The Creatress (2019) Movie Script

- So, Ms. Bellow--
- No relation.
That was my first
question, beat me to it.
Big reading you
have ahead of yourself
-at Book Smart Downtown
later today?
Yeah, that is the sentence.
Well, I don't think it'll be that bad.
Book readings aren't known to end
with the audience
eating the author.
but I do like that visual.
Someone trying to appease
a room full of cannibals
with chick lit.
I mean, I can't say that's
the best category or
the strongest genre to tackle
-that sort of room, but...
- Well, if not chick lit,
what genre do
you consider yourself?
I don't know, I guess
I don't like to be tied down.
Categories are for
agents and bookstores
as a shortcut when your job
is selling books all day long.
You know,
readers alphabeticalize.
We look at books differently.
They influence and
authors end up pigeonholed.
I mean the moral of the story
is the good life is
reserved for the readers.
Explore the store,
have fun, be curious.
Uh huh,
so is irony your favorite?
Well, the madness is,
in today's world,
no one can know anymore.
- Seriously?
- Well, what you say--
It sounds like
you're having a meltdown.
If you let them
think you're crazy,
they're going to
think that I'm crazy.
And if I'm crazy,
I can't help you.
I can't even help me myself
and we both lose.
What the-- What was that about?
Well, that sounds like work.
It's less
work than social media.
I mean, Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, those are work.
But if people scroll
and scroll all day long,
I mean even when they're
in movies that they paid to see
or with people that they love,
it's like get off your phones!
If we had a way to
track how many words
people read on average today,
I bet you it's more than
War and Peace cover to cover
worth of scrolling every year.
Which, you know,
when you think about it,
it's actually really impressive.
You hand someone a
1,000 or a 1,300-page book,
tell them to take a year,
for some reason,
they get scared.
It only works out to about
five pages a day, by the way.
But people read
280 characters at a time.
Well, no,
read one sentence at a time.
So I said to him
post-postmodernism is so over.
Come on, tricks are for kids.
- Can you write something
truthful for God sakes?
Also, and I'm going to have
to use some pictures from you.
I got to give something
to the publisher.
Nobody's writing blank
million dollar checks anymore.
Oh, I'm sorry, do you mind?
No, not at all.
I'm just going to be down there.
Okay, okay.
Carrie here.
No, you listen to me first!
My client said he hates fucking
three of them, his words!
Well, did your
stupid artist even read
what the title of the book is?
No, no, no, no,
he's done this before to me!
When I see him, I'm going
to personally strangle him.
Oh, so I'll
strangle his attorney, too.
Oh, that's a fun one.
Written in high school,
published years later.
Pretty pure stuff.
They went no picture.
And it didn't matter,
still did well.
Better when that happens.
Did you like it?
It's an authentic debut.
We'll see when the
next one shows up here.
They all do.
You make this place
sound like it's a pound.
Well, some do tend to get
adopted quicker than others.
Thank you.
I don't like that cover.
It's all wrong!
Because it appears
as if you're
trying to overcompensate
for the sentences and the book
-deserves better than that.
Hey, listen I usually
only check voicemail twice
a day when taking a dump
on a good day.
If you think I'm an animal,
you're the one still
leaving me voicemail, text.
Hey, you know what?
I think we got a bestseller!
Well, they haven't read it yet
and half of them
haven't even bought it yet, so.
All right, so can you
please be in the moment
and appreciate how
special this all is?
Just try and put
on your happy face.
- Turn the frown upside down.
- Mm-hmm.
And, also, do not talk anyone
out of buying the book.
-I know, I know.
-Thank you, thank you.
Hi, there.
Actually super disappointed
this mic doesn't
have any feedback on it.
Going to have to
break the ice myself now.
So, guess this is what
an AA meeting feels like.
I'm Eryn Bellow.
I've been in
sentence construction
for over a decade now.
I hope this adds something.
-Hey, I really love
what you wrote.
-Oh, thanks.
But do you get some kind of
thrill out of trying to
hurt us with the story?
I'm asking out here because
I figured you wouldn't want me
-to ask in there with everyone.
it's not being done at you.
I guess, I thought we were
just trying to work
on something together.
Eryn, come on, come on!
If you don't like it,
you can walk away, right?
But thank you for coming.
Thank you.
just wanted to tell you,
you were great, great today!
No, no, no, I just,
I thought were you coming.
Oh, no, you know,
I have this
such a boring dinner with
my boss and the three amigos.
You can come, welcome to join.
No, I'm good.
Smart you.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- How you doing?
- Tired, long day.
Yeah, tell me about it.
How'd it go?
- It was good.
- Yeah, what'd you read?
Same old.
Good old Misnomer, the rant
about words
bouncing off their target.
at least when code doesn't work,
I get instant
feedback when the app crashes.
God, that sounds so good.
I get it down and then
I've got to wait ten years
to see if it mattered.
Not if you win a Pulitzer.
name the last five winners.
Anyway, listen.
There's a reason that I
wanted to video chat with you.
Oh, yeah?
Well, look
what I was just eyeing.
Keli Onherback romp
is not Kosher, yowza!
Oh, all right, yeah.
I don't know if,
uh, hey, I don't know
if that's funny or offensive.
Yeah, anyway.
I, seriously,
I want you to say hi to Lacey.
-Now, hear me out. Hear me out.
-What is, what is
she doing there?
-She showed up here.
I told her right away
that I was completely
uncomfortable with it.
-Yeah, yeah, me, too.
-See, the thing is that's why
I was putting this all out
in the open because I don't
want you to think that
I'm hiding anything
because there's
nothing to hide here.
Wait, so why are you
saying all that like that?
Because she showed up.
She wanted to talk.
-Not about that.
About moving, missing us.
About how we made a mistake?
Why didn't you answer
when I called earlier?
Because we were talking.
Right, I want to talk to her.
-Yeah, good.
That's why I wanted
to video chat with you
because that way
you can just go ahead
and say whatever,
say whatever, say whatever
you want to say.
