You Were My First Boyfriend (2023) Movie Script

(eerie noises)
(unsettling music playing)
(muffled cheers, chatter)

Cecilia Aldarondo: Imagine
you had a nightmare
where you had to relive
your adolescence.

(light music plays)
My memories shine
almost like a diamond.
But not because I love them.
My memories shine
because I hate them.
(unsettling music playing)
I remember the way my body felt.
The way they looked at me.
A ponytail.
I was wondering if you wanted to
go to homecoming with, with me?
(stifled laughter)
Cecilia: An invitation.
A school dance.
The presidential
physical fitness exam.
Speaker: Faster. You got
one minute. One minute.
Cecilia: A lunch table.
(indistinct chatter)
This is all waiting
for me at home.
So, why on earth
would I go back?
(upbeat rock music playing)

(sprinklers clicking)
(unsettling music playing)

(singer vocalizing)
(ambient street noise)
Cecilia: I was raised
in Winter Park, Florida.
People like to say,
"This is such a nice
place to grow up."
But it's always felt like
a foreign country to me.
So, what you have
to tell me is...
- Uh-huh?
- What, what is Winter Park
- to you, okay?
- (Laura laughs)
- Is this Winter Park?
- Mm, yeah. Mm-hmm.
- Is this Winter Park?
- Uh-huh.
The guy organizing the
reunion posted this, okay?
So, read this.
Laura Gallegos: Blah, blah, blah,
more details. "Dress Winter Park."
I don't know what that means.
- Cecilia: Look at the comments.
- Laura: Okay, okay, okay.
"LOL. Okay, so, for those of
us that no longer live there,
what exactly is 'Winter
Park Dress'? LOL."
"Not like flip flops casual,
"but I don't think there's
any need to dress up
unless you really want to."
"LOL. Okay, just making sure."
I think that's exactly... I think
that's exactly what it means.
Winter Park does
not mean stilettos.
- Really?
- Yeah, no.
- So, what is Winter Park dress code?
- Not stilettos.
- Stilettos is like Miami.
- I feel like I just need
- to, like, go get, like, a skin bleaching...
- That's Miami.
And get blonde highlights, and,
like, have my skin... my...
- N... (laughs)
- Do you know what I'm saying?
Like, have my hair, like,
ya know, ironed out.
Maybe I need, like, a very,
like, neutral, delicate color.
- Ugh.
- Oh, God! Ugh!
I think you should just wear
whatever the fuck you want.
I don't know what
I want anymore.
Look, this is like, "Blood
red, I'm gonna kill them all."
- Alright, let's go with this one.
- Okay.
- Revenge color.
- Revenge red.
- (laughing)
- Murderous red.
- Resentment red.
- (laughs) Resentment red!
(ambient nature sounds)
(unsettling music playing)

Cecilia: I feel
like I'm returning
to the scene of an
invisible crime.
(singer vocalizing)
Yet the masochist in me
says... "You must go."

(Cecilia sighs)
I just feel like this
is a huge mistake.
And I'm lost! (laughs)
I'm totally lost, I
don't think this is...
director of photography:
I think we're goin'...
- Are we on Via Tuscany?
- Cecilia: Yeah.
Director of photography:
Then we're gonna run into it.
Cecilia: Okay.
Oh, yeah. Look, there it is.

Oh, God.
A country club.
Members only.
There are people here.
Oh, dear God, oh, my
God. Do you see this?
Brennan... Brennan, I'm serious.
I need you to tell
me what to do.
Talk to me!
Director of photography: I think
you need to go park further away.
Cecilia: Right.

Oh, my God, look at
these tennis courts.
(whines) I don't like tennis!
I'm serious, Brennan.
Don't make me go in there.
Okay, can we go and do this now?
(people laughing, chattering)
(anxious music playing)
To me, the paradox of going back
is to have to
succumb, once again,
to that sense of yourself as
totally inconsequential.
- Check-in clerks: Hi.
- Hey, how are you?
- Clerk 1: Doin' alright.
- Clerk 2: First name?
Cecilia. Aldarondo.
- (indistinct chatter)
- Awesome. Thank you.
(indistinct chatter)
(party music playing)
(classmate speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)

I'm an adult now!
I'm an adult now!
Cecilia: I wanted to say:
"Remember when you told
me the prom limo was full?
"Remember when you
called me 'burrito'
"and told me to go
back to my grass hut?
"Remember when I cried
at the lunch table
and you did nothing?"
But I just clutched my drink
and tried to look interested.
(classmate 1 speaking)
(classmate 1 speaking)
classmate 2: Your
hair is amazing.
Cecilia: Thank you.
If reunions are the chance to
see how much we've all changed,
then why do I have this
horrible case of deja vu?
Is there an after-party,
or is that, like...
(unsettling music playing)
(singers vocalizing)
teacher (over microphone):
I pledge myself.
Students: I pledge myself.
Teacher: To uphold the high
purpose of this society.
Students: To uphold the high
purpose of this society.
Teacher: For which I
have been selected.
Students: For which
I have been selected.
Teacher: Striving
in every way.
Students: Striving
in every way.
Teacher: By word and deed.
Students: By word and deed.
Teacher: To make its ideals.
Students: To make its ideals.
Teacher: The ideals of
my school and my life.
Students: The ideals of
my school and my life.
Teacher: Now blow
out your candle.
Family (sings): El lechn
se coge, se mata y se pela
Se pone en la vara
y se le da candela
(playing instruments)
Woo! Woo!
(singing continues)
(Cecilia's mom speaking Spanish)
kid: Okay, on your
mark, get set.
(Cecilia's mom speaking Spanish)
(kid speaking)
(Cecilia's mom speaking Spanish)
- kid 1: I know what it is.
- Kid 2: (gasps) I know what it is, too!
Cecilia's dad:
What you got, Ceci?
I got a journal
with a lock on it!
Kid: Oh, that's awesome.
Cecilia: I was thinking today
not just why I keep things,
but why I keep the
things that hurt me.
Like, I don't throw out
pictures of ex-boyfriends.
I keep love letters of
very weird relationships.
And I keep this journal.
"We're going to the beach
tomorrow and I don't wanna go.
"With my luck,
I'm gonna run into
"Megan and Erin in
their little bikinis.
"Won't that be nice?
"I'm not even wearing
a bathing suit.
"I hate the way I look.
"I try so hard to put
all that behind me,
"but whenever I see Kelly,
or Ashley, or Natalie,
"or any of those people,
it all comes back.
"It's like a curse.
"I can never act normal
when one of them is around.
"Especially when Joel is around.
"I'm just crazy about him.
"Joel, Joel, Joel, Joel.
I love Joel. I love Joel.
"God, I love him. I love
him, I love him, I love him.
"I wonder if he thinks about me.
"And if he does, what he thinks.
"I think about him every day.
"I know it's so hopeless,
"but I can't stop
torturing myself hoping.
"A single word would be enough.
"But I can't even have that.
"We come from different
worlds, he and I.
"My crossing those barriers
with one solitary word
"would hurt me more.
"I'm just gonna have to sit here
"with my treasured, preciously
few memories of him.
"I feel like
Michelle Pfeiffer did
"in 'The Age of
Innocence' when he said,
"'This is no life for you.'
"And she responded, 'It is, as
long as it's a part of yours.'
"As long as I can
see his golden hair
and his dusty eyes...
(laughs) I can hold up."
I just... Okay,
okay, we'll stop.
(chickens clucking)
Cecilia: My partner, Gabe,
he's never had a problem
hearing about my old loves,
fictional or otherwise.
So, you know how you said
you weren't jealous of Joel?
Cecilia: Do you remember that?
Cecilia: So, I've had a
number of dreams about him.
- Really?
- Yes.
Some of them sexual in nature.
- Oh, my God. Really?
- Yes.
With this version of Joel
or the younger version?
- This version.
- Okay.
Did you feel guilty
in your dream?
- Little bit.
- Good. You should have.
Cecilia: Well, what
do you think of that?
Gabe Kristal: Hm.
Cecilia: I mean, I had a
crush on Joel from sixth grade
all the way until he
graduated high school,
even though we only
spoke maybe once.
And I didn't just pine
for him passively.
I pined for him actively...
in my own weird way.
(light music playing)
"October 24, 1994.
"I sent the lyrics to
'Yellow Ledbetter' to Joel,
"nothing else.
"No letter, no return
address. Just the lyrics.
"I don't know why I did it.
"I was just acting like
a robot when I did it.
"It was so mechanical.
"As I write this, I think
back to that notebook
"I found of his
in seventh grade.
"That wasn't a shallow person
written on those pages.
"If only I could
remember those words.
"But I still remember
how they sounded.

