Laura Lansing Slept Here (1988) Movie Script

We are talking with the
legendary author, uhm,
authoress, which do you
prefer author or authoress?
I really don't see what sex
has to do with it, do you?
With the legendary
writer, Ms. Laura Lansing.
Ms. Lansing's latest novel
is called Penthouse Paradise.
Now this is actually your
second novel with the word
penthouse in the title,
do you like penthouses?
Well I sure do.
I live in one, I think everyone should.
It gives one a perspective
on life, the spirit soars.
(majestic music)
Okay kids.
Come on!
It's time honey.
Oh Junior shut that thing off.
Come on Malcolm.
I said shut that thing off.
I wanna watch the cartoon.
[Mom] Well you can watch it in here.
Where's Dad?
He's gonna be late again.
I'm not hungry.
I got hot dogs.
I'm here Janet.
Yes Ms. Whimms.
(bell dinging)
[Doris] Hello Larry.
I know, I'm a bit early.
Oh that's all right, she's
had her run and her swim.
She's on the telephone of course.
I'll be as quiet as mouse.
(speaking foreign language)
Want any coffee?
I'd love it.
Oh that hat, I love that hat.
(speaking foreign language)
You're not due today, you're due tomorrow.
I know dear, but uh,
there was some urgency.
What about it?
About the new book.
Sit down, if you sit in that chair
and push that little button
you'll get a massage.
Oh, a lower back would be nice.
Oh I've had such pain.
[Laura] Push lower back.
What about the new book?
[Larry] Well Laura dear,
I'm afraid I have some rather
unpleasant news.
I hardly know to say it.
[Laura] Oh just say it.
Well the fact is, Willburn
and Frederick don't want it.
Don't want it, what do you mean?
Don't want it?
[Larry] Look how do I turn this off.
I'll turn you off.
What do you mean Willburn
and Frederick don't want it?
They've published me since I was a child.
I made millions for them.
Darling you were a
sensation in your 20s.
A household word in your 40s.
An institution in your 60s.
But in your...
Watch it!
Why don't they want it?
Now Laura dear, you
mustn't get yourself...
Doris call Barbara Walters.
Tell her I can't possibly
lunch with her today,
tell her I'm dead.
God knows I may be by lunchtime.
[Doris] What's wrong?
What's wrong, I'm chopped liver.
I'm down the drain, I'm
out with the garbage.
You'll feel better after your rubdown.
Well they seem to
feel you've lost touch.
Lost touch?
With what?
With the real people, normal people.
Well they feel you don't know them.
What they're like, how do they live.
What do you mean real
people, look at today,
Barbara Walters, Clint
Eastwood, Jackie Onassis,
a little late supper with Calvin Klein.
Just folks.
[Larry] Whose folks?
My folks.
Penthouse Paradise isn't selling.
Who says?
Laura, it is not selling.
I know this isn't proper
agent talk, but you are
of a certain age.
Watch that.
Well now I'm sorry darling,
but you've plenty of money.
And I've been wondering if
you've ever given any thought
to well, closing shop.
Closing shop?
Yes dear, take life easy.
You mean not work, not write?
That's death!
Don't worry Larry, if poor
old Willburn and Frederick
are out, I'll get me another
publisher but I'll keep on
writing, I expect to
go to my grave typing.
Real people, hah, I'm
just as real as they are.
Just as down to earth, underneath that is.
Look out there Larry
all those darling people
working away, you could
prop me down in any one
of their dear little
homes and I'd fit right in
like a cozy old aunt.
Don't make me laugh.
I would remind you Larry,
that when I was writing.
Love Can Be Cold, I spent
nearly a month in an igloo
with eight Eskimos.
And I survived.
Yes, but did the Eskimos?
Darling I love you, you're adorable.
But in the house in the
suburbs with a normal family,
you wouldn't last a week.
Would you care to bet?
(frolicking music)
Hold the door please, hold
the door, hold the door.
Hold it, thank you.
(elevator dinging)
Good morning Mr. Baumgartner.
Oh, good morning.
I'm Walter Gomphers, I work
in the accounting department.
Oh yes.
[Secretary] Can you take
these for me, thank you.
Morning Mr. Baumgartner.
Oh good morning Marie.
Have a nice day.
What, oh yes, thanks.
What exactly is the bet?
That I could spend a week
with a so-called normal family,
living somewhere outside of New York City.
I could telephone when
I'll escape into Manhattan.
If I stick it out, Larry has to pay
the lucky family 500 bucks a day
for their trouble.
If I can't, I pay.
500 dollars a day?
And what?
If I lose I give up writing.
Oh Laura.
When your agent is urging you to quit,
you pretty much know where you stand.
Don't you dear?
But surely you're not going
through with this silly bit.
(mumbling), besides there's
nothing to worry about.
Larry has to come up
with the normal family.
And Larry hasn't known
anyone normal in years.
I'd appreciate it if you
could send that over right away,
thank you.
Oh hi, Mr. Baumgartner.
Busy are we?
Well, yes I have to get
those reports finished.
Mr. Baumgartner could I
talk to you about an idea...
How long have you've been with us, uh?
- Gomphers.
- Gomphers.
Nine years.
You see sir, I have this idea
for the accounting department
that I think would improve...
Much of a commute?
Well from where you
live to here for instance?
Portal to portal about an hour.
You know the Long Island Railroad.
You live on Long Island?
Yes, uh Hicksville,
it's not far Levittown.
We like it up there.
About my idea sir...
We, who's we?
My wife and the kids.
Oh you have children,
how many, what age?
I have a photograph,
would you like to see it?
I'd love it.
That's my wife Melody.
Kind of a funny name isn't it.
Before we were married
her name was Melody Lane.
She kinda liked it but, I
was glad when she changed it,
Melody Gomphers sounds more like her.
Excuse me, (mumbling), Mr. Gomphers.
Thank you Violet.
You're certainly welcome.
Oh excuse me Mr. Baumgartner.
Do you live in an apartment or a house?
Oh we have a house,
it's not paid for yet,
it's in a very nice area.
Do you have a guest bedroom?
