The Trouble with the Truth (2011) Movie Script

[ Indistinct conversations ] [ Door opens, bell rings ] [ Door closes ] [ Door opens, bell rings ] [ Footsteps approaching ] [ Door closes ] Penitence. -Hey.
-Hi. -Where?
-Eight down. "Regret over one's misdeeds." Ah. -Thank you, Donut.
-Sure. -Good morning.
-Morning. -You want some breakfast?
-No, I'm good. I can't stay too long. I... I'm actually having brunch
with Hannah. I just wanted to pop in
and see what you were up to. Well, you know me --
the usual whirlwind of activity. Nonstop activity. How about you?
What's going on? Well, um... I have a little news. -Really?
-Mm-hmm. Dad. Who's the guy? What do you mean,
"Who's the guy?" Jason. -Jason Webber?
-Yes. Okay, so, I thought
that he was your fail-safe, like if you couldn't find
anybody better, like your safety school. No, Dad,
he's not my safety school. -God. Be nice.
-Well, come on, he's a doorknob. I mean, he's nice, he's amiable,
but he's a doorknob. Okay, don't sugarcoat it.
I mean, how do you really feel? Well, I think that the passion runs out of a relationship
fast enough without starting, you know,
handicapped right out of the gate
by marrying a pencil pusher. I'm in love with him. Well...fine.
You're in love with him. Then why ruin it
by getting married? Yes, I know,
that's what our generation did. -We got married, we had kids --
-And you got divorced. Exactly.
So, what did I learn from that? The only purpose of marriage
is to make it more difficult for two people who are
miserable together to break up. -You are such a romantic, Pop.
-Well, I mean it. Come on, now. What's --
Why are you doing this? I mean, if you love him
and you're happy together, you don't need a piece of paper
to stay together. But I want to have kids. What is this, the '50s? You don't need to get married
to have kids. You don't even need a man. Geez, Dad, you know, I-I...
I don't know. This is not the pep talk
that I had hoped it would be. A simple...congratulations,
that would have been just fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine.
All right. Maybe you and Jason will be
the exception to the rule. But if you know going in
that it's all gonna fade, maybe you'll have a little less
disappointment in the end. Thank you. Are you sure
you don't want to...order? All right. [ Both sigh ] So, what about your mother, huh? How...How is she? She's fine, I think. She's going to be out here
next week actually. -Really?
-Mm-hmm. Like a writing conference
or something. Huh. Maybe I should give her a call. [ Chuckles ] What, you don't think I should? [ Laughs ]
Do whatever you want. You always do. -What's that supposed to mean?
-Nothing. Forget it. I just...
I don't know. I think maybe you should give
her a little space right now. I think she and Jack
are having some problems. -Really?
-Jesus. You know what,
if you took as much pleasure in people's happiness as you do
their misery, then maybe you'd be a little more excited
about my engagement. I do take pleasure
in your being happy. That's why I don't want you
to get married. You know, you don't even have
to come if you don't want to. I mean, I can always have Jack
walk me down the aisle. Well, now, that is
a terrible thing to say. Oh [sighs] What do you expect? I mean, you can't even fake
being excited for me. Well, what can I say? I, you know, maybe I need
a little time to absorb this. I mean, come on,
give me a break. You know, it's like
a little bit of a shock to have
with my morning breakfast. I'm really sorry
to upset your routine. [ Sighs ]
Sweetheart, look, I'm sorry. I know.
I'm being a jerk, right? I'm playing the
overprotective father, I guess. I don't know. [ Chuckles ] I better go.
I'm gonna be late. No, no. Will you have
some breakfast with me? -This is my treat.
-Rain check, okay? So, are you gonna see Mom
while she's here? I thought you just said
that I shouldn't. I said you always do
what you want. Bye. Later, 'gator. All right, sweetheart. Jenny. Congratulations. [ Chuckles ] [ Bell rings ] [ Door closes ] [ Indistinct conversations
continue ] [ Cell phone vibrating ] Hey. Hey. How are you? I'm good.
How about you? I'm good.
I'm real good. I'm, uh... I...I hear that you're --
that you're coming to L.A. Yeah. Yeah, I'm speaking
at a conference. Wow. So, where...
where are you staying? Someplace downtown. The...Palermo or -- It's by the convention center. Wait, wait.
Not the Palmer. Yeah, that's it.
The Palmer. You're kidding. 'Cause that --
No, 'cause that's my -- that's my regular gig.
That's where I play. Really? Yeah.
So, you have to come down. You have to hear me play
while you're here. I mean, it's not the, you know,
Hollywood Bowl, but -- -I would love to.
-Good. Now, listen, um,
I was also wondering maybe... if you would like to... have dinner or something,
um, while you're here. 'Cause I'm...
I'm off on, uh -- I'm off on Mondays,
I'm off on Thursday. Well, yeah, I suppose I could
do it tomorrow after I get in. That sounds good.
Where do you want to go? Um, well,
there's a great little bistro right around the corner
from where you're staying. We could, uh, meet down
in the bar like around 7:00. I could... We could have a drink
and, uh, have a bite. What do you say? Yeah, sure.
Tomorrow at 7:00. All right. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye, Robert.
[ Sighs ] Bye, darlin'. [ Click ] [ Sighs ] [ Indistinct conversations,
door closes ] ROBERT: Hey, doll. Hey, foxy. I didn't know
you were playing tonight. No, I'm not.
I'm meeting someone. Want to fix me up with a scotch? Sure thing. So...this meeting. A woman? Yeah, but it's no competition
for you, my love. -It's my ex-wife.
-Oh, yikes. -Yeah.
-Nervous? No, I'm not. It's just I'm worried
that we're not going to have anything to talk about. I mean, we were together
for 14 years, but, still, I haven't talked
to her for a long time. I mean, I'm pretty sure if you
were together for 14 years you have something in common. Yeah, but, I don't know.
It's strange. Have you ever found yourself
in the position where, like, you don't know exactly who's
gonna walk through the door even though it's somebody you've
known for, like, 30 years? I haven't been alive
for 30 years. Ah. -Hey.
-Hey. Wow. Hi. Hey. -Can I get you something?
-Oh, sure. Any kind of white wine
will be fine, thanks. BARTENDER: Sure. You look... You look fantastic. Thank you.
How are you? I'm good.
You okay? Yeah, yeah.
I can't complain, really. Good, good. So, tell me
about this conference. What's that all about? Oh, thank you.'s this thing
for librarians. My, um... [laughs] my publisher
wants me out here to schmooze and talk
and try to sell some books. All right, good.
Well, here's to books. All right.
Sounds like fun, right? Yeah, well, they pay
for my trip and expenses -- Dinner's on me, by the way -- and I get to see Jenny...
and you. Mm-hmm. Did I tell you
that I really loved the last one that you wrote, the one
about the, um, congressman? -You read it?
-Yeah, of course I read it. I read everything
that you write. No, I go into Barnes & Noble
and places, and I check to see that
your stuff is on the shelves. And if it is, I pick it up,
and I...I flip through it. Yeah, just to see if your name
is in the acknowledgements. -You are such a narcissist.
-No, no, no, no, no. It is because I am
so very proud of you. I mean, how many people say
that "I'm going to be a writer"? How many people actually do it? How many people
can make a living at it? I don't make much of a living, and, as you always like to
point out, I have a benefactor. Yeah, but, still,
you are leaving the world with something that will be here
long after you're gone, and not many people
can say that, including me. What about Jenny? -Hmm?
-Well, Jenny -- Look, any goofball can knock
somebody up. I mean, come on. Will you be proud,
for God's sake? I mean, come on. I can see that you're still
terrible at taking compliments. I'm just a little superstitious. I'm afraid
that if I get too cocky... I won't be able to write
anymore. Yeah, well, you've been
grinding them out lately. I mean, how many?
Four? Five? Oh, yeah, yeah,
that's my way of doing things -- quantity over quality. But, see, there you go again.
Will you take a compliment? I'm sorry. Yeah. I guess I've kind of been
on a roll lately. The only thing that stinks is I don't have a chance
to read for pleasure anymore. I'm too busy working
on my own stuff. You still read a lot? Yeah, I do. I try to plow through
like one or two books a week. -Wow.
-Yeah. -Read anything good lately?
-Mm-hmm. Historical fiction --
this guy Dan Simmons. -Ohh.
-Yeah. No, it's good. And I just reread Updike. Yeah.
I mean, after he died. You hate Updike. Mm. Well, when I was 25. I mean, a guy's entitled to change his opinions
about some things. Sure, but I just remember that when we first got together
you were so vehement. You thought he was an egocentric, self-absorbed
white guy who was obsessed with the
minutiae of his own little life. Yeah, but then I became an egocentric, self-absorbed
white guy, and his stuff started to make
some sense to me. [ Laughs ] Okay, so, um, you want to --
Take our drinks. Let's go upstairs.