Hi, Eryn.
-You okay?
-Yeah. No, yeah, I'm good.
It's just, it's been rough.
Yeah, are you drinking a beer?
-So, what you just popped by?
I don't think I'm going
to be here when you get back.
Right, well,
I have a meeting tomorrow,
but I should be
back in a day or two.
No, well, with the way
they've been flying you around.
Look, you're moving, Lacey.
No one's dying.
- Yeah, I know. I'm just,
I don't know.
Anyway, I got to head out.
Okay, let me call you back?
Wait, what, why?
Well, what, you want me
to put you on the windowsill,
so you can watch her out?
Fine, call me back.
I'll be down in a minute.
Oh, God.
So just tell him
to go fuck himself.
And then when he realizes
I don't like fucking myself,
I want you to do it for me,
then, you will get Theo back.
Do it!
-This is all day.
All right.
What is this?
Oh, it's a hangover cure.
The best, the best.
Hi, there, the usual.
-I just need a macchiato.
No, no, this is much better.
It's a plant-based straw,
and I'll take the usual, too.
I don't know,
should I be worried?
I mean, is this some
kind of a drinking problem?
Nnn nnn.
-Hi, good morning.
-Yes, hi.
Yes, I'm here with Eryn.
Uh... Yes,
I have you here, Mrs.?
Yes, yes.
Mrs. Yes, right.
Mr. Williams is
telling me that we need to wait
until Ms. Freeman is ready.
Oh, how long
is that going to be?
She's usually 10 minutes behind.
You know what?
That is actually probably
going to be better for us
'cause I, it's like a
literal ball and chain.
Shame, shame!
- Are you going to be
okay for this meeting?
Please don't yell at me.
Hey, Carrie, we're ready.
Hi, Eryn, I'm Gregg.
So, Eryn,
congratulations on your novel.
I love where it took me.
Such a departure
from your debut.
And I want to thank
you both for coming here
and making time for us
because I know that
you're at the end of your trip.
And, a little birdie
told me that you had been
taking other
production meetings thus far,
so I know that you
have choices, options.
I also heard
something about a series?
Yes, well,
that's why we're interested
in hearing what
you all have to say
because I'm interested
in getting on with lunch.
Lunch? Oh, well,
who are you lunching with?
With Eryn.
-Probably not eating.
-86 it.
We're thinking of
Cruise for the lead.
But the antagonist is 25.
I happen to know Tom Cruise
very well and I think if
he wants to do it,
-we can age him down.
-Hmm, so it wouldn't be
the character that changes.
It would be the actor.
Having him play 25 again
would be a great press move
and I think it would
up the value of the project
to twofold if not more.
Mmm hmm, mmm hmm.
Wait, who's that?
It's me!
Hey! Down, sit down!
You wanted me to give
her the risky business, right?
-Did we offend her?
-No, no, no.
She's just a
little under the weather.
But I'm sure that
she'll feel much better
if you can get your
offer into the mid-sixes.
So, I'll be off.
Good day.
-Fire that little brat!
-You're fired.
This is so good.
-How do you know?
-How do I know?
That bottle cost a hundred
bucks, that's how I know.
Mmm, oh!
Now, they told me that you
opted out for tomorrow's meeting
because you want to
take the red-eye home?
Yeah, I feel like you
don't need my help picking
who's going to
fuck it up the least.
Well, you got that right.
I got stuff I
got to get home to.
Come on now, you know, I don't
want to be a pain in the ass,
but there is a
deadline on the horizon
-and I know I
don't need to remind you.
-Yeah, no, I know, I know.
I just, I've got some
ideas that I'm noodling.
Oh, good, good!
-Good, good, good, what?
I'm still working on them,
so I don't want to--
-Thank you.
-Thank you.
You can tell me,
friend to friend.
so I'm thinking it's a sci-fi
set in the '90s with rap music.
- Oh, no.
- What?
-No, no, no.
-No, why?
No, because
historical sci-fi doesn't work
unless you
happen to be steampunk.
Wait, so we
call this gangster-steam.
Nobody reads steampunk
except for the few
people that read steampunk.
No, it's not okay.
The publisher offered you
mid-six figures advance.
That tells you that
they want a lot of people
to read your books,
not just those people.
What do you mean those people?
What do you mean,
what do you mean?
You know what I mean.
It's such a small demographic.
It's a niche demographic.
-That's a thing!
-Niche, shmiche.
Okay, it's a road trip story.
Two best friends
are going to Argentina,
except they can't
go to the next country
until they have sex with someone
in the country that they're in.
It's Country Country, Bang Bang!
Oh, I don't know.
Come up with something else.
That doesn't
singe me like that dress.
Sibling rivalry drama,
brother and sister.
They're both in
love with the same girl.
Believe it or not, I heard
a very similar pitch last week.
-Same snatch, different day.
How about this?
A coalition of religious leaders
discovers the cure to cancer
which reinstores
value in modern faith
only to reveal the
science behind the coalition.
I got Tiger Portal to move up,
so you should stay
'til tomorrow.
- What, you didn't like those guys today?
-We could get more.
Well, what about a remake?
That goes fast and then
you won't get writer's block.
Yeah, especially
if I'm plagiarizing.
No, we wouldn't do it like that.
I just want
something that's quick.
Something honest,
something truthful.
Well, I need to have something
that I feel like
is worth the paper.
It's not being printed.
-It's on digital.
-Oh, my God!
It's like an
old-fashioned detective story,
but the detective is an amnesiac
and the criminal has
a photographic memory.
You know,
there is a Swedish fairy tale
that I've always loved,
The Prince Without a Shadow.
We want something
that people actually know.
People know fairy tales.
Not Swedish ones, honey,
not even the Swedes.
The poster had
nothing to do with the story.
Well, at least they
knew chartreuse was green.
The Salem witch trials,
but set in modern day.
Why don't you do a memoir?
-That's a good idea.
-What, no!