You wanna visit?
Is it true Ms. Lansing that
you were intimate with Gandhi?
Oh I wouldn't say intimate.
Oh I didn't mean
intimate, but you knew him.
Of course.
What was he like?
He was sweet.
And didn't you dine
recently with Queen Elizabeth
in London?
Oh yes, yes, I did.
[Interviewer] And what was she like?
She was regal.
Are these the dishcloths
that are on sale?
Guess what happened today.
Hi honey.
Mr. Baumgartner, the
Executive Vice President
of the whole agency, in
charge of some of the biggest
clients we've got, came
to my office today.
[Melody] No.
[Walter] Didn't call
me to his, came to mine.
I still don't get it.
We can make a cool 500
dollars a day for doing nothing.
Just nothing.
That's what I don't get.
Annette, will you please
turn that racket down,
you're supposed to be doing your homework.
He wants a change, he said.
Now, please honey.
(rock music)
I told you, he wouldn't tell me.
Actually though, I think maybe
what we're dealing with here
is Mr. Baumgartner's mother.
[Melody] Oh Walter Junior help Malcolm.
He's gotta go to the bathroom.
[Walter Junior] I'm watching the show.
Just do it.
If she wants a change,
why doesn't he send her
to some place fabulous,
like Atlantic City.
Turn it down, Annette!
I've got the impression
he wants her to have
the pleasure of being
with a nice normal family.
Want some (mumbling)?
If I turn down the
music I can't concentrate,
you want me to concentrate?
I want you to turn down the music.
[Walter] Honey please
turn down the music.
Okay, but don't blame me
if I turn into a total nerd.
You won't.
Maybe she just wants to
get out of Manhattan,
and breathe some fresh air.
Yeah the air stinks here.
Maybe we could finally
pay for Annette's teeth.
[Melody] Do you want some ice cream?
No, okay.
Oh they were out of chocolate chip.
[Walter] Don't worry about it.
- Walter.
- Hmm?
This Mr. Baumgartner, he's
pretty high up isn't he?
I mean at the office?
Executive Vice President.
Walter you know what?
This could be it.
What's it?
Your promotion.
They never noticed me, nine years.
But when you tell them your idea.
- Nine years.
- He'll notice you now.
Oh honey!
Maybe we could get a new dishwasher.
Don't let your ice cream melt.
How old is she?
He didn't say, I did ask.
All he'd say was she was getting on.
Getting on?
That's all he said.
Getting on.
That could be really old.
She could be an invalid.
Gee I wonder if we could get
one of those handrail things
so she could get in and
out of bed on her own.
You're talking money.
Who is gonna pay for her food?
Oh I said we would, how
much more can she eat?
Another hot dog, a little more soup.
It's a gesture on our part.
That's nice Walter.
I'll be back at five.
[Doris] Have you got any money?
Now why should I need any money?
You should always carry some
money, just in case, here.
Take this.
(phone ringing)
Tell them I'm out.
Oh hello Larry.
Yes she's here.
All right, he says it's important,
it's about your bet.
(calming music)
Yes Larry?
What, well, uh next week, I'm going to be
at a convention in
California with Jane Fonda.
Something about a coastline.
No, no, (mumbling).
An accountant?
Three children?
(calming music)
Now listen Wally, we
don't know this person
but I'm sure she's a very
sweet old lady and we wanna be
very kind and considerate to her.
Is she poor or something?
I don't know but if she is
we won't say anything won't we?
Oh no that was a mistake,
don't like that, that's okay.
You may want some of these.
What shall I take
Doris, I want to fit in.
Simple, something simple.
You mean white?
All in white, a filmy diaphanous white.
I don't wanna look like
the Ghost of Marley.
Oh, I know, Janet, there's that
robe the Dalai Lama gave me.
What do you think, the beautiful
housewife wear, (mumbling)?
Of course not, you're not
going to the Old West you know.
Aprons, I suppose, day and night aprons.
Nothing but aprons as
far as the eye can see.
I don't wanna sweep down here.
Think of it as an adventure.
There aren't any windows.
What do you want windows for?
Well for one thing, ventilation.
And who knows, I might wanna look out,
see if it's raining, see if it's day,
see if it's night.
You can come upstairs for that.
Here help me with this cot.
I hate this cot.
Walter Junior I have had about enough.
You loved this cot.
You said it was just
fine when Grandma came.
I lied.
Please, please cooperate.
I'm nervous enough as it is hmm?
Now go upstairs and
bring down anything else
you think you'll need,
get Annette to help you.
[Walter Junior] She's not here.
Where is she?
[Walter Junior ] Who
knows, she went off with
some boy after school.
What boy?
[Walter Junior] Some boy!
(upbeat music)
Annette, turn that off
and go to sleep honey.
[Annette] What?
[Melody] I just wanted
to say good night.
Good night.
(calming music)
It's Saturday night.
Have you got everything Howard?
I think so Ms. Lansing.
Why all the luggage, it's only a week.
I wanna look right.
Where's my typewriter?
Oh Lord.
Now who's going to cook for you?
The dear little housewife, Emma.
You just can't eat
anything, you need the best
and you need it specially prepared.
I'm sure she wouldn't dream of giving me
anything but the very best.
Hmm, here.
Here's a nice little packing
I made for you to nibble on.
I'm gonna miss you Emma.
Okay, I've got it.
[Larry] Do you plan to do some writing?
Why I gotta, I'm a writer, ain't I?
(warm anticipatory music)
Look, all the houses are exactly alike.
How would they know which one is theirs?
Oh, how green the grass is.
And I'm sure they get
a sunset, in the rear.
How do you do, I'm...
Laura Lansing.
You must be Mr. Gomphers, is
your wife given to seizures?
Not that I know of.
[Larry] I think she's coming around.
Good, she should've been told,
the excitement has been too much for her,
you poor dear, are you a fan of my books?
Well then, why?
I've seen you on talk shows.
You scare me to death.
Shall we go in?
Yes, we should.
What are these?
Oh the (mumbling).
How do you do, I'm to be your house guest.
Yes I can see they're thrilled.
