Shortcomings (2023) Movie Script

Mrs. Wong,
thank you for inquiring
about the availability
of our penthouse suite.
I've reviewed your application,
and unfortunately,
me no likey.
Take a guess.
Thank you.
I'd like to inform you
that my husband
just purchased this building.
An e-mail confirming
said purchase should be arriving
in your inbox presently.
I trust you'll see
that everything is in order.
Yes, Mrs. Wong.
Now, if you wouldn't mind,
could you please attend
to the trash outside?
Right away.
Happy birthday,
Mrs. Wong.
I thought you said
money can't buy happiness.
Well, you be
the judge of that.
[GASPS] Hey, guys.
Miko! That was amazing.
Ramon, hey!
Hey! Great job.
Oh, good.
Thank you.
Um, everyone, I want you to meet
one of our incredible
co-organizers, Miko Higashi.
Hi, guys.
Oh, and this is
my boyfriend, Ben.
Oh, Miko told me you're
a filmmaker. What'd you think?
I thought
it was a real event.
I can't believe the studio
let us screen it.
Wasn't that amazing?
WOMAN: Miko! Congratulations.
Hi, how are you?
Look, bruh, I know
it's a little glossy.
But it's ours, right?
That's us, baby, right?
So, what did you think?
Well, Miss Higashi,
after some careful consideration
of the film,
I regret to inform you
that me no likey.
Okay. Okay,
I know, I know.
As a community,
we've waited a long time
to see ourselves
reflected in a--
In a garish,
mainstream rom-com
that glorifies the capitalistic
fantasy of vindication
through wealth and materialism?
I thought you might be
able to see, like,
beyond your own snobby tastes.
Have we just met?
Look, the reviews
have been incredible,
it's gonna be a massive hit,
and that's what makes it great.
Wow. Heh.
Oh, my God.
It's a game changer, okay?
Now, when you or some other
Asian American filmmaker
wants to make a movie
that's more your style,
something cooler
or more artsy or whatever,
and they're suddenly able
to get funding,
they should get down
on their knees
and bow down
to that garish mainstream hit
that cleared
the way for them.
There wasn't a real character
in the movie.
MIKO: What's a real character?
BEN: A human being, with flaws.
MIKO: Okay, so like you?
BEN: Yes, like me!
I'm not talking about you
or the festival.
I'm just expressing
my opinion
about this particular movie
that you asked for.
You could've at least faked it
with Ramon.
The way you reacted when he
asked us how we liked it?
God, Ben, I wanted to die.
What? I told him the truth.
What's wrong with that?
Who are you to criticize?
What's that supposed to mean?
I'm sorry. That's not--
Look, if you didn't
like the movie, it's fine.
I don't understand
why you have to be--
Because it's depressing
to see
a room full of people
lose their minds
over a movie just because
of representation or whatever.
How about the possibility they
also just really enjoyed it?
That would be
even more depressing.
You are too much.
Or maybe I'm just right, Miko.
Well, you're not.
I'm still having,
like, aftershock cringes.
Really? I heard it was great.
The entire theater
was going insane.
I thought I was at
a BTS concert.
Well, I'm sure
Miko really appreciated
your in-depth critique.
In the six years
we've been together,
she wasn't into
any of this shit,
this political,
community, whatever.
I got a turkey club
and a tofu scrambled crepe.
That's me.
That's disgusting.
I'm trying.
I like your hair, the bangs.
For some reason, I thought it'd
be a good idea to get drunk
and cut it myself last night.
I should go get it fixed.
No, no way!
Could I--?
Maybe you can cut my hair.
I'm overdue for a trim.
Sorry, can I get some--?
We could get drunk first if--
Can I get some ketchup,
Sure. I'll be right back
with that.
Let me know
if you need anything else.
I will.
You bet.
So she got
more politically-minded.
I don't get why it's
an affront to you.
It's not.
She's just doing it
because it's trendy.
You'd change your tune if you
suddenly woke up
in Alabama one day.
I was practically
the only non-white person
in my entire high school.
I showed you the yearbook.
It was like
a Mormon modeling agency.
You never felt
discriminated against?
I did,
but not because I was Asian.
Because of your inherent
bad personality.
Exactly. I fucking earned
that outcast status.
Mm! Remember that one guy
from our freshman dorms
who thought everyone was racist?
You're like
the opposite of him.
Yeah. Thanks.
Here you are.
God, you're predictable.
Hey, it's getting late.
Do you wanna go to bed soon?
I'm not really tired yet.
I slept in today.
Well, you know, we don't have to
go to sleep right away.
Yeah, I'll be in in a bit.
I just have a couple more discs
I wanna check out.
Did you hear the theory
that Snowpiercer
is a sequel to
Willy Wonka?
I know. I saw the Reddit.
You saw that?
It was crazy.
Ed Harris is
supposed to be Charlie.
I'm here to see about the job.
Cool. Cool.
Do you have a-a boss
or someone I can talk to?
He's upstairs.
Um, the guys downstairs said
to talk to you about the job.
Yeah. Yeah. Have a seat.
How'd that date go?
Not good.
Did she see your dick?
Not yet. I wanna tell her
about it first.
...they're on the other side
of the concession stand.
Any time you--
GENE: Question!
What are you into?
Uh-- Hi, again. What--?
That is Gene,
and that's Lamont.
How are you?
Guys, this is Autumn.
She's starting this weekend,
so please--
what are you into, baby?
Don't call her "baby."
GENE: I'm into genre auteurs.
In other words,
singular filmmakers who--
He's a Christopher Nolan fan,
is what he's trying to say.
Well, that's reductive,
but nonetheless--
I'm more into
world cinema.
Bong Joon-ho,
Ruben stlund, Cline Sciamma.
[COUGHING] Bullshit alert.
Stuff that--
Just ignore him.
[WAILS] Bullshit alert!
Let me talk to her!
Let's not scare her off
before she's even started.
So get back to work.
We open soon, all right?
All right.
Your favorite movies
are all Marvel.
What's wrong with that?
It doesn't challenge you.
Nothing beats
the new Spider-Man, all right?
I prefer the Raimi ones.
Guess I don't need
to explain too much.
Oh. Guess we don't need this.
It's just selling tickets
and answering questions
from confused old people, so...
I love it.
I guess I should also mention
that we have
a small video camera
up there.
We had a problem
with the cash box before, so...