"Like rain.
"Like an empty room.
"Like footsteps.
"This is getting desperate.
"I know I should
stop, but I can't.
"Nor do I want to.
"But what am I supposed to do?
I can't call him."
Hey, um, is Joel there?
"I've tried that before,
that does not work."
Oh, hi, Joel.
Joel Pickering (over
phone): Uh, who's this?
Oh, um, this is
Sh... uh, Sheila?
Joel: Sheila who?
Uh, Sheila E.? (laughs)
assistant director: Let's cut!
Cecilia: I was not allowed to
have a phone in my bedroom.
Are you kidding?
You think my Catholic mother
would've allowed
me to talk to boys?
She would've thought
I could get pregnant.
Assistant director: Yeah.
You probably could've.
Director of photography: Okay, and
so then, talk to Joel over here.
Cecilia: Sarah's
gonna be Joel.
Director of photography:
Okay, let's start here.
Assistant director:
And, action.
Sarah Enid Hagey (imitating Joel):
W-What, what school do you go to?
Um, I go to, um, St. Mary Mag.
Oh, that's cool.
- Yeah, I got some friends there.
- Cecilia: Yeah?
- Yeah. Yeah, like Brody...
- Cool. What do you like to do for...
and, like, uh, Phillip, Zack.
Well, um, what do you
like to do for fun?
- Uh, I write poetry.
- (both laughing)
- Really?
- Yeah.
Wow. I mean, that's cool.
What do you write about?
(deep breath) My dad.
- director of photography: You wanna cut?
- Yeah, sorry.
(crew laughing)
assistant director:
Alright, gang.
Maybe now Joel will
know why I loved him.
- He'll be like, "Oh, I see it."
- Sarah: "Oh, I see it. I was awesome."
(imitating Joel)
I was awesome.
If a relationship never leaves
your bedroom, or your head,
or your diary,
can you even call
it a relationship?
Joel is real, after all.
But I have absolutely zero
clue if I was real to him.
"Her tawny fruit holds
a dear, sweet beauty,
"unknown and unloved.
"She twists and writhes,
"trying to get a taste
of his golden beauty.
"The older, flashier ones crowd
around her, looking enticing,
"but their fruits,
beautiful as they appear,
bear only worms and
empty lies." (laughs)
Yeah, um, so, okay,
this poem is about you.
- (Joel chuckles)
- I swear to God.
I, I mean, I don't
really have much of a...
I mean, it's...
definitely, um,
- surprising.
- You can read it if you want.
- No, that's okay.
- (laughs) Okay.
- It's really uncomfortable, but, um...
- (both laughing)
The, uh, (laughs) um...
- So, you had no idea I had a crush on you?
- No idea.
(FaceTime ringing)
How'd it go?
Cecilia: It was... I-I don't
know. I'm very confused.
What'd he... What was his reaction
when you gave the great reveal,
the big reveal?
Cecilia: He didn't know!
He didn't know?
Cecilia: He... 'Cause...
So, so here's the thing.
I read him this poem that
I wrote about him, okay...
Oh, my... Oh, my
God. How, how aw...
Like, that's painful.
Oh, Jesus. Okay.
Cecilia: And so, I
read him this poem,
and then I said, "This
poem is about you."
And he was like... "Uhhhhh."
Oh, my God.
- Exactly, exactly. (laughs)
- Oh, my God.
There was this one
thing Joel said
that kept rattling me.
I remember, like...
I-I do remember...
'Cause I was
thinkin', like, we...
I think, like, you asked me
to dance or somethin' once
at one of the dances.
I remember that.
I don't remember
the context of it.
I remember something like that,
and I don't remember...
So, okay... that's really funny.
So, you remember me
asking you to dance?
- Do you know what I remember?
- No.
Your girlfriend at the time
coming up to me and going,
"Joel wants to dance with you."
And that, basically,
they were, like,
- doing a thing...
- (sighs) Mm-hmm.
'cause they knew I
had a crush on you.
- That wasn't a nice thing?
- It was like a fake nice thing.
Like, it was like a joke.
(chuckles) I mean,
that sounds awful.
The dancing part was great.
(both chuckle)
Alright, why don't you come in.
That's really good.
I love your, like,
little side smile.
You're just unapologetically
perfect, ya know?
He doesn't pick on anybody.
He's kind, generally tries
to be kind to everyone.
And so, you're gonna catch my
gaze, like, really briefly.
- But you're gonna pick up on this.
- Maya Karp: Mm-hmm.
And you, basically, in
the middle of the song,
say something to him like,
"I'm gonna be right back."
- Okay.
- And then, you go to your friends,
- and you whisper to them, looking at my direction.
- Maya: Okay.
Ya know, this is a power move
- that you're making.
- Yeah.
Joel wants to dance with you.
Joel. You know...
Cecilia: I think of
these recreations
as, like, an emotional exorcism.
- (Xander chuckles)
- So, um, what I mean by that
is that, like, I am,
I am truly haunted
- by these things that happened...
- Okay. Wow.
- To me when I was your age.
- Mm-hmm.
Cecilia: And one of the
things that I can't get past
- is why they still bother me.
- Yeah.
So, you guys are, like,
stand-ins for these people.
Like a pretty elaborate version
of psychotherapy, right? (laughs)
Cecilia: (laughs) Ya know
what, as you're talking,
I'm realizing... I'm like,
"You're my fantasy and
you're my nightmare."
- (Xander/Maya laughing)
- Xander Black: Yeah.
(unsettling music playing)

Cecilia: Over the years,
this one night has
deposited itself on my soul.
(muffled party music playing)
Something about pleasure
laced with pain.
For years, I've
doubted that night.
It seemed impossible
that I spoke to him.
(light music playing)
Touched him.
Smelled him.
But he remembered.
- (light music fades)
- (unsettling music continues)
He was wrong about one thing.
I did not ask him to dance.
It was her.

