, charismatic guy
who used to be fearless.
He used to love life,
and right now, he hates it.
And you really think
that this is gonna help him?
CLAIRE: He lost his child.
And now he doesn't care
if he loses everything else.
We just can't let that happen.
We have to bring him back.
$20,000's worth it.
- (STAMMERING) I'll pay for it.
- Claire!
I'll pay for it. I'll pay for it myself.
I don't care.
So, what are the rules?
Well, first, we'd have to sign
a confidentiality agreement.
And make sure
that you don't talk about it, 'cause...
No, I don't mean the legal rules.
I mean, the rules
of the theatrical device.
I mean, do other people see us,
or only Howard?
- Yeah, do other people see them, Whit?
- Whit?
I guess... I guess only Howard.
That's the effect
we're looking for, right?
- Guess?
- You guess? I mean...
I'm sorry, have you thought this through?
- Sure. Sure.
- No.
- I mean, to a degree.
- No, we haven't.
No, we haven't, Whit. Shut up! Like...
We haven't.
For instance, what if they go into a bar
and they want to order a drink?
How can they do that if...
Do you see Howard walking
into a lot of bars these days?
Whatever. Doesn't matter.
- I mean, what if Howard goes clubbing?
- They're actors.
- They need to know hypothetically.
- Okay. Okay. Enough. Enough.
We have the power to be seen
by whomever we want, whenever we want.
- How's that?
- I like that, I like that.
- I told you they were good.
- I like that, yeah.
We should just leave it to them.
Let's move on.
What's next?
Well, Howard wrote three letters
to Love, Death and Time.
So, I guess the only question is
who plays who?
Casting. Very important.
Great. When do we get paid?
BRIGITTE: "Dear Death,
you travel with so much mythology,
"cause so much pain, inspire such fear.
"But you're a paper tiger to me.
"You're just pathetic
and powerless middle management.
"You don't even have the authority
to make a simple trade."
As you can see,
it's not exactly a fan letter.
- Yeah, well, Death doesn't have any fans.
I don't understand why,
because it's a liberation.
Hey, you okay?
CLAIRE: He goes to work, and the dog park.
And that's it.
Okay. So, here's how I'm gonna do it.
I'm gonna come to him angry.
Like, pissed off. Like, we got a problem.
No, no, no. Don't do that.
He's calling me wood and dead tissue.
He's calling me out.
How's he calling you out?
He's calling out Time, and I'm Time.
Look, I don't want
you antagonizing Howard.
Do you get that?
AMY: But the letter only consists
of one word, "Goodbye."
"Dear Love, goodbye."
What am I even supposed to say to him?
Um, it's...
It's a letter to Love
saying goodbye, right?
- Yeah.
- So, what if you approach him,
and you refuse to accept that?
You say he can't
get rid of you that easily.
Tell him that
we don't get to choose who we love
and who loves us back.
Tell him that you're within him,
you're within everything,
whether he likes it or not.
And if he accepts that,
then maybe... I don't know.
Maybe he gets to find his life again.
They grieve.
They grieve,
and they fully understand death.
You called me a paper tiger.
In the letter you wrote me.
You said I was pathetic.
You don't remember?
You went on about middle management,
making a deal, paper tiger.
Oh, Howard, it wasn't that long ago.
Where did you get that?
- Who are you?
- Who did you write the letter to?
I wrote the letter to Death.
Nice to meet you. Charmed, I'm sure.
I know, I know.
People write letters
to the universe all the time.
Most don't get a personal response.
But you are, because I just wanted
to tell you that you're wrong.
I'm not some powerless middle management
- just following orders.
- Miss...
You see, I didn't want to make
the trade. It was my call.
I don't want this. I don't want this.
Now, I don't tell you how to do your job.
So, I'd appreciate it
if you didn't tell me how to do mine.
Who's that man talking to?
He looks kind of weird.
Don't worry about that.
Sometimes people are silly.
You see, they don't see me
till it's their time.
Oh, it's okay, Howard.
It's not your time yet.
I just wanted to return this
and clear things up between us.
- I really am Death, Howard!
He believed me.
I'm telling you he believed me.
- That's amazing.
- I mean, that was spectacular.
Because there was no safety net, you see.
That... That... That was Grotowski.
- That was pure Stella Adler!
- Ah!
- Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.
- Yes.
