The Only Living Boy in New York (2017) Movie Script

In the 20th century,
if you wanted
to know your neighbors,
you moved to the suburbs.
If you wanted
to become an addict,
you moved to New York.
The junkies are in the burbs,
and the building next door
is a fucking kickball league.
It was art against commerce,
and commerce won.
The kids think the only place
to find art is in a gallery
and the only place
to find romance
is confessing your love
in the rain,
like in the movies.
But it's messier than that.
Well, there's always mess.
It's safe here now,
but there's still urban decay.
It's just migrated
into the dinner parties
of the upper West Side.
The best lack all conviction,
while the worst are filled
with passionate intensity.
Yeats said that,
but so did Lou Reed,
quoting him live
at the bottom line.
Lou Reed's gone,
and so is the bottom line.
It's probably a soulcycle...
the only soul
the city has left.
Everyone's pretending
it's all okay,
but that's a lie.
Something's missing,
and we all feel it.
Including Thomas webb.
He thought he had the answer
and her name was Mimi.
1976. The city was
dirty, crime-ridden and broke.
It was the center
of the creative universe.
New York's lost its soul.
The most vibrant neighborhood
at the moment is Philadelphia.
I like that.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Where'd you lift that from?
I didn't. It's mine.
Well, it's good.
So, will you come
with me tonight?
No. Your mom's last dinner
party made me feel invisible.
I know, but we were
invisible together.
If you don't like it,
then you don't go.
I have to go.
My mother's unstable.
Throwing dinner parties
is how she medicates.
Yeah, so what about
the lithium and Xanax?
Not to mention
the nicotine and shiraz.
I have to tell you something.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Might be going to zagreb.
- Where?
- Zagreb.
It's in Croatia.
So, Helmut graph,
he runs a workshop there,
and I found out that I can
transfer my credits to nyu.
That's, um...
No, why is that terrible?
Because you're the only thing
in my life that I'm settled on.
Thomas, what do you think
is happening?
Between me and you,
what do you think this is?
August 8. August 8.
I think August 8 was real.
It was amazing.
But it was just one night.
I mean, Nick was playing L.A.
I was vulnerable.
We were both on Molly.
I- i thought I was a pirate.
And it was just one night.
Well, I'm crazy about you.
- I'm crazy about you, but...
- But don't say "as friends."
Why? Why is that so bad?
Because pretty girls like
to recruit their rejections
and then call them friends.
For Mimi, Thomas was like
the new New York...
no danger, no deliverance.
It made him nurturing
and too boring
to fall in love with.
Mimi thought Thomas
was a boy without mystery.
Thomas agreed.
But all that
was about to change.
Anything worth opening?
Just bills and junk.
W.F. Gerald.
I just moved into 2-b.
Thomas webb.
Why so troubled, Thomas?
Excuse me?
I know that color of stress.
It's much brighter
than job issues,
more subdued
than possible disease.
Sorry, I'm being rude.
No, I mean...
I'm having a bad day.
What's her name?
It's Mimi.
Ah, Mimi.
Derived from williamina.
It means "resolute protector."
There you go.
What, uh...
What is it that you like
about this Mimi?
You a psychiatrist?
You ask psychiatrist questions.
Maybe I can help.
Maybe I can help you
get Mimi to sleep with you.
How do you know
she hasn't already?
It's nice meeting you.
Well, why don't you let a new
neighbor help you out, hmm?
What do you like about Mimi?
I'm in 2-b!
Where did you meet her?
There's this bookstore
called the pale fire.
- Yeah.
- It's named after John sh...
John shade's 999-line poem.
Right. Well... they sell
rare vintage books in there,
and I'm into that, just
reading off the beaten path,
and Mimi works there.
She gave me
the greatest recommendations.
You know?
She's putting herself
through nyu's writing program.
She reads a book a week.
Polishing her brain.
Incredibly beautiful.
- Like she's direct from god,
you know? -Mm.
Not second generation,
if that makes sense.
Complete sense.
You know, we get each other.
Problem was...
is... that she has
this boyfriend.
Nick, and he's in that band,
fahrenheit 185.
The exact temperature it takes
to cook heroin.
Eh, let's see what we got.
Anyway, so, Nick goes on tour.
Mimi's now available, and
we're hanging out more, and...
We end up spending...
A magical night together.
- Mm.
- August 8.
And then... nothing.
All goes platonic.
How old is Mimi?
She's... 22.
She just turned 22.
She's young, you know?
She's at an age where defense
mechanisms are very strong.
Despite her outer veneer,
she's ruled by fear.
Like so many of us
at that time, you know.
