The More Love Grows (2023) Movie Script

Don't you think today
is a good day
to put your phone away?
It's my boss.
He needs an update
on the Denver presentation.
We are taking Aly to college
this morning.
I don't care if space aliens
invade Denver.
It's family time.
Good morning, family!
Good morning!
Oh, I can't believe
this might be the last breakfast
I make you for four years.
Oh, my goodness, Helen.
She's only going to be
a few hours away.
Mom, once again,
your key is for emergencies.
Oh, darling.
Let me make you some fresh eggs.
These ones look
a little rubbery.
Hey, Paul.
We fly out tomorrow.
I just need to send
this update now.
There's always
gonna be a business meeting.
Let's just be here today.
He's working hard
for his family, darling.
Now, Aly, my advice to you
is to not hide away
in the library.
The next four years
will be the best time
in your life
to meet young men
who are good husband material.
Aly is in
the pre-med program, Mother.
She's going to be focused
on her education.
Okay, yes.
But, um, how do I know
if someone is
good husband material?
Well, now, that is
a wonderful question.
When your grandfather
was courting me,
I had a whole list of qualities
to look for in a man.
Number one...
Sense of humor.
This is for you.
Since you aren't bringing
Mr. Teddy.
Oh, Mom.
It's perfect.
Thank you.
You have to make
a children's book out of these.
I draw Mr. Teddy for you,
but I would love to
if I could find the time
and the right idea.
Well, you'll have the time now
that you're not going
to be chauffeuring me around
all the time.
I could just come to college.
I could drive you to class,
cheer you on while you study...
- The car's loaded up.
- Great. I'm ready.
Oh, you're going to need
these tissues today.
Thank you, Mom.
You are going to wear
something nice
to take Aly to school,
aren't you?
I left a first-aid kit
in the other room,
and there's fresh batteries
in your smoke detector.
Oh, and the closest
emergency exit
is just down the hallway,
past your R.A.'s office.
- I love you, too, Dad.
- Okay.
Come here. Bring it in.
Come here. Mm.
I'm so proud of you.
You worked so hard,
and I know you can achieve
anything you set your mind to.
Thanks, Mom.
I'm going to miss you so much.
I'm going to miss you, too.
Okay. It's time to go, Helen.
All right. You just call us
any time, day or night,
and we're going to scoop you up
for a visit, okay?
I love you.
I love you, too.
- Bye.
- One more hug.
- Oh, I'm so proud of you.
- Helen!
- Bye.
- Bye.
- Wait. Is that her roommate?
- You must be Aly.
I'm you're new roomie, Dana.
Yeah, that's me.
Are you going
to the freshman orientation?
Those were your parents
that just left, right?
Yeah. Why?
Okay, I can finally
take this off.
We're not going
to a lame orientation.
We're going
to a frat party.
I can't believe
how 18 years has just flown by.
I can't believe
we're just leaving her here.
Remember how we used
to just jump on my motorcycle
and then we would just ride?
- And then...
- We had Aly.
She was the best thing
that ever happened to us.
I couldn't agree more.
But maybe it's time
for us to start having
our own adventures again.
You know, now that
she doesn't need us anymore.
I liked things how they were.
Let's just...
Let's stay here
a little bit longer.
She might call.
Well, you need anything,
call us, okay?
Proud of you, son.
We're going to miss you
so much, honey.
All right. Well, I'll see
you guys at Thanksgiving.
Love you.
Love you.
Okay. Well, I will see you
Thursday, buddy.
You feeling Barzetti's
or Regent Thai?
Barzetti's for sure.
Barzetti's it is.
See you then.
Bye, Amy.
Bye, Ben.
Not the pansies!
Okay. You must have an owner.
He was cute, though.
Honey, did you see the dog?
I sure did.
It was so cute.
It sure was.
Two dowels
for each corner of the table.
My flight leaves
in a couple of hours.
I hope
your presentation goes well.
I was hoping
that we could finish
our conversation
before I leave.
You know,
the one about our future.
It's been such a big day.
Can we just talk about it
when you get back?
I'm going to a barbecue
at Kappa House.
You coming?
Oh, I can't.
I've got to finish my first
organic chemistry lab by Monday.
I don't want to go alone.
Fine. Stay home
instead of making friends.
I know, Mr. Teddy.
I miss her, too.
Let's text her.
What do you think?
Okay. I'll go.
Who's that?
Oh. It's my mom.
- Ready to go.
- Okay, let's go!
I can't believe
the girls are in college.
Zoe hasn't called me once
since she left.
Aly either,
and when she does respond
to my text messages,
it's with emojis
I don't understand.
Why don't you two join me
next Saturday
for singing bowl
meditation yoga?
It's great for relieving
sadness vibrations.
I'm in,
if we can get mimosas
Paul's flight landed.
He should be here by now.
You guys start eating.
I'll give him a call.
Are you still mad
because I let him stay up
late last week?
Okay. Yeah, sure.
I'll see you in 20 minutes.
You're never gonna keep me down!
is my power anthem,
and I hold no shame in it.
There's no shame
in loving a classic.
That one got me through
a lot of angst when I was 17.
It's funny how the songs
we listened to in high school
stick with us, right?
Speaking of,
are you a Car let on High dad?
I'm Helen. I'm Aly Stevens' mom.
Ben Tollman.
I think we met
at a parent-teacher conference.
- Hey.
- Hey, you.
- Right.
- Yeah.
Yeah, my son, Skyler,
went to high school with Aly.
I knew I recognized you.
You're in med school.
Vet school, fourth year.
And you are an artist, right?
Technical illustrator.
Furniture manuals, mostly.
Oh, so you're the reason
those instructions
are so easy to follow.
That's me.
I should probably grab my order.
I actually have to pick up
my other little kiddo
from his mom's,
but it's good to see you.