Who's gonna be watching me?
Yeah, sorry. It's a rule
the owners implemented.
No, I like being watched.
My therapist says I have
exhibitionistic tendencies.
You should come
to one of my shows sometime.
I'm part of a collective
that does performance art,
spoken word,
that sort of thing.
I don't know.
It might be too weird for you.
Why would it
be weird for me?
Oh, uh... Sorry. One second.
What are you doing here?
I was having lunch
down on Fourth Street,
so I got you takeout.
With who? You're all dressed up.
Just Ling and Ramon and some
of the other festival people.
Here, eat before
the tempura gets soggy.
Oh, thanks.
I should be home around 1.
Okay. I'll try to stay up.
The funny thing is,
Lamont's actually right.
Gene's favorite movies
are literally all on Disney+.
Are you serious?
You can't blame him for trying.
Boy, I guess everyone's got
the hots for the new girl, huh?
What do you mean, everyone?
I saw her.
Ben, I know your type.
What? I don't have a type.
I don't.
Then how come
you didn't introduce us?
Because unlike you,
I like to spare you the pain
of having to interact
with my coworkers.
Well, you've introduced me
to Gene, Lamont,
the creepy projectionist guy.
Okay, fine.
I just didn't know
you'd be so interested
in meeting
the attention-seeking hipster,
but if you really wanted--
Oh, don't overdo it, Ben.
I know what a sucker you are.
Jesus Christ.
Give me some credit.
No. It's fine.
Hey, hey, hey.
You know
what my type is?
It's you.
Even when you are
being an asshole.
Shut up.
You're actually the asshole,
I am.
Every day.
That's why we work,
we're both assholes.
Every time
another cousin gets married,
my parents get
all weird on me,
so thanks for doing this.
I'm honored to play a part in
your bizarre, ongoing charade.
They're so excited.
When I told them about you,
they high-fived
and kissed on the lips.
It was weird.
You know, you'd think the fact
that I'm getting a PhD
would be enough
to make them happy, but nope.
Why do you have
a framed photo of yourself?
Because I'm in love with her.
Oh, um--
Don't mention
that your last name is Tagawa.
My grandpa will be there.
The Korean one.
The Chinese one's dead.
Does the phrase World War II
ring a bell with you?
Right. That.
No big deal.
Just your people raping
and pillaging all of Korea.
That wasn't my people, okay?
My people were in America
for two generations
when that happened.
My people were getting
locked up in internment camps.
I think the preferred term
is "incarceration camp."
"Internment" is misleading.
You wanna cancel me now?
Read a book.
Let's go. We're gonna be late.
Now you wanna be early?
Also, people mistake me
for Korean all the time.
You wish.
They'd rather see me with a
Japanese guy than a Korean girl.
What you're saying is,
rapists and pillagers
are preferable
to the gays.
Everything is preferable
to the gays.
Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.
So we finally get to meet
your mysterious boyfriend, huh?
Yeah, um... Yeah.
Uh-- Everyone, this is Ben.
Ben Park.
Hello, Ben.
Praise Jesus.
So Alice tells me
you're a youth pastor.
Yes. Yes, I am.
Say hi to my...
Good to meet you, sir.
Let's go inside. Hm?
Yeah, we'll be in there
in a second.
What's wrong with Grandpa?
Shit. He knows.
What? That I'm Japanese,
or that you're gay?
Shut up.
Hey, can I talk to you
for a sec?
So I had to use
your computer today--
What's wrong with yours?
I left it at work.
You left a few pages open
on your desktop.
Oh, my God. I've been hacked.
Let's not make
a big deal out of this.
And if it bothers you
that much--
What bothers me, Ben,
is that all of these girls
are white.
That's what this is about?
That's what this is about.
It's just not true.
There's different categories.
So if you're looking
for something in particular,
you can--
It's not funny, Ben.
It's supposed to be different
from reality, okay?
That's the point. I mean,
if you were stranded
on a desert island,
you wouldn't sit around dreaming
about sand and sun, right?
Is that what
this feels like to you,
being stranded
on a desert island?
It's just, the point is,
sand and sun, they're great--
Do you have any idea
why this might offend me?
It's like you're obsessed
with the typical
Western-media beauty ideal,
yet you're settling for me.
Can you not make this
political, Miko?
And I'm not settling.
I see what you gawk at
when we're out, Ben.
It's always
the same white girl--
Okay! Wow! You're right!
Maybe I have been
by some insidious
media conspiracy
into believing
that blonde-haired,
blue-eyed women
are attractive.
I guess I should find
Margot Robbie disgusting.
But somehow,
I've been duped into believing--
You're a fucking dick.
Why are you blowing this up
into such a thing?
It's not like
I'm cheating on you.
Are you sure?
Oh, see?
You are the crazy one!
What the fuck is that?
This is what you always do.
You act like an asshole,
then you get angry
when I call you on it.
I'm angry because you always
assume the worst about me
and then you end up acting crazy
over nothing.
It's not nothing.
And I'm not acting crazy,
so stop using
that fucking word!
You're just proving my point.
about last night...
It's okay,
don't worry about it.
I think we can both agree--
Coffee's ready.
Excuse the interruption.
Jesus, Gene. You can't just
come up on me like that.
Well, under less
urgent circumstances, fine.
But right now,
we have a situation.
Autumn feels it is imperative
that she go gets a burrito.
But if I go and cover for her,
that's gonna leave Lamont alone
at the concession stand--
Gene! I'm sure Lamont can handle
it for a few minutes. Okay?
MAN: Where'd you come from?
WOMAN: What do you care?
Where'd you live
before you came here?
Oh, yeah.
We have to let
these seismic retrofit guys
inspect the theater,
and we have to pay for it.
That's annoying.
Hey, do you remember that
internship that I applied for?
The what?
The Asian American
Independent Film Institute?
Maybe. What about it?
Well, I finally heard back
from them and I got it.
That's great, right?
What does that mean?
When do you start?
the thing is,
it's in New York.
Okay, you definitely never
told me about this.
I did. It's a three-month
program, and I'm--
Three months?
Are you kidding me?
I know, but it's
an amazing opportunity.
I'm really excited
about it.
It only seems like
an amazing opportunity
because it's in New York.
Yeah, that's part of the reason
why I wanted to do it.
Trust me,
New York is overrated.
It's so gentrified now.
How many times
have you even been there?
Are we counting layovers?
