Drop-Out Mother (1988) - full transcript

A successful female executive makes a comical transition from big business to becoming a housewife and mom.

Do you, Nora,
take this man?

I have my doubts,

Oh, my career,
my own identity,


Okay, yes.
I will.

I do.

Jack, do you promise
to love, honor,


Not hideth for hours,
reading in the bathroom?

Do you promise to encourage
Nora's career

as much as your own?

Help her develop
her full potential

as a human being...Person,

forsaking all macho,

to be a fully evolved male,
sort of like Alan alda?

And will you not
laugh at her

when she parallel parks?

And will you take your time
and talkto her

when you maketh love...

And not fall asleep
right after?

And will you never, ever,

everget bored with her

or sexually?

And always treat her
as an equal?

Jack, verily...

She wants it all.

I can.

I will.

I do.


Nora, there's somebody
at the door.

There's no one
at the door.

I heard a knock.

I fell out of bed.

I thought it was those kids
with the cookies again.

I had a dream.

Yeah, I...

I fell in my dream.

Very common.

From when we
lived in trees.

Mine's from when
we lived in soho.

[ Alarm clock rings ]

What time is it?

The day we got married
you picked me up,

and do you know,

you never did carry me
across the threshold.

We didn't have
a threshold.

Would you? Now?

Nothing fancy.

I'm not asking
for the front door

or out in the hallway.

Into the bathroom,

Did you hit your head?

All I'm asking is that

you carry me
into the bathroom.

We lived in a loft.

With a freight elevator
and beaded curtains.

You were a liberated woman.

You wouldn't even let me
pull out a chair!

We didn't havea chair.



Get up, Sam.
They're home.

You wanted to see mom,

and dad's gotta
go to Atlanta.

Here's your juice.
Come on.


I was beating Stallone,
I hadhim.

In rocky vii.

Do all ten-year-old boys
have your simpleton dreams?

Better than
a 12-year-old girl
and barylnikov.


Drink your juice.

This is grapefruit.

I hategrapefruit.

We're out of orange.

There's more to eat
in Addis Ababa!

They goin' away again?

Just dad. Mom's in town
the rest of the week,

but she won't
be home for dinner.

They're never here
even when they're here.

Ooh, watch my head.

Now, you happy?

Yes. Thank you
very much.

You are caring...

And very sensitive.

Thanks, Jack.

You're not pregnant
or anything?

What do you mean
"or anything"?

I don't know,

you're acting
kind of funny lately,
you know?

How was L.A.?

Got two new accounts.


I won in Missouri.

That is to say,
my candidate did--
in the primary.

How funny.

I don't know--

answering machine:
Hi, Nora?

Welcome home!
It's me, blanche--

to the stars.

Oh, there's my other line--
it might behim.

In italics--him, him, him!

I'll call you back.
Aà[ Beep ]

How am I acting funny?

I don't know,
sort of...


Hello, Nora.

And/or Jack,
as the case may be.

This is the voice
of your mother,

or your mother-in-law,
as the case may be,

in case you've forgotten.

I'm not complaining.

How was California
and/or St. Louis?

I saw the children.

Caroline looks awfully pale,
I think.

And Sam's teeth
are all yellowy.

Why can't she
be like Mrs. Petty?

Our mom is not
a dustingmother,
she has a career.

Dumb public relations.

Women have
a right to work
as much as men.

Yeah, well,
kids have rights, too.

My whole entire life,
she never baked onecookie.

She can't even
do pop-tarts right.

I was almost born
in a management seminar.

Maybe "feminine"
is not the right word.

I wantyou feminine.

But you're different.

Uh... mushy.


[ Beep ]
This is for Nora cromwell.

Call Clifford buntz
in tulip hills, Michigan,


at home, in the car--
it's urgent.

Look, I don't get mushy.
What does that mean?

Well, this threshold business.

And then that dream you had,

the one last week

where you won
the pillsbury bakeoff.

And crying at
those telephone

And now you take baths--
all the time.

You think bathing
is mushy?

[ Beep ]
Hi, blanche again,
I hope you're decent.

Him, him, him it wasn't.

There is a new him,
by the way.

But the real news--

I can keep our lunch date

I hopeyou can, Nora.

I couldn't bear
a fifth postponement.

You're my best friend,
we ought to see each other.

I want you to tell me
what you mean by mushy.

I just want to know
that you feel all right.

You know, you're...

You're not as sharp
and aggressive.

Before, you know,
you always took showers.

And showering is sharp
and aggressive--masculine?

Yeah. Sort of.

You mean like
the Chicago bears?

I should be like that--
what's his name--

deep-freeze guy?

They call him
"the refrigerator."

You should know--

we haven't made love
in a month.

If we'd have been born
before microwave ovens,

we'd have starved to death.

You want her home, too?

Okay, sure.

But she can't.

She's too successful
and busy,

and we ought to be proud she--

[ music on TV ]
This band is really

They're disgusting!

That's what's so neat.

What are they called?

"Day-old lint."

No wonder you can't read.

Mtv has radiated
your brain cells.

If I'm having minor
learning difficulties,

it's only because

I was toilet-trained
by strangers.

I was raised by aliens--

French, German,
Jamaican, puerto rican,

a Norwegian,

Mom has always
given US quality time.

Quality time
is a crock.

I want quantity.

I need parenting,
not voodoo or folk dancing.

Where'd you get that,
your shrink?

Talk radio.

Answering machine:
Nora, I forgot to thank you
for the theater tickets.

Of course, the play
was weird and boring.

But the girls
were impressed to death

to be in the third row center
on the aisle.

I told them, "my daughter
the career girl
is superwoman."

She can do--

sex isa problem,

but it's not just me,
it's you.

You're never here.

Or i'mnot.

And when we both are,
we're exhausted.

I know, but it's
not right, Jack.

We've gotta
do something.

How do you look Friday?

You're making
an appointment
to make love?

Well, that's how
our lives are now.

Pencil me in.

This band oughta quit
and go into street crime.

Good morning!
Hi, gang!

How is everybody?
Hi, you guys.

Oh, how I missed you!
Hi there.

Big kiss.

Ow! What are you doing?

They're white
as can be!

That looks good.
Do I get some?

We're out of
everything else.

The maid's gone.

Gretchen quit?!

No, she couldn't--
what happened?

Did you guys--

she hit on
the instant lottery.

When she went to collect,
they found out

she was an illegal alien
and deported her.

Ohh, gosh.

That's five maids
in four months.

There's hamburger here.

Look at it carefully.

It's blue.

Check out the cottage cheese.

What color is that?

Burnt Sienna.

What am I gonna do
without Gretchen?

I can shop after school.
I've got the credit card.

Oh, honey,

I'm going to
the pettys'.

And so early?

Mrs. Petty's up at 5 A.M.
every morning, baking.

Who's gonna
make our beds?

Who's Mrs. Pettys?


Across the hall,
the one with the seven children.

Yeah, and she never
had a maid,

not even a cleaning lady.

She's perfect,
I'm being constantly told.

The cans
in her cupboard

are arranged in
alphabetical order.

How would
you know?


Hey, Sam, is that it?

Aren't you glad to see me?
US? Daddy?

You missed parents' night
at school last night.

No, it's nextwednes...Day.

Dad, you have
two different
color socks on.

Oh, honey!

And there's a paperclip
holding your sleeve.

It happens a lot.
Just between maids.

I am, uh, losing it.

I'll pick up a shirt
in Atlanta.