Go up there? -Okay?
-EMILY: Ah, sure. Wow. ROBERT: Yeah. EMILY: [ Sighs ] ROBERT: Here. EMILY:
So, where do you play? Uh, well,
the nights that I play, they set up a little keyboard
right over there -- a little electric. -You like it?
-Yeah. Sure. Yeah. I get to play
almost every night. I get paid for what I do. Hard to beat. EMILY: I guess. What? You know... I just think sometimes you don't
expect very much out of life. I haven't worked at a job
that I hated since I was 20. Now, how many people
can say that? EMILY: You're right.
You're right. You still living
in the same place? ROBERT: Yeah. But not all of us
can live in a palatial estate. Mm-hmm.
Here we go. I just think
there's a middle ground between a studio apartment
the size of a jail cell and a palatial estate. I mean, you think
I'm Imelda Marcos just 'cause I want
my own bathroom. Well, what can I say? I-I-I like to have
a low overhead. I like to have limited expenses and limited involvement
with other people because, for those of us who don't have the option
of marrying into money, it's the only way to sustain
a career in the arts. I think
you're selling yourself short. There must be a lot
of rich widows and divorces coming through here. You could find yourself
a patron. And on that subject...
how's your love life? Are you seeing anyone right now? What happened to that girl?
What was her name? Uh, Tangerine? Pi--
[ Laughs ] -Cherry. Cherry.
-Apple? Cherry. Cherry. Badly.
It ended very badly. Yeah. And it ended a long time ago. And, uh,
there was a lot of drama. I'm so surprised there's a lot
of drama dating a 21-year-old. [ Chuckles ]
Yeah, 'cause the women my age are so uncomplicated and easy. Yeah, you wouldn't know what
to do with them if they were. As long as I've known you,
you've always dated -the most complicated women.
-Well, what can I say? It's the crazy ones
who are the best in bed. Oh. So, you're saying
I'm either nuts or a lousy lay. -You were never a lousy lay.
-Thank you. You're being evasive.
Are you seeing anyone right now? Look, a lot of, you know,
flight attendants and business travelers
come through those doors, and, yes, sometimes I end
upstairs in one of their rooms. But right now
I am seeing someone. I mean,
I go over to their house, you know, a couple times a week. But nothing serious. [ Gasps ]
The bartender? ROBERT: Yeah. -She's Jenny's age!
-[ Chuckles ] Don't you want to be
with someone that gets all your references? Look, I-I-I don't have to talk
about Thelonious Monk and the Cuban Missile Crisis
while I'm having sex. Yeah, but it might make
the time before and after... -...a little less boring.
-What time after? Look, I go back to their rooms. I never have anybody back
to my place. They wouldn't fit. All right, be nice, okay? It's part of my exit strategy,
okay? Because I like to be
in a position to leave when I want to leave. And, most nights,
I'm -- I'm home alone. I'm -- I'm --
I'm comfy and cozy in my bed long before "Letterman" is over. That is so sad. Wouldn't it just be easier
to masturbate? Yes, maybe. But, see, when it comes to women I've always had
the FMS syndrome. [ Chuckles ]
The FMS syndrome? -'Fraid I'll Miss Something.
-[ Laughs ] No, 'cause -- No, I see a woman,
and I want to know, what's it like
to have sex with her? Don't they all just blend
together after a while? No, no, no. Au contraire.
They're like snowflakes. You're such a slut. Okay, I love women,
therefore I'm a slut? No, I don't think love
has anything to do with it. I wouldn't be surprised to know that you don't even like some
of the women you go to bed with. Unh-unh-unh, okay, you know,
you've got me there because -- All right. Here's the difference
between men and women -- Men do not have to like women
to have sex with them, okay? I have sex with women
I'm not even attracted to. -Oh, God, that's disgusting!
-All right, all right. -Oh, my God!
-All right, fine. Tell me about the Executioner. EMILY: [ Laughs ] What about him?
Come on. -Jack is fine, thanks.
-Yeah. And he is a prosecuting
attorney, not an Executioner. -Yeah.
-Some people might even say... ...that he makes quite
a contribution to society. Yes, because
somebody's got to do it. -Aha.
-Yeah. I-I have just never quite
understood the psychology that drives somebody to make a
career out of punishing people, because I think that life doles
out enough punishment as it is. EMILY: Well, I know. It's not as morally elevated as playing piano in a hotel bar
for tips and going to bed with barflies. ROBERT: [ Scoffs ] But not all of us can lead
the soulful life of an artist. Okay, now, speaking
of soul-numbing exercises, do you know
that Jenny is engaged? Yeah, Bob, I know.
She told me. And what, you're o--
You're okay with that? Webber's an okay guy.
She could do a lot worse. "An okay g--" Okay, since
when was that the standard? I was a feminist
when I was her age. I mean, I fought battles so that women -- people --
of her generation could have a choice,
could have freedom, could have things that,
you know, they don't even want. I mean, she seems to be happy to be in the same cages
that we were in. Well, what does that tell you? Maybe these things
that you scoff at actually have a little value. Yeah, a little value,
and maybe people are morons. I don't know.
But you were no Gloria Steinem. The only reason you marched
for the Equal Rights Amendment was to get laid. It's the purest form
of feminism. I love everything about women, including wanting to have sex
with as many women as possible. Does it ever occur to you
that there are some things that might not be appropriate
to discuss with your ex? Okay. So, what do you
have to be jealous about? I mean, from where I sit,
you have everything anybody could possibly want. Oh, yeah, my life
is just perfect. Uh-huh. ROBERT: You wanted to be --
You wanted a career -- successful career --
as a writer. Got it. You wanted
a successful marriage. You got it,
although on the second try. And that gave you the third
thing that you always wanted, which was to write
without having to worry about where your next meal
was coming from. So, you tell me,
what's the problem? Why do you always have to reduce
my marriage to Jack to economics? What, it's about more than that? Give me a break. No, I am giving you a break. I-I-I am --
I am respecting you enough that you would acknowledge
the truth -- which is not
that you don't love Jack, okay? I think you do. But that,
if you would fall in love with a guy
who made $30,000 a year instead of a guy
who made $250,000 a year, you would not have left me
for him. I didn't come down here
to get lectured. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. -Don't. Please don't.
-What? -Don't be so sensitive.
-How can I not be sensitive? You're basically calling me
a whore! Okay. You know I don't think
that you're a whore. Now, come on.
Please. I'm being a j--
I'm being a jerk, all right? I'm sorry. Please don't --
No, please don't go. Please. Here. Sit here, next to me. Drink wine. Lots of wine. Come on. Thank you. You're just jealous because
you wish you had what I have. Yes, you're right. I wish that I were married
so that I could have a woman to tell me where to put my
fucking spoons and stuff. -Okay? No.
-I don't know -- You're so crazy.
You are... -I don't know.
-What? I just think this whole
indifference-to-love thing that you've got going on
is just an act. Really. I've known you
for a long time, Robert. And in your heart, you are the
biggest romantic that I know. Okay. [ Sighs ] All cynics
are romantics at heart, okay? We are cynics because
the world did not live up to our stupid
romantic expectations. You know,
I've been trying to reconcile with the way
I want the world to be with the way that it actually is
my whole life. Now, did I tell you that,
after we split up, after -- I mean right after,
after you moved out -- -...that I went back to school?
-No, you didn't tell me that. I did. I did. Yes, I did. I uh, -- I was --
You know, extension courses, but the first one I took
was an English class, and it was called
The Literature of Romance. And we read books
by C.S. Lewis -- "The Allegory of Love."
Did you ever read that? -Unh-unh. No.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's, you know,
basically a critical study of how love was treated in medieval
and Renaissance literature. And Lewis contends
that romantic love, as we, you know, know it, was a literary invention. It didn't even exist
before the 12th century or something like that, so... -Really?
-Yeah. I-I-I go back, you know,
thinking that higher education is gonna help me make sense
of my -- you know,
the wreckage of my life, and -- and yet
then I find out that -- that the stuff
that I'm obsessing about, it doesn't even exist. And so I come out of those
classes worse than I went in. [ Sighs ] -Wow.
-Yeah. I just can't believe
that you read C.S. Lewis. -Yeah.
-You hate him. Yeah, I know.
It was part of the class. It was before
he became a Jesus freak, and so it had some merit. So, you're still a cynic
about spirituality. No. Realist. -Ha ha ha.
-Yeah, no. Okay. The "imaginary friends,"
they're for guys who think they have all the answers,
like your husband. I am not one of those guys. You're hopeless. [ Chuckles ] [ Sighs ] Are you hungry? -Yeah.