- Good to see you.
- Come on. Let's go.
Oh, Chip, what a move.
What a legend.
Hey. Where are you?
Are you okay?
You're home?
So you're not coming?
Everyone's waiting for you.
I'll see you when I get home.
So, how's it feel
to be the last man standing
now that Skyler's
off to college?
I mean,
some extra attention is nice,
but not too much.
Oh, yeah, no.
Hey, Dad?
Are you okay?
Because I heard Mom tell Mark
that you'd be happier
if you met somebody.
I'm happy, kiddo.
Then why did Mom say that?
Look, between you,
vet school,
and these two lazy
little monsters,
I've got lots to focus on.
Don't you worry about me, okay?
Here. At least pretend
to eat a vegetable.
You first.
Our little secret.
Are you leaving again?
I thought you were here
'til next week.
I got offered a promotion...
VP at client development.
Congratulations, honey!
It's in our new
Mountain West office.
In Denver.
In Denver?
Well, what about our life here?
I think I should go on my own.
Long distance?
I was kind of hoping
you would start traveling less.
Yeah. I wasn't thinking
long distance.
I've been telling myself
that this feeling will pass,
but this Denver job
made me realize...
Realize... what?
That we've grown apart.
Honey, if you really
want to go to Denver,
we are going to make
something work.
It's not just about Denver.
Helen, I think
we should separate.
It's just...
It's just not working
I don't want to hurt you.
I just want to do
what's best for us both.
No, no, no.
I think this is...
This is not how you really feel.
You're having a mid-life crisis.
I'm going to sleep
at the office,
give us some space.
I leave for Denver in a month.
Our 20th anniversary
is in two weeks.
We are not splitting up.
Goodbye, Helen.
We are not splitting up.
We are not splitting up...
We are not splitting... up.
Splitting up?
What are you doing here?
Well, I know how worked up
you were about Aly leaving,
so I roasted a chicken.
I wanted you
to have a balanced meal.
What is going on
with you and Paul?
You look like
something terrible has happened.
We had an argument
and he's sleeping in his office.
What are you arguing about?
He thinks we've grown apart
and he's moving to Denver.
Not without you, he's not.
I'm taking a shower.
You need a plan.
How are you going
to change his mind?
I'm going to let him
come to his senses
and realize he should be
begging me for forgiveness.
Marriage isn't about
keeping score, darling.
If something is broken,
you need to try and fix it.
How many times have I told you
what my mother used to say?
"The more you tend it,
the more love grows."
A marriage withers
without attention.
Your father and I
used to work on our marriage
every single day.
I am sorry that my marriage
isn't perfect
like yours and Dad's.
It's not my choice to split up.
I just wish
you could support me for once.
I know.
Invite him over for dinner.
Comfort food.
Oh, and be ready
to really listen.
Oh, yes,
and wear your blue dress.
It really makes your eyes pop.
You again.
Who do you belong to?
Okay, okay, okay.
Are you hungry? Thirsty?
I don't have any dog food,
but I could get you some water.
Here you go.
You look well fed.
There must be someone
missing you right now.
Why don't you just go home
and leave my flowers alone?
Have a good day.
You look nice.
Thank you.
Now sit down, and we are going
to figure this out.
I am ready to really listen.
Thank you, but I really
just came to give you this.
An apology?
These look official.
I thought it would
make things easier
to finalize the separation.
Give us a chance
for a fresh start.
A fresh start?
Is that what you call
breaking up our marriage?
No. No.
I'm sorry.
I'm not explaining myself
very well.
I think you've explained plenty.
Just don't say anything
to Aly about this.
She shouldn't
have to deal with it
when she's settling
into college.
No, you're right.
We can tell her
after we work out
the separation.
I hope that we can
get through this as friends.
Well, here's
a friendly doggy bag.
Now please leave.
I didn't change your oil.
Do you want me
to come by this weekend?
Just please get out of here.
Oh! Come on.
Paul, what more
could you possibly have to say?
You again.
Can I, um...
Can I just look at your collar?
You don't have one.
Um, here's the deal.
You can stay tonight,
but no chewing,
or scratching the furniture.
Just no dog behavior. Got it?
All right.
No scratching.
So do you eat chicken?
You can have this if you want.
It's boneless.
Okay, good.
You eat chicken. All right.
I'm just going to make
a quick phone call.
There it is.
Just be a minute.
Uh, this is Helen Stevens.
We ran into each other
yesterday at Barzetti's.
I just... I found your number
in the Car let on High directory.
Helen. Hey.
I was actually
just about to head to bed.
What's going on?
Oh, gosh.
What time is it?
Oh, my goodness. It is late.
No, that's okay.
Is something wrong?
No. Well, uh
there is just...
There is a dog in my house,
um, that won't leave,
and I thought
since you are a vet,
you might be able
to tell me what to do.
How did the dog
get in your house?
Oh, I let him in,
and then I just fed him
because he looked hungry,
and I had
the worst night of my life,
and I couldn't stand to see
any more suffering in the world,
but now he's here,
so now what?
It sounds like
you're going through a lot.
I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to unload on you.
No, no. It's okay.
I had a patient today
literally try
and claw my eyes out.
I mean, she's a cat.
Look, why don't you
bring the dog
by the clinic tomorrow,
see if they have an ID chip.
I'll send you the address.
Thank you.
I come from a long line
of absolute-not-dog-people,
so I have no idea what to do
with a four-legged runaway.
Happy to help.
I'll see you tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.
Dog? Where'd you go?
I said no scratching!
Then he came in
with this tray of...
Oh, um, no, I'm okay.
Thank you so much, I'm full.
Oh, I should go to sleep.
I've got a class at 8:00 a.m.
Can't you get notes
from someone?
We need to discuss Homecoming
and getting invites
to the right parties.
I'm going to be studying.