I covered for you
at school, mom.

Sam's having trouble reading
much beyond cat in the hat.

But his teacher did say
he's got good social skills.

He knows how to interface.

What did yourteacher say,

Still an overachiever.

She thinks
I'm alone too much.

I feel so guilty.

It's okay, honest.

I'm proud of you.

Oh, this is
for you and daddy.

You can read it
in the car.

You better go,
it's after 7:00.

I'm gonna be late!
I'm gonna be late!

Thanks for giving me a ride
in your airport limo.

How are the TV spots, Wally?

Uh-huh. Yeah...

Look, I know
he needs an eye job,

but he'll be black and blue
on election day.

Send the cassettes
over anyway. Bye.

What's your day
look like?


One of my client's
companies out in Michigan

has a big problem
with an old toxic landfill.


There's an orphanage
on it.

Do you really have to
go to Atlanta?

Does this guy actually
have a realistic chance?

What he's got
is realistic money.

He's such
a born-again charlatan.

Even other
laugh at him.

I've seen him
on cable.

Preaching, or his new
religious game show?

You're kidding.
I am not.

It's called
"holy-word squares."

Jack, you cannot
make a senator
out of that man.

He's against everything
we believe in!

We need the money.

Why are we so successful

and are always broke?

I think it has
something to do

with the fact that
we spend it all.

Which reminds me--

I've only got two bucks.
You got any cash?

Sure thing. I got--

oh, this is what
Caroline gave me.

Oh, Jack,
this is awful.

It is so awful.

It's a greeting card
from the kids.

Today's our wedding anniversary.

Nora cromwell's office.

No, Mr. Buntz,

but she ought to be here
any minute now.


Good, I've got it.

Mike Wallace is in Michigan
right now

filming at the orphanage.

I will tell her first thing.

Morning, Heather.


[ Phone rings ]

Good morning, p.A.P.
Public relations.

Hi, Wendy.

Would you please call
the employment agency?


Mine quit, too.
To join a cult.

Mum's with the baby
until I can get there,

but I've got
to take the day off.

I've called for a temp,
she'll be here any minute.

When do you want the interview
for the housekeeper?

Eleven-thirty's open.

Okay, but just
for one hour.

I made your lunch appointment
for one o'clock with blanche

at "sex is chocolate."

Clifford buntz
called four times--


Mike Wallace is in Michigan
filming the orphans.

One of them set off
a geiger counter.

Sonny says there's
an urgent meeting at 10:00

in the conference room.

Air-tech international
and the guy from the Pentagon.

Is this about
the new bomber?

The $900 toilet seat?

Worse, according to Sonny.

Oh, great.

Oh, virgin's here
in our office

with her new
animal boyfriend.

I forgot all about her.

Wendy, what's the name
of virgin's new album?

Dance till you puke.

[ Walkman blares music ]

Hi, virgin,
sorry I'm late.


You have coffee,
I see.

It's herbal Tequila.


You must be
snake Bartholomew.

Hi, snake. Nora here.

I've heard a lot about you,
nice to meet you.

Ohh, snake,
you're breaking my hand.

Snake, get rid of it!

Nora: Thank you.

Nora, we want to
change my image.

Oh, virgin,

you are doing so great
just as you are.

You had the peoplecover,
Barbara Walters,

and pukeis shipping platinum.

I want to
give something back.

What does your agent say?

Nothing right now...

Snake broke his jaw
last night.

We want to help people, Nora.

You know,
like we are the world.

Yeah, yeah.

And get in the movies.
Me and her.

Snake wants me to grow beyond
just a rock goddess.

We need your input.


Well, on the movie thing,

have you thought
about a project?

Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, but happening.
Whaddya think?

Tell me, colonel,

does a bomber really
need a cuisinart?

And a horn?

Entre nous,sonny.

Well, we can
handle that, skip.

We'll, uh,

we'll tell 'em
the Russians are ahead.

Our real problem
is this think tank weekend

in Barbados
for 32 generals.

Especially with the hookers.

Flownin, chip?

Somebody should have
thought that through, hap.

We should have been
tapped in early.

How does the media
find out these things?

That's why I want US all
to take this lie detector test.

We've always had trouble
in Washington with leaks.

Must be worse now, buzz.

With all the drug testing.

Well, you know,
"jar wars."

Should I cancel the girls
for Dallas?

Or the weapons expo?

[ Quietly ]
You should be in jail,
all of you.

I didn't hear
your feedback, Nora.

Sick. You are sosick.


I mean, i-i--
I really am not
feeling well.

Please excuse me.

[ Thinking ]:
What am I doing with
these criminal adolescents?

They don't even have
grown-up names!

Sonny, skip, flip,
chip, hap, buzz...

What am I doing
with my life?

I know what I'm gonna do.

Goodbye, superwoman.


Nora, Nora, Nora!

I'm so glad
you recognized me.

I had a hysterectomy.
Elective surgery.

You okay?

Oh, I'm fine.

It's been years.
What are you doing here?

I am your temp
for the day.

I almost died
when I heard the name.

It's my first job
as a single woman.

Can you keep a secret?


Marvin left me
for a Baton twirler.

I'm sorry.

How's your family?
Are you divorced yet?

Max, come with me.

Well, it all depends what
you mean by "aberrant behavior."

N'est-ce pas?

Que persona?

Feeling better,

A lot better, Sonny,

now that I've decided
to change my life.

Are you ready for
a little test, honey?

Oh, I don't need a machine
to tell the truth-- honey.

You want the truth?

I think you are all sick.

Killing and competing,

anythingto be number one.

The big phallic "one"--

no wonder you love
your missiles.

Well, I have had it

with your meaningless
little boy world.

It's selfish,
it's stupid,

it's harmful.

I am going to be a wife
and mother and mushy.


And another thing...
I quit.

I left Maxine.

I'm used to it.

Oh, yes, operator,
I'm sure it's Atlanta.

Please look again,
will you?


first Evangelical
pentecostal church
of television.

Oh, good, yes.

No, sir,

I have no problem at all
being pro-life

andpro the death penalty.

What about Matthew,
chapter six, verse six?

"But thou, when thou prayest,

"enter into thy closet,

"and when thou hast
shut the door,

"pray to thy father,

which is in secret."

I see what you're driving at.

But what about
Matthew 5:15?

"Neither do men
light a candle

"and put it under a bushel,

"but on a candlestick,
where it giveth light

onto all that are
in the house."

Jack, america needs
prayer in the schools.

Andstar wars!

Besides, we don't have to
agree on the issues.

I didn't buy this computer

for its theological
and political opinions.

I bought it for
its technical excellence.

Now, that's what
you have, Jack.

You are the best
media consultant

money can buy.

Just do for me

what you did for Travis
in Tennessee.

Is that what you think,
reverend Hodges?

Call me Lamar.

I mean that
I'm the best,

and therefore
I'm for sale?

No offense, Jack.

Besides, I only
want to rentyou.

Like the good book says,

"render unto Caesar therefor
the things which are Caesar's."

Matthew again. 22:21.

You do know your book.

Ha ha ha ha ha!
I like that!

I like you.

I think we have
a lot in common.

You know,

you're 27 points behind
in the early polls.

I have $4 million pledged.

And that's just
for the TV.

Now, you can play
a lot of catch-up ball

with that kind of money, Jack.

[ Intercom buzzes ]

Yes, missy?

There's a call
for Mr. Cromwell.

