My Christmas Guide (2023) Movie Script

It's snowing, it's blowing,
this storm has got me goin'
It's howlin',
I'm prowlin'
For something
warm and glowing
Oh, that Old Man Winter
Can be vicious
But we don't have
to be cold
This Christmas
It's gusty
It's blustery, it's freezing
when it's just me
It's chilly, I really
Think we should
stay in, trust me
Oh, that Old Man Winter
Is malicious
But we don't have
to be cold
This Christmas

All right, Max,
today's your big day.
You're going to be great.
Thank you.
Max, head in.
Good boy.
All right, we'll be back
in about an hour.
Got it covered.
- Okay.
- Good luck today, Max.
Max, forward.

Max, find curb.
Find curb.
That's it. Good boy.
Max, forward.
(bell ringing)
But we don't
have to be cold
This Christmas
Girl: Hi, Dad.
Hey, kiddo, how was your day?
Shall we?
You don't need that
when I'm with you.
So, how was your math quiz?
I'm still confused
on the fractions,
and we have a big test
right before Christmas break.
Maybe I can help you.
You stink at math.
That is true, but don't worry,
we'll figure it out.
Hey, Dad.
There's a woman over there
with a seeing-eye dog.
You should get one of them.
A Dog?
No, no.
Why not?
Are you kidding me?
I have a hard enough time
getting through the day
without making
a mess of things;
a dog would
just make it worse.
So, what sounds good
for dinner?
We ordering takeout?
What do you think?
Forward, Max.

But we don't
have to be cold, no
We don't
have to be cold
This Christmas
Honestly, I don't
even know how he did it,
but he managed to get us
tee times for Friday,
Saturday and Sunday.
All the boys are coming -
PJ, Chainsaw, Thurp,
Dudash is flying in.
What's the matter?
You're mad Chainsaw's coming,
that's what it is.
No, I'm not.
Well, something's the matter.
Tell me, please.
That's the weekend of our
company Christmas party, Jeff.
I totally forgot.
My dad's gonna be there.
He was really
excited to meet you.
And all the employees are gonna
be there, clients, friends.
I have a litter of puppies
for the kids to play with.
I'm sorry.
I should-- should I cancel?
I'll cancel.
- I will cancel.
- No, no.
You go
with your friends, okay?
You sure?
Yeah. Just...
You can meet
my dad when you're back.
- Okay?
- Yeah, totally.
- Yeah.
- All right.
Oh, and I'll be all yours for
the rest of the holidays.
Okay, good,
because I have something
special planned for you -
an early Christmas present.
Whatever it is, I can't wait.

Synthetic voice:
Light blue.
Dark gray.
(group chattering)
Man: ...And then, we can access
the top of the column.
That's the important thing.
Pal, you all right?
I don't know.
Uh, am I bleeding?
No blood, but that is
definitely gonna leave a mark.
This is part of the campus
construction, I'm assuming?
And are you the owner of
the construction company?
No, I'm the foreman.
Okay, is the owner around?
Not today.
Oh no, I'm just
wondering if he's well-insured.
You wouldn't sue,
would you?
I-I marked everything.
I put cones out! Look!
Obviously, you didn't put enough
because, somehow,
I managed to walk right past
them and knock myself senseless
on-on whatever this is.
Whoa, whoa,
take it easy, pal.
I'm really sorry.
I'd tell you to use
the side entrance
on the other side
of the building, but...
it's pretty
torn up over there, too.
Thanks for the consideration.
You are too accommodating.
I'll try to do a better job
of blocking
the area off, all right?
Please do.
You want an
ice pack for your head?
- I can run and get you one.
- No.
Just please make sure
this can't happen again.
I will.
This-- this way.
All right.
Okay, thank you.
Thank you.
Okay. You sure?
I don't need time off,
Dr. Shaw.
I know
it's been an adjustment,
and I appreciate your
understanding, but...
truth is, I could teach this
class with my eyes closed.
Poor attempt at a joke.
It wasn't.
I just wasn't sure
if I should laugh.
Another drawback
of having a disability,
I can't even be
self-deprecating anymore.
Look, it's not your
teaching, Dr. Donovan.
I'm just starting
my lessons on Dickens,
and they continue
into the spring.
It's my favorite
part of the class.
Don't make me
give that up.
I'm not making you do anything.
I'm just saying, consider it.
They're just getting
started on construction
and this place is only
gonna get more torn up.
Might be good
to take a break.
Come back next fall,
when the renovation is done.
I know it's been hard.
I'm just trying
to help you out.
We've got a fill-in
professor ready to go.
All you have to do
is say the word.
Thank you, Dr. Shaw.

