Hedgehog (2016) - full transcript

Hedgehog tells the story of Ali (Brewer), a young comedienne who longs to follow in the footsteps of her once well-known comic father but who cannot perform out of fear that she will suffer his same fate. In the hopes of conquering her fears, Ali begins taking writing classes but soon finds that the cost of the classes, plus those of her cousin Kyle's (Tann) impending wedding, force her to take a second job assisting an aging professor (Dowd) as she prepares to move out of her home. Through each new relationship, the character finds that she must reconcile her issues with vulnerability in order to find her own path.

- Please put
your hands together

for the guy you've been
waiting for all night,

the amazing, the
funny, the awesome,

my very good friend,
Mr. Nick Chambers.

- Wow, thank you.

Thank you, man, oh.

You ever feel like you're
born in the wrong time period?

I don't know, that's how I feel.

Like everyone's trying
to do relationship things

on these apps and
phones, things like that,

but I feel like you gotta
do things face to face.

It could be difficult if one
of those faces is this face.

I think I was born in
the wrong time period.

I wish I was back in
the 1920s and 1930s,

back when all the lead singers
sounded like trombones.

♪ Oh baby let me talk to you

You know that voice?

- Hey come on,
smoke out of the window,

you're gonna ash on your dress.

- I'm not gonna ash on my dress.

- Yes you are, and I paid
a lot of money for it,

so don't mess it up.

- Actually your
mother paid for this dress.

- Same difference.

- What are you 12?

- Ugh, thank god.

Kyle, I love you, but
you have too much family.

- Preach.

- Hey Ali.

- Hi.

- Your mother's trying to
redecorate our bedroom.

- Yeah, she does that.

- Oh, did my mom try to
Feng Shui the furniture?

- I don't know.

I left after they were
trying to determine

whether the bed was
facing due north.

Does one of you have gum?

- Yeah.

- How much longer
do we have to be here?

- Uh well, considering it is
your party and your house,

I would say a while.

- Ugh, god.

- Here, man.

- I just wanna go get tacos.

- Right?

- Jesus you two
are lightweights.

- That sounds amazing right now.

- Could we do that?
- I mean--

- Could we bail?

- You just hop in the car and--

- Listen, let's, let's
ignite this sedan, and just.


- I'm firing this
thing up right now.

- Oh hi.
- Hi.

- You're Kyle's cousin.

- Uh yeah, I'm one of many.

I'm Ali.

- You're the matron of honor?

- Oh no, no, I'm just
your standard bridesmaid,

but the matron is Jill,

the rather surly looking
woman in the corner

with the two and
a half children.

- I, I heard you're
quite a comedian.

- That's what the fortune
cookies keep telling me, so.

- Well, right, well, it's
nice talking with you.

- Mm-hm, yeah.


- Oh shit.

Here comes trouble.

- Hi, Danny.

- Look at you, all fancy.

- Oh, you like?

- What's the occasion?

- Wedding, pre-wedding.

- Pre-wedding.

- Yeah, it's the party
before the party.

That's who they do it.

- Is that right?

How'd you know I'd be here?

- Where else would you be?

- You're calling me predictable?

- Never.

- Well, you went looking
for me and you found me, so.

- Who said I was
looking for you?

- Oh, she's cold.

She's cold.

- Hi, can I help you?

- Yeah, is this
Writing for Comedy?

- Are you Alma?

- Ali, yeah.

- Then this is Writing
for Comedy, come on in.

All right, now that
everyone is here, welcome.

Here is the syllabus
for the next few weeks.

Please take one, pass it down.

As Ali here has
just established,

this is Writing for Comedy,
an eight-week course

designed to give you
all professional careers

in comedic writing.

- Really?

- No.

You're here because you
need to learn how to write,

and being good at
it comes much later.

Okay, let's look at page
two of the syllabus.

And let's look at week eight.

A stand-up performance.

- Oh my god, you look so good.

Oh, if you look better than me,

I'm gonna be so pissed.

- Okay, nobody's gonna look
better than you, all right?

And even if they do, just
throw some bridezilla shit.

Throw 'em in the lake.

- What lake?

- Isn't there always a
lake at these things?

You know, something for
the swans or the doves,

or something with peace birds.

- Have you ever actually
been to a wedding?

- Is everyone happy here?

- Yeah, fits like a glove.

- Great, we also offer
steam and press package,

so it's guaranteed to
be perfect on the day.

- Oh yes, totally,
I'll go for that.

- Hey, I'm paying for my dress.

- Hey, this I just a bonus,
let me do this for you.

- Could you excuse
us for one minute?

- Sure.

- Please, um, okay, so.

So you know I love
Kyle, you know,

he's like, he's more like a
brother than a cousin to me.

You know, like most
of our bloodline,

he's been dumber than a bag of
hammers for most of his life,

which has been so much
better since he met you,

and I'm thankful, and
I'm talking about me

and most of the Massachusetts
State Police Department here,

but you know, you've
already spent like,

all of your savings,

plus having to deal
with his crazy parents,

and my psycho ass
mother, and um, you know,

all 42 of our cousins,

so just shut up about the dress
and let me pay for it, okay?

- Yeah, bring it in
for the real thing.

Come on, yeah.

- We're hugging
in a bridal shop.

- Yes, we are.

And I really hope I don't
have to throw you in the lake.

- Next time Big Jim
destroys the mens room,

these waders are going to you.

- Okay, well I'm not the one

who gave him the
endless sub supreme.

- Mm.

- Hey can I ask a favor?

- Shoot.

- I need an advance.

- How much?

- Two week?

- Ah, I can't do it.