'Cause then you could
write about what you know.
I'm not even 30, that's stupid.
And they want to
sell it in the US.
Nobody here is
going to want a fairy tale
that doesn't
have a happy ending.
You can thank Disney for that.
What about a bunch
of girls, all tweens--
No, I hate it.
I haven't even heard it
and I hate it.
Well, that's all I had.
I thought you'd come up with the rest.
-A remake is a chance
to set the record straight.
-Because it's not what they
-Well, what do they want?
-They want something
that they already like.
-Oh, my...
-You don't want to wait until
somebody salacious comes along
and writes his
own version of it.
And you know that they will, and
they always make money at it.
There's used bookstores just
filled with whole sections
of that crap.
-Memoir, it's terrifying
no matter who writes it.
-Thank you.
-Here's your macchiato.
-It's probably better
it's not me.
I'm always struck
by that responsibility
that the writer has
because they have such power
and, as we know,
with great power
- comes great responsibility.
- Yes, indeed.
You have the power
to determine the fates
of everyone in this world
that you've created.
It is the power that we
all lack in our own universe,
but the writer completely
controls in his universe.
Ladies and
gentlemen, we are preparing
the cabin for landing.
Please place your
seats and tray tables
in the upright position and
we'll be on the ground shortly.
Thank you for flying
with us and have a nice day.
Oh, you look so good.
Thank you, so do you.
Wow, it's been a while.
Thank you.
It certainly feels like it.
-Are they going to adapt it?
I don't know, I guess
I'd prefer that they didn't.
Oh, come on, what about the
fatty check that'll pay off the
new house before escrow closes?
Yeah, I'm not sure I'm
going to go through with that.
I thought you said your bungalow
wasn't big enough
for the two of you?
Are you guys breaking up?
Did you guys sleep
together the other night?
No, I just wanted to
say goodbye in person.
I didn't know I'm not allowed
over unless you're home now.
-It's not that.
-You know what?
Maybe you were right.
Sleeping together was a mistake.
Yeah, I just thought
maybe they'll get it out of
their system while I'm around.
And now I'm moving.
So what?
So you won't have to worry.
Okay, ow, no!
Okay, okay.
Damn it!
Okay, okay.
Oh, Jesus.
So you're seriously
you're not going to believe me?
Eryn, we didn't do anything.
I just need you to help me
pack my stuff in the morning.
I mean, could you at
least go sleep on the bed?
No, I can't.
Well, now you don't
have to get rid of this place.
I always gonna miss it.
I don't know how you
could be so illogical!
Well, that's why you
write code and I write prose.
I hope that in time you realize
I was telling you the truth.
The way you remember it
or the way it actually happened?
straighten the back leg.
Very slowly press
down to the left leg.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Come on, come on,
come on, come on, come on.
No, no, no, no, no.
No, no.
Inhale with the right leg
parallel to the Earth.
Then you go through the right
foot through the palms. Stay--
-You're kidding me.
-I'm hardly a kidder.
I'm earnest.
That's probably
not the right word.
Um, fine,
I will take one of these.
We're closed.
Ring it up in the morning.
-That bag is $24.
Never hire that asshole actor.
Whoop. Okay.
Carry on.
Get back.
Print the pages,
print the pages.
Where's the rest?
Oh, God.
I have Eryn on two.
She can't wait to talk to you.
I'll go get your Xanax.
There's nine pages.
-That's it?
I just wanted you to get an idea
of what track I was on.
-So, there's no more?
-Okay, good.
-Just good?
No, the pages suck, honey.
Well, I thought you
wanted me to write a memoir?
It's so depressing.
Thank you.
I mean,
it's a little bit embellished.
Look, you can't
purposely set out
to write a fake memoir.
Well, at least I'm
being upfront about it.
It's like I dare you
to find the truth in it.
Okay, you know what,
forget the memoir.
I'll get a biographer.
You'll have full approval,
-and profit participation.
Sweetie, you got
to get used to the idea
that you're a public figure.
-You're a brand,
people know you.
-Are you telling me
the only thing you don't
want me to write about is me?
Yes. No fake memoirs.
No Nordic fairy tales.
No gangster-punk.
Something else, fast!
The publishers
are waiting for pages.
And if they don't get them soon,
they're going to sit their asses
down and write you a letter
in the language that
they love most, legalese.
Think about it. Bye.
welcome to the autumnal
edition of BookWorm.
I'm your host, Will Foresight.
I'll be sharing
these five or so megabytes
with the critic for
Califoreigner Monthly,
Theo Mencken.
-Theo, welcome.
- Thanks for--
It's open.
Oh, in paperback.
Your very own.
- Oh.
- Hi, Nana.
Oh, I still like this one best.
Doesn't give you a clue
what's on the inside,
which makes me curious.
That's why I love you.
We'll be
discussing a number of topics
today including
readership going up,
the return of long form.
But first,
something we were discussing
before we started recording
and I said, Theo, hold on.
This is good stuff.
Save it for the podcast.
Are you seeing anyone?
-You should be.
-Well, so should you.
-I am.
And if you were around more,
you'd know that.
It's much better for me
to talk about my
great grandkids than it is
to listen to somebody
else talk about their uncle.
You need to visit more.
I have, like, zero time.
You make of time what you want.
And if you don't
make time, young lady,
I'm going to tell
this journalist, or whoever,
that you were
selling drugs in high school.
Don't you dare.
Don't you dare.
So, a few minutes ago,
you were espousing
on a new theory on
young adult readers?
Yes. Who are they,
these young adults?
It's code for easy.
Adults get to feel young again
and the young get a
taste of the sourness
that awaits them as adults.
It's easy,
moves fast, and no big words.
Well, I got news for you,
pizza can be great,
- but they don't award Michelin stars to pizzerias.
- -No.
Simply because it will
never be the greatest
meal in the world.
And what about Eryn Bellow?
Well, who gives a shit?
Wait, why?
Well, she's inauthentic.