What a charming little country cottage.
(baby cackling)
Ms. Lansing.
Yes dear?
If I'd known it was you
I'd have, I'd have uhm...
Yes dear?
Changed the wallpaper.
I should've phoned ahead.
Howard fetch the champagne please.
I brought a case of
champagne, just in case
we had a thirst.
We don't drink, usually.
Can we go now?
Please everyone, I
would like to say a word.
Dear friends, dear (mumbling),
I want you to know one thing about me,
I am without ego...
Well I mean I do have normal ego.
But I want to be treated as
if I was simply one of you.
I assure you I won't intrude
on your little lives,
in any way.
You'll never know I'm here.
Just go about your
businesses if I didn't exist.
Howard, there are two bottles cold.
Uh, Larry you'll give him hand?
Is it a bit warm in here, airless, ah.
[Walter] Let me help you with that.
Oh no I never need help.
Where's the sweet old lady?
Hush dear.
Now, may I see my quarters please?
Oh of course.
This way.
I've tried to make it
nice for you, Ms. Lansing.
I'm sure it's simply...
There's a copy of
Valley of the Dolls there.
You shouldn't have troubled.
(mouse peeping)
Where's the telephone?
[Melody] In the living room.
I mean, my telephone.
In the living room.
Well we've been thinking
of getting an extension,
but Walter thought the extension...
Of course dear, now, may
I see my bathroom please?
Excuse me.
(electronic music)
What is this awful cacophony?
Who do you think you are?
I know perfectly well who I am.
Let me see your eyes.
Absolute confusion.
I'm sure she meant it as a compliment.
The bathroom, right
this way, see it's uhm,
very convenient.
I'm a real stickler for hygiene.
And I must ask that nobody
else use my bathroom.
Uh Laura, I don't think
you've got the drift.
Am I not right Ms. Gomphers when I say
that in this house,
there's just one bathroom.
What are these poor people to do?
Well, we'll figure something won't we?
[Malcolm] Yeah won't we?
Hello shorty.
What's this?
I'm afraid the Gomphers are a little low
on champagne glasses.
Can't you uh, stick
something in his mouth?
I mean a cookie or something.
He's just not used to you.
I'm not used to him
but I'm not screaming.
Here's to the real people.
The real people!
(baby chirping)
Mom is she coming out again tonight?
I don't sweetheart,
keep your voice down huh?
Why can't we turn on the TV?
It upsets her, I guess.
[Walter] What's she doing in there?
[Melody] I don't know Walter.
Why didn't she eat dinner?
I don't think she cares for beefaroni.
But boy does she care for
that chopped liver she brought.
I guess she was hungry.
I smelled it, it stank.
She is so famous.
She writes book.
You don't Walter, she's
on all the talk shows,
she goes out with Robert Redford and uh,
and she knows Steven Spielberg
and the Queen of England
and the Pope.
Really, Steven Spielberg?
(door slamming shut)
Isn't this pleasant?
Is this what this you do in the evenings?
Sit in meditation?
I've got it, a schedule of the bathroom,
I think I've solved our problems.
Now Melody, you're the
first in the morning
because you have chores to
do to get your little family
going, you've got a full 20 minutes.
Walter's second of course,
he is the breadwinner,
has to train to New York,
bring home the bacon,
you've got a full 20
minutes, you're the Daddy.
The children follow, Annette
first, because she's a girl,
I don't think we should
mind a little discrimination
in gender, then Walter Junior.
They each have only 10 minutes
and they mustn't dawdle
because they've got to get to school.
(baby crying)
Don't do that, or I'll go on
and pack you in a suitcase.
Yes, Malcolm then has 10 minutes
which is more than he needs
you'll note that I've put myself last.
Although I'm a guest,
I am also an outsider,
and I don't mind being
last, because then I can be
open-ended, so to speak.
Now, Walter.
If you've got a hammer, you
can put this right up on
the bathroom door.
Just as Martin Luther did on the door
to Wittenberg Church in 1517.
Oh, Melody, could you be a
dear and make me a little more
closet space?
Not tonight, the morning
will be time enough.
And dear, I sat on my bed
and it's much too soft,
I'm gonna need a board under the mattress.
And uhm I am a writer you
know, I need a proper desk,
a good stout chair and a decent lamp.
And quiet of course,
that goes without saying,
good night all, bless you.
What did she mean, a board?
Where would I get a board?
Why here?
Or a desk.
Why us?
Or a good stout chair.
I don't even know what
a good stout chair is.
What's she doing here?
Or a decent lamp.
Where are we gonna get a decent lamp?
I just want a promotion.
(calming music)
(cat meowing)
(dog barking)
Now, I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
It might be just as well.
Malcolm sweetie, ssshht, ssshht, ssshht.
Be quiet the door's closed
and I think Ms. Lansing
will be asleep.
(door opening)
Good morning, good
morning, good morning.
Not a bad neighborhood for a brisk stroll.
Startled some of the natives though.
Good morning Malcolm, good morning.
(baby chirping)
Why do you do that?
Now, look at me, you study my face.
You tell me what you see there.
The child's hopeless.
Do you need anything pressed?
Not now, no, maybe later in
the day, I'll let you know.
Thank you.
Oh uhm, what'll you have for breakfast?
Fruit, just fruit, a
little kiwi would be nice.
(door banging)
[Laura] Who's in there?
[Walter] Me!
Well get out!
I think all I have is a banana.
He's making a mockery
of the whole system.
Oh that's Walter, he
was so anxious I guess
about, you know, staying
on schedule that he forgot
to shave.
You mean he went back in?
Well he had to.
I don't see why.
Anything you forget to do
while you're in there, you'll
have to wait to do until
you're on the schedule again.
It builds character.
Honey come on, (door banging), breakfast.
You play in here.
You're gonna be late for
school, come on Annette.
Did you sleep well.
Of course not.
[Melody] Walter Junior!
[Laura] Good morning Walter.
Walter Junior.
Would you like a cup of coffee.
Uh, uh, no thank, just
a little herbal tea.
I hate sleeping down there,
and that cot's too hard.