- You just gave Brendan
an advance like last week.

- Yeah, his wife
just had a baby.

- Okay, so I need to knock
out a kid to get a float.

- No, but maybe if you started
doing your own routines

like you keep telling
me you want to,

then I could pay you more.

- That's harsh.

- Mm, you're okay though?

You're not in trouble.

- No, no it's just
there's like extra costs

with the wedding, and I'm
taking this writing class.

- What is it, a
punch up sorta thing?

- No, no, it's like a
little more basic than that.

- Nice.

- So you gonna
give me the money?

- No.

- You're lame.

- Look Al, if I had more
work, I'd give it to you.

If I had more money,
I'd give it to you.

But I don't, and there is none,

so either start
doing your own sets,

or get a second job.

- Start doing your own
routines or get a second job.

You can't even handle
my routines, fool.

- I heard a rumor that we're
gonna see you up there tonight.

- Mm-hm, oh really?

- Oh yeah.

Super credible source,
never one to lie.

- Mm-hm.

- You pissed at me or something?

- I'm working.

- Matt's right, you know.

If you start doing your own sets

instead of checking everyone in,

you could make some more money.

- Okay Brendan, let's
just forget for a second

that I didn't really need
Matt telling everyone

that I'm strapped for cash,

but I don't even really
wanna do stand up anymore.

You know?

I'm over it.

- Is that why you're
taking writing classes?

- Okay, quit it.

- Listen, if you're
that hard up for money,

my neighbor needs help moving.

- I was thinking something
a little more long term.

- No, no, no, you
don't understand.

She's got a bad knee, and
she has to use a cane.

So she needs someone to
help pack up all her stuff

before she can get someone
in to sell the place.

- Well that sounds charming,
but I'm not a mover, so.

- Fine.

Suit yourself.

- You know that?

- I think I'm funny.
- I, I think--

- Gotta love
the Wednesday night

fuck face special.

You want to?

- No.

- You suck.

- Yeah, I
suck, that's great.

- You suck.

- I suck.
- Go make me a sandwich.

- Sir, you
have to leave right now.

- No really, I paid four
dollars, I'm not leaving.

- That's an
awful lot of comedy

brought to you by
this gentleman.

Thank you, good night.

Have a nice night.

- Okay, beautiful,
wow, that was intelligent.

- Hey girl.

- Hey, what's up.

- Not much.

Maggie and I are about to
hit up this warehouse party

at Southbridge.

- Southbridge, shit, that's far.

- Oh, we can pick you
up if you wanna come with.

Are you home?

- Ali!

- Stop it.

- Oh good, you're up.

- Why?

Get off of me!

- Somebody went partying.

- Yeah well, the
night was still young.

- I thought you said you
were going home after work.

- Well, I changed my mind.

What do you want?

- Help me write my vows.

- Dude, they're your vows,
why don't you write them?

- I'm not a writer.

- Okay well, I'm
not a vow writer.

- Now you're not that bad, Ali.

Come on, I'll buy you brunch.

Come on, come on, come on.

- Fine, leave me alone!

- That's the spirit.

Ooh, you might
wanna get something

to cover up that
hangover, like a,

like a burqa or something.

Chip chop, chip chop!


I find I'm so excited that
I can barely hold still

or hold a thought in my head.

I think it's the excitement

only a soon-to-be-married
man can feel.

A man at the start
of a long journey

whose conclusion is uncertain.

I hope I can make it
across the border.

I hope to see my friend
and shake his hand.

I hope the Pacific is as
blue as it has been in my.

Are you quoting The
Shawshank Redemption?

- I believe in two things,
discipline and the Bible.

- What am I gonna write?

- You know, that
is a beloved film.

- I'm not quoting the
Shawshank Redemption

in my own wedding.

- Well what
do you wanna write?

- I don't know.

You know, I thought this
would be the easy part.

- I don't think there
is an easy part.

- I just, I want to
find a way to say

like you know, she's my one.

She like my other hippo.

- Your other hippo.

- Yeah, 'cause you know, they
like, they mate for life.

- No Kyle, that's penguins.

- Whatever.

It's just like, I used
to be kind of a dumbass--

- You used to be
kind of a dumbass.

- Shut up.

Amy makes me better, you know?

She sees the kind
of person I could be

and she makes me
want to be that.

She believes in
me, she knows me,

she won't let me
give up on myself,

she pushes me to be better.

I still feel like I can
be myself around her.

Like, like it doesn't come
from this place of judgment

it comes from a place of love.

I never had that
with anybody else.

- Dude, write that down.

- That's just me talking.

- Yeah, but that's what's good.

People don't wanna hear you say

I promise to love you
and treasure you forever.

They wanna hear something real.

The best shit always comes out

when you're not
thinkin' about it.

- See, you are a writer.

- Ugh, god I feel like ass.

- That's my Ali,
class all the way.

Ooh, I gotta go pick up my tux.

You wanna come with?

- Mm no, I think I've had
enough excitement for one day.

- Thanks.

- Yeah.

- 52.50.

- Seriously?

- Yeah, seriously.

Sign here.

- Shit.

Hey Brendan.

Hi, this is 30?

- You're Brendan's girl?

- Yeah, I guess.

- What's in that bag?

- Oh, it's records.

- What, like vinyl?

- Yeah, I just bought them.

- Why did you bring me records?

- No, I, sorry, I didn't.

They're for me, I
just bought them.

- I see.

- Can I come in now?

- I guess.

I've taken the liberty of
assembling some boxes for you.

- Wow, you
have a lot of stuff.

- If it's gonna be
too much for you,

I can get someone else.