She's trying to
decode and decipher our world
from the position of
a quarter-life crisis.
That her publishers
sell her on her last name
where like she's in
the category of O'Conner,
or a little Rand.
Well, pardon me,
but I'm not buying.
she's about as erudite
as my five-year-old
showing off her new dive,
but unlike my child,
she doesn't belly flop.
She misses the goddamn pool.
And the concrete is hard
especially from those heights.
What are you looking at me
like that for? What, what--
-That doesn't seem fair.
-What's the worst that's going
to happen to her, a concussion?
She'll live, hopefully
with enough amnesia
to forget writing.
It's a bit early,
don't you think?
Well, hello to you, too.
It's earlier here.
I'm allowed to be cranky.
Are you okay?
Yeah, no,
there's a really nice soft bush
outside the window
of my one-story balcony.
I don't own any rope,
and I don't cook enough
to keep my knives sharp, so--
All right, listen, you got to go
-to Los Angeles right away.
-Because I booked you
on Perspective.
Because I want you
to shut those critics up
and I want you
to set it straight
and tell everybody your story.
Now, you'll be
flying on my expense account.
While you're at it,
my husband never shuts up
about this
Korean-Persian restaurant.
I said it's Asian fusion.
It's not the
of course,
but I'm dying to have you try--
Them chicks is just mad
You bitches washed up
Can you help set the table?
Dinner's ready.
Of course.
You should go.
Trips always shake things up.
Good for Ulysses.
People, five minutes.
You can do me up.
Keep going,
don't be scared of me.
It's Vivian Mosswood.
Oh, she's my
favorite designer, British.
Oh, on set.
Hey, Jessica.
You look amazing.
Oh, it's so good to see you.
Good to see you, too.
-You know, I loved Misnomer.
Incredible length. How did you
get all that in there?
Thank you so much.
That means the world
to be coming from you.
I tore through Trophy Life.
I mean, I finished it in the
middle of the night.
Caffeine did not even
cross my mind once.
Oh, my God. The faster you turn
them, the happier they are.
You know, I just get afraid
for when the page scrolling
metrics start shoving up,
-tracking how fast
people scroll.
They'll throw
that back in our faces.
So-and-so gets them to read
them at 400 words per minute.
Yeah, so no big words.
And just a list of actions.
I mean, I, for one, would love
it if you did some sort of,
like, cool,
mass market paperback.
I do love it when a book
can fit into my back pocket.
Right, I love that.
So good to see you.
So good to see you, too.
Thank you so much
for coming on the show.
We never thought
we could get you on.
Pleasure to meet you in person.
Put a face to the page proofs.
Oh, I never realize you
you covered that genre.
I've been doing
literary for years.
All right,
shall we all be seated, yes?
What famous singer is on...
She was so pleasant, pleasant.
Please hurry,
please, please hurry.
And three, two, one.
Good evening and welcome
to The Writer Perspective.
I'm your host, Gwen Ginsberg.
-I can't keep--
-Excuse me, Carrie,
clients are on.
All right.
Can you please do something?
Joining me on the stage,
Jessica Morrison.
Most famous for Writes A Wrong,
but most recently, Trophy Life.
And then--
And author and screenwriter
of Everyone Loves
Buffoons, Theo Mencken.
And of course,
we are very lucky and grateful
to have her, a very rare
public appearance, Eryn Bellow
who is going to
get my first question.
Why Chartreuse?
Still can't hear them.
Oops, shh.
Well, it is a pale
green French liqueur
made from 150 herbs.
It's like wheatgrass alcohol.
Well, not
what is it scientifically,
but it's been over a year and
no one can agree on the title.
- It's up to the reader.
- Oh.
-Like it's the first....
Oh, look at her!
Oh, isn't she beautiful!
Oh, oh, and look at those legs,
she looks terrific.
-She looks good, right?
-She does.
-No, she looks--
That's my stylist.
I mean, when I remember endings,
I usually don't
remember the rest of the novel.
And to me a novel is a journey,
it's not a result.
And so if a book
doesn't end, but fades out,
I don't know, it makes the stuff
in the middle more important.
-So far so good.
-Yeah, look how
-composed she is.
So, Ms. Queen of
Suspense and Book Club Fiction.
-Hate that.
-What, book clubs?
No, sorry, I love that people
are reading it, it's just
when it's categorized like that,
I mean, you don't need
a support group to read it.
You just read it.
Yeah, I mean,
it's not like it even paints it
in a certain light.
It's like more like--
-Like a shadow?
And misconceptions,
they stick on books,
color our judgment.
This is the future
of picture watching?
Danielle Steele
and Jackie Collins?
And Ann Welty.
The most graphic of them all.
She's just punchy.
She has my heart.
Theo, funny feeling,
she's not yours.
Oh, no.
I can appreciate Welty.
She ogles the rich
and famous like Collins,
but with more artistic punch.
All are straightforward.
Welty offers more.
She's more spirituelle.
Are you
trying to be nice?
Big ideas don't
come from big words.
Well, while you're
off playing word chess,
-you lose your audience.
-What audience?
Well, maybe if Ann Welty
lived a little off the page,
to me she's too much
wonderment of the banal.
But what about John Updike?
Couldn't the same be said
of him? You love him.
Of course. He was risqu.
-Perhaps you could
talk about adaptation.
These ladies are going down
that road for the first time.
It's good for business,
but don't bother
writing the script.
Leave that to the wolves.
Books are different
than movies and both
are different than real life.
Listen, a bit on words.
I know populism
is in these days,
appeal to the ruralites,
but words are important.
They must be handled with care.
Ideas are viruses
that can infect us all.
So, when they are
handled recklessly,
and gain an audience,
as both these young ladies
have been so lucky
to have gained,
words really mean something.
They are paid for their words.
They should use them well
as they build sentences.
And the sentences
reach up to form the rafters
so meaning can
harbor safely in its clasp.
This shelter is
the church of readers.
Did you adapt that
from here is the church,
here is the steeple?