- You are a kind man.
- Oh, not a problem.
- He believed me, I'm telling you.
- I wouldn't go that far.
But he needed it.
I could tell. I could tell in his eyes.
Who was that woman and that little boy?
That was incredible.
Oh, that was our private investigator
and her grandson.
Oh, really?
And did she say anything about me?
She said you were good.
She said really good.
"Good"? What do you mean? Good like...
You mean good like cabbage is good,
or what?
No, no. She... (STAMMERS) Great.
She said, she said,
"She made the impossible possible."
- (CHUCKLES) I should be paying you.
They told me that Trevor had
packed his little suitcase,
that he said he was going home.
I was furious.
But he was sleeping,
so I couldn't talk to him.
I mean, what nurse promises
this dying five-year-old little boy
he could go home?
He barely had any white blood cells left.
He was so fragile.
And who could be so cruel?
Who could do that?
So, of course I'm frantic.
I am shouting at the staff,
trying to get to the bottom of it.
Well, Trevor finally wakes up
and I go to him.
You know, his little blue suitcase
was still at the edge of the bed, right.
So, I look at him and ask,
"Who said that to you, sweetie?
"Who said that you could
come back to our house?"
You know what he says?
"Nobody, Mommy.
"I'm not going back to our house.
"I'm going home."
He died four hours later.
Are you looking
for Smallest Wings Support Group?
- Yes.
- And you are?
- Um, Howard.
- Howard.
Come on in. Have a seat.
Did you lose a child, Howard?
- MADELINE: Boy or girl?
- Uh...
A girl.
And what was her name?
No, it's okay. Howard.
You don't have to answer.
You don't even have to talk, okay?
You stick around?
Thank you so much for sharing.
We really appreciate it.
Thank you.
Does anybody have anything else
they'd like to say?
- So, why'd you decide to come in tonight?
- Hmm?
Yeah, I've... I've seen you outside.
I was gonna come out one night
and invite you in,
but I guess I didn't want
to blow up your spot.
- Blow up my spot?
- Yeah.
- You didn't want to mess up my jam?
What's your name?
I'm Madeline.
Nice to meet you.
My daughter's name was Olivia.
She died of a rare form of brain cancer
known as Glioblastoma Multiforme,
or GBM for short.
She was six years old.
What was your daughter's name, Howard?
Fine. Don't answer.
I'm not gonna torture you.
Thank you.
- Was it the holidays?
- Mmm?
Why you decided to come in tonight.
We get a lot of first-timers
during the holidays.
- No, that's not it.
- Then why tonight?
Uh, I guess...
I'm, uh...
I'm trying to fix my mind.
You lost a child, Howard.
It'll never be fixed.
I hope you come back.
Signed contracts
and confidentiality agreements.
- Oh, great. Thank you.
- So, did he say something?
Who, Howard?
- No. Unfortunately, he didn't.
- Oh, he believed it, I'm telling you.
- Oh, that's good.
- Maybe you should send me in again.
Not Raffi. Raffi's too impetuous.
And Amy, she's just so emotional.
After me, what is there?
Well, he did write three letters.
But Death is so much more vital than Time.
- Right.
- Death gives Time all of its value.
Maybe... Maybe I should
play all the parts.
You know the highest margin demographic
is new parents now?
Target actually invented an algorithm
to predict when their female customers
were gonna get pregnant.
You said before that you weren't okay.
Are you sick?
I'm sick.
You could say, uh, I'm very sick.
You're dying?
Everyone's dying.
Yeah, but you're doing it now.
Simon. Simon.
Come on, tell me. Tell me.
What is it? What's wrong?
What's wrong?
What's wrong is that
I came out of remission
two weeks before my son was born.
What's wrong
is that I'm running a marathon every day
pretending to be healthy.
That's what's wrong.
Have you told anyone?
You haven't?
No, just some pushy actress
that I don't really know.
What is it?
It's multiple myeloma.
I fought it when I was 16,
and then again when I was 25.
It just never went away.
Instead it regrouped and got stronger.
So, the war's over?
Yeah, war's over.
Are your affairs in order?
My affairs are not in order.
That's why I hired you.
It's bad enough that
I'm leaving my family.
I'm not gonna leave them penniless.
He believed me.
He believed me.
HOWARD: Hey. Excuse me.
No, don't touch that.
I don't understand dominoes.
