Miller's Girl (2024) Movie Script

What is an adult?
Becomin' one
didn't suddenly transform me
into anything outstanding
or significant.
I am 18 and
entirely unremarkable.
Languishing in the wilds
of nowhere, Tennessee.
In this tomb of a house
left to me
by my brilliant
and selfish parents.
They're not dead...
though they pretend I am.
They're permanently abroad.
Literature is my solace
in the solitude.
And writing is my only means
of escape.
Because, you see...
I've never left the edges
of this town.
It's positively gothic,
Lonely girl longs to escape
the interminable boredom
of her small village.
Lonely girl longs
to be meaningful.
Lonely girl longs to be loved.
Books make longing
seem romantic, but it's awful.
It's greedy.
And I wear longing
like a fucking veil.
But today?
Today comes with
something new.
Something surprising.
Today I meet a writer,
like me.
A teacher.
One who somehow
found inspiration
in a place like this.
If you can believe it.
I suppose even graveyards
grow flowers.
Good morning.
You know, class doesn't start
for another hour.
I know. I don't like crowds.
-Do you live far?
-Close enough to walk.
-Oh, where's that?
-Lovell Hill?
You live in Lovell Hill?
-You know it?
-I just didn't think it was
occupied by anything
except ghosts.
Who says it is?
You, you
really live in Lovell Hill?
It's enormous.
My parents are lawyers.
-Hmm, what kind?
-The expensive kind.
And you wanna be a lawyer?
About as much as I wanna be
a high school student.
What's your name?
Cairo Sweet.
-I'm Mr. Miller.
-I know.
My friend Winnie
recommended your class.
Now I'm assuming that you got
one of these before...
the holidays.
Got a chance to look it over?
I read it.
I, I,
I know it looks like a lot,
but I promise you
we'll get through it
as quickly as we can.
I read the whole list.
Wait, you read these?
Well, like,
there's 12 books on that list.
I party hard.
-Mm. Hmm, hmm.
One semester
wasn't enough for you?
Did you miss me?
I did not.
Well, that's too bad.
You're overdressed as usual,
I see.
Your underwear,
as usual, I see.
How boring.
Censorship is dead.
It can't exist
with the Internet.
And yet it does.
Do you know why?
Do you?
Ignorance is a product
of laziness.
Not limitation.
Excuse me,
but what's that you say?
You want
a chicken biscuit
and a Coke?
Mm. Well, you heard the boss.
It's chickybikky Coke-y time,
let's go.
You want anything, Mr. Miller?
No, thank you, Cairo.
Sweet of you to ask.
I see
what you did there.
"Cairo, sweet of you to ask."
Good one.
Like we've never heard
that before.
My God.
What you reading?
-Uh, nothing.
-Doesn't look like nothin'.
It's a student's.
Oh, yeah? What's her name?
How do you know it's a girl?
Oh, boys are too lazy
to read porn.
How do you know it's porn?
"Marcelle wants me
to fuck her.
"She leaps off the couch
-"and pushes herself..."
"...between the girl and me.
"It's all
so fantastically horrible
-"that I can't move."
-Give me that.
-"Marcelle stretches..."
-"...her tiny split fig."
-That's quite enough...
-All right.
-...of your elocution...
-And test tomorrow, kids.
-I think.
Well, "Split fig"
is fucking poetry.
-This coffee for me?
-Biscuit, too.
One of yours?
Oh, yeah,
that's one of yours.
One of mine. Exactly.
I don't know what
you're doing,
-but it's some...
-Oh, you know. Come on, now.
I'm trying to just entice you.
What the...
-Man, that's good.
-"Oh, I read The Paris Review.
-"I'm so smart."
-Can you not?
I'm in high school.
-"But I read The Paris Review.
- Boris. Boris. Come on.
"I'm better than most people."
-Stop, please.
-Is this her diary?
Oh, what do we have here?
Well, well, well.
and Ampersands..."
six abysmally
romantic short stories
by Jonathan Albert Miller.
-She has my book?
It would appear so.
It would also appear
she's the only one
who checked it out.
Yeah, well, don't you have
a class to teach?
Well, you know,
I can't start my day
without seeing you.
No, you really can't.
Hey, how'd you score
the big room anyway?
They cut
the theater program.
But they kept you?
Along with
the other props, yeah.
-Hello, wife.
-Hello, husband.
-Look at me.
Red-Letter Day.
What, your school
finally get computers?
Indoor bathrooms?
A writer.
One who reads Finnegans Wake
of her own volition.
Can you believe that?
Well, I'm forever stunned
that the children
in that backwater shanty
can read at all.
And, uh, guess what else?
-Naked Lunch.
Apostrophes and Ampersands.
She checked it out
of the library.
They carry your book
at the library?
Aw. Fuck.
-A Confederacy of Dunces.
- Mm-hmm.
Well, deep breaths.
Happy place.
My happy place
has all their heads
impaled on Montblanc pens.
Share your riches.
Hello, Amy.
What? Are you fucking joking?
I've been back and forth
all day
with the Nashville office
who can't seem to articulate
what it is they want
and somehow think
they can articulate
to me,
which is pretty ambitious
considering how they think
is a Danish cheese.
So, I'm about to start
fucking scooping out
my teeth with a baby spoon.
-They can go
fuck themselves if they think
I'm gonna change the ending.
Okay, have a nice day,
Here now.
Oh, that's so good.
Hey, you ever read, uh,
Under the Roofs of Paris,
Henry Miller?
my first copy got so sticky,
I had to throw it away.
That beginning bit
with the prostitute...
-Mm. Mm-hmm.