What you need to do,
mm, just make her afraid
of something more
than being with you
in that way.
Which is?
Mm, not being with you.
But how?
How am I supposed to do that?
Mm... let life take over.
Uh, find a window, then pounce.
That's it?
That's your Sage
neighborly advice?
Can I have my money back?
- Is it Thomas or tom?
- It's Thomas.
Not Tommy?
- No, never, never.
- No? Ah, Thomas.
You're not giving life
enough credit.
The unpredictable forces
of humanity.
- My life is not unpredictable.
- Life is as much a dream
- as it is a nightmare.
- My life is conventional.
- My life is boring.
- No.
It's as random
as it is deliberate.
You know, as funny
as it is tragic.
Yours is no exception.
I got to piss.
Dinner parties were
Judith's safety blanket.
A tableful of artists
took her mind off herself.
The swirl of distraction,
seating plans,
gossip, food...
to keep away the dread.
They were the perfect antidote
to her childhood dinners.
The silences,
the drunken outbursts.
Artists came to New York
from all over,
and she always took them in,
clinging to the illusion
of an open, happy family.
Do you miss getting mugged
on central park west
- while walking your dog?
- Exactly. Exactly.
No, but I do miss
the 2nd Avenue deli.
- Uh-huh.
- I miss the lenox lounge.
I mean, do you know what are
in those iconic places now?
Urban outfitters,
- a Starbucks...
- Star...
There's a John Varvatos
where cbgb's used to be.
New York's lost its soul.
What was that, Thomas?
Well, I was just agreeing
with David
that New York
has lost its soul.
Ever since he returned
from three months in Peru,
he's decided to hate
where he's from.
No, it's true.
New York's most vibrant
neighborhood at the moment
is Philadelphia.
That's very funny, Thomas.
So, uh, Ethan, I heard that
you've commissioned Nick bilton
to write the biography
on Evan douriff.
Our mandate at kenta
is very simple...
BIOS on any haircut under 40
as long as they're still
within their 15 minutes.
Self-help, political rants.
Nobody reads fiction anymore.
And once a writer.
- So cynical, Ethan webb.
- -I know. -
if I were a writer, we'd be
having this conversation
in a two-bedroom in bushwick.
Oh, that's true.
- Bushwick is expensive now.
Yeah, exactly.
I'm serious.
I'm really serious.
I mean,
most novelists these days,
they don't earn enough money
to support themselves.
- True. -No matter
how talented they are.
That's why if Thomas came to me
with a desire to be a writer,
well... I'd talk him out of it.
So, you're still
tutoring, right?
Yeah. Just for some extra cash.
- He could be a Spanish teacher.
- Yes, he could.
I don't know if I could be
a Spanish teacher.
If he went back to college
for a year.
For some reason,
he refuses to do it.
He lives on the lower east side
without any direction.
The only thing missing
is an opium habit.
What about
doing a smartphone application?
This man moved in
across the hall from me.
I don't know what he does
or who he is, but...
He seems familiar to me.
He's my new friend.
- Aw.
- Yeah.
- He asked about you.
- Me?
- Mm-hmm.
- He knows me?
What's my father doing here?
Who's he with?
I don't know.
She's beautiful.
Do you have any idea
what this is gonna do
to my mother?
This doesn't mean
your father loves you any less.
- Sorry. That was bad.
- That was.
I know, like dispensing therapy
from an after-school special.
He doesn't care about me
to begin with, I know that.
This is about my mother.
Yeah, but...
It's their problem.
You have your own problems.
Like what?
- Uh...
- Actually, don't.
Don't answer that. Not now.
Look at me.
Look, your parents,
their world
is nothing like ours.
I mean, maybe
it's their generation or...
I don't know... this island.
But you're kind.
And you're real.
Don't do that.
I mean, look, you're young,
and your defense mechanisms
are strong.
But I think that you want this.
- I really do.
- I think...
I think that you're confused
right now.
No, Mimi, I'm angry right now.
I'm angry.
Did you see that woman? Did
you see how beautiful she was?
I could never get a woman
like that.
But my father,
with his publishing house
and his-his good looks
and his-his cheating...
- Fucking hair.
- Wow.
So, what, you're gonna use
your father's affair
as a confirmation
of your own inadequacies?
No, Mimi.
I have you for that.
So, you call my office,
you say you want to have lunch.
You never want to have lunch.
I figured you had
a big surprise.
Maybe you've figured out
your life.
No. Definitely haven't
figured out my life.
- Mm. Bruce. -I wanted
to speak to you about...
- Thank you for the tickets.
- Good-good to see you.
- Well, of course. Any time.
- Oh, she enjoyed the show.
- Judith. Very much. -It was...