There's no board to play them on,
or basket to throw them into.
Right. Um...
I think you might be in the wrong place.
No, I'm in the right place, Howard.
Mmm. Yeah.
"Time, they say you heal all wounds,
"but they don't talk about how you destroy
all that's good in the world.
"How you turn beauty into ash."
Now that's some bullshit, Howard.
If Love is creation
and Death is destruction,
I'm just a terrain in between.
You don't understand Time.
No one understands Time.
I mean, Einstein came close
when he said I was an illusion.
CLAIRE: Howard? Hey. Uh...
Listen, I'm sure it's a "no"
but Oneida Apparel asked that
you be in the media buy meeting.
I'm sorry to just barge in.
Ask her.
Go ahead. Ask her if she can see me.
I'm not gonna be in the meeting.
Well, they insisted I ask.
I mean, they're probably
gonna fire us, so...
- Awesome.
- Yes.
See you later.
RAFFI: You can have this back, Howard.
Why did you write me anyway?
You wrote me because you need me.
No. Um...
I don't need anything from you, okay?
You all like to bitch and complain.
"There isn't enough time."
"Life is short."
"Oh, here, the gray hairs are coming in."
You know, a day is long as hell.
I'm abundant. I'm a gift.
Even while you're
standing here talking shit,
I'm gifting you, and you're wasting it.
On what?
I mean, what is this? Huh?
Hey, hey!
You know,
I should be the one
that's writing angry letters.
That was the worst thing I've ever done.
That was the best thing I've ever done.
What was that thing you said
about Einstein in there?
Einstein called time
a stubbornly persistent illusion.
What's that even mean?
Time doesn't go from January to December,
or from noon to midnight.
You know, we all just make it that way
in our heads.
That's absurd.
Try telling that to a person
who's an hour late to a wedding
or was just sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Or someone fighting a baby clock.
We really don't need
to have this conversation, ever.
Anyway, just...
Yeah, wanted to say great job today.
Just a stubborn illusion, Claire.
You have all the time in the world.
You're nine!
"You're nine."
I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
You gotta be friggin' kidding me.
I'm eating.
You said goodbye, and that...
(SIGHS) We don't get to choose
who we love or who loves us back.
And that means you're powerless to me
as long as you're alive
because I'm the fabric of life.
I'm within you. I'm within everything.
if you can accept that, then maybe...
I don't know,
but maybe you get to live again.
I completely screwed it up.
I was weepy and apologetic.
Well, I think love can be
weepy and apologetic.
I think I was better at the end.
Hey, hey. I'm sure you were great.
You're sweet.
Can I kiss you?
You don't have to sexualize it.
I can kiss you without sexualizing it.
Seriously, I've had sex
without sexualizing it.
You should take "sweet," Whit.
It's a promotion.
"Irresistible" would be a promotion.
He believes it.
How could you tell?
I could tell by his eyes.
That's great, but no one else has seen it
and that's ultimately
what we need to have happen.
We think if you would engage with him
- one more time, um, in public.
- Great. Mmm-hmm.
WHIT: But this time try to...
SIMON: But you need to provoke
a strong visible reaction.
Because our private investigator's
gonna capture it on video.
And we're gonna use it as evidence.
It'll be like being in a movie.
Except you'll be digitally removed.
This is too intense.
Um, I'm sorry. I can't be a part of this.
Amy, there is no "too intense" in acting.
Do you wanna be loved
or do you wanna make an impact?
I mean, this isn't Nol Coward.
This is... This is Chekhov.
This is horrible!
The... You know,
you did start the agency
with him, didn't you, Whit?
And, Claire, he was your mentor.
And, Simon, he gave you part
ownership in a business
when he absolutely didn't have to.
- I may have told her a few things...
- Mmm-hmm.
- ...when we were...
- Mmm-hmm.
AMY: I'm sorry, this is horrible.
I... I can't...
No, I can't be a part of this. Thank you.
- Sorry. Thanks.
- Amy, no.
Amy. No.
Oh, she's so passionate, you know.
I'm so sorry. She will be back.
But if she isn't, um,
I'll step in. I do know all about love.
What'd I miss?
People crying because their kids died.
Hmm. Uh...
Uh, there's a thing called
bereavement hallucinations.
Right. Um. Okay.
So, uh...
I looked them up.