- No, no, it's
fine, I can do it.

- So you'll start in here.

This is my sitting room.

Probably take you
a couple of days.

- Um, is there any particular
order you want me to follow?

- Are you one of those people

that needs everything
spelled out for them?

- No.

- Good.

I don't recall
paying you to read.

- Sorry.

You wrote this?

- That's my picture
on the back, isn't it?

I think that's enough for today.

I'm tired.

I'd like you to start a
little earlier tomorrow.

- Yeah, I get out
of class at one.

- Okay, that's fine.

What are you studying?

- Comedy.

How to write comedy.

- They can teach a
person to be funny?

- They can try.

- So they do.

- Would you mind if
I borrow the book?

- As long as you read
it on your own time.

You can burn it for all I care.

- All right, each of you
has homework for this week.

Things to do, write
it down please.

I want you to write 10
jokes a day, new ones.

New ones, they don't
have to be great,

they just have to
be 10 jokes a day.

It's a good habit to get into.

YouTube your favorite comedian.

Find out what works, what
doesn't work, take notes.

Five responses to the phrase,
he's so old, dot dot dot,

what are you gonna put for that?

Try to be original
with those, please.

And finally, I want you
to go to a comedy show.

Any show, it doesn't matter.

Watch, listen, observe, learn.

And please bring
me your ticket stub

or else I'll know you're lying,

and that will undermine

our already very
fragile relationship.

Okay, that's it for today.

I have your sketches
from last week,

so come pick 'em up on
your way out, thanks.


I don't know.

Not bad, not bad.

You guys are gettin' better.

Gettin' better, okay.

- Sorry.

- Something on your mind, Ali?

- You went a little
pen happy on my sketch.

- That's my job.

- It's a good sketch.

But you don't think it is.

- Do you want my honest opinion?

- Well it looks like I
got a paragraph of 'em,

so what's one more?

- It's very flat.

- Flat.

- Yeah, look.

The set up's good, the
characters are good,

you've got good delivery--

- But?

- You're being lazy.

- Sorry I asked.

- Ali, I've read
your writing samples.

I know you can do
better, so go do it.

- Your sitting room's done.

- Is it?

- You wanna check?

- Not really, no.

You can start on the upstairs
bedroom, to the right.

Top of the stairs.

- I like your book.

- Did you finish it?

- Uh, not yet.

- I'd reserve
judgment until the end, then.

You can go.

- Shit.

Joshua, the man, the
myth, the legend.

I was wondering what
you are doing right now

because I was just celebrating
my cousin's wedding,

and I think that
we should hang out,

so I should come over.

No, okay.

Yeah, yeah some other time.

Okay, bye.

Hey Asha, it's Ali.

I'm fuckin', I'm out and about.

Uh so, you know, give me a call.

I wanna hear about
that Southbridge party,

so um.

Yeah, you know, call me.


John, my favorite, hi.

So I think.

I think that you should
let me come over, okay?



Okay, I'll see you soon, bye.

Just a second.

- Lost earring?

- Lost speech, hey, have
you seen a piece of paper.

- Did you write it?

- Excuse me?

- Did you write the speech
that you're lookin' for.

- Yeah.

- Oh, well then you
already know it.

- Okay, thanks guy
at bar I don't know

for your sage wisdom, but
I need to find this thing.

- It's stuck to your shoe.

- What?

How long were you gonna let
me keep looking for that?

- Only until it
stopped being amusing.

- Asshole.

- So after about three
hours being duct taped

in the back of this
trunk, it opens up,

and there's Kyle with that
big goofy grin of his,

just smiling, being like hey,
hope you like Celine Dion

because we're in Canada.

So Amy, thank you so much for
domesticating him, really.

That's enough from me.

I'm gonna hand it over
now Kyle's cousin Ali,

who, if you don't
know her already,

you're gonna love her, so.

Ali, everybody.

- Hi.

Hi, I'm Ali.

As many of you know,
Kyle is my cousin.

But he's also my best friend,

and okay, so real quick.

Um, so growing up, when
I was a little kid,

I was terrified of spiders,

and I don't know, I was
like deathly afraid of them,

and I think I watch
Arachnophobia too many times

when I was like
five, but anyway,

I was just convinced that they
would come out of the walls

and attack me when I was asleep,

so Kyle used to sleep
over all the time,

and one day, we
had this big party,

and all the neighborhood
kids were there,

and somehow, one
of them found out

I was afraid of these spiders

and decided to go digging
around in the back yard

and fine one and throw it on me,

so I was like crying and
crying, and Kyle found out,

and then he went and
found the kid who did it

and smacked him in the face
with a jug of Kool-Aid,

so anyway, it was
this whole thing,

and later that night,

after both of our parents were
done tearin' him a new one,

Kyle slept over and he
checked the entire basement

for spiders, and he said Ali,

you're afraid of
spiders right now,

but you won't always be,

and right now it's okay
to be afraid of something,

so when he met Amy, I was
like, she better be awesome,

because Kyle's been
keeping away the spiders

all these years, and
whoever he ends up with

has to be equally as cool,
so it turns out, actually,

that Kyle is afraid of heights,

roller coasters to be specific,

and sorry Kyle, I'm kind
of gonna out you, here.

But um, so there was this
like big company picnic,

and I just tagged along,
and that's how I met Amy,

and I was like okay, things
are gettin' kind of serious,

I better size her up.