Look, it doesn't matter.
There's no way
I'm moving to New York
for three months,
all right?
I wasn't really
asking you to.
So, what does this mean?
Are you two broken up?
We're taking
some time off.
Those are her words.
When does she leave?
And now I have to be
all supportive and shit.
You? Supportive?
That's not really your brand.
Maybe this is a test,
you know?
She wants you to talk her
out of going.
But then I'm the one
holding her back,
extinguishing her dreams.
You're pretty much fucked
either way.
Well, this has been fun.
Nina, you didn't charge us
for the fries.
I'm not gonna charge you
for your fries.
How come?
You know.
You think I'm cute?
Also, can you
let your dad know
that I might be late
on rent again?
Oh, it's fine. He's not
even thinking about it.
You really didn't
have to drive me.
No. I wanted to. Here.
Give me this.
You'll probably be excited
to have some peace and quiet.
Yeah. Maybe.
I think it'll be
good for you.
I don't think
I ever said congratulations
on your internship.
I'm glad
you're happy about it,
but I'm gonna miss you.
It's just a few months.
You're gonna love
being a bachelor again.
Yeah, maybe I'll get back
into writing or something.
Let me know
once you get settled,
and I'll see about coming out
for a weekend sometime.
Hey, hey, hey. What the fuck?
You saw that asshole
cut me off right now, right?
Ben, relax.
It's all these tech
assholes taking over
with their fucking McMansions
in Hayward
or wherever the fuck
they live.
It's like, "Get off
the fucking road,
you shithead!
Go back to your artisanal--"
ALICE: Did she actually leave?
Yeah. Yeah, I just got back.
So, what's the deal?
You standing on a chair
with a noose around your neck?
No. No.
Ben, can I call you later?
Let me guess. The waitress.
Good luck.
Not that I need it.
Hey, ask her
if she has any ketchup.
Okay, fuck off. Bye.
This next piece is entitled
It's about immigration.
Three, two, one.
The whole time I was thinking:
"He's totally hating this."
No, no,
I was overwhelmed.
It was like
a combination of...
performance art
and experimental music.
Bye, Autumn.
Bye, Colorado Rhythm.
So good.
Wonderful job.
Yeah, we're trying to combine
the physicality of modern dance
and the improvisation
of free jazz,
and infuse it
with a punk sensibility.
You know, I have to admit,
I didn't really know
what to expect,
but that was amazing.
That's so cool.
Something wrong
with the usual place?
No. I just wanted
to try somewhere new.
Plus, I know this guy,
He works here,
he'll give us a discount.
Plus, I'm kind of trying
to dodge that waitress.
Why? I thought you guys were,
you know, serious.
She started getting
all attached.
You know I can't do that.
You have problems.
Just because I'm not
a serial monogamist like you?
That was the old me.
Okay, you think I'm gonna sit
around pining away for Miko
while she's off traipsing
around New York?
Wait. I thought you said
you guys weren't broken up.
I said we were taking
some time off.
I don't understand why
that's so confusing for you.
All I'm saying
is that while the cat's away,
the mouse will play.
The mouse will play.
With himself probably.
What if I told you
I already met someone?
Wait, what?
The girl from the movie theater?
Ew! How old is she?
Twenty-three, 24, 25.
Probably the same age
as your waitress.
Okay, that's different.
How is that different?
Everything's less creepy without
the hetero power dynamics.
Alice. I haven't seen you
in a while. Where you been?
At better restaurants.
Ji-Hun, this is Ben.
Oh, yeah.
She told me about you.
You're the one
who's into white girls.
No, I'm-- That's--
Hey, hey. It's all good.
I mean, I'm more into the
content of one's character,
but you do you, man.
What do you want?
Can I get the cheeseburger
with a salad?
Fuck it. Give me the fries.
Give me
all of the fries.
We've had to cancel
a few screenings
because they interfered
with their schedule.
Oh, jeez.
How's the internship?
You haven't told me
much about it.
Well, you know,
I've learned not to bore you,
but it's incredible.
That's great.
I keep having these moments
where I'll stop and think, like,
"Wow, I'm in New York City."
Well, that is where you are.
I know, Ben.
You don't have to get
all sarcastic
just because
I'm enjoying myself.
You started it with the whole
"I've learned not to bore you"
"You started it"?
What are you, 9?
I'm just trying
to act interested.
And you, you know...
Okay, well, why can't you ever
just be genuinely interested?
You really want me
to answer that?
You know what?
Maybe we just shouldn't talk
for a while.
Miko, come on, I was joking--
Cool bar.
Yeah. It's super gritty.
Yeah. I probably shouldn't
have had that last drink.
You mean,
that second light beer?
I didn't realize people lived
in this building.
Oh, it's totally livable.
I mean, it's not up to code,
but, um, it's livable.
Why don't I get us some drinks?
What's all this?
This is one of my works
in progress.
I wake up every morning, go pee,
and then I take a picture.
You're serious.
It's gonna be a huge
installation someday.
Right now, the working title
is Epistemology.
It's kind of a pun.
How about Urine Sane?
Yeah, right?
That wasn't very nice.
No. No, no, no, I was just--
It's cool, actually.
Yeah. There's actually--
I can--
So much subtext.
I think it's
a real commentary on, uh...
Consumption and waste.
You nailed it.
Yes, exactly, that.
Why don't we go
into the kitchen?
I think my roommate
might be sleeping.
Oh, sure.
I think I have some soju
in here somewhere.
Oh, I'm so sorry. I--
Don't you have a girlfriend?
We're taking some--
We're basically broken up.
She moved to New York.
Oh, I didn't know that.
I-- Sorry.
Sorry, I just--
I'm just really skittish
around germs
and, um, fluids and...
I'm sorry, okay?
No, no, no.
I should apologize.
I should have--
JEFFREY: Hey, Autumn.
Hi, Jeffrey.
Ben, this is
my roommate Jeffrey.
He's the dancer
from the show you saw.
Hey, man.
Nice to meet you.
Great to meet you.
Ooh. Soju.
Does he ever
wear clothes?
It's for the best.
How can you even get it up
for someone who does that
cringy, bullshit art?
You'd be amazed
at what I can overlook.
It's probably not a good look
to be dating an employee
anyway, so...
Now you mention that.
You're a very unreliable
moral compass.
I don't remember signing up
for that job.
God, I'm an idiot.