Open the doors
then see all the people?
You know,
bad reviews can ruin careers.
-Are you threatening us,
Mr. Mencken?
-Just you, Mrs. Bellow.
-Oh, no.
-Oh, God. God, help me. Maybe
I shouldn't have done this.
So, I think that things
don't have to be
incomprehensible to be great?
No, it doesn't,
but it should at least
aspire for something.
Irving doesn't write until
he knows the last sentence.
Well, that's great, for him.
But, we're all different souls
and assuming
that's where we write from,
it ought to be different.
And distilling 10,000 hours
into a couple hundred pages.
I mean, you can't hide from
yourself when you're alone
-writing for months and months.
-Or years.
Yeah, and then, a reader
takes it down in a couple weeks.
Or a day.
So the publishers hope.
Better to have that bar lower,
and move on so as not to reveal
there is nothing to your
superficial marriageableness.
You say the word soul,
yet your sentences go nowhere
because they
aspire for so little.
And yes, I'm calling you out.
I heart colloquialisms.
Yeah, well,
it's easy to throw stones.
Not easy to crack that glass.
Now that's just mean.
That's just mean.
Well, why don't you show us how?
Right now,
with all the cameras rolling?
And on that note,
we'll be right back.
Hide the razor blades,
I'm going to kill myself.
His clean collar contrasted
his light amber scruff,
spotless shoes, worn belt holes
showing a recent attention
to fitness, well-tied tie,
perfectly upturned cuff.
All in all,
a well-put together man.
Excuse me.
Are you good at algebra?
Think you could
replace my X without asking Y?
I'm sorry, that sounded
so much better when I read it.
Hi, I'm Brad.
Nice to meet you.
I don't have a
pickup as cheesy as that.
Excuse me.
Nice try.
Get back in line.
...with me, now.
If this is what
she gives up for coffee,
imagine what she gives up
to get into a club.
tingle bounced off the inside
of her fingertips.
Inbound signals conflict
with outbound,
shaking her hands,
forcing her to hold them
steady with her legs.
Immediately, the electric
moment began to dissipate.
So she spreads her legs,
digs her claws in,
grabbing ahold
to savor the moment.
For love at first sight
is a rare, endangered energy.
So, is this your coffee shop?
You mean, do I come here often?
Yes, I'm afraid so.
And we're past the icebreaker.
I realize how that sounded.
I just so badly
wanted to say the right thing,
and in the process of throwing
out all the wrong things,
you know,
don't say that, not that one,
definitely not that,
I guess that one
sort of got overlooked.
I'm sorry.
Not sorry.
Do you think love at
first sight is endangered?
-This is me.
-Where are you parked?
-Um, oh, I walked.
-Oh, cool.
-I'm looking forward
to dinner tonight.
Sorry, I'm keeping you.
Oh, big day, already.
The garishly
bejeweled dress reeked of
a woman
divorced of money trouble.
She felt set free
beneath the weight,
and, at least for now,
stood tall,
allowing her
financial freedom to shine.
Is there something in
particular I can help you find?
How did you know to ask me that?
It's my job.
You know I do
have a business line.
Um, I'm just
taking a quick break
but I wanted to
call and tell you
-that I am working on something.
-Oh, great.
Don't worry.
It's something everyone knows.
I'm looking for
the truth in tropes.
I'm sure the publisher
will be thrilled!
definition of his hard abs
was as angular as the corners
on his cherry red super car.
He shyly explained how
it was cobbled together
for three generations
by a family of mechanics
in the Italian Alps.
He questions the aerodynamics
while grabbing ahold
of the stick and shifting gears,
casually wondering
how much sex
the hood could withstand.
Do you live alone?
I do.
So, I'm just realizing this now,
and it's kind of amazing, but
it never came up this morning.
What do you do for a living?
I am in construction.
I'm an architect, journeywoman.
-Oh, wow.
-I don't know about wow.
The ferocity
of their fight allowed all the
oldies but goodies to seep out
in their nastiest forms.
Lack of communication was,
"you don't fucking talk to me
about shit anymore."
Turning the kids into
comrades against the other
came out as,
"your son is following
in your asshole footsteps!"
And the familiar, good
old taking the other for granted
as "I'm just here to cook
and drive the kids to school,
and screw,
and we barely do that!"
And this, of course,
presented the solution
which was to do
what they did best.
Two thieves steal a calendar.
They each get six months.
So, how did your
last relationship end?
To be honest,
it's still not over yet.
What does that mean?
this is all a bit sudden.
Well, I'll say.
But what does that mean?
I've been dating someone,
more off than on.
Lately, it's been pretty okay.
-I'm not one to just walk
away from what happened today.
-Because you're a cheater.
-I wouldn't call what
we did today cheating.
-Well, you kissed me!
You kissed me back,
which is a lot different
than sleeping together.
Oh, there's no sleeping
when I sleep with someone.
Are you even listening to me?
I'm trying.
Freaking ice cold!
-Is everything all right?
Let me just see if I can bring
this one back from the brink.
Sir, are you guys done?
No, no.
Yeah, it's just not working out.
Pardon me, sorry.
Yes, mmm hmm.
Oh, oh!
Mmm, mmm, mmm.
I don't understand these,
but this one
looks more like you.
But why isn't it red?
The cover.
Wait, what color
is chartreuse anyway?
Hey, I didn't
actually realize the time.
I got to get going to work.
Oh, wait.
You want to get coffee?
I'll just have
to drive without it.
Risky, I know,
but it's better than being late.
See you soon?
The stalker
paced behind, step for step,
bonded in their
precise distance,
not far, not close.
She, the prey, tests their bond,
slow steps then quick.
The stalker kept
in step, holding true
to their conflicted connection.
She panics.
Her panic brings him pleasure.
He forbids her escape.
This was him pawing at
his prey, toying, toying,
fantasizing about
her flailing realization
that she was
powerless here, in public.
All right.
Hey, careful with that ball.