I'm sorry, I don't have any herbal tea.
Oh no it doesn't matter,
never mind, Twinings will do.
Annette stayed in the
bathroom too long, I timed her,
she was 30 seconds over.
Annette, I told you, you
cannot wear that skirt to school,
now I ironed the other one for you.
Why not.
Because you're not Tandaleo.
Who's Tandaleo?
Probably a friend of Ms. Lansing's.
Now, Annette, please, change it.
It's what everybody's wearing
and I'm going to wear it.
I did stock up for breakfast.
Eggs and bacon and...
No, no, thank you, I'll think
I'll stick with my banana.
Why don't you eat some of these?
Crispy Crunchy Sugar Supers.
If you continue to eat
these Walter Junior,
your body will turn into
putty and your brain
will dissolve into tapioca.
He likes them.
Oh, is it all right?
Well uhm, what is it?
Well it's coffee.
Uh, coffee?
Real coffee?
Well no, instant.
I prefer it, it's what
I drink at the office.
I'll go shopping this morning,
Walter I'll need the car
so I'll drop you off,
oh, I just remembered, Malcolm
ate the banana last night
I'm so sorry.
It doesn't matter, I've
often fasted (mumbling),
during difficult periods in my life.
Walter what am I gonna do?
Honey, just ignore her.
Don't forget, I made an
appointment to do the oil change
this morning.
You won't be late again
tonight will you, please?
Please don't leave me alone.
I'll try.
Goodbye, goodbye dear children.
Study hard.
Nose to the grindstone.
Shoulder to the wheel.
Good morning Walter.
How did it go, first night and all?
Fine, fine.
Well, she has opinions.
I guess you know that.
Well I have noticed once or twice.
Mr. Baumgartner I'd really
like to talk you about
my ideas for...
Oh another time Gomphers,
everything is really fine
at home eh?
Oh yeah, fine, fine.
We were wondering, why would
you pay us 500 dollars...
Just think, now she's alone,
she's always been alone,
no husband, no children,
just emptiness and silence.
What a thrill for her to
be part of a rollicking,
fun-loving family like yours.
Walter, you just be yourselves, hmm?
Oh excuse me Mr. Baumgartner.
Excuse me, just be yourselves.
(calming music)
[Melody] Walter Junior's bed?
(frolicking music)
Not my dresser!
You might've asked me.
I know I should have.
I get carried away.
How did you do all this by yourself?
I am stronger than I
look, the mailman came
and saw me and he pitched right in.
It's only for a week.
Pity they don't have
caviar, such a comfort.
Excuse me.
Ms. Lansing, what are
you doing in Hicksville?
Shopping dear, what are you doing?
[Announcer] Customer
service to aisle five please.
Oh look, Crenshaw melons, why not.
Maybe two.
They're so expensive.
(mumbling) yourself Melody,
it's bad for the soul.
Could I have your autograph Ms. Lansing?
Oh please, can't you see
I'm trying to be normal.
Oh I love these.
Isn't this fun?
I haven't been shopping in years.
[Announcer] Manager,
service register four please.
[Melody] Haven't we got enough?
[Cashier] That'll be $247.
I'm afraid I have only maybe 50 dollars.
Uhm, Ms. Lansing, could you?
Could I what?
What'cha gonna do, come on
you're holding up the line.
I don't know.
Add that.
Don't make a scene dear,
put our stuff in the bags,
we'll send you a check.
You don't have any money?
Why should I have any money?
(frolicking music)
Good old Doris.
Can you change that please?
Why, why don't I do dinner tonight?
Yes, a leg of lamb, I think
I could remember how to,
and these fresh vegetables, and fruit.
Oh how nice.
Uhm, Ms. Lansing.
Do stop calling me Ms.
Lansing, it's Laura, dear, Laura.
Well, Laura, I know how
you feel about television.
But there's this program that I watch.
I've watched it for years,
and uhm, it's only an hour.
Which hour?
Well it starts in 10 minutes.
But that's impossible, I'll
just be settling in to work.
I'm sorry, but I have
to watch The Storm Within.
Well what the dickens
is The Storm Within?
It's a soap, well a soap
opera, and I watch it every day.
Melody, you've seen how
cooperative I've tried to be,
I've bent over backwards to fit in,
so as not to disrupt your
regiment, and now you insist
I'm watching trash when I
have to do a little work.
The Storm Within is not trash!
It's entertainment.
Life is not just a
round of pleasure Melody.
The answer is no.
It has to be no.
Out of my way pygmy.
(baby crying)
Don't you ever push my child.
Listen Laura Lansing, I
don't know why you're here
but this is my house.
And you are a guest here.
And I will not let you abuse
my children because I happen
to love my children.
And you will not dictate
to me what I will do
and what I won't do in my
own home, is that clear?
You've got a point.
I have indeed transgressed
the rules of decent behavior.
I apologize.
I shall go to my room
and stand in the corner.
[Female Voiceover] But
I can't leave my husband,
he needs me, and mentor
my daughter Jennifer.
[Male Voiceover] By the
way, where is Jennifer?
[Female Voiceover] Oh
she's out on the fire escape
with that boyfriend of hers.
I'm worried Bill.
[Bill] What about Anna?
[Anna] That boy is a little too forward,
I think he's up to no good.
And Jennifer's putting on weight.
(jazz music)
If I wanna go, I'll go,
don't try and stop me.
You can't leave me, not now!
I'll kill myself, I swear.
- Then kill yourself.
- Why would she kill herself?
Because he's impregnated her.
- Huh, the swine.
- I never liked you anyhow!
(jazz music)
It's the people I like,
Walter, all the people I like.
I think I understand that Violet.
If I like you, the sky's the limit.
Do you like me Violet.
Would I be here if I didn't?
May I ask why?
I'm fascinated by older men.
Especially when they've
got a slightly wounded
look in the eye.
You got a slightly
wounded look in the eye.
Which eye?
It shifts.
You're so perceptive.
Thank you.
I really feel like I
can talk to you, Violet.
You're so young and fresh.
You don't know.
My wife, she's wonderful.
She's just a housewife.
Sometimes I wonder.