No, you're just
out of practice.
Come with me
to this party on Saturday.
You might learn
a thing or two.
Like where the clitoris is.
Hey. Um...
How was the crowd
for the 7:30?
Great. Like eight
or nine tickets.
Listen, I just wanted
to say I'm so sorry
about the other night.
It's totally cool.
No, I think
I misread things, and I--
No, no, you didn't.
I just--
In the moment,
it didn't feel right.
Yeah, that makes sense.
I just-- I s--
Sometimes I think the body
knows better than the mind,
you know?
When it comes
to sexual attraction.
And then sometimes
the mind is like, "Maybe."
But then the body is like:
I wasn't always able
to be this honest with myself,
but I'm really trying
to be more mindful.
That's really great.
Happy for you.
Thank you.
Happy for you too.
Keep up the great work.
You too.
GENE: Lamont!
Yo, Ben tried to fuck--
So, what do you think?
Do I look like
an eligible bachelor?
Yeah. About that...
Is this...?
You brought me to a gay thing?
Okay, that's a very narrow
and exclusionary term, Ben.
Right, sorry.
But basically, yeah.
What the fuck, Alice?
Can you just be
a normal person for once
and enjoy a nice
social experience
without obsessing over
who you're hooking up with?
Oh, my God.
Look who's talking.
Just because I'm a hypocrite
doesn't mean I'm wrong.
All right!
Alice Lee has arrived!
Anyone have
a bottle opener?
What for?
It's a twist-off.
Sorry, man,
I'm just fucking with you. Here.
Thank you.
You must be
Alice's friend.
I overheard some talk
of an interloper.
I'm Sasha.
I'm Ben.
You know, I bet we have
something in common.
And what is that?
We're probably
the only two people
at this party
that Alice Lee has not seduced.
You've managed to--
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, dodged that bullet.
No offense.
None taken.
Do you go to school with--?
Yeah. Yeah.
Comp Lit with a focus
on Latin American Marxism.
That's actually
my favorite kind of Marxism.
I, uh--
No. I'm probably
the least-informed person here.
I doubt that.
So, what's your deal?
You're, like,
Alice's designated driver?
Don't even know what I'm really
doing here, to be honest.
There you are.
Let's go.
Hi, Sasha.
Hi, Alice.
I guess we're leaving.
I work at the Berkeley Arts
Please stop by
for a free movie.
Free popcorn.
What are you doing?
Trust me, you do not wanna
get involved with Sasha.
She's a fence-sitter.
Weren't you the one
who gave me a lecture
about narrow
exclusionary terms?
I'm allowed.
I'm telling you, she's total
bad news. You'll regret it.
She seemed nice to me.
"Free popcorn."
Shut up.
How do you do it?
Spit so much game
So we've got another show
coming up pretty soon.
Oh, yeah? That's great.
Yeah, I know how much you loved
our last one,
and this one's kind of, like,
the same, only more intense.
Wow. What night is it?
Because I might not
be able to do--
It's a monthlong residency.
So you could come
multiple times.
A month. Perfect.
Yeah. It changes
night to night.
It's like jazz, right?
Of course.
I will just check--
Hi. Remember me?
Yeah. Oh, sorry.
Of course. Hey.
I was just passing by.
Do you wanna see a movie?
No. Maybe some other time.
Okay. Uh, don't move.
Hi. I'm hosting a fundraiser
to benefit my art.
She's good. Thanks. Thanks.
Have you eaten lunch?
I have not.
Wow, this place
is so good.
You've never been here before?
I was in a relationship,
and she became a vegetarian.
And then a vegan.
And then a raw-food vegan.
And now all she eats is dirt.
Yeah, well, needless to say,
places like this
were off-limits.
It actually still feels
a little transgressive.
So how long ago did you and...?
Am I prying here?
I don't wanna be intrusive.
No, no, no. It's fine. Um...
I guess we've been broken up
for a couple months now.
I should probably say longer,
Just so it doesn't seem like
I'm just jumping from one thing
to another thing.
That's a great thought.
But you say it's too long,
then you run the risk of--
Right. Like, "Hi. I haven't been
on a date in three years.
Do you wanna meet my cats?"
Wait, do you actually have cats?
Okay, what about you?
How long have you
been broken up for?
About ten years.
No, I am kidding.
About the same as you.
Hm. Okay.
Do you have to
go back to work?
Yeah, unfortunately.
Okay. Well--
But tomorrow...
Tomorrow I have off.
I swear, I'm not this desperate.
I just-- I'm a little
out of practice.
It's clear.
I'm sorry.
It's gotta be fascinating
to listen to me
just drone on and on
about grad-school politics.
No, it's okay.
I stopped listening
a long time ago.
I'm joking.
Oh, man.
I just-- I always do this.
I'm, like, hermetically sealed
in this bubble.
It's just tiresome.
No. It's good.
I-- I'm actually reminded
why I dropped out.
Yeah, what were you
studying, again?
Yeah, I got through
two years,
had this epiphany that academia
is the enemy of art.
I need to stop studying
and start creating.
Should've kept studying.
Yeah. So wrote a script
and did the whole
rented a bunch of equipment,
roped a bunch of friends
into helping me.
What happened?
It was a fucking disaster.
I was trying to be the nex
ric Rohmer or something.
But I had to accept eventually
that I was just a...
current Ben Tagawa.
That's the saddest thing
I've ever heard.
Thank you for agreeing with me.
That's very nice of you.
Wait. What was I supposed--?
There you go.
Thank you.
Okay, relax.
Oh, my God.
Oh, no, what?
You have the softest skin
I've ever felt.
It's due to a lifetime
of work avoidance.
Do you think we should...?
Can I kiss you?
That was not good.
No, no, no. Um...
Yes. Consent granted.
Are you sure?
Yeah. It's much appreciated.
Thank you and great job.
Are you okay?
Fine. Just...
Are you okay?
You just seem a little off.
I was just overly excited.
Do--? Are you--?
Do you need help? You good?
Thank you.
Actually, it's, um...
It's just that I've never--
I've never been with--
I mean, never mind.
I just meant it's been a while.
It's cool.
I know what you were gonna say.
And this will actually be
a first for me too. So...
Ew! Are you serious?
Oh, my God.
You're actually jealous
of me for once.
Oh, please.
You think I give a shit
about some trendy dabbler?
Jesus. Can I bask in my glory
for one fucking minute?