-...and the cum money?
That is choice.
"I take the first
bill I find in my pocket
"and wipe my cock on it."
"And place it crumpled
on her bare belly
"weighted with a coin."
-I love when you do magic.
You care to reenact?
I can papier-mache you...
with cum and money.
Oh, so you're expecting
-a heavy load, then, huh?
A full body of work.
Come here.
Dance with me.
You're so beautiful.
Shut up.
Oh, for fuck's sake.
Will you take care
of those dishes?
I'll give you a handy later.
It's Pushkin, Amy.
Not Pollyfuckinanna.
a terrible weekend.
-Come on,
why you always gotta
hold my coffee hostage?
'Cause you're a puritan.
I feel like it's my duty
to punish the goodness
out of you.
God, you're a sadist.
I'm a public school teacher.
-Amen to that.
Ooh, mama.
You think there's ghosts
up in there?
Why don't you go see?
I don't go in the kudzu.
That feeds on
the souls of the dead.
That's why it grows so fast.
Good morning.
You always walk through
the woods alone?
That's a peculiar question
to ask a young lady,
Coach Fillmore.
What, what are you,
uh, listening to?
-Celine Dion.
But why?
-I'm sorry.
-Because she's great.
-Oh. Hmm.
-Ignore him. Ignore him.
-He wept aloud openly...
-Hmm. the Titanic
theme song...
-Hmm. my bachelor party.
-Remember that?
-I was drunk.
You were disconsolate.
You are a fucking traitor.
And you're a fucking
Mm. Mm, mm, mm.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Uh, want a biscuit?
-Yeah, sure.
-There you go.
-It's good.
-Do you make these?
But you know,
don't tell nobody.
-Why not? I don't.
-Oh, you know.
-You'll figure it out.
-I won't.
You can't have
the baseball team knowing
that he bakes biscuits
and cries to Celine Dion.
On that...
Take my leave.
I shall bid you goodbye.
-Uh, you, bad bye.
-Well, goodbye.
-A bad bye?
-But I love you though.
No, you don't.
Don't you get scared walking
through those woods?
I'm the scariest thing
in there.
Oldest trick in the book,
Ain't you gonna say somethin'?
I dressed up just for you.
What you want?
I wanna get into
-your physics class.
You'd be really behind.
Don't you tutor?
You don't need lessons.
Then what do I need?
See what I can do.
'Preciate ya!
Hope so.
You are insane.
I think
I'm seducing Coach Fillmore.
But you're a lesbian.
I'm an equal opportunist.
Are you jealous?
Well, if I say, "yes,"
will you lay off him?
If I say, "yes,"
will you lay on me?
Okay, chickybikky?
So, you're a smoker now?
I'm smoking now.
No plans for it
to define me yet.
Where are your parents
this time?
For how long?
Who knows?
Let me dress you up.
Winnie, you know I don't give
a fuck about being hot.
I give a fuck
about being smart.
You can be both.
What are you doin'?
I'm willing my cursor
to blink itself
into my Yale essay.
You dry?
What's the subject?
"What has been your greatest
achievement to date?"
All right, what the fuck
am I supposed to say?
Surviving the crippling ennui
of growing up
in bumfuck nowhere?
I'm sorry.
I just...
I couldn't hear you over
the high whine
of your shining trust fund.
My greatest achievement
cannot be that
I've had no achievement.
Well, you are gonna
be valedictorian.
-You have a 4.6 GPA.
And you've successfully...
You've successfully, um...
I guess you're just another
generationally wealthy gal
livin' in
a haunted ancestral mansion.
Experience something.
Like what?
Something worth writing about.
You could write a treatise
on teacher-student affairs.
How exactly would that
be an achievement, Winnie?
It becomes a conversation
about achieving emancipation
from your inherited beliefs
about sex and age.
You're not seriously
gonna fuck Fillmore, are you?
Haven't decided yet.
What's it to you?
Like, he's, like,
-twenty years older than you.
Older men have been
harvesting virginity
since the dawn of time.
So, it doesn't mean
anything to you?
Your virginity.
Does it mean something to you?
I haven't decided yet.
Come to Winnie.
We're, like,
the fucking
American wet dream.
Young girls with
ambivalent sexuality.
Pheromones steaming off
our bodies.
I don't wanna drop it
for some rando jock-twat
whose sexual standards
are mandated
by the shit porn he downloads.
That's deli meat.
I want a dry-aged
slab of perfectly marbled
hot man meat
to take me to pleasure town.
Wagyu beef.
You think
that's Boris Fillmore?
Why not?
He's fine.
He's like,
really fucking smart.
And he's kind.
Which means, as my first time,
he'd take his time
to get me all good and juiced.
And then
he'd give me aftercare.
You know,
the first time you have sex,
it's not supposed to hurt.
if you're properly aroused.
You likely won't even bleed.
Didn't know that.
That's because a woman's pain
is valued more
than her pleasure.
But that's a conversation
for another day.
My point...
is that Boris has just got it
going on.
I know what I'm looking for.
And I think Mr. Miller knows
what he's looking for.
What do you mean?
I've never seen him look
at a student
the way he looks at you.
He sees you
even though
you hide in plain sight.
-Shut up.
Come on.
Like you don't notice, Cairo.
It's like he's been living
in gray scale
and you're the first thing
he's ever seen in color.
No, you're being... Shut up.
I'd fuck you.
I know.
"I was nothing
"but a bleached bone monument
beneath her.
"Human ruins
of a madman's love."
"A madman's love."
God, I'd give anything
to feel that.
What muse could inspire
this deranged yearning?