And here's the thing. I don't sleep.
(STAMMERING) Like, not a lot.
I mean, I sleep.
But I get six or seven hours a week.
Now that I think about it,
that's probably why...
Why what?
I'm having conversations.
I mean, conversations.
It's okay. Never mind. Um...
- Howard?
- Yeah.
You wanna have a conversation with me?
Uh, yes.
So, I assume you're a part of the 79%?
Of couples who get divorced
after losing a child.
Yeah, me too.
Do you still love her?
I don't even know what love is anymore.
Do you still love him?
We never fell out of love.
At least, I don't think so. It's just...
We can...
The day our divorce was final,
he sent me this.
"If only we could be strangers again."
Now we are.
The most romantic gesture he ever made.
So, to answer your question,
I still love him.
What did you mean
when you said
you were having conversations?
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Conversations with who?
- Um...
It's not "who."
It's really... It's...
You're gonna think I'm crazy.
Try me.
Um, can I show you?
MADELINE: "Dead tissue
that won't decompose."
He was sitting right here.
Just a mean, little, arrogant thug.
And he was the first one
that appeared, right?
Uh, no. Death came first.
She met me in the dog park.
Oh, so Death is a "her"?
Uh, yeah. It turns out
Death is an elderly white woman.
What was the trade?
You said Death wouldn't make the trade.
What does that mean?
When we realized our...
My daughter was dying, I prayed, uh...
Not to God or the universe, but to Death.
I offered a trade.
Take me,
leave my daughter.
But she didn't wanna make the trade, so...
BRIGITTE: So, who won that round?
You or the porcelain?
(CHUCKLES) Porcelain.
Porcelain's undefeated.
I'm sorry about that,
I thought everyone left.
Yes, they did. But I'm here to close up.
SIMON: Good.
You need help getting home?
No. I'm fine.
I'm... I'm good.
I Googled you.
- You did?
- Yeah.
You came from nothing.
You put yourself through Duke,
you married a wonderful woman,
you're a loving father.
So, you lived well. You lived right.
But, my friend, you're not dying right.
Are you gonna tell me how to die?
Have you told your family yet?
- Mmm-mmm.
- You're not helping them.
You're just denying them
what is rightfully theirs.
Yeah? And what's that?
Pain? Atrophy? Disease?
Yes. Yes.
All of it.
And the chance to say goodbye.
Stick to acting.
I have something
that I haven't told anyone.
It doesn't involve letters
or angels or anything like that,
but it means something to me.
They were preparing Olivia to say goodbye.
And my husband was trying to
calm my mother in the parking lot
because she lost it.
So I was alone
and I was sitting there
in the waiting room
at Maimonides Hospital.
And there was this woman
who sat next to me.
And she asked me who I was about to lose.
And I told her.
And she looked at me and she said,
"Just be sure to notice
"the collateral beauty."
I mean, she...
She said it so casually.
In the next room,
my six-year-old daughter
was being taken off life support.
And this woman says "collateral beauty."
People don't know
what to say in those moments.
No, she did.
I just didn't get it at the time.
See, it wasn't said out of
sympathy or awkwardness.
It was from experience.
About a year later,
something started to
happen to me, you know.
I would be walking
or on the subway, whatever,
and I would just burst into tears.
But these weren't Olivia tears.
These were tears born from something else,
from this kind of profound
connection to everything.
And I realized
it was the collateral beauty.
I mean, there's...
There's no such thing
as collateral beauty.
There is, Howard.
There really is.
It'll never bring her back.
And it will never ever make it okay.
But I promise you, it's there.
You need to talk to them, Howard.
Look, um...
Appreciate your story,
but I'm not really feeling
the "collateral beauty" thing.
I don't care!
Yell at them,
reason with them, challenge them.
Just engage!
I think this was a mistake.
- Hi.
- WHIT: Hi.
What're you doing here?
Uh, Brigitte told me this is
where I could find you.
Of course she did.
Could we just go and talk somewhere
for 15 minutes by ourselves?
I'm... I'm actually working.
I'm rehearsing right now.
- You're rehearsing here, too?
- Yeah.
How many projects
are you doing at the same time?
I'm currently doing three.
Three. Wow.
- Yeah.
- That's really busy.
How are we gonna fit a dinner date in?
Listen, listen, listen. Seriously...
I have to ask you
to reconsider what you said last night.