Sorry. I'm just
in a shitty mood.
Yeah, I can tell.
I was gonna regale you
with details too.
I got kicked out of school.
What do you mean?
Can you just come over
when you can?
Yeah. Yeah, I'll be there.
Remember when I took you
to that stupid party?
The fateful night.
It all began there.
Yeah. I got into an argument
with Nina's fucking roommate.
The waitress
with the fucking bangs?
The one you ghosted
because she was allowing
the relationship
to progress
in a mature way.
Whatever. So I bump into
the roommate on campus,
and she fucking got all up in
my face and kept talking shit!
So I kicked her
in the pussy.
What the fuck, Alice?
I warned her, okay?
All she had to do
was back off.
Did she go to the hospital?
Is she okay?
No, she didn't go
to the hospital, okay?
It wasn't like that.
I was just-- I was sitting,
and she was coming at me,
and I just stopped her.
I put my foot out
and it just landed on her pussy.
She filed a report
with the campus police
and now
I'm temporarily banned.
I mean, there's obviously
something wrong with me, right?
I'm gonna go to New York
for a while,
just to get my head together.
I have some friends
I can stay with, so...
Does everyone in Berkeley just
have a hard-on for New York?
Like, why doesn't
the entire Bay Area pack up
and move over to New York City
and call it a day?
That's your takeaway?
After everything
I just said?
maybe you could
come with me.
It could be good for us.
We could start fresh.
You're not really going.
I can tell, you're just drunk.
I already booked my flight.
I leave on Tuesday.
I'm sorry. It sucks. I know
you guys are really close.
But at least it's not
like she's--
I think she's making
a mistake, you know?
She runs away from shit.
That's her thing.
You see the way
that guy looked at us?
Who, what?
What are you talking about?
Guy over there.
Did you see that?
He's, like,
openly judging me.
Judging you? For what?
You know, us.
Come on.
This isn't 1949.
Okay, either that
or he had "white girl envy."
Maybe it was more like,
"Good job."
I'm joking.
Who the hell knows
why he was looking at us?
Is that what I am?
A "white girl"?
Well, not just that.
Look, I'm sorry, okay?
I was just--
Just what?
You are so incredibly
I just assume that every guy
we pass hates my fucking guts.
That was pathetic, Ben, really.
It's true.
Yeah, yeah. Okay.
You say you'd just
let it all go,
and didn't we have
a good time?
You liked making love to me,
didn't you?
Yes, I did.
So you see there,
that's good, isn't it?
And I thought you
were crazy, didn't I?
Moshi-Moshi. This is Miko.
Leave me a message.
So I'm sure
you're all wondering
why I've asked you
to gather here.
I'm afraid I have
some disappointing news.
AUTUMN: Sorry!
...inspectors have deemed the
building structurally unsound,
and as you are probably aware,
ticket sales haven't really
been what they used to be.
So it looks like
we're gonna have to shut down.
Can you put your phone away?
I'm really sorry, guys.
I know how much
this place means to all of us.
So when we find out
when our last day's gonna be,
I will--
Yeah, Gene.
Greetings, everyone.
I just wanted
to let you all know
that I have recently
accepted a job
as assistant manager
at the E-Flix Multiplex.
And more to the point,
we are currently hiring.
Danny, we're looking
for a projectionist.
I'm in.
BEN: Okay, yeah--
Unh! If anyone else
has any interest
and/or further query
about the job,
I will be out
in the lobby imminently.
Lamont, are we gonna keep
hanging out?
Yeah. I'm gonna work for Gene.
I would work for Gene.
Okay, so hey. I, um...
need to talk to you.
Whenever someone says that,
it always means:
"I'm about
to really bum you out."
Yeah. Maybe.
Um-- It's about Pilar.
What about her?
Well, she's been doing research
in Ecuador,
and I wasn't exactly sure
where we stood when she left.
And now she's back.
Just seems kind of deceptive.
You had made it clear
that you two had broken up.
It would've been nice to know
I was the backup plan.
Yeah. I know.
I'm sorry. It's like a--
It's a problem of mine.
I'm not very good
at being alone.
Really? That's strange
'cause I love being alone.
Only thing I love
more than being alone
is getting strung along.
Okay, wow. Ben,
it's been, like,
a few weeks, all right?
You didn't, like,
waste your whole life on me.
That's great.
Have fun back on the other side
of the fence.
I should go.
Hey. Maybe quit smoking too.
I mean,
who still smokes?
Listen, Ben,
I know you're gonna
want to blame this
on society
or on my sexuality
or on your race or whatever.
But one day,
I hope you'll understand
that this really is
just about you.
When I was just a kid
They said
"Kid, don't you cry"
I am older now
I say...
Moshi-Moshi. This is Miko.
Leave me a message.
Every tear rolling down
Is a lesson learned
Are you too old to turn?
Are you too young to burn?
Moshi-Moshi. This is Miko.
Leave me a message.
Too young to burn
Too young, too young
Moshi-Moshi. This is Miko.
Leave me a message.
Hi. It's me. Again. Um--
I don't know
if there's a problem
with your voicemail
or something,
but if you get this,
can you give me a call?
Let me know if you're okay,
I actually know that you're okay
because you keep
posting pictures
of all the fucking delightful
food you're eating.
So if you could do me
the courtesy
of calling me back,
you know, just--
That would be greatly
Uh... I know
you're probably busy.
So give me a call back
when you can.
Love you.
Nice to hear
from you too, asshole.
What's up?
I had, like, three minutes
with nothing to do, so I
thought I'd give you a call.
Well, here I am.
Oh, my God. You sound so sad.
Did you scratch
one of your DVDs?
if I came out there...
could I maybe stay with you
for a little while?
Holy shit.
Is this your rock bottom?
High school was my rock bottom.
And you had
nowhere to go but up. Ha, ha.
Are you serious?
I can't believe you're actually
in New York, your personal hell.
I hate it already.
Before I forget.
Front door and apartment door.
Yeah, Meredith wants you
to feel free
to come and go
at your leisure.
Meredith Ames?
Come on, I told you about her!
It's her apartment.
I thought you came out here
to clear your head.
I did.
And then I went to a party
and met Meredith
and went home with her,
and I've been there ever since.
So when are you
gonna call her?
Yeah, who?
Babe? We're home.
Hey! I'll just be out
in a second.
Nice place.