To inspire.
To be so inspired.
Could we be that
to each other?
What was I saying?
Feels like I'm not right.
Feels good.
It feels pink.
Never forget.
There's a reason this guy
was called romantic.
It's very big, it's very bold.
To us,
it might seem a little...
If we don't stick
to the brief,
it gets a little bit woolly.
Uh, can you see me
after school, please?
Some of you, as you can see
could have done...
It's like a sugar cube
under the tongue.
...a little better.
But worth persevering.
Colby, what?
I want your attention.
Uh, how's Bea?
She's, uh, she's Bea.
How's the book coming?
It's not.
You mean you're not.
No, she's, uh, she's occupied.
All right,
what time is dinner?
Seven o'clock.
And please take a shower.
Are you worried?
Your old lady's gonna get hot
for all this?
Top three worst nightmares.
Yeah. Because you know
how nasty she is.
No, because I wanna keep you
for myself.
Aw, cutie.
You remember the Roger Rabbit?
Check it out now.
-It's close, right?
Kids ain't got nothing on me.
-All right, man.
-Bye, Professor.
Love you.
F... Hi. Uh...
Hello... Well,
that was embarrassing.
-I won't tell.
-That's generous, thank you.
Uh, hope I'm not keeping you
from anything.
I'm waiting for Winnie.
It's like you're always
waiting for Winnie.
That sounds like
a Gin Blossoms album.
Waiting for Winnie.
Gin Blossoms? How old are you?
Well, if you can't tell,
then I won't.
What's Winnie doing?
She's applying to Vandy.
You would be pleased to know.
And are you?
Tennessee is a fucking
tar pit. No offense.
I think you'll appreciate it
when you're older.
From afar.
As it burns.
Like Nero.
Well, that's...
So, uh,
how far are we talkin'?
Yale far.
Yale far? My God!
What, so you can eat
pot brownies
and read Joan Didion or what?
Because I hear
the literacy rate is high.
You ever been to
the Scroll Sessions
at Sally Bunny's?
No. What's that?
Poetry salon
every third Saturday.
Victorian Village.
-What is that?
What's that? It's blank.
Ca... How can you disdain
of what Tennessee has to offer
without conducting a thorough,
uh, cultural investigation?
Educated judgment.
Well, I've heard
things there that haunt me.
Because they're bad?
Sometimes, yeah.
Sometimes they're bad.
Most of the time, it's,
it's kind of beautiful.
Maybe you should go
this weekend.
I think you might
be surprised.
You wanted to see me?
This week's story,
uh, you wrote about
a reluctant spider.
I enjoyed this one.
and desire amalgamated
"and turned
an aphotic eye inward.
"I saw my expectations
dismantled and dismembered
"by the harsh and starving
dogs of reality.
"Truths that sit in
the vacuity of space
"like a hypergiant star
"burning to ash.
"All elements too weak
to withstand the awesome heat.
"We are what we are.
"And all creatures must eat."
-Damn. That, I mean...
I was not expecting that.
She's not reluctant.
She's resigned.
-To her death?
To the order of things.
She eats and waits
to be eaten.
-Phew. It's dark.
-It's nature.
That's true.
You memorized it.
Well, I'm eidetic.
It's a,
it's a cool party trick.
You are...
You're exceptionally talented.
-Do I get an A?
-Well, how about a jumpstart
on the midterm?
Are you offering me
special treatment, Mr. Miller?
I want you to write
a short story
in the style
of your favorite author.
I think it could be
the highlight
of your portfolio submission
-to Vanderbilt.
Come on.
I've got to have some hope.
I think
that's a terrific assignment.
Thought you would.
I read your book.
Oh, God. Well, uh...
of which there were three,
found it, uh,
without ambition," to quote.
I would call it...
grand and tragic.
Romantic horror.
That's, uh...
"She was an electric white
"noon-shadow moon
"casting cold light like water
"over the flat earth
of my face.
"'Don't look into the sun,'
they said.
"But the moon,
"the moon...
"I stared until I was nothing
"but a bleached bone monument
beneath her.
"Human ruins
of a madman's love."
Well, you memorized that,
That was too much.
That was weird.
No, it wasn't.
It's not. It's not.
That was really weird.
I'm sorry.
That was the first thing
I'd ever written...
which felt tangible.
Like I'd touched somethin'.
You know,
I haven't written anything
-in a very long time.
-Why not?
I don't know.
Do I know?
I guess I got married.
Started teaching.
I don't have anything else
to say.
You're uninspired.
-You judging me?
-I am challenging you.
That's my job.
-Hi, Winnie.
-Oh, no.
-I think she's hungry.
She just doesn't use
real words
because she's a child.
No, it's fine.
Your hair looks great.
-I knew it.
-Please don't start.
-Your hair looks good.
-I will not go...
-I'm more concerned...
...gently into the good night.
-No, I know. You look fine.
-Like you have.
I'm just more concerned
about the fact
that you got two damn phones
on the table
like you're a rapper.
This one
is my professional phone.
And the other one...
-The other one... for selling drugs.
-The other one is personal.
-Oh, yeah?
That's why you're not gonna
get that number.
How y'all doin'?
That burger treatin' you well?
it's a two-man show tonight.
I'm getting angry now.
-Well, hi.
I don't see any Michelin stars
here, honey.
So, what is the holdup?
-A fuck-up...
-Bea. Come on. the kitchen
that was entirely preventable.
Can I get you anything
while you wait?
-On me.
-Another Maker's.
Okay, you got it.
-Blue Moon.
Workin' late on
a school night, ain't you?
Drinkin' late on
a school night, ain't you?
