The Last Word (2023) Movie Script


[ Applause ]

Ohh. [ Groans ]
Coming soon.
You'll miss me one day.
How prophetic.
And how many days is this
"missing" gonna last?
[ Sobs ]
I need my muse!
Come on, Jillian!
Where the hell are you?
[ Doorbell rings ]
Redecorating, I see.
Yeah, I know, it's a mess.
I know, a mess.
Mirrors my life.
You look like a mess, buddy.
Did you come over here just to
get on my ass to make me feel --
I don't know --
I don't know --
to point out
how badly I'm doing?
Don't worry about me, Fred.
I'm fine.
Fine and dandy.
I've got work to do.
For someone fine and dandy,
you're doing a good job
of hiding it well.
How is the book coming?
It's not.
I can't focus.
I just need her.
I-I sit down, I put my fingers
on those keys, and I'm --
I'm blank.
Well, not exactly blank.
I-I wait.
I wait for her to chime in.
Are we having a hissy fit?
No hissy fit.
Reality check.
None of this means anything
without her here.
Buddy, she's been
gone almost a year.
Maybe it's time to --
-Time to what?
Time to what?
Let's see -- move on?
Stop living in it?
Which, Fred? Which?
Make some choices.
You know, you could just stop.
Stop writing?
Oh, yeah.
-I just want you to get a grip.
Brett, my boy,
she ain't coming back.
Hard to hear,
but it's the reality of it.
You think I don't know that?
You're lucky.
You still have Madge.
Makes me crazy
most of the time.
Oh. I'd sell my soul to be
driven crazy again.
To not feel like I'm drowning.
Well, I'm not your life vest.
But I'm your buddy.
And, no, I can't know
how you feel.
But I do know you can't
keep on like this.
Ever hear of a laptop?
You ought to get one.
I've written every novel
on that baby.
It's my lucky typewriter,
and I can't give it up now!
Maybe when this novel is done?
I'm just saying,
it's not 1980 anymore.
And, Brett -- take a shower!
Tell Fred to go!
I'm gonna come downstairs.
Whoa, hold it, hold it.
Did you get hit by lightning?
Is that what they talk about
when they say
writer's block unblocks?
Yeah, hey, sort of.
Fred, could you go?
I need to write.
The juices are flowing,
and I don't want
to miss my opportunity.
Just go!
Hey, hey, hey!
Thanks for caring, man.
I really, really mean it.
I'm just -- I'm just not ready
for the world yet.
I've got to get
my novel finished.
Okay, okay.
I'll give you a call.
I'll help to clean the place.
No offense, but it stinks.
I'll bring Madge back with me.
She'll make the place sparkling.
[ Both laugh ]
I thought he'd never leave.
[ Laughs ]
Honey, I-I-I can't feel you.
I know.
I can't feel you, either.
You can't hug me.
Won't work.
I'm not huggable.
Oh, Brett.
I go away for a little while and
you turn into a complete slob?
Uh, Jillian?
Oh, I've really lost it.
You are...
Still dead, Brett.
Yes, that's what this is --
a dream!
Yeah! It's a dream.
-Still here.
-What's going on?!
Feel that?
-Uh, no.
Because you are a...
Ghost. Bingo.
Oh, God!
Brett Harper, I've never
seen you at a loss for words.
You asked for your great
American muse back.
Another great American novel
by the Brett Harper.
If so, I'm ready.
Talking about the novel
that I-I started bef--
-But I never read it, did I?
-No, you didn't.
You said you'd read it once you
got close to the last chapter,
and then you...
This is unreal.
I'm not going crazy, am I?
Oh, holy heavens,
you're still here!
We have a novel to finish,
You kept asking for me.
How could I keep you
in the lurch?
If this is a dream,
I don't want to wake up.
You left me, Jillian.
How could you?
My heart broke.
You knew it would break,
so why did you go?
You do know there's no choice
in this dying stuff, right?
I mean, I didn't expect
to get hit by a car.
And then, lying there,
I sure didn't expect
to end up like this.
And no offense --
while it was all happening,
I really wasn't
thinking about you.
I mean, I knew
I'd miss you terribly.
But then I just started thinking
how, "Oh, someone's gonna
find out all my secrets."
Forget to feed the fish and
cancel my dental appointments,
stuff like that.
So breaking your heart?
Nope, it wasn't on my mind.
-My God.
Oh, yeah,
about the "God" thing,
I haven't met Him -- or Her.
There were no cloud-like beings,
No puffy sidewalks.
I just sort of got stuck.
I haven't seen anything yet.
I got stuck between here
and there.
-Good heavens.
-Yeah, yeah, so I've heard.
You know, we talked enough
about the heaven and God thing.
I was disappointed, too.
I expected a greeting party,
you know?
Mom and Dad.
Capiche, amore mo?
Y-You speak Italian now?
Why not? I have literally
an eternity of time to fill.
In fact, do you remember
how I always used to want
to play the saxophone?
-W-What are you doing?
Oh, uh...
I just thought maybe your old
sax was still in here, but...
maybe that was before.
Yeah, before you left.
I always loved this wall
of photos.
So many memories.
That -- That wasn't
a fabulous vacation.
Oh, you got so sunburnt.
Remember that book
you were reading?
Ended up like a big white square
right on your stomach.
It wasn't that funny, Jillian.
It hurt for days.
I want to stay!
Stay until the book is done.
Write those last words,
just like I always did.
No, no, no, no.
Why are you here?
I don't get it!
Oh, honey, will you quit
doing that, please?
You're gonna hurt yourself,
and I'm still gonna be here.
so much left unsaid.
But in death, there's no reason
not to tell the truth.
say it all.
You must have so many questions,
dozens of them, so just ask me.
Ask me anything.
I-It took me months and months
to accept that you were gone.
It hurt.
Worse than that time
when we were separated
and I thought
our marriage was over.
This cut me to shreds!
Can you imagine?
You think it didn't nearly
kill me when it killed me?
I mean, you lost me,
but I lost you, too.
I mean, and I remember
how many times you left me
on your book tours.
So many times when I know
that you didn't have to go,
but it was like
you wanted to leave.
So, yeah, I know what loss is.
Did you come back for a fight?
No, but you're talking
about loss
like we lost
the perfect marriage.
Look, we weren't
the perfect couple.
You were good for some things.
And just rotten for others.
You ignored me half the time,
Went on the road a lot,
and you blamed it on your -- ha!
-- your editors
and your deadlines
and your adoring fans.
I'm not stupid.
I knew the difference.
No, no, I never ignored you!
And I didn't leave you.
You drove me away at times.
It was exhausting being
the breadwinning superhero,
author extraordinaire, lover,
friend, therapist, and...
Oh, forget it, forget it,
forget it.
I shouldn't have come back.
-No, no, no, no!
No, no, no, no, no!
I-I'm glad you're here.
And I'm a little completely
confused and baffled, but...
I get more time with you.
More -- More time.
More time I hope to say
the things I've wanted to say.
We loved each other.
In spite of it all,
we loved each other.
We did.
But I need to move on,
and you need to let me.
I came back for us to find a way
to make that happen.
We get a second chance, darling.
Nobody gets that, but we do.
So, just tell me what you
couldn't or wouldn't say before.
And then ask me --
ask me anything.
Okay. Um...
Did it hurt?
That's your first question?
I guess I didn't
want it to hurt.
The accident, I know,
just had to.
But the dying part, was it all
softness and lights
like the movies?
Nah, didn't actually hurt,
the actual dying part.
-You kind of accept
what's happening
and get in the rhythm of it.
The winding down, just the...
buh-buh, buh-buh...
Buh-bum, buh-bum, buh-bum...
No light at the end
of the tunnel?
If there was a tunnel,
I missed it.
Or maybe I haven't seen it yet!
No, after I...
...I ended up here.
Upstairs, just staring at you,
watching you sleep, just...
tapping you on the shoulder over
and over, and you never woke up.
Just this push and pull
and push and pull.
Push, pull what?
Push to you and then away
again, over and over again.
Until today.
And I get to stay --
for a while.
I'll let you know.
Jillian, t-there's blood
on that gown.
Do you want to change
or something?
No, no.
News flash -- when you die,
you go in the clothes
you're wearing at the time.
And I can't change.
I'm a --
-Well, it's just so, uh...
It's just so...
-Red, right?
Yeah, just stays red.
Sort of like
spilled tomato juice.
-Spaghetti sauce.
Much better -- marinara sauce.
Think of it as marinara.
You didn't lose your sense
of humor, I see.
All these months...
Oh, Jillian, every day I pleaded
with God to send you back to me.
I prayed, I chanted, I raved,
I wanted you hear with me, Jill!
I didn't want us to end.
-Me either.
Oh, honey, if I could hold you
in my arms again, I would.
Darling, don't, please.
I'm here, right now, in this
moment, to finish the story.
Well, two stories --
ours and the novel.
Ours, then the novel,
and then...
we'll see.
Jillian, we knew each other
so well, so long, better,
I think, than most couples.
I don't need to know
anything more.
And what good would it do?
Rehash the not-so-good times?
Tell me some big secret?
Come on, Jilly.
What still needs to be said?
Hoo! Oh, boy.
You remember that old joke
about the town drunk
who cheats on his wife,
embezzles money,
and then he dies?
Friends and family gathered
to listen to the preacher rave
about his goodness and all
the things he did in his life.
Then the wife turns
to her friends and says,
"Are we at the right funeral?"
Yeah, I remember.
It's still funny.
Our lives moved along.
To the outside world, seamless.
A match made in heaven.
There was stitches missed
and stitches dropped.
Things you should know...
things I couldn't say it in time
but I need to say now
to find closure.
So, Brett...
Did you have lovers
while you were on the road?
That's your first question?
Good Lord, no!
Of course not!
Did you think that?
[ Laughs ] No.
You never came home
wanting me?
Come on.
I-I-I was traveling and tired.
We weren't newlyweds.
Come on, Jillian,
I don't want to rehash all that.
It's old news!
Just tell the truth.
I found that old
"lipstick on the collar" thing
a few too many times.
And I obviously
didn't care enough
to confront you about it then.
Or maybe I was just too scared
to confront you
about it like I was
about so many things.
a mouse.
Well, I'm not that mouse
So just be honest.
I slept with a few women.
God, I don't even
remember their names!
I mean, that's how much
it didn't matter!
Why care about this now?
Come on.
Are you gonna keep this up?
-No, absolutely not.
Just think of this
as the last AA meeting
where I spill it all
and apologize, sort of.
Whoa, hold on a minute.
Are you trying to tell me
that you had an affair?
Random lovers?
You weren't a saint.
I wasn't a saintess.
With who?
Here in this house?!
With who? When?
For God's sake, Romeo...
I didn't have a string
of lovers.
Remember that year
your first book was published?
Number two on the bestseller
list, like, forever.
Traveling from city to city.
Gone most of that year.
-Yeah, I remember.
It was one of the most
exhilarating times of my life.
I felt like a Hollywood star.
And I felt like a golf widow.
Pushed to the side.
Did you know days would go by
and you hadn't even called me?
Oh, no, I didn't realize that.
Was I that bad?
I am sorry, Jillian, truly.
Let's make a deal here, okay?
No "I'm sorrys" while we say
what we have to say, all right?
Did you know I was pregnant
when you were gone, Brett?
No, you never told me
you were pregnant.
You never told me!
You lost it, didn't you?
You lost it before
I ever knew it was!
We'd already had
two miscarriages.
I decided to wait
to tell you so...
we didn't get our hopes
up again.
Besides, I wasn't sure
if it was yours.
But it -- it wasn't mine?
It wasn't mine!
Holy shit!
How stupid was I?!
Was this to get back at me
because I wasn't sure
of having kids?
Was it to get back at me
for some stupid lipstick
on a collar?
I was lonely, and I just --
I-I made a mistake.
And then I lost it anyway,
so it didn't matter.
It damn well matters now.
It's like I never knew you.
Who was he?
Did I know him?
No. Oh. Yes.
Uh, he was the new pool guy.
-The pool guy?
-I was lonely.
He was there.
How old was he?
Old enough.
He was in college.
He was accepted into college.
So you got knocked up
by some snot-nosed pool kid?
Well, gee, Mrs Robinson,
all I can say is "How clich."
I-I'm shocked.
Completely shocked.
Shocked to think of you
being so -- so slutty.
Nice, Brett.
So nice.
I am no more of a slut than you.
Why are women called slutty,
and men get this sort of pass?
Don't beat it up.
I just -- I wanted you to know.
Sometimes it's best
to not know everything.
Yeah, well, I knew you and
accepted you for who you were --
It's just one page of our story
now out there.
I'm so done carrying it around!
You can earmark it,
but don't let it wound you.
It was 30 years ago.
It's done.
Just a page.
It's the Madge and Fred Friendly
Neighbors cleaning company.
At your service.
I'm not doing your laundry.
I'll clean up a bit,
and I can't promise
any miracles.
Guys, I appreciate the offer,
but I --
Need our help? You're welcome.
Dear me.
Got company?
Like who, Fred? Like who?
Of course not.
Must've been the wind.
Uh, the window's open, left it
open, slept with it open!
Fresh air all night.
Breezy -- gets breezy -- breezy.
-It's just a joke.
Calm down, buddy.
-Get me the vacuum cleaner.
-Oh, Madge...
And remind me,
what color is your carpet?
Ha ha. Funny, Madge.
What a mess.
Listen, Your Highness,
how do you expect me
to clean up this disaster
with you --
Go over there.
this is way beyond
what friends do for friends.
I haven't cleaned this place
in months.
Really? No kidding.
Fred, open up the --
the door to the patio.
No offense,
but this place smells like
a teenager's sweaty jockstrap.
-Yeah, this is embarrassing.
Oh, what?
What she said, or that my wife
can make a sailor blush?
You ought to think
about selling this house.
Move in to an apartment,
make life simple.
Been in this house
for over 30 years.
I'm not going anywhere.
They'll have to carry me
out of here.
Listen, guys, carry yourself
back to the sofa now
so I can clean over here.
-Thanks, Madge.
If I recall, Brett, you really
weren't around all that much.
Jillian ran around here alone
a lot.
Yeah, I regret
all those months and months
of leaving Jillian home, alone.
You know what?
She seemed okay.
She had her garden.
Didn't complain much.
Boy, would she be pissed
if she saw
how I let her garden go, huh?
Start it up again.
Get a gardener.
Maybe the next person
will love it, too.
You'll have someone
in your life sometime.
-Never's a long time, buddy.
Because this is her house.
Our house.
I just have to...
learn to adjust to living
the quieter life, you know?
[ Sighs ]
[ Vacuum whirring ]
Quiet life.
Uh, Madge.
You know, Madge,
it looks really great.
And thank you very much,
but I need to get back to work.
I-I need some quiet,
so thank you so very, very much.
But I need, uh...
Well, I just have to.
Well, it's, uh...
I-It's a start.
It's our pleasure.
'Cause we love you, kid.
But I'm only doing this once.
I'm not your new cleaning lady.
Do yourself a favor --
learn to use the vacuum.
It's really quite simple.
On, off, push.
Got it.
Just go, you two.
Thanks a million
for being there for me, really.
-All right, buddy, bye.
Hey, Jill.
Jilly, are you still here?!