All right, kiddo,
you all set?
What happened to your head?
Oh, nothing.
I just bumped it.
On what?
I don't know exactly.
There's a big
construction project
going on at the university.
Does it hurt?
A little.
Dad, I want to make sure
you're safe;
that's why I really, really
think we should get a guide dog.
(chuckling) I should have
known that was coming.
If you had a dog, you wouldn't
have hit your head.
All right, that's enough.
Time to get some sleep, kiddo.
but I'm not giving up on this.
(bell ringing)
I don't really understand the
fractions; it's really hard.
Boy: Whoops,
I didn't see you there.
Let's go.
Hi there.
My name is Peyton Lewis.
I'm a guide dog trainer.
The other day, I saw a man
out front with a mobility cane.
He was picking up a girl,
probably 11 or 12.
Yes, she's a student here.
Her father lost
his eyesight not too long ago.
I'm hoping I can leave some
information for them.
It's just about guide dogs
and what they can do to help.
Sure, I'll pass it along.
- Thank you.
- Okay.
Narrator: A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens,
narrated by Nathan Jenkins.
Chapter 1.
"It was the best of times.
"It was the worst
of times."
Dad, where are you?
Get up.
What's going on?
Is there a fire?
No, everything's fine.
Then, what are you doing?
Making sure
you're always safe.
Good girl. Good.
That's it.
Good girl.
Where are we?
Oh, here.
Katie, do you mind, um...
holding onto her
for a moment?
- (door closing)
- Hi.
Can I help you?
You wouldn't happen to be the
person who left some information
on guide dogs at my
daughter's school, would you?
Yes, that was me.
I was out training one of
our dogs, and I saw you,
and thought
maybe we could help.
Oh, thank you for being
so presumptuous.
Because of that,
my daughter insisted
that we come here today.
That's because my dad
needs a guide dog... bad.
Look at the bump
on his head.
He walked right into a pole
or something at work.
I'm sorry.
This is all just
a little impulsive,
which is not my nature.
No, I completely
Maybe we should
start over.
I'm Trevor,
and this is Annie.
Peyton. Hi.
I'm the founder of Best Friend
Guide Dogs Training Center.
Have you ever had
a guide dog before?
We've never had a dog,
even though
I've always wanted one.
Yeah, that's my fault.
I've just never felt like I had
the time to take one on.
Well, that's understandable.
But a well-trained guide dog
will make your
life more efficient,
keep you safe,
and in no time at all,
be one of the most loyal
friends you've ever had.
Sort of like another
member of the family.
If you like,
you can come to my office
and I can ask you some questions
and find out if
this is right for you.
Thank you.
Right this way.
So, you're legally blind?
And what's the cause?
It's a form of
retinitis pigmentosa.
Which came on over how long?
Well, the real change
was over
the last two years.
That's fast.
Early on,
my symptoms were mild, so I
didn't pay much attention to it.
And then,
there was a rather...
dramatic change over
a short period of time.
Do you still see shapes?
Or how is your
light perception?
I can detect some things -
brighter lights,
windows in the daytime,
that kind of thing.
It's all...
fuzzy and pixelated.
What's your profession?
I'm a professor
at the university.
What do you teach?
Classic literature.
Interesting subject.
Well, you know what
Mark Twain said,
"A classic is a book
nobody reads."
My dad used to read me
A Christmas Carol every year.
I still love that book.
I do, too.
Maybe there's hope
for literature after all.
But to be honest, I'd rather
watch Elf, Dad. No offense.
(mouthing:) Me, too.
Trevor: None taken, kiddo.
I get it.
I mean, who doesn't love Elf?
That's great
storytelling right there.
I think I have a dog
in mind for you.
Would you like to meet him?
Thank you, Katie.
- Here, this is Max.
- Hi, Max.
- (Peyton chuckling)
- Trevor: Hey, there.
You're a good boy, huh?
Uh, Peyton,
are you sure about this?
I am. I knew that Max would be
perfect for you and Annie,
and he seems to agree.
Okay, so, what's the next step?
Well, that's up to you
and your schedule,
but we can start training
as early as tomorrow.
Max needs more training?
No, you do.
I'm not jumping to conclusions.
Well, I think you are.
He chose a golf trip
to Florida with his friends
instead of meeting your dad.
He'll meet him
when he gets back.
He's also missing
the Christmas party.
I know, but...
But what?
It's just there's
more to it than that.
To make a relationship work,
you need to be
each other's first priority.
In my experience,
when a guy starts prioritizing
his friends over you,
you're on a slippery slope.
You two have been
dating for how long?
Almost ten months.
Look, I'm not saying that you
need to jump ship or anything,
you know, don't be
dismissive of these things.
Yeah. I know.
That's good advice.
You should probably have
your own column, you know.
Like, give Dear Abby
a run for her money.
Dear Katie.
Good, right?
It is good.
I like the sound of that.
What do you think, Max?
Oh, oh,
there was a smile.
How am I supposed to get
a feel for it without Max?
Well, I'm going to guide you.
What, you're gonna...
pull me around my neighborhood
while I hold onto a harness?
Pretty much, yes.
- Why?
- No, that's embarrassing.
As embarrassing as falling off
a curb or hitting your head?
My-my-my neighbors
are going to see me.
Trevor, I understand
that this is a pride thing,
but it's also about
something so much more.
This is about your safety
and for being
there for Annie.
my training works.
I have proved it
time and time again.
And I'm not about to
skip any steps with you.
So, what do you say?
Want to give it a try?
Guess so.
Okay, let's go for a walk.
Peyton: Yeah.

As Max approaches
a doorway,
he'll turn in front of you,
just so that you know to stop.
Got it. So, we're...
Door... Okay.
- Just like that.
- Welcome to my spot.
(Peyton laughing)
I-I still have reservations
about all of this.
I mean,
taking care of a dog?
I can barely take care of myself
and my daughter.
Hey, Max has been trained
to be patient and obedient,
but more importantly, he's
trained to be there for you.
Yeah, I know.
You said he'd turn my life
around, but will he really?
I'm worried he's more likely
to turn my life upside-down.
I don't need that again.
Listen, Peyton,
can I be honest with you?
Yeah, of course.
Sometimes, I feel like
I'm barely hanging on;
like I'm on a tightrope
and the smallest thing
could knock me off.
I'm not going to pretend
like I know what
you're going through.
But I can say
this with confidence:
Max is going
to be good for you,
he's going to be good
for Annie.
And I'm going to
make sure of it.
Do you have any
extra toys down there?
Get out here!
I got to show you something!
Early Christmas present!
Come on!
Come on!
I don't know...
Why are you so slow?
Peyton: (laughing)
I'm coming!
Are you ready?
What do you think?
New clubs
for your golf trip?
Not just new clubs.
are the best they make.
These are the
ones Rory McIlroy uses.
I just feel stupid.
I thought you meant that
you got a new present for me,
and I... I mean,
you were banging on the window,
yelling at me to come out.
Yeah, I get it.
- I get it.
- Yeah?
I do. I can see how you would
have interpreted it that way.
I'm sorry.
I just get too excited.
You know, these clubs are
just so hard to find,
especially just
before Christmas.
I just happened to be
at the pro shop today
just as the delivery
truck showed up.
And you know that feeling,
Christmas morning,
when you get
that one thing
you really wanted more
than anything else?
That's how I feel
about those clubs.
But don't worry,
I got something really
special in mind for you, too.
Do you?
Just you wait.
This is gonna be
a Christmas to remember.