I know.
It's like a grown-up
lives here, right?
Hi. This must be
the infamous Ben Tagawa.
Hi. Great to meet you.
Oh, please.
Feel like I know you already.
She talks about you
Oh, God.
She does.
Yeah, I do.
To be honest, I probably
know a lot more
about you than I should.
She told me--
I'm actually attracted
to women of all races.
Good to know.
No, wait. No, I'm--
I'm sorry.
I thought that's what she--
It's really funny
when he flails.
I'm sorry I don't have
a room for you, Ben,
but the sofa's
pretty comfy.
No, no. That's fine.
I could actually
easily stay at a hotel.
You can't afford that.
I don't wanna impose.
The more, the merrier.
It'll be like a slumber party.
Oh, babe, don't say that.
He'll think he's getting
some hot three-way action.
Oh, God.
No. I--
Yeah. I know.
I'm not-- I don't-- I'm very--
He wants it.
All men are trash.
The couch is wonderful.
You brought out the fancy shit.
Which one is this?
So this is a goat Gouda,
and this is
a Delice de Bourgogne.
Ooh! Delice de okay.
To the gracious hostess.
Thank you.
It's good to be here.
So Alice tells me
you're involved in the theater.
Oh, is that--?
I manage a crappy movie theater.
Or at least, I used to.
Right. Sorry, I knew that.
Not that it's crappy.
I knew it was a movie--
Meredith is working
on her novel.
Well, I mean,
that's what I say
to avoid the
very real possibility
that I might just be
a teacher.
a professor at Barnard.
You're really trading up.
I'm impressed.
Yeah, I did.
Listen to her.
It's like living
with Mary Poppins.
Oh, my God.
What do you guys have planned
for tomorrow? I've got to work.
Well, Ben's here basically to
stalk his ex-girlfriend, so...
Not my ex-girlfriend.
We're just taking some time off.
If you were in a dysfunctional,
long-term relationship...
don't call it that.
...and your partner says
she's "taking some time off"
and moves across the country...
For an internship.'d assume-- I mean,
that's a breakup, right?
How were things when she left?
No, not terrible.
We were drifting apart
a little bit,
and we were...
definitely fighting a lot.
You know, otherwise...
I think the drifting is worse
than the fighting.
Alice and I have had
our share of fights already,
but they've been
really productive.
Oh, Alice, you're now having
productive fights.
Yeah, Ben.
It's called maturity.
I can give you some pointers
when you're ready.
So question for you.
When you have
these productive fights,
did she ever kick you
in the pussy?
Uh... I think I'd remember
if she did.
Just ignore him.
That's a pretty heavy thing
to say.
No! No, no.
That's not my phrase.
That's actually something
she said when she got mad--
Let it go, Ben.
Anything you wanna say?
The bagels in New York
are really better.
Sorry. I guess she doesn't
really get our sense of humor.
Not about her.
I just went out on a limb--
Let me clarify.
This is different.
I really like this one.
I mean, she's perfect for me.
Oh, you guys
are still in that phase.
It's cute.
Ben, I'm serious, okay?
This is finally a chance for me
to climb out of that hole
I've been living in.
And to be, you know,
a real adult human, for once.
So can we at least attempt
to not fuck this up for me?
You're more fun in California.
You're about the same.
See, you can't even tell
anything from this.
It's, like, food...
more food.
Let me see.
Who's LeonDesigns212,
and why's he liking
all of her pics?
Holy shit!
What the fuck?
It's definitely her, right?
I mean, I know all Asian girls
look the same to you.
Will you shut up for a minute
while I try to process this?
God, I had no idea
how hot she was.
Dude, you fucked up.
I said, shut up.
Can I help you?
We were just curious
about the photos in the window.
Aren't they totally amazing?
Yeah. You know anything about
them? Where they came from?
Oh, Leon handles
all the promo himself.
And Leon is...?
Leon Alexander.
He designs the clothes.
This is his boutique.
Ah. Humility.
What about the model
on the screen?
Do you know
anything about her?
He finds them
from all over.
He found his last model
at a Chipotle.
How many are there?
Do you have questions
about the clothes?
Is this a cult?
How are you not mad right now?
So she wanted
to try modeling or whatever.
She probably thought
I wouldn't be supportive
if she told me about it.
And she'd be wrong?
No, I would've been
a total prick about it.
In a way,
I forced her to lie.
It's just so weird
to think of her doing that.
It's like if I found out
you were a mime.
Don't knock mimes.
Chaplin was a mime.
When are you gonna see her?
You did come to see her, right?
I have a plan for tomorrow.
Oh, really? This, I gotta see.
This is so unlike you.
That's the point.
You shouldn't have.
Uh, I'm--
I'm here to see Miko.
Miko Higashi.
She's an intern here.
I'm the only intern
here right now.
Okay, do you know
when she's gonna be back?
Look, there is
only one intern working here
at this point in time,
and you're looking at him.
I hope you're not
being catfished.
That would suck.
Can you check if she
maybe worked here before you?
I'm not supposed to give out
that kind of information.
what the fuck do I care?
What? Ben.
Well, so much
for my big move.
Fucking lying bitch.
So now what?
Can I use your phone?
What's wrong with yours?
I tried that.
BEN: Hey, it's me.
Oh. Hi.
What's this number
you're calling from?
Oh, right. I'm out with Alice,
and I forgot my phone at home.
I'm sorry.
I should've called. I just...
I felt like we weren't
communicating very well
over the phone and--
No, no, no, it's fine.
I know you're busy.
Well, we should talk.
I'm in the middle
of something at work right now,
You mean, the internship?
I will call you later tonight.
Cool. Actually, wait.
The reason I called is because
we're at the post office
right now.
You got some important-looking
mail, some tax stuff.
And I wanted to forward it,
but I didn't know
where to send it to.
Yeah, I got a pen.
Yeah, got it.
I can't believe she can afford
to live around here.
Yeah, she must be really dipping
into that old trust fund.
God, I'd give anything to have
a rich, absent, alcoholic dad
that tries to buy my love.
Well, which one is it?
Relax. Got it all staked out.
So listen.
I'm thinking about
maybe not going back to school.
When I'm honest with myself,
there's only one reason
why I even wanted
to go to grad school
to begin with.
The poon.
No, idiot.
My parents!
"The poon"?
How old are you?
I've just been living
my whole life,
thinking it's possible
to placate them,
but it's obviously not.