[ Applause ]
Spoiled again?
Thank God you're back!
That Madge, huh?
What a gem.
And, yeah, Brett --
cut the grass.
Do you eat? Can you eat?
Because you are...
Kicked the bucket.
Passed on.
Not of this Earth.
Met my maker.
Well, not yet, but I will.
Okay. Um...
I-I'll try not to ask
any more stupid questions.
I'm still trying to wrap my head
around you
being knocked up
by some oily pool boy.
It just blows me away.
It happened.
Now you know.
So just let it go, sweetheart.
Anything else you want to know?
-Yeah, sit, please.
I do. Um...
Um, here I go.
Jillian, why did you stop
talking to your sister?
It's been bugging me for years.
That's what you want to know?
Remember I told you that I left
university after just two years?
Abruptly left?
Truth is, I was asked to leave.
Asked? Why?
My sister.
Two years younger than me,
and the jealousy followed me
all the way to college.
Hundreds of schools she could've
picked, she had to choose mine.
That's kind of weird.
It makes no sense.
It makes sense,
given what she did to me.
Long plotted and planned and
carried out like a professional.
You said she was jealous.
Jealous of what?
I mean, nothing could be so bad
that you would cut her
out of your life forever.
She just thought Mom and Dad
loved me more.
You know, siblings say that,
I got straight A's in school,
she squeaked by.
I-I had lots of friends
and a boyfriend or two, and...
she didn't.
Well, still, that's no reason
to be mean.
My sister...
She started spreading
vicious rumors about me
that first week she got there.
That I'd cheated
on my entrance exams,
that I slept with an instructor.
Just kept getting
bigger and bigger.
Well, was there any truth
in any of it?
How can you even ask me that?
You know me!
But the university believed her.
They never even
gave me a chance.
I still remember watching her
standing outside my dorm
on the grass,
this big smile on her face,
big smirk, really,
as I got in my car and I...
drove home.
What did you tell
your parents?
That I'd dropped out.
Wanted to go to work instead.
And they believed
that an A student
who wanted to be a writer
would do that?
You didn't tell them
what she did?
You -- You threw it away
over that?
You -- You are right, Jillian.
You were a mouse.
Oh, honey,
I spent decades mastering
the art of being a mouse.
And, yeah, I watched
opportunities pass me by.
My self-esteem was shattered.
I lost my sister.
And I lost the career
that I wanted.
I never spoke to her again.
I moved away,
and I just started to work.
And then, you came along.
The only thing or person
that I didn't push away.
You missed your chance
at being a writer,
possibly even a great writer?
Didn't you see
you were just a -- a doormat?
I got to add to your novels.
That was okay.
It was enough.
Don't be sad
or feel sorry for me
because I made a choice
not to fight.
And if it hadn't happened,
I never would've met you, right?
I was a pretty good writer,
Professor Wilder said
I was really talented.
He must've believed the rumors
because he never
spoke to me again.
Now I really wish I could
feel you in my arms.
I'm tired.
It's been quite a day.
I'm going to bed.
You go. I'll be around.
-You promise?
If this turns out
to be a dream,
it sure was a doozy.
How I've missed this.
And the writing.
And the creating.
And, oh...
how I have missed you.