She singled me out.
(loud, echoey footsteps)

(lip-syncs) (whispers) Joel
wants to dance with you.
Cecilia: And she smiled
while she did it.
Natalie (lip-syncs)
(whispers): Really. He does.
Don't be shy.
Cecilia: Maybe she
was doing me a favor.
Because for five, excruciating,
delicious minutes,
it was the most erotic
moment of my young life.
And yet... everyone could see
he was on loan.
(muffled laughter)
For the next seven years,
I tried to get back
to that moment.
Because when you
don't know any better,
humiliation can feel
a lot like love.
(upbeat, joyful music playing)
I've never told
anyone about this,
but when I was a teenager,
I would help myself to sleep
by imagining myself
falling in love with men.
Newland Archer.
Count Laszlo de Almsy.
George Emerson.
These period pieces
gave my heartache
a kind of exquisite purpose.
A refuge for my doomed love.
Maybe you should call Joel.
I told you what he
said to me, right?
Why, why did he... He said
you don't even know him.
Cecilia: He said, "How could you
have a crush on me like that?
I mean, you didn't
even know me."
I would say to him,
"Didn't you ever, like...
"Didn't you ever see
Uma Thurman in a movie
and imagine yourself that, like,
you could be her boyfriend?"
That's what it is.
Because I sure did.
Winona Ryder? Woo,
Winona! (chuckles)
Remember when she got
busted for shoplifting?
And I was like, "Oh, yes!"
I felt like she just
needed me to, like,
provide some stability
and really understanding
that she wouldn't have to
shoplift anymore. (chuckles)
Cecilia: My screen
loves usually existed
in far-flung places and times,
worlds away from my real life.
But there was one
closer to home.
("Late at Night" by
Buffalo Tom playing)
Jordan Catalano.
I close my door at night
The indelible object of
Angela Chase's affections
in "My So-Called Life."
Angela lived in
her head, like me.
She watched him
from afar, like me.
But eventually, in her own way,
she got what I wanted.
Me, I'm closer
- What did we all see in Jordan?
- To the door
I don't get scared no
more - A sheepskin collar?
- A haircut?
- But I don't know the score
A leather choker?
Jordan Catalano
is an open wound.
Horny, selfish, tragically cool.
And to be honest, more
than a little bit dumb.
So, why pine for the
Jordans of the world?

- Jordan Catalano, "Where Are They Now?"
- "Where Are They Now?"
- Jordan Catalano is probably still in a shitty band, right?
- (costume designer laughs)
He's definitely got,
like, one or two STDs.
- Lifelong, ya know?
- Lifelong.
He's not paying the child
support that he owes.
Costume designer: Definitely
not. There's definitely, like,
- a court case.
- Cecilia: Yeah.
Costume designer: Like
an active court case.
What's paradoxical about him
is that he doesn't give a shit.
He's emotionally unavailable,
- but he seems emotional.
- Yeah.
- This is the Jordan Catalano question.
- Right.
Do still waters run deep or
do still waters just run?
Assistant director: Alright,
come on, guys. Thank you.
Alright. Standby, ready?
And let's roll, please.
- Camera operator: Rolling.
- Assistant director: And action!
(rock music playing)
(indistinct chatter)

- (laughter)
- What is that?
Gabe: I think that was
the best one, for me.
Gabe, you rolled your eyes.
- Did you see that?
- (laughter)
- crewmember: I like that joke.
- Just keep it neutral.
Gabe: Okay.
Think about it, Gabe.
Like, listen to me.
I'm serious, hold on a
second, pay attention.
What kind of acting
style do you...
Are you, like, method?
Because if you're method,
you can't break character.
I'm not a method guy.
(indistinct chatter)
Oh, my gosh.
Cecilia: Why were you anxious?
I was just... Because
I was like, oh, I'm...
Uh, 'cause I'm, I'm getting all these
things and I'm, like, overthinking.
I'm like, "Okay,
and I gotta do this,
"I gotta, like, make him, like,
"a, a hopeful thing,
"and I gotta, like,
not be too serious,
and I gotta be..." Ya know,
it's just a lot of things
that I'm havin' to
cling onto at one time.
- Cecilia: Ya know what I think is happening?
- What?
I think maybe it would help
if we worried less about whether
you seem like Jordan Catalano...
- Gabe: Uh-huh.
- And more if you seem like a man in love.
Okay. Am I supposed
to be in love?
I mean, kind of.
I mean, as much as Jordan
Catalano was able to be in love.
Hair & makeup
artist: Young love.
Cecilia: Like, he's into her.
But he's also really insecure,
and he's afraid to
admit that he likes her.
I think this is part
of the reason why
girls loved him is that, like,
sensitive girls like me and Angela
Chase wanted boys that we could reform.
Ya know, where we could tell them
everything was gonna be okay.
Gabe: Baby, don't date the
potential, date the person.
- Date the person, not the potential.
- Gabe: Yeah.
- You think I learned that when I was 15?
- Gabe: No.
Cecilia: I'm not the only one
revisiting my adolescence, babe.
There was a time
in your life when
people pegged you as a bad kid.
Gabe: Mm-hmm.
- That fair to say?
- Yeah.
Cecilia: You and Jordan Catalano
kind of have a lot in common.
That's true.
You're gonna save me
from high school, okay?
- Yeah.
- That's all you gotta do.
You just tell the truth.
(sighs) The truth is I love you.
- And...
- That's the truth.
That's it, right there. I
just saw it in your face.
- What? You mean caring a lot?
- Mm-hmm.
- We care a lot.
- Yes!
Yes! Here he is.
I love him! Yay!
Okay, you're ready.
("Late at Night"
continues playing)
I'm not a thoughtless kind
Can we...
If I could put
them in a jar
- I know they wouldn't scar
- Can we go somewhere?
- I'd do it if I could
- Sure.
I hope you know I would
I'd do it if I could
I hope you know I would
(bell ringing)
(light music playing)
Cecilia: When you're young,
any crush can actually become
a massive disappointment.
For all my crushes... I
was always just acting.
I mean, I was trying
to be somebody,
whatever they wanted me to be.

But with my friend Caroline,
I was just this weird kid.
Caroline and I were
both pretty dorky.
But while I obsessed over
what other people thought,
Caroline truly
didn't give a fuck.
(counting quietly)
(cheery music playing)
She didn't like
wearing shoes, ever.
She'd walk to my house
with no shoes on.
She'd walk to the
store with no shoes on.
She just didn't care that
people thought she was a nerd.
Who's got my money? Who, who?!
(screams, laughs)

- If you're gonna spew...
- Cecilia/Caroline Baker: If you're gonna spew...
- Garth Algar: spew into this.
- Both: spew into this.
Cecilia: One Halloween, she dressed
up like Garth - (young Cecilia snorts)
from "Wayne's World,"
and I dressed up like
Slash from Guns N' Roses.
Movies mattered a
lot to both of us.
The weirder, the better.
Feeling... a heartbeat.
(both imitating heartbeat)
I mean, I'm only crushing
your heads. Crrk, crrk.
Crush you!
- Just a flesh wound.
- Caroline: It's just a...