So um, so everyone wanted to
go on this huge death drop

megaton roller coaster,

and Kyle looked like
he was gonna throw up,

so all of his co-workers
were making fun of him

and everything and that's
when Amy jumped in,

and she said she felt sick,

and that she needed to sit down,

and someone went and
got her some water,

and Kyle sat with her, while
everyone else went on the ride,

and that's when I realized
that she did for him

what he had done for me
because she knew he was scared

and she knew it was okay,

and she didn't want
him to feel alone,

so um, Kyle and Amy, um.

To whatever crazy shit
life may throw at you,

I know you guys will be
there to lie for one another

or smack somebody with a
jug of Kool-Aid, I love you.


- Jesus.

- God, what are you doing?

- What are you doing?

- God, I feel like I'm dying.

- I think you're
having a panic attack.

- A what?

- Um.

Can you sit down?

- No, no, I don't
wanna sit down.

- Here, hold this.

- It's ice.

- It's gonna help.

- Are you a doctor?

- Just hold the ice, here.


- Yeah.

- Here.

- You're the guy.

You're the guy with my shoe.

- That's what they call
me, the guy with the shoe.

- Are you a guest?

- No.

- A florist?

- I was filling in for a friend,

I was playing the
wedding upstairs.

- Ah, so you're
in a wedding band.

- Part time.

You feelin' better?

- I feel like I need a
drink the size of my arm.

- Uh-huh.

- Do I look like a Monet?

- Yeah, but most
people like Monet.

- You're weird.

- You're the one
giving speeches about spiders.

- Oh, you were watching me.

- Yeah, well I had
to see how it ended.

Hey, how about we
get you that drink?

- Yeah, well if you're
buying, I'm not saying no.

- So what do you do?

- Why do you care?

- Are you always this hostile?

- Well, I'm a comedian,
so we're born hostile.

- That explains
your speech then.

You can tell you're a performer.

- Do you enjoy dissecting
people you just met?

- Part time surgeon,
part time musician.

- Sounds messy.

- So how much longer
is your wedding?

- Do you have somewhere to be?

- Venues just feel like work.

- Wait here.

- Ali!

Hi babe.

- Oh.

- Ali baby, I promise, I'll
always check for spiders.

- I know.

Hey, I think I'm
gonna get outta here.

- Hey come on, you know,
things are winding down.

We can just relax.

- No, I think I'm just tired.

But hey, I'll see you tomorrow.

- You suck.

- Ah, I love you.

- You suck.

What is this?

- Hey.


I've been here before.

Come on.

I think I've definitely
been here before.

Are you somebody's dad?

- No.

What made you think of that?

- I don't know.

You're like kind of dad-like.

You got like a
dad vibe going on.

- Is that your way
of saying I look old?

- Older.

- Hm.

Are you someone's mom?

- That's funny.

I had a dad once.

He was a funny man.

- He a comedian?

- Mm-hm, he's a local legend.

- Like father, like daughter.

- Yeah.

I'm probably gonna
make it past 36.

I'm sorry, I don't know
why I'm talking about this.

- Do you wanna get outta here?

- Yeah.

Um, I'm sorry.

- It's okay.

I'm sorry, too.

- What?

- So you blew off the
rest of our wedding

to stand in the dark
being held by some guy?

- It was actually kind of nice.

And you know, I didn't blow
you guys off or anything.

- But nothing
else happened?

- Nope.

We just stood there for a while,

and then he made up
a bed on the couch,

and I fell asleep on him.

- Who is this guy?

- Are you gonna see him again?

- I don't know, I
don't know, maybe.

- I don't like it.

This has bad ending
written all over it.

- Thank you for that
vote of confidence, Kyle.

- Anytime.

- I think it's super sweet.

- Ali!


Can you come down here, please?

- How the fuck did she know?

- Yes?

- Go into the desk in the
hallway and get me a pen.

- You called me
down here for a pen?

- I seem to
have run out of ink.

- Well why can't
you get it yourself?


- My, my, what an
attitude we have today.

- What's your deal?

- My deal?

- Yeah.

Why are you moving,
where are you going,

were you living with someone?

- How is any of
that your business?

- And what's with the sandwich?

- Oh, so now my
lunch offends you?

- You never eat it.

Every time I see you in here,

you have an uneaten sandwich.

What, just what is that?

- Is there a specific reason

why you're behaving like this,

or is this some kind
of a nervous breakdown?

- Lady, you've done nothing
but say nasty shit to me

since I walked in this
house, and I deal with it

because I need the job,
and you deal with it

because it would
be to inconvenient

to hire someone else
and start all over,

and you don't strike me

as someone who deals
well with inconvenience,

so enlighten me, what's
with the sandwich?

- Did you finish my book yet?

- Oh god.

- My husband used to have a
sandwich for lunch every day.

- So is he--

- Dead?

Oh no, very much alive.

I'm not a fan of new routines.

Have your teachers
made you funny, yet?

- I'm working on it.

- Well, I'm looking
forward to the progress.

- I'm just gonna keep on
coming back to that show.

Even if I don't have to
bring my stubs to class,

I'm going to see
that show every week.

- Well they have
different people there--

- I thought it was once
a month, or once a week--

- Yeah, the company rotates.

- Oh--
- The company rotates

so it has improvisors
once a month,

it's very confusing.

- Some of those
guys, I think, do stand up too.

- Do they?

- I think so.

There is, like other than the
video we saw before we went,

I can't find.

I'll look for like
individual things.

- All right, you all had
an assignment last week

to go see a comedy show,

and I asked you to
bring in your tickets,

so please bring up your
tickets, tickets please.

Tickets, please.


Thank you.

Thank you.

All right, thanks.


- Yes?

- Do you have your ticket?

- Um, no.

I lost it.

- You lost it.