It was good, wasn't it?
- Yeah, it was great.
- Great. Say hi to Judith.
I will, indeed. All right.
I want you to move
from the lower east side.
Why do you insist on living
in the farthest corner
of Manhattan away from us?
I think it's intentional.
I think it's almost... hurtful.
I'm not asking for me.
I'm asking for your mother.
She wants you closer to home.
How is mom?
I guess.
Can't get her to quit smoking.
Well, she's fragile.
Anything, even
the smallest thing, could...
Create another... incident.
I'll pay the difference
in rent.
Will you think about it?
- Dad...
- Also, I set up an appointment
with a career counselor
for you.
My office will e-mail you
the info.
Dad, I know you're...
I- i know...
You know I'm what, Thomas?
I know you're just
trying to help.
Don't blow it off, okay?
- I had to call in a favor
for her to see you. -All right.
She actually has
a waiting list.
Are you gonna confront
your father?
No. Trouble talking to him.
I don't think
he likes me that much.
What, uh...
What exactly is wrong
with your mother?
I don't know.
She's depressed, bipolar.
She's a depressive bipolar.
She came from
a broken home, so...
Whenever anything threatens
our perfect family,
she completely unravels.
I can't tell her.
She'll be destroyed.
Why don't you furnish
this place, hmm?
I live in Brooklyn.
You have two apartments?
I'm rich.
I'm a fucking Duke.
Or maybe he's...
Been faithful all these years.
Maybe she came on to him.
I've seen her.
- She's irresistible. I mean...
- Uh, stop.
What do you want?
- I want my father to stop
seeing this woman. -No, no, no.
No, in life.
In your life.
You want more money?
You want more respect?
You know?
What is it that you want?
Think about it.
Really think about it.
I want to be better.
- Better?
- Mm.
Than what?
Than them.
In the '80s,
Ethan was intoxicated
by literary New York.
But when he accepted
that he lacked the talent
to create a fictional family,
he thought at least
he could create a real one.
Young Thomas loved to write.
Ethan ignored this,
wary of nurturing a life
of rejections and evictions,
and Thomas learned to keep
his stories to himself.
The intensity of Judith's bond
with her son
left Ethan feeling like
a stranger in his own home.
He sought refuge in work,
until publishing began
its slow decline.
Then... came Johanna.
You know, private detectives
get paid by the hour.
To just-just wait.
To do exactly what we're doing
right now.
I mean, what is the difficulty
in a stakeout?
I really got to go to class.
No, just wait, all right?
He'll be out in a minute.
I have to see
if he's gonna meet her again.
Please, just wait.
Oh, my god, that's her.
The other woman.
I'll call you later.
Wait, are we waiting
for your dad?
I'll call you later.
What is it, exactly,
that you want to accomplish?
I want to meet her.
And tell her
to stop seeing my father.
She could kill my mother.
Well, so do it.
I haven't built up
the courage yet.
So you stalk her, huh?
I shouldn't be dealing
with this at all.
I should be on a beach...
With Mimi...
In Croatia.
We should be together together.
"Should" is a dangerous word.
I'm serious, man.
If it wasn't for my mother,
i wouldn't be here.
I don't buy it.
You don't buy what?
I don't buy that this is just
about your mother's health.
You want something more here.
Something more what?
Excuse me.
- Excuse me.
- -Yes.
Y- you don't know who I am.
Yes, I do.
You do?
You're the boy who follows me.
Yeah, well,
i have a good reason.
You're also Ethan's son.
He keeps a picture of you
on his desk.
Are you hungry, Thomas?
Following someone in this city
has got to be very difficult.
It's so easy
to be anonymous here.
Why didn't you say anything
when I was following you?
Why didn't you say anything?
Because I didn't know
what I was gonna do.
- And do you now?
- Yes.
Is it good?
- Johanna.
- Johanna?
Yeah, I'm Johanna.
Okay, Johanna, how long
you been fucking my father?
Is that kind of vulgarity
entirely necessary here?
What kind of vulgarity
would you prefer?
A little bit over a year.
Why are you even seeing him?
He's married.
He is married.
- Do you work with him?
- Sometimes.
I'm a freelance editor,
so I work for all the houses.
Do you love him?
Define love, Thomas.
Do you think
that you're gonna marry him?
Is that the plan? You think
you're gonna steal him away
from my mother?
How do you know your mother
isn't giving him to me?
What's that supposed to mean?
I mean that people do things
all the time without realizing.
Your mother may be giving me
Ethan without comprehending it.
I mean, you're doing something
right now without realizing it.
Yeah? And what am I doing?
You're trying
to make love to me.