(movies playing)
Mm, mm. Mm, there's a penis.
Penis. Penis!
(both scream)
Cecilia: I remember we saw the
movie "A Room With A View,"
which has, like,
frontal, male nudity.
And we would just watch the
frontal, male nudity on repeat,
over and over and over again.
(gasping, laughing)
I just spit popcorn everywhere!
Cecilia: I think Caroline
was more amused by penises
than into them.
But she certainly
loved to meddle
in my budding love life.
I think this was summer
after sophomore year.
Her mom arranged a trip
for Caroline and I to visit
Caroline's aunt and
uncle outside of DC.
We were allowed to fly,
just the two of us.
Welcome to our nation's capital!
Cecilia: We had a
day, like, on our own
around the Washington
Mall with no grown-ups.
And we went to the
Air and Space Museum,
which I have no idea why.
And we're hangin'
out in the gift shop.
- Wow, I understand.
- Okay. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Look, it's very cute.
- No, I got it from that guy over there.
- It's very cute.
There was this boy who
was working as a cashier.
Yes, that guy.
He's fucking cute, do
you not think he's fine?
(loudly) Ooh, heart throb!
- Shut up!
- You should go talk to him.
(groovy, romantic music plays)
Cecilia: So, she's like, "Well,
you want me to go talk to him?"
And I'm like, "No, no, no. I
don't want you to go talk to him."
And Caroline says, "I'm
gonna go talk to him.
Write him a note and
I'll give it to him."
Give it a kiss.
Cecilia: She comes
back and she's like,
"He wants to hang out with
us when he finishes work."
And I'm like, "Oh, my God, oh, my
God, oh, my God, oh, my God, okay!"
(scary movie playing)
(eerie music playing in movie)
(mouthful) Get a room.
Speaker (in movie):
I love you, darling.
Cecilia: Over the
course of the day,
Caroline just kind of
gets further and further
out of the dynamic.
Walk like this?
And then he kinda
grabs my... hand
and sort of pulls me and
she kind of falls back.
Until we get to this fountain,
and that was when the
first kiss happened.
I will tell you that the,
the most "accurate memory"...
- Cole Donaldson: Mm-hmm.
- Involves really bad kissing.
- Cole (quietly): Okay.
- (chuckles)
And if you want any
pointers on that,
it definitely involves, like,
the mouth is open more
than it should be.
- Right.
- There's a lotta tongue.
- I guess we're goin' in, um...
- (all laughing)
I think I'm the most
nervous one here.
I, (laughs) I don't
know about that one,
I don't know about that one.
Assistant director:
Roll, please!
Camera operator: Rolling!
Assistant director:
And, action.
(loud kissing)
(loud kissing through
playback monitor)
Cecilia: (laughs) Oh, no!
(cast/crew laughing)
(laughs) God.
- Assistant director: This will forever be judged.
- (Cole/Cecilia groan)
Cole: Yikes.
(muffled laughter, chatter)
Cecilia: I see the actress
playing Caroline watching me,
and I can feel time
folding into itself.
(unsettling music playing)
(bike rattling)
(ambient nature sounds)
(Caroline sighs)
(knocks on door)
Hey, is Ceci home?
Cecilia: After I
got back from DC,
I stopped taking
Caroline's calls.

"June 25, 1994.
"Caroline referred to me
today as her 'best friend'.
"It really caught me off guard
"because I never really supposed
"I was her best friend.
"I guess I am, but
really, she doesn't seem
"like a typical best friend.
"We don't gossip. We
don't giggle over guys.
"All we do is sit around
watching 'Monty Python',
eating, and quoting movies."
So, this is the thing,
I was socially striving
and trying to change
my friend group.
I just felt like I
wasn't gonna be popular,
or be that kind of
girl I was idealizing,
who's going to parties
and meeting boys.
And I felt like Caroline
was a liability.
I didn't wanna watch
teen movies anymore.
I wanted to be in one.
(indistinct chatter, laughter)
(upbeat rock music playing)
It seems like every
March in Florida,
the high school kids
with the lax parents
have this unique privilege
of piling into beachfront condos
for a week of
unsupervised debauchery.
My parents never understood
these very American rituals
of getting wasted at parties.
I mean, they drank booze at
Senior Prom with their parents,
so Spring Break
just didn't compute.
One year, by some
fateful combination
of magic and parental ignorance,
I found myself on the beach.
Friend 1: Have you never
tried alcohol before?
Friend 2: But you can
find it everywhere.
Cecilia: I mean, there was
always this core group of girls
that I felt like I was chasing.
These girls who were
sporty, and smart,
and they had boyfriends,
and everybody knew
who they were.
And this is, like, the
first time I ever got drunk.
Friend: Do you want one? Oh,
my God, wait. Okay, yeah.
Cecilia: And somebody
said, "Oh, you wanna learn
how to smoke a cigarette?"
And I was like, "Yes, yes, I do!
Yes, I do very much wanna learn
how to smoke a cigarette!"
- friend: Oh, okay. Oh, Jesus.
- Friends: Breathe in.
- (Cecilia coughing)
- (friends laughing)
Cecilia: I don't even remember
exactly what happened that night.
I just remember the Zima,
the cigarette, and, like,
I felt like I was hanging
out with famous people.
- (gags)
- friends: Oh, my!
- Ohh!
- Ew!
Cecilia: Like, oh, my
God, sooner or later
somebody's gonna figure out
I'm not supposed to be here.
This photograph is the only
proof I have that I was there.
When I got back to school,
I asked one of the girls
if I could have her
doubles from the trip.
She barely knew me,
but she handed them over anyway.
I put all these
photos in my album,
even though, I was
in only one of them.
(wind blowing)
assistant director: And cut!
Cecilia: It was
kind of like my own
- private fan magazine.
- (blowing air)
Like an almost-memory of a
trip I didn't quite take.
Bikinis I'd never wear.
Okay, so that's... those
are your positions.
Inside jokes I
didn't understand.
Uh, so, I wanna have her...
I told myself,
I may have a bit
part in this movie,
but at least I'm on set.
And you've got kind of a smile,
but, like, you're,
you're not s... you're...
- Exactly.
- Crewmember: Okay. Alright, let's do it.
Assistant director:
Alright, and standby, ready?
- You look uncomfortable.
- I look uncomfortable?
You don't look...
Do I look... I
look uncomfortable?
- A little.
- Like what?
'Cause you're really
reserved, and,
- pulling to yourself.
- Yeah, y-you look like
you go to a Catholic school.
(chuckles) They all go
to Catholic school, dude!
Yeah, but you're the only one
that looks like that you do.
Cecilia: Have you ever had
a friend where it's, like,
very hot and cold?
But when she blew
hot, it was, like,
very, very exciting
to be around?
- Mean girl 1: She said, "I wanna be your friend."
- mean girl 2: (laughs) What?!
Cecilia: These girls
were like that.
(mean-spirited chatter)
mean girl 1: That's
a gross name.
- Mean girl 2: That's a red flag.
- Mean girl 3: Are you on a diet?
Cecilia: At any given moment,
they could turn on a dime.
(chatter continues)
I mean, I would ask
them all the time, like,
"Do you really like me?"
Like, "Check yes or
no, are we friends?"
And they'd be like, "Of
course, we're friends!
What a stupid question!"
(footsteps approaching)
But I could never tell
if they wanted me around
because I was genuinely
somebody they liked...
Are you lost?
Silly, I sit there.
Like, what?
Oh, my God, Ceci,
that is so mean!
Cecilia: or if they just
wanted a dog to kick.
(upbeat classical music playing)
(angry chattering)
What made you think
that you could sit there
in the first place?
Take your soup!

You always do this.
- Get out!
- I'm so sorry.
Are you okay?
- Yeah, she always does that.
- You look amazing.
- Can't believe her.
- I know, right?
(melancholy music playing)
(chatter continues)
Cecilia: It's really messed up
to hate yourself as a teenager
because you think it's your fault
that you look the way you do.

And if you have
two older sisters,
and people are always telling
you, "Oh, they're so lovely,"
what does that make you?
("At Seventeen" by
Janis Ian playing)
(indistinct chatter)
I learned the
truth at seventeen
That love was meant
for beauty queens
And high school girls
with clear-skinned smiles
Who married young
and then retired
The valentines
I never knew
The Friday night
charades of youth
Were spent on one
more beautiful
Cecilia: I think I was
around 10 when I watched
my oldest sister and her
friends get ready for prom.
Remember those
who win the game
I remember that night.
Lose the love they
sought to gain
The dress, the
date, the corsage.
And dubious integrity
The limo.
Their small town
eyes will gape at you
I don't know how to
explain it, it was, like,
Princess Diana's
wedding or something.
Exceeds accounts received
At seventeen

Speaker: Give us
your Lady Diana wave.
Cecilia: Ya know, when
it came to my own prom,
it's like I already knew
how it was supposed to go.

And then when my time came,
I just kept waiting.
And those of us
with ravaged faces
Lacking in the
social graces
remained at home
Inventing lovers
on the phone
Who called to say,
"Come dance with me"
And murmured
vague obscenities
Cecilia: Ya know, at a certain
age, I started spending
a lot of time in the bathroom.