I've already got
a midterm that week.
Okay, I know your thing
is being smart,
but you're in college now.
Why not try being cool?
Maybe we could go to the game
and I could study afterwards?
Yes, you can!
You are a terrible influence.
She doesn't realize
that one day
she's going to wake up
a 43-year-old woman
whose husband leaves her
for being too boring.
Hey, am I boring?
Step it out, work those legs.
Good morning.
Hi, honey!
Hi, Mom. Have you seen
my light-wash jeans?
Uh, no, but I...
I will look for them.
Are you okay?
You're all blotchy.
No way. You got a dog?
Well, he's a stray,
but I let him stay the night
because it was so cold outside.
Gee, Mom, what's next?
Are we climbing Mount Everest
over spring break?
No, no, no.
I'm going to keep
both of my feet on the ground.
He's so cute. What's his name?
Well, he doesn't have a tag,
but I guess
I could call him Elmer
because he wants
to stick to me like glue.
I gotta go to class.
It's so awesome you got a dog.
Love you!
Rather than
rehashing the reading,
we'll be diving into
an advanced
of resonance structures.
I hope you're all caught up.
Next slide, please.
This will be on the exam.
It will not make sense
if you haven't done the reading,
but I'm sure you all have.
Ready? Page three.
Hi, Mom.
Oh, you got Paul a dog!
What a wonderful idea!
Hello, Handsome.
Hello. Yes. Yes.
Wait. What is going on?
Mom, you hate dogs.
Well, actually,
I suppose I can tell you now.
It was your father
who really didn't like dogs.
I was just maintaining
a united front.
Well, the dog is a stray
who won't leave,
unlike Paul,
who filed for a separation
and wants to "wrap things up"
before he goes to Denver.
Did you...
I did. I followed
your retrograde advice.
- Did...
- It did not work.
You should...
I can't fix
my marriage to Paul...
You should
because I don't know
why he broke it.
May I speak now?
I was going to suggest
asking your friends
if Paul has said anything.
That is actually
a really good idea.
I know.
All right, class.
Once you have completed
your stretches,
I would like you all to move
those beautiful bodies
and meet me
in a downward dog position.
Are you okay?
So Paul told James and Greg?
Just that you're separating
and he's moving to Denver.
We should have called you.
We just didn't know what to say.
Do you need anything?
Where is this coming from?
I need James and Greg
to find out everything they can,
then they can tell Paul
the truth...
That he has gone crazy
and he's making a huge mistake.
We were thinking
more like moral support.
We shouldn't get in the middle.
We've been friends
since the girls' first day
of kindergarten.
It's just... we love you both.
Then help me save my marriage!
This is not
social time with friends.
I don't have any friends here.
All right, everyone.
Let's cleanse away
that negative energy.
Breathe in, breathe out...
Breathe in, breathe out.
We are going to find your owner.
There you go.
Okay, buddy. Back seat.
Well, he doesn't have an ID chip
to help us find his owner,
but he has definitely
been well taken care of,
haven't you, pal?
So what do we do now?
I mean, I would take him,
but I already have
two dogs at home,
and I don't really have
the space for a third.
Oh. Oh, no, no.
I am not in a good place
to have a dog
because I've never had one,
I'm going through
a separation right now.
It's brand-new.
I get it.
I can tell you, it gets easier.
I'll tell you what.
Leave Elmer with me.
I will call around
to a few shelters,
thank you very much,
and we'll see what we can do.
Thank you.
I truly appreciate it.
Hey, buddy.
Good luck out there.
Okay. I will take him,
while we look for your owner.
Really? That is...
That's incredible of you.
I cannot leave you
to take your chances
at a shelter.
Can I, buddy?
No, I cannot.
But here's the thing.
I don't know the first thing
about having a dog.
I don't know
what kind of dog food we need?
Do we need a doghouse?
Do we need dog toys?
Do you want me to go
to the pet store with you?
Yes! I do!
I will take
all the help I can get.
Yeah. I, um...
I have a couple of hours now.
Do you want to go?
All right.
Let's get you set up, buddy.
We're going to go get you
some squeaky toys.
Okay. Let's go.
Okay. For you, Elmer.
Let's see.
You're going to want a leash.
What about
Elmer, do you like red?
Is this your color?
Oh. Red suits him, hmm?
He's a jaunty fellow.
And chew on these.
Okay? And not our furniture.
You know what?
I'm, uh... I'm going
to send you the address
of my favorite dog park.
The more exercise he gets,
the less inclined he'll be
to destroy your house.
Then we will spend
a lot of time there with these.
You want to play fetch?
You are going to want this
as well.
Oh, yes, and you, too.
Fetch elbow is a real thing.
Um... and, oh.
What about this for Elmer?
Ooh. I love it.
And maybe some coveralls
for when he excavates
my flower beds.
Thank you.
And thank you so much again
for your help and advice.
Oh, you deserve the thanks,
taking on a senior dog.
Most people wouldn't.
I believe in sticking by people,
and now dogs, I guess.
Yeah, me too.
You two are going to do great.
The whole neighborhood
is going to want
to take you home
with a face like this, Elmer.
A few posts online,
some posters around town.
We will find your home
in no time.
Hey. How's it going?
"Describe his disposition"?
He is a hamster.
Ah, he looks pretty calm to me.
You know, I'm going
to be really glad
when this rotation is over.
Oh, well, hello. Who's Helen?
Oh, she's just a mom
from Skyler's school.
I helped her
with a stray dog today.
No. No, no, no, no.
Nothing like that.
We're just... friends.
That's it.
Just friends. All right.
So when's the last time
you went on a date anyways?
Yeesh. That long, huh?
Look, my priorities
are being a dad
and starting a vet practice.
That's it.
Whatever you say, buddy.
I'd rather spend my time
with a pretty lady
than Mr. Fluffernutter
over here.