I'm trying to make love to you?
I'm trying
to make love to you?
You just don't realize it.
Andy warhol was
a close, personal friend,
and he gave us that piece
as a gift.
And now this goddamn committee
is going to take all that away.
Mom, it doesn't really matter.
These people,
these non-entities in Chelsea,
they're trying
to steal my past.
- They're trying to
erase my memories. -Mom.
We're gonna find the photo.
Look at this mess.
I need a cigarette.
But your father has declared
I'm no longer allowed
to smoke in the house, so...
All right, well, I'll
stay here and keep searching.
Thomas, I want to smoke and
talk to you at the same time.
- It makes the cigarette better.
- Okay.
Thank you.
It's just this perpetual cycle
of expectations
and disappointments.
You know?
The farthest distance
in the world
is between how it is and how
you thought it was gonna be.
Don't forget that.
I won't.
You're my light, Thomas.
You know?
I don't know what I'd do
without you.
It's this klonopin.
- Makes me so fucking emotional.
- You're fine.
I want you
to stop seeing my father.
Oh, hello, Thomas.
Look, you're
a very beautiful woman.
You can get any man
you want in this city.
Could I get you?
You said I can get any man
in this city.
So I'm asking, could I get you?
Which actually begs
another question, really.
Are you a man?
My mother's in a fragile state.
This affair could put her
over the top.
- How am I responsible for your mother?
- Because you're fucking
- my father. -Okay, we know
that crudeness doesn't
- make one a man.
- Stop seeing him.
Nor do demands.
I'm not trying to be a man.
I'm not trying
to make love to you.
I'm trying to save my mother.
You're getting closer.
Johanna wasn't raised
by writers.
She was raised by bankers.
But the lingua franca of both
is fiction.
When Ethan floated the idea
of leaving his wife,
she assumed it was just talk.
But to her surprise,
his suggestion unbalanced her.
Instead of feeling flattered,
she felt suddenly needy.
Thomas's attention
was the perfect remedy
to her rattled confidence.
Those visions of Johanna.
She's not like anyone
I've ever met.
She said I was trying
to make love to her.
Oh. Were you?
No, I want her to stop
seeing my father.
Isn't that between
you and your father?
Why-why would you
want to make contact with her?
She's an outsider to what seems
to me to be a family issue.
Eat that.
- Uh-huh.
- It's good.
What was it?
You don't want to know.
So what are you saying, that...
I like dealing with her?
Uh-huh. That's precisely
what I'm saying.
And that I want
to make love to her.
Would you like
to make love to her?
What kind of
a question is that?
- It's sick.
- How is that sick?
It's sick.
She's a beautiful woman.
- So?
- Her name is Johanna.
She's sleeping with my father.
Would you like to make love
to Johanna?
Will you give me
some credit, please?
- This conversation's perverse.
- Just ans-answer the question.
- Give me some credit.
- Stop drowning yourself
in what you think is moral.
You want to fuck Johanna.
Yes. I would.
And you said
your life was boring.
I couldn't have
handled today without you.
You know, I got hit on three
times coming from the bathroom.
And I'm pretty sure
they were all married.
Then it's a good thing
my father isn't here.
- That's not funny.
- Oh, no.
Groom's coming.
It's my ninja.
- It's my motherfucking ninja.
- Howard.
- Congratulations, man.
- Thanks, man.
Hey, this is Mimi.
- Howard. -Nice to meet you.
Listen. -Congrats.
I've been running through
riverside park every day,
nine miles,
murdering sobriety.
I've seen a lot of your mother
lately, actually.
- My mother?
- Yeah, yeah. I don't know.
She's, uh, always on
the same bench reading a book.
That's irwin. Irwin!
You guys got to meet
irwin Sanders.
He's buying the Knicks.
- Hey.
How does it feel to be married?
- Well, sex already sucks.
- Ah.
Kidding. Kind of.
Uh, cond nast
took me back, actually,
so, uh, maybe I could get
an interview at some point?
Um, Howard,
this is my friend, Johanna.
- Hi.
- Congratulations.
Nice to meet you.
Thanks. This is Thomas.
- Hi. -Johanna.
- Mimi.
You're being really obvious.
I'm not dating irwin.
It's none of your business.
I don't have to
explain myself to you,
but nonetheless...
He's a very good friend.
Where's your girlfriend?
She's not.
She's just a friend.
Oh, you shouldn't
let her do that to you.
He's 30 years older than you.
He's a billionaire.
I'm not stupid.
You are quite stupid, Thomas.
And you've got no idea
how the world works.
And, actually, he's not
a billionaire anymore,
because Nancy
got half of everything.