My grandmother would catch me
looking at myself in the mirror,
and she'd say to my
mother, "Ay, esa nena!"
"She's getting vain."
My other grandmother would say,
"If that girl
doesn't lose weight,
she'll never get a boyfriend."

("Crucify" by Tori Amos playing)
I wanna spit
in their faces
Then I get afraid of
what that could bring
I got a bowling
ball in my stomach
I got a desert in my mouth
Figures that my courage
would choose to sell out now
I've been looking for a
savior in these dirty streets
Cecilia: When I was
in middle school,
I fell in love with Tori Amos.
At night, alone in my bed,
I would give myself a makeover.
I turned my dark
hair flaming red,
my brown eyes, green,
my skin, alabaster.
Why do we, crucify
ourselves, every day?
Cecilia: Sure, she was
pretty, but she was also sad
in all the right ways.
I crucify myself
Oh, every day
Laura: Yeah.
(sings) Bum, bum, bum
(both playing piano)
- Oh.
- Mm-hmm.
'Kay, I can do that part.
(playing "Crucify" by
Tori Amos on piano)
Cecilia: Why can't Tori Amos
just show up and help us?
Wouldn't that be amazing?
Like, fairy godmother.
(Tori Amos singing through
iPad) - (both singing along)
I shared her with
my sister, Laura.
Looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
Cecilia: We didn't just
memorize her lyrics,
we scrutinized her videos.
Her body language,
her facial expressions,
her posture.
I crucify myself
(both singing along)
We should totally do...
do... (indistinct).
But the whole thing is that
she's really feeling herself.
- She's, like... She's just, like...
- Yes.
- Oh.
- Cecilia: So, this is gonna be you over and over again.
Laura: (laughs) My God.
- What I would like, is for it to feel...
- Mm-hmm.
Almost exactly the same.
- Mm-hmm.
- Right? For us to be convincing...
- Uh-huh. But? (laughs)
- enough.
Like, I don't want us... Because a,
I don't want us to look terrible.
- Right, but it's also not funny then.
- But...
We're just gonna look like
we're trying to look like her.
Okay, I hate to break
it to you, Laura...
(Laura laughs) - but, like,
we're not... no matter what we do,
- we're not gonna look like her.
- Right.
What I'm trying to say
is, like, how do we summon
the feminine power
of Tori Amos...
- Mm-hmm.
- Such that it's like we're possessed by her.
Perhaps that's what I mean.
Show some respect...
- Okay.
- To the goddess, within!
(both laughing)
- How's that for a pep talk?
- (laughter)
I just know that I have
attempted to learn this song
- since I was in high school.
- I'm fixing your necklace.
- So...
- Yeah.
- So, you're just gonna keep attempting.
- Okay.
Laura/Cecilia: One, two,
three. One, two, three.
- (counting)
- (screaming)
I really feel sick.
This is... Look, it's the same
shit we did when we were kids.
- Laura...
- Why'd they put a camera up so...
there's a reason I didn't
make the cheerleading squad,
- okay?
- Listen!
Cecilia: Oh, my God.
(pauses music video) - I have
sta... I have stage fright now.
- Why? It's gonna be hilarious.
- I'm gonna look s...
I'm gonna look so stupid.
Listen, the whole thing
is gonna be funny.
- They're all gonna laugh at me.
- (laughs) No, they're not.
- (both laughing)
- It's gonna be so good.
Cecilia: When I was little,
everybody thought
Laura and I were twins.
(light music playing)
My mom often dressed
us in the same clothes.
(indistinct chatter)
Laura's only 15 months older
than me, so we were close.
(excited chatter)
We had inside
jokes, we had games.

And, yeah, something happened
when we got to high school.
- Laura Aldarondo.
- (applause, cheering)
Cecilia: I just remember being
really angry... all the time.
(piano music playing)
(family singing)
All: Qu fue de ti
Nada soy sin Laura
- (laughter)
- Solo estoy sin su amor
Nada soy, sin
Laura, sin Laura
(applause, cheering)
Do you remember when,
like, Abuela or Ta Mina,
- or somebody would come visit...
- Mm-hmm.
- And they wouldn't have seen us for a while.
- Mm-hmm.
- Oh, they had stuff to say...
- Do you remember what they would say?
For all of us! "Que gorda!"
(Laura laughs) - But they
didn't say that to you.
- They didn't call you gorda.
- Oh, no, they would
pinch me and say,
"Est fofita!"
- Oh, that's Papi, Papi would do that.
- Yeah, "fofita."
I don't remember them ever
saying stuff like that to you.
I remember them saying,
"Ay, qu linda se
est poniendo!"
But, dude, I'm telling
you, I was so hyper-aware
of every chicho, every, like...
Oh, my God, my pipa is
showing, my, ya know...
But you were skinny.
- You were the skinny one.
- I never and have not ever perceived that.
I-I could lose 10 pounds.
- You're still saying that?!
- (laughs) Totally!
- Oh, my God.
- Absolutely.
- I'm super self-conscious about it.
- I am gonna go to my grave
- saying...
- Super self-conscious about it.
You are the pretty one.
(sighs) Oh, my
God. Barf. (laughs)
But here's the
problem. It's, like,
sometimes I feel like
I made it all up.
Like, nobody else
saw that, like...
- Like, I'm like, "No, people did say these things to me."
- Laura: Yeah.
- Mm-hmm.
- People did say, "You're fat."
- And they did say, "You're pretty," to you.
- Yeah.
I know. It's not fair.
I can't even imagine what
that was like for you.
Like, this is who
I know you to be,
just completely unafraid, and...
I know. Like, next
to you, I'm vanilla.
- Well, that's bullshit.
- (sniffling)
(indistinct chatter)
Cecilia: It's totally working.
Is the piano in place?
I'm wondering if you can sit
in at the piano and... Hold on.
- My heart...
- Laura: Heart. (sings) Heart
- Cecilia: Watch, her hands completely come away.
- Laura: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Come away.
Cecilia: Is sick of
bein', is sick of bein'...
- Laura: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
- Cecilia: See that?
I mean, what's the
point of wishing
that you were somebody else
if you don't get
to finally be them?
Assistant director: Okay,
gang, standby, ready?
And we are rolling. Let
me know when you're set.
Camera operator: Camera's set.
Assistant director:
And playback!
- Group: Why do we, crucify ourselves.
- Yes!
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Group: Why do we...
- Foot, yeah.
- Yeah.
- "Cruc" and then "ify"...
- And then you'd go...
- and then she's like, "Ahh!"
- "Ahh!"
Okay, I'm gonna try it.
- (sings) Why do we
- Laura: Okay. Yes.
Oh, wait, but I stay put.
- I don't move?
- Laura: So, I think for the "crucify"
- part you stay, you stay put.
- I don't, I don't "crucify."
Laura: You take a
step into "crucify."
- Cecilia: Okay, hold on.
- So.
(sing): Why do we
Step again.
Group: Why do we...
- Sarah: Bam!
- Group: crucify ourselves.
- Laura: Down.
- Group: Why do we...
- Sarah: Boom!
- Group: crucify ourselves.
Cecilia: My God,
this is really good.
- ("Crucify" playing on set)
- She's got it. Look at that.
She practiced, she practiced.
I'm gonna fuck this up.
Why am I doing this to myself?
Honestly, this is,
like, how I feel.
- I'm like, I have spent my whole life...
- Mm-hmm.
- Comparing myself to the wrong people.
- Mm-hmm.
And it's, like, I'm
literally forcing myself
to do that all over again.
(crying) I look at
her and I look at me,
and I look at her and I
look at me, and I'm like,
"Why'd I have to fall
in love with her?
"Why couldn't I have fallen
in love with somebody
who looks like me? You know?"
Laura/crew: There was nobody.
Crewmember: There was nobody who
looked like us back in the day.
I know, but this is
what's so fucked.
'Cause I'm like, "Is this
an homage or is this, like,
a trauma exercise?"
The thing is, like...
you are... gorgeous.
- I'm just the wrong kind of pretty.
- Like, who cares...
Who cares if your
size is different?
- You're... gorgeous, and you're, like...
- I do. I mean,
Laura, they called
me fat for a reason.
Laura: I can understand
being traumatized
by fuckers back in the day,
but why you continue,
all these years later,
to allow them to have
all this power over you,
blows my mind.
- Like...
- Cecilia: (sniffles) 'Cause they made me who I am.
you have this beauty...
and brilliance.
And I mean brilliance, like,
not just, like...
intellectual brilliance,
which, of course, you have,
but also this spirit
that is brilliant.
And... there are so many just
fucking vapid, thin people
and who the fuck cares?
When you're that thin,
where does the soul go?
Right? There's no room!
(both laughing)
(Cecilia cries)
I'm serious!
Are you saying there's, like, plenty
of room for brilliance in there?
- Is that what you're saying?
- I got more room.
- You have plenty of room for brilliance.
- There... It's all in here.
It's right up here.
She's got brains,
people! (laughing)
("Crucify" by Tori Amos playing)
(Cecilia lip-syncing)
I wanna spit
in their faces
Then I get afraid of
what that could bring
I got a bowling
ball in my stomach
I got a desert in my mouth
Figures that my courage
would choose to sell out now
(Laura lip-syncing) - I've
been looking for a savior
In these dirty streets
Looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my
hands, drive another nail in
Just what God needs,
one more victim
Why do we, crucify
ourselves, every day?
I crucify myself
And nothin' I do is
good enough for you
I crucify
myself, every day
I crucify myself
My heart is sick of bein'
I said my heart is
sick of bein' in
Chains, oh, oh, oh
Chains, oh, oh, oh
Got a kick for a
dog, beggin' for love
I gotta have myself a ring
so that I can have my cross
I know a cat named Easter,
he says, will you ever learn
You're just an empty cage,
girl, if you kill the bird
Why do we, crucify
ourselves, every day?
I crucify myself
And nothin' I do is
good enough for you
Crucify myself,
oh, every day
I crucify myself
My heart is sick of bein'
I said my heart is
sick of bein' in
Chains, oh, oh, oh
Chains, oh, oh, oh
Please be
Save me
Looking for a savior
in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising
up my hands
Drive another nail in
Where are those angels
when you need them?
Why do we, crucify
ourselves, every day?
I crucify myself
And nothin' I do is
good enough for you
I crucify myself,
oh, every day
I crucify myself
And my heart is
sick of bein'
I said my heart is
sick of bein' in
Chains, oh, oh, oh
Chains, why do we
Crucify ourselves
Every day
Ah-ah, ah, ah, ah
Oh, chains, oh, yeah
Yeah, chains,
ah-ah, ah, ah, ah
Never going back again, oh
Crucify myself
again, you know
Never going back again to
crucify myself, every day
(song concludes)
(light music playing)