So your solution is to give up
and hide out here in New York?
At least I'd be happy.
You could maybe
just be honest with them.
No, never.
Oh, shit.
Are you fucking with me?
What do we do?
What do we do?
It's that designer prick.
Come on.
Come on. Come on.
He's too tall, way too tall.
Hey, how y'all doing?
What the fuck
is she doing with that guy?
You look beautiful.
Go, go, go.
What are they doing?
They're being
fucking adorable.
Let's go.
What are they saying?
How the fuck would I know?
I can't believe
she's with a fucking rice king.
We don't necessarily know--
He was speaking Japanese.
He was a white guy with a big
beard who was speaking Japanese.
What does the big beard
have to do with anything?
I don't know!
I can see why you're upset,
but there's nothing wrong
with someone having a type.
If there's real love
between two people--
Yeah, yeah. But can we be
honest, between us, right?
You see a white guy
with an Asian girl,
and what do you think?
Oh, boy.
And when you see an Asian man
with a white woman,
you think...?
Good for him.
Good for both of them.
And you don't second-guess
that relationship.
You're like, "Wow,
he must be a really cool guy,
and she is really evolved."
What year is he living in?
I just think there's
something creepy
about an older white guy who's
horny for skinny Asian girls.
I mean,
what's that all about?
I actually don't think
it's about anything.
Oh, come on, Meredith.
If you're implying
an undercurrent of what?
Fetishism? Pedophilia?
Then what's the flip side
to that line of thinking?
I don't know what.
Is your attraction
to white women
a sublimated
form of assimilation?
Are you trying to elevate
yourself in society's eyes by--?
Where'd that come from?
Sorry, dude.
Don't turn this
into a personal attack on me.
No, no, no. It's not an attack.
I just think it gets tricky
when you start making
moralistic generalizations
based on your own wounded ego.
You don't even know me.
Babe, he's had
a hard day, you know?
I know. I know.
And I'm sorry.
I just don't know if it's
appropriate for someone,
particularly a cishet male,
to ascribe negative implications
to other people's sexuality.
To be clear, I'm 100%
just talking about rice kings,
okay? I'm not--
I know you think
you're being funny or whatever,
but there's a long history
of pejorative slang
used to demean
the sexuality of "the other."
Meredith's dad is white, so--
But that's beside the point.
How is that beside the point?
You don't wanna have
to think about your white dad
and your Asian mom
getting it on.
His fetish--
I'm very close
to throwing this in your face.
What the fuck?
MEREDITH: I'm sorry.
For a second there,
I thought
she was gonna kick me
in the pussy.
Just because
I laugh at something
doesn't mean I endorse it.
I hate to say it,
but you are kind of rigid--
MEREDITH: So it's my problem?
I did not say that.
He can rant and spew
all that toxic bullshit
and I am too rigid?
Hey! Did you fuck her
in my bed?
Oh, my God,
Ben, are you crazy?
Did you take
the shitty photos first
and then fuck her
in my bed?
Or did you fuck her in my bed
and then take
those shitty photos?
He doesn't understand.
Oh, God. I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have assumed.
But you did.
I did.
I did. There's no excuse.
What is this? You come
all the way here to spy on me?
Are you that much of an asshole?
Yeah, I am that much
of an asshole.
You're not an asshole.
I understand that this is an
awkward situation for all of us.
We're not meeting
under the best of terms now.
Yeah, I prefer
a more formal introduction
to the guy
who's fucking my girlfriend.
Okay, let's just take a breath.
Look, Ben--
Don't fucking touch me!
Oh, really?
You're gonna do Tai Chi on me?
Look, I'm sorry.
That's just instinct.
It's just a reflex.
It's decades of training,
and I'm sorry.
A martial arts guy?
Really, Miko?
Okay, just stop it, Ben.
Just stop!
You know what? You wanna go?
Let's go.
I'm sure you're dying to do your
version of that Tarantino movie.
That scene, you know,
where Brad Pitt
kicks Bruce Lee's ass.
Oh, my God.
I'm sure that's
your wet dream, isn't it?
No. I mean, overall, yes,
I thought it was a great film.
But I despise the idea
of aggrandizing
a fictional
white protagonist
by denigrating
a real Asian American icon.
Yes, I understand
there are some aspects of it
that were based on true--
Can you shut the fuck up?
Ben, look, man, I understand--
I said, don't!
Oh, here he goes.
I did it again. I did it again.
I get the feeling that I'm not
making anything better here.
So I'm gonna step away.
Why don't you go up to my place,
have a drink, kitchen's yours.
Call me if you need anything.
Okay, I'm gonna call you.
Oh, that's good Japanese.
You're on your way.
Oh, shut up.
So this is his place.
I see that he really likes
his Oriental accessories.
So you never even had
your own place out here.
Does he make you pay rent,
or do you just walk on his back?
Come on, Ben.
What are you doing here?
You basically came out here
to be with him, right?
Okay, look.
I owe you an apology, but--
No, no, no. How does one cross
paths with a Leon Alexander?
He was visiting a friend.
Excuse me?
He was visiting someone
who had a film in the festival.
We met for coffee a few times
while he was in town,
but it was nothing.
Can you stop
I saw the photos.
I think I can recognize
our own fucking bed!
We took a few photos,
but that's it.
We agreed to wait until
I'd resolved things with you.
So are you still waiting?
Because I don't feel resolved,
do you?
Holy shit. Poor Leon.
The blue balls on that guy.
Ben, we were taking some time
off. You knew this.
I just didn't realize
taking some time off
meant fucking other people!
You sure about that?
What are you talking about?
My friend Koji
saw you holding hands
with someone
at the flea market.
She sounded like your type too.
Stop trying to turn this
around on me.
All right, look, Ben,
it's fine.
I think it's obvious
that this has been
such a good change
for both of us.
We went about it
in a stupid way,
but somehow it all worked out
for the best.
But of all people...
Miko, a white guy
is one thing, but he--
He is so clearly
an Asian fetishist.
Do you realize how insulting
that is to me, Ben?
That the only reason someone
could possibly
be attracted to me
is because of some objectifying
I didn't say
that was the only reason.
That says a lot more about you
than it does about me.
I'm criticizing him, not you.
Can you just not twist my words?
I know that you think
you're in this position
to always be judging people,
but you know what?
You don't know
anything about him.