Okay, so, let's pretend
it's early morning
and you're just
starting your day.
What you're going to do
is take the harness,
one hand on one side,
one on the other,
and you're going to
put it right at his level.
And you're going to
say, "Max, head in." Okay?
Max, head in.
Good boy.
And then, there should
be a clasp
that goes around his belly.
Can you feel that?
(clasp clicking)
Just like that.
You ready to walk
around the neighborhood?
Do you remember the command?
Max, forward.
(both chuckling)
There's an
intersection coming up.
Max, find curb.
Good boy.
this is a tricky intersection.
There's no
beeping pedestrian signal.
I had a close call here
once with an electric car.
They're so quiet.
I swear they're going
to be the death of me.
Not if you're with Max.
Okay. So, how does he know
when it's safe to cross?
Max won't cross if there's
even if you ask him to.
It's called
intelligent disobedience.
If you say go and there's
vehicles there, he won't.
But if it's clear,
he'll lead you across.
Okay, I think
it's safe to go.
Max, forward.
Yeah, okay, I think
I could get used to this.

No, you're right.
I'm really starting to feel like
Max has kind of got my back.
I'm serious.
He does, okay?
In no time,
you two will be best buds.
So, listen.
Don't take us the wrong way--
Oh, intriguing
lead-in for this.
It's just...
you smell very nice.
Thank you.
Okay. That sounds weird,
doesn't it?
Oh, no, no.
- It sounds weird to me.
- It doesn't.
It doesn't sound weird.
It was a nice thing to say.
Thank you.
If you don't mind me asking,
what perfume do you wear?
It's called Soleil du Matin, I
think. I think that's it, yeah.
"Soleil du Matin." Okay.
Not that I know anything about
perfume, but that is a nice one.
It's very subtle.
That's what
I like about it, too.
It's like a
faint whiff of flowers
in a summer's breeze.
Oh, wow. You're really
diving into this.
Yes, that's...
was what I was going for.
And actually, I'm...
I'm almost out of it.
But I think you have convinced
me to invest in another bottle.
Definitely. You should.
I mean, that's your scent.
Okay, we'll get off
the topic of scents.
Unless you want to
compliment me on how I smell.
Feel free.
I'll take it.
Okay, I'm sorry.
(both laughing)
You smell very nice.
- Is that what you want?
- Thank you.
Yes, please.
Thank you.
Goodnight, Max.
Thanks for everything
you're doing for my dad.
Trevor: Got a call earlier.
Guess what's on its way?
- What?
- Our Christmas tree.
It's coming this weekend.
Oh, my gosh!
I can't wait to decorate it.
Can you help me
with the top part?
Of course.
I'm going to make it
the prettiest
tree we've ever had.
I don't doubt it, kiddo.
Pop the trunk.
- Babe...
- Yay.
Whoo. Thank you for
driving me to the airport.
Yeah, of course.
I cannot believe
this time tomorrow
I'm going to be
on the first tee with the boys.
Yeah, so exciting.
Hey, Chad, um...
my dad was thinking, you know,
because you're gonna
miss the Christmas party,
maybe we could grab dinner
the night after you're back.
That should work.
So, like, Angelino's?
Love it.
I'll make reservations, then.
I really appreciate you being
so cool about this trip.
And don't forget,
I've got something special
in the works for us
for Christmas when your back.
- Yay!
- Let's get you in the air.
This is the part of my routine
that's been giving me
the most trouble.
Well, that's understandable.
Construction can be one of the
most dangerous obstacles
to navigate.
Yeah, it always
seems to be changing,
that's the biggest problem.
I can't visualize the route
because it's always different.
Well, and that's where Max
really proves his worth.
He's a professional
Okay, so,
how do we do this?
Why don't you start by
explaining where we're going?
That way
I can lead us there,
and Max will
learn the destination.
Yes, it's the English building,
in there is my office
and my classroom.
All right,
and is there a break room
or somewhere you have lunch?
- Yeah, there is.
- Okay.
We'll go there and everywhere
else you need to go inside.
Trevor: Bathroom too, I guess,
nearest my office.
Of course.
And once Max
knows all the routes,
he'll be able to navigate safely
through the construction,
even if it's
different every time.
(chattering indistinctly)
Find steps, Max.
My office is
right down this hall.
Hey, Professor Donovan.
how's it going today?
Good, good.
Are you giving a tour?
Yeah, something like that.
This is
my new guide dog, Max.
And this is Peyton Lewis -
seeing eye dog trainer
Nathan here is one of
my brightest students.
Oh, come on, you're
giving me too much credit.
Professor Donovan has
a lot of bright students.
He's too humble, so don't
tell him I told you this,
but he's one of the best
professors I've ever had,
and that's no exaggeration.
Oh, please,
he's trying
to pad his grade.
Well, I got to get to class.
It was nice meeting you.
Yeah, you, too.
Until next time,
Professor Donovan.
Until next time.
Awesome. Bye, Max.
Nathan came up with that as an
alternative to "See you later."
- I like it.
- Shall we?
- Yeah.
- Forward, Max.
Smells like a library
in here.
Don't you love it?
I do.
Cute stuffed animal.
Oh, that's from Annie.
She wanted me to
keep it in my office,
so I could reach out and
touch it and think of her.
Oh, she's so sweet.
You want me to take him?
- Oh, thanks.
- Hey, buddy. Hi.
There's a good spot
in the corner for a day bed,
for Max to
rest while you're working.
Yeah. I was thinking I'd take
him to the classroom each day.
That's entirely up to you.
Max will be perfectly
fine waiting here for you
or he can lie at your feet
during your class.
I just wonder if he's
going to be a distraction
for the students.
Well, I'm sure there will be
some initial excitement,
for sure,
but during your lectures,
Max will be
as quiet as a mouse.
So, it's entirely
your call.