Well, what did you see?

- I saw the Bomb Show.

- The Bomb Show, right.

How was it?

- It was explosive.

- Glad to hear it.

And when you find your
ticket, you can come back.

And tell us all about it.

- Are you kidding me?

- If I was kidding,
you would know.

- Hi.

Is this a good time?

To your rehearsal.

Oh okay, where should I go?

- See you guys.

Oh-ho-ho, my audience of one.

- You know, I had assumed
you played the guitar.

- Yeah well,
assumption is a trap.

I also do play guitar.

- I knew it.

Why did you move to Boston?

- I like the winters.

- Nobody likes the winters.

Even the Eskimos are lying.

- Spot opened up to play, and
I needed a change of scenery.

- Boring.

- Sorry to disappoint you.

- I'll find a way to go on.

- So tell me your jokes.

- My jokes?

- Yeah, your act or whatever
you like to call it.

- Ooh, no.

Cardinal sin, dude.

It's like.

You can't ask that,

it'd be like me asking
you to play right now.

- I got no problem with that.

- Fine, bad example.

- See?

Now I'm a proper audience.

- Okay, well it doesn't.

I can't just do it, it
doesn't work like that.

- Well how does it work?

- Why are you so
on me about this?

- Why are you so defensive?

- Okay.

- Aw come on, you're
that easily upset?

- I'm not upset.

- Have you ever done it?

- Done what?

- Stood up on stage and perform?

- No.

- Stay there.

See, now you're not alone.

- Very funny.

- What are you afraid of?

- I'm not afraid of anything.

- Now who's lying?

You look miles away.

Can I ask you something?

If going up on stage
is so hard for you,

why do you wanna do it?

- I don't think I
know anything else.

- 'Cause of
your dad or something?

- My mom says I look like him.

It's the eyes.

We have the same eyes.

- Was she a comedian?

- No.

No, my mom was a
cocktail waitress.

Guess how they met?

- That old chestnut.

- And how.

What are you parents like?

- What were my parents like?

My father was also
a musician, trumpet.

He taught, he wrote.

I think a little part
of him was tortured.

And my mom left when I was six,

so I never really
got to know her.

- She left?

- Mm-hm.

She said she was gonna
do some shopping,

and she never came back.

- Where'd she go?

- I don't know.

I spent a long, long
time looking for her,

and trying to figure
out why she left.

I needed an answer,
but over time,

I found out that sometimes
no answer is an answer.

- I fucking hate that.

No answer is just selfish.

- So is Ali a nickname?

Can I get the full version?

- Alma.

- You don't usually
get Ali from Alma.

- You don't usually get an Alma.

- I like it, it's
pretty, it suits you.

- Maybe I don't wanna be pretty.

You had a lot of adventures.

- Pardon?

- I saw your photo albums.

- That was nosy of you.

- You seemed really
happy in the photos.

- Yes, I did.

- Saying you weren't
really happy?

- You were looking at the
photos, what do you think?

- I think you were.

You just don't want to
admit it to yourself.

- Oh?

- Mm-hm.

- I was happy in
many of those photos.

But often, I was lonely
and sad in them, too.

I like to think I had a
good picture-taking face.

I was good at taking pictures.

Why do you wanna be funny?

- I can't help what I am.

- What you are is cocky.

- My dad.

My dad was a comedian.

- Was?

- Dead.

- Ooh, sorry.

- It's a long time ago.

- And you take after him?

- I guess.

- Not your mother.

- No, not at all.

- You don't like her.

- I can't relate to her.

She doesn't make
any sense to me.

It's like we're two
different animals.

- That must've been difficult

growing up with a mother
you don't understand.

- Well I didn't say I
don't understand her.

- You didn't have to.

Never underestimate
the power mothers have

over their children's lives.

- My mother really had much
power, so I think I'm good.

- Hm, maybe that's it, then.

Maybe that's what scares you.

- You think I'm scared
of becoming my mother?

- No, I think you're scared
because you know you won't.

You're gonna be a woman who
was nothing like her mother,

and that just means that
everything about adulthood

is an unknown.

You didn't see an example of it

that looked or felt like you,

and that means you're doing
everything yourself, first hand.

You're re-learning what
it means to be female

because you couldn't be like
the person presented to you.

You want to be like your father,

but you can't be your father
because you're not a man.

That's what scares you.

- It's bullshit.

You know, I'm just
taking my check.

- Oh, so it's okay
to dig into my life,

but you know, we touch on
yours, and someone gets mad.

- Sorry I asked.

- What's good, mama?

- If I hear this
act one more time,

I'm gonna blow my
brains out, so that's.

- I've got a surprise for you.

- I'm not in the mood.

- Trust me, you're
gonna wanna see this.

- What am I looking at?

- That's Joan's ex-husband.

- What, where?

- And that lady
is their neighbor.

- No shit.

- Insane, right?

Left her for the lady
across the street.

- They live across the street?

- Nah, they moved to some new
house in Concord or something,

but it's rough.

They were married for like
35 years or something.

And one day he just dipped.

Where are you going?

Hmm, well she's smart,
I'll give her that.

- I think you're obsessed.

- I'm not obsessed.

- You read her
entire back catalog.

- Well I just.

I just want to know
what happened to her.

I wanna know why she's so angry.

- You're angry.

- It's a different
kind of angry.

- Hm.

- She's so set in
her ways, she's just.

She's not justified,

she's already done all
the things in her life

she wants to do.

- She's got some years on you.

- Yeah.

You know what else I saw today?

- What?

- There's an open mic
night at the school,

it's like a student thing.

- Oh, daring to be bold.