Doesn't really matter.
No, it doesn't.
You look nice.
You look very nice.
In a suit.
I don't really think
you're stupid.
Confused and... young.
Irwin's probably
looking for you.
I'm sure he paid
for the whole night.
Oh, fuck you, really.
- So, first of all... hooker comments?
- I know.
- I'm sorry. -You actually
resorted to hooker comments?
I'm sorry. I apologize.
Okay, second of all,
irwin's gay.
Okay? He loves men.
In fact, he loves
one man in particular,
a man named Billy arnaldi,
who happens to be
an incredible art dealer
and one of my closest friends.
So irwin doesn't want to
come out, for business reasons,
which is his prerogative,
and I come to events
like this with him.
I'm not a glorified hooker.
He's not a sugar daddy.
I'm his beard.
You really don't know
how the world works.
You're an innocent, Thomas.
You're a child.
I know some things.
- Oh, yeah?
- Mm.
Like what?
How it went down.
You and my dad, I know.
- Do you?
- Mm.
Okay, Thomas, Mr. Ace sleuth,
I want to hear it.
You noticed that
he liked to come in early.
Really early, like, what,
7:00 in the morning?
So you started
coming in then, too.
You isolate and contain.
Told him it was because
you don't sleep well,
that the bad dreams, they shake
you awake before daylight.
In the mornings, you put on
music in your office.
Brahms one day, biggie smalls
the next, because, you know,
you can't be put into a box;
You attack all the senses.
You went a little aggressive
on your signature scent,
strong on the vanilla.
You mentioned a boyfriend,
then complained of a bad date.
You confuse him,
make him wonder.
The sex.
Ooh, the sex.
The sex surprised you both.
He was just walking you home
after dinner.
I mean, Jesus, you're not
the other woman,
he's not a cheating husband.
"No, this isn't something
that we did, that is something
that happened to us."
But what? Could it be love?
Well, nobody wants
to acknowledge that
so soon in the game,
but the stars are crossed
and people
are gonna get hurt and...
"We've done a bad,
bad thing, Ethan,"
so, fuck, it must be, right?
All of it was just bullshit...
calculated and manipulated...
from that first lie
about your bad dreams.
'Cause I'm-I'm...
I'm pretty sure...
That you sleep like a baby.
You are quite the storytell...
Where have you been?
Bathroom. Drank too much.
I have to
interrupt now, because, uh...
I have to go home.
I'm uncle buster.
- Let's get out of here.
- I'm Casey's father's brother.
They haven't even
cut the cake.
Fuck the cake. Let's go.
- Come on.
- Walter's not here
- because...
- You smell like vanilla.
He's doing two to five.
It's no secret.
As you all know,
two to five for doing
the right thing,
for believing in the poetry
of the constitution.
I have only a few thoughts.
The dramatics
of marital romance,
staying together.
Like the gypsy told me,
the poems
written in life lines
are never guaranteed.
They get busted up.
Tomorrow begins new poetry.
Another romance that will
explode from time to time.
Poetry of married people
like the Aurora borealis.
Strewn like stars in the sky,
and the drama
of your lives begins.
Chapter after chapter.
Revolutions, as I know,
will come.
I've seen many.
Lived through them.
They play in
the least expected places,
so get ready.
Casey understands Howard.
Howard... knows Casey.
No, not yet.
There's always mystery.
You both know that.
You both know it isn't perfect.
trust and struggle,
and the unknown privacies
that keep us together.
Glue of struggle.
I raise my glass.
The fragile glass
we stomped on and shattered
and will forever
be putting back together,
like the puzzles
we first worked as children,
learning to be patient,
searching for what fits.
So many puzzles.
So many books in this room.
And I talk too much.
Let's dance.
So I have to go to this
career counselor.
Uh, my father
set up the appointment.
Why don't you
go into journalism?
You ran
the high school newspaper.
No, that doesn't
interest me anymore.
And you won that
advertising prize in college.
- You could do that.
- Uh, how do you know all this
about me, huh?
How do you know all this?
- I know everything.
Everything about you. -You do?
- Okay, um, yearbook committee.
- Uh-huh.
- President of the debate club.
- Yeah.
Arts editor
of the high school newspaper.
Second single
on the tennis team.
Very impressive, Thomas.
Your father has
all your awards on his desk.
It's so awful.
Oh, that's awkward.
Fuck the career counselor.
All right, here's something
you don't know.
That nobody knows.
I wanted to write.
- Huh.
- Hmm.
I used to write all these
things when I was younger.
A bunch of letters
from my dog to, like,
the mailman and the vet.
And eventually I...
Came up with a collection
of essays called
"Mary Jane vs. Everything."