-Yes, all right. Yeah, I'm still on Chicago time. ROBERT: All right. Let's get something to eat. I'm gonna pay for these drinks. We'll have fun. Give her a big tip. ROBERT: [ Chuckling ] Yeah. Hey. Here you are.
Just keep the change. Thanks.
Don't hurt yourself. See you later, doll. [ Indistinct conversations ] [ Door opens ] [ Indistinct conversations ] -MAN: Hi.
-EMILY: Hi. -Two?
-Yes, please. -It'll be just one minute.
-[ Cell phone vibrates ] [ Sighs ]
It's Jenny. -Go ahead, take it.
-Yeah? -Yeah.
-Sorry. Hi, honey. Yeah, I'm just stepping
into dinner with your dad. -No, Robert.
-[ Scoffs ] Yes, I'm in L.A.
Today. I just got in. Listen, honey,
I was wondering -- um, maybe we could go shopping
for a dress on Sunday. I know, but since I'm here,
maybe we co-- [ Sighs ] Uh...Uh, listen,
I think I'm being rude. I-I should probably get off. Do you want to talk to your dad? Oh, okay.
Well, I-I love you. Um, I'll call you later.
Bye. She, uh, says hi. -She's running...
-Yeah. Sure. -What is wrong with you?
-Well, you weren't at breakfast. -HOST: Right this way.
-EMILY: Oh. [ Indistinct conversations
continue ] Thank you. Thank you. Your server will be with you
shortly. -Thank you.
-Thank you. All right, so, what do you think
of this place? Kind of a cool, huh? -Yeah. It's perfect.
-Yeah? Hi. I'm Staci.
I'll be your server. Can I get you anything to drink? Yeah, I'll have
a glass of water and, um...some Chardonnay. -Chardonnay?
-Yes, and I'll have water, too, and whatever
your best scotch is. -All right.
-On the rocks, please. -I'll be right back with those.
-Thank you. So, what's good? You know, I don't know. I haven't been here [chuckles]
for five years. [ Laughs ]
No, I haven't. No. These days my idea
of a night out is... the Del Taco where the
tranny hookers used to hang out. -Wow.
-Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm glad I took you. Mm-hmm.
I'm glad to be taken. Just absolutely starving. The only thing I ate
on the plane was chocolate. ROBERT: Hmm. Chocolate. You got to watch out
for chocolate. It makes you feel
like you're in love. Yeah, in love with sugar. Hmm? No, no, no.
There's a chemical -- There's a chemical. Ethyl [mumbles] something.
You know, I don't know. But it's the same chemical
that your brain produces when you are in love. So that's why chocolate
is so addicting. I thought you just told me that
love was a literary invention. Yeah, well, I suppose it's
like anything else, you know. It kind of depends
on who you ask. Do you know what you'd like, or
do you need a few more minutes? No, I'm good.
I-I -- If you are. Uh, yeah. You order, and I'll --
I'll get there... All right,
so, I'm gonna have the -- I'm gonna have the, uh... the Tasmanian wild salmon,
medium. Um, and I'll have
the filet mignon -- medium, as well. Whoa, whoa. -Great.
-So, so -- Thank you. So, Jenny hasn't, uh, pressured you
into becoming a vegan yet. I listen to her lectures, but I just can't stop
eating meat. Yeah, no, me either. Yeah, well, you know, rationally, I agree
with every one of her arguments about the environment
and the methane gas and, you know, everything. But then I see
a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and I just got to have it. -Me too. Yeah.
-[ Chuckles ] -Here's to meat.
-Meat. Mm. Ooh. Did you, um, see that movie
"Fast Food Nation"? -Mnh, no.
-No? It's basically about, you know,
how we're eating shit when we put this...stuff
into our systems. -[ Laughs ]
-You know? But not only are we eating shit, we're destroying
the environment, we are supporting the system that exploits
the immigrant workers, -I mean, et cetera, et cetera.
-I know. So, I come out of the movie,
and I'm all fired up. Like I'm, you know, I'm gonna change
my eating habits, right? -And...And you did?
-Yeah, yeah, for an hour. Then I'm driving
by the, uh, Astroburger, and the smell is like
[exhales] ridiculous. So I spin a U-turn. I almost
kill a guy in a wheelchair. [ Both laugh ] So, why did you order salmon,
then? Salmon --
No, because I go to my physical. My doctor tells me my
cholesterol is through the roof. Yeah. And I know this shocks you
because of my refined palate, but I have to cut down
on the steaks and the --
and the cheeseburgers and the -- really, or else I got to worry that my next meal
is my last meal. -Well, that sucks.
-Yeah. Well, no,
it's just part of getting older. That's what sucks. -Mm?
-Getting older. No, no, no, no.
I am not so sure. I-I think there are
a lot of advantages. -Like what?
-Like the fact that I, uh -- I don't give a shit
about anything anymore. -And that's a good thing?
-Yes. Well, I don't know.
You knew me when I'm 20, right? In my 20s. You, uh, you remember
that I was insane, right? -[ Laughs ]
-No, that I took everything so seriously, that I -- no -- that I-I got worked up
over everything. No, that I-I-I cared about
people that I didn't even know, you know, people who lived
in other countries, countries that
I haven't even been to yet. -I do remember that.
-Right. It's one of the reasons
I fell in love with you. Oh, come on. Come on.
Really. But what good
did that do anybody? I mean, we're all still
as messed up as we ever were. No, these days,
I-I don't even want to think about the rest of the world. I want to play my piano,
I want to read my books, and I want to be left alone. You know, but I-I suppose, you know, for all my mocking
of the Executioner, that, on some level,
I-I envy him. I do.
You know, his certainty, I mean, this --
this kind of belief that you can still make
the world a better place. I don't have that anymore. No. I don't care about anything. What about Jenny?
I know you care about her. Okay, Jenny. Okay, but -- No, but even with Jenny,
it's complicated. [ Scoffs ] I think she's a great kid, this insanity with Webber
notwithstanding, okay? But, you know,
I-I-I find myself feeling proud about the way
that she turned out, and then I feel bad
about feeling good. Why shouldn't you feel proud?
She's awesome. -Because she's not really mine.
-Oh. No, I had nothing to do with -- No, you deserve all the credit.
You, Emily. I-I haven't been a meaningful
part of her life for... what, years. She adores you.
She loves you. Yes, because
she has low standards. She gets that from her mother. -You're too hard on yourself.
-Yeah. No. Huh? Me? -No, I was talking about Jack.
-Oh! [ Grunts ] -Jerk.
-Oh! You know, you're very...mature. [ Chuckles ] [ Laughs ] Look, I'm... I feel really bad about us, you know, not talking
for a long time. I... Butter or olive oil
or something? -I'm sorry.
-Um... I should've called, um, you. -I'm sorry.
-No. It's all right. You know, I mean, the phone
works both ways, right? And I haven't exactly done
my part, either. No, I-I tell you the truth is that I was nervous
about tonight. -Why?
-Because... you fall out of touch
with people, and I don't know. I got worried. I got worried
that you might have changed, that you were a different person
because... you're rich. [ Laughs ] I am not rich. You're -- Well, you're no--
Emily, you're rich. You got twice as many cars in
your house than you do people, you got three times
as many bathrooms. You are rich. Okay, if I'm rich,
I've been rich for a long time. Why would I suddenly change? Well, because without me in
your life as a moral compass... might've lost your way.
-Oh, God. I think this whole thing
about money changing people is just a myth. No, no.
I have met a lot of rich people, and, you know, really,
two-thirds of them are nitwits. A lot of people are nitwits. I don't think
money changes people. It just allows them to become more of who of they were anyway
without any obstacles. If they were generous before,
they're generous now. If they were petty
and...and...and bitter, they just use their money to get
back at people and be jerks. Yeah, okay.
You're right. Maybe. You know. I don't know. It's not really even
about the money, okay? I think maybe I was
just concerned that, after living with Jack
for so long, that maybe you
had turned into an asshole. I am so glad
you have so much faith in me. Well, no.
It's not a slam against you. It's inevitable that
when you live with somebody, when you're married to them,
especially, that, you know, that people, both of them
start to become like each other. Is this why you're so freaked
out about Jenny marrying Jason? -Yes, partly.
-[ Scoffs ] You know, I couldn't have been
more shocked than if she walked into the
restaurant and peed on my table. -Peed on your table?
-Yes. This is a really nice image
to have before I eat my steak. O-Okay. No, no, seriously.
Will you tell me -- Honestly, is she pregnant? No, of course not.
[ Scoffs ] Are you sure?