- Possibly.

- And when is this
possible open mic?

- Possibly next Thursday.

- And what if I were to
possibly show up at this thing,

would you find that
to be supportive?

- Possibly.

- Ah shit, I have a wedding.

- On a Thursday?

- Yeah, I don't book
'em, I just play them.

- It's okay, I wasn't
gonna do it anyway.

It's just a dumb student thing.

- No, but it's your
dumb student thing.

- Thanks a bunch.

- No, you know what I mean.

I'll find a way to be there.

- Come on, you
gotta get up there,

you gotta show 'em
you got some moxie.

- Moxie.

Easy there, coach.

- Yeah, well if you don't do it,

I'm gonna give you shit
about it until you're dead.

- Oh you're so loving.

- Mm-hm.
- You're so kind, aw.

- I'm a pusher man.

- Top five, go.

- Pryor, Hicks, Carlin,
Dangerfield, Lewis.

- Fuck, Lewis, I
should've had him in mine.

- All right, I'll give
you Dangerfield and Pryor,

but you're missing
Eddie Murphy, man.

- No wait, we're
doing pre-'86, right?

- Eddie Murphy was pre-'86.

- No.
- Yes.

His first album, uh, Delirious.

- Delirious, yeah, yeah.

- Eddie Murphy,
1983, read and weep.

- Okay, I'm changing mine now.

If we're doing pre-'86,
Adrian Herring.

- Love him.

- Who?

- Adrian Herring.

Seriously how do you not know?

That guy was like the
comedy king of Boston.

- That dude was the man.

- RIP.

- Didn't he die in a car
accident or something?

- I'm lookin' it up.

- No, I remember him now.

He had cancer.

- Heroin.

- That's right, it
was a heroin overdose.

This guy was a secret
smack addict for years.

- What an idiot.

- Hey, have some respect.

- Why, that guy had
everything, he was huge,

and he threw it all away.

- You let them talk that
way about your papa?

- She speaks?

- Wait, whose papa?

- Holy shit.

- What?

- Dude, it's the eyes.

It's the fucking eyes.

- Will someone tell
me what is going on?

- That's his daughter, stupid.

- It's the voice.

You got the same voice as him.

- Why didn't you
tell us you were royalty?

- I'm not.

- The fuck you aren't.

My dad sells tires, all right?

I work at a 7-Eleven.

You're the daughter
of a comedy legend.

What are you doing
in this class,

this shit's in your blood man.

- What are you
doing in this class.

- You say one more word to me,

and I'm gonna kick your
teeth down your throat.

- My children, my children,

I hope you're all
hungry for the verse.

- Ali, leaving so soon?

- Come on, Ali, don't go.

- Ali, I'll talk
about my dad, too.

He's weird as shit.

- Mine, too.

We all have weird dads,

that's like a prerequisite
for this class.

Own your weird dad shit.

- You can all go
fuck yourselves.

- You look different today.

- The bedroom's finished.

What do you want me to do next?

- You can do this room.

- There's hardly
anything in here.

- Well you can start with
these and put them in the box.

Who made you cry?

- No one.

- So I take it they haven't
made you funny, yet.

Pity, I was looking
forward to hearing a joke.

- Well I don't have
any jokes, okay?

I don't have anything to
say, I've got nothing.

I just wanna sit
here and not think

and then get out of here.

- Then where are you gonna go?

- I don't know.


- That gonna make
you feel better?

- Will you stop doing that?

Stop examining me.

I'm not one of the people
in your book, okay?

You just can't study me.

- Of course I can.

I've studied everyone,
you're not different.

- Oh, so you're gonna teach
me about life or something?

Is that it?

Are you the alchemist?

- Finish the book.

- Finish the book,
yeah, yeah, I know.

You're making me like it
less and less, you know.

I read your articles, you know?

You're very smart,

you don't need to keep
shoving it down my throat.

I don't think I need to
finish your one and only book

to get what you're about.

- Finish this room and then
you can go home for the day.

- What the fuck?

- Oh good, you finished it.

- Yeah, lady.

Lady, I thought you were
just standard crazy,

but now I realize that you
are the deluxe version.

What is this?

I see now for the first time

that solely looking
through the others

has left me blind
to my own heart.

I have shut myself up living
inside the minds of those

I've spent so long
trying to understand

that I've begun to feel
disconnected from my own life.

I imagine this is
what Dorothy felt like

realizing everything she
wanted was in her own backyard.

If only she'd looked
around to see it.

It was always there
waiting, looking back.

So that's it.

You spent seven years and
like 500 pages to figure out

that studying other
people taught you nothing.

- So you liked it?

- Did you
just take your meds?

- Sit down.

Oh, sit down.

When I was your age.

- Oh Jesus.

- Do you want an
explanation or not?

- Yeah.

- When I was your age, I
had a dream, a fantasy.

I dreamed of being a scientist.

I dreamed of traveling the world

and immersing myself in other
people, in other cultures.

I would watch them, and
I would learn about them,

and I would understand them.

People, all of the people.

I would figure out
what made them tick.

I saw a beautiful, interesting,
fascinating life before me.

And then, I got to the
end of my research,

and I realized that
I felt like a fraud.

I had been preaching about
connection and vulnerability

but I didn't have those
things in my life.

I had avoided being
present in my own life,

in my own experiences,
controlling and predicting,

that was my world.

And so I made the
decision to try to change

to try to follow what I
had witnessed to be true.

Vulnerability is crucial.

And I did change for a while.

But then little by little,

I fell back into old habits,
old ways of doing things.

More comfortable, familiar.

And in the end, I cheated
myself out of real love.