Which I was
incredibly proud of.
And, you know,
i show 'em to my dad.
What did Ethan say?
Yeah. "Serviceable."
That was his exact word.
Nothing special,
just serviceable.
He seemed pretty angry
after reading them, though.
Well, I want to read them.
- You do?
- Yeah.
- You can't.
- Why not?
'Cause I threw 'em out.
Oh, that's so sad.
- That's so sad and lonely.
- Mm.
That's good.
Yeah. What word
did your father use?
I disagree.
I think you've got talent.
But your father's a publisher
and I'm just some...
Strange neighbor, so you're
gonna go with serviceable, huh?
- Johanna wanted to read 'em.
- Oh, right.
But I don't know if I could...
Those visions of Johanna.
I think about her...
all the time.
Maybe it's love.
Love is hard to determine.
Uh, people think
they're in love,
and it's something
completely different.
You know, infatuation,
the righting
of childhood wrongs,
you know, companionship. Um...
Have you ever been in love?
Yeah. Once.
Who was she?
She was this woman I knew.
She was taken by someone else,
a dear friend.
We had a profound connection,
but she was his girl.
It was a mess.
So what did you do?
Oh, I left
the scene of the crime.
You ran away?
Uh, well, at the time,
i called it an adventure.
But hindsight turned it
into something else,
which is what hindsight
inevitably does.
Yeah, I ran away.
I'm gonna take this.
Leave you with your heart on.
With my hard-on?
Heart. Your heart on.
You know what, maybe,
in hindsight,
I'll feel guilty about Johanna,
but right now I don't.
It's not cut or dry.
Congratulations, Thomas.
Your world is
becoming contextual.
Who the fuck are you?
Hey, dad.
What's up?
Sit down.
Is everything all right?
Is mom okay?
Sit down, Thomas.
Is there anything
you want to tell me?
No, nothing.
Mm-hmm. Anything I should know?
You blew off
the career counselor.
I told you how hard it was
to get that appointment,
and then you just
don't show up?
- Whoosh. Gone.
- Right.
Um, um...
I should've called.
- Mm-hmm, you should've called.
- I'm sorry.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, too.
Come work here.
Hmm? Work here.
You like to read.
I've been conflicted
about giving you a job here...
nepotism and all that
bullshit... but screw it.
You can start
under the junior editors,
you know, learn something.
- No, thank you.
- Why not?
I mean,
what's wrong with learning
- the publishing business?
- Nothing.
It's fine. It's just it's...
I just want
to get my essays back.
I was in your apartment.
You're Julian stellars.
Mm, my nom de plume.
You've had 12 books published.
You don't have
much mass appeal,
but you don't seem to mind.
Hard to find
a picture of you anywhere.
You're an alcoholic
who spends most afternoons
drinking in the Brooklyn inn.
And you're probably
the only person that I've met
that's actually, actually been
to an opium den.
- And I've been googled.
- Mm-hmm.
I didn't read it.
Your new manuscript.
Well, Thomas,
i appreciate that.
So, um...
when you said
i had talent...
It was a professional opinion.
I don't know, man. I...
You've experienced the world.
I just live here in New York.
New York is the world.
I haven't done much
with my life.
You've had sex
with your father's mistress.
I'd say that's something.
Am I the only living boy
in New York?
You are.
Hey, I was
outside your apartment.
You're not there.
I brought the essays.
I wanted to show you.
Did you sleep with her?
With who?
Why would you ask that?
They left the wedding
as quickly as we did.
I may be oblivious,
but I'm not stupid.
Why do you care?
- I just do.
- Why?
- Are you jealous?
- No.
- You sure?
- Thomas.
- I think you're jealous.
- Did you sleep with her?
She's my father's mistress.
You think that I would do that?
Thank you.
You're sweet.
You're not like them.
- Like who?
- This city.
I want you to stop seeing him.
Come on,
I'm putting my foot down.
You don't get to tell me
what to do, Thomas.
I don't care
if your foot's down or up.
Why? 'Cause you don't care
about anything?
- What? -You obviously don't
care about anything at all.
Oh, so I'm a nihilist now,
am I?
I don't know anything
about you.
Where'd you grow up?
Brooklyn, Thomas.
That's why I have this accent.
Did you play sports?
When did you first have sex?
Oh, my god, we're gonna talk
about my childhood now?
Yeah. I want to know you.
Where'd you grow up?
I grew up in London.
Which part?
Belsize park.
And then kilburn.
Why the move?
Because kilburn's
so much more real.
What'd your dad do?
What'd your dad do?
He put a gun in his mouth
and pulled the trigger.
I'm sorry.