Oh, you think sassing me
is gonna get you a better tip?
Gets me
a better grade.
Doesn't it?
-That might be true, yeah.
-Anything for you, Mr. Miller?
I'm good, Winnie.
Designated driver.
-Oh, really?
-Unless you wanna do it.
-First I'm hearing of this.
You know, why can't you just
be a nice,
boring teacher
like Mr. Miller?
What? And let
my students make their grades
with scholastic merit?
Do you really think
I'm boring?
In a good way.
Like a nice pastoral.
I'll get those drinks for you.
Yeah. "Pastoral."
She just called you a field.
At best.
-She's cute.
-Yeah, and a 4.4 student.
And she can paint.
She's in my morning class.
Oh, is this the last scion
of James Joyce?
That's Cairo.
Did he tell you that
Cairo read his book?
He sure did.
-Is she pretty?
-Is she pretty?
Um, I don't know.
She's talented.
Damn. Even worse.
Our friend Jon here
is prepping her to be
his transcendence into
the annals of academic glory.
And so what if I am?
It's exhilarating.
And it's rare as well
-to be so engaged and so...
-Hmm. I bet is is. Yes.
-So worshipped.
-So worthy.
-Wanna be like me.
-She, in earnest
uses words
like "vituperation."
Vocabulary doesn't make
you a writer
any more than math
makes you a rocket scientist.
Bea, she's extraordinary.
-But enjoy it while you can.
You know, pickings are slim
in the boonies.
Rural education
not as romantic
as you thought it'd be, huh?
No, I thought it was going
to be fucking
Friday Night Lights, okay?
-That's on you, man.
-Just cool stories
and, like, sexy guitar riffs.
Meanwhile, the professor
disapproves of my cynicism.
-Oh, he's judging you.
-Yes, he is. I feel it.
-No, I'm not.
-Yes, you are.
Are too.
"The teacher
who attempts to teach
"without inspiring the pupil
"with a desire to learn
is hammering on cold iron."
-Horace Mann.
-Ten points to Slytherin.
That's so rich.
I wanted to be a teacher.
You fell back on it.
And by the way,
I love teaching.
You're better suited for it,
I think, anyway.
-Hey, than what?
-Goddamn, Beatrice.
-What does that mean?
You don't have kids.
-You don't have kids.
-You don't have
brain damage, right?
So, um, you stopped writing
I imagine,
because it wasn't for you.
you'd still be doing it.
I'm a writer.
You haven't put pen to page
since your stories got panned.
You're not a writer.
Well, okay.
Didn't realize you
saw me this way, but okay.
It's not that
you can't write, Jon.
It's that you don't.
You chose to be a teacher.
Why would I see you
as anything else?
'Cause you married a writer.
I did.
Didn't I?
Why am I here?
It's not for the poetry,
I'll tell you that.
It's for the thrill
of something
that I've managed to go
my whole life without knowing.
An ache of anticipation
that you'll be here.
And it will mean something
that you are.
Be here.
Be here. Be here.
"Stay, illusion.
"If thou hast any sound,
speak to me."
-Can I sit?
-Of course.
What's that you got there?
It's, um,
sacramental grape juice.
Said the barrister's daughter.
Do you know
all these people?
Uh, most of them.
We've been doing this
for a couple years now.
Like group therapy?
Yeah, exactly that.
-Who's that fellow?
-That's Elliot.
Three-time Ostrander winner.
He just finished
playing Edmund in Lear.
It's sure to get him
his fourth.
"It is my intention
to escape you
"and leave you far behind...
"...bereft of me and aching.
"Puzzled by the pain
in your rib.
"Not quite heartache.
"Not quite homesick.
"Me-shaped and filled
"with the remnants of stars.
"You choke up the void
with verdurous blooms,
"and the wrap of my veins
around you.
"The hideous pulse,
"the shouting blood,
"the ventricle kudzu
smothering you
"with wanting
"is turned hideously soft
in reminiscence.
"And yet
some part of me stays.
"Some bit,
"some parcel,
"some ash left behind.
"And with it,
you will recreate me.
"A moving effigy,
a patch-work person."
"But they are not me.
"And the space I left
grows misshapen."
"I will never fit there
I can see.
It was really something.
Hot dog.
You thought it was gonna
be trash, didn't you?
Yes, I did.
Have more faith.
What is the word?
It's not falling.
That's too stale.
It's more deliberate
than that.
It's recognition
of what we really are.
You do see me.
And I see you.
Goddamn, Tennessee,
why are you so fuckin' hot?
-Go inside.
-And miss Godot?
Gifts for the wallflowers.
-Oh. Okay.
-Mm. Hmm.
-Thank you.
-What's this?
-No, no.
What's this? What is...
What's with the, uh, new look?
Thank you for this. It's,
uh... It's very generous.
No one should have to suffer
cafeteria coffee.
You want a biscuit, biscuit?
-What flavor?
-Split fig.
Excuse me.
-It's good.
-Come on, man.
You got
a little split fig in you?
-Not right now. Really?
-Caught in your throat?
-You know what you should do?
-What should I do?
You should make a logo
and sell these
to raise money for the team.
Don't laugh.
You'd buy some, wouldn't you,
Mr. Miller?
-Oh, yeah.
-He doesn't count.
I can't resist a cute boy
with a biscuit.
Winnie could design the logo.
She's really good
at that stuff.
Call yourself
the Biscuit Batters.
Winnie and I could help you
get it off the ground.
What's in it for you?
-What's in it for me?
Oh, well, I mean,
it's pleasure, you know?
Connection. 5%.