It's from his wife.

Did you get him?

What'd he say?

He told me
to grovel--

maybe they'll
take me back.

I tried that once

when Marvin
told me to acquire
a marketable skill.

What if Jack
doesn't need me

without a career?

Is he coming home tonight?

Chocolate orgy...

A "chocolate to die,"

and for you,
chocolate nirvana--

the anti-depressant.

Well, I gotta go sell
some junk bonds now.

I'm sorry things
didn't work out
with this new guy.

What the heck.

I would love to have
a child, though.

Have you thought
about a sperm bank?

Goodbye, Max.

Have a nice--
never mind.

Max has a gun in her purse,
she may really do it this time.

There's a cab, gotta go.

I'll call
you later, Nora.
Bye, Max.

Max: "Sparkle"
the Baton twirler.

She's twenty.

I got sweaters older.

They met at the homecoming
in Columbus.

I think that's
where Ohio is.

It was halftime.

Sparkle was
twirling this thing

flaming at both ends.

Their eyes locked.

It hit her
at the same moment.

The Baton?

The sparks.

I don't know
what to do now--

I don't know
what to do.

Oh, boy.

Hey, give me my purse!

I'm just gonna look in it
for a minute, that's all.

Damn it, what is this?

What are you doing
with this?

Are you crazy?
Is this thing loaded?

Please, Nora,
it's a cigarette lighter--

of courseit's loaded.
Give it to me!

What is the use?

Nobody wants
a homemaker.

That's it,
my life is over.

My life is over and out
like padded bras.

Nora's mom:
Thanks again, Nora,

for fixing up the museum.

The girls and I
went straight in.

You should have seen
the waiting line!

Oh, you make me so proud.

I love you.

♪ I love you, I love you ♪

♪ that's all that I can-- ♪

[ Beep ]

Blanche: Nora? God,
I hope you're all right.

I didn't mean to
abandon you like that

with that gun
and that nutcake.

I didn't know
what else to do.

But you're the capable one,
you always were.

I knew you could
handle it.

I assume you did,

I didn't see anything
on the news.

Nora, I've been thinking--

maybe you ought to grovel.

It's an awful risk,
what you're doing.

Anyway, I know
I shoulda called sooner,

but I met this new fella.

[ Click; Hangs up ]

[ Beep ]

Nora, it's skip.

I've talked to Sonny
and to chip.

About this morning--

we realize we've loaded
too many accounts on you.

We want you back, Nora,

With the raise you wanted
and the senior v.P. Stripe,

and no lie detector test.

The whitefield offer?
Don't take it.

Come home, Nora.
Aàmi casa, su casa.

Oh, we ran into virgin tonight at the palladium.

She told US about
your great ideas

for the remake ofcasablanca--

Sweetheart? I'm home.

I've got a late
dinner engagement.

I came home
to change, though.

I'm gonna--

[ crying ]

What's the matter?
What is it?

They want to
remake Casablanca,

and I was helping.

I was gonna
put Rick's bar
in Nicaragua

and make Ingrid bergman a nun.

They loved it!

She was always good
as a nun.

But Ingrid bergman's virgin,
don't you see?

Well, if she's
playing a nun, yes,
I mean--

no, no, no, no...

Virgin, my client.
The rock goddess!

Ingrid bergman's dead.

And you know
who's gonna play Sam?

Calvin bubbles--yuck!

Oh, what's the use...

Nobody sees,
nobody cares.

Nora--what are you
talking about?

And why is
my mother singing

on my answering machine?
I mean, she never sings.

And Maxine had a gun.

Did you know there's a bomber
with a horn? And a blender?

Calm down.
Get control of yourself.

What's wrong with you?

I'm sorry.

I'm all right. Honest.
Really, I'm in control.

New shirt?


It's very nice.

No, honey, I...

I think it's not
actually a...

Breakdownthat I'm having.

It's--it's more like
a total mental collapse.

I can't do it, Jack,
I can't do it!

I won't! I can't!

Calm down, sweetheart,
I'm here.

gonna be all right.

Please, shh.
Take it easy.

[ Sobbing ]

Take it easy, okay?

See? That's better.

I can't, Jack,
honest, I can't!

Okay, look.

We'll work it out together,
just the two of US.

I promise.

I cannot go back there.

They are puerile
and evil.

Well, that's one
corporate style.

No, I mean it.

I told you so
on the telephone.

Nora, just relax.

Look, you know,

you can always
take the whitefield offer.

No, no--no offers anywhere--

don't you understand that?

Well, what are you
gonna do, then?

Be a wife
and a mother.

Full time.

Ha ha--

ha ha ha ha ha!

What are you
laughing for?

You're not serious.

I am veryserious.

You can't be.

Of course I am,
why not?

Well, be--

because it's ridiculous!

I mean,
you're educated!

You wanted a career!

You wanted it all,

Well, this is it--

this is exactly
what it is.

Oh, yes, some days
it's boring, it's idiotic,

but you don't quit,
you don't walk away.

Men don't--men can't.

They keep trying,
they keep going.

You gotta make it happen,

you gotta make it
do something.

You gotta give it
meaning! Hope!

You sound like
a motivational tape.

This is exactly
what you wanted.

You wanted equality?
This is it.

Welcome to life, baby,
on its own terms.

Oh, no,
not on its own terms.

No, on men'sterms.

Just because you guys
have been doing it this way

for thousands and thous--

I refuse!

I did not fight
for equality

to then just carve out

my own little
egotistical share

of history's blood
and stupidity!

There are
so many things,

Your socks should match.

I want to
sew on a button,

something important!

I haven't had the time
to be a wife the way I should,

and be a comfort,

and your conscience, too.

And the children--

I don't know them
like I should.

Like Mrs. Petty?

Yes! The children
love Mrs. Petty!

They turn to her
more than to me.

Well, we don't need
a wife and a mother--

what we need
is your paycheck.

My paycheck?!

Nora! Nora!


Nora, what happened
to the answering machine?

I broke it!

It's not the answering machine,
it is the whole last year.

Look...my career is a joke.

I want to spend more time
with you and the kids.

Sam can barely read,
Caroline will be dating soon.

They need me.

How dare you say
I'm nothing more
in your lives

than a paycheck!

Are you gonna be
a woman and cry?

I am a woman, you idiot!
Look at me!


How are we gonna live?
We needyour paycheck.

I mean, we spend
every cent we've got.

We could sell this apartment
and move into something cheaper.

We can put the kids
in public school.

In this city?

We can do it--i will.

You'll see, Jack.

I have to.

You're not getting
your period, are you?


What are youdoing,
may I ask?

Putting reverend
Lamar Hodges in the senate?

In the white house, maybe?


Where are you going?

What does that mean, "out"?

"Out," as in splitting,
leaving--I'm departing.

Running away,
you mean.

What, to some bar
or something?

Yeah, maybe.

Maybe I can find a drunk
who makes more sense.

But I thought
men didn't run away.

Men can't, no!

They have to face the real world
and try to make it better!

Nora, grow up.


Oh, come--

what are you doing?

I don't have an answer
to that right now.

Is that thing loaded?

No, it's Maxine's.

She was gonna
kill herself.

She's staying over
in the guest room.

There's no clip in here.

I know, I took
the bullets out of it,

I hid them in the toilet.

Well, actually that thing
behind the toilet.

The tank.
Yes, the tank.

Do you think
it'll blow up
when we flush?

You know what, Nora?
You better change doctors.