Hey! Off the furniture!
Okay. Maybe just
for a little bit.
Do you like television?
You want to watch a show?
Go get it!
Good boy.
Let's find your home.
Elmer, that's to drink.
Oh, wow.
Oh! Oh, Elmer!
Let's go play.
Come on.
Good boy.
Here we are. We're at a park.
Dogs are pack animals.
You need to be the leader.
Elmer! Sit!
Uh, yelling doesn't work either.
You've got to lead
by showing confidence, okay?
Watch this. Like this. Watch.
Okay. Joey Ramone.
Hi, Joey Ramone.
There you go.
Good boy, good boy.
Roll. Good boy.
Let's dance and dance and dance!
- Look at his hands.
- Yeah, you got it!
- That's so cute.
- Good boy.
Now you try it, okay?
Um, okay.
Elmer, sit.
- See? You got it.
- Good job.
- Wow.
- Yeah, it's easy.
I know we just met,
but could I take you to coffee
and pick your brain
for dog advice?
I'm Helen.
I'm a dog newbie.
Oh, dog newbie, are you?
Okay. Well, I'm Cindy,
by the way.
Um, yeah, I'd love
to give you some dog tips.
- I know a great place.
- All right.
Let's do this.
Elmer, we're going
to go get some coffee.
Do you drink coffee?
I don't think, uh...
I don't think
that's going to be...
No, I don't think
a dog can have a coffee.
Praise the behavior
you want more of.
So if you call Elmer
and he comes right back,
lay it on thick.
So it's just like with kids.
Never had any,
but dog nature and human nature
is not that different.
Can I use the same technique
to get a husband who walked out
to come back when I call him?
Well, if he walked out on you,
you're better off without him.
I don't want to get divorced.
You know what?
I thought my life was over
when my husband
ran off with our landlady,
but it turns out
divorce was the best thing
that ever happened to me.
Because he was a cheater?
Mm, no.
Because I found music again.
I needed an outlet,
and a friend of mine
has a son who's in a punk band,
and so he invited me
to come on down
and scream into the microphone.
And then writing songs
became my passion,
and I have been singing
with Cindy and the Rogues
ever since.
That is so
Mm, yeah.
I know.
My ex burned my life down,
and, um...
I rose from the ashes rocking.
how are you going
to take your power back?
I could get new throw pillows.
Paul always hated them,
so I never had them
on our couch.
That's a start.
Yeah, it's a good one.
Yeah. Pillows.
But, you know,
I'm just going to write down
a number of a really cool lady.
We've become
really good friends, actually,
and, well, she helped me through
a really, really awful time.
You need to call a lawyer.
I'm not ready for that.
Ready or not,
you can either stand up
for yourself, or get run over,
You are so talented.
Thank you.
It's gorgeous.
Thank you.
I would love to keep it.
Filling the space
where my marriage used to be
with soft furnishings.
What do you think, Elmer?
I have another idea.
Hey, Mom. What's up?
Have dinner
with me on Wednesday.
It'll take your mind
off your anniversary
and get you off the couch.
I've been getting out, actually.
I even made a new friend today,
a musician who thinks
that marriage
is an outdated social construct
and Paul was holding me back
from living my best life.
What does that even mean?
See you Wednesday, Mother.
We can do it!
Very cute.
I can see that.
We should go talk to them.
Oh, my gosh.
Oil changes for beginners.
Loosen the drain plug.
That looks like a drain plug.
Loosening the drain plug.
making sure the catch pan
is underneath
so that oil
doesn't spill everywhere.
I need the catch pan!
Got the catch pan.
Here we go.
You changed your own oil?
What? Like it's hard?
What are you doing here, Paul?
I just need
to grab a few things.
Go on.
Oh, that was fun.
You kept the dog.
I didn't think
you'd ever be open to that.
Well, you underestimated me
in a lot of ways, Paul.
Now please leave.
Thank you, Elmer.
Hi. My name is Helen Stevens,
and I need to talk to a lawyer.
I am taking back my power.
Hey, buddy.
You want to get up here with me?
Good night, Elmer.
- Hey!
- Hey!
This park is so beautiful.
Yeah. Just another reason
to have a dog.
They're all being so nice!
Like, no barking or anything.
Go on.
There you go.
So what did you do
before you went back
to vet school?
I was a sales manager
at a software company
for about 18 years.
What led you to make a change
after that much time?
My divorce, to be honest.
I just got so tired
of moping around,
I decided to make myself happy
and follow a lifelong dream
to work with animals.
I like it.
What about you?
Did you always want to be
a technical illustrator?
It was a great job to have
while Aly was growing up.
It's a flexible schedule.
I could work from home.
I could really fit work
around being a mom.
Okay, but...
Does it make you want to jump
out of bed in the morning?
Not exactly.
I studied fine art in college,
and then Paul and I got married,
and we had Aly,
and a mortgage.
Life happened.
- Exactly.
- Yeah.
You know, Aly keeps telling me
I should get back into drawing,
and maybe I will.
I'll just dust off
my coloured pencils, you know.
What do I have to lose?
I like that.
Draw those lemons into lemonade!
Maybe I will.
It sounds nice
to have something positive
to focus on right now.
It's my lawyer.
Hello. This is Helen.
Hey, come on! Come hang.
Oh, actually, I gotta take this.
It's kinda loud in there.
So loud.
Hey, have I seen you
around the science building?
You look familiar. I'm Aly.
I'm freshman.
Pre-med major.
Trevor. I'm a freshman, too.
I'm studying bio.
So if you're pre-med,
you must be taking
organic chemistry
with Professor Shaul.
Yeah. It's brutal.
I'm actually
supposed to be studying now,
but my roommate begged me
to come out with her tonight.