[ Applause ]
-Oh, come on!
Oh, you scared me.
You just pop up.
Boy, Brett, you need
to get out of the house.
You know what you need?
You need a dog to walk.
Get a dog.
-Dog, right.
Good morning, Jillian.
-Good morning.
-Are you --
Are you, like, everywhere,
watching me all the time?
Well, not every minute.
And, Brett, I'm serious --
you need a dog.
Uh-huh. Mm-hmm.
I'm out of coffee.
I'm gonna run over to the
Coffee Cup and get some, okay?
Y-You'll be here
when I get back, right?
Don't leave -- please!
-I will be right here.
And I will have one of those
mocha choco lattes, uh,
extra whipped cream,
and extra choco latte.
You -- You mean you can --
you can drink now?
Nope. I just love saying
"mocha choco latte."
Mocha choco latte
Mocha choco latte
Mocha choco latte
I read somewhere great writers
need that morning jolt of coffee
to get the old juices flowing.
So, here.
-You read minds, too?
She's a woman of mystery
and surprise.
Thank you, Fred.
You're all dressed up.
-Let's see.
The pants matches the shirt.
Big leap forward.
I-I didn't know it was that bad.
-Trust me, it was.
Listen, while we were
at the Coffee Cup,
I happened to find this card.
Dog adoption fair
at the shelter.
Fred and I have decided
you need a dog.
Funny, it's been suggested.
Madge has been so rah-rah for
rescue dogs, I bet if she could,
she'd trade me in
for a dozen furry buddies.
Don't tempt me.
I work with a woman --
a volunteer.
Her name is Marie.
A matchmaker if ever I saw one.
She can look at you,
look at the dogs,
and know just
who goes with whom.
Yeah, it's -- it's a marriage,
so to speak.
Plus, Marie is single
and a lovely woman.
Don't go there.
Do I look like a man
looking for love?
A dog is the only being I can
even fathom curling up with.
I think you should do it.
Bring a bundle of furry love
into this house.
And Marie will help you.
I see a four-legged pup
in your future.
Come on. Just do it.
Maybe I will get a dog.
I'll -- I'll let you know.
I, for one, would love a bit
of barking coming
from your backyard.
Oh, yeah, the barking.
You could borrow one
of our pooper scoopers.
Oh, shit, that, too.
I mean, damn, that, too.
No, you got it right
the first time.
Honey, we gotta get going.
-All right, dear.
Listen, let us know
when you've got the dog in.
Coffee. Thanks, Madge.
Any time.
[ As Ricky Ricardo ]
Oh, Lucy, they're gone!
[ Normal voice ] Jillian?
Jillian, are you still --
are you still here?
Fred and Madge want you
to get a dog, too.
Honey, what's wrong?
I-I thought you were gone.
Oh, baby.
I'm hugging you.
Y-You just can't be here
then not here.
It -- It scares me, all of this!
I mean, you came back here
to put our life together,
in order,
and to finish the novel with me.
Well, let's get on it.
Calm down, honey, please.
I know me showing up like this
can't be easy
to comprehend or accept,
but please don't get angry.
God, it's just...
It's just so mind-boggling.
-I know.
Just tell me about the novel.
The story.
Tell me the story.
Young couple, they are
in love, on a vacation.
They end up separated
in a foreign country.
Can't seem to find each other.
He left her at the hotel
to go to a market,
so his knapsack with his wallet
and phone got stolen.
He felt he knew his way back
to the hotel, but he doesn't.
He's lost.
Uh, fork-in-the-road stuff,
adventures as they look
for each other.
Reached the final chapter,
and I'm stuck.
Like you.
you used to get so lost in it.
You were so stubborn.
It's like a clich.
You ever ask for help ever,
for anything, ever?
Back to criticizing me.
I'm not up for it.
Because, for the first time,
you looked up
and said you needed me.
Believe it or not,
that was a first.
So after nearly a year of me
bouncing back and forth
between heaven and Earth,
I finally got to come back today
to stay -- for a while.
To help you know me
a little better.
To help you know you
a little better.
I-I know me just fine.
And you, I do.
Or, well, I did.
Did I let you down that much?
At times.
Not enough to actually
pack my bag and leave.
I guess I just wanted more.
More what?
Oh, more...
More trips to Hawaii.
More sex.
You --
You never said anything.
You know, for a guy
who writes romance novels,
you sure couldn't
read the signs.
Like me, lying naked in bed,
two glasses of wine,
and lovely music,
and you ask, "Aren't you cold?"
I just wanted the romance in my
life like you put in your books.
felt guilty.
I had cheated on you.
Well, had a one-night stand.
I-It was me, not you.
I thought it was me.
That's all I ever needed
to hear.
Now go get those fingers
on those keys.
That you understand.
You warmed up there, maestro?
my wondrous muse.
So, they're lost, right?
Oh, Brett.
I never thought you'd even
consider another dog
after we lost Sparkle.
Oh, I'm just thinking
about it.
Little birdy whispered
in my ear, "You need a dog."
Wonder who that was.
Brett, let's go
get a rescue dog.
I don't think so.
I mean, I travel.
I-I don't need the barking,
the early-morning walks,
the chewed-up slippers,
the squeaky toys, and the --
-Actually, that's exactly
what you do need -- rescuing.
Dogs rescue us just as much
as we rescue them.
Madge talked about
a dog matchmaker
who runs a rescue center,
someone who can help me
make the right choice.
I don't know.
You're gonna call her,
aren't you?
I'll have Madge call her,
set up a meeting,
see if I really want to do this.
[ Both bark ]