Jack, wait! Jack!

I'm just trying
to make it better...

Mom, what's wrong?

What's happening?
Where's daddy?

He met somebody, right?
In Atlanta?

Max, shut up
and go to sleep.

Real soon now, doll.

I swallowed
a whole bottle
of pills.


Max, you didn't.
You couldn't!


911. Go.
Quickly. Call. 911.

You're gonna throw up.
Come on to the bathroom.

I don't wanna.

How dare you try
to kill yourself
in my house!

You wanna die,
die in great neck,

or in Marvin's dental chair!

[ Doorbell ]
Thank god! Jack!

♪ Happy anniversary,
happy anniversary ♪

♪ happy anniversary,
to Nora and Jack ♪

I hope I'm not too late,
it said "any hour."

The computer broke down

and your order just
came in from Atlanta.

Could you sign here,

Mom, Max swallowed
the whole bottle
of no-snooze pills.

She'll be up
for three days.

Mom, you have
a gun in your hand.

Ma'am, please, I graduate
computer school in June!

I'm sorry.
It's not loaded.


Nora: Mom, I quit.

You wanna have lunch?

I hatetheme restaurants.

Oh, but it's such fun!

Mom, this is supermarket
microwave junk,

at five times
the prices.

I mean, this is
the same stuff

we serve at home.

But you don't get
celebrities at home.

Mom, can you turn this off?

You can't.

You can turn it down.

[ TV volume drops ]

Ah, yes.

And you can
cover it up.

Listen, I, uh,

I get the feeling

that you have not heard
one word of what I've told you

about my life.

I've heard.

It's simply too depressing.

I have to do this.

Oh, certainly.

That's your
whole generation--

only looking out for
your own happiness.

Do you want me
to look for unhappiness?

We did.

I mean--

we sacrificed ourselves
for others.

But I want to do
what you did--

take care of
my husband and children.

You're making a big mistake.

Did you?

Look, maybe I sound selfish,


Yes, perhaps I am
since your father died.

I'm very alone, Nora.

Your father and I
did everything

exactly as the ads
told US to do.

And he was a big success.

And gone most of the time.

I was a wonderful homemaker.

Well, your daddy

worked himself into
an early death,

and I dusted myself
into a corner--

in an empty nest.

I--i have no skills.

I'm not talented.

I read people,

watch entertainment tonight.

I take Robin leach seriously.

I live through
other people's lives.

And yours.

And yes, I get
a childish kick out of...

Out of the privileges
it gives me.


You made me somebody

with all the other widows
and throw-away wives.

And most of all,

I was happy because

I knew that you wouldn't
end up like me.

Oh, ma...

Oh, let's get our check
and get out of this place.

I'm going to
the ladies' room.

I'll come with you.

No, I'm fine.
I'd rather you didn't.


[ Volume up ]

Nixon: ...Whether or not
their president is a crook.

Well, I'm not a crook.

I've earned
everything I've done.

Can I get you something?

Oh, yes.
An apartment, please.

I mean a check.

Thanks, Lloyd.

Well, this is it.


An artist's loft building
on the lower east side.

Very chic.

Very re-gentrified.

[ Woman screams ]

What was that?
What was what?

[ Screams ]

That scream
for bloody murder.

It's a couple on three.

She's an opera singer.

Who's the husband,
sweeney Todd?

Miss Ryan,
what are you asking?

A million two.


Ugh! What's that?

An Alice Wolfgang recipe.

She's a famous Hollywood chef.

What is it?

Well, it's veal and waffles

with angel hair pasta
and goat's cheese.

I think mom and dad
could use a gourmandmeal.

I'm gonna
microwave a pizza.

Where are you?

In here!


What's wrong?

I just ran into
Mrs. Petty.

I think, in all fairness,

you should have told me
she's an alcoholic

and her husband
beats her.

Daddy's home.

Where is he?

He's in the bathroom
fixing your answering machine.


Oh, am I glad
to see you.


Me, too.

It's terrible
when we're not right.

I've been looking
at apartments all day.

It's pretty grim.

You haven't by any chance
changed your mind, have you?

I wish I could.

How do we make it work

Well, I'm gonna keep looking,

but could you live
out of the city?

Connecticut, maybe?

Commute? Drive
a pickup truck?

It'd be much cheaper.

So would Zimbabwe.

But I need it.
So do the children.

We don't need
a full-time mother.

Icould use one.

And we can't live
in Connecticut!

Maybe it'd be okay.

I've heard
america's nice.

It is, it's nice.

My lawyer will call you
in the morning, Mrs. Wilden.

Please call me feebee.


an "f" and four "e"s.

Oh! Caroline,
isn't it beautiful?

I don't want to live
in a greeting card commercial.

I hate you!

Nora: Thank you for
being here for the move.

Jack: For two or three days
Wally can handle Atlanta.

Boy, I can't believe
it's August 1st already.

You know, this champagne
is pretty good.

That was sweet of blanche
and Maxine to do that.

I'm sorry
you missed them.

What's the book?

Oh! Another gift.

But from it's from Max
to Caroline.

Sylvia plath?!
Poor Maxine.

She does seem better.

She is into
laugh therapy.

Well, maybe Caroline
can join her.

Uh, what's that?

I meant to
tell the movers.
To take that.

Will it fit
in the trunk?

What is it?

It's one of those...

Backyard things.

A barbecue--
you know, a grill.

A grill?

Yeah. It's from
Maxine and blanche
for you.

And look what else
they gave you.

They gave you this.

"Chefs do it
to order"?

I'm not wearing that.
I know.

And I don't cook outside.

In fact, I don't
even eatoutside.

I'm not a do-it-yourselfer!

I know that, too.
Strictly yellow pages.

That's right.

And that's good--
it's a service economy.

What are you doing
to our lives?!

Do you hate me a lot?

I'll you what else--

I'm not gonna wear those
funny little plaid pants

and I'm not
gonna coach little league.

And if you tell me
a thousandtimes,

I won't understand
why you're doing this!

Our lives were perfect!

They were frenzied
and selfish.

That's right!
And that's normal.

[ Chuckles ]



I'm sorry.

I know.


Did I hear you
telling the children

that we were gonna
spend the night at a place

on the new england throughway?

You heard that?

Yeah, I heard it.

Ha ha ha ha! Yeah.
The "yankee clipper."

I called this morning,
I made the reservations.

The kids are gonna be
six rooms down from US,

and guess where
we're gonna be?

Room 208.

Oh, that was it!
That was the room--

the first time
we ever...

That weekend of
the Harvard-Yale game.

Oh, gosh, honey.

We never did make it
to that game.

You know, I never
knew who won.

I did.

Got the pizzas, mom.

And dad bought
frozen dinners
for tomorrow night.

And we got stuff
for the morning.

How do you feel?

Have I made
a dreadful mistake?

That's not
the question.

What is?

Well, how do we handle it
now that you made it?

[ Music on TV ]
Hey, Tequila guy!

You know what the "m"
in mtv stands for?


come back here!

That's it,
I'm finished.

Just need one of youse
to sign this.

Tony, does your wife work?

Sure. You kiddin' me?

Couldn't cut it
without her.

She brings home
a nice paycheck.

Would you please
give her these?

And these, as well.

She's a working woman,
she can use it.

From now on,

every meal in this house
will be homecooked.

Starting tomorrow night.

When are we
gonna eat?

It's nine o'clock already,
I'm hungry.

In a minute.
Just be patient.