What am I doing married to a housewife?
Life isn't easy.
[Walter] That's right, that's right.
But it's okay, I myself am
engrossed in horticulture.
I love green, little
green growing things.
I have this geranium on my window sill,
and it's dying, I love it so much.
I over-water it, I can't help it.
You're so, so...
Young and fresh and free?
Can I ask you a personal question, Violet?
Can I see your geranium?
(television and radio blaring)
[Annette] Who said
she could take my table?
Annette it doesn't really matter.
Well, howdy too!
Oh Laura this is Francie Barber.
I live next door.
How do you do Ms. Barber?
You just go into people's
rooms and take their...
There sure is something...
[Malcolm Junior] Mom
where's Daddy's chair?
Where do you think it is?
Hush, now go turn off
your music, I warned you.
This here is Orville, he's my youngest.
I got seven.
I'm not surprised.
[Francie] Not?
No, from what I can see it appears to be
the neighborhood pastime.
[Annette] I want my table back.
Why can't we watch television?
Because I will not
spend the twilight hour
with a bug-eyed boob who is
too dimwitted to dig into
his won inner resources to
find ways to spend the time.
Just thought I'd ask.
Oh listen Ms. Lansing,
Myrtle down the street,
she told me just yesterday,
she's so excited you're here
because she read one of your books,
she says it's real good.
Oh thank you.
Except for the end, she
said it went off the track,
but she read it clear through.
If you'll excuse me.
Sure honey, I know we'll
just see a lot of each other
this week.
Looks that way.
(Orville chirping)
Quiet Orville.
When I first saw her I
couldn't believe my mind,
I said that can't be Laura Lansing!
(women chattering)
I hate you.
You do?
You're a selfish, mean, old...
Writer, and you're a little girl.
Despite the fact that you're made up like
Phyllis Diller on a bad night.
I'm not a little girl,
I'm old enough to do it.
(baby crying)
(TV blasting)
Another hour.
It smells delicious.
Let's open a bottle of champagne.
What, do you think we should,
I mean, two nights in a row?
Two nights in a row?
And can't we, can't we
sit in the backyard?
Do you mean to tell me that
you never had any other
beau but Walter?
No, it was love at first sight.
Well, I'd had crushes
on hopeless people like
the class president or movie stars but,
it was Walter.
We were so young but we
decided to get married
right away.
And it's been wonderful ever since.
I bet.
Oh yeah, oh now!
Malcolm, don't put that
in your mouth that way.
Stay here.
Here's to Walter.
To Walter.
Of course uhm, it isn't the same.
I mean, the physical part.
He has to work so hard and
he's always bone-tired,
I can't expect...
It doesn't mean he doesn't love me.
Of course not.
You've never been married?
[Melody] That's too bad.
Is it?
(phone ringing)
I'll be right back.
Hi there honey!
Hi Francie honey.
[Woman] Is that our
celebrity sitting there?
It sure is.
[Woman] Well what do you
know, wait till I tell Phoebe.
Are you having fun?
Look, look, ball.
[Laura] Give me the
ball, give me the ball.
(baby crying)
Malcolm, stop that.
I told you Ms. Lansing loves you.
That was Walter, he's
got to work ever later
than usual tonight.
What have we have, a power failure?
Sit down kids.
Why are we eating so late?
We had cocktail hour.
[Walter Junior] How can
we see what we're eating?
If you can't see what
you're eating, Walter Junior,
or Junior Walter, or
whatever your name is,
I will give you extra carrots.
Yuck, carrots.
It's so romantic, I think it's lovely.
[Walter Junior] I'm
too young for romance.
I'm not.
[Walter Junior] Did the celebrity cook?
The celebrity cooked.
Look, lovely lamb.
I wanted hot dogs.
[Walter Junior] What
are we eating, a corpse.
Okay but I just hope
you know you're eating
some sheep's child.
[Television Voiceover]
(speaking foreign language),
the phenomenon of demonic possession.
Keep it down, she
said you could watch it
for a while but you gotta
keep the volume down.
I gotta go get your dad, behave.
[Laura] Annette, come
and help me do the dishes.
Mom does the dishes.
Well tonight, you
and Walter Junior and I
are gonna do the dishes.
Come on Walter Junior.
(baby crying)
Oh, what is wrong?
Well, you, you wanna
help do the dishes too?
Hi honey, guess what it wasn't so bad,
I kind of like her.
How was your day?
Honey if you don't mind, I'm too tired.
Of course.
Well we had quite the day.
First we went to the supermarket
and she bought out everything.
Oh, she rearranged all the furniture,
you wouldn't believe it!
Mom, she made us do the dishes.
[Walter Junior] And I had
to take out the garbage.
Oh I'm sorry.
Hi Daddy.
Hi honey.
[Walter Junior] Girls watch the dishes.
How was your day Ms. Lansing?
Lovely, thank you.
And how was your...
(phone ringing)
[Larry] Hello there,
it's Mr. Baumgartner.
Oh hello it's Melody.
[Larry] How are you?
Good, one second, Laura!
[Larry] Everything going along well?
Oh yeah we're having a wonderful time.
[Larry] What are you doing?
Uh well, at the moment I'm vacuuming.
It's for you.
[Laura] Who's it it?
Mr. Baumgartner.
Oh, thank you.
Hello Larry.
[Larry] Hi.
Hold on just a second will you please?
Melody this is a little
personal, would you mind?
Oh of course.
Well what did you find out, was I right?
I think you're crazy.
I haven't been writing
romantic novels for 40 years
for nothing, I can look
in a man's eyes and tell
if he's having an affair.
Now who'd have an affair
with Walter Gomphers.
That's what we've got
to try and find out.
Well, I did ask Rosella,
she knows everything
that goes on around here.
[Laura] And?
Oh she laughed too.
But then she said she thought
it might be the Xerox girl.
She's the office sexpot,
really just kind of chippy.
Oh dear, oh dear.
Is something wrong?
No, no, no, no, no.
It's my lecture tour, I
knew I'd be asked to go
to Indianapolis, and I didn't want to.
Well I hear it's pretty.