Yeah. My brother's a junior
and he said if I didn't
get out of the library
and go to a party,
he would sign me up
for online dating.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
Dana! Dana! Dana!
I should probably go check
on my roommate.
Um, I'm supposed
to be her party buddy.
Like, now.
I'll see you around
the science building.
Yeah. Bye.
The court set a mediation date.
I have to decide
what's mine and what's his.
We've lived in that house
for 20 years.
Everything is ours.
Get as much as you can
while he's planning
his midlife crisis.
In the meantime,
you want something
to take your mind off things?
If you're free.
I'm playing a show.
I even wrote a new
song about Elmer.
Do I have to get a mohawk?
A faux-hawk at least.
That will be perfect
for my anniversary dinner.
- What?
- With my mother.
Maybe if I distract her
with my hair,
she'll forget to lecture me
about my marriage.
Ah. You know what?
You can just tell her
you're no longer part of
the patriarchal machine.
I wish you were
coming to dinner.
You should come to dinner!
I'm afraid my anniversary's
going to turn me into a mess.
No, we can't have that.
I'll come. I'll come.
Oh, you. Come on. Hey, Cindy.
Hi there.
How is Joey Ramone's paw?
Ah, much better.
Good. Good.
It was great running into you
the other day.
I had a really nice time.
Maybe we can take the pups
for a walk sometime.
I would like that, yes.
Great. I'll give you a call.
Or Chip and Chunk
will text Elmer,
- something like that.
- That sounds good.
- See you soon.
- See you soon.
- See ya.
- Ciao.
Come on, boys.
So what?
Someone has a dog-walking date.
It's not a date.
I'm still married.
Ah. Separated.
- Darling.
- Mom!
You look lovely
when you dress up.
Let's sit down.
This place looks really nice.
- Cindy!
- Cindy?
Sue! I love that
we're reclaiming
Helen's anniversary
as her Independence Day! Yes!
Mom, I wanted you to meet
my new friend
since she's been so supportive.
Isn't that nice?
Excuse me.
We're going to need
another place setting here.
And a wine list.
Thank you.
You must be so proud of Helen.
She is not letting
this divorce get her down.
In fact, she's making friends
with Elmer's hunky new vet.
She is not getting divorced.
Helen, you shouldn't be making
any new friends.
You should be saving
your marriage to...
Paul! What are you doing here?
Well, your mother wanted
to talk to me.
You two need to sort things out.
I'm leaving.
And I'm sorry
for dragging you into this.
Don't worry about me.
I'm also...
I am taking my cake.
Atta girl.
I didn't know you were going
to be here, I promise.
I believe you.
This has my mother's
fingerprints all over it.
I should not have let things
spiral out of control
without talking to you.
Why didn't you talk to me?
I kept trying,
but it seemed like
you didn't want to listen.
I should have tried harder
to stay connected.
I really do want
to stay friends.
I care about you so much,
even if I haven't always
acted like it.
You are an incredible dad
to Aly,
and we'll always be
her parents together,
but as for more than that...
I don't know.
Happy anniversary.
I cannot process this evening
without ice cream.
Elmer, do you like ice cream?
I feel like if I were a dog,
I would really like ice cream.
That's just a guess.
Guess we'll find out, won't we?
Did you eat my whole cake?
It's okay. I've got ice cream.
What's going on?
You all right?
What's going on?
Hey. I think
something's wrong with Elmer.
What's going on?
I went to get ice cream,
and he ate
my chocolate lava cake,
and now he's just
laying on the couch whimpering.
Chocolate's toxic for dogs.
- I poisoned him?
- No, no, no.
You didn't know,
but meet me at the clinic, okay?
Okay. We'll be right there.
And Whiskers is all good to go.
Just keep the cone on
for the next five days, yeah?
See you, little guy.
Excuse me, Doctor?
Um, do you know
how my dog is doing?
I don't know what I'm going
to do if he's not okay.
Oh, I can definitely
go check for you.
What's his name?
Elmer. I'm Helen.
His vet is Ben Tollman.
Oh. He's mentioned you.
I'll go check
where he's at, yeah?
Thank you. Thank you so much.
No problem.
Well, it was a very rough night,
but he's going to be okay.
Oh! Hey there!
How are you feeling?
Oh, you scared me, buddy.
Oh, I'm so glad you're okay.
You're our hero. You saved him.
Oh, I am not
his favorite person right now.
I made him eat
activated charcoal
and he threw up a lot.
Poor baby.
You know,
I'm second shift tomorrow.
If you wanted, I could swing by
and check on him
on my way in.
I would love that.
Would you love that, Elmer?
Yes, yes.
He says, "We would love that."
We will, um...
We'll see you tomorrow.
- Yeah.
- Thank you so much again.
Oh, of course.
All right. Let's get you home.
We are never, ever going
to touch chocolate again.
Ever ever, okay?
Thank you again
for coming by to check on him.
Yeah, no problem at all.
You're on my way to the clinic.
Besides, I should have
said something about chocolate.
So how's he doing?
Let's just say
he gets knocked down,
but he'll get up again.
You are never
gonna keep him down.
No, he'll be good as new
with a few days' rest.
I'm sorry for imposing,
but you were the first person
I thought of to call.
Glad you did.
Oh, by the way,
I have a pamphlet for you,
"Dogs and People Food,"
just for future reference.
Ooh. Thank you.
And I have... oh.
Bye, Elmer.
a get well soon gift.
How did you know
he likes chewing on socks?
A universal dog trait.
I actually have
something for you.
Yeah. You had mentioned
that you wanted
to get back into drawing, so.
This is incredibly thoughtful.
- Thank you.
- Yeah, of course.
You have the exact same edition
of Oliver Twist
that I had in high school.
It's my favorite book.
My dad actually
got that for me in 10th grade.
It's my favorite, too.
Okay. Who's your
favorite character?