Maybe I'll try it out a couple
times, see how it goes.
Yeah, for sure.
Should we go see the classroom?
It's nearby.
Of course.
- Okay.
- Here.
- I'll take this.
- Max, go with.
Go with.
Good boy.
All right.
Forward, Max.
Is this where
you teach all your classes?
This is it.
Used to be a few
different classrooms,
but the administration shifted
things around to accommodate me.
That's good. That'll make it
easier for both you and Max.
Good boy.
Listen, I hope this doesn't
sound vain at all,
it's just...
in losing my eyesight,
I've also lost
some of my confidence.
Not really in
what I teach,
just in how I'm perceived
by the students.
You think they
view you differently?
How could they not?
It's not like they've had
a bunch of blind
professors before.
I'm the only one
in the English department
and one of two
in the entire university.
If you wouldn't mind
just telling me...
how I look.
And handsome.
That's all
very kind of you to say.
Professor Donovan,
from everything I have seen here
today, one thing is very clear:
your students
are so lucky to have you.
I'm doing fine
in all my other subjects,
but math is getting confusing.
Your dad might have mentioned
something about that.
You know, when I was in college,
I used to tutor kids in math.
I could help you out,
if you want.
- You'd do that for me?
- Yeah, of course.
Why don't we pick a day
and we'll go over
some problems together?
That'd be great.
Thank you.
(glass shattering)
Are you okay in there?
Yeah, yeah, all good.
I just got the water on.
Peyton, you sure
I can't make you a tea
or a hot chocolate, too?
I'm okay.
Thank you.
But I have to
head out in a minute.
Annie, can I
ask you something?
Can you think of anything that
your dad used to love to do
before he lost his eyesight that
he doesn't really do anymore?
(whispering indistinctly)
(dogs barking)
Sandra's just brought Betsy
back; said that she passed
her eight weeks of socialization
with flying colors.
I'm going to get this one
started on the obstacle course
and then some
clicker training.
All right...
What you looking at there?
A friend of Chad's posted
some pictures of their trip.
You wanna see?
Tell me what you think...
Katie: I'm trying not to
jump to conclusions,
but Chad makes
that hard sometimes.
I shouldn't even be
looking at this stuff.
That's also true.
But when it comes
to a boyfriend
that you're
getting serious with,
Dear Katie says
the more you know, the better.
- Come on.
- (Betsy walking)
This is a place
that you're going to want
to come often, all right?
It's completely enclosed
and Max can just run around,
have fun, socialize.
I just let him go?
Yeah. Well, you're going to give
him the cue, "Max, run."
Okay, but first,
you want to make sure
that you unclip
his handle here,
so you he can
run and have a good time.
And then,
when you're ready,
take off his leash
and give him the cue.
And he's got a vest on
with all your information,
so that should be on him
at all times, just to be safe.
Max, run!
Would you like to sit?
- Sure.
- Okay.
(dogs barking)
Hi! Good boy!
Good boy.
Go have fun!
There's a bench
right behind you.
Is Max okay?
Oh, he's having a blast.
Okay, this is going to
take some getting used to.
Hi. Yeah, it'll get easier
with each time you come,
and this would be a great place
to bring Annie, as well.
Not only that,
but I'm here almost every day
with one or more of my dogs.
So, if you want
to schedule a time,
I would be happy
to meet you here.
And when you're here alone,
just know that Max
isn't going to leave you.
I think
I have attachment issues.
Anything that's
important to me,
I have a hard time
letting go of.
I just said yes to
Annie's first sleepover in...
I don't know how long.
She's going to
stay at a friend's house
one night over the break.
It gives me anxiety
just thinking about it.
Well, that's good.
It's... It's progress.
My wife and I divorced
a few years ago.
She quickly fell in love
with this guy
and moved away with him.
It just made me realize that
the things you assume are
permanent fixtures in your life,
they may not be.
And then,
I lost my eyesight.
I could hardly
leave Annie at school.
I just-- I wanted her
by my side all the time.
Her voice, her touch,
her presence,
just knowing she was there,
that's what sustained me.
Yeah, I'm not
out of the woods yet,
but Annie,
she's gotten me this far.
She's a pretty amazing girl.
- Hi, Max.
- Is that Max?
- Yeah.
- Hey.
You're a good boy.
Always reinforce good behavior.
Good boy, Max.
Good boy.
You can go play still.
Go on, go, run.
Christmas music playing)
Hey, girl.
- Hey.
- Hey.
I'd like you to meet my dad.
Oh, I'd love that.
Okay, he's right up here.
Dad, I would like you
to meet Trevor.
He's a friend and client.
Oh, yes, the professor
you were telling me about.
Dr. Lewis.
It's a pleasure.
Your daughter is
a very special person.
It's amazing what
she does with this place.
I'm very proud of her.
Do you know,
when she was just five, I got
her a lab pup for Christmas?
It was the year
her mom passed,
so I knew we'd both
do well with a dog around.
By the end of the day,
she had Bella sitting,
shaking hands,
lying down, rolling over.
When I put Peyton to bed that
night, she said, "Dad, one day,
"I'm going
to be a dog trainer."
She sure did follow through.
Peyton mentioned that
you have a daughter, too.
Is she around?
Yes, Annie.
She's right there,
having another cookie.
Oh, I gave her
a three-cookie limit,
but I'm not sure she always
listens when it comes to sweets.
So, maybe you guys can
help me keep an eye on her.
Will do.
So, Peyton tells me
you are a cardiothoracic
surgeon in Chicago.
That's right.
So, do you have any
advice on how I can avoid
ever needing your services?
Well, maybe avoid
the cookies.
(Trevor chuckling)
Trevor: Okay, got it.
Christmas music playing)