-I'm the Biscuit Batter.
-No. Once more with pride.
-I'm the Biscuit Batter!
-Oh. Oh, okay. Okay.
I'm the...
I'm gonna work on that.
Um, but I'm leaving
before I fucking burn up.
-Y'all coming inside?
-You go ahead.
All right, suit yourself.
I'll suit myself. See you now.
You're sweet.
When it suits.
-Thank you.
What did he say
about the outfit?
He didn't have
to say anything.
You ready? Can we go?
No. I need to stop
by his class.
Can I watch?
Oh, hi.
How are you, kid?
Are you in a hurry?
Well, I'm just goin' on
a little, uh,
weekend vacation with my wife.
What do writers
do on vacation?
Uh, excuse me.
Um, well,
they pretend to write
someplace else, I guess.
Uh, can we talk about
the midterm?
Uh, sure, what's on your mind?
I want your approval
on my author before I start.
Okay. Who is it?
Henry Miller.
Provocative and,
...his structure is very
challenging to emulate.
It's not just structural,
though, it's everythin'.
You know, his decadence,
his total disregard
for literary etiquette,
his, um,
destruction of convention.
It's all the good stuff.
-Do you not think I can do it?
Miller is public enemy
number one
with the censors.
I'm not even approved
to teach him.
So, it would be like
a controversial choice.
If it's not controversial,
it's not interestin'.
Okay, yes?
Okay, I trust you.
Write what you know,
little ghost.
Damn, I gotta go. Uh...
Do me a favor.
Have some fun this weekend,
will you?
Take a recess.
Yeah, I'll rest if you write.
Uh, listen,
I'll see you Monday, okay?
Bye, Winnie.
Don't do that.
Don't look at me like that.
No, I never did that.
Wait, Winnie, don't...
"Oh, Mr. Miller,
"I just love the decadence,
and the words
"and breakin' all the rules!"
Okay, enough, enough.
You need to get off his desk.
I did not say it like that.
Oh, but you meant it
like that.
-No, I didn't.
-You're seducin' him,
you floozy.
We make a good double team.
Am I interruptin'?
-We were just leavin'.
-Where's Jon?
Uh, where's Mr. Miller?
He left.
Oh, while I have you. Cairo.
I think your idea
is fresh to death.
And, uh, Winnie...
-I'd like your help too.
-With what?
Well, can you keep the secret?
Sure can.
I bake biscuits.
He's gonna have
the baseball team
sell them to raise money.
But Fillmore wants you
to design the logo.
I think that's really cool.
-I'd love to help.
Cool. All right.
I'll call you guys out
on your lunch period.
We can go over the specs.
Hey, um...
I think it'd be easier
if you just gave me
your phone.
I could text you the specs.
It'd be faster that way.
Hey, can you call me?
Mm. Mm-hmm.
And now
you'll have Cairo's number.
Oh, good.
There is no reception
in here.
-Cairo, it's probably
just at the bottom
of your bag.
No, I just had it
a minute ago.
Well, it's Friday,
and we're still here.
So let's a-fucking go.
Oh, uh, Winnie?
Uh, Boris?
-My phone.
-My phone.
-Your phone.
-Your phone?
Your phone!
-Right. Sorry. Okay.
-Oh, okay. Okay.
-Well, that was my...
Baby, I'm gonna need
a few more minutes, all right?
Okay. Well, we were supposed
to leave 40 minutes ago.
I know.
If Amy did her fucking job...
...we could've left yesterday.
It's just not enough, Amy.
What the f...?
Yes, I'll hold.
You have my phone.
And whose phone
do I have?
Cairo Sweet's.
Cairo. It's, uh...
It's Jon... It's Mr. Miller.
-Sticky fingers, Miller.
Uh, how are you?
I'm tethered to a landline.
-Are you already gone?
-Uh, well, should be.
I don't give
a flying backwards fuck, Amy.
Just give 'em the first draft.
-Hang on.
-They'll think it's new.
Honey. Honey,
I've, I've gotta drop
somethin' off
at a student's house.
All right, take care of it.
Oh, get me some tampons
while you're out, all right?
-Organic ones,
-if you can find 'em.
Not you obviously, Amy. Fuck.
Get me a better deal,
and then
you can plug my pussy.
You big time,
"road head" owe me.
Are you still there?
I'm still here.
You at Lovell Hill right now?
Well, I'll drop it off
before we leave,
if that's okay.
Do you need
the address?
I know exactly where you are.
Good. All right,
well, drive safe.
It's gonna rain.
How does love come?
In the movies, it's,
it's like a curtain crashing
to the stage.
But in life,
whatever of it is real,
it is a quiet thing.
It is a summoning.
Come here.
You come here.
How can a kiss make
every cliche
suddenly consequential?
Quite unlike any person
I've tutored before. I wonder.
Here we are.
Oh, excellent.
I didn't know
it was possible
to feel this brave.
Or that I'd ever want to.
What are you doin'?
I'm working.
I know this was supposed
to be our weekend together
and I'm sorry that my team
is the fucking
tasteless worst.
But I can't work like this.
A kiss.
I'll be outside.
A muse.
It is a question.
It is an unlocked door.
It is elation.
An anguish.
It is the inch and the mile.
"Don't look into the sun,"
they say.
The fuck do they know?
"Mr. Murphy drove with
the resignation
"of the already dead.
"He imagined he felt the way
Dylan Thomas
"did headin' into
the White Horse
"to take the drink
that would kill him.
"He knew what they were
"and what they were not."
"Hello," she said.
I'm here.
"Alice thought
"of a slaughtering lamb
as she couldn't be certain
"which of them was meant
for sacrifice.