[ Applause ]
[ Doorbell rings ]
[Madge] Yoo-hoo!
It's me.
[Brett] Hey, Madge!
And I have the Dolly Levi
of dogs with me.
Brett Harper, I'd like you
to meet Marie Lancaster,
dog whisperer extraordinaire.
And I brought some muffins.
Oh, well, just set them
over there, Madge.
-Sweets for the sweets.
-Marie, you're gonna see.
This is a kind
and wonderful man, right?
Stop it.
Please, sit.
-Sure, sure.
Do you know that I live
just down the street?
-That green house on the corner.
How convenient.
-Mm-hmm, yeah.
Yeah, how convenient, right?
You know, I've had a million
and one things to do today,
so I will leave you two to it.
Matchmaker, matchmaker,
make him a match
Find him a find
-Dog. She means a dog.
Yeah, dog, dog.
-Okay. So, uh --
So Madge tells me that
you're looking for a rescue.
I-I would love to help you find
just the right pup
for you, you know?
Do you mind if I ask you a bunch
of questions,
get to know the type of dog
you'd love to share
your life with?
Well, when you put it
that way,
it sounds like such a big deal.
To me, a dog is just a dog.
Well, you know, yes and no.
But think of it like this.
You decide to start dating
again, and you --
Oh, yeah.
Madge told me about your loss.
I'm -- I'm so sorry.
But, uh --
But let's just say
that you sign up for
one of those dating websites --
Never gonna happen,
but I'll, uh, play along.
This should be interesting.
Let the games begin.
Oh, God.
Excuse me?
Oh, it just sounds like, "Oh,
it's such a big deal," is all.
Well, in a sense, it is.
Uh, do you want to move forward?
[Jillian] Oh, please say yes.
I can't wait to hear
how this all turns out.
Great! Great. Okay.
So, you know, first question --
how would you describe yourself?
Oh, um...
Writer, um...
workaholic, when I'm writing.
Uh, okay.
But I was talking
about a type of person.
You know, are you are a loner
or life of the party?
Jogger, mud slug, couch potato?
[Jillian] Let the therapy begin.
Stop interjecting.
Let me think.
Just offering some examples.
No, it wasn't --
Yes, thank you.
I see myself as a, uh...
manly man.
[Jillian] You sound like
a commercial
for Irish Spring soap.
What I mean is, I see me
with a man's kind of dog --
something big.
You know, something you'd see
a man with.
You know, bigger.
You know...
So, size matters.
[Jillian] You guys get so hung
up on the size thing.
I'm just talking about a dog.
-No, no, I get it, I get it.
Now, um, are you gonna
take this dog with you
wherever you go --
on walks, in the car,
on vacations.
You know, your wingdog?
I-I want the company.
I do get lonely now.
Big house and only the sound
of me trying to type.
Um, I don't want some yippy dog,
but I'd like to get greeted
with a bark and a lick.
Okay. Kind of a buddy
to give you inspiration --
for your novels, you know,
your -- your future.
You know, um...
I-I've been widowed
for five years.
Yeah. Well, having my dogs
around helps keep me alive.
Makes me have a reason to
wake up every morning, you know?
You'll see.
Uh, okay.
I'm gonna get going.
Uh, you just --
you hang in there
while I go tell
all the dogs about you.
-Oh, hey -- Sorry.
Uh, and I'm also a dog trainer,
so, uh, you know,
when we find you your Fido,
I'd be happy to stop by
and help make the transition
go more smoothly.
[Jillian] Boy,
I never heard anyone
make such a big deal
about getting a dog.
I'm gonna give this a whirl --
the whole thing.
Oh, great!
This'll be fun --
for all three of us.
Yeah -- you, me, and the --
and the pup.
Oh, yeah!
Well, thanks for coming by.
Appreciate it.
And I can't wait to see
who you find for me.
Yeah, me too.
She's nice.
And around your age, I think.
And a dog matchmaker!
-Don't be ridic--
You sure Madge
isn't being the matchmaker here?
Do not be ridiculous.
It's about a dog,
only about a dog.
You heard her.
Said I might be inspired
to write more novels
after we finish this one.
Well, maybe she can be
your new muse.
Stop it. Just stop it!
Everyone wants me to move on.
You want me to move on,
but do you really?
I want to get my novel done.
I need you for that,
your brilliant writing.
So let's concentrate on that
and not a new muse.
You know, you never encouraged
me to write my own novels.
Wonder what would have happened
if we both ended up
on the bestseller list
at the same time.
I-I never knew you needed
my encouragement.
You could have written anything
you wanted at any time.
Oh, but I didn't want
to give you the competition.
I mean, I would have if you said
it didn't matter,
that it wasn't a "competition."
I never would have thought
you were competing with me.
You never said anything.
You never asked.
I can't read your mind.
You just should have
started writing,
and I never stopped you.
I didn't need your permission.
I know that.
But, Brett, you reveled
in being a big star!
I didn't want to compete
with your big ego.
-Oh, really?
All that resentment,
all that martyrdom.
And I never --
never had a big ego.
You took all that resentment
with you to the grave!
Don't raise your voice at me.
I hate it when you
raise your voice.
You do that, you know,
when you get all defensive.
Defensive about hearing a truth.
Well, here is a truth.
You never -- not once -- made me
feel like a success as a man.
Oh, sure, you said all those
"I'm proud of you"
things when the books hit
the top of the bestseller list,
but that wasn't for me.
It was for an inanimate object.
You were proud of these.
You were proud to be the wife
of someone famous.
You were ecstatic
to have this house
because of the words
on these pages.
You were vicariously
that writer you wanted to be
because you wrote
the last chapter of my books!
Were you ever...
ever happy
with just plain old me?
Oh, my God.
Now it all comes out.
30 years of you thinking
I stayed because of this house?
That's a crock.
And you don't think I could
write as well as you?
That is bullshit.
Check the hall closet.
There's a box in there
with the novel that I wrote.
Read it and let me know
what you think.
[ Clattering ]
[ Coughs ]
"Life Is Me at the Beach,"
by Jillian Harper.
When -- When did you write this?
Right after we were married.
Somewhere between your third
and fourth great novels
getting published.
Somewhere between
you spending a month
teaching in Portland
at that writers' conference
and then going
on the road again.
Jillian, I-I know you don't
want to hear me say I'm sorry,
but I just have to say it.
hurt you in so many ways
without even knowing it.
You know I didn't mean it,
don't you?
Not sure.
But I hurt you, too.
I never told you how
you made me feel sometimes.
It's a two-way street.
Our own little fork in the road,
you on one side
hearing the applause,
me on the other just...
waiting to be found, noticed.
I can't go back.
You can't, either.
It's brilliant.
If the rest of the book
is as good
as these first three pages,
I'm gonna have to have
a chat with Walter.
This is great, great stuff,