Hi, everyone.
Can I have your
attention, please?
First of all, I just want to
thank all of you for being here.
The dogs we train,
they change lives,
and each
and every one of you
has played an important
role in our success.
Now, this work starts far
before the dogs are even born.
Guide dog parents are
specifically chosen
based on a number of things,
including their breed
and ancestry,
and what that does
is produces puppies
that are literally
born to be guide dogs.
With that said,
I would like to introduce
our newest litter
of future guide dogs.
(crowd gasping)
Oh, my goodness.
- Hi!
- (guests whistling)
Come on!
Good job!
Come on, Winter!

(Peyton chuckling)
Peyton: Aren't they cute?
Now, a few of
our seasoned volunteers
have already signed up to adopt
one of these adorable pups,
but if any of you
have interest,
please talk to me or Katie.
We will be there
every step of the way,
and we will walk you through
the whole process.
Thank you, guys.
(guests applauding)

That was really fun.
It was, wasn't it?
Hey, Peyton,
I'm just gonna drop this off on
the way to my car.
Thank you so much for
all your help tonight.
Of course.
Peyton, even though
we have Max,
can we still adopt one of
your guide dog puppies?
Oh, Annie, let's not
get ahead of ourselves.
I'm still getting used to Max.
But once we really know
what we're doing, can we?
Oh, of course.
if everything's sorted out here,
we should be getting home.
Mr. Donovan,
Annie, I've really enjoyed
meeting you both.
Likewise, Dr. Lewis.
Oh, and thanks
for the reading list.
I'm going to pick one
and get started right away.
Maybe East of Eden.
Great choice.
Steinbeck's magnum opus.
Hey, when you dive in,
give me a call,
we'll chat about it.
Dr. Lewis:
I'd really enjoy that.
Your mother would
be so proud of you.
Thanks, Dad.
I'll see you at dinner.
- Okay.
- Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Ask her, Dad.
- I-- well...
- We were wondering...
We were wondering
if you'd like to
come over tomorrow night
to help us decorate
our Christmas tree.
Are you kidding?
I would love to.
Are you sure?
If you've got
better things to do...
You and Annie
are great company,
and I love
decorating Christmas trees.
Honestly, I couldn't think of a
better way to spend my evening.
All right. Let's go.
See ya.

Annie: The whole thing here.
There we go.
Okay, where--
what do we got?
- Go, yeah, up.
- Trevor and Peyton: Up?
Yeah, there you go.
- Trevor: Okay.
- Peyton: All right.
Christmas spirit.

Right there.

- Trevor: Tell me where to go.
- Peyton: Okay. Slow.
Thank you.
There we go.
- Trevor: Did you do it?
- Yeah. Okay.
Okay. Here we go.
(sighing contentedly)
It's beautiful.
It really is.

Hey, babe.
Good to hear your voice.
Yeah. How's your big
golf weekend going?
Great. New clubs took my game
to the next level.
That's good.
I saw some pictures
that Chainsaw posted.
Oh, yeah?
Yeah. Um, who were those--
those girls?
What girls?
Peyton: The ones that weren't
wearing a whole lot,
that you had
your arms around?
Oh, yeah, them.
Um, they worked
for the drink cart,
and we were just stopping by
to grab some cold ones.
Chainsaw said,
"Why not get some pictures?"
Just some benign fun.
Nothing for you
to worry about.
Yeah, okay.
Um... remember to send me
your flight info, please,
because I have
to pick you up.
Yeah, here's the thing, we're
thinking of extending the trip.
How long?
two or three days.
Four tops.
Ah. So, four.
Dolphins are playing
the Bills Monday night.
We hooked into some tickets,
we figured,
while we're in the area,
why not play Jupiter Hills?
Is that, like,
a golf course or something?
Only one of the best
in Florida.
And the weather's
looking great all week.
It's 80 degrees here
all the time.
What's the problem?
It's just
my dad's in town, Chad,
and we were
gonna go out for dinner.
And not only that,
but I have something
planned for us on Wednesday.
Oh, yeah, I, um,
totally spaced.
I'm sorry. Um...
If you want me to,
I can come home.
No, no. We've been
through this before, and...
it's fine.
You're with your friends
and just make the most of it.
We can go out with my dad
the next time he's in town.
Bank on it.
And listen, babe,
you're the best,
I mean that.
We're at the harbor.
Where's that bench?
There it is.
This is the bench with a view of
the bay, right near Bennie's.
It is.
The Port Authority
is down left a ways.
Right behind me
is Jellybean Row,
and on top of the hill,
St. John's Basilica.
You see it perfectly.
Annie and I used to order
French fries from Bennie's.
They'd give us a big bag,
and we'd sit right here,
watching the fishing boats,
sharing fries, and just talk.
She'd tell me everything.
We'd make these big plans about
things we wanted to do together.
Things like what?
Oh, she had
a thing for Paris.
She still does.
And I told her, one day,
I would take her to
see the Eiffel Tower
all lit up at night.
That's going
to be a great trip.
Come on.
I can't do something
like that with her now.
Navigate a foreign city?
It'd be a disaster.
Trevor, you can do anything
that you could before.
If you want to take Annie to
Paris, I think you should.
I don't know.
You know, when I started
losing my sight,
my worst fear wasn't that
I wouldn't be able to see,
as terrifying
as that was;
it was that I was going to
let down my daughter,
that I wouldn't be able
to deliver as a dad.
Think about where we are.
You know, this was one of your
favorite places to bring Annie,
and you just
described it perfectly.
You know, anything that
you did together before,
you can still do.
And things that you dreamed of
doing, you can do those, too.
I hope so.
Annie told me about a place
you also loved to go to.
Yeah, where's that?
Well, you and Max are
gonna have to follow me.
Come on.
Forward, Max.
Peyton: Okay, now there's a
stair coming up in front of you.
Hey, Max, find stair.
Peyton: Good.
Wait a minute.
Is this
the Bull and Barrel?
- You got it.
- (chuckling)
Wow. Yeah, I used to come to
this place all the time.
It's the best
music venue in town.
Well, that's why
we're here.
What you feel
is what you see...
I think I got this.
The bar is right
over here.
The stage is
in front of me.
There's some games in the back
corner, if you're feeling lucky.
There's a step here.
There it is.
I always used to sit
right up close to the stage.
There's a little
bench over here.
It's still there.
- I reserved it for us.
- You did?
I called the manager, Eddie,
and he said that
you were one of the biggest
local music fans around.
He also said that, if you hadn't
have taught literature,
you might have been
a pretty good music critic.
Might be my second act
one day.
(light rock music playing)
Max, here.
There's a musician
who's just about to go on.
Eddie said he thinks
you'll like him.
Peyton, you planned
all this?
Well, it was your
daughter's suggestion.
(acoustic guitar strumming)

Take those pictures down
off the shelf
Faded photographs,
faded looks
File this life away,
let it drop
Tainted memories,
time to stop
'Cause I'm not
going anywhere
Well, I better get going.
I'm meeting my dad
for dinner.
please tell him I said hello.
Yeah, I will.
What a great time, Peyton.
I just can't thank you enough.
Yeah, it was my pleasure.
Hey, I don't want to come across
as presumptuous again,
but tomorrow night,
I got this cooking class
for my boyfriend Chad--
well, for the two of us,
but he extended his golf trip,
so I have an open spot,
and I thought maybe
you'd be interested.
Did Annie put you up to this?
She's got to be sick and
tired of takeout by now.
No, no.
This was actually my idea.
The chef
comes to your house.
I'm excited about it.
And I thought--
I thought you might enjoy it.
I mean, I was going to do it
at my house,
but we could do it here
just as easily.
Yeah, that actually
sounds really fun.
Okay. Goodnight.
Max, find stairs.