Because, you know, kids her age are really stupid
when it comes to sex. There's a girl at the hotel
who thinks that you can get AIDS by sticking your finger
up somebody's ass, if you can believe that. Okay, I can only imagine the circumstances that led
to that conversation, Robert. Geez. Besides, she's not a kid. I mean, when I was her age,
I had already had her, and you can't imagine that
I'm that neglectful of a mother to let her get into
the same circumstances I did. All right, I'm just trying
to figure out some reason why she would want to marry
a pencil sharpener. Maybe she doesn't want
to live the life of a starving artist
the way her parents did. Well, I don't think
there's any danger of that. Do you have to be
so contemptuous? Of what? Living a normal life. They're just both too young
to give up so easily. Not everyone sees marriage as
a tragic surrender to conformity the way that you do. Well, you know
what I'm talking about. And I'm not just talking
about Jenny. When they dated in college,
Jason published those poems. You remember?
And they were pretty good. Yes, I do remember. Right.
And what's he doing now? He's an accountant
for the government? Okay, maybe he'll write
on the side. It's a little easier to create without creditors
constantly banging at your door. I just don't want them to make
the same mistake that we did. Okay, what mistake is that? Getting married too young. You were in your 30s. Like I said -- too young. I don't think youth
was our problem. And, anyway, you don't seem
so irreparably harmed by the catastrophic mistake, which, by the way,
gave you the daughter that you seem
so concerned about. But you know
that I don't mean it like that. I'm talking about Jenny.
Come on, Jenny -- When she was a girl,
when she was a kid, she had dreams. Do you remember all the things
that she wanted to do? And now she does what? Can you tell me?
Because I don't know. No, because every time
she tries to explain to me what she does for a living, I --
it's so stupid, it's so boring, I forget like an hour later. [ Sighs ] Look, I should be the last one to discourage anyone
from their bliss, but, you know, with me,
it's just a dumb mistake that my first novel
ever got published. No, it was
only because I met that agent at Amy's party, remember? A party that
I wasn't even gonna go to. Yeah, but that book was good. So that book would've been
published eventually. I don't know, Robert.
[ Chuckles ] I think
the dirty little secret of life is that luck has a lot
more to do with our destiny than talent and hard work
combined. -Combined?
-Yes. If I hadn't gone to that party,
if I had been 20 minutes late, my whole life
would've been different. Okay, so, what's your point? My point is, is that... maybe what Jenny is doing will make her more happy,
not less... that...that chasing your dreams and having them not happen
is worse than... I don't know, not trying. [ Scoffs ] Okay. So, if you really believe that,
then you have changed, and you have changed a lot more
than I thought possible. Okay, Jenny is... -How old is she?
24! Okay, that is too young
to not even try. What's the cutoff point? What's the point of no return, where, if your dreams
don't come true, you've left yourself
without any other options? Any particular dreamer
you have in mind? No. It's a rhetorical question,
Robert. ROBERT: Yeah, okay, sure.
Yeah, all right. Look, sorry I ever
brought it up. Let's just not go down that path
anymore, okay? Fine. She can marry the pencil
sharpener. I don't care. -You're being too sensitive.
-Well, why not? I mean, you're basically
calling me a failure. I would never call you that. Okay, fine. -I'm gonna go to the men's room.
-Robert -- And when I come back,
could we please... change the subject? Robert... ROBERT: Men's room? Thank you. [ Cell phone vibrating ] [ Sighs ] [ Sniffles ] Thank you. WAITRESS:
Your entres will be right out. -Thank you.
-Hi. -Hi.
-Hi. Wow. I'm sorry that I was
so...testy before. No, I just think we're
just overprotective of Jenny. Yeah. -All right, your filet mignon.
-Thank you. You're welcome.
Your plate's extremely hot. [ Chuckles softly ] And your salmon, sir. And my salmon, ma'am.
Thank you very much. Can I offer you more to drink? Oh, I'd love another.
Thank you. -And I'll have the same, please.
-WAITRESS: Got it. -EMILY: Mmm.
-Yum. That looks good.
It smells good. Mmm, mmm, mmm! Yes, mm, oh, stop it.
Come on. -Mmm.
-Stop now. -You want a bite?
-No, no. It's a slippery slope. Mm-hmm.
Oh, you know... -Oh, come on. know you want it. -You know you want it.
-No, no, no. -You know you want it bad.
-That's what Eve said to Adam. Oh, my God. Oh, it's been a long time. -Mmm.
-Too long. Oh. All right, no, but I'm --
I'm gonna stick with the salmon, which looks excellent,
by the way. You know, I was just thinking,
you always used to say that people get dumber
as they get older, not wiser. -Yeah?
-Mm-hmm. And what does that have to do
with the price of tea in China? Well, just maybe that
Jenny knows what she's doing and maybe you're wrong. Ah. EMILY: Well, it's possible. She's gonna be fine. I think. You know, sometimes I think
you are an incurable optimist. What's so bad about optimism? ROBERT: What's so good about it? Well... It gives people hope,
for one thing. ROBERT: Yeah. You know, all these systems that deliver,
um, what you call hope -- you know, religion, politics,
whatever -- you know, they're just
delivery systems for denial. They're -- No, they exist
to allow people to feel good about sticking their head in
the sand and keeping it there. Okay, well, what about music
and all kinds of art? I mean, it's the same thing. Yes, people have politics,
they have religion, they have sports and drugs, and they, you know, collect
miniature statues of horses. I don't know. I have my writing.
You have your music. It's all the same thing. It's just a way for us
to deny the fact that we're gonna suffer pain
and die. You can't make sense out
of any of it, right? Whoa. Wow. And you accuse me
of having a dark world view. EMILY:
No, I just think sometimes that you think
you're above it all. Well, if you think
that I'm above the, you know, dopes out there
watching reality television and lining up to watch movies
about robots and talking Chihuahuas,
you're right. No, but I-I don't think
that that, you know, gives me any sort of higher intelligence,
no. No, on the contrary,
like you said, by virtue of my age alone, I'm probably dumber now
than I have been at any point in my life. You have
the weirdest combination of narcissism and self-loathing. ROBERT: No, no, no.
You've got it wrong. Thank you. No, it's other people
that I loathe. -Oh, really?
-Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm? -How is everything?
-Delicious. -Excellent.
-[ Chuckles ] Great. Let me know
if you need anything else. But, look, I am sorry --
before, you know, about... No, I'm the one
that should apologize, honestly. No, no,
I'm just too...touchy. No, it had to do with all
your talk about luck and dreams. -You know, whatever.
-What? ROBERT:
No, it's just, you know... No, it's a topic that I've
been ruminating about a lot -- uh, my luck. My luck, my --
or my lack thereof -- and my corresponding
lack of success. You know, it -- I, um... I spend an inordinate amount
of time looking back these days, and I'm not very happy about it. What's wrong with looking back, especially when you've done
as much as you have? Yeah. Oh, yes, I am a man
of so many accomplishments. -I can't even remember them all.
-Oh, come on. You played
the Playboy Jazz Festival. -Yeah.
-You -- You recorded... -...with Miles Davis.
-Decades ago. Come on. I want you to tell me,
what do you think happened? Well... You didn't play the game. You never saw music
as a business. And you're too much of a purist. Yeah. Some purist. And now I'm barely getting by
by playing Celine Dion songs for fat tourists
from Moosedick, Montana. EMILY: You know what I think
your real downfall was? What? Women. Yeah, okay.
No argument there. EMILY: Hmm.
No, I'm serious. I think you spent too much time
chasing girls, not enough on your art. Split your focus. Oh, come on, you talk like I was
Jimmy Page or somebody, constantly banging groupies
on the road in hotel rooms. -You weren't?
-Oh. [ Scoffs ] If you'd seen some of the dumps
that I stayed in when I was on the road --
No, no. I never would've taken women
back there. [ Scoffs ] Yes, I forgot
about your high standards. Hey, you, of all people,
would appreciate the allure of a nice environment
for your trysts. Or are you gonna tell me now that while you were
cuckolding me with Jack that, uh...
you were staying in rooms in the, what,
the Van Nuys Motel 6? [ Laughs ] Well played, sir. -Very well played.
-Mm, thank you. -Awesome.
-Yes, thank you. And I see that the alcohol
is having the desired effect. You are finding
my resentful barbs amusing rather than insulting. No, no. They're still insulting.
I just think it's amazing that you're lecturing me
on fidelity. -That's what's amusing.
-No, no, no. I was never the cocksman
that you think I was. No. And if the truth
were to be told, I think that we're probably even
on this score. I think
you probably cheated on me as many times as I did on you. -Yes. Okay, fine.
-That's really funny. Fine, no, okay.
Let's fess up. Let's -- Okay. I'll tell you if you tell me. How many? Does that include Jack? Of course it includes Jack.
What do you think? I thought maybe since I married
him, it wouldn't count. Are you crazy?
I mean, what are you smoking? Jack should count for double. Ah. Okay. You go first. I bet you don't
even remember how many. Of course I can remember
how many. Four. Four.