Is she all right?

Is chernobyl?

Caroline, I think
that's enough.

Okay, okay...

Here. Here.

What isthat?

Veal cordon bleu.

Looks like dead rats.

I'm sure it's delicious.

It's a classic
French delicacy.

Why don't I serve?

What's this sticking up?

It's a rectal thermometer!

I could not find
the other one.


I'm sure it's gonna
taste very well.

[ Smoke alarm ]

What's that?!

[ Coughing ]
It's the smoke alarm.

Her dessert's on fire.

Jack: Nora. Nora!

Listen, I can't
find my shirts.

Somebody stole
all my shirts!

Did the laundry take--

[ telephone rings ]

All right, all right.
Keep your shirt on.

Or maybe you're
keeping myshirt on.



How could you let Hodges
make a TV spot without US?!

No, I haven't.

I was going to
as soon as I found my shirt.

Never mind.

Okay, okay.

[ Lamar on TV ]:
The fate of a nation
is born in the classroom.

I want to teach our children
the truth.

The lord made man entire,

and all of the fishes,

and took his rib
to make woman.

Now, my opponent
believes manevolved--

whatever that means.

What do you believe?


Or this?

Don't let them make monkeys
out of our children.

Thatis the end of
western civilization.

You're right, Wally,
it's effective.

It's terrible,
but it's effective.

I'll see you in Atlanta
this afternoon. Bye.

You're going
to Atlanta again?

Atlanta, Chicago, Boston--

all of them,
till November.

You know,
it's election time.

I always traveled before
and you never minded.

I was never home before.

We've been living
in this house for six weeks,

and you've only been home
for three nights.

I did tell you about
this meeting at the school

to get a traffic light
at that intersection.

All right,
you got my proxy.

I can't find my shirts--
somebody stole my shirts.

No, they didn't.

I did your shirts
for you this week.

The laundry charges
four dollars per shirt.

Did you know that?
I didn't know that.

That's $20 a week
that we are saving.

And I love ironing.
It's relaxing.

What's that?

Scorch marks.

They're only on two.

I was watching
Oprah Winfrey--

Nora, look,
we gotta talk.

Honey, it won't
happen again.

Sit down.

Now, look...

It's not the scorch marks,
and it's not the burnt meat.

It could happen
to anyone.

Burning takeout food?

I was reheating it.
Mom called, I forgot.

It's not that.
Or the children's despair.

Sam is very happy.
He's out of therapy.

I know it's only been
six weeks

and we need a period
of adjustment,

but we're not adjusting.
We got a major problem here.

What's the problem?

You. Being here.
Being in this house.

You don't belonghere.
You're not goodat it.

In fact, you're bad at it,
and you know that, don't you?

It's unnatural.

But it's all right--
there's no shame in it.

Listen, it's tough
being a homemaker.

But hey, I wanted
to hit like Reggie Jackson.

Nobody blames you.

I know it was something
that you had to try. Okay?

But now--please--
go back to work.

Let the professionals
run things here.

Home sweet home again, hmm?

I'll be down in the kitchen.

[ Sighs ]

I'll never
forgive you, either.

Oh, no, no.

You were shallow
and self-centered.


I am somebody.

I am a housewife.


Woman's day canceled
your subscription.


For one minute
in a very long life,

let's talk.

Are you happy?


How's school?

Okay. They don't
steal your bike

at knifepoint up here.

The kids are kinda out of it.

One kid thought
the sandanistaswas a
puerto rican rock band.

How are you doing
with mom?

Okay. She's the worst maid
we ever had,

but I like her the best.

She started
taking cooking lessons

so we didn't have to
drink the jello

out of the glass last night.

You ever heard of
Charles dickens?

Yeah, I've heard of him.

Mom and I are
reading Oliver twist.

The comic book version?

strikes again!

You're so stupid.

I know about ministration
and girls going crazy.

It's "menstruation," stupid.

Caroline, please!

Uh, Caroline,

you're not starting,
uh, you know--?

What do you care?

You're too busy

That's not fair.


What's fair?

Going to a school
with a lot of humanoids

who think dual exhaust pipes
are a worthwhile goal in life?

Having a mother who reads
paperback romances

and watches
daytime television?

She'll be calling
phone-in radio shows next.

I think she already has.

She ruined everything.
And you let her do it.

Why don't you admit it,
and divorce her?

You don't know
anything about this

ormen and women.

I'd love you to tell me.

I'd love to hear.

We're a family.

Now, people in a family,
the family people...

Marriage is very complex.

It's the most complicated
relationship there is.

Now, what we are
going through here is...

I don't know what
we're going through.

Look, I don't like it either,

but I'm trying to make it work.

Now, it's only been six weeks.

Almost time
for a garage sale.

We're having one--
a week from Sunday.

I don't want a mother
that's just a housewife.

There's more to life
than just battering people

with your naive
and arrogant judgments.

Mom needs this--
weneed this.

She's doing this
for you.

Yes, for US.
For our happiness.

You'd need an ice ax to cut
the happiness in this house.

And she's not doing it
for anyone but herself.

You've read about
the "me generation"--

she's very typical.

Why the suitcase?

I'm going back
on the train with you.

I thought you were
staying through the weekend.

Well, there's worse things
than loneliness.

Even grandma
can't stand it.

Call me cherie,dear.

"Grandma" is such a vulgar--

Nora: Sam, you forgot
to make your bed again.

And mom, you left
your ice cream dish

right there
on the end table.

You left dirty clothes--
again--all over the place.

How many times--
it's 7:20.

I gotta go.

Wait--I'm making pancakes,
I am.

The batter is allready.

Yeah, see?

Can we have 'em
for dinner?


Everybody ready?
Buckled up?

You're not,

[ Loud pop music plays ]

A little lower,

[ Lowers volume ]

Mom, open
the door first.

You certainly
didn't think

I was gonna drive through
the garage door, did you?

[ Radio changing stations ]

Mom, that's A.M.

Nora: That's a very
interesting show I found.

And now, radio's most popular
phone-in show--

"tell me where it hurts,"

with psychologist
Dr. Tony Prescott...

Oh, there's Nora!

Hi, Nora!

Oh, hi!
Hi, Donna!

Hi, Jim.

So the husbands
finally connect.

Honey, I want you
to meet our neighbors,
the Sawyers.

The ones you thought
might have two heads.

I'm Donna and that's Jim.

Hi, Jack cromwell.

Do you golf?


That's a relief.

Donna, I want you
to meet my mother,
Leona horton.

My dad, Dr. Tom hartley.

How are you?

I felt the same way
at first.

You marry a high-flying
career woman,

learn how
to say "chairperson,"

and end up out here
as ozzie and Harriet.

I went through
the same thing
eight years ago.

Wanna hear?

Didn't think so.

My wife died
four years ago.

And then I had
my heart attack.

That's when I moved here
to the suburbs.

And I stopped smoking
and started jogging.

And now I go in
three days a week

to teach at New York--Cornell.

That's wonderful!

I only live
three blocks from there.

What's your specialty?
Pediatric surgery.

I'm kind of a kid myself.

But my colleagues
ordered me

to give up living alone
in the city.

Now I envy you--
all that excitement still.

Ha ha ha ha!

Dr. Hartley,
I'll be honest with you.

My life is so barren

I get euphoric
when vanna sells a vowel.

[ Both chuckling ]

Oh, here we go.

I'll pick you up
at 3:30!