There's just a real comfort
level between us, you know?
I-I love the way
he perceives the world.
It's made me look
at things differently.
You gonna make me
state the obvious?
He's also
extremely attractive.
Sure, there's that,
but there's more to it.
But he's also
a really nice guy?
He is,
and watching him
with his daughter,
it's pretty adorable.
He's just such a good dad.
I can tell you...
you really like this guy.
No, I've seen
the two of you together;
there's something there.
Okay, he's a client
and I'm in a relationship.
Yeah, maybe under different
Hey, when it
comes to relationships,
you follow your heart.
And if this situation
complicates that... change it.

How's it looking?
Oh, fantastic.
You're a natural.
- That's amazing.
- Trevor: Okay. (chuckling)
Okay, so, let's move on. Um,
let's put some oil in the pan.
Where were we here? Uh...
- Chef: There, perfect.
- Trevor: Good.
Chef: Yeah.
- Okay.
- Chef: Okay.
About how much?
I do
about three swirls.
Okay, try starting
with the size of a pancake.
And then,
just get smaller as you go.
Okay. Swirling, swirling.
Chef: Yeah, nice.
There you go. Perfect.
Okay, and now,
we're gonna saut the onions.
- So...
- Chef: There you go.
- I'm touching the food.
- That's okay.
You think chefs
don't touch your food?
It's all good.
Okay. So...
Chef: Perfect.
I'm finding the pan.
There you go.
- Got it. Okay, I'm...
- Chef: Perfect.
- ...going for it.
- Chef: Oh, look at that.
- Amazing.
- Trevor: Oh, good.
Yes, perfect.
And you'll be able to know
when they're sauted;
the smell goes
from this, like,
raw and bitter sort
of taste to almost sweet.
Chef: Mmm.
Oh, it's smelling good already.
I'm a cook!
(Chef laughing)
- Peyton: Thank you.
- Trevor: Go ahead.
I gotta say, you guys just make
the most adorable couple.
- Oh.
- Oh.
Uh, no, we're not--
we're not a couple.
But I thought you said
that this cooking class
was for your boyfriend.
Yes, but I am
not him.
He's still out of town.
Oh, did that sound bad?
That sounded bad.
I didn't mean it
like that.
- I just--
- Hey, I'm staying out of it.
Okay, uh...
We should save
a plate of this for Annie.
She's gonna be hungry when
she gets home from ballet.
She is going
to be impressed.
She's gonna be shocked.
"What? Dad?
No takeout tonight?"
Well, cheers.
Cheers to...
new friends.
To new friends.
(glasses clinking)
Moment of truth.
(both laughing)
Hey, I'm a good cook.
- Are you?
- Yeah.
(both laughing)
This tree reminds me
of the ones we used to have
when I was a kid.
My mom, she had quite
the collection of ornaments.
Peyton, you were
so young when she passed.
Do you still
have memories of her?
Yeah, I have a few.
There's one
I really hold onto,
especially this time
of year.
It was late Christmas Eve,
and I was still up,
running around like crazy,
jumping everywhere.
My mom,
she-- she kneeled down,
and she grabbed my hands,
and with all of this
child-like wonder in her eyes,
she said,
"Okay, sweetheart,
"you need to go to bed,
so Santa can do his thing."
That's a really
special memory.
Yeah, it shows you
that the ones we love,
even if we can't
see them anymore,
they still live on
within us.

Look, five more minutes.
Okay, okay.
I'm up.
I'm up, buddy.
You're a good boy,
aren't you?
Hey, we're here.
Oh, my gosh,
I can't believe I fell asleep.
- I'm so sorry.
- No.
- Thank you for picking me up.
- Of course.
Can you pop the trunk?
Hey, Chad, um,
I was thinking maybe we
could grab dinner tonight.
I know you have
a bunch of things to do,
but I'd love to
hear about your trip,
and you kind
of slept the whole way.
Yeah, I would love to,
but I gotta be at the office
first thing
tomorrow morning.
Just got, like,
a ton of work to do.
But let's do it soon-ish.
Uh, your dad,
he have a good time?
Yeah, yeah, he did.
That's good, that's good.
It's good to see you.
I missed you.
"Missed you too, Chad."
- (both chuckling)
- Okay.
Yeah. All right.
Thanks again.