(STAMMERS) We need you one more time.
Just give us one more scene.
I am out.
Amy, what do you...
Wait, what can I say? What do you...
I'll give you $100,000. Not 20, 100.
You don't have $100,000.
You're right. I live with my mother.
But this is gonna work, and when it does,
I'll have much, much more.
And I'll give you a million.
- I don't want your money.
- I really will.
I do not want your money.
Do you know,
I've actually never wanted your money.
What can I say to get you to do this?
Because there's so much more
at stake here, you have no idea.
You have a daughter, right?
Did we talk about that?
Tell me what it was like
the day that she was born.
What it felt like for you.
Uh, it was scary.
It was very scary. I was terrified.
But then they gave her to me
and I had the most amazing
sensation run through me.
It... I can't...
What? Finish it.
It sounds... It's goofy.
No, it doesn't sound goofy.
Do you know, actually,
this is the first time that I felt
any attraction towards you, whatsoever.
- Really?
- Yes.
I looked at her and I...
I realized that I wasn't feeling love.
I had become love.
She doesn't talk to me now, though.
She blames me for the divorce,
and so she's angry at me.
I deserve it.
I'm gonna make you a deal.
If you can take all of this,
frankly, aggressive determination
and extraordinary openness
and use it on winning your daughter back,
then I'll do it.
It's a deal.
See, you don't feel that?
Oh, wow. Give me my hand back.
You feel that though, right?
You feel it?
- That's sparks.
- Goodbye, Whit.
That's what that is.
Hey! What's up?
- What?
- You got something to say?
You got something you wanna say?
Oh, yeah. I got a lot of things
I'd like to say to you.
Well, say it. Say it!
See, you just waste time.
See, I give you a gift
and you just waste it!
I don't care about time.
This is a prison sentence!
I don't want your gift!
Because you took hers.
Oh, come on.
Are you here to take me?
No, Howard.
I'm here to ride the F train with you.
Oh, okay.
So, there are these two twins
in a womb, a boy and a girl.
You telling a joke?
No, no. It's a story.
So, these twins are happy.
They're fed, they're warm, they feel safe.
But they're outgrowing their space
and they realize this can't go on forever.
So they start thinking,
"What comes next?
"What if it's cold or lonely?
"What if we're not together?
"What if there's nothing at all?"
So, then the girl looks at the cord.
This cord that has fed them,
has nourished them,
this cord that they
can't possibly conceive
could be attached to anything else.
And she says,
"Well, we have no proof.
"All we have is this."
Wow, that's deep.
So, it's like life after birth.
All right, what do you want?
Why are you here?
I've heard all of your platitudes.
I got them, I know.
"She's in a better place."
And, "This is all
a part of a master plan."
Heard that one, too.
Here's my favorite.
"God looked down and
saw the most beautiful rose,
"so beautiful that he picked it
"to have it in Heaven all for Himself."
Then there's the science, biocentrism,
and we're all living and dying
in infinite universes
all at the same time.
And then the religion,
the Christians and their salvation,
and the Buddhists and their Samsara,
and the Hindus and their 41st sacrament.
And can't forget the poetry.
Oh, the poetry.
"To die is different
from what anyone supposed
"and luckier."
And, "Rage...
"Rage against the dying of the light.
"Though wise men at their end
know dark is right."
Thomas. And then...
(SINGING) Row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily
merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream
I got it.
I got it!
It all basically says
that you're a natural part of life,
we shouldn't hate you,
we shouldn't fear you.
I guess we should just accept you, right?
That's it?
I get it. Here's the thing.
It's all a bunch of intellectual bullshit
because she's not here
holding my fucking hand.
Oh, Lord, what a beautiful city
Oh, Lord, what a beautiful city
Twelve gates to the city
Amen, amen
Who are all those children
All dressed up in white
Hi, Howard.
You gonna cry again?
You don't like it when I'm sad?
- Ah, aren't you always sad?
- No.
No, I can be other things. I can be happy.
- I can be unexpected and unpredictable...
- Huh.
...and sexy and warm and mysterious and...
And home.
I can be home, Howard, you remember?
Do you remember me?
Listen. All the "fabric of life" bullshit,
save that for somebody else.
It's not bullshit.
(STUTTERS) I know you don't believe me,
but you have to trust me.
Trust you?