Cecilia: If all the
freaks run away,
then how do we take
care of one another?
If we all slip into the cracks,
if we all fade into
the dustbin of history,
then how do we find one another?
That, to me, is the tragedy.
It's not about who's there.
It's about who's not there.
(school bell ringing)
(indistinct chatter)

I spent years of my life
fixating on girls who
weren't that kind to me.
And yet, I edited out the
girl they treated the worst...
(laughter continues)
Jo Anne.
(indistinct chatter)
(students laughing)
You know who needs a hairbrush?
- You?
- No. (laughs)
- Oh.
- I think she needs...
- (spits)
- (quiet laughter)
Cecilia: In 8th grade, our class
went on this overnight trip.
I was in the same cabin
as all these girls.

So was Jo Anne.
(quiet chatter)
(uneasy, tense music playing)
(Jo Anne breathing heavily)

- (laughter) - Delanie
(quietly): What is that?
Brenda (whispers):
That's disgusting.
(labored breathing)

(Delanie/Brenda chattering)
(whispers) This is
gonna be disgusting.
(whispers) It's gonna
be hard to get out.
- (Jo Anne snores)
- (laughter)

(snickering) - I'm gonna wake
her up. I'm gonna wake her up.
(whispers) Jo Anne,
Jo Anne... Jo Anne.
- Jo Anne.
- (Delanie/Brenda chattering)
Jo Anne... Jo Anne.
Assistant director:
And cut, cut, cut.
Jo Anne Taylor: I think
we're good like this.
- Cecilia: So, it feels, it feels accurate?
- Jo: Yeah, I was sleeping,
but, like, just
the feeling of it.
- Like, this is the vibe?
- Oh, yeah!
I can see them snickering
and stuff like that.
Director of photography: I mean, if
we want, like, a jarring light effect,
- they can try to wake you up with the flashlight.
- Yeah, yeah.
Director of photography: This
feels great to me. How 'bout you?
Jo: I mean, I love horror,
so I really like this setup.
The girls, oh, my
gosh, they are perfect.
- I mean, like, woo.
- Right? It's a little uncanny?
It is, it is.
And it's so funny
'cause they're so nice.
Like, they're such sweet
girls in real life, ya know?
- Yeah.
- How are you guys doin'?
When the flashlight,
like, came in my face,
I was trying, like, to
make, like, a reflex.
Like, you t... Obviously,
you turn your head.
But then I was trying to, like,
look away so I didn't laugh.
And you're, like, talking
about John Stamos!
Are you, like,
stroking his face now?
- Metal!
- (Jo laughing)
(laughing) That's
fuckin' amazing.
I'm glad you found me.
I was dreading it at first.
I didn't know what to say.
I was like, "Do I let someone
from that time come in?"
But then I was like, "If she
makes fun of me, so be it.
I know who I am, I even
more know who I am now."
I have, ya know... That I'm
like, "This is not gonna...
"I can walk out,
I can drive away,
I can do whatever, I don't
have to stick around."
In 8th grade, I had
to stick around.
I couldn't... There
was no choices.
I have choices now, and I'm
not gonna put up with it now.
Cecilia: I get it,
I totally get it.
- I wanted to be friends with those girls, too.
- Jo: I know. I know.
I know, and that's why I don't
lump you in with them in a way.
Because we all wanted to be
friends with the same people.
And that's what happens
with popular people
and just people
we think we like.
Cecilia: But there's a part of me
that's like, "Did I laugh along?
"Did I sit... Did I s-stay quiet and
just, ya know, hunker in my bunk?
Did I help? By...
With my laughter?"
- It's all fun and games until it's not.
- Jo: Yeah.
And I feel like
there was this moment
when I realized, "This is bad."
Like, why would I
remember this for 25 years
- if I didn't know then that it was that bad?
- Jo: Yeah.
Cecilia: Hannah, I'm wondering
what you're thinking?
There was this girl,
she was the
principal's daughter,
so she kinda had,
like, this authority,
despite her being,
like... 7, um...
And everyone loved her, but
she had a group of three.
And they loved to look
at me and snicker.
And I'd be like, "Can you
please not say something?"
They would be like, "We're
not talking about you.
We're not doing
this. You're insane."
And then, like, everyone
around us would be like,
"Yeah, Hannah's insane.
They wouldn't do anything,
they're perfect."
And, like, no one
really stood up for me,
- because people were afraid to.
- Cecilia: Yeah.
Because of that power
and that authority,
- they were afraid they would be next.
- Jo: Yeah.
Delanie/Brenda (snickering):
Jo Anne. Jo Anne.
(whispering) I
can't wake her up.
Delanie/Brenda: Jo
Anne. Jo Anne. Jo Anne.
(indistinct chatter, laughter)

Jo Anne. Jo Anne. Jo Anne.
Jo Anne, Jo Anne, are you okay?
I think you threw up
all over yourself.
Brenda: Oh, my
gosh, are you okay?
- Do you need anything?
- It's everywhere.
(laughs) I don't know how
you got it everywhere.
Brenda: Yeah, it
really is everywhere.
Do you need anything?
(laughs) I don't know
how you got it all over.
Brenda: There's just vomit.