So, they just did a ranking of
the world's best hot chocolate.
This one was 12th.
- In the world?
- On the entire planet.
they have a world's best
rankings for hot chocolate.
Oh, they have
a world's best ranking
for everything these days.
Oh, that's definitely
better than 12th.
Thanks so much for
taking us here, Peyton.
It was my pleasure.
You know, I thought we should
celebrate our progress with Max.
Annie: Uh, Dad,
you spilled some on your shirt.
Oh, did I?
Thanks, kiddo.
I just smeared it.
Who cares?
You know what?
This is way too good to worry
about a little chocolate
on your shirt.
So, let's just enjoy it.
Man on phone: Has she
mentioned anything she needs?
I'm sure she has.
I can't remember.
Man on phone:
How about a sweater?
Too generic.
I already told her it was going
to be something special.
Man on phone:
Okay, does she carry a purse?
Yes, sometimes... I think.
Man on phone: Okay, well, you
could get her a new one.
They can be expensive though.
Yeah, see,
that's another issue.
Budget's a little tight
since our boys' trip.
Man on phone:
Here's something I've done when
I've been in a bind:
tell her you're
taking her somewhere.
- Where?
- Anywhere, like to go skiing
or for a romantic weekend
at the beach or something.
Tell her it's all booked
for the spring or summer,
flexible days to be sure it
works with her schedule.
That way, you kick
the expenses down the road.
I can get behind this.
Man on phone: But you also gotta
write her a heartfelt letter,
saying how all you care about is
getting to spend time with her.
Then print up a bunch of info on
the place and wrap it in a box,
and make it look
all Christmassy.
Chainsaw...'re a genius.
Say hi to your mom.
Thanks, buddy. See ya.
That's right,
now multiply that by two.
Yeah, you got this.
I was confused in class,
but I actually understand it
the way you teach me.
That's good.
You do a few more
of those practice sheets
and you will be good
to go for your test.
Thanks, Peyton.
I'm going to go out and
do some Christmas shopping,
but if you have any questions
at all, just call me.
You're a lifesaver.
It's my pleasure.
- I'll walk you out.
- Okay.
"Merry Christmas, Peyton.
"Pack your bikinis...
"you are... going
"this summer.
"A special trip...
"for a special girl."
"Can't wait...
"to spend...
"this time with you.
"your guy,
The man... is a genius.
(sighing contentedly)
Thank you, Chainsaw.
What you
got there, Chad?
Hey, just a little something for
under Peyton's Christmas tree.
Hey, is, uh...
is that the guy that Peyton's
been working with every day?
What's the matter?
Merry Christmas.
(dogs barking in distance)
Okay, so,
just square up your shoulders,
and then ask him to,
and he should respond.
Hey, Peyton.
Hey, Chad.
What're you guys doing?
I was just showing Trevor
how to back Max up.
Cool. Hey.
I'm Chad.
Peyton's boyfriend.
I'm Trevor.
A client of Peyton's.
I wasn't thinking.
I went in for a handshake.
Force of habit.
Oh, no. It's fine.
Over here, buddy.
There you go. Now we got it.
It's nice to meet you.
Yeah. Yeah.
You, too.
I should get going.
Yeah, I'll drive you.
No, no, no. It's okay.
Come on.
I got Max.
I'm good.
You sure?
He's got Max.
He's good.
Okay, well, same time.
Okay. Sounds good.
Forward, Max.
(dogs barking)
Hey, I'd like to
take you to dinner.
You choose the place.

I never said
you were immature.
But you're implying it.
No, I'm just trying
to understand
what your priorities
are right now.
Come on,
our relationship has changed
over the last little while,
and you can't deny that.
I don't know.
We're not--
We're not connecting
like we used to.
Early on you doted on me.
I'm not saying I expect
that to be a constant thing,
but I just--
You seem so distant lately,
and I don't like that.
Brand new shirt.

Oh, help.
I can't see!
What's this?
I can't see it.
Oh, and how about
this thing?
Don't forget your cake.
(kids laughing)
(dogs barking)
Is that Chad?
It is.
Nice dog.
He's working.
Hey, listen,
there's a couple of things
I felt like I needed to say.
I don't know if
Peyton's told you about me.
Not much.
Yeah, well, we've been
dating for about a year,
and we're about to take our
relationship to the next step.
So, that's between
you and me.
So, don't say anything.
It's a surprise.
No, of course.
And I don't know
if you noticed,
but Peyton puts a lot of herself
into her work.
Yeah, she's amazing.
She is, and she's beautiful.
You should see her.
I imagine.
I bet you do.
I just want to make sure
you understand something.
Although it might seem
to you that you have this
close relationship,
something special even,
Peyton treats everybody
she works with the same way.
And, so, though you might think
there's something going on here,
you're just another
client to her.
I just want to
make sure you didn't
get the wrong idea is all.
Got it.
That's great.
You know...
...when you lose your sight,
you start to pick up
on certain things.
Oh, yeah?
I may be blind,
but I can see pretty clearly
that Peyton deserves better.
Forward, Max.
(phone ringing)
Hello, this is
Trevor Donovan.
Woman: Mr. Donovan,
it's Principal Harris.
You can see she has no
record of behavioral issues.
She's a great student.
I understand that,
but it doesn't excuse
her actions
in the cafeteria.
Okay, let's be honest,
this is a case of,
and excuse me
for saying this,
but a little punk pushing
a kid past her breaking point.
I mean,
what was she supposed to do?
Walk away.
That's easier said
than done.
Engaging only
makes it worse.
The next time anyone
gives Annie any trouble,
she's been told to come to me
and I'll deal with it.
Great, so then
she gets labelled a snitch,
and the bullying
just gets worse.
In the meantime,
I want to make sure
there's no more
lashing out.
You know, this has been
going on for a while.
In the playground,
at lunch, in the halls,
and not once has
a teacher
or anyone from
the administration intervened.
This kid has had free reign
to torment my daughter,
and you have done
nothing about it.
Look, I'm just telling you,
Annie does something
like this again, and it will
result in a suspension.
We cannot tolerate
physical aggression.
So, let's just make sure
she keeps her anger in check.
Her anger?
Give me a break.
This happens again,
she's coming to me,
and we'll handle it on our own.
Come on.
Find stair, Max.
Dr. Donovan.
Dr. Shaw.
I heard you almost
had another mishap
at the construction site
this morning.
No, no. Max helped me
navigate that just fine.
Dr. Shaw: Look, we're trying
to make it work,
but the construction crew
is worried about you.
The whole faculty's
worried about you.
I'm worried about you.
There's really no need to
worry now that I have Max.
Dr. Shaw:
We both know a dog
can't just suddenly fix
So, I'm telling you
this as a friend,
I want you to seriously
consider taking leave.
I think
it's the right decision.
Forward, Max.

Synthetic voice:
Message from Peyton Stevens.
Listen to voicemail.
Peyton on recording:
Hey, good morning, Trevor.
I'm still waiting on a delivery
I have to sign for,
so I'll be there
a little late.
Sorry about that.
Maybe while we're out we could
grab a coffee at Victoria's?
It's on me.
Anyway, I'll see you soon.
Max, come.
Hey. I thought we were
meeting at your house.
I'm here to return Max.
I thought it would
be best to do it
before Annie
gets too attached.
I think that Annie was attached
to Max the moment she met him.
What's going on?
I just--
I don't need him anymore.
I'm confused.
I'm not going to be teaching
next semester or in the summer.
I let my students know.
Okay, why?
I just need a break.
The construction was
my biggest obstacle.
But not
your only obstacle.
I can use my mobility cane.
Your cane
is a hazard detector.
Max is a hazard avoider.
Not to mention he's a companion
for you and Annie.
I just need to simplify my life
and reassess some things,
so please, take Max.
He's a good dog.
He'll be better off with
someone who really needs him.
I know you put
a lot of effort into this,
and I appreciate that.
I'm sorry.
I forgot.
We got you a gift.
Merry Christmas, Peyton.