What, we're talking about -- What, how many times
while we were married, right? Okay, four. No, in 14 years. And I know that's nothing
to brag about, but I bet a lot of people
have a worse record. -[ Laughs ]
-What? You must think I'm the most
gullible person on the planet. I mean, what about that time you took that gig on that
cruise ship for four months? There must've been four
on that one. No, no, no.
The -- The only woman I took to bed
on that cruise ship was Joyce Carol Oates. -Oh, yeah, this --
-Yeah. No, when I wasn't playing,
I was in my room reading. Oh, I'm supposed to believe this from "Mr. FMS --
'Fraid I'll Miss Some--" Hey. I am not -- No --
a chimpanzee. I can control myself --
as I did with the steak -- when I want to. Okay. Let's start with four. -Oh.
-Okay? Audrey. I never slept with Audrey. Oh, come on. No.
No, I was attracted to her. I was tempted, but, no,
that...never happened. Okay, how come you didn't deny
it when I confronted you, when that whole thing happened? -Come on.
-[ Sighs ] I knew that you were looking
for a way out. And I figured
I'd give it to you. I knew how unhappy you were,
and I... knew that you were unhappy, you know, still living
like a sh-- fucking broke college student, raising Jenny in that stupid
little apartment in the Valley. I knew that I could never
give you what you deserved, and I knew that Jack
was interested in you, and... I decided to give you both
the excuse that you needed. Are you serious? Yes. Wow. I don't know what to say. Yeah. Well, it's water
under the bridge. Hey. [ Whistles ] [ Stammers ] I didn't mean
for the conversation to come
to a screeching halt. Why didn't... Why didn't you tell me? You know something? It takes some of the nobility
out of the act if you take credit for it. [ Laughs ] Why are you telling me now? Well, why do you think?
I want to take credit for it. God... Robert, I mean...
[ Laughs ] No, look, I-I-I don't think that I was ever very happy
being tied down. I-I think that I was looking
for a way to get out, too. I-I certainly didn't know how
to be a good husband, and I -- and I never really understood
how to be a good father. I think we blew it. I don't know. See, I think that you and I
have always thought that the grass was greener
on the other side, and that's one of the reasons why we were never happy
being married. Ah.
You were never happy. Well, you know what I mean. No, I don't, because I was. I really was most of the time. Okay, so, "happy"
is probably not the right word. "Satisfied." You know
this Warren Zevon song -- "I'm Always Looking
for the Next Best Thing"? That was us. That was us. I don't think that you can have
a successful marriage if you always have one eye out
looking for... the next best thing. Okay? I mean, I was looking
for a way to get out. You were looking
for a way to get out. We got out. Don't you think, in hindsight,
it might've been a little rash? Rash? We were married for 14 years. You're not answering
my question. Look, I think
it can drive you crazy if you contemplate the fact
that, within every decision, there are
a million alternatives, and every one
of those alternatives could've made your life
a different thing. -[ Chuckles ]
-I don't know. [ Sighs ] You've become
quite a philosopher after... -...four scotch.
-[ Laughs ] No, I think it's just that
I like to wallow in self-pity. EMILY: [ Laughs ] I see. Mm. No, but if -- If I am completely honest
with myself, I think we did the right thing. Even though it kills me... ...that no matter how much
I loved you... wasn't enough. And Jack,
the prick that he is, was. Wow.
It's not enough. I...I don't think you have anything
to be jealous about that. I'm sorry to hear that. -Or maybe I'm not that sorry.
-[ Chuckles ] But, look, even though I think that Jack
is a total menstrual cramp, it doesn't mean
that I want you to be unhappy. Well, thank you.
I think that's sweet...maybe. So...what happened? -You really want to know?
-Yeah. I don't know. Not one thing. I'm bored. Well, that's nothing.
Come on. That's inevitable. That happens
in every relationship, and that's why they tell you
that bullshit. At the beginning
of every relationship, you better make sure that the person that you're with
is your best friend because at least you have that when the passion
inevitably dies. See, that's the thing. Jack's
never been my best friend. You were. You still are. [ Laughs ] Well, thank you.
But, Emily, come on now. We haven't talked
since the last Fourth of July. Oh, that doesn't matter,
and you know it. If I really needed you, I could call you anytime,
day or night, and you would jump on a plane
no matter who or what was going on in your life. I would do the same for you, and I don't think
either one of us has anyone else like that
in their lives. Right? Right.
Well, yeah, okay. Lucky me.
I'm your best friend. What happened to our marriage? I don't know. I don't think
the passion ever went away. No matter
what else went wrong... -No. No. No. No.
-No. Even when you were cheating
on me and I wanted to kill you, I still wanted to have sex
with you. -Really?
-Yeah. [ Laughs ] Yeah. That's nice. Wait. Hmm? Is Jack cheating on you? No. No. -Are you s-sure?
-No, I don't think so. No. Maybe that would be good. It would indicate
he has some sort of sex drive. No, he's...he's not unfaithful.
He's just dull. And to prove your theory,
I'm becoming dull by osmosis. I mean,
tonight is the first night I've really felt like
[inhales deeply] myself in a long time. All right,
I'll tell you something. The feeling is mutual, because it is so hard to find somebody
that you can be yourself with. I mean, I'm feeling like myself
with you tonight. And, look, it's not like
I'm a recluse or anything. I'm out there,
you know, every night. I'm meeting people,
but, you know -- And I don't believe
in the soul-mate stuff. I think that
that's kind of crap. But, still, to find somebody
that you can... connect to... that's kind of rare, right? I don't have that trouble
making connections. It's just keeping them. Okay, well, you and I
are living proof of that. No, Jack and I
are living proof of that. [ Sighs ] God, lately, I find myself doing
the weirdest thing -- something I would have never
done when I was married to you. What? Banking conversations. Banking conver--
Wait. How does that work? A thought comes to mind, and instead of talking about it
with Jack, I save it in the back of my mind
for later when we have
nothing to talk about. Oh.
Does this happen often? On a daily basis. -Yikes.
-Yeah. Wow. I think
that was part of the appeal. I thought he was a challenge,
you know? He was an enigma. Then I realized
he's not an enigma at all. I was looking for layers under
layers that weren't even there. You know, ever since the book
came out... Yeah. ...been having some... I don't know. I don't know.
It's...It's been bad. -Really?
-Yeah. You know that --
that character -- -You read it, right?
-Yeah. -You know the congressman?
-Yeah. You know, the -- the
self-righteous, political animal who's really dull
and black and white? -Yeah.
-Yeah, well, does it seem... like it's anybody you know? No, come on.
It's totally altered. It's... You and I know that,
but Jack read it, and he -- he's convinced that that's
exactly the way that I see him. Oh, come on.
And it's not? Well, I don't know.
You know -- You know how Larry McMurtry
and all those other guys, they give those interviews,
and they say that, you know, their characters "aren't based
on any one specific person." They come straight out
of their imagination. Well, of course,
I said the same thing, but I'm just being evasive, because even the most overtly
fictional of my characters, well, they're based on,
you know... know, people I know.
-Yeah. -Yeah.
-So... the answer is yes. I-I mean... it's kind of based on him, and, unfortunately,
it's the bad part... -Yeah.
-...because the good ones, they don't make
for good stories. Yeah.
And so now he's pissed. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -Yeah. Yeah.
-Yeah. Yeah. And it doesn't help
that my novel was written up in a couple of really,
really big magazines, and so he's convinced
that everyone's talking about him
behind his back because of the stuff
in the book. And I keep telling him
no one even reads anymore, and, if they do, they
wouldn't make the connection. But it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter. He's just fucking pissed. Yeah, well, you can't blame him. No, you can't blame him --
the guy. I mean, come on,
I read that book. I mean, the character
is totally unsympathetic. No, I can see why he's pissed. You never were. My first novel might as well
have been titled "Bob and Emily's Twisted
Marriage Falling Apart." But, no, you never said one word
that wasn't supportive. -That's be--
-No, you didn't. You didn't. I mean, you could've,
but you didn't. I actually thought that
you didn't even read the book because
you were so damn encouraging. But his mind
doesn't work that way. He is not an artist.
He does not understand. I mean, come on, give the guy
a break. I mean, see -- And that is the beauty
of writing music, because when I'm writing music and I'm playing
a piece of piano, even though the song is inspired by my desire to reach down
into somebody's throat and pull their heart out,
they never know. So, how many
of these heart-ripping songs did you write about me? No, don't flatter yourself.
I was not that devastated. -Yeah, right.
-No, I wasn't. -Uh-huh.
-No, I wasn't. Nothing. Pfft. -You are such a tough guy.
-I am a tough guy. -[ Laughs ]
-I'm a tough guy. That girl behind you
has listened to every single word we've said. Was it that fascinating? Have you heard
anything they've said? They haven't talked. Do you know that some people don't know how to talk
to each other? -Have you ever noticed this?