Delanie/Brenda (snickering):
Jo Anne. Jo Anne.
- (indistinct chatter)
- Jo Anne.
- Assistant director: Cut.
- Crewmember: Cut.
(Jo sighs)
assistant director:
What do you think?
Jo: It was good.
- (indistinct chatter)
- (Jo sighs heavily)
Cecilia: Do you think
we need another take?
Jo: I don't think
so. I feel it.
- (sighing)
- (sniffling)
You have pain, too.
You do. We both do.
This was not easy.
- Cecilia: I'm just so mad.
- Mm-hmm.
And that was me this morning,
I didn't want to show
as much as, uh...
ya know, that's why.
I was mad at myself for
being this upset about it.
And I didn't wanna feel that
'cause I never felt that before.
I didn't feel mad.
I just put it off,
and I was like,
"It is what it is,"
and I don't have to
see these people,
and I didn't get angry,
I didn't get anything.
Even once I was home,
I never did any of it.
- Cecilia: It's not about them anymore.
- Jo: No, it isn't.
It's about healing
and this'll heal us.
Cecilia: Mm-hmm.
(light music playing)
Cecilia's mom: Ceci!
(happy chatter)
Cecilia: I look through these
home movies that my mom found,
and I look pretty free.

I wasn't always an unhappy kid.
And that's part of what I'm
trying to figure out for myself.
When did I begin to crack?
(family playing music, singing)
When I see this footage,
it makes me so happy
because I see this house
full of people and
life, and music and joy.
(family laughing)
(family singing another song)
At the same time,
I'm kind of overwhelmed
with regret.
Because I was too
confused to participate.
(singing in Spanish)
I didn't know the words,
my Spanish sucked.
So, I would always just
hide in the background.
And yet, outside the house,
it was like I was
always on display.
(singing, music continues)
If anyone was ever interested
in my being Puerto Rican,
it was like, "Tell me
about your culture, ooh!"
and, "What kind of
food do you guys eat?"
And so, I always liked having
Caroline and her sister, Sarah,
come over on Christmas.
They really truly just
enjoyed being there
and... I didn't feel like
we were performing for them.
We had all always been close:
me, Caroline, her sister, Sarah,
and my sister, Laura.
You can see that
we were a foursome,
until we weren't.
My senior year of high school,
Caroline went away to
Russia for the whole year.
(light music playing)
Ya know, I think that's
part of the reason
we didn't stay in touch.
But I don't know that I would've
written her back anyway.
I mean, I was,
like, chasing fame.

There was a period in my
life where I avoided everyone
I knew from high school,
particularly the people
who knew me best.
(indistinct chatter)
Sarah, Caroline, her family.
Ceci grew up in my
parents' neighbor...
- Yeah.
- Like, I've known her forever.
Cecilia: When my
reunion rolled around,
I knew Sarah would be there.
And that Sarah was
one of the people
I would really need
to touch base with.
(Sarah speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)
(Sarah speaking)
(attendee speaks)
Jen! How are you?
- Jen: How are you?
- You look great.
- And you do, too.
- Sarah Baker Butterfield: Hello.
I'm literally... I hope
they're not leaving me
and they probably are, but...
(indistinct chatter)
Cecilia: After this talk with
Sarah, I swore to myself,
"I will reach
out to Caroline."
But I put it off.
And a week later to the day,
I got a text from Sarah:
"Caroline is gone."
That's how I learned that
Caroline had committed suicide.
(solemn music playing)
This is the last
home movie footage
of Caroline that I can find.
Sitting in the
corner next to me,
perfectly natural at
a table of sisters.
We're never gonna watch
this. Why are you filming it?
(indistinct chatter)
Cecilia: I don't remember
much about being 6.
But I do remember meeting
Caroline for the first time.
I may have it wrong in my head,
but this is what I picture:
two little girls,
one with strawberry blonde hair,
the other dark brown.
The Baker girls.
Give it to me! I didn't
finish reading it!
The word had gotten out
that there were two sisters
about their age in
the neighborhood.
And they'd come
knocking on our door
to see if we would
come out and play.
And so, we clocked days,
probably weeks, months
of our upbringing
at their house.
Do you wanna do two,
three, or four? Just two?
Melissa "Missy" Baker: We had so
much fun gettin' this together...
Cecilia: When you're a
kid, it's hard to recognize
a mother figure in your life.
Missy: She was such a cool kid.
She was not embarrassed by...
Cecilia: Caroline's
mom was like that.
Missy: That's me, wearin' the
washboard. Playin' the washboard.
Cecilia: It's taken me
25 years to remember
how I was always
welcome at her house...
Sarah Baker: That's me? Oh,
I remember that swimsuit.
Cecilia: like I was
one of her girls.
(video playing on tablet)
There's a point when you,
when you go, "Caroline!"
- I bet I did.
- (laughter)
Cecilia: It's been four
years since we lost Caroline.
- Yeah.
- Sarah Baker: Oh, she can see.
- (laughter)
- Is she gonna tell? No!
Yeah, she can see!
Cecilia: I asked
Caroline's mother, Missy,
and sister, Sarah, to join me.
It's not so much... an actor
as it is a personality.
Cecilia: We're trying
to do the impossible:
find another Caroline.
Are we looking
for looks? Like...
Sarah Baker: Yeah, this is what's
so different about Caroline.
She was just an old soul.
She just... She wasn't
of our, like, teenage world.
That's part of what's so hard to
capture about her, is just that...
'Cause if you don't have that
old soul, that perspective,
that sardonic way of
looking at everything,
you, you can't fake that,
you can't pretend it.
(indistinct chatter)

How would I ever do her justice?
There is a black X on the stage.
- You can stand there. Yeah, great. Thanks.
- Performer: Thank you.
- Oh.
- Hi. Hi, I'm Cecilia. I'm the director.
This is Sarah and this is Missy.
The first thing is, can you do
your "Wayne's World" impression?
Actually, can you
tell us about, um...
- Have you seen the film?
- Performer: I have. I watched it this morning.
Cecilia: I remember when
Caroline dressed up as Garth,
it was uncanny.
It was actually terrifying
how effective she was.
She kept walking around
with this little paper cup,
and she would walk up
to people and say...
If you're gonna
spew, spew into this.
Oh, God, okay.
(deep breath)
(nervously) If you're
gonna spew, spew into this.
Hey, man, if you're
gonna spew...
(exhales) If you're gonna spew,
spew in this.
Spew into this.
Spew into this.
Hey, if you're gonna spew,
spew into this.
Thank you.
Um, and the other
line that we asked you
- to prepare, the f... the farewell line.
- Performer: Mm-hmm.
Cecilia: Give us
your best farewell.
Okay. Farewell!
Cecilia: So, her mom
would say, ya know,
"Caroline, you've gotta
come home for dinner,"
or whatever.
And we'd be in the middle
of a movie or something,
and she'd stand up and say,
"Farewell. Life will never
be the same without you.
It'll be better."
And then she would leave.
Farewell. Life will never
be the same without you.
It'll be better.