[ Applause ]
You've been up all night
staring at me?
Just started.
Well, cut it out.
You need to have a party.
Invite Fred and Madge.
Okay. Marie, too.
Adult conversation is good
for the soul.
Cocktails, maybe dinner.
You used to be
a pretty good cook.
Get back in the groove.
Was I ever in the groove?
Oh, yes, when you were being
a manly man.
Show Marie
your manly man skills.
Just don't start getting
some fantasy in your head.
I may have had a few
one-night stands on the road,
but not for all of
our married life.
I am...
I'm not ready to meet someone
new, not now, not ever.
I am so far from ready
to meet someone new.
No one is impossible
to replace.
Besides, I don't want you
growing old alone.
That would be a terrible thing.
Everyone always seems
to tell you
you're gonna find someone new,
and yet you keep
saying you won't.
-I won't.
-You will.
Now, where did we leave off
with this?
our two characters
are about to reunite,
but how that happens
will be written by you.
So think about it.
-[ Chuckles ]
Okay, here goes.
Across a crowded room.
Nah, that's too clich.
By a wishing well?
Turning a corner
and bumping into each other?
-You like?
Turning a corner?
-In this moment,
you are the writer,
so go for it.
You haven't said a word.
About what?
The book.
The book.
You read it, didn't you?
Your professor was
more than right.
You are a great --
Well, you were a great writer.
Very, very gifted.
You could have easily seen your
name at the top of
the New York Times
bestseller list.
Truth is, you are a much better
writer than I will ever be.
I doubt that very much.
But coming from you,
I'll take the compliment.
All I ever needed
was your opinion.
I didn't need book signings.
Though a spot on
the bestseller list
does sound pretty darn nice.
Though it wasn't what I wanted.
I'm gonna make it happen.
Just hang out here
long enough to see it, okay?
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Dog barks ]
-You better get that.
-Hey, Jill.
Uh, Jill.
I hate it when you disappear
like that.
Um, you know, you can never
be too prepared,
and yesterday I got the feeling
that you weren't
at all prepared,
so I went to the pet store,
stocked up.
You didn't have to do that.
So much stuff.
Well, you know, think of it
as getting ready for a new baby.
Takes lots of stuff.
Well, I do thank you
very, very much.
-You're welcome.
-Do you have --
Do you have time
for a cup of coffee?
Uh...yeah, I would --
I would love one.
Just black would be great.
And, uh,
if you have any questions,
now might be a good time
to ask me.
[Brett] Okay.
Tell me about you.
You and dogs, I mean.
Um, how about both?
I, uh --
I grew up here in Miltonville.
Uh, moved away for about 30
years and came back last year.
Madge and I worked on
the Miltonville
Beautification Project.
We built the dog park.
That's how we met.
-And the dogs?
Why, I-I just love them.
You know?
Older dogs, puppies, big, small.
Never met a dog I didn't like.
People I have.
Dogs, never.
Do you, um, have any children?
Oh, okay, personal question.
Uh, no, no children.
Me neither.
Just, uh, wasn't in the cards.
I couldn't get pregnant.
Oh. Too much information?
I'm sorry.
-Uh, your wife -- same thing?
and we stopped trying.
I don't even know
if I was dad material.
I was on the road so much.
My -- My father was a traveling
salesman, so he was always gone.
I-I grew up not really
knowing him.
I didn't want to do that
to my kid,
so I was kind of glad
when children didn't come along.
Yeah, I wanted them.
You know, five, six.
I love kids.
Now I take that love
and I give it to the dogs.
I've gone to the dogs.
[ Both laugh ]
And I love the training.
And I'm really good at it.
You'll see.
You know what?
I once helped a woman break
her dog of a very bad habit.
Let me guess.
Let me guess.
Uh, peeing in the house?
-Uh, stealing socks?
-Food snatcher.
-Kind of.
Kind of.
You see, the woman
is a notoriously bad cook.
So, uh, yeah,
I can attest to that.
Worst chicken I have
ever tasted.
How anyone can ruin a chicken
like that is beyond me.
Anyway, her little dog would sit
underneath the dining room table
and take chicken from the guests
when they didn't want it.
So you had to break the dog
from begging.
Uh, not exactly.
You see, her dog couldn't
stand her cooking, either.
So he would take the food
from a guest
and hide each bite
around the house.
Oh, let me guess.
Let me guess.
Mice infestation?
Oh, God, luckily no,
but when the woman decided
to get new carpeting,
they had to take out
all the furniture so,
you know, they could rip out
the old, put down the new.
And there behind
every nightstand,
every chair, every dresser,
even the sofa, were little piles
of food hidden by her pooch.
So -- So, what did you do
to get the dog to stop?
I got his owner to stop cooking.
Told her about
home meal delivery.
-Thank you.
I'd love you to work
with my dog -- and with me.
Oh, I make no promises.
Do you cook?
-Um, yes.
Uh, I live alone now.
I do my own cooking,
nothing special.
When Jillian died --
that was my wife's name --
I-I gave up on cooking.
On most things, really.
My novel sits unfinished.
My house became a stack
of empty pizza boxes.
Went on for a long time.
I think I'm done with that now.
I got to get back to my novel.
You will.
I-I still feel her...
wanting one more conversation,
to do things differently.
They say you do that
for a while,
feel like your person
is still around.
Strong memories.
You know, I'm no philosopher,
but I believe that everything
that we've ever experienced
takes us to where we are today,
and so I never think about
what I could have done,
just where I am now and seeing
where it all leads me.
It's taken me to getting a dog
and -- and meeting you.
I can't wait to see
where it all, uh...
takes me.
Well, you know, I should have
a dog for you real soon.
-Um, thanks for the coffee.
I appreciate it.
Oh, one more thing.
Boy or girl?
Doesn't matter.
Right answer.
I'll see you later.