Being present in one's life,

being seen in one's life,

that makes us vulnerable,
and it's terrifying,

but you've got to do it.

Otherwise you end up alone.

- So you just, you
wrote a whole book

just to tell people not
to bother with each other.

- I wrote the book because
I wanted to teach people

about connection,
but the truth is,

you cannot lose
yourself in other people

without ultimately
coming up empty,

feeling like you're
not really there.

You're living life
at arm's length,

and the stories you wanna
tell, they don't feel real

because you're not living
in the essence of them.

You should know that,
you're a storyteller.

- Yeah, but I don't live my life

by observing other people.

- Isn't general observation
the basis of most comedy?

- Yeah.

- So.

Did you ever stop to think

that maybe you and
I do the same thing?

- No, I don't.

- Okay, let me ask
you this, then.

Why did you wanna read this
book in the first place?

And more importantly,
why are you so angry

at the way it ends?

- I'm not doing this.

- That's a good idea.

Go and sleep on it.

- Are you looking for Sean?

- Yeah.

- I just saw him
leave with his sister.

- His sister.

- Uh, but it's been really hard.

- Well, I'm here for you.

I really am.

- Really?


- Yes.

Hey, sorry.

- Where were you?

- I had a wedding.

- All day?

- Yeah, I don't know, I just.

- You're up next.

- Shit.
- Come on, come on.

You'll be fine.

- Okay.

- Give it up for Andy Holiday.

Up next we have Ali.

Take it away, Ali.

- I'm sorry.

- Hey.

- Why did you make me do that?

I wasn't ready, you
knew I wasn't ready.

- I didn't make you do anything,

and I'm glad you went up there,

even if it was
just for a second.

- You don't even know
what you're talking about.

Everybody says it's in my blood.

- What?

- Everybody says
it's in my blood.

But you know what
else is in my blood?

Fucking crazy is in my blood.

You know, it's just like I'm
a fucking ticking time bomb.

Everybody sees it
when they look at me,

it's like it's in my veins,
and they just know it.

I used to watch him do
this shit all the time.

I would sit in the
back of those clubs,

and I would watch him, night
after night, just exhausted.

And tormented and sick.

Sick of his own act.

To the point where he hated it,
and everyone and everything.

And the second I open
my mouth on that stage,

I can't take it back.

'Cause they'll cut me down the
same way they cut him down,

and then I'll go crazy,

and I'll lock myself
in the bathroom,

and I'll shoot myself
up and I'll die.

And everybody will talk
about how fuckin' funny I was

and what a hero I was
and I was the best

and then they'll
forget about me.

Same way they
forgot about my dad.

- I don't understand
why you're determined

to assign yourself
the same fate.

- Was that really your sister?

- What?

- Who you had lunch with,
was that your sister?

- You followin' me around now?

- Just answer
the question, Sean.

- Of course she's my sister.

- What's her name?

- Emily.

- How come I don't know her.

And why is there still nothing
in your fucking apartment?

I mean, is this just
a temporary thing?

Are you leaving soon?

- You know what,
you do sound crazy.

- Oh, thank you
for your honestly.

- She's in rehab.

My sister's in rehab.

But given your sensitivity
on this subject of addiction,

I didn't think it was a
good time to tell you,

and honestly, I wasn't
ready to tell you.

And there's nothing
in my apartment

because it was her
apartment that I moved into

shortly before her
life fell apart.

And I had to help her
sell all her stuff,

so that she could pay
for her treatment,

and I know it's shocking for you

that someone could have
some pain in their life

other than you, but
that's what it is.

Why are you so desperate to
find a reason not to trust me?

- 'Cause I don't
fucking know you.

You've been her for
what, six weeks?

I'm just, you
can't fix me, okay?

I'm sorry, I'm really sorry
about your sister, I am,

but you can't help me, too.

You know, I just don't,

I don't think that this
is such a good idea.

- Yeah, well I don't like
yelling in parking lots either.

- No, this, us.

I don't that this, I don't
think that this is a good idea.

- Do you really mean that?

I'm sorry about your father

and I don't pretend to
know what that's like,

but it really doesn't
give you license

to treat the people
who care about you

like they don't matter.

- I'm sorry you feel that way.

- I hope you get over this
fear you have of being seen.

And I hope you get up there
and you give it your best shot,

and I hope you're
incredibly successful,

and you get everything
that you want.

And I hope that when
you get it, it's enough.

Because when you do,
you're gonna be alone.

It was nice knowing you, Alma.

- Hello?



Hello, Joan?



- I've been trying to call you.

- Where's all your stuff?

- My daughter's place is ready.

I really don't wanna
hang around here

any longer than I have to.

- Your daughter?

- Yeah, she lives in Florida,

and I'm going to
go live with her.

- Florida?

But no, no, no you
can't move to Florida.

No nothing about
you is Floridian.

- I'll
learn to enjoy pastels.

- But see, you just
hired someone else

to come take all
your stuff away.

- I left messages saying
I needed to leave sooner.

- No, no you know I wasn't.

I wasn't done yet, I just
needed a little more time,

and I would have finished,

but you just decided
that I'm done.

That's really
fucked up, you know?

I really needed
this, and you just,

you can't just throw
away a person like that.

- I can give you the
rest of the money.

- I don't want it, keep

I wasn't ready.

- Okay, okay.

Take a deep breath.

Take a breath.

- I wasn't ready.

- I miss this.

Nobody makes fires
in the summer.

- It's too hot.

- You feeling better?

- This helps.

- Do you want him back?

- I don't think he'd have me.

- Mm.