That's what I mean. I think you
could bring the tough out in her.
Yeah... I mean, not one
of them has that, um...
- Missy: They're too nice.
- That edge.
Yeah. (laughs) They're
too nice. I know!
Missy: The right actress is gonna
have to be willing to let go more.
Sarah: Yeah.
Cecilia: Yeah, fearless.
Cecilia: I think it's
the question of, like,
is it somebody who can be like
Caroline or somebody who can...
- who I can...
- Direct...
O-Or even, like, that
I can connect with
that can help me
understand this friendship.
Maybe it's not about...
- Missy: You wanna know what I think?
- Yeah, of course.
You need the connection.
- The connection.
- Yeah.
It can come in different
shapes and form.
Cecilia: I honestly didn't
think we would find her.
(Cecilia sighs)
(doorbell ringing)
Trick or treat!
If you're gonna
spew, spew into this!
- (stifled laughter)
- Trick or treat!
(Caroline squeals)
Aw. (groans) - You can
have it. I don't want it.
- I don't want it. Next house!
- (laughter)
assistant director: And cut!
This, this was
actually Caroline's.
Missy: And look at
how large it is.
- It's really oversized.
- Trinity Soos: Yeah.
Yeah. Can we see
how this would be?
- Trinity: Yeah.
- Yeah, I mean, do you think...
- Does this feel, does this feel accurate?
- Yeah, it's good.
Cecilia: We filmed it all
at the house I grew up in,
down the street from Caroline's.
And Laura came by to meet her.
Cecilia: Very bizarre.
- Hi.
- Laura: Hi!
- (laughter)
- Oh, my God.
- Trinity: Hi.
- You're Caroline, it's really crazy.
- What do you think? Did we do a good job?
- It's wild. Yes! Oh, my God.
- It's uncanny.
- Hi. I'm Trinity.
- Laura: Hi, Trinity. I'm Laura.
- Hi! Hi, Laura.
I feel like I've known
you since I was a child.
Trinity: You, you have...
We... I've been possessed
by the ghost of Caroline.
- Laura: (laughs) Fantastic!
- Trinity: So...
(chatter, laughter)
Guys, this robe
has shoulder pads!
- (laughter)
- assistant director: Very nice.
Camera operator: Speeding.
- Assistant director: And Laura?
- Laura: Ready?
- One!
- (crewmember speaking)
(Trinity screams)
- (Laura laughing)
- Okay!
Assistant director: False start!
Still rolling, guys, still rolling!
(crosstalk) - Still rolling. Come
on out, come on out, come on out.
Did Caroline ever
read in voices?
Oh, yeah. You should
do voices for sure.
- (crewmembers speaking)
- Give it your all.
Assistant director: Alright,
blanket over the heads, please.
- Thank you.
- (crosstalk)
(Cecilia speaking)
(Trinity speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)
Trinity: It's fun.
(Cecilia speaking)
(Trinity speaking)
(Cecilia speaking)
(Trinity speaking)
(both laughing)
- Cecilia: How was that? How was that?
- Missy: That was great.
- Cecilia: Was that funny?
- Yeah, yeah.
That was real, is what
that was, that was real.
- Look at you go.
- (Cecilia chuckles)
She makes the same faces I do.
- Who?
- You.
- Me?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- (all chuckle)
- Isn't this cute?
- (Cecilia chuckles)
Cecilia: If life is
finite, and time is finite,
whether it's in high
school or adulthood,
and you spend your time on
people who don't care about you,
you spend your time in places
where you do not belong,
surrounding yourself
with the wrong people,
or not leaving,
you run out of time.
- Missy: Hi, Caroline.
- Oh, no.
Missy (mimics): Oh, no.
(indistinct chatter)
Cecilia: I shouldn't have bothered
trying to get into their parties,
or make them my friends,
or ride in their cars,
or, ya know, go to
prom in their limo.
What's the point of
caring about boys,
or getting your first kiss,
or meeting these milestones
if they happen at the expense
of everything else that's
real in friendship?
(piano music playing)
It felt like I had
to make a choice.
I couldn't be friends
with this person.
And this goes back to this
thing about time being finite.
I mean, come on, she's dead.
I ran outta time.
She was there. She
was always there.
I clocked 10 years
with this person.
This album should
be full of pictures
from everything we did together.
You know, it's like I have
these memories of my adolescence
that are crystallized
hard, like a diamond,
and those are the bad memories.
I can tell you specific details
about what I was wearing,
what somebody said to me.
My memories, my bad memories,
get marked with these details.
And yet, with Caroline,
it's just a blur.
Because there's so much,
that it's a mood,
it's a montage.
My 10 years of
friendship with Caroline,
it's so monumental
that the only way to look at it,
it's a movie montage.
- Child: Caroline, Caroline!
- (indistinct chatter)
Caroline! Caroline, watch!
(light music playing)
Cecilia: She comes to me in
fragments, a few broken traits.
Strawberry blonde
hair. Trifocal glasses.
A joke.
A pair of shoeless feet.
She didn't have a
mean bone in her body.
Caroline taught me it was okay
to be what I feared the most,
a thinking person, a
questioning person,
an outsider.
(ambient nature sounds)
(knocks on door)
Hey, is Ceci home?
Mom: Yeah, she's...
I'll go get her for you.
Okay, thank you. (chuckles)
Cecilia: Let's do it, let's
bust this Popsicle stand.
Now, listen, I
was just thinking.
What if we, like,
went over there,
and egged that house,
like, later tonight?
- Yes. Yes!
- Toilet paper?
Caroline: I have
plenty of toilet paper.
- Cecilia: Alright.
- Caroline: Don't ask why.
Cecilia: Why? (laughs)
'Cause you're a butt?
Caroline: I'm an
av-avid pooper.
(both laughing)
- Cecilia: Avid.
- Caroline: Is that a word?
Cecilia: Yeah,
it's a great word.
That was an excellent
use of avid.
- Caroline: Yes.
- Cecilia: Yeah, yeah.
You can use it in
your... on a vocab test.
- Caroline: I will, I will.
- Cecilia: You would pass. You... Flying colors.
- A-plus-plus.
- Caroline: (chuckles) Thank you.
- Cecilia: Yeah.
- Caroline: Farewell,
life will never be
the same without you.
It will be better!
(indistinct chatter)
(ambient nature sounds)
assistant director: And cut!
Speaker 1: What'd you think?
What'd you think?
Speaker 2: I like it. I
really like that ending.
Speaker 1: Good, I love the...
I wonder if they get the
real sounds from the birds.
(person singing) - 'Cause
that would be so lovely.
- (indistinct chatter)
- (singing)
- That's pretty cool.
- Trinity: Thank you! My ghost... (continues indistinctly).
Speaker 1: Is that
real human hair?
Nobody's hair is
really that shiny.
(indistinct chatter)
Cecilia: I'm coming,
I'm coming, I'm coming.
- (Trinity panting)
- crewmembers: Don't run.
Assistant director: That's how people
get hurt. That's how people get hurt.
- Trinity: I don't get hurt.
- Cecilia: You're running.
(Trinity chuckling)
crewmember 1: Do you, do you
think you guys look good?
Do you like your butts?
Cecilia: Oh, look,
Brennan's in the shot now.
(group chuckling)
Cecilia: Did we
tail slate already?
Crewmember 2: I did, yeah.
Cecilia: What do you think?
How was my butt that time?
(indistinct chatter)
I know, I just suddenly
got a better butt.
(Cecilia chuckling)
Trinity: Actually,
it's, like, pretty good.
What do you think of my new do?
Cecilia: Do you
like the ending?
Crewmember: I think
it's a great ending.
Cecilia: It's kind
of sweet, right?
And you know what,
it's an homage
to two movies, actually,
"Big" and "Postcards
from the Edge."
Cecilia: You guys, you
could all watch it.
It's so good. Meryl Streep, I
mean, Shirley MacLaine, uh...
(chatter continues)
(chatter quieting)
(ambient nature sounds)
assistant director: Okay,
guys. I think we got that!
(laughter, quiet chatter)