[ Applause ]
Thank you for calling me back
so quickly.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Walter, I promise.
I will finish my novel now.
I found an ending.
I-I was going through the front
hall closet the other day,
and that's where
I discovered it.
It is very good, Walter.
Jillian wrote something
very, very good.
As great as mine?
Of course, Walter.
Actually, uh, better, I think.
I want it published.
I'll, uh, put it
in the mail to you.
Thanks, Walter.
You won't regret it.
-Excuse me.
-Oh, God, you scared me again.
Did I say you could
publish my novel?
Did I?
I-I thought you'd be pleased,
Well, you do realize
I'll be long gone
before it ever happens, right?
I mean, okay, so I'm gone now.
But pretty soon
I'm gonna be long gone.
And then I guess you'll see
if it hits the bestseller list,
but I sure won't.
Well, just be honest.
Come on, now.
I-I -- You --
You'd love your name on top
of that bestseller list,
but I'm not doing it
for any list, Jillian.
The book is good.
People will love it.
Wh-What do you mean,
you're gonna be long gone?
I'm not --
No, I'm not ready for that.
I'm not ready at all.
We have a novel to finish,
Mr. Harper.
Let's worry about yours,
not mine.
-Jillian --
-Let's write.
I want to tell you something,
uh, about that woman --
Marie, the -- She's gonna be
coming back here, so...
-She's perky.
Gee, perky.
Um, she's been working
with dogs a long time.
Mm. Can't wait.
She's a dog trainer, you know,
someone to help me find a dog
and then tame what I'm sure
will be a barking, digging,
trash-spreading buddy.
Oh, Jillian,
you can't possibly
be jealous of a dog trainer!
I'm not!
Of course not.
Don't be silly.
Funny that Fred and Madge
want me to get back out
in the world again.
You came back here
to finish our story,
finish the novel, and move on.
Move on?
I don't get it.
I just don't get it.
Brett, I do want you to start
a new chapter in your life.
I'm just sort of stuck
in the old news cycle.
I'm yesterday's news.
Hardly, Jillian.
I mean, hardly!
I don't mean that
you should forget me.
It's just that...
life is meant to move forward.
You're gonna finish your novel,
and you're gonna send it off
to your publisher.
And then I'll be ready
to move forward, too.
I can feel it.
I think it's getting closer.
Um, let's not go there yet.
Let's concentrate on now
and the book.
So, we left off and...
they were going to the police,
Yeah, they're at the police
station, and, um-mm-mm --
police station,
and let's see.
Um, she files
a missing-persons report.
Uh, but there's
a language mix-up,
and the policeman thinks that
she is more than likely
a woman who's husband has
run off with a younger model.
Oh, that's typical.
He, her husband, is totally lost
on a country road.
And he's trying to hitch a ride.
And finally a guy on a tractor
comes to pick him up.
At about 10 miles per hour.
I love it. [ Laughs ]
Hey, where you going?
We were on a roll.
It's okay with me, you know.
In fact, it's very okay
if you marry again.
How did you leap to that?
Just don't want you to spend
the next 20 or 30 years
alone in this house.
Life was meant to be shared.
I'm not ready to even
contemplate that.
It's too soon.
But a month will fly by.
You and your very manly dog
will be out there in the world,
and you just never know
when you'll meet someone.
Even just for good company.
You never know.
Talking like that means
you're leaving soon.
I can feel it.
I am not quite ready for that.
Get back in the ball game.
You are ready.
And you don't even know it.
[ Doorbell rings ]
-Did you forget something?
Uh, you know, I guess
I could have waited,
but I baked these biscuits
this morning
and I forgot to bring them in.
Oh, thank you.
How kind.
I'll have them with my coffee
in the morning.
Oh, uh, well, they --
they are human edible,
but unless you like super
crunchy beef-flavored biscuits,
I would save them
for the dog.
Is this -- Ah.
Good old Miltonville Marauders.
I have one of these old caps
at home, too.
You like baseball?
No. I found it in the garden.
It was -- It was my wife's.
She was the baseball fan.
She dragged me to the games.
Wannabe players
with lots of heart.
Got to admire that.
Yeah, well, they still exist.
And, you know, they're pretty
good for a minor league team.
Maybe we could, uh --
Maybe we could catch
a game sometime.
Oh, I-I don't think so.
I-I don't know.
Oh, come on.
You're acting like a teenager
on his first date.
Just relax.
Marie, excuse me
for just one minute.
It's just a silly
baseball game.
I hate baseball, so no!
And it's not a date.
She's a dog trainer,
d-o-g trainer.
Go upstairs or somewhere else.
I mean, you're distracting me.
No date, my ass.
I'll leave.
And now I'm distracting you,
-Cute, Brett.
Ugh! Ugh.
Oh, is everything okay?
Oh, yeah.
Yeah. Um...
I'm gonna -- I'm gonna pass
on the baseball.
Thanks, though.
Oh. Yeah, sure, sure.
But, uh, you know,
if you change your mind
and you want a rubbery hot dog
on an over-steamed bun
while watching paint dry,
you just let me know.
I'll even bring my old cap.
You can bring yours.
It's a deal.
I just want to say,
thanks for putting up with me.
I feel like I'm, uh --
Coming out of hibernation?
Ready to say and do all the
things that you've been keeping
in the safety of your cave,
so to speak?
Ready to start living
in the real world, right?
Never thought about it
like that.
It's -- You're probably right.
Putting all the things I should
say in between the covers.
Well, you know,
let 'em eke out once in a while.
I, for one, would like
to get to know
Brett Harper a little bit more.
[ Doorbell rings ]
Oh! Marie!
Well, this is a nice surprise.
I'm just getting Brett ready
for a dog.
Looks like you made
quite a haul.
Lucky puppy.
Getting nervous, old man?
A little, but I think we'll be
in good hands with Marie.
Hey, I got an idea.
Why don't the four of us
go to dinner this week?
I-I don't know.
I've got the novel.
I've got to get on it
while my juices are flowing.
You got to eat, buddy.
It's just dinner.
Come on. Our treat.
I think it would be lovely.
Okay. Uh, but why don't I
make dinner for us here?
I'll try that chicken dish
that Jillian used to make.
You don't have to go
to all that trouble.
No trouble at all.
You'll be doing me
a favor, actually.
I could use the practice.
Well, we'll be
your guinea pigs.
Try not to poison us.
Fodder for a new book.
Then I'd have to change
my genre to murder mystery.
Uh, tomorrow work
for all of you?
Say, uh, 6:00 PM? That good?
-Good for me.
Works great.
That has been, uh, fun.
I'll see you all
for dinner tomorrow night.
-See you.
And you know what?
I'm hoping to introduce you
to a really great dog
over the weekend.
Hey, Fred,
where you headed, buddy?
I want to see how the yard looks
since you got the new gardener.
No, he isn't.
Fred swears
he's seen Jillian back there.
Too many late-night
martinis, Madge?
You know Fred.
He gets something in his head,
and suddenly he's in an episode
of "Ghost Hunters."
Fred's a ghost hunter.
Who knew?
Oh, God.
Relax, kid.
No one's coming to get you
from the great beyond.
Humor Fred. It'll pass.
Yard looks great.
Let us know
if you want it mowed again.
Our grandson's Grant's here
for the summer.
He'd like to make
a few extra bucks.
We love that kid.
Come on, honey.
Let's get going.
-Yes, dear.
So, tomorrow night for dinner.
-And I shall bring dessert.
-Thanks, Madge.
I'm looking forward to it.
Me too.
Tomorrow is good.
I'm actually getting excited
about it.

[ Applause ]

Are you here?
I thought you said
you couldn't change clothes.
I thought I couldn't,
but then I saw you saved
my favorite robe.
Thank you.
Ah, so I closed my eyes
and I wished so hard
that I could touch it
just one more time.
Took a chance and -- surprise --
it worked!
Whoo! Ooh.
-Hey, hey, hey, you okay?
-It's a good surprise.
I was having a hard time
seeing you
in that hospital gown.
Too much a reminder of that day
that you left.

I-I can't feel you.
I know.
I can't feel you, either.
Maybe it's...
time that you took a chance.
Marie's lovely. Really.
Don't you go turning
into a matchmaker.
I'm not saying to marry her.
I'm just saying,
why not take a chance
and get to know her better?
You need more than Madge
and Fred in your life.
I'll consider it.
Jilly, are you done
putting our life together,
or are you gonna start managing
my life going forward?
[ Laughs ]
Touchy, touchy, touchy.
Oh, God, I wish
I could kiss you.
Ohh, I mean, I could,
but you wouldn't feel it.
You remember when we were
first married
and your old friend Max
came to visit for a few weeks?
What --
What made you think of him?
You ever hear from him again?
No, come to think of it,
I never did.
That was such a strange visit.
By day five, I thought
he was practically
falling in love with you.
He was.
He said so.
No, no way.
Little Max?
Come on, Jillian.
He asked to kiss me.
And -- And you said no, right?
You said no, right?
I said yes.
It was so flattering.
Finally had to ask him to leave.
So that's why he made
such a quick exit.
And you are -- you are
telling me this because...?
Because our life together
was so much more
than just about your success,
your novels.
There were so many pieces
that you seemed not
to even notice or care about.
But I was there, too.
And I'm telling you this
because I want someone new
to come into your life, Brett,
someone to share your life.
"Share" being
the operative word.
Not someone who just
stood outside at times.
I was a terrible husband.
Yeah, at times.
Bit slow on reading
the signals, babe.
But mostly wonderful, really.
All your romance went
between the covers,
just not the ones on our bed.
I stayed in it until I didn't.
Just don't make someone new
question staying,
that's all.
That's -- That's it?
That's all?
Tomorrow we start
finishing the novel.
Good night, my love.

[ Applause ]
Oh, I'm a wreck!
I should have bought a frozen
lasagna and just baked it.
Your chicken's gonna be great.
Will you relax?
Besides, they're not
coming here to eat.
It's a dinner.
Of course they're
coming here to eat.
You really do live in your own
little world, don't you, Brett?
Fred and Madge want to see
how you get on with Marie.
Marie's not the only matchmaker
in the neighborhood.
-I don't think so.
-Think so.
Just don't burn anything.
Food or bridges.
Oh, please don't bring up
that fried turkey
Thanksgiving explosion
ever again, okay?
But you just looked so cute
with no eyebrows.
Hey, just a simple plan here.
Just concentrating on being
your witty and sociable self.
That, and wear your blue shirt.
I am not fun
or social or anything.
I'm just a boring writer,
not a planner.
I'll leave that up to Madge.
Oh, God, I hope I have
all the ingredients.
What the hell
did I get myself into?
Where the hell is your recipe?!
Top drawer, left.
[Brett] Oh.
I'll help.
I'll be your chicken muse.
I'll be around for
your coming out party.
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
I don't want you watching
my every move.
Oh, not every move.
I'm just curious.
Curious? About what?
Frankly, I want to see you
with another woman.
Two things, Jillian.
First, I'm not exactly new
to this
"talking to a woman"
sort of thing.
And second, you told me
to take a chance.
So I did. I am.
I know.
I just didn't think it'd be
quite this soon, I guess.
I could use a friend.
And maybe it's not
too soon for that.
Maybe I've waited too long
to start living again,
to be in my life
and not in your death.
No, Jillian, I didn't mean --
Fight with my dead wife.