She'll get over it, mom.
Tatum O'Neal did.

Hey, check it out!
Here comes the new girl!

Hey, spanky, please.
Stick to your magazines.

This nugget belongs to
"throwback" drummond.

Girl: Hiya, throwback.

Give me 22 minutes
and I'll give you the world.

And when you're ready--
I figure that's any day now--

cry out.

I'm the cure.

I got the right car,

and I'm devoted
to the primitive.


Hi, we're back now.

This is Dr. Prescott with "tell me where it hurts."

Woman: I'm Carla,
from Fairfield county.

Hi, Carla from
Fairfield county.

I used to be "Carl."
I'm a transsexual.

I have my same job still,
but you know what?

They pay me less now
as a woman

than they did
when I was a man.

It's that old
equal pay thing, right?

[ Doorbell ]
Thanks for calling.

We'll pause for a message,

I'm happy to say,
from a new sponsor.

[ Dixieland music plays ]

Good morning.

Divine home cosmetics

wants you to feel good
about yourself on the inside,

and that begins
in the outside.

Feel good about myself?

I feel terrible
aàabout myself.

I have ruined the lives
of my loved ones.

I'm a terrible cook,
cleaner, planner--

all-around failed
female person.

You see, I have
squandered my education,

betrayed my marriage vows,
and the movement!

I have surrendered
my dreams and goals,

all for my husband
and children--

who do not need me.

I do not need me.
Youdo not need me.

Do you know that
when I make a bed,

the sheet is hanging
below the spread?

I thought that if
I gave my life to my family,

it would be great.

I would be fulfilled,
and they would blossom--

well, have
a really nice day!


Wait! Please!

Listen, there's more!
I'm not finished!

I don't know, Sam,

football is so dangerous.

It's only touch, mom.

I'm not so wild
about it, either.

But I have to play
or they'll think I'm a wimp.

Is a sleep-over okay?

Sure, but is Billy's mom
picking you up?

Yeah. He's an okay kid.
Really--i need a friend.

Where's Caroline?

Oh, I forgot--she has
a sleep-over, too.

Here's the number.
Thisby Tannenbaum's.

I gotta go.

Wait, give me a kiss.

Mom, they're all watching.

Okay, give me
a high-five, huh?


Hi, I'm Jill.

Have you ever thought about

selling real estate
in your spare time?

Lots of housewives do.
In fact, many of them even--

[ beep ]
Hi, I'm Jane,

and I'd like to talk to you
about selling life insurance

in your spare time--

[ beep ]

Hi, I'm Jackie.

Have you ever thought
of selling cosmetics--

[ beep; Hangup ]

[ Beep; Hangup ]

[ Beep ]
Hi, it's Jack.

I'm in Atlanta.

Guess who was on the plane?

Skip and Maxine.

She's his assistant now,
looks pretty good.

She even smiled once.

Oh, skip said to tell you,

anytime you're ready,
he'd hire you back.

I told himi was ready,
even if you weren't.

Listen, Nora,

I think you should
think about it.

I gotta go now.
I'll call you later.

[ Hangs up ]

[ Pop music plays ]

So my parents, like,
win this trip to Hawaii,

and we get the house
alone for a week!

My folks think
I'm staying with you!

[ Telephone rings ]

That's my mom!
I bet it is!

I knowit's her!

Like, relax, Caroline.

My mom is never
gonna let me stay.

It's okay.

Just listen--
I'm a pro at this.

Cut the radio!

[ Ringing ]

[ Lowers voice ] Hello?
Tannenbaum residence.

Why, yes,
Mrs. Cromwell, hi.

I'm val Tannenbaum,
thisby's mother.

Ha ha!

Why yes,
she's here.

And what a wonderful girl
she is.

Don't you worry.

My frank and i--
he's my husband--

will be here all night.

[ All laughing ]

Born in the u.S. Of a!


Jack: Don't tell me--

we've gone to war
with Central America.

Mom's our new
pioneer mother.

Pioneer person.

Dr. Hartley promoted me
this afternoon--

I didn't have
a chance to change.

What happened to
the other pioneer person?

Mrs. Pagano?

She made off with
the roto-rooter man.

Did you eat?

I get too excited
before a big game.

You love bowling--
admit it.

Where's the grinch?

Caroline's at
the Tannenbaum's.


How's the reverend Hodges?

On his own
this morning.

He announced that
he wants to nuke Beirut.

Oh, good. That should
end the campaign,
and you can just--

I wish I could.

He shot straight up
in the phone polls--

he's only five points
behind now.

Come on.

You go ahead--i want to
talk to your mom a minute.

Is that better?


You weren't
even watching.

Sam: Hi.

Oh, hello, Sam!

It's only till
after the election--

three or four weeks.

I'm hardly here anyway.

Why don't you come in
to New York,

we'll stay at
Wally's apartment.

He's gonna be tied up
full-time in Atlanta.

It'll be like
a second honeymoon.

It's a separation,
and you damn well know it.

Men always win,
no matter what you do--

if you work,
if you don't work...

Is this my punishment
for trying to--

I think we've all
been punished a little.

Oh? Was your precious,
pretty little life disrupted?

Let's not make a scene.
I don't want to, huh?

You don't?
Well, I do!

I want a knockdown,
drag-out, screaming--

just forget it.

Okay, go. Get out!


Go. Tonight. Leave. Go!

I got the reservations
for Saturday night--


I can't, Leona.
I forgot--

after we talked,

I realized I'm supposed to take
my wilderness rangers troop

overnight Saturday.

But it was all set!
We'd planned!

You can't go camping
on your birthday!

You've got to find someone
to take your place.

Nora: Hi.

Of course. Nora!

Greetings, pioneer mother.

[ Nora panting ]

Are you okay?

Ohhh! Never felt better
in my life.

What's a little
5-mile hike...


Shouldn't we
be there by now?

I hope we're not lost.

We're not lost--
the riveris lost.

Men! Onward.

Sam, honey,
gimme a hand.

Thank you. Okay--


What are you all
staring at?

I found the river, didn't I?

"The pain and swelling
begin almost immediately

"after the spraining

"Raise the foot
to reduce the blood flow

and to moderate the swelling
and the throbbing."

We did that, right.

"To support
the injured ankle,

"take the bandage

"and wrap around
the foot twice.

"Then wrap bandage down,
under and around ankle,

in front of ankle"--

are you following this?

I think I got it.

All right.
"Cross under foot

"and then criss-cross again.

"Continue this pattern

"until the bandage is
at an end,

then tuck in
to secure bandage."

Well done, rangers.

What's our motto?

All: Do or die!

Okay, now, everybody,
you ready to set up camp?


let's go to it.

Oh, no.

Oh, guys--
listen, fellas--

I got an idea.

Listen, if you swear
you can keep a secret...

Come on, gang.
Come on.

We'd like three doubles
and a single.

Woman: Of course Sam was popular
right from the start,

which isn't always easy

when you're
the new boy in school.

But now--
oh, it's amazing.

After a very shaky start,

he is the best reader
in the class.

Not only that,
but he's also writing.

He turned in the most
delightful story this week

about an overnight
camping sleepout.

Ha ha!
It's hilarious.

I'm sorry to have to tell you
all this about Caroline.

I don't know what it is.

I know she's bright.

You sure there's nothing
in her personal life?

Oh, I'm sorry.
I guess we're early.

No, that's all right.
Do come in.

We're finished.
We really are, yes?


Have you met?

Your daughters
are friends.