"He was outside.
"He was inside."
It excites you,
doesn't it?
The surreptitiousness
of it all.
"Mr. Murphy
smiled wide.
"The lines around his mouth
deepening into parentheses
"that framed his perfect lips
into a punchline.
"Smoke drifted from her mouth
"with practiced,
cinematic effort."
Is it more romantic for you
that way?
This is no romance.
I'm sorry to disappoint you.
"Alice opened her mouth
to say something,
"but the words fell away.
"Mr. Murphy loomed over her,
"his Cadillac eyes hungry
and bored."
I want you to read to me.
"Alice watched
in slow motion
"as Mr. Murphy's tongue
undulated when he spoke."
Read it to me the way
you read it to yourself.
"Pink tide against
the bone shore of his teeth."
"Alice took the tattered
"Henry Miller paperback
off the bedside table,
"and spread it open
on the comforter of her bed.
""Page 13,"
he said, behind her,
"one hand slid up the front
of her cotton dress.
"The other pointed to
a sentence on the page."
"He was
against her then,
"and Alice felt a push
of muscular wetness
-"between her legs."
-"Mr. Murphy placed
"his slender hand over hers
"and guided her to the mound
at her center
"pressin' her fingers
into the dark fold there."
"Just behind the
damp fabric of her panties..."
"Feelin' her feel
"... he found his way
around the elastic at her leg,
"and slid two deft fingers
"into the warm darkness
of her virgin cunt."
"She felt him shift."
"He peeled the wet
cotton down her legs
"and pressed into her
from behind."
"The width of his face..."
"The thousand years
of violence and conquering
"boiled within him as he held
the mouth of her pubis
-"like a hooked fish."
-"Searching for
"the answer to a question
he'd doubted."
-"But there it was."
-"The answer
-"and the question."
-"The cicatrix
-"that will never heal."
-"The serpent's apple."
"Her cul was slick
against his fingers."
"Just as he imagined
it was when she was alone."
"Maybe in
her bedroom..."
"Her own fingers
knuckle deep."
"Trying to rub out
that itch."
"The ache inside.
"He saw himself
burying his cock in her
"brutally fucking away
the exigency
"that swirled her clit
"and choked her
better judgments."
"He would fill her up
with cum."
Good morning.
Are you okay?
What's wrong?
Your story.
You didn't like it?
You have to choose
another author.
This is inappropriate.
What does that mean?
Why did you write this?
-You asked me to.
Why did you choose
that material?
You said,
"Write what you know."
And this is what you know?
This is...
This is... This is you.
I don't...
I don't understand this.
Are you being serious?
Okay. It's...
It's about two like people
abnegating social convention.
You know, it's commentary
on the sexual anesthetization
of a culture
that's super saturated
with pornography.
It's about the inefficacy
of romantic dogmas
on young people's
It's about
inexorable attraction.
It's layered.
-This is pornography.
So put it in your diary,
not on my fuckin' desk.
Write a new story
with a new author.
I'm not gonna indulge this.
Are you talking about
the story or us?
You already have.
You inspired it.
I can't accept it.
But you can't or you won't?
Because it sounds like
you're scared...
-Hey. Hey.
-...and it looks like
you're measurin'.
Stop talking to me
like a stranger,
-and say what you mean.
-Rewrite it.
-You know why.
-Tell me.
-Say it.
-If you don't rewrite this,
I'll have to fail you
for the midterm.
-Tell me why.
-I don't have to tell you
a goddamn thing.
It made you feel something
that scared you.
-Don't put words in my mouth.
-Then say them yourself.
Tell me what it made you feel.
Incredibly foolish
for havin' trusted
this material to a child.
What was I before you read it?
A student.
You built the world.
You built the fantasy,
not on the page,
but in real life.
You can't blur the lines
and then expect me to see
a boundary
when I suddenly cross it.
Let me be very, very clear...
...with you.
You're my student.
And I'm your teacher.
That's all.
Any misconception of that
is something,
regrettably, that you have
to shoulder...
"Write what you know"
is what you said.
Yeah, I know what I said.
You don't know anything
you say.
-This is good.
And you know it is.
So, let's examine
the real issue.
It's not my writing.
It's yours.
Good try.
You thought you were
gonna be hot shit, didn't you?
You thought that
you were gonna be somebody.
without ambition."
Do you know what that means?
It means you weren't brave
enough to be better.
you're deliberately impotent.
It means that you,
Jonathan Miller...
are mediocre.
You wanna fail me?
I fucking dare you.
But you better make it mean
somethin' to you.
And you better know
what it means.
Because the cost is very high,
Mr. Miller.
And if you're not very,
very careful
this banality, this falsity
that you wallow in,
it will devour you
until you are as small
as you pretend to be.
And you will disappear.
And no one will pay
any more thought to you
than they do an unread
cookie fortune.
How disappointin' you must be
to those who had believed
you'd be more.
No wonder you're here.
Heartbreak is
a slow-motion car crash
set to Mozart.
You know the one. The Requiem.
It tastes like graveyard dirt.
It smells
like burnin' flowers.
It feels like violence.
How you doin', Professor?
Had a bad day.
-Oh, you want a drink?
-Thank you.
So, he was offended?
He was affected.
Are you still into him?
He's a pretender.
You know, at least what
you see with Boris
is what you get.
You know,
Jonathan Miller is like...
He's like
fuckin' imitation crab
and gas station sushi.
Aren't you in love with him?
What happened?
I had
a very unpleasant conversation
with a student about
the midterm assignment.
Was it with her?