(dogs barking)

Peyton, there's something
you gotta see.
Trevor (on recording):
She's amazing.
She is.
She's beautiful.
You should see her.
I imagine.
I know it might seem
to you that you have this
close relationship,
something special even,
but Peyton treats everybody
she works with the same way.
You needed more proof
that Chad was a jerk.
Now you have it.
Sometimes we all
need a little help
seeing what's right
in front of us.
Yeah, I may be blind,
but I can see pretty clearly
that Peyton deserves better.
Sometimes we do.
Yeah, I see that one there,
but I'm not really looking for
a full-fledged engagement ring.
Just something
to lock it down.
Something that says,
"We're together,
and we're serious."
Like a promise ring.
Do you sell those?
Hang on one sec.
There's somebody at my door.
Hey, babe.
What a nice surprise.
You remember that
special Christmas present
I told you about?
Just finalizing the details.
Well, you can give it
to someone else,
because we're through.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
What'd I do?
You had me fooled
early on, Chad,
but you are not
a thoughtful person,
and you need
to work on that.
What are you talking about?
I am not going to waste
any more time with someone
who treats people
the way you do.
I should have done
this a while ago,
but I'll make it easy.
We're done for good.
Come on.
Come back!

Trevor: See, that's the power
of literature.
It analyses and lays bare,
more deeply than
any other art form,
the heart and soul of
the human condition.
Literature can inspire us
to overcome our obstacles,
and reach for new heights.
As Ralph Ellison did in
his novel, Invisible Man,
when he wrote,
"The world
is a possibility.
If only you
will discover it."
It can instill virtue.
Like Harper Lee did in
To Kill a Mockingbird,
when she wrote,
"Real courage is knowing that
you're licked before you begin,
but you begin anyway,
and see it through
no matter what."
It can help us think more
deeply about our expectations,
our true purpose,
and the ways
we interact with others.
Like Dickens did
in Doctor Marigold,
when he wrote...
When he wrote...
"No one is
useless in this world
who lightens
the burdens of another."

To close, uh...
(clearing throat)
...I just want to thank every
one of you for your attention
these past few months.
You're an amazing
group of students.
So, as you enjoy
the holidays
and set a course
for the new year,
I'll rely again
on Dickens,
and I'm paraphrasing here,
"May we honor Christmas
in our hearts...
"...and try to keep it
there all the year."
Until next time,
(class applauding)
(bell ringing)
Afraid you'll get
pummeled again?
Hey! Only cowards pick on
kids smaller than them.
Why don't you butt out?
This is between me
and this doofus over here.
Leave him alone, or I'll tell
everyone your big secret.
What big secret?
That you still
wet your bed.
Who told you that?
We go to the same doctor,
and I heard your mom
in the hallway asking him
what she should do about it.
Fine, but if either of you
tell anyone about that,
you're dead,
you hear me?
Why'd you do that?
I figured if I could stop him
from being mean to you,
maybe you'd stop
being mean to me.
I guess I'll have to wait
and see if it works.
Oh, and one more thing.
My dad's a pretty
amazing guy,
and if you knew him,
I think you'd like him.

Come in.
Yes, Nathan.
What can I do for you?
We've each written
a letter stating our feelings
about Dr. Donovan as
an educator and a mentor.
In these letters I think you'll
find a unanimous sentiment.
And what would that be?
Well, if Dr. Donovan
isn't teaching in the spring,
we don't want
to take the class.
We don't see any reason
why he shouldn't come back.
Do you?
Is that so?
He's one of the best
professors at the university.
We're lucky to have him
and I think, so are you.
It'd be wise for you to
just take a look at these.
We appreciate your time,
Dr. Shaw.

Hey, computer. Read my emails.
Synthetic voice: Dr. Donovan,
about our last conversation,
look, I think
I owe you an apology. I--
(doorbell ringing)
Trevor: Who is it?
It's Peyton.
And Max.
(Max vocalizing)
He was missing you.
You were at my lecture
this morning.
I had a feeling
you knew I was there.
It's why I'm here with Max.
What you said to your students,
they were moved by it.
I was moved by it,
but I could tell you weren't
just talking to them.
You were talking
to yourself, too.
Trevor, someone who
understands how beautiful
and challenging
and full of wonder life can be.
That's not someone
who gives up.
That's not you.
Do you want to come in?
I'd like that.
(bell ringing)
Hi, Dad.
Hey, kiddo.
Hi, Max.
Oh, it's so good to see you.
Guess what?
I got a 98% on my math test!
No way,
that's amazing!
Bye, Annie!
Bye, Sean.
Hey, Mr. Donovan.
Merry Christmas.
Thank you.
Merry Christmas to you, too.
Peyton, who was that?
Remember the boy who
wasn't being very nice
so I smashed
a cake in his face?
Uh, how could I forget?
That was him.
- (laughing)
- What?
It's all right, Dad.
We're all good now.
Okay. Max, forward.
Welcome home, Max.
All right, kiddo,
it's getting late.
We should get to bed
so Santa can do his thing.
Oh, I meant to tell you,
I invited Peyton
over for tomorrow.
Is that okay?
You kidding?
I love Peyton.
I really like her, too.
I think you
more than like her, Dad.
And I think
she likes you, too.
Like, more than a friend.
What makes you say that?
The way she looks at you.
All right.

I think I'm doing
this wrong.
I think it's like, you have to
put all of them together,
and then one over.
That makes more sense.
So it stays.
Oh, boy.
I really gotta figure out
which button is
high-speed on this mixer.
Would you like some help?
I took a cooking class.
I got this.
- (whirring)
- Oh, no.
Okay, pancake batter explosion.
We're coming to the rescue.
Oh, boy.
(Peyton laughing)
It's snowing out
(both chuckling)
It's magical.
Thank you...
...for everything.
You've made this Christmas as
special as any we've ever had.
You and Annie have
done the same for me.

I've never known a woman who,
inside and out,
was as beautiful as you.