Uh, Nora cromwell, this is
frank and val Tannenbaum,

thisby's parents.

So, how was Hawaii?

We just got back,
and it was great.

Pout all you want.

The tannenbaums
were in Hawaii,
and you lied.

You are grounded,

For a month.

You can't!
It's Halloween Friday.

Thisby's, like,
having a party,

the biggest party
of my life.

I've got news.

It's like
been canceled.

Thisby's grounded, too.

whole wheat bread...

Why'd you have to, like,

go to that dumb parents meeting

It was better when you,
like, forgot about them.

First of all,

there is no rule
in the English language

that requires
the prepositional use
of the word "like"

before every verb.

In the second place,

if I understand you

your principal judgment
on this

is not that you and thisby
were lying through your teeth,

but that you got caught

because I'm met
the tannenbaums
last night at school!

Not to mention the fact,

that I had to hear from
your homeroom teacher

that your classwork
is a disaster!

From, you, an "a" student.


What is wrong?

Ask daddy.


You just don't get it.

Why should I study?

All I can ever be
is a housewife,

a nobody servant...

A waitress, whose husband
eventually leaves her.

Look at you--
you're a total female failure.

Why should I be any different?

One article I read

said she could be like this
for the next five years.


Don't forget
the pumpkin, mom.

[ Woman on radio ]:
This is Debbie speaking.

I came home yesterday,
and there was my husband

and a girl, who--who...
You know!

Talk show host:
Au pair.

I'll say!
A perfect 38!

Of all the stupid programs!

[ Sighs ]
Dumb thing!


Why do I listen
to junk like that?

How stupid!
Stupid! Foolish.


Do you want
to talk about it?

I owned the fast-track.

I came straight out of my
master's at wharton

and went straight up.

Banking became my life,
my only life.

I totally ignored
my husband and kids.

Till one day--
it was mother's day at school,

and my son explained my absence
by telling everyone I was dead.

Which I realized I was,
in a way,

so I quit.
Came home to stay.

We moved out here,
and it was...

Rotten at first,
just like you now.

But finally,
it was right and beautiful.

But you know when I knew
I was really right for myself?

When I went back
to visit my fast-track friends

in the city,
including my husband.

Oh, yeah, Jim left me,
too, at first.

Oh, Nora, call Jack.

I'm glad I was
in town today.

Happy Halloween.

Is that a new shirt?

Yeah, I picked it up
in Chicago.

Are you gonna see
blanche and Maxine today?

Both--one for brunch,
one for lunch,

and then back home

to make a Jack-o'-lantern
with Sam.

Kids okay?

I'm deeply moved
by your concern.

Nora, that's not fair.

I call almost every day.

You know,
it's been a long time

since I've had
a powerbreakfast.

It's funny.
I don't miss them at all.

You look beautiful.

You're not so bad yourself.


You comin' home or what?

Right after the elections.

I'm achin' for you, kid.


Rent a room.
Take me upstairs right now.

I'd love to,
but I gotta be in Atlanta.

My plane leaves in an hour.

You know, I saw on TV
that, uh,

your reverend Hodges
is only two points behind.

He's gonna win.

Five days left,

and a half a million
dollar TV blitz.

I gotta go.
You always do.

Tell me, is Hodges
gonna sleep with you?

Be there when you're sick?

When Caroline
brings boys home?

Jack, who's going to teach Sam
how to be a man?

Politicians?! Wally?!

Nora, I have to work.

I just hate what you do!

I do, too,
but I don't know how to stop.

Sell Wally the business,
be a reporter again.

Come home.


Your little son
is in wonderful shape,

and I know I have made
that difference in his life.

I can do the same thing
with Caroline, eventually.

But they need
their father, too.

And I need a husband.

Grown up...Growing old.

And not so darn exciting
all the time.

And certainly
not so self-engrossed.

It sounds so reasonable...

And terrifying.

Honey, don't be afraid
of being ordinary.

It is the most natural thing
in the world.

You know, Jack,
being in town today--

well, it occurred to me that
I had made a tremendous mistake.

But I knowthat I haven't.

That job of mine, ah!

I don't want to go back.

I guess the question is...

Can I go forward?

Barney, it's a bull curve
and tough luggage.

Buy 50,000 shares.

Nora, I'm sorry.
I cannot get out of here.

I haven't had lunch out since
that time with you and Max.

That was over five months ago.

Yeah, well, greed
keeps you busy.

you seem so different.

No, that's
just 'cause you are.

Is there a new guy
in your life?

Sure. Adam Smith.

Not money...

No. I mean, marriage.

Oh, I'm in one.
Didn't I tell you?

Blanche, you didn't?

Relax. I'm going
with a married man.

You said you wanted a child.

I bought a cactus.

I can't decide.
What do you think?

I like the nose
you have, Max.

It's beautiful.

[ Intercom buzzes ]



While you're thinking it over,

I'll just check the patients
in the other rooms.

Take your time.
It's a difficult nose.

I mean decision.


See what?

I see that this guy
wants to make a sale.

Listen to me.
Your nose is adorable.

It's precious.
It's perfect for your face.

What's wrong with my face?

This whole thing
is so silly.

It's not silly, Nora.

I have a couple of
my own accounts at p.A.P.

But I'm mostly just servicing

the talk shows
and gossip columns.

If I had the right face,
I could move into corporate.

You know, we were supposed
to have a nice, quiet lunch.

I don't have time
for any of that anymore, doll.

I gotta do this
on my lunch hour.

I just can't believe
you have your own accounts!

[ Chuckling ]

How's Marvin?

Who? Oh...Oh, yeah.

He gave up his practice,
moved to L.A.

He's no longer
an orthodontist?

Oh, no. He's sparkle's
personal manager now.

He got her on a game show,

Did I tell ya
virgin's gonna be
on 60 minutes?

Is she still
gonna remake Casablanca?

Oh, no.
They shelled that idea.

Oh! That's a relief.

Mm-hmm. Gonna do
gone with the windnow.

[ Door opens ]

What's the verdict?

I'm gonna go with
the Lee remick.


Happy Halloween.

Hey, that's great.
Where'd you get it?

New York.

For tonight.

That's fantastic!

Where's Caroline?

She's not coming.
She got a ride home
with someone else.

Oh, really? With who?

She said she'll be home
for dinner.

Who is she with, Sam?

This guy.

What guy?

She'll kill me, mom.

This guy's a real slime.

He's Halloween
every day of the week.

Can we go? I have to do
the Jack-o'-lanterns.

South Dakota?









not Indiana.

New Delhi?

All right!

Oh, the pumpkin's
lookin' good, honey.

You think so?

Yes, honey.

It's the best one
I ever saw.


It's 6:30.

She'll be here, mom.

Don't make any more calls.

[ Tires squealing ]

[ Music blaring ]

That's her.
That's the slime-mobile.

[ Music blaring ]

[ Honking ]

And don't lie.

Okay. I won't.

Want the truth?

Oh, yes, indeed,
I would.

This is it.

And another one--
I don't need a mother now.

I'm 13 years old,
and you're 13 years too late!


Well, what do you think?

Well, it's not burgers,

but veal cordon bleu's
not so bad.

Mmm, good.
You ready for
some dessert?

No, I gotta go.

I promised Dr. Hartley
I'd take him trick-or-treating.

Do you want to come?

Thanks for asking, honey.
You go on.

Sam, your dad
said to tell you

he's really sorry
he couldn't be here tonight.