Tell me more about Indianapolis Larry.
It seems such a far way to go.
How far along is it?
Oh, oh I don't know Laura.
But Rosella says she thinks
he's got a crush on her.
Has contact been made
between the interested parties?
With Violet I doubt if
there's any other way.
Who's Violet?
My booking agent.
What do you think I should do Larry?
Stay out of it.
Of course I'd love to see
Violet, see what she looks like.
Well if you want to lose
the bet, then come on in
and look at her.
Goodbye Larry, keep me posted.
Sometimes these tours can be so difficult.
Indianapolis isn't so
bad, I had a girlfriend
who moved there with her
husband and they liked it.
Here you go Stace.
Oh I can't, I promised Mr. Farley.
I was crazy about your geranium, Violet.
I'm a little worried,
one of its leaves is brown.
Oh, well.
I'd like to see it again sometime.
Under different circumstances.
What would you say if I
was to tell you I love you?
Oh that's okay, I don't mind.
Who cares about you?
You're just a torn page
in my book of memories.
Don't torture me Al,
unless you really mean it.
I've been faithful to you.
[Al] Yes you have, you little tramp.
That looks like...
[Melody] That's Al Lamont.
Why don't you go out and have some fun?
How can I, I'm pregnant.
Everybody's pregnant.
Only the women.
There's always a way.
Isn't he wonderful?
Al Lamont, the sexiest man in soaps.
Isn't he awful, how can
any man do that to a woman?
If that happened to me,
I don't know what I'd do.
There's always a way.
The washing machine's broken,
I'm gonna use Francie's,
you wanna come?
No, I think I'll stay
here and make some notes.
Are you gonna write a book about us?
Maybe, have you got a dictionary?
Oh right over there, I'll see you later.
(calming music)
(door slamming shut)
(door knocking)
Who is it?
It's the selfish old writer.
You wanna be friends?
[Annette] Where's Mom?
She's over at Francie's.
It isn't as bad as all that.
I did what he wanted and
now he doesn't wanna see
me again.
What did you do?
What do you think?
In my day it would've
been a fairly innocent kiss.
Have you talked to your
mother or father about this?
They wouldn't care.
I think they might.
They don't know anything.
[Laura] They do love you.
God, nobody loves me.
I used to watch Damon play basketball.
I'd just die, he's so...
All the girls are crazy about him.
And I ran right into him
coming out of the gym.
And all of the sudden he looked at me,
and he said, do you wanna go out?
I couldn't believe it.
So we, we had a cheeseburger
and he said he was in love
with me and he always would be.
I see.
Listen darling, the word
love is used very loosely
in this world, I love gumdrops,
I love popcorn, but the real
thing, seriously, is rare.
Love, love isn't just a word.
It is a wonderful
happening, it takes time.
Be weary, be cautious, even
be a little bit suspicious,
and above all, don't do
what he wants just because
he wants it.
But I was afraid I'd
lose him if I didn't.
Honey you couldn't lose
because you didn't have him.
You're young, you're building a life,
everything you do leaves a mark.
Say to yourself, I'm Annette
Gomphers, and this me,
is worth something, I'm of value.
But I'm not.
Well how do you know that?
There may be the most
wonderful things in you,
just bursting to get out.
Don't laugh, sometimes
I think there are.
I'm not laughing.
I don't know what we'll
do when you're gone, Laura,
I'm getting so used to haute cuisine.
I wish my cook could see me.
Where's Dad?
Oh he had to work late
honey he's gonna come home
Mom is it all right if
I go over to Shirley's?
Sure, just don't stay out late.
Bye Ms. Lansing.
Bye dear.
When did you two get so chummy?
Mom can I go play ball?
Isn't it too dark?
Not if I hurry.
What was the name of that again?
Chicken Agavero, it
was some eggs' mother.
Yeah, but not bad.
I'm getting used to the
champagne too, isn't that awful?
Oh you'll be gone in just a few days.
Are we some kind of survey?
[Melody] Oh come on, why are you here?
It's a bet, Larry bet me
I couldn't last a week, with...
Well with what?
With a normal family.
Why couldn't you?
I'm detached from all that.
[Melody] That sounds so sad.
No, no, it's not that.
Where you ever in love?
Oh yes.
[Melody] Well what happened.
Well, I loved him, I really did.
In my way, you know.
He wanted a wife, a mother of his children
and I wanted...
Laura Lansing.
Are you sorry?
No, no, I don't have any regrets.
I've had too lucky a life for that.
Well I'm glad you're here.
Thank you.
Oh there's Walter.
Hi honey, we saved you some food.
You want some champagne?
Gee, you people are
turning into real drunks.
No we're not, and we
had a wonderful day,
didn't we Laura?
Yes we had.
Well except that Laura
has to go to Indianapolis
on a lecture tour, but
that's not so bad is it.
Not so bad.
I'm gonna clean up.
See Laura, tell Violet.
(baby crying)
Oh I'd better put the baby to bed.
Who's Violet?
Laura's booking agent.
You think you know something don't you?
Well you don't.
Violet, the famous Xerox girl.
She's just a kid at the office.
She's a high school drop
out, she's kinda lost,
she needs advice from older men.
And what you need Walter...
Sshht, she'll hear you!
(muffled arguing)
(water streaming)
Excuse, just what does
this have to do with you?
Nothing, except that if I ever hear
that you spent one red
cent on little miss Xerox,
when Melody hasn't even
got a decent dress,
so help me Lord, I will
kill you with my bare hands.
Keep it down.
I just happen to love Violet.
Oh nonsense, this is sex.
Really it's a remarkable difference,
and I don't think sex
has much to do with love,
unless of course you're lucky.
And you don't strike me
as being lucky, Walter.
Listen, I don't wanna hurt Melody.
I can't help the way I
feel about this girl.
The trouble with men is, they're men.
What was that all about?
Oh we were just having
a little discussion.
Oh that I know.
Walter, soup's on.
Laura I need to ask you a favor.
Please don't nag at Walter
about making more money.
[Laura] Why not?
He works so hard, and it's all for us,
for me, the kids.