Your acolyte?
She drafted something
to make Henry Miller
look like Dr. Seuss.
Well, you let a teenager
run with Miller,
and you're surprised
it's vulgar?
She was supposed to use
his literary structure,
not his subject matter.
What's the subject matter?
An English teacher
and a student
who have an illicit affair
complete with "pre-cum"
-and "cherry popping."
Those words exactly.
Show me right now.
Come on.
Tell me what shocked you.
You fuck Fillmore yet?
You know when
I'm in my luteal phase,
I tell you everything.
"For Jonathan.
"Love, Cairo."
Baby, it's a love letter.
She's got it bad.
Tell me how she describes you.
-You can read it right there.
You tell me.
Because I know that
you remember it word for word.
And I want you
to do the thing.
No. No.
Tell me.
-"Mr. Murphy...
and carelessly attractive...
"kept his thoughts to himself,
and his eyes at half-mast."
Distract me.
What would the lady have?
"One might assume
his drowsy appearance
"to be symptom of some
"vague institutional ennui."
Text Boris.
"But Alice saw it mostly
"to hide the shock
of indecency he felt
"when he lay his eyes
on the young,
"unripened bodies
of his female pupils.
"And none were exempt from his
"salacious reveries.
"All cunts were created equal
"and magnificent in his mind."
Are they?
Are all cunts equal?
Or are some cunts...
Come on, you're, you're,
you're drunk.
I'm indecent.
Yeah, tell him
you're drunk textin' him.
That way,
he'll imagine you drunk,
and what
you might be doin' drunkenly.
Ask him what he's up to.
Oh, we've got company.
-They what?
-Hey, seriously.
Stop leaving
this door unlocked.
For your own safety, okay?
Get a room!
What up, player?
-Slang? Get out.
Do you think he likes me?
Well, do you wanna be liked,
or do you wanna be fucked?
'Cause those are very
different things
for girls who look like you.
I want both.
You should tell him
you're with me.
And that we're doing
what all girls do
when they're alone at night.
Who is she?
Not telling.
"We are measuring
the depths of our sexuality
"within the safe confines
of our friendship."
Why are you so mean?
-Can I help it
if every girl
you've ever dated
owned a pair
of five-inch Lucite heels
and was named after
a character
in The Baby-Sitters Club?
-No, I can't.
-No. You can't.
But you know what?
Your life, your choice.
Yeah, you bein' a snob.
You and I know
Kristy was great.
He hasn't said anything?
Oh, well, he said,
"Go to bed."
Take off your shirt.
-We are gonna make out.
For him, not for you.
Well, it can be
a little for me.
How is this?
Yeah, good.
Your turn.
Here ya go.
Be a little closer
when I take this photo.
Not like that. What, are you
a fucking Dutch clock?
I meant like this.
Send it.
Are you gonna text Mr. Miller?
"All warfare is based
on deception."
"Move your enemy,
but don't be moved by him."
You've been summoned
to the principal's office.
You got a title yet?
Lesser Expectations
of a Greater Love.
I mean, I don't know.
Hi, Joyce.
-Another beer?
No, I should go.
-I should get outta here.
-Oh, come on.
-Don't be boring.
-No. No.
I got 45 pop quizzes
on thermodynamics
to fail.
And we haven't even gotten
to fractals yet.
Goddamn hopeless youth
of America.
Well, you're the one
who wanted
to make a difference,
Hey, fools rush in.
-Where's Jonathan?
All right, well, look,
tell him I had to run.
Bye, kiddo.
Joyce got the story.
Well, it had a "For Jonathan.
Love, Cairo..."
...written at
the top, so, you know...
there's no mistakin'.
And she'd like to speak
to me formally
about the necessary paperwork.
Paperwork for what?
An incident report.
I think she did it.
Who did what, huh?
Cairo. Cairo turned it in.
It's a short story, Jonathan.
It's not
The Communist Manifesto.
Mm-hmm. I know.
But, yeah, but,
it's the, uh...
it's the implication.
Why if she can convince them
that somethin' happened
between us, then, uh...
Well, I could lose my job.
That's not all you could lose.
Did somethin' happen
between you?
Nothin' I invited.
Teenage girls are dangerous,
They're full
of emotional violence
-and vituperation.
I hope you know
what you're doin'.
Have you seen Cairo?
-I haven't.
-I haven't seen her.
And I just thought...
-maybe you had.
-I haven't. No.
-You don't text?
-She tell you we do?
Well, you know...
Cairo says everything...
And nothing.
I don't understand
what's happening.
Don't you, Winnie?
How did it start?
In your own words.
We recognized each other.
She's exceptionally talented.
Uh, she's singular in that
at this school.
Did you exhibit favoritism?
-Give special mentorship?
-Of course.
He was excited to give me
the midterm assignment
in advance.
And the midterm is what
percentage of the final grade?
It's 25%.
Enough to destroy my GPA.
You do know
that Henry Miller
is not an approved author
for public school study,
She's better than
the curriculum, Joyce.
You know that.
I wanted to help her
stand out.
I think he was impressed
I knew who he was.
Have you read his work?
How often have you
been together
beyond the classroom?
We would see each other
before school,
uh, in class, of course,
and sometimes after.
And what would you do?
We would talk about literature
and things that
we cared about.
Sometimes we'd share
a cigarette.
We happened to be smoking
in the same place one time.
And that, well, that...
That's how it started,
I guess.
I mean, that is how
we started smokin' together.
Do you see each other
Absolutely not.
We went to
a poetry reading together.
Would you consider
yourself friends?
Without question.
We are as close,
uh, as is appropriate
for a student and a teacher.