Can I have a kiss?

You know what?
You're lots better
than Mrs. Petty.

Thank you.

Have fun.

Caroline, can I come in?

Honey, listen,
we have got to talk.

I brought you some dinner.

Caroline, I'm coming in.


Now, don't worry
about the phone.
I'll cover.

But should you be going?

Donna, I have
got to look for her.

I'll call in.
Okay. I'll be here.


Thisby, are you sure?

I haven't seen her,
Mrs. Cromwell.

Donna: Hello?

Donna, it's me.

It's okay, they found her,
the police.

Oh, thank god.

On the throughway.
She was hitchhiking.

She's at the children's
shelter now.

By the way, Jack phoned.
He's back in New York.

In New York?
He's supposed to be in Atlanta.

He said he was
on his way home.

Here's the address
for the shelter.

Um, excuse me.

Um, my name
is Nora cromwell.

I believe you may have
my daughter, Caroline--

Yes, she's here.

I'm grace Harper.
I run the shelter.


Everything's okay.
I think she's scared

and maybe a bit chastened.

I hope you'll understand,

that I have to ask you some
questions about your home life

before I can release her.

These days home
is not always

"home sweet home"
for kids.

I think that can wait

until you've had a chance
to talk to her first.

I have a small private room,
if you like.

Thank you. Yes.

Caroline tells me that
you're in public relations.


She says
you were terrific.

She seems
very proud of you.

I wasn't bad.

We could sure use some help
in that direction.

This way.

[ Knocking ]

Come in.



I don't enjoy
your punishing me,

but I can handle it.

The real danger is that you
are starting to hurt yourself.

And that breaks my heart.

Now, listen--

I'm pretty sure this thing
is between you and me,

but you must tell me what.

Talk to me, or we can't
ever get together.

Now, tell me, please.

Give me hell if you have to.

You betrayed me.


Dropping out.

I believed in you.

You were everything
I wanted to be.

Now you're just another--

just another mom.

Just a housewife,
and lousy at it.

I thought
I was getting better.

You were special.
Look at you now.

You ran away...

Back to the bad old days.

Who cares anymore?

It's such a drag
being a girl...

A woman.


I don't think I ran away.

I think I ran to
and forward, not backwards.

Listen, we didn't fight
like crazy in the 60s and 70s

just to be
a corporate vice president.

We wanted freedom,

freedom to choose
for ourselves.

No one is forcing me
to stay home now.

I chose to,

and I'm incredibly lucky
to even have that choice.

Most women can't afford
to stop working.

The main reason I did it
was for you and Sam.

To be with you,
to know you.

What about your career?

Oh, honey, I'll work again.
I definitely will.

When you're older,
and that'll come fast enough.

And, Caroline,
another reason

was the work I was doing
was really...

Yuck,as Sam would say.


Next time I want
the work I do

to count for something.

Like what they do here.

I'd like to be a doctor,

like Dr. Hartley.

Oh, Caroline...

You would make
a wonderful doctor.

Think I can?


The best!

[ Door closes ]


Are you home to stay,
or for laundry?

Ouch. Not undeserved, though.

Well, which is it?


I've developed a fondness
for scorch marks.

How 'bout you, Caroline?

Are you gonna
stick it through?

Watch me.

I intend to,
because I intend
to be here.


Meaning all your runaways
have returned.

I don't know
why you left.

I'm really angry
with you.

What about yourself?

I'm a teenager.
You're supposed
to be a grown-up.

Yeah, well, I think
I signed on for
a little of that today.

Then you're not
gonna divorce?

Do you want US to?


Neither do I.


I love you,
both of you!

Don't ever leave,
either of you.

You want mom at home?

I've developed a fondness
for veal cordon bleu.

There's still some left.
I can heat it up right now.

I had pizza!
I ate on the plane.

We still have
some work to do, I see.

Caroline, you're
a little tired, aren't you?

I am.
May I go up now?

Sweet dreams, sweetheart.

Good night.

Good night, baby.
I'll be up in a minute.

She all right?


In fact, fantastic.

I feel pretty good myself--


Aren't you supposed to
be in Atlanta?

I want you to
come upstairs with me

and watch
the eleven o'clock news.


I'm on it.

Here's a
"man bites dog" story.

It took place this morning
in Atlanta

at the tight senatorial race
of the reverend Lamar Hodges.

Reverend Hodges was addressing a breakfast meeting

at the state commerce
and industry group

when he was interrupted by his New York media advisor,

Jack cromwell.

I would--
excuse me, sir.

What is it, Jack?

Ladies and gentlemen,
I have to speak to you

before I throw up.

This man,
the reverend Lamar Hodges,

whom I've advised
for these past few months,

and whom
I've gotten to know,

is an unmitigated disaster,
and I apologize to you...


Guards! Guards!

What can I say?

He's trying to buy you

and the people
of this great state!

And if you let him--
if you let him fool you,

he'll drag this state back into the middle of the 19th century.

He's an intellectual dinosaur!

And he's a danger to US all!

I beg you! I beseech you!

I urge you,
vote for his opponent!

I caught
the next plane home.

What do you think?

I think
you look great
on television!

Huh! I mean, you know,
about what I did.

Are you kidding?
I think it's great
for your soul,

and for the soul
of this family,
not to grovel.

I lovewhat you did.

I lovethat you're here.
I loveyou.

Nora: Oh, yes,
that's fine. Thank you.

Tuesday will be great.

See you at 11:00.

Nora, go home.

This is a part-time job,

Oh, I've just been here
since noon.

I'm not supposed to show
my face a minute before 7:00.

It's our 16th anniversary,

and Jack has planned
some little surprise.

That's nice.

I read his testimony
in front of congress on Monday.

Can we really save
a billion dollars
on that one weapon?

More, actually.

I'm so proud of Jack.

He took a big chance
going with

the concerned citizens

I'm proud of you.

You're amazing.

In seven months
you've doubled our donations.

Can you believe one year ago
we forgot our anniversary?

Mm-hmm. I believe.

Have a great one tonight.

Thanks, grace.

Nora: Jack? Where are ya?


Happy anniversary!

[ Cheers and clapping ]

You! Grace, you devil,
you knew all along!

Oh, not me!

Happy, happy, Nora.


Did you go to
a sperm bank?

He's adopted.

[ Blasting ]

You look gorgeous!

I wish you
so much happiness, Nora.

More than I wish
sparkle varicose veins.

That's touching, Max.

She's got
your old job, Nora.

Skip! Who'd of thought

we'd ever get you
out to the suburbs?


Hi, sweetie.

I'd like you to meet
Scott drummond.

You're not any relation
to "throw-back" drummond?

I amthrow-back drummond,


Hello, sweetheart!


Oh, Donna, Jim.

Hi, you guys.
How sweet.

Where have you been?

We've been
very busy.

They're getting married--
my dad and your mom!

In June!

Come here.
I've got another surprise.

So many surprises.

Dad, you're stuff's
gonna you-know-what.

You're right.
Close your eyes.

Okay, everybody,
let's go.

Gather 'round.
Follow me.

You got
your eyes closed?

I love surprises.

Okay. Keep your eyes closed.

They are!
They are, I swear.

All right.



Ha ha! Jack!

Oh, Jack...

I may throw up!

Who's that?

Stormy dancin' eyes.
She's my main squeeze.

We're outta here, baby.

[ Sniffs ]

Oh, my god!

All: Oh!

My veal cordon bleu!