-All we do is talk! -And this is one thing --
-Let's go over there. All right, let's go. Let's go.
Let's have dessert. EMILY: Ooh. ROBERT: [ Whistles ] Cougar and black leather. Yes. This is the... -[ Laughs ] My den.
-...after-dinner lounge. [ Laughs ] Want to hear something horrible? If it's something horrible
about you and Jack, yes, please do. It's what I live for. Mm. Well, about six months ago, uh, he was taking this flight
to Dulles, like he always does, and I was watching the news. And I saw
that there was a plane crash, and it was -- it was --
it was his plane. And my initial reaction...
was relief. I mean, before
I could censor my thoughts or feel
what I was supposed to feel, the first thought in my head
was, "I'm free. I'm finally out
of this marriage." Damn. And then the phone rang, and it was him,
and he told me not to panic, that he'd gotten
to the airport early and taken a different flight. And then... I felt disappointed. I felt disappointed
that a person that I love didn't die
in a fiery plane crash. [ Sighs ] But do you still love him? [ Chuckles ] Wow. Well, that's a big question. I think that's
one of the hardest things about being a writer. It's why so many of us drink and do drugs
and are suicidal, because we
have to constantly ask ourselves those kind of questions that other people just live
their life trying to avoid. Yeah, questions like,
"Do I still love my husband?" EMILY: Yeah. Despite your opinion of him,
Jack is a really... He's a good guy. He treats me well.
He's a good stepfather to Jenny. And I think
that he really, really loves us. I'm just not in love with him
anymore. Well...why don't you leave him? And tell him what? The truth.
No, really. I mean, because this is one of
the great mysteries of life -- I mean, why people
twist themselves up in knots just to avoid telling someone,
"Hey, I don't love you anymore." I mean, is that really so hard? Look, rationally,
I know you're right, and, you know... Absolutely,
I should get out of this. It's just that...
I don't know. I...I feel weird because I can't find a good
reason to break up with him. -What do I say?
-[ Scoffs ] You say, "I don't love you
anymore. Have a nice life." Yeah, right.
Well, maybe you could say that. I just -- I can't. Yeah. Be fair. I never told you
that I didn't love you. [ Scoffs ]
Yeah, well, you didn't have to. I kind of got the message
when your belongings started to disappear
from our apartment one by one. A-And the divorce papers?
They were a dead giveaway. Oh, God. Don't act
like a poor little puppy. You practically left skid marks
getting out of that apartment when you found out
you had your freedom. Well, what did you
want me to do? Sit around and cry,
beg you to stay, after what you did to me? Wait.
Do you really believe that I left you for Jack
because he had a bigger car? Yes. You did. Yeah, 'cause it couldn't be
about you at all. It couldn't be
that maybe you weren't giving me something that I really needed. Oh, come on.
What didn't I give you? Okay, maybe it was
what you gave everyone else. Look, there's other ways
of cheating than sleeping with people. I mean, you did that, too,
but... in those ways,
you were a really big slut. Okay, what the hell
are you talking about? Okay, okay, okay.
Remember... Remember
Caroline's big birthday party, and she wanted you to play
a song? Vaguely. Yeah, do you remember
what song you played? No. I think you do. You played our song,
the song that -- that you played for me
the night that you proposed... -Oh.
-...the song you wrote for me -- at least, you said you did. I did write that song for you. How do you think
that made me feel? Okay. Now, wait a minute.
All right. Let me just --
Let me just get this straight. You left me.
You -- You moved out. You married another guy because
I played a song for some girl? Not just a song -- th e so ng. You did shit like that
all the time for no other reason than
to make a pretty girl smile. Well, you know something? The longer I live, the more I treasure
those smiles from pretty girls. One of the few reasons
to keep on living. One of the few things in life
that's worth living for. Sometimes you have to give up
some things to make other ones better. You never quite got that one. Yeah. No, I got it. I got it a little late... but I got it. I see you found our lounge. We did. Did you save room for dessert
tonight? Oh, no. I'm stuffed. I'm stuffed, too, but... um... you don't have anything with
lots of chocolate in it, do you? We do. We have
a chocolate chocolate-chip cake that's amazing. Chocolate chip.
That sounds good. One. Coffee? No, I'll have some, too.
Thank you. -WAITRESS: Two coffees.
-Two forks. Coming right up. So much for all that
cholesterol watching, huh? Okay, the cholesterol --
Forget about it. You can only live forever if you give up everything
that would make you want to. Cheers. Okay, well, now,
can I tell you something and you won't tell anybody else? Who am I gonna tell? Jenny. Or your little
blonde bartendress. -Oh, come on. All right.
-Anyone? Please, honestly. -I won't tell, I swear.
-Between the two of us? -Promise?
-I promise. I tried cheating on Jack. [ Laughing ]
Look at how happy you are. No, re-- Really? [ Laughs ] ROBERT: You're unbelievable. No, I'm not.
I was bored. I'm unhappy. I'm really feeling old. And, you know, it just seemed
like a great thing -- the fun of -- of having sex
with somebody without any kind
of complications or, you know... Yes, I am familiar
with that particular impulse. Yes. Well, you know, it actually
just kind of happened. I was going out with a friend --
a fellow writer. Um, I've known him
for a long time. Jonas Marwood. Jonas Marwood. You have always had a crush
on Jonas Marwood. But, you know, I always thought
he was out of my league. I mean,
he's so much younger than me and he's so handsome
and he's brilliant. You know, he's kind of like
a literary rock star, like McInerny and Ellis were... -...back in our day.
-Yeah. Anyway, well, the thing is,
is that... I-I never got the vibe that he was even
remotely interested in me. But we went out to this,
um, you know, this opening for this book
of a friend of ours, and we got really smashed. Mm-hmm.
How long ago was this? A couple months. And he had a girlfriend,
and I, obviously, am married, but we ended up back
at his place. And...what? What's -- What's the downside?
W-What happened? You know,
that's the really weird thing. Like, believe it or not,
there was kind of no downside. It was great. I mean, I think
the whole forbidden-fruit aspect made it even better,
and then the weird thing is I actually liked
feeling the guilt. It was such an --
such an -- an intense feeling. It made me feel just younger
than I've...felt in years. And then, you know,
when it was over, I just kind of got it out
of my system, whatever it was that I needed
to get out. Yeah, but how did he feel? That's where the problem
kind of starts. Um, of course, I didn't spend
the night at his place. I hightailed it back home at about like 3:00 a.m.
in the morning. I slunk into bed with Jack
in shame. The next morning, I woke up,
and I figured that Marwood was already
regretting what had happened and that we would agree that, you know,
it was all a big mistake and that we could blame it
on the alcohol. That's what I was hoping. And then I-I got to my computer, and he had already written me
an epic e-mail saying he was always...
in love with me. Oh, boy. -Yes. Yes, and --
-Ohh. and that he didn't want
to put any pressure on me about Jack.
[ Sighs ] But now that he knew
what we had, he had to break up
with his girlfriend, and he did. -He did it the very next week.
-Oh, God. And so he started sending me
these mushy e-mails and texts, which, even if they were written
by a 13-year-old girl, they would be embarrassing, let alone
an award-winning novelist. So...So, what did you do? What do you think?
I slept with him again. -No.
-Mm-hmm. -No. Come on, Emily.
-A bunch of times. What are you gonna do,
be my Jiminy Cricket? Now you -- you, of all people? -No, no, no, no, no.
-You, Mister... I'm not judging, okay?
I'm not -- -...FMS.
-Come on. No. But I'm -- I'm shocked. I'm a little bit impressed. I mean, no, I didn't think
that you were that reckless. Well, the worst thing
about it... Yeah? that this guy is
just as predictable as Jack, but, you know,
in -- in his own way. I thought that having an affair would be, like,
exciting and dangerous. But no.
[ Laughs ] I mean, I find myself
in this position where, instead of one bland, dull,
time-consuming relationship, -I have two.
-Wow. So, wait.
This is still going on? Yeah. Yeah, kind of. But I haven't seen him
in a while. Yeah. I'm kind of dealing
with this situation the way I deal
with all of my other problems. And how's that? -Pretending they don't exist.
-Ah. But that's very healthy. -[ Laughs ] Yeah.
-Yes. Okay, now, I think -- I-I really think
that my point is this -- I always kind of thought that it was possible
to have sex with someone without any repercussions. But, of course, I know there's
always repercussions -- always. There's gonna be repercussions from us having dinner together
tonight. Oh, how so? Well, because it's gonna be
a little bit harder to go back to Jack, and I'm kind of... staying in my permanent
state of denial that things
can't really get better. I hate that, being with you. It always reminds me
that things could be better. Things could be good. And that's bad? Yeah. If you can't do anything
about it, it's really bad. Well, who says we can't do
anything about it? WAITRESS: Hello. -Hello.