All right, bye. Okay. Bye, guys.
-I got this part.
And you want to make it faster.
Yeah, all right.
-You get it? Now then. Go, go.
-All right.
What's this all about?
You got nothin' on me.
How can you be so sure?
Who are you?
don't come another step closer.
I have a--
Mmm. Stop!
Oh, babe,
I don't need a rape fantasy
on top of a stalker fantasy.
How'd you know it was me?
Why would anyone investigate me?
Oh, Mr. Innocent, huh?
I'm not an angel.
He had a condom in
his wallet/arm band thing.
It all happened so quick.
So meanwhile were
you getting good stuff?
So, go, have fun, be safe
and bring me pages, would you?
- Yeah, so all of sudden
this feels so real.
I can't do this.
Do what?
I am in a relationship.
So, both of us?
It's kind of a relief, in a way.
I mean, hey, it's
messed up and, I'll be honest,
and I hope you
take this the right way,
I didn't feel bad,
like remorseful, even,
but we're never meant
to be together, me and her.
So, do you not
feel the same way?
It's with my cousin.
Your cousin?
My cousin's brother.
So, your cousin?
Yeah, no, no. I don't know.
-What, is it the half-brother?
-Who, what?
To the cousin that you're
in this relationship with.
Isn't that what
we're talking about here?
So, you're not bothered by this?
You're just trying to
figure it out? Like family tree?
Is this incest fetish?
Wow, you are something else.
Oh, my God.
I can't. I'm sorry.
Your jacket!
You're going to catch a cold!
So what are you saying?
You broke up with him?
I was crawling into bed with
someone who was willing to
entertain an incest fetish.
Do you have no
concern for my well-being?
Oh, sweetie, guys are into
much weirder stuff than that.
I just read about a micro
trend that they're doing it
with dolphins,
believe it or not.
You are no help.
Your problem is you need to have
a lot more experience with guys.
Why don't you go on the Tinder
or, uh, that new one,
or you poke me and...
-I'll poke you.
So, um, where did you,
where did you grow up?
What are you doing?
Oh, my God, are you...
I'm sorry.
-It's hard for me.
Oh, um...
I can't, it's just...
-You're a writer?
-I mean, everyone's
a writer, technically.
I guess, I mean...
I text a lot.
-I mean, it's not
entirely the same thing.
-No not.
Tell me about you.
What do you do?
Um, you know
I like to think of myself
as more than just an accountant.
I live a very full life
on the weekends.
Things beyond the numbers,
things beyond numbers.
Oh, wow. It's amazing.
Um, would you like
to go out again sometime?
Oh, my goodness. Look at you.
You, yes,
I would love to, actually.
Gimme your number.
All right, there you go.
I really always
wanted to try this, for real.
Oh, yeah, but cash is dirty.
Ones are the worst.
Touched the most hands.
You really thought of that?
Yeah, one second.
-Hi. Is this your dog?
-Thank you so much.
Yeah, wait, wait I got a treat.
I got a treat, I got a treat.
Oh, thank you so much.
-Look, I don't know how
I can repay you.
-You're welcome.
But can I take you out?
Do you want to maybe come in?
I would love a glass of water.
That's a heavy dog.
Cool. And maybe we could
like have sex or something?
-Maybe some--
-How about a glass of water?
Yeah. Come on.
I mean, it was great day.
Buckles, thank you, awesome.
-You are so welcome.
-Yeah, fantastic.
How's that avocado?
Um, it's good,
I love it.
-That's good.
Those are good fats.
-Thank you, yeah.
I like guacamole, so.
-Oh, yeah, oh, yeah.
I'm big on the guac.
-Had a good workout today.
Big WAD.
Big what?
-Big WAD?
Workout of the day.
-Oh, workout of the day?
I don't think
I've heard that before.
Yeah, and hit some PRs.
What's that?
Personal records.
-And PBs, PBs.
-PBs? I get it now.
I get that.
-Personal best.
-Personal best?
Yeah, my personal best.
I've always against myself,
against myself, like--
I like that you
take care of yourself. That's--
Hey, without your health,
you don't have anything.
-So, yeah.
Health, my dog
and, you know, a lady.
Good night.
I can't thank you enough.
Is this the part where I
say you can thank me in bed?
I mean, yeah,
uh, I won't turn you down.
But that's something that
could wait till the second date
if you want.
Thanks for saving Buckles.
It's just a weird name.
I'm sorry.
Listen on second thought,
do you want to just--
Good night, Seth.
Everyone, turn 'em over.
All right.
And down the rows, to the left.
I'll take those.
Thank you.
Good. You guys are
good to go to lunch.
- Have a good day, guys.
- Good, bye, bye.
All right, don't forget
to do your homework, all right?
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit.
-Oh, hey, what's up?
-Good to see you.
-You, too. You look great.
Do you mind if I sit here?
Um, yeah, sure. No problem.
Want to
keep my back to the door,
so I could just focus on you.
Ah, I got shots for us.
-So, did you work out today?
-Ooh ah. Just got it in.
I'm still buzzing.
-Every workout,
-making through.
-Yeah, nice.
-Yeah, I hit a major PR today.
-Personal record.
-Yeah, rowing.
-You told me that.
2000 miles
in under four minutes.
-I mean, like, I'm bulging.
-Eryn] Yeah.
Did you know that
when you're working out
you're actually tearing muscle
fibers like a zipper?
You have the myosin and the
actin, so like you're
tearing them apart
-and then you rebuild them.
-So, that is science.
I guess you're
sort of a scientist.
Yeah, you know,
by proxy, I think so.
What does your
diet say about shots?
-Going into a cheat day,
so I say, bring it on.
could we get two more each.
For a little girl,
you can really drink.
-So, what else do you do
when you're not working--
-Uh, high intensity
interval training. Cardio.
-Yeah. I'm really looking
to get ripped right now,
so that keeps your metabolism
up, gets you shredded.
-Thank you.
-Thank you.
So basically,
my metabolism,
off the chain right now.