You've got to be kidding me.
What? Who is yours?
Artful Dodger?
because he's the coolest.
I mean, who goes out
and does all the actual work
while Fagin sits at home
counting their pennies?
Do you have to go
to work right now?
Uh, not for about an hour.
Well, then sit down, my friend.
We are going to settle this.
All right.
Let's see what you've got.
Wait 'til you see all the notes
I have written in here,
from high school.
It's going to be embarrassing,
isn't it?
Oh, wow.
This was fun.
Yeah. I wish
I didn't have to go to work.
I'd say we should order
some pizza
and watch the musical.
How about we go on that walk
you suggested
when Elmer's feeling better?
I'd love that.
- See you soon.
- See you soon.
Oh, you want to go
on a walk already!
All right. Let's go.
So pink is for me,
blue is for Paul.
All right.
Normative, but I'll go with it.
I don't even know
where to start.
I mean, everything here
has a memory attached to it.
Yeah, but stuff is just stuff.
You know, you're going to have
your memories
whether or not you keep the
owl lamp.
My aunt gave that to us.
It doesn't even work
half the time.
Okay, that's
what I'm talking about.
You gotta ditch the baggage.
Let me ask you this.
What makes you feel excited
about your new life?
I liked being able
to change my own oil.
That made me feel
strong and capable,
and I would like
to do more things for myself.
Like, I wish I could fix
that ridiculous lamp.
I have an idea.
Bring the lamp.
So this is more than
just a coffee shop.
Oh, yeah.
It's a repair cafe Wednesdays,
board games Thursdays.
Uh, babies.
That's so cool!
You think they can fix my lamp?
Oh, yeah. They can fix anything.
I thought you said
you liked how you felt
by doing things by yourself.
Oh! Wanna learn
how to use power tools?
Why stop there?
Let's build something.
I love it. Thatta girl.
Hey! Can you give us a hand?
I would love to fix
Mr. Owl here.
Hey, Aly!
I'm sorry to wake you,
but the library's closing,
and, uh,
and that janitor
can kind of be mean
about people
trying to stay late.
Oh. I'm not even halfway
through the material
for my organic chemistry
midterm tomorrow.
Well, if you need
a place to study,
the student center is open 24/7.
Well then,
that is where I'm going.
Um, can I...
Can I walk you there?
That would be really nice.
- Come on.
- Okay.
Let's do this.
Hungry. Okay, let's go.
After you.
All right. Nothing in here
is particularly hard or new.
We've discussed all of this,
so it should be easy for you,
provided you've been
paying attention,
which I'm sure you all
have been.
All right.
You have one hour
beginning now.
I was an only child, too!
Did your parents love animals?
More like animal-likers.
I mean, they loved
our cat, Ma in a,
because she pretty much
took care of herself,
but they would never
go for a dog.
And you?
Did you grow up
in a household of artists?
My dad was an engineer.
My mom, a homemaker.
Our house was very structured,
so I've tried
to be more laid-back with Aly.
Are we talking navel piercings
or Taylor Swift concerts?
More like
if Aly had a bad day at school,
we'd eat cheese and crackers
and watch movies,
but lately,
she's not even taking my calls.
Yeah. Skyler's been the same.
You know, it's funny.
We turn ourselves inside out
trying to give them
everything they need.
At some point,
they're the only ones
that know what that is.
All we can really do
is try our best, right?
Now I have to call my mom.
We should, uh...
- Come on, Elmer! Let's go.
- Do you want my jacket?
No, no. I'm good.
Thanks, though. Let's go.
- Come on, boys.
- Whoo!
Perfect fit.
I just...
I can't get over your sketches.
They're amazing.
Well, someone gave me
a lovely set
of coloured pencils,
and I have something for you.
You have helped us
in so many ways,
so I wanted to say thank you
with this.
It's just a sketch, I know.
It's not the Mona Lisa.
Okay, well,
now I'm just thinking about you
sketching outside the Louvre.
Oh, I've always wanted
to go to Paris.
Come with moi
to the City of Lights.
I should probably
get some more work done.
I should probably do some stuff
before I pick up Charlie
from school.
Thank you so much
for the picture.
Of course.
It's incredible,
and the shirt, amazing,
and all of it.
It's all yours.
Okay. Come on, boys.
Mom, are you okay?
You're what?
Are you dying?
I'm an awful mother.
Oh, Mom.
Come in.
Elmer, it's okay, buddy.
It's okay.
Maybe, um
we could try
to talk about this calmly.
He doesn't like conflict.
It's okay.
- I'm sorry.
- Mom, it's okay.
It's okay, buddy.
Oh, I made him go away.
It's all right. He's okay.
I'm so sorry.
When you told me
you think I don't support you,
You mean everything to me,
my darling.
Thank you for saying that,
but do you understand
why I feel that way
when I'm just doing
the best I can?
Oh, yes, I do understand.
I should have told you this
a long time ago.
Your father and I
separated once.
You remember that summer
you and I spent
with your grandparents?
Well, your dad and I
had been fighting,
so we agreed to spend
some time apart to cool down.
Why did you not tell me?
I don't know.
I just thought it was
better for you
if we dealt
with our problems privately,
a good mother...
A good mother
would have set an example
on how to handle
marital struggles.
Mom, you have always been
the best mother
you can possibly be.
And you,
you're strong
and brave and loving,
and you're a wonderful mother
to Aly.
I just... I want you to know
I am always on your team.
Thank you.
Does this mean I have to like
your aggressive new friend?
No, it doesn't,
but maybe you could come
to her concert,
give her a chance.
I suppose I can do that.
Yes, I put up the posters
about the dog.
He's yours?
Sure. We...
We can meet you tomorrow.
We'll see you soon.
Hey, buddy.
We may have just
found your home.
Hey. It's Ben.
Hey! I'm just giving
Elmer a bath.