I didn't know.
Why do you sleep with me?
Because I like you.
What do you like about me?
Your innocence.
Were you ever innocent?
I forgot.
Come on. Tell me.
I want to know
about when you were innocent.
- Why?
- Because I like the idea of it.
If you want someone so pure,
why are you with me?
Because I care about you.
Do you care about me?
I don't care about anyone,
But the truth was
she cared about them both.
And that's when she knew
this mess
would only get worse.
She had to make a clean break,
starting with Ethan.
What she didn't anticipate was
he'd surrendered too much
of his past
to give up on his future.
They're all moving
to, uh, Los Angeles.
New York, we're becoming...
Do you think
he's in love with her?
This has to stop.
Eh, you and your father,
you suffer from
the same disease.
"Visions of Johanna
conquer my mind."
- Mm.
- Why are you writing about me?
That's what I do.
I write about people I know
and then give it a thin veil.
But why me?
Look, I...
I got the apartment
to get out of the house
and write
a completely different story.
It just, it didn't
come across, you know?
- And mine did.
- Um...
And like everything good,
it happened by accident.
I met you. Now I got 118 pages.
My father's publishing house,
they're throwing
an anniversary party tomorrow.
You should come.
You've heard all about these
people, but you never met 'em.
Be good for the book.
Find a window. Pounce.
I broke up with Nick.
Did you?
You're supposed to be
more excited than that.
Thanks for coming.
It's a great party.
Yeah. It always is.
Look. That's my mother
and Mimi.
She's beautiful.
Mm. I told you she was.
I was talking about
your mother.
It's amazing.
It is amazing,
but I think you could...
Uh, sorry.
I want you to come
meet someone.
Oh! Who are we meeting?
- We're meeting my new friend.
- Your new friend.
- All right, I'll be back.
- Sorry. See you later.
I'll be back.
He was just here.
He was?
Oh, well, I'll meet him later.
- Come on. He was just here.
- Oh, there's Diana.
"I have looked down upon
the city from high windows."
"It is then
that the great buildings"
"lose reality and take on
their magical powers."
"Squares and squares of flame
set and cut into the ether.
Here's our poetry, for..."
"For we have pulled down
the stars to our will."
"To our will."
Ezra pound.
Johanna, I'm assuming.
We haven't met, have we?
No, but I know you very well.
And I know
that you're having your fun
and that he's young and easy.
But you'll have me to deal with
if he scars.
I don't like
strange conversations...
So I'm gonna walk away now.
I'll be back in a second.
I really think we should
stop seeing each other.
- Thomas.
- What?
It looks bad. Come on.
I was ending it
with your father as well.
And not because
i didn't care for him.
I actually really do.
I care for him very much.
But, Thomas,
the thing is he proposed.
And I said yes.
No. No.
- No, no. -Please, I don't
want this to be disruptive.
- Disruptive? He's not gonna leave her.
- Stop, stop, stop.
I'm not gonna let that happen.
No, this is
the best thing for everybody.
- For who?
- For everybody.
Judith's gonna be
so much better off.
She won't be suffering anymore
under the weight
of a dead marriage.
He's going through a cri...
He's just going through
a fucking crisis,
that's all this is.
Come on, this doesn't
have to be this difficult.
Please, everybody can win here.
God made a mistake
when he made you beautiful.
Well, god's mistake
is marrying your father.
Not yet she isn't.
Look, can I just ask you
one thing?
If any of this comes out, who
do you think's gonna get hurt?
It's not me.
It's not Ethan.
We both know how to land
on our feet. And it's not you.
- You're so young.
- Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
There's one person... one
person who will be destroyed,
and we both know who that is.
What do you think's
gonna happen?
You think you can get married,
you think you can have
the obligatory second family
and live happily ever after
in your dream world?
Well, obviously
that can't happen.
What is that supposed to mean?
- Wait, what is that
supposed to mean? -Hey.
What is it supposed to mean?
Stop it.
- Stop it, Thomas. Come on.
- I'm gonna tell him everything.
- I'm gonna tell him. Don't...
- Thomas.
Thomas, what are you doing?
It's raining.
I broke up with Nick...
Because I got into Croatia.
And I want you to come with me.
I slept with Johanna.
You're not like that.
- And I thought that I was
in love with her. -Mm-mm.
You're good.
No, Mimi, I'm not good.
I'm sorry.
You are just like them.
They won, Thomas.
God, they've fucking
bankrupted you.
- Hey. -Thomas!
Did you spend last night here?
Well, that was the best party
that kenta has thrown in years.
Everybody was drunk... and
not just our alcoholic friends,
but everybody.
Why did you spend the night?