I'm burning calories
when I'm out of the gym.
Caloric burn.
So, do you
ever do yoga or--
Yeah, I think you, as
much as you build up the muscle,
-you got to stretch it.
-What the hell is this?
-Oh, who the hell are you?
-Who the hell are you?
How about that last shot?
Oh, my gosh. Gains.
Look, I know we got
into some weird stuff,
but this is batshit crazy.
Oh, eh, don't talk
to the lady like that.
Dude, I bet you
don't even have a clue.
Did she tell you what
she did with her cousin?
what'd she do with her cousin?
Okay, I think it's time to go
you and your
little incest story.
I mean, she clearly moved on
and I think you should leave.
Yeah, have fun with this guy.
Oh, oh, excuse me,
oh, is this for me?
Thank you so much.
Buckles, sit, sit.
Hey, you, come here. Hey.
I brought you a hangover cure
and a protein shake,
in case you've already
worked out which knowing you...
I'll make sure not to
venture too far from the toilet.
I also wanted to apologize.
Don't worry about it.
Listen, it's fine.
All's well that
doesn't end in death.
I like that.
I got to get ready for the gym,
unless you want to, uh?
No, Seth.
Buckles, come on. Let's go.
Starting here. This one,
this one, this one, this one.
-Who is next one, two,
eight, eight.
-Oh, my God, are you okay?
Hey, what?
What are you doing here?
No, I just, I just wanted
to make sure you were okay.
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.
-Hey, hey, go to class.
I told the kids
I had eye surgery.
Third grade and bar brawls
don't go together.
Okay, I also,
I wanted to confess.
Yeah, I don't read that crap.
I wanted to say that I'm sorry.
Sorry about what?
You deserve better
than me and my gimmicks, Brad.
You should leave.
Oh, just a phase?
You can call it that.
And, phases come and go,
Sometimes with the season, huh?
Yet, Nina was relieved.
She was robbed of nothing.
Instead, he had set her free.
It was never going
to be a clean break.
At least, the licking
flames looked beautiful
as the curtains fell
just prior to her third act.
End there,
before it really gets sad.
Um, how much of it
is really true?
- None of it. It's a book.
But I did my research.
- You did a great job.
Thank you very much.
You did a great job.
And now do you think
this will be a new category?
If it
sells more books, sure.
Everyone's so busy
constructing universes.
I'm dabbling in the multiverse.
There you go then.
-See, that's right.
-It's very cool.
Uh, any advice for
an aspiring writer, Theo?
Well, there can be a living
in it if you care more about
it than any other living writer
and just as much as
all those who came before.
Did you work
with Eryn Bellow on it?
Uh, you know,
if you can't read the cover,
you probably
shouldn't get the book.
Then why didn't she
just write her own memoir?
Because then
it'd have to be true.
Don't forget to
tell your friends.
Spoiler alert,
the line of defamation
is tested as Mr. Mencken
trounces his main character
in the end bringing
to life Burrough's belief
that heroes and heroines
are meant to be killed.
In this case not before
the writer wakes from a coma,
only to discover
she's lost both her hands,
and thus, her will to write.
Look, just because
it's a sensation doesn't mean
we have to go nuts
with the second printing.
Hey, hey, hey, hey,
sorry to intrude.
-Oh, oh, hi, Carrie.
Can you cover this for me?
- We may be reissuing it.
- Is it any good?
I don't know.
I have no fucking idea. Ugh.
Eryn's in your office.
All right,
let me know how that goes.
I didn't know
you were in New York.
I don't know what to tell you.
Tell me something.
You were a lot less
likable in the first draft.
Fuck you.
Come on.
I'm in it, too.
You didn't lose your hands
and the will to write.
It's not real, okay?
It's not real.
Plus, I sent you the pages.
I even sent you the ARC to read.
You know life goes on
for us working
people in the real world.
You hijacked my life.
Those are details you told him.
They could've only
come from you.
All right,
I edited the hell out of him.
You, I give carte blanche.
We couldn't agree on a subject.
When did you become his agent?
Who do you think got him
on that talk show?
Listen this,
this is nothing but hype.
Before you know it,
it's going to be collecting dust
in those secondhand bookstores
that you love so much.
Those are an important
part of our ecosystem.
Okay, fine, I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to insult you
or your
secondhand bookstore buddies.
Why can't you just
think of this as a straw man.
You're, you're,
you're more than welcome
to knock it down
whenever you want.
Can't you just write something
even if it has imperfections.
They'll say
you're going Kerouac.
Just gimme a masterpiece
for God sakes.
Three years,
three years past due.
You're fired, Carrie.
How the hell am I'm
supposed to work with you?
You exploited me.
Oh, God, so typical.
I've exploited you.
I've been
freaking breathing life
into your wasting career,
keeping you on life support.
Why can't you
just give me something?
I can put your
career back on track.
I can get you
freaking published.
You're not the only
person who can do that for me.
Yes, I am, actually.
Are you going to give
the publishers back
their advance money?
And how about me?
Where's my 10%?
I've been doing my job
and quite creatively,
I might add.
Your mom always listened to me.
You're making a mistake.
You know every time
you look at a memory,
it changes just a little bit.
Never stays the same.
But it can be for the good,
like anything else.
It can, baby.
Hey, you have something for me?
I need you to send me
the uncorrected proofs.
Uh, well,
that's a little hard to do
before you send it to me.
No, Mencken's.
Before you cut him back.
what are you going to do?
Reply, in kind.
-Either that
or sue your company.
-The publisher?
For defamation.
Although I'm pretty sure,
I can prove collusion, too.
Just send me the proofs.
Literary revenge, I like it.
You see, this is why I told them
not to take
your advance back yet.
I knew you'd get
struck by something.
They were thinking
lightning but I bet book.
And you.
Hi, is this your dog?
Yes, ah, Buckles.
-Thank you so much
for finding Buckles.
-That is such a cute name.
Listen, I don't know
how could I repay you?