- Trust you?
- Yes!
I did trust you!
And you betrayed me!
I saw you every day in her eyes,
and I heard you in her voice
when she laughed,
and I felt you inside of me
when she called me "Daddy."
And you betrayed me!
You broke my heart.
I'm in all of it.
I'm the darkness and the light,
I'm the sunshine and the storm.
Yes, you're right.
I was there in her laugh,
but I'm also here now in your pain.
I'm the reason for everything.
I am the only "why."
Don't try and live without me, Howard.
Please don't.
The deal with Omnicom's almost done.
What about Howard?
Well, they're aware of the situation
but we still have to prove
that Howard's ability to vote
is, uh, compromised.
I can't believe it's come down to this.
Yeah, well, believe it.
We have a competency meeting
with the board set for Thursday.
CHAIRMAN: We're here to give you
a chance to explain this.
Howard, what are you doing in this video?
I do not care about time.
This is a prison sentence!
I don't want your gift!
CHAIRMAN: What are you doing, Howard?
HOWARD: Because you took hers.
HOWARD: You gonna cry again?
Aren't you always sad?
What about here?
HOWARD: Listen.
All the "fabric of life" bullshit,
save that for somebody else.
Trust you?
Trust you?
I did trust you!
I committed everything to you
and you betrayed me!
I saw you every day in her eyes,
and I heard you in her voice
when she laughed.
And I felt you inside of me...
...when she called me "Daddy."
You broke my heart.
Howard, I need you to answer me.
Who are you shouting at here?
HOWARD: I've heard all of your platitudes.
I got them, I know.
Um, it's not "who."
And, "This is all
a part of a masterplan."
CHAIRMAN: I'm sorry, what?
I got it.
CHAIRMAN: Howard, did you say something?
I'm not talking to people.
CHAIRMAN: Well, that's obvious.
Who are you talking to?
Howard, who are you talking to?
That's enough. It's enough.
Thank you. (STUTTERS)
You made the point, I think.
Just turn it off.
You hired people to follow me?
Make video?
No, that wasn't the initial intention.
No, (STUTTERS) we did.
Yeah, we did.
We did a lot more than that, Howard.
Howard, I'm so sorry.
(SOBBING) We felt like...
We didn't know what else to do.
- Claire.
- CLAIRE: No. I can't do this anymore.
I can't do this anymore, Whit.
(SOBBING) Listen, I really...
I didn't even think that
it was gonna work.
- Really, honestly, I...
- Claire. Claire. Claire.
I'm so sorry.
- All right, all right, all right.
- CLAIRE: Howard...
I'm obviously not
in the right state of mind.
Maybe none of us are.
You think I haven't noticed?
I mean, Claire,
you dedicated
your entire life to this agency.
You made us your family
when you could have been
starting your own.
And, uh, you've been
absolutely killing yourself,
covering for me,
and I appreciate that.
Thank you. (SIGHS)
And, Simon,
you've done your best
to hide it from everyone,
but I know your history.
And I suspect I'm making
an already impossible situation
- even worse for you.
I promise you,
as long as I am here,
your family will be cared for.
Thank you.
Best friend I've ever had.
But I'm disappointed in you, man.
I mean, not for... Not for this.
Not for this.
You don't need her permission
to be her father.
Allison's the best thing
you got happening in this world,
and tomorrow's not promised.
Do you hear me?
You guys did the right thing.
I want our agency to survive.
Something should.
All right, um...
I'll sign the papers now.
- Your approval of the sale.
Uh, the other one?
The one you called me
six times to have me sign.
Um, I assume you have it here with you.
I am sorry, Howard.
This is the right thing.
I'm telling you, this is the right thing.
(SNIFFLES) Excuse me.
What was that second piece of paper?
Howard put some of his ownership
into a trust in his daughter's name.
It's just a legal certificate
saying she's no longer with us.
(CLICKS TONGUE) I think I need a drink.
Are you okay?
"They say that the time in Heaven
"is compared to the blink of an eye
"for us on this Earth.
"Sometimes I think of Adam running
"through a beautiful field
of wild flowers.
"He's so happy,
completely caught up in what he's doing.
"But then he looks back
"like he used to do
when he ran ahead of me
"in airports or malls or wherever.
"And he smiles."
"Because the blink of his eye
was the rest of my life
"and I'm right there behind him."