How are you? Whoa!
I was just wondering
if you wanted to go
to an art show with me tomorrow.
Your drawing's making me
want to look at art.
Yeah. That sounds fun.
Let's do it.
You want to shake, shake...
Oh! I have to go.
Soapy dog here.
I'll see you tomorrow.
All right.
Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow.
That was just
a friendly invite, right?
Not like a date.
You almost ready to get out?
We're getting out.
- Hey!
- Hey! Hi!
- Good to see you.
- Yeah, you too.
Uh, should we check it out?
That sounds great.
There was something
I wanted
to talk about, actually.
Hey? Hey?
Oh, sorry.
it's just I may have found
Elmer's family.
I'm meeting with them
later this afternoon,
which I know is great.
I mean, that's... It's good.
It's what I...
But you're going to miss him.
Yes! Is that crazy?
I didn't want a dog.
Now I don't want him to leave.
No, no. It's not crazy to me.
It's one of the things
I like most about you.
Well, thank you.
What is it you wanted
to talk to me about?
Uh, it can wait.
It's fine.
Why don't we check out
this masterpiece,
"Youthful Innocence"?
It's very youthful.
- And innocent, I think.
- Yes.
Duke! Where have you been?
You had us worried sick!
So he really is your dog.
He was my uncle's,
but he passed away last month,
so we took Duke in.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
Thank you so much
for finding him.
I'm Marisa.
And I'm Justin,
and, uh, these are our loud,
rambunctious, very active kids.
I think the constant
chaos of our household
stressed him out.
I've noticed
he doesn't like conflict.
Would you like to come inside?
We've got some coffee and
fresh-baked cookies laid out.
Oh, no, no. I don't...
I don't want to get in the way.
Come on, buddy.
You want to go inside?
He seems to be
quite taken by you.
Would it help you all out
if he came to live with me?
I would love to give him a home.
I think he'd love that.
Hey there, buddy.
You want to come home with me?
You do?
Um, excuse me, Professor?
I got a D-plus on my midterm
and I need a B-plus average
to maintain
my pre-med scholarship.
I was wondering if maybe
I could do some extra credit?
This isn't high school.
There is no extra credit.
Oh, um...
Well then, what can I do?
You can work very hard
and perform exceptionally well
on the two remaining midterms
and the final exam.
Or you can choose
an easier course of study.
Is there anything else?
Um, no.
Thank you.
Elmer! Dinner!
We're family now, buddy.
I never thought
I would say this,
but I am so glad
you're staying with me.
Key's under the mat!
Come in
unless you're an intruder!
- Hi.
- Hi.
Maybe find out
if it's an intruder
before you mention
the spare key.
I got this little doggy bed
for Elmer
now that he's staying here
for good.
That is very nice of you,
but I've actually decided
to let him sleep in my bed,
which is where he is right now.
It's official.
You're a dog person.
Hey, what's this?
Well, I realized last night
that all of my drawings of Elmer
could be a story.
I think I have whole a book,
maybe even a whole series.
Elmer could have all sorts
of different adventures.
Which means I need to have
more adventures of my own
for inspiration.
Are you busy later today?
No. No, I'm not.
You okay?
I might be a teeny tiny bit
terrified of heights.
So you decided to climb
a 40-foot wall?
Aly loves climbing,
but I've always been
too scared to try it,
so today's the day.
Hey. No pressure, okay?
I may not make it to the top,
but I'm going to be very brave
and I'm going to try.
I love that I invited you
to do something crazy with me
and you didn't even hesitate
to say yes.
Normally, I have to do
these kind of adventures alone,
so it's nice to have a partner.
I know, right?
I'm really glad we're friends.
What's on your mind?
Well, um...
You know, when I'm with you,
as much as I do...
I love...
I love being your friend
I'd like to be more.
With me?
If you feel the same way.
I just... I don't...
I don't really know how I feel.
I mean, yes,
I am starting to have
feelings for you, too,
but I just...
I guess I don't know
if that's really
what's good for me right now.
Yeah. Yeah. No, no.
Yeah, no,
I completely understand. Yeah.
Well, I should get home.
I've got to get ready
for my mediation tomorrow.
Here. Let me, um...
- Oh, sorry.
- Sorry.
- The chair.
- Right.
- Yeah.
- Well, I'll see you soon.
What are you guys doing here?
We are so sorry.
We handled things totally wrong.
We should have been there
for you as soon as we heard.
How are you doing?
Well, after mediation tomorrow,
I'm going to be 43
and alone for the first time
in decades.
For what it's worth,
James and Greg told Paul
he's being a colossal idiot.
I'm actually okay with it.
I'm learning I can stand
on my own two feet.
And we are so proud of you
for that.
Can we still be your besties?
We brought cake.
Come on in.
I love you guys.
Also, I love cake, so.
All right. Let's begin
with the division of assets,
starting with the house.
Mr. Stevens,
what is your position?
My position is
that we should both
live in the house
I think I made a mistake.
I changed my mind about Denver.
I think we should try
to make this work.
Will you stay married to me?
I need to talk to you outside.
Okay. What is going on?
So you're not...
You're not going to Denver?
I want to stay.
I want to give us a chance
to work on things.
But why?
You started acting in ways
that I...
I could never even imagine,
and then I realized
that maybe you had to be
the steady one
because I was so restless,
and maybe things
would have been different
if I could have been the anchor.
Go on.
I mean,
what if I made a mistake?
What if we could have
new adventures together?
We could go backpacking again.
A backpacking trip
around the world
isn't going to fix us,
and that's okay.
You want to go to Denver.
You're excited
for a new opportunity,
and I've started
building my own life.
I'm proud of what I'm doing
and who I'm becoming.
I know.
I see it.
I can't go backwards.
So what do we do now?
We tell Aly.