And if it really matters to you,
Ben, he's not white.
What? We're talking about
the same guy?
He's Jewish
and Indigenous American.
Oh, wow.
That-- That is hilarious.
Did he put that
on his college application?
I think you should go now.
How's the internship,
by the way?
It's great.
Sticking with your story.
That's nice.
Ben, wait.
I should've been more direct
with you a long time ago, and...
And I apologize
for not doing that.
But even at my most frustrated,
I felt a lot of pity for you.
And I realized that
that's how you kept me trapped.
Stop trying to play
the victim now, Miko.
It's fucking embarrassing.
You wanna know
what's embarrassing, Ben?
Trying to hold on to something
because you are pathologically
afraid of change.
That's what you do, Ben.
And it felt
like fucking death to me.
So that's my big crime, huh?
I don't like to give up?
Oh, what a monster I am.
No, I also think you have
problems with anger, depression,
your weird self-hatred issues,
and just the relentless
negativity, Ben!
You could benefit
from a little self-hatred.
Your resistance to grow,
to change,
the way you just give up
on any sort of career,
it's hostile!
It's all me doing this to you?
'Cause you're not at all
or entitled or deceptive.
Listen to me.
You never did anything
to make me wanna stay.
You never even asked me
not to go.
You just said nothing.
And then you resent me for it.
Are you done?
Are you done fucking
God, because if you are,
maybe we could actually
have a conversa--
Nothing. I just...
I had the best thought.
I never have to listen
to this shit again.
Wait, wait, Miko. Miko, Miko.
Wait, wait.
I need you to go.
Wait. Okay?
We just-- We do this.
We get caught up in the moment,
all right?
Can we just take a breather?
No, Ben. You need to go now.
Don't do this to me.
...because everything
is about him!
...he has opinions.
I don't care
about his stupid opinions.
I'm talking about
what he's doing to us.
Just ignore him.
He's going through a rough time.
And he wants to blow us up,
so you'll go back home with him.
Are you serious?
Meredith's right.
She's right.
So I'm gonna do
the most helpful thing
I can think of.
What are you doing?
Changing my flight.
I'm gonna go home.
Ben, no. What?
I don't want
you to misunderstand--
No, there's no
Meredith, I'm sorry you had
to meet me at this point
in my life.
I mean, I'm sure
you would've hated me anyways.
No, you definitely would've.
It's true.
You happened to catch me
at my absolute...
I think it's pronounced "nadir."
Well, it's, um...
Sure. Yeah.
Yeah. No. Sorry.
Did you see her?
What's with
all the fucking balloons?
WOMAN: Speech.
MAN: Speech it up!
Speech! Speech! Speech!
What? Okay, okay, okay.
Okay. Thank you for being here.
I don't know if getting another
year older
is really something
to celebrate at this point,
but I will still allow you
to buy me drinks.
So last month,
I got dragged to a party
I didn't really want to go to.
And I got introduced to Alice,
friend of a friend
from California.
Even though I didn't really
wanna be introduced to anyone,
least of all someone
from California.
Now, I'm gonna say something
I don't say very often.
I was wrong.
I was wrong about the party.
I was wrong
about getting introduced.
And as most of you know,
I've since fallen
head over heels for her.
Not true.
You don't wear heels.
No, but listen,
she's just told me
that's she's moving here,
and that's honestly the best
present I could imagine.
Your loss, California.
So keep buying me drinks,
but buy Alice a drink too
and welcome her
to her new home.
Hey. Where you going?
I'm gonna go back to the
apartment and get packed up.
I'm not moving just for her,
you know.
Whatever happens, I'll still be
in the best city in the world.
Okay. I mean, I disagree.
Of course you do.
Look, I'm glad
you're giving it a shot.
I'll be back next month,
you know, to get my stuff.
Start planning now.
We can get a U-Haul
and road trip...
I don't think
I'm gonna move 3000 miles
for someone I'm not
having intercourse with.
Speaking of people you're not
having intercourse with...
is it officially over?
So you're not
gonna do that thing
where you run
through the city
to make one last heartfelt
gesture to win her back?
No. No.
Yeah, I should
get back in there.
See you in the morning.
Is my confidence
In you unwise?
But I think I see it
In your eyes
Oh, I know
I can be so blind
Maybe it'll be worth it
This time
What exactly
Did you have in mind?
Telling me to change
And it'd be fine
But I know
You can be so kind
Maybe I could forgive
This time
How you doing?
Where you going?
Is anyone sitting here?
Hey. I think you're still
up in the air,
so I wanted
to leave you a message.
I got your text,
and I just wanted to say that
I'm proud of you.
I mean, sure.
Things may not have worked out
the way you wanted,
but at least you took
a chance, right?
You put yourself out there.
And now you can go back home
and keep expanding
your horizons, you know?
Maybe try new things like
kindness, warmth,
basic acts of human decency.
Just stop being
such a piece of shit, Ben.
Really, do whatever
makes you happy.
This is the time, Ben.
Fresh starts,
new beginnings, all that shit.
Sure, you have no job,
you're broke,
you have no girlfriend,
and you probably
have to move out
of that gorgeous apartment
her dad owns.
Dude, you're fucked.
Ha, ha.
I'm kidding.
Learn to take a fucking joke,
Change is hard
for assholes like us.
But for what it's worth,
I believe in you.
I'm always here for you
if you need me.
I love you.
Anyway, I gotta go.
Okay, fuck off. Bye.
Turn you over
In my mind
Like you're still
In my hands
Don't touch you anymore
And I smooth over hair
And foothills
Looking like
I'm not looking for you
But I am
Oh, I am
I know those eyes
So sorry can't hide
You don't want me
Did you think
I'd forget how to tell
Twice bounced
And hurdling over you again
A spot in the light
I did not want in
And I tap the glass
But I do not touch
You gorgeous thing
You cost too much
I take back my little words
That played at your heart
Banged on your doors
Playing deaf
Playing smart
How much do you get
How much do you get
You make me wise
You make me tired
You've made the last of me
I have decided I--
I am gone
Just one more thing to pack
Just one more thing
To get past
Just one more fight
In the battle
Of who wants less
I know those eyes
So sorry can't hide
You don't want me
Did you think
I'd forget how to tell
Twice bounced
And hurdling over you again
A spot in the light
I did not want in
And I tap the glass
But I do not touch
You gorgeous thing
You cost too much