Have you ever been
alone together
outside of school?
Only a couple of times.
Y... Yes, sort of.
Uh, I mistakenly left
with her phone
from the classroom,
and I returned it to her, uh,
before my wife and I
went on a business trip
to Nashville.
We didn't actually go,
but, you know,
we were going to go.
He came to my house.
Were you alone?
My parents were out of town.
What happened?
She say somethin' happened?
Nothin' that didn't seem okay
at the time.
I returned her phone.
Did you go inside the house?
I didn't touch her, okay?
When she sent the story,
I told her it was not
appropriate for school.
I'm gettin' the impression
there's nothin' I can say,
to defend my position here.
'Cause there isn't.
are you in love with her?
Fuck Almighty. Are you?
It's not about my feelings.
It's what she implies.
And you know I could get
crucified for this...
-Oh, fuck me.
-...while you're sittin' there
swiping through pictures
-of naked students.
-Oh, he's so smart, everybody.
That's why I deleted it.
You deleted it.
-Oh, good.
-No. No.
Well, as soon
as you delete somethin',
of course, it means
it's really deleted, right?
-Come on. Jesus.
-Oh, I'm shakin'
in my fuckin' boots.
You know the difference
between you and me?
You cannot identify the line.
So, you cross it.
That's why
you're sittin' here scared,
You are the adult.
Show some responsibility.
You can't be serious.
-Like you?
I know where the line is,
-I don't cross it.
You see, knowin' the line
is knowin' the risk.
You tryin' to make me
your collateral damage.
You don't know... Oh, man,
you think
you're my collateral damage?
-All right, man. Just go, man.
-All right. No, no.
-Yeah, all right. I will.
-All right, yeah.
-Cool, bro. Mm-hmm.
-Thanks for your help.
Appreciate that.
I've been suspended.
Did you fuck her?
Then what happened?
She impressed me.
I gave her preference.
She handed in the story,
which I obviously
could not accept.
Her feelings got hurt,
and she lashed out.
-That's how I understand it.
So you flirted with her,
-and then, you rejected her.
-it wasn't flirting.
-What was it then?
It was affection!
Well, are you
attracted to her?
I'll tell you.
This is about a girl
who flattered you,
who read your little book,
and your inevitable surrender
to adulation.
You fucking fell for it.
Finally. Finally!
Someone gave your reductive
short stories a second glance.
And you can't help
but get hard for it
because, what, now suddenly
you feel worth somethin',
is that it?
She made me feel
worth something.
What does that tell you?
Was it her sycophancy
that got you hard?
Or was it the smell
of teen spirit?
-Fuck you.
-Oh, be my guest.
-Did you?
-No, I didn't fuck her.
Why do you look so guilty?
I haven't done anything wrong.
Oh, didn't you?
God, I'm in hell.
Well, make yourself at home.
Why are you so punishing?
You wanted her.
I can read it all
in your face.
How can you see anything
in this state,
you fuckin' alcoholic?
It's the only thing
that makes you bearable, baby.
You are a cunt.
And you're a liar.
You're the banner boy
for mediocrity,
waving your flag
of spotless virtue
like some middling
American hero.
But, Jon, baby...
you're the villain.
But you can't even see that,
can you?
Don't you worry for me at all?
What would I possibly
worry about
other than dying of boredom
having to listen to
your inventions of conflict?
Why don't you write about it?
Spit it out, Winnie.
What are you doing?
I'm completing
my admissions essay.
Is that all?
Well, I'm smokin' a cigarette,
if you wish to be
very literal.
What are you doin'
to Mr. Miller?
I'm testifyin' against him
in front of the school board.
-He underestimated me.
I overestimated him.
Are you okay?
I'm inspired.
-That's not funny.
-It is.
A little.
-Please don't do this.
You're gonna ruin his life.
And for what?
To avenge your rejection?
To punish him?
he didn't wanna fuck you?
He wanted to fuck me, Winnie.
But he didn't leave his wife
for you.
I'll testify against you.
No, you won't.
Excuse me?
I'll show them the evidence
I have against you and Boris.
And not only will your
credibility be shot to shit,
but you'll incriminate him
as well.
Two teachers
can lose their jobs.
Oh, hey,
maybe we can double team.
You played me.
You knew what we were doing.
This is not what I meant.
Isn't it, though?
Didn't I play it out
exactly like you imagined?
This isn't a fucking game,
You're right.
This is, to date,
my greatest achievement.
"In the end,
"ultimately, I understood
"our mutual naivete,
my trust, his arrogance...
"Exposed us to
the caprices of society
"and rendered us defeated,
"suddenly alone
in separate camps.
"What will become of us?
"Will he measure himself
an unwitting participant?
"Falsely banished
and beggared?
"No job,
"no wife,
"no forgiveness,
"or will he be brave enough
to accept his complicity
"in a way that is meaningful?
"In a way that changes him,
"as it has changed me?
"The answer evades me.
"I wanted to experience
somethin' I didn't understand.
"I reached for it
"and was made a fool
"by my own childish notions
of love.
"But where was my error?
"Was it in the reaching
or the wanting?
"Is this what it is to be
an adult?
"The same exquisite longing
of adolescence,
"but with a burden
of constant accountability?
"No excuse is to be made
for your choices
"for they are yours alone.
"I cannot say whether or not
"I'm grateful
for the experience,
"for the knowledge.
"The felicity of youth
"has been ripped from me
like skin.
"And exposed as I am,
"sore and open as I am.
"I can feel it shape me
into somethin' new.
"Grown... from the human ruins
"of a madman's love."