Anyone home?
Mom? Dad?
It's a lot
for her to process, so...
It's delicate.
we just need to come up
with the best way to tell her.
Tell me what?
What is going on around here?
Aly, what are you doing here?
- Aly, are you okay?
- I don't understand.
You're splitting your stuff?
Are you getting a divorce?
Is that why you've both
been acting so weird?
Your mother and I
have been having problems,
and we're taking
some time apart.
Time apart?
Honey, we're separated.
Why didn't you tell me?
You have so much going on
right now.
Well, not anymore.
I'm flunking organic chemistry,
and I'm going
to lose my scholarship.
I'm switching
to an easier major.
Why do you care?
You're separated
and you didn't even think
that you should tell me?
Okay, Elmer, not right now.
I'm going to Gram's.
I'll take the bus
back to campus tomorrow.
Elmer! No!
Elmer ran away.
Hey, can you bring
Chip and Chunk to the dog park?
Maybe if he sees his friends,
he'll come back.
Thank you.
Maybe he'll come back
on his own.
Or maybe he'll get lost again
and end up in a shelter
with no one to take care of him.
Okay, I'm here.
Which way did he go?
We don't know.
He got out too quickly.
Well, I'll take Gram.
I'm going to the dog park.
I'll go
this way.
Elmer! Elmer!
Elmer! Elmer!
Well, this clearly
isn't working.
I'm going to go home
and make him a steak.
Elmer likes steak.
So you're going to walk around
holding a steak
so he comes to you?
Yeah. I am.
I can't think
of anything else to do.
All right. I'll come with you.
I should go by myself.
Hey, are we okay?
We haven't talked
since the other day
when I mentioned
what I mentioned,
but I want
to be here for you.
I know
I guess I'm just not ready yet.
If Elmer ever does come back
maybe I should find him
a new home.
No, come on, Helen.
He needs a home
he'll be happy in,
not one he wants
to run away from.
You came home!
Oh, my goodness.
I was so worried.
Let's get you inside.
I am sorry
the arguing upset you.
I know you hate it,
but it really hurt
that you ran away.
Oh, Elmer!
You found him!
- Oh, my gosh.
- Yes.
Hi, buddy.
I'll text Dad
and let him know you found him.
I'm really sorry I let him out.
It's not your fault, honey.
My word, you scared us!
Yes, you did!
Yes, you did!
Gram, you like dogs now?
Can you go upstairs
and get Elmer
some of his special treats?
Let's get him settled in
for the night.
Come here, you.
- Off to bed. Off to bed.
- Come here, little buddy.
Aw, you scared us.
You have had
quite the night, honey.
And quite the day.
In mediation, Paul said
he wanted to try again.
I told him no.
That was after Ben told me
he wants to be
more than friends.
Is that what you want?
I like him
maybe even really like him,
but it's too much right now.
I've got to get off
this emotional roller coaster.
It's been quite the ride.
Mom, would you be open
to taking Elmer?
I don't think I can handle him
running away again.
Oh, darling,
I know how much
you've been through,
but Elmer isn't Paul,
and neither is Ben.
You need to talk to Aly,
so I'm going to get out of here.
I love you, darling.
I love you, too, Mom.
Bye-bye, Aly.
Bye, Gram. Love you.
I love you, too.
Is that sharp cheddar?
Oh, I brought everything.
I'm really sorry
that I didn't tell you.
Honestly, I think I was
just trying process it myself.
Have you
processed it?
Gram says,
"The more you tend it,
the more love grows,"
and I guess
I've been learning
that love changes,
and it grows with time.
And it's funny.
I'm actually more comfortable
with myself right now
than I've ever been.
I really hate you and Dad
not being together,
but I want you both
to be happy.
Thank you.
Oh, I love you so much.
I love you, too, Mom.
So what happened with college?
I didn't study enough.
I was too busy trying to be cool
and make friends.
Is that why you haven't
wanted to talk to me?
I just want you
to be proud of me.
I am proud of you
because of who you are.
I know, but I just feel like
I've messed it all up too much.
Maybe you can fix it.
But where would I even start?
I think
you have to figure that out.
It's what...
What do you kids
call it these days?
Gosh. Mom.
Thank you so much!
You've been
a fantastic audience!
That song is new,
and it was inspired
by my new friend, Elmer!
Cindy's music is rather catchy!
You've got to be careful, Mom.
It almost seems like
you're having fun!
Thank you. All right.
We have one more song for you,
and this is a request
from a special man
who wants to let a certain lady
know that he's there for her,
if she wants.
You're here.
I can't believe you got
Cindy to play "Tubthumping".
She and I both know,
in the immortal words
of Chumbawamba,
they are never
going to keep you down.
I think you're amazing, Helen,
and I know how much
you're going through,
and I'm so sorry that I made it
more complicated.
I want you to know
that I'm here for you,
as a friend,
if you want.
I don't think we can be friends.
I understand.
Because you're right.
What we have is special,
and I've just been scared,
but I don't want to live
from a place of fear.
Are you saying that
you want to give us a chance?
We have to take things slowly.
Like, really, really slow.
Really slow. Absolutely.
Maybe we could just start
with a dog walk tomorrow?
I would love that.
And maybe tonight
a dance?
One more time!
Hey, honey. How's school?
Good. I've been going
to the science tutoring center
every day,
and if I ace the next
two midterms and the final,
I can still maintain
a B-plus average.
Oh, I'm so proud of you.
It feels good.
And I'm meeting
lots of nice science nerds.
Mom, this is Trevor.
Hi, Aly's mom.
I should get back to studying.
I just wanted to say hi,
and I'll call you this weekend.
I love you. Have fun.
I love you, too.
I am very sorry
I said I was going to find you
a new home.
I was just hurt,
and I was scared.
Just don't run away again, okay?
Ready for a walk?