Anyway, it's a first draft. (CHUCKLES)
It's beautiful.
Really beautiful.
Does anybody else wanna say anything?
Okay, I guess that's all for tonight.
Thank you.
Sorry, sorry.
I can't believe you made me
come into this neighborhood
carrying $20,000 in cash.
What are you gonna do with it?
You should put it aside for acting school.
You were really good.
Mmm. I'm gonna use it
to buy designer drugs.
Or that, too.
Hey, you gonna make a good mom one day.
Yeah, well,
that's pretty much not in the cards.
I decided against the science
and it seems time
finally caught up with me.
There was this dust dealer up on
187th who gave me Brave New World.
That book turned hours into seconds.
He was my father.
And there was this homeless woman
who lived under
the University Heights bridge.
Her name was Flora.
She was batshit crazy,
but she told me the greatest stories.
She was my mother.
See, Claire,
your children don't have to come from you.
They go through you.
So, I wouldn't consider
the battle with time over just yet.
I thought time wasn't linear.
I thought it was an illusion.
(SIGHS) Maybe
that was just bullshit, Claire.
Maybe that was just acting. (CHUCKLES)
- WHIT: Hey, Allison.
- Come on, let's go.
Oh. Come on. Allison!
I'll meet you guys there.
I don't wanna talk to you. You know that.
Leave me alone.
No. I won't leave you alone.
- No?
- No.
I know you're angry at me,
and that's okay.
I can take it.
But we gotta talk about it
because that's what you do in a family.
So I'm gonna come here every day
and embarrass you in front of your friends
until you talk to me.
So you're gonna stalk me?
Well... Yes, basically.
Well, what if I get a restraining order?
Well, I don't think you're
gonna be able to do that.
Well, I'll get Mom to pay for it.
Well, for your information, they're free.
Well, then I'll get you to pay for it.
I really love you.
Mom says you butcher that word.
Not when I say it to you.
I can't fly you to Maine for lunch
or get you picked up in a Tesla
and take you to your internship
with Anna Wintour
or whatever the hell
they do in this neighborhood.
But I think that you and me
can sit on a park bench
and tell jokes
and have a pretty good time.
(SIGHS) I can't believe
you're gonna stalk me.
But, um...
Just so you know, tomorrow's a half-day.
Well, I'll be here then.
Here you are.
I've been waiting a long time
for my moment for validation,
and this was it.
An audience of one,
in secret, with no applause.
I told my wife.
Oh, how did it go?
She knew.
She's getting ready for it.
You know, when I was younger,
I used to think,
you really wanna live to be 100 years old?
You know, like a shriveled up raisin.
And the answer to that now
is yes.
Because my son would be 70,
his son would be 40,
and his son would be 10.
And I would be the man, you know.
(SIGHS) Could get used to that, you know.
See you around, Pops.
I wish I could be here to see the play.
Oh, no, no.
The play is dead after all this.
But you never know,
nothing's ever really dead
if you look at it right.
Uh, it's Christmas Eve.
And you're alone.
By choice.
Can I ruin that?
You've been crying.
I was watching a video
I took of my daughter.
She's dancing with her father in it.
Can I show it to you, Howard?
My daughter's name was Olivia.
She died of a rare form of brain cancer
known as Glioblastoma Multiforme,
or GBM for short.
She was six years old.
What was your daughter's name, Howard?
"If only we could be strangers again."
What was your daughter's name, Howard?
I can't.
I... I can't.
OLIVIA: Swing me faster!
Faster, Daddy! Faster! (LAUGHS)
MADELINE: Howard...
OLIVIA: (CHUCKLING) I feel like a bird.
MADELINE: Say her name.
What was her name?
(CRYING) Her name was Olivia.
MADELINE: How did she die?
She had a rare form of cancer
called Glioblastoma Multiforme,
or GBM for short.
She was only six years old.
Her name was Olivia.
She had a rare form of cancer
called Glioblastoma Multiforme,
or GBM for short.
She was only six years old.
Our baby's name was Olivia.
She was only six years old.
What are you guys doing?
You ready? You ready?
Now we start all over again.
You ready?
(CHUCKLING) We start all over again.
WOMAN: Are you losing somebody?
I'm sorry?
Who are you losing?
(BREATH TREMBLING) Um, my daughter.
Just make sure you notice
the collateral beauty.