-[ Laughs ] Chocolate is coming. Here comes chocolate cake
for me. Mm-hmm. And I'll just take this
whenever you're ready with it. Thank you.
You took my fork. Sure, I'll get you a fork. Dig in. Mmm. So? What? You're just gonna drop a bomb
like that and just not follow through
with it? Follow through with what? You know. That was just me being stupid,
okay? I think that was
just the...scotch talking. Huh. So, you're gonna tell me that you didn't even think
that maybe tonight we would... What? Of course I thought about it.
I always do. Really? Still? Well, it's just the way
my mind works. You know,
whenever I'm out with a woman, even if it's an ex or a friend, you know, I'm sure it's always
there in the back of my mind. I wonder whether or not we're
gonna end up in bed together. Oh, gee, you make a girl feel
special, Bob. Oh, come on.
You feel the same way. -Don't tell me you don't.
-I don't know. I suppose, when I'm... with a guy that's remotely
interesting or attractive, my mind goes through
the hypothetical scenario of what it -- what it would be like
to be with him. And so, did you do that with me? When? Anytime. I mean... did you do that before we got
together tonight, before we met? -Oh.
-Now? I've been thinking about it
since... the moment you called. All right. Me too. So... So, the ball's in your court. You're the one who's married. Don't hide behind Jack. If you could have
what you wanted, between you and me... ...what would you want? Wow.
Well, that -- That kind of depends
on what we're talking about. Hmm. I'm asking you. Okay, look, I have always been
attracted to you. I'm never gonna deny that, and if I thought that
we could go to bed tonight and there would be
no consequences, I would do it, no question. But, as you pointed out --
and I think correctly -- there are always consequences. You don't seem to care
about those much... -...with all those other girls.
-[ Chuckles ] That's true. Well, why now?
Why with me? Why do I suddenly get the new, improved,
morally upright version of you? You want the old slutty one? Maybe. Maybe it's the wine
making me nostalgic or... ...horny... or both. Oh, God. I'm so fucking sorry. -No, no, no.
-I'm so fucking pathetic. Excuse me.
Please do not apolo-- You have nothing
to apologize for. I've been known to be nostalgic
and -- and horny myself. Do you ever think you made
a mistake letting me go? Wow. You're like a marksman. [ Both laugh ] I thought
we already covered that. Yeah, but I don't remember
you coming to any conclusion. I really want to know. Did you make a mistake
letting me go? -Do you think that you did?
-Oh, come on. You know, I think that I made
the best decision that I could've made at the time
under the circumstances. Did you --
Did I ever tell you that, when I was on the way
to the church, that I had a panic attack? No. Yeah. Yeah. I'm driving to the church.
I-I'm almost there. I-I turn around.
I make a U-turn. I [whistles] I mean, I was
like 10 miles outside of town. I had to stop and turn around
and come back. That's crazy 'cause that's
exactly what I did. We were in the limo
with my sister, and I asked the driver
to take me somewhere else. -No.
-Yes. -Why?
-I don't know. It was so final. I mean, I just thought,
"This is the person I'm gonna spend the rest
of my entire life with." I was so young.
It seemed so far away. I was in l-- You're dodging the question. -What? No, I'm not.
-You will not answer me. No, I'm not
dodging the question. It's exactly what you said --
that, you know, what you said about marriage being final
and irreversible. No, but, see, I didn't get it. It wasn't the marriage
that was irreversible. It was the divorce. It was splitting up
that we couldn't take back. And... when that hit me... I mean, when that dawned... Well, that was a tough moment. Are you sure you want to -- -Yes.
-Come on. Are you sure? Stop. It's got to be like
more than I make in a month. No, it's not that. No, it's my pleasure. -Thank you.
-Oh, you're very welcome. We'll be out of here
pretty soon. Don't worry.
[ Chuckles ] So, why -- So, why didn't you
try to get me back, at least when, you know, Jack -- Jack and I first started
to be together, even before we got married? Would you have wanted me back? Yes. Maybe. I think so. All right, look, I... I think the truth is that -- Remember what you said about younger girls not getting my --
my references and my jokes? -Mm-hmm.
-That's true, but they're also not witness to every stupid thing
that I ever did in my life, every humiliating
and selfish thing that I did. And I think one of the reasons
why I didn't try to get you back was because... ...I knew that you had seen me
at my worst. You knew every mistake
I'd ever made, and you knew all the
opportunities I had let slip by. And... I don't think I could've looked
into your eyes anymore and lived with what I knew
would be staring back at me. I didn't want to grow old... with somebody who
could see what a failure I was. Is that
what you really think I see? That's what I see. When I look at you... when I'm with you... I see all the ways
that you have loved me. I see all our common history
that we've shared. No one knows the story
of my life the way you do. [ Chuckles ] Remember that PEN dinner
[sniffles] the one that you took me to
because Jack was busy working? Yeah, sure. [ Voice breaking ] Everyone
came up to me afterwards, and they were all so surprised
to find out that you were my ex. They all said the same thing. They said,
"Why did you break up? You seemed so...
so great together." And I-I couldn't [laughs]
I just -- I couldn't give them an answer. I still couldn't. WAITRESS: Thank you, folks.
Have a great night. Thank you. Oh. What a night. [ Sniffles ] [ Laughs ] I, uh... Do you want to go get
another drink? Clearly we're not drunk enough. Come on. [ Sighs ] We could get a bottle of wine
and go back to your room. Hmm. I guess I could go through
the motions of making all the arguments
why we shouldn't do that and, uh, pretend
that I didn't want to, and you could make the case
that nothing's gonna happen and you're gonna be
a perfect gentleman and I could pretend
to think about it and you could push
a little bit harder, and then, after 20 minutes
of phony deliberation, we could go to the hotel room. Exactly. So let's just save
the 20 minutes, get the wine,
and go back to the room. [ Elevator bell dings ] Here we are.
It's 413. Have you ever gotten lucky
in 413? -413?
-Uh-huh. -You know, this could be...
-[ Laughs ] ...the first time
I've been in here. Unh. What? Sure. Now, come here.
Watch this. -[ Latch clicks ]
-Magic touch. -Wow.
-Wow. This -- This Palmer
is something, huh? Uh-huh. Want me to open the wine? Would you? -Oh. [ Laughs ]
-I'm gonna -- I'm gonna use
your men's room here. [ Slow music plays ] [ Exhales deeply ] [ Water running ] [ Inhales deeply ] Whew. [ Toilet flushes ] Hey. Wow.
Oh, thank you. Cheers. I didn't know
you had a roommate. [ Laughs ] I like the hairdo. -[ Laughing ] Yes, it's --
Yeah. -It's an interesting place.
-Oh, look at this. D-Does your, um, publisher
reimburse, uh... if you watch porno? Well, Bob, uh... -even if he doesn't,
-Mm-hmm? ...I'll buy you
any kind of porno you want. No, no, no. You see, skin flicks
are another thing that just -- They just
aren't what they used to be. Wait. Do you remember when we
went to see that movie, um... "The Opening
of Misty Beethoven?" Of course.
How could I forget it? It was our third date, and I thought
you were a complete perv. [ Laughs ] Yeah, until you saw
the movie, as I recall, and then you appreciated it
for its -- No, come on.
They had writers in those days. They had serious stories. They had plots and subplots,
and I keep thinking they're gonna reinvent
the wheel, but no. Come on.
If there's another, uh... Mitchell brothers or Russ Meyer
out there, I-I sure as hell don't know
where they are. Well, I hate
to burst your bubble, baby, but I don't think
it's gonna happen. I teach this creative writing
class to these undergrads, and I overheard
these two girls talking about how they make their
boyfriends shave their...package so that they look
more like porno stars. No. Ever since hard-core
hit the Internet, the genie's out of the bottle. -It's not coming back.
-Ohh, man. Well, that's
the death of romance. [ Laughing ]
The death of romance? The death of romance. Please. Come on. That's the death --
What are you doing? You're checking your messages? You trying to see
if Jack called? -No. I know. No.
-Well, okay. -I just wanted to see what --
-I'm out of here. No, I wanted to see
what time it is. It's 2:00. I can't believe you kept me out -this late.
-Okay. -It's beyond my bedtime.
-"This late?" Okay. Here's what. Old lady's in bed at like 10:00. No, no, no, no.
Let me say something. You can try to paint
this picture of yourself, okay, as the Amish housewife, but
I'm just not buying it, okay, because people don't change
that much, and you haven't changed at all. Okay, maybe just a little bit
for the better. -Oh, you're a big liar.
-No. If anything,
I've changed for the worse. No. No. Tonight?
Come on, with me you're great. You're sweet. You're funny.