I don't know.
I just... wanted to come home.
Are you upset?
Tell me about it.
Is it about a girl?
And I'm your mother, so...
Things have gotten messy,
I want to bail.
But I can't.
Well, then you know.
The only way out... is through.
Where's dad?
He left early.
He said he had to go to
the office and get some files.
He seems to have
gotten over what a...
- Dad?
- Thomas. Huh.
- We need to talk.
- Mm-hmm.
There are...
There are some things
- that you don't know that...
- Thomas, don't.
- Don't.
- That you need to know.
You two know each other?
Well, Ethan,
the thing is, is that...
He followed me.
You followed her?
That's not all I did.
I'm sorry, I...
I don't understand.
We slept together.
And not just once.
You slick little shit, you!
- I did right by you!
- No, relax!
- You have no idea!
- Relax!
You have no idea!
I deserve you.
I'm sorry.
We're all sorry, Thomas.
I really do love him.
And he did right by you.
More than you know.
Good-bye, Thomas.
Did you finish it?
I did.
Tell me about it.
Tell me about "the only
living boy in New York."
Uh, well...
It's about three people...
And great friends.
One of them is
a beautiful young girl.
The other two...
One artist has talent,
the other doesn't.
You know,
no matter how hard he tries,
and no matter
how badly he wants it,
he just...
Well, he wasn't kissed by god
in that way.
But he has the girl.
Yes. And they're married,
and they plan
to start a family.
Only they have
a little problem.
He's infertile.
And they ask
their talented friend for help?
Yeah, you have a knack
for a story, Thomas.
I get it from my father.
So, they're artists, and they
don't want to use in vitro,
so they go with
a cheap bottle of cabernet
and, uh, some quaaludes
and a Simon & Garfunkel record,
and the three of them decide...
And-and... the husband's
okay with that?
Well, th-they want to use
somebody that they know,
somebody that they love.
Well, and, of course,
the artist with the talent,
he's, uh, he's flattered,
and, of course, he agrees.
And, uh, he and the...
The beautiful girl...
Uh, they walk the city streets
that night...
For hours.
They're both so damn nervous.
And they end up
at Washington square park...
where they dance...
Uh... to no music.
And the rest comes easy.
And does he love her?
Yeah, he... he does. Mm.
In that moment,
he realizes he does.
Uh, so it turns out that...
That the beautiful girl,
she gives birth
to a wonderful son,
and her husband gives up art,
becomes a very successful
art dealer.
And the other artist?
He watches the boy grow
from afar, huh?
Sees his own talent alive
in this child.
He so desperately wants
to connect with his son...
And tell him everything.
And nurture
his talent, you know?
But, of course,
he never does make contact.
Until he decides
to make it all his next book.
It's okay.
What did he tell you?
You here looking for razors?
Empty pill bottles?
Sit down.
What do you know, Thomas?
I know...
I know why you carry
so much guilt.
I know that I...
Already forgive you.
I know you're in love
with someone
you haven't seen
in over 25 years.
And you go to riverside park
every day to read his books.
I know.
I know, and it's okay.
- Who told you?
- He did.
Julian. W.F.
Whatever you want to call him.
Is he dying?
He's not dying.
- No?
- Don't worry, he's not dying.
He's fine. He's just...
I don't know, he's tired.
Think he's lonely.
It was my idea
not to tell you, not Ethan's.
- You have to know that.
- Okay.
You were trying to protect me.
Yes, and...
And I knew that
if you found out,
he would
come back into my life,
and then everything
would go to shit.
Well, everything went to shit
on its own, so...
Yeah, I guess.
Is he old?
He's messy.
Yeah, he always was.
An unmade bed of a man.
"An unmade bed of a man."
I like that.
You should.
Your father wrote it.
We're closed.
I'm sorry, I thought
i locked the door.
- Hey.
- Hey.
I'll be quick.
I know what book I want.
What'd you think?
You're lying
to make me feel good.
Character that surprised me
the most was the father.
Which one?
The one that didn't run away.
Whatever happened to Mimi?
She's still in Croatia.
She got a fellowship.
I don't think
she's coming back.
Did you hear back from viking?
Yeah, it was a pass.
I'm sorry.
You want me to make
a few phone calls?
I want to start something new.
I ha... have an idea.
Well, that's good.
You still speaking to Johanna?
- You lying to me?
- Yeah.
- How's your mother?
- She's good.
She quit smoking.
Started writing
for artnews again.
- That's good.
- Yeah.
She has a date tonight.
Oh, good for her.
"The best lack all conviction,
while the worst are full of
passionate intensity."
Yeats said that,
but so did Lou Reed.