[ Applause ]

[ Music stops ]
Hey, Madge.
-Hi, sweetheart.
-How are you?
Uh, listen --
about Fred and the ghost thing.
He gets these funny notions
in his head sometimes.
He probably saw branches swaying
or shadows of something.
You know, he loved Jillian, too.
He probably wishes
she was still around.
We all do.
Hey, Madge, no, hold on.
I want to ask you something.
I'm -- I'm trying to, uh,
move on.
Not -- Not forget.
I'll -- I'll never forget
Jillian, but -- but I, uh...
I, uh...
What? What?
I-I feel like it's a betrayal
to spend time with Marie.
Is it?
Of course not.
Jillian would have -- would have
wanted you to be happy.
Can you imagine
what she would have said
if she saw the state
of your house lately?
-And you such a mess, hmm?
Besides, Marie --
she's lost someone, too,
and she's ready
for a good friend.
Don't think of this
as a big romance.
I like her. That's all.
I mean, she's been good for me.
-Thanks for introducing us.
I needed a push.
That's what friends are for
Listen, I'll be back in a bit.
-Marie's on her way over.
We'll come together,
The Three Musketeers.
-See you soon.
I feel like my life is changing.
I hope I'm ready.
You do know that the only
person holding you back
from living is you, don't you?
Honey, I have guests
coming over any minute.
You want to start this?
I just want you
to start living.
Getting back out there,
getting the applause again.
I really do.
-I don't need applause anymore.
I'm just a boring writer.
I just need to make
a living and write.
Writing keeps me busy.
It's what I do best.
It looks fantastic!
Well done.
This -- This dish reminds me
of the time
when we were in Hawaii and --
and you made this and, um,
we went down to the shore.
We sat on that, um --
-Plaid blanket.
The old plaid blanket.
And we watched the sun sink
into the ocean.
And we ate it all!
-Ate it all!
[ Doorbell rings ]
Just go, okay?
Go. Please.
Hey, hey, hey!
Ooh, I smell
something wonderful!
Did you make
Jillian's special chicken?
-Yes, I did.
-Wish me luck.
-You mean wish us luck.
I brought some wine.
-Oh, thank you very much.
-I'm starved.
Let's eat.
-Yes, um, uh...
Everything is wonderful.
You know you're ready.
Don't wait for me, everybody.
Dig in!
I don't know
what I'm ready for.
It's just dinner
with lifelong friends.
-And a new friend.
Oh, here you go.
I can't wait.
-Me neither.
Oh, my God, it smells so good.
-It does smell good.
-Thank you very much.
-One momento.
-The chicken test.
I'm a little scared.
Brett, this is delicious.
[ Laughter ]
Just kidding.
It's fantastic!
Oh, thank you.
I would like to propose a toast.
To the chef.
-To the chef!
-To the chef!
-Hear, hear!
Oh, God, I miss wine.
I'm gonna get
the other bottle.
-Oh, no, you don't!
-Oh, no, I don't what?
No, you don't hang out
by the table.
It spooks me out.
So now I'm spooking you out?
Well, yes. No.
Maybe. I don't know!
I just --
No one can see you or hear you
but me and I'm distracted.
Come on, Jillian.
My first night actually hosting
since, you know --
since --
-Okay, I get it!
Sort of.
Go enjoy your date.
And it's not a date!
How many times
do I have to say it?!
Enjoy your chicken
with a buddy then!
This is fun.
Yes, it is, Madge.
Marie. Me.
Well, it's definitely fun
for me.
I haven't been out to dinner
with people
rather than dogs in a long time.
Me neither.
People, I mean.
Like I said, you got to eat,
why not dine in style?
-Hear, hear. Yes.
Oh, and I'm so excited.
You are on the brink
of getting a really great dog.
How did I let you all
talk me into this, huh?
I'm thinking of this dog
named Charlie.
-Yeah. He's a snuggler.
And an older dog.
See? I told you getting a dog
would be a great idea.
Come on!
Give me a break!
No, no, what I meant was
I was thinking about
an old dog br-breaking,
uh, his leg,
and I was imagining an old dog
hobbling around the house.
All old beings don't hobble.
Look at Madge.
Comparing me to
an old dog now, Freddy?
Uh, honey, this where
we bring up a new topic.
You have worked wonders,
brought him back
amongst the living,
the Brett we love so much.
Oh, well, thank you,
but I don't think it was me.
It was me that started
you living again -- me!
Yes, it was you.
Now stop it.
Okay, we don't even
have to talk about it.
Me and a dog
coming at my suggestion.
-Don't be that way.
-Aw, be what way?
Brett, did I --
did I do something?
No, what I meant was, don't be
that way, kind and sweet.
You are sweet on her!
I don't get sweet on anyone!
Brett, calm down!
Let's enjoy our dinner.
Excuse me.
I'll be right back.
[ Chuckles, groans ]
Come on.
I asked you for this one night.
Just -- Just go and let me
finish my dinner.
I'll leave.
And I think I'm done talking
about our life together.
Tomorrow we finish the novel.
Great idea.
Great idea.
I'm ready.
I'm ready, too.
Feeling better, dear?
Oh, yes, why not?
Now, where were we?
-We're drinking.

[ Applause ]
I asked you not
to show up for dinner.
And I never was good
at following directions.
I like her, Brett.
I'm glad she met
with your approval.
I'm actually gonna ask her out.
Like on a real date?
Just the two of you?
Yes, on a real date,
just the two of us, Jillian.
I -- I don't know what it's
gonna turn into, but I --
I know I could use a friend,
you know?
I want to get to know
her better, get to know her
without a dog being
the only thing we talk about
or Fred and Madge
tagging along.
I do want you happy.
I know you do.
You had quite a fan
there tonight.
She was very impressed with you
and your cooking.
Bravo to making my chicken.
-I don't think so.
-Think so.
I don't think she was
impressed at all.
I'm beat.
Let's call it a night.
Wait. Don't you want to hear
about my ideas
for the ending of your novel?
I do, but not tonight.
Can you write them down for me?
Can I write them down for you?
[ Laughs ]
No, I can't hold a pen!
I forgot.
Tomorrow, Jilly, tomorrow.
You'll remember
and I'll be ready.
[ Snoring ]
Good night, my love.