You're generous. You're kind. Now. Now, because I'm not with you. Remember when I was with you?
I was possessive. I was petty. I was jealous. I was awful all the time. -Mnh-mnh, no.
-When I'm friends with somebody, I can be generous and funny -and let things go and be open.
-[ Laughs ] But when I really care about
someone, I become someone else. Yeah, well, see, yeah,
but all women are like that. Why do you think I'm single? EMILY: [ Sighs ] Why is it so easy to be at our
worst with those who we love? -Because they'll put up with it.
-[ Scoffs ] -What?
-That's depressing! -I know, but it's true.
-Let's change the subject. You are a little bit hard
on yourself, because when I'm sitting
right here, okay, you haven't changed a bit. All right, well,
maybe not on the inside, but on the outside,
I don't even recognize myself. -Oh, stop.
-Really, it's gross. -Everything's falling.
-Oh, God. When I was a little girl --
I keep thinking about this -- I went
to my grandma's birthday party, and she was 47. And that seemed so old. And now I'm almost there... and I barely feel like an adult. Okay. Oh, fine, fine.
Okay. I haven't felt
like I was an adult for years. No, I feel less like an adult
every day. I think the last time,
I was like 17 or something. Seriously. 17. And then, since then, it's been
a constant state of regression. I mean, mentally,
I'm like Mork from Ork. You remember that show and
how the people from planet Ork were born old and
they got progressively younger. And when Mork and Mindy
had a baby, it was played
by Jonathan Winters? No, but keep going.
You're getting somewhere. -I know you are.
-Oh, what I'm saying is that those writers were on
to something 'cause that's me. That's how I feel.
That's -- Every day, I'm less and less
sure, you know. I'm less and less defined. You know, because, like,
when I was 20 -- When I was Jenny's age,
all right, I knew -- I knew exactly -- I knew --
I could feel it, okay, that I was gonna be one of
the -- one of the jazz greats. I didn't have a doubt
in my mind. Art Tatum
and -- and -- and Bud Powell and Erroll Garner, come on. Those were my --
Those were my role models, but I thought my future peers. And then I'm 30, and...
[ Sighs ] Well, you know,
it hasn't quite happened yet, but I'm kind of relaxed
about that. I'm thinking
okay, the pressure's off. I'm not a enfant terrible.
I'm not a wunderkind. You know, I'm not a prodigy,
but okay, I'll just do it on my own time
and my own timetable. And then 50 kicks in,
and I'm not one of them yet, and I'm kind of realizing
that I never will be that great, you know, 'cause I'm not. I'm not a...genius. I'm -- I'm okay, you know. I don't have the chops,
but I love it. But it's too late
to do anything about it. I can't change careers now. So I finally --
I figured out, you know, just give up on the long-range
goals, you know. Just focus
on the immediate stuff, like getting beautiful women
into bed and drinking fine wine. So, now I'm like a teenager
but without the ambition. EMILY: [ Chuckles ]
You know what? I think I'm regressing, too. My next contract
is for a children's book. Instead of maturing,
I just want to write about the things I liked
when I was a little girl. Okay, so, that's perfect.
That's good. I have always thought
that if you're a writer, a musician, whatever,
you should focus on the stuff that you loved
when you were a kid. That's your inspiration. That's who you were -- pure and unadulterated,
before you were like 20, and then you get all,
you know, intellectual. And you got to be careful
with this stuff when you're -- when you're 20. Hmm. You know what I liked
when I was 20? What? -You.
-Oh, stop. See, this is my -- This
just proves my point because -- Okay, now, you tell me this.
What's your book about? Your new book. Baby rhino. -A baby rhino.
-Mm-hmm. -Wait. Wait. Rhino?
-Rhino. Where did that come from? -Ow.
-What? I got to take off my shoes. It's cool.
Don't laugh at me. It was a dream I had
a few months ago where this baby rhino
dropped out of the sky and was rampaging
around my living room, destroying everything. Okay, no, okay.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. No. Was this around the time that
you were dating Jonas Marwood? I don't know.
Why? Well, because maybe
Jonas Marwood is the rhino who's come into your life
and messing things up. Wait! Maybe Jack is the rhino,
and he's creating all the havoc. Well, maybe it's just a dream. Maybe dreams
don't mean anything. No, come on, no, come on. Dreams got to come
from someplace, okay? But here's my big question. Which one of these studs
is the man who has, you know,
inspired, um, your imagination, your subconscious to manifest
them as a rhinoceros? Oh, rhinoceros? Yeah, big rhinoceros
with a big horn on his head. Believe me,
neither Jack or Marwood is a huge, horned anything. -[ Laughing ] Oh, yeah?
-[ Laughs ] Okay, so, you make me feel
a little bit better, but I am not one
to throw stones. -Aww.
-Yeah. Well, do you want me to check it
out and see? -Give you my expert opinion?
-Oh, stop. Because they're not the same
when they're hard. -Oh, st-- Y-You're drunk.
-[ Laughs ] I swear you are. -Know you are.
-Maybe you're the rhino. Me?
How could I be the rhino? I wasn't even in your life then. Well, even if we're not talking, it doesn't mean
you're not in my life. You always are,
even if it's just in my dreams. Oh. [ Moans ] Oh, God, no, I can't.
No. It's -- -I'm sorry. I shouldn't.
-Yeah, that was so terrible. -No, no, you know what I mean.
-Are you really gonna act like you didn't come back here
to sleep with me? No, I'm just a little bit -- I'm trying to figure out
where this might be going. Oh, my God, you've turned
into some kind of little boy. What about FMS syndrome --
'Fraid I Might Miss Something? Aren't you afraid you might miss
something right now? No, I'm a little bit afraid that we might be doing something
that we can't take back. Yeah, so am I. I'm afraid that I'm gonna spend
the rest of my life with somebody I don't love. I don't want to die in bed
next to Jack. I want to die in -- I want to die with you. Okay, whoa, whoa.
Cowgirl, come on now, slow down. -Whoa.
-Don't dismiss me. -Don't. Don't do that.
-No, no. I'm not dismissing you. I'm just letting you know you're not thinking straight
right now, okay? Let's just get this straight. So, you want to divorce Jack
and get back with me? I don't know. Maybe we're different now. Maybe we're different together. Maybe we could give it a try --
I mean, just a try. Is that so awful,
just you and me? Not awful, no,
but slightly unrealistic given the circumstances
of our current situation, given our lives. What? [ Laughs ] What about your life is so great that you can't give it up
to be with me? Okay, see,
you have never understood this, that I actually like my life. I like the fact that I don't
have to ask permission if I want to go
to the midnight movie, that I don't have to ask
permission if I want another drink
at the bar, that I don't have to give a shit
about the color of the drapes or whether or not they match
the stupid couch, and that, if I don't get a gig
in any given month, I don't have to be feeling bad about the fact
that I have no money. Oh, my God! All this crap
about low overhead and freedom? Well, what has it gotten you? You live by yourself
in that little apartment. You play in a corner.
You're all alone. God damn it! You have
pissed away your whole life! Okay, now, whoa!
Don't hold back. -Tell me how you really feel.
-So have I. So have I. I spend years and years
that just go by, and nothing happens. [ Sighs ]
Time that's gone. It's never gonna come back. I did it 'cause I thought
I was supposed to do it or -- or because I thought
that was expected of me. Why did you do it? Except for the fact
that you're a fucking coward. -I'm a cow-- Oh, I'm a coward?
-Yes. You tell me how I'm a coward. Everything you've done is designed to make your life
risk-free! Playing all those little gigs,
sleeping with all those girls, being all by yourself --
It's all safe! You think you're Bohemian. You're just as predictable
as Jack. So Jack's life is predictable. My life is predictable. You tell me,
what is the alternative? The alternative is what we had
before, what we let go -- a life,
a life with someone you love. That's risky. That's what we should do. What if there is no God?
What if there is no afterlife? What if this is all we have? [ Voice breaking ]
If you're right, why not spend the rest of our short lives
with someone... you love,
someone who makes you happy? Because... Because I think that that ship
has sailed. And I think, no matter
how we feel about each other, it's too late
to do anything about that. [ Sighs ] Is that what you really think? Is it? No. Because if it were... ...then I wouldn't be here now. [ Moans ] [ Laughs ] Come here. [ Smooch ] [ Giggles ] [ Giggles ] ROBERT: Okay. Okay. [ Speaking indistinctly ] [ Laughs ] Where are you going? EMILY: I got to go
to the bathroom. I got to go. [ Laughs ]
Stay. Stay. [ Door closes ] [ Water running ] [ Slow music plays ] [ Door opens ] I... Robert? [ Sighs ] [ Sniffles ] [ Sighs ] [ Cell phone vibrating ] [ Sniffles ] Hey.