So I have to scrump a
little, I do that gladly
and willingly, I'm really very lucky.
He's kept a roof over our
head and food in our mouth
all these years.
Is that all you ask?
A roof over your head,
and food in your mouths?
And Walter.
(melancholic music)
(phone ringing)
[Doris] Mr. Reid, Mr. Conway Reid?
Who the hell is this?
It's Doris Whimms, Ms.
Laura Lansing's secretary.
Oh uh, yes?
Ms. Lansing is visiting
some friends on Long Island,
and she wondered if you
could possibly lunch
with them today.
I think I can arrange that.
We'll send the car for
you, is 11 o'clock all right
for you?
Uh, fine, thank you.
And thank Ms. Lansing.
Is it...
How dressy is it?
I wouldn't worry about it, goodbye.
No, oh no that's hideous.
I don't get it, who's coming for lunch?
An old acquaintance
of mine, acted in a play
I once wrote, a terribly attractive man.
But why is he coming to lunch?
So you can practice dear,
practice at being a woman.
That's very dreary.
I'm a mother.
Well some mothers do manage to be women.
Oh, it's beautiful.
Oh I won't look like me.
That's good.
Is lunch all ready?
[Laura] It's all taken care of.
Where's Malcolm.
I took him over to Francie's.
Oh he's here!
Is this a joke.
Oh no sir.
Laura darling.
How lovely to see you.
How sweet of you to ask me.
From Emma.
Ah in the kitchen.
Are you staying for lunch.
No way I'll be back in an hour.
What a charming room.
Isn't it, I can't wait to have you meet
our hostess, Melody Gomphers.
Such a delight, she'll
be out in a minute.
Are you doing research here?
In a way, ah, here you are.
Melody, this is...
You, you!
She's a little emotional.
Is it?
Is it really you Al?
Yes, yes it's me dear.
The sexiest man in soaps.
You flatter me, I'm
just plain old Conway Reid
in real life, not that we have
much to do with real life.
How pretty you are, with your
face all flushed like that.
Isn't she?
I'm terribly bored
with the soap of course,
however, I'm up for a sitcom at NBC.
And there's a very good
chance that I may co-star
with Michael J. Fox in the new film.
Well here I am, going on about myself.
Tell me about you.
All about you.
Well, uhm, I'm just a wife and mother.
Ah, hmm.
Sometimes those can be the most.
Delicious, I'd like to meet Emma sometime.
She's the best cook in New York.
Oh have some more Al, excuse me, Conway.
I don't mind.
Isn't she adorable.
Isn't she.
Melody could you come and
help me with the dessert.
Of course.
Hurry back.
(calming music)
You see how easy it is?
I think he really likes me.
Of course he does, by
the time Walter gets home,
you'll be an absolute femme fatale.
Oh Laura!
But your life must be so
exciting like Laura's.
The way you live, the people you know.
Well mine is of course quite glamorous,
nothing like Laura's though.
On that glamorous note,
I shall do the dishes.
Oh no, don't budge, you
stay and talk to Conway.
I love chocolate mousse.
Before Laura came I hadn't
gone beyond ice cream.
How deliciously honest you are.
Am I?
I love your name.
It's like music, isn't it.
That's what it means.
[Melody] (gasps) Do you
know what we're missing?
Well at least we can catch the end of it.
(swanky music)
[Al] Is this what
you want, you chic cat.
Oh Al, Al why do you treat me like this?
Because I love you,
and always remember that.
It's you.
The magic of tape.
I can be as tender as I am tough.
[Woman On TV] Oh Al, Al.
About your husband.
Oh he's an accountant,
he's very nice, only.
I don't know.
Tomorrow afternoon, my place.
What do you say?
Something in your eyes
tells me you want to see
more of me.
Does they, uh, do they?
Three o'clock?
There's more where that came from.
Oh I can't, the children
come home from school and...
Two o'clock.
Why not?
One o'clock, what am I saying?
A little cold lunch, just the two of us?
A little cold lunch, just the two of us?
I, I can't, no, no Al.
My card, in case you change your mind.
I'll be waiting.
I can't get over it.
[Melody] What.
The way you look.
We had quite an amusing afternoon.
An actor came to lunch,
quite smitten with Melody
and her women ways.
[Walter] What actor?
Uh I believe Melody calls
him the sexiest man in soaps.
Back to the dungeon.
Good night Walter Junior.
Can I ask you a question?
What is it?
Should I go up for track?
[Laura] Well, why not?
Because I'm slow.
[Laura] Get faster.
Well, Walter Junior, when
I wanted to be a writer,
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote.
Your best work is habit, run, run, run.
[Walter Junior] You can
only do what you can do.
Oh that's not true, you
can do more than you can do.
That's the way it goes, the more you do,
the more you can do.
Can you blame me?
Entertaining men at lunch.
A friend of Ms. Lansing's.
Are you jealous.
Why should I be jealous, what do I care?
You're not the only one
attractive to the opposite sex
you know.
I know.
(foreboding music)
Walter, when I was doing
the laundry the other day,
I noticed quite a smudge
of lipstick on your collar
and I scrubbed really
hard trying to get it out
because I want you to look
nice when you go to the office.
But I would like an explanation.
The train I guess.
The train?
Yes honey, the train, it's crowded,
people brush up against you.
(calming music)
Oh Walter I forgot to tell you,
I'll need the car tomorrow,
I have to go to the periodontist.
Okay, here we go.
Now Malcom's lunch is
laid out on the table,
I won't be too long, I don't think.
You're awfully dressed
up for the periodontist.
Well I never get into
Manhattan so I thought,
oh now look, be good
and mind Auntie Laura.
Good boy, good boy, thank you.
Oh oh, no, no, no!
(baby crying)
Is it good, hmm?
(calming music)
Shall I tell you a story, Malcolm?
Once there was a little girl.
She was very bright but
she was very pretty,
but she was all alone.
And she said, when I grow up
I'm never gonna be alone again.
But she did grow up, and
she was in a dark forest,
And she was alone.
But then she met a little boy
and his name was Malcolm.
She never was alone again, was she?