Maybe with some sex?
Yeah? To the bed.
Is that a caramel macchiato?
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought
that's what you ordered.
No, I ordered a macchiato.
It's just foam and espresso.
With caramel.
Yeah, but I'm looking for
just foam and espresso.
-That's it.
-No, it's in the name,
-caramel macchiato.
Oh, wait! Hey!
-Wait, stop, stop!
-Oh, what the--
-What the?
-Shit, open it!
Open it!
Holy shit.
Nina? What are you doing?
The sensor's broken.
Got it.
And it's Eryn.
Come on.
To drink.
I'm fine.
Whatever, they're cheap.
I'm just going to
leave it right here
in case you change your mind.
I can't believe
you're not a Nina.
I can only see you as a Nina.
Don't you think
you shouldn't change my name
to something
better in your version?
What's your fancy?
Something like Bartholomew.
It's a good famous name.
No, it is a shit name.
You are terrible with names.
That's as bad as Buckles.
Oh, do you think we
should reiterate the fact
that you got me drunk
which is why I lost that fight?
That and we're supposed
to see that other guy
-as the good guy and I'm the--
Now, you are talking.
You're taking the words
right out of my mouth.
Do you think you could
like craft up a little passage
about, you know, in like
Charles Dickens-like detail
about the size, and girth,
and beauty of my...
But it's unique. Fine. The first
thing I'm going to share
is slightly different
than what you're used to.
Come in.
Do you have a minute?
-Nina, uh--
This is my place of work.
You can't be here.
Yeah, I thought this was
a better job for you, okay?
Still anything we'd discuss here
is probably not
going to be appropriate.
It's true.
-Come on.
-Where are we going?
Mrs. Ortiz,
I'm going to grab a coffee.
- I made it.
- I need it strong.
If I make it any stronger
it'll kill you.
I can't believe
your name's not Nina.
I am known by many names.
I can't believe
you're not really a teacher.
Well, in my defense,
you never asked.
Subbing for a teacher
on maternity leave
isn't something I bring up
on first dates.
See, this is why backstories
should never be overlooked.
That and I don't
fancy sympathy lays.
You're right. Role-playing
should never be depressing.
Stalker-rape on the
second date is pretty extreme.
Yeah, I thought so, too.
But, I mean, at least
you won the fight, right?
Do you think they were
rooting for me, too?
I think that was the design.
So where from here?
Do you think it's
possible for things to get
past the point of no return?
You mean, if we have a chance?
Yeah, well, like, I mean,
I know you're not real but--
I'm not.
And yet, here you are.
So, whatever.
There's no going back.
This ship only moves forward.
They invented rewind for VCRs.
Oh boy, there's something
I'm not nostalgic for.
Wait. Is there anything
that you would change?
Let me see it.
This is dangerous.
What if I kidnapped you?
More research for your sequel?
Stockholm syndrome.
Like Bonnie and Clyde
but in a steampunk setting
with gangsters.
I mean, I think we're
really getting somewhere here.
Let me just tell Ortiz I quit.
But in the end,
we're from two different worlds.
Mine's a more perfect universe.
If I can control it,
it's not real.
Goodbye, Brad.
Bye, Eryn.
Thank you.
So have you found a new place?
-I'm really still looking.
I have a few options that
I'm going to decide between.
I can show you if you want to
help. I could use some,
a little bit of help
-deciding honestly. Yeah.
-I'd love to, yeah.
What about like a period
love story, like pre-cellphone.
There's a lot of
places that I can go with that.
But that's like,
uh, that's what '80s
or like 1800s?
Or like I do an 1800s thing
with cell phones.
Like a mashup.
-Sci-fi set in the '90s
with rap music.
And a little
birdie told me that you
have been
meeting other productions
and I know you have
your pick of who you want
to make this book
into a film, so...
Oh, that's a fun one.
Written in high school,
published years later.
Pretty pure stuff.
It's like two
totally different things.
-I don't do well--
-Yeah but you like nice things.
I like nice things but--
you got to pay for them.
-What the--
as soon as this is over,
-let's have a drink together.
-Let's do that as a possible.
-I do.
-I do.
-Hi, can I
get you some Chartreuse?
-Oh, is that what that is?
-I wondered why it was green.
Hello to you,
you son-of-a-bitch.
Hello to you, baby.
-Looking good for
a shotgun wedding.
-Uh, no baby.
Honeymoon first. I mean, aren't
you the one who accused me
of liking perfect order?
Or maybe by baby I
meant your next book.
-Hmm. They are my babies.
-I have to say having me here
is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?
I think I can even make
you fit into my happy ending.
-Hi, you.
Now you know, I'm not into
costumes or characters
or theme weddings,
and yet here I am.
You got to have your way
with me, why don't I get to
have my way with you?
I guess I don't
have any choice now, do I?
You know what I wish
you talked to me about more?
What, honey?
My mother.
And my father.
Yes, your mama.
You know,
before she met your dad
she was into my Frank.
- I know.
- She liked him, but he liked me
and that made things a little
bumpy between me and her,
you know, the girlfriend thing.
But then she met your father
and they fell madly in love.
And they made you.
It was such a happy time.
I will always wonder
- if that's the reason.
- No.
Why you helped me publish.
No, no, I told you I love it.
And how many times
did I say it to you?
That I'm the only one
that can bring them back.
You know them so well.
Oh, God know that
they're up in heaven
smiling down on you, so proud.
And you know what?
Stories never die.
So now they're immortalized.
Isn't that great how life works?
Thank you.
Love you, honey.
Sweet girl.
Now be happy.
This is a great day.
I'm sorry.
Easy to say here.
There's no place more public.
Your subconscious?
It's part of the job.
My lady?
- Got to dance.
- Cheers.
accuser of a concussed state,
whatever state it might be,
she still felt the
work was counterfeit,
merely a play in a play,
a scattered
reflection of real life,
degradation, circuitous routes
in the pursuit of happiness.