[ Applause ]
What the hell?!
-Ah! Oh, God!
-How did you --
-I was -- I'm -- Okay --
-What the --
Yeah. I know. I was on my way
to the Coffee Cup this morning,
and I saw that you --
your front door was wide open.
So I-I figured I'd better
come in and check on you.
-You got to be joking.
-No, I'm afraid not.
So I-I just sort of
came right in,
and you were sound asleep
on the couch.
And I figured you were gonna
be up soon anyway.
You probably have a busy day
ahead of you.
And, well, like Fred says,
you got to eat.
What the f--
...I made a little something.
Oh, God.
-Uh, not to worry.
I have four older brothers.
I am used to seeing men
a mess in the morning.
Come on.
I'm sure you must have tons
of things to do today.
This looks wonderful.
I'm, uh, not much
of a breakfast person, but I --
I will make an exception.
Oh, great.
I, uh -- Eh.
It's good.
This is delicious.
-Marie, you're amazing!
Well, you know, I worked as
a cook for a few summers
when I was in college.
I learned a few things,
but I'm not a cook by any means.
Will you just ask her out
already so we can get to work?
I'd like to spend more time
with you, but I got
I got some errands to run.
I got to get dressed.
really great.
Okay. Well...
-Thank you.
-You're welcome.
Okay, I'll just --
You know what?
I'll -- I'll clean up here
while you go and get ready.
You know, uh, you really
ought to lock your door at night
'cause you never know
who is gonna end up
in your kitchen in the morning.
Well, I know I, uh,
wouldn't find anyone as, um...
uh, thoughtful and wonderful
as you.
Um, do, uh --
Well, um, are you sure
that maybe you don't want me
to run some of those errands
with you?
I thought we were gonna
finish your novel today.
I didn't know I was
gonna have a cook
in the kitchen, so to speak.
She's leaving soon,
and then I'm all yours.
I promise.
Um, I'm gonna run
those errands later.
I've got to work on the novel.
I feel like I have
an ending of it
just about ready to unfold.
We shall see.
You wanted him to move on,
Looks like you got your wish.
Well, all cleaned up.
You too.
Um, have a seat.
I -- I would like
to ask you something.
tell me about your husband.
-He was a vet.
No. A veterinarian.
-We worked together for years.
Oh, that explains
your love of dogs.
Oh, God!
I'm so sorry!
It's just water.
It's really okay.
I bet I could do that.
I bet I could.
I could get a dish cloth.
-No, no.
God, this is just great.
-I'm really --
-It's okay.
-I do have another question.
-Oh, boy.
Curiouser and curiouser.
-About dogs?
Uh, no, it's -- it's, uh...
It's about me, actually.
-I hope nothing's wrong.
Nothing -- I mean,
something is really quite right.
Well, former outfielder,
You know, there's a lot
you don't know about me.
There's a lot I'd like to know
about you and then...
you about me.
I was wondering whether
you would like
to have dinner with me
on Saturday night.
Um, you can bring Charlie.
-And we could celebrate, and...
you could teach me
some new dad tips.
Just -- Just the two of us?
Three of us, actually.
Oh. Uh...
Just --
Just dinner with a friend and,
you know, have a plate, two,
and we'll eat and talk.
Oh, God, for a writer,
I'm really bad
at this communication thing.
I would love to.
That's great.
It's almost noon, lover boy.
Oh, look at the time.
I've, um, got to run.
I got to work on the novel.
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
I do have a bit of short time.
Yeah, I'm just gonna --
I'll get going then.
Yeah, well, that's swell.
No, what I meant was
breakfast is swell.
And then I'm really glad that
the door had been left open.
You're welcome.
-Thank you.
Yeah, I'll --
I'll -- I'll see you --
I'll see you
Saturday then for dinner?
-I'll wear something dry.
And, uh, you're --
you're very welcome.

[ Applause ]

No more, uh, silk robe?
Back to normal.
My normal.
-Something wrong?
Nothing's wrong.
Just getting close
to me leaving,
and I'm getting prepared.
So, it's really --
it's really coming then?
I guess I didn't want it
to end, but...
You're --
You're ready, aren't you?
Let me tell you the ending
for the book.
If you like it,
I can leave you in peace.
Maybe we never finish it.
Not an option.
Now go sit.
Let me give you my ideas.
Big question for me was,
do they reunite?
Do they find each other?
And I thought --
[ Cellphone rings ]
Hold that thought.
Hi. Yeah.
Yeah, sure.
Yeah, well, Marie is gonna
be here on Saturday night.
Fred, it's just a dinner.
Don't make such
a big deal out of it.
Full report on Sunday.
Help yourself to the mower.
You know where it is.
I got to run.
Okay, bye-bye.
Like I said, I'm torn
between the lovers
finding each other or not --
happy ending versus
a not-so-happy one.
My choice is a happy one.
My readers like a happy ending,
Then happy ending it shall be.
Hey, you okay?
As okay as someone who's --
-I know. I-I know.
Just getting ready to go look
for the fluffy clouds, I expect.
Meet Him.
Or Her.
Not what I wanted to hear.
I -- I knew one of these days...
it would -- would happen,
but I'm so -- I'm so confused.
I want you to stay.
I can't.
Once this chapter's done,
I am, too.
That's how it works.
But I'm anxious
to get settled now
and to see you settled.
That's how it works?
You get your rules
for this little visit
from some higher-up?
Do you get your wings
or something,
stroll through
some pearly gates?
Ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum,
Don't, don't, don't.
Please just...
And come sit.
Write with me, please.
[ Sighs ]
Time to get a laptop.
Put old Bessie out to pasture.
-Save a tree.
I-I'm ready.
Me too.
Here goes.
"There was a knock at the door.
She slowly rises,
then runs to open it,
in the hopes that he will
be standing on the other side.
Flinging it open
with great anticipation,
she's instead met
with disappointment.
Police officer Cowan
is standing there
with a crestfallen look
on his face."
So, you decided that
they don't find each other?
Brett, I'm on a roll here.
Where was I?
"'We haven't found him yet.'"
-Ha, ha!
Sorry. Sorry.
Mum's the word.
"'Yet?' she screams.
'So that means
I shouldn't give up?'
Officer Cowan turns to go
as he states,
'Don't give up until you must.'"
Ooh, I love that, Jilly.
"Closing the door,
she goes to the window."
"Gazing out at the street below,
she remembers all
the good times they had."
"She yearns to see him
come around the corner,
as she's done dozens
of times before,
but the street remains
empty and cold."
Late winter?
Yes, yes.
Make that, uh,
"Empty and cold and blanketed
in newly fallen snow."
Ooh, I like that, Jillian.
Ugh. Mnh.
I-I'll retype this
when we're done.
Uh, carry on.
To continue --
"Just as she is ready
to give up,
she sees a figure
coming through the snow."
That's terrible.
Uh, uh, I can do better.
-Hmm. Mnh-mnh-mnh.
Instead, try this.
"In desperation, she grabs
her coat and runs outside
to look for him one last time.
She frantically searches down
every street
and looks
into every shop window,
hoping to find him lost
and looking for her."
I hope she wore boots.
Brett, I'm serious!
Are you kidding me?
To continue --
"Just as she is ready
to give up,
she turns a corner
and bumps into a man."
"He's shivering in the cold.
He has no coat.
And only one shoe.
She looks up into his face,
"'s him."
"Her unbridled joy is quickly
replaced by the immediate
need to get him back
to the hotel.
She wraps her coat around him,
and together the two of them
slowly retrace her steps."
Oh, good.
I wanted her to find him.
What happens next?
Once they're back
at the hotel,
she's finally able to tell him
everything she's always
wanted to say.
All the things that someone
who is deeply in love must say.
I'm ready.
Me too.
Here goes, the last of it.
I fell in love with you
the first time
I heard you speak
at that summer symposium.
And I fell more deeply in love
with you every time I saw you.
Or listened to you speak about
your plans for your future.
And even more so when you talked
about your plans for our future.
You always said that we have
each other for such a brief time
here on earth, that we must make
the most of each day together...
each moment.
I have cherished every moment
with you...
from the good times
to the not-so-good times.
Being with you has made
whatever brief time
I am here on earth the absolute
best that anyone could wish for.
We have built memories
that will last to eternity...
until death do us part...
and beyond.
[ Crying ]
I can feel that!
I hoped you could.
I want to hold you in my arms
and tell you how much I --
how much I loved you, too.
And I will always hold you
in my heart...
I know.
It's too soon.
It's too soon.
She will take
good care of you.
Please don't go just yet.
I can't stay, my darling.
Time I moved on.
And so must you.
[ Doorbell rings ]
Your future's calling.
No, no, no, no.
I thought I was ready.
I want you back.
I want the past.
We can't live in the past,
my darling.
Our future awaits us always.
[ Doorbell rings ]
You better answer that.
Everything is waiting for you
on the other side of that door.
I love you, Jilly.
And I love you so very much,
my darling.
I always will.
Remember that.
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Sniffles ]
I-I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to catch you
off guard.
I -- Um, I-I just --
I just couldn't wait
for you to meet Charlie.
Ah. Hey.
He's, uh, so, uh --
He's so, uh...
[ Laughs ]
He's so small.
You're white as a sheet.
You look like
you've seen a ghost.
[ Laughs ]
Oh, yeah.

[ Applause ]