Never was alone again.
Hello Laura, it's Conway Reid.
[Laura] Oh, hello Conway.
I just wanted to thank
you for a delightful lunch.
[Laura] Well I'm so glad you could come.
Me too, and thanks for Melody.
I've never met anyone like
her, she's so different.
By the way, is Melody there,
I'd like to say hello.
I'm sorry Conway, she's
gone into Manhattan.
Oh great, I've gotta hustle,
thanks again for everything,
bye dear.
(anticipatory music)
[Woman] Service.
Hello honey it's 264,
take all my calls will you
I won't be picking up this afternoon.
Conway Reid, Conway Reid.
(romantic music)
Melody, how exciting, come in.
I just happened to
be in the neighborhood.
Of course.
Conway Reid please.
[Woman] I'm sorry, he's not picking up.
He what?
[Woman] He's not picking up.
Are you sure?
(phone ringing)
Gomphers speaking.
Thank goodness.
I've been trying to reach
you, it's Doris Whimms,
Ms. Lansing's secretary.
I've been in a meeting.
I don't quite understand the message,
but Ms. Lansing called in some agitation
and asked me to tell you
that the periodontist
is the sexiest man in
soaps, and his address is...
Hey Francie, come, take him.
What's the matter.
[Laura] Hurry, no time for talk.
(baby crying)
(anticipatory music)
That was delicious, thank you.
There's something about smoked salmon.
Isn't there?
I wish you'd have some wine.
Oh no, I'm driving.
I can't tell you how glad I am you came.
I don't know why I did.
[Conway] Don't you?
Oh Walter, can I talk to you for a...
Excuse me.
Listen I have to go out for
a minute, and if anybody
wants me, I'll...
Ah there you, Gomphers,
you know I've just read
this proposal of yours, it
comes highly recommended
by a client, let's talk.
Come out to my office.
Mr. Baumgartner, I...
Do you know what I think?
I think we should get
a little more comfortable.
Look, there's something
I want to you say.
I guess I'm like every
other woman in America.
The thought of Al Lamont.
[Conway] Yes.
Lunch, alone together.
Nothing personal Conway
but I just wish you won't...
You're saying no?
It was wonderful meeting you.
(upbeat music)
Conway Reid?
15C, thank you.
[Melody] Ah, no.
(door knocking)
Where is she?
She left.
Melody, that's her bag!
Her bag.
(tires squeaking)
Uh, uh, uh, the sexiest man in soaps?
You've been plying her with liquor!
No, no, she's driving.
What's that door?
That's the bathroom.
What's that door?
That's the bedroom but...
Be my guest.
(door knocking)
Wait, wait.
Wait a minute, who are you?
Where is she?
In the bedroom.
I've got caps.
Hello Walter.
I see you two have met.
If you didn't want in here, then why did
you get me over here?
Melody is not your
cleaning woman Walter,
she's your wife, she loves you,
she'd do anything in the world for you.
We're not going up
Walter, we're going down.
All you do is meddle.
Walter I was trying
to save your marriage.
What do you know about marriage,
you couldn't even have one.
That doesn't make me Lulu the Birdgirl.
I'm just as normal as you are.
Normal, you're not normal,
you're rich and you're famous
and you make the rest of us
look like 10 cents.
If you look like 10 cents
Walter, don't blame me.
Okay, so where's my wife.
There's your wife.
(calming music)
Walter, what are you doing here.
Let's go home.
Nothing happened, I couldn't.
You're a wife, and mother.
You're a husband and a father.
Who is she?
Nobody, a girl, at the office.
I went to apartment to see her geranium.
Her what?
She has this geranium.
Okay honey, I admit I had
ulterior motives, but...
[Melody] But?
But she had one room
and three roommates.
One was frying an egg,
one was washing her hair
and one was doing his push-ups.
It's the new world.
All I got for my trouble
was a good night kiss,
she didn't even hit my
face, she hit my collar.
She was looking at the geranium.
(frolicking music)
I'm sorry.
I'm only human.
So am I, I'm only very human.
Anyone for Hicksville?
(calming music)
They've never slept so late.
Maybe they're dead.
I don't think so.
We're ready when you are Laura.
Do you want this, it was
on the bathroom door.
[Laura] Throw it out.
[Walter Junior] Give
it to me, a souvenir.
[Doris] We'll wait in the car.
[Laura] Okay.
Good morning.
Oh you're not leaving.
Any minute, your breakfast is ready.
We thought you were dead.
What's this?
I'm paying up.
Oh, thank you.
For everything.
You know, I really shouldn't take this,
but I'd never forgive myself if I didn't.
I'd never forgive you either.
I'm sorry you lost the bet.
Yeah, well...
[Melody] What's the matter?
I'm not so sure I did lose that bet.
You're walking down the
street, you round the corner,
at exactly the right moment,
and you meet, for no
reason, by sheer chance
the person you'll spend
the rest of your life with.
Why that corner, why that moment?
It isn't by chance, there is a reason,
that wasn't a crazy bet,
that was life saying,
come on in Laura Lansing,
join the human race.
Oh Laura.
So, if you don't mind, I uh,
I won't say goodbye, I can't.
I'll just say, I love you
and I'll see you soon.
I'll miss you.
I'm gonna win a race for you.
(serene music)
Eat your breakfast.
(calming music)
[Group] Bye, bye bye!
Isn't she something?
They're great aren't they?
Laura, about the bet.
Oh I'll tell you something
Larry, bet or no bet,
I'm gonna write something that
will knock your socks off.
Well I thought you might.
And don't forget my 10%.
I'm visiting today in the
home of our literary greats.
Laura Lansing has been on
the top best seller list
for weeks no, and Laura the critics
are calling Suburban Serenade a classic.
You've captured the heart of
America, how did you do it?
Well, first I have to ask you,
have you ever been to Hicksville?
[Interviewer] Hicksville,
I can't say that I have.
[Laura] Don't have to, because
I have been to Hicksville.
And my trip to Hicksville,
was really responsible
for this book, (mumbling) in my life.
(cheerful music)
(friendly upbeat music)