When my husband left me, I
stayed in bed for a month.

- What made you get out?

- Surgery.

- Do you hate him?

- Some days.

But if I'm being honest,
oh I did a lot of pushing.

- At least you
have your daughter.

- Hm, well that
is a work in progress.

- Is it true you're
writing new book?

- The internet says

I've been writing a
book for 10 years.

Do you know the
hedgehog's dilemma?

In the wild, hedgehogs
will roll toward each other

and try to bundle
together for warmth,

but their spines
stab into each other,

and they roll apart
because of the pain,

but then they
realize they're cold,

so they try again and again

to find the exact
distance for warmth

without getting hurt.

- Self-preservation.

- Mm.

I spent most of my life
in a solid seven years

studying other people,

and then another three
writing about them,

but I never looked at the ones

that were right in front of me

because I didn't
know how to feel.

I didn't know how
to let them in.

- You know, you asked me
the other day why I'm angry.

The other day you asked,
and I don't have an answer.

I'm angry all the time.

I've been angry forever.

Yeah, I told you my dad died,

but I didn't tell you how.

He died on our
upstairs bathroom floor

because he shoved a needle
full of smack too big

into his arm, and it
caused his heart to stop.

And I was 10.

You know, I like to think,

I like to think he
really did wanna stay.

He just hurt too much.

He'd done too much
damage to himself.

A few years later, my mom
and I moved back here.

And there was this boy down
the street, and I loved him,

I loved him right
away, instantly.

I loved him so
much, and one day,

he heard me fighting with my mom

because I always
fought with my mom,

and he asked me to come over,

and he gave me a drink,
and I thought this was,

I was like 13, so I thought
this was really badass,

so I had a drink,
and I had another,

and had another and another,
until I couldn't see straight.

I still loved this boy,

so I told him I love him,
and I tried to kiss him,

and he pushed me
away, and he said no,

you're gonna regret it.

And I said no, no, I
won't, this is what I want.

And the next morning, when I
stopped puking my guts out,

he said we could use
each other for practice

for when we really love someone.

That's what I was to him.

I was practice.

I let him have sex with me
so he could get good at it

for someone else

because I was drunk
and my dad was dead

and my mother was a million
miles away in her own world

and I needed to convince
myself that someone loved me.

I'm a cliche.

- So many people
spend so much time

trying to recreate the past,

so they can rewrite
their histories

and come out the victor, the
one that doesn't get hurt.

You can't do it.

And you didn't deserve
what happened to you.

You need to know that.

- I think it's time for a taxi.

Um, I'll get my car tomorrow.

- Good luck, Ali.

- You, too.

- Hey there.

- Hey, Ali.

- Do you wanna get outta here?

- Ali, this is Karen.

- Hi.

- So you're a little busy?

- Yeah, we are.

- Oh, I'm sorry, was
I talking to you?

- I'll text you
another time, okay?


♪ Left me for dead
that's what they said

♪ That's what they said

♪ Now I am back in my head

♪ It's not lost

♪ I'm not lost

♪ It's not lost

♪ I'm not lost

- Thanks.


- Nice eye.

- Earned it myself.

- You'll have to forgive me,

I'm a little tired
from fucking myself.

- I deserve that.

- What do you want, Ali?

- I did the last
two assignments.

- Better.

- You knew, didn't you?

- If you're implying that's
why you felt I was hard on you,

I'm sorry to disappoint.

I don't know you, Ali.

It'd be easy to assume
I do, but I don't.

I only know you have talent,

but you think you can coast,

and that is a very short
trip that ends nowhere.

- I wanna come back.

- Why?

- What?

- Why do you wanna come back?

Don't do it out of some
false sense of obligation

that you really need to
finish what you start.

- So you're saying
I should just quit?

- Yeah.


Do it, give up.

Find something
else, and do that.

- Okay, well what
if I don't want to.

- Well, if that's the case,

if quitting just
doesn't work for you,

I mean really giving
up is not an option,

then you'll figure it out.

You know the final's mandatory.

- Mm-hm.

- Then I'll see you Monday.

Oh, and Ali, prepare to
make that apology public

next time I see you.

- Sean?

Sean, I know you're in there.

I can hear you.

Sean, I'm really sorry.

Okay, guess I'm gonna
talk to the door.

Hello, door, we've
met several times,

so I trust you with my message.

But it's very important, so
make sure you're listening.

Could you please tell
Sean that I'm sorry?

I'm sorry for being an asshole.

I know he was just
trying to help me,

but right now I'm just
trying to figure out

how to help me.

And could you tell him that
I really, really like him?

And I wanna try again.

And I understand if
he doesn't want to,

I know it's my fault.

But um.

I'm working on it.

And could you please tell him

that I'm going back to class,

and my final is at
Laughs in three weeks,

and I'd really like
if he was there.


Good talk.

♪ All of my heroes
sit up straight

♪ They stare at the
ground they radiate

♪ Me I'm mumblin'
through the kitchen

♪ For the sun to pay up

♪ Lonely is the ring
on a cold coffee cup

♪ And I'm some sick hound

♪ Diggin' for bones

♪ If it weren't
for second chances

♪ We'd all be alone

♪ My hands they were
strangers lost in the night

♪ All the wavin' around
that parking lot light

♪ And I'm waitin' in the wings

♪ While the trees undress

♪ Cuppin' my ear to
hear the wind confess

♪ I'm a ghost in the garden

♪ Scarin' the crows

♪ If it weren't
for second chances

♪ We'd all be alone

♪ And I'm runnin' from nothin'

♪ No thoughts in my mind

♪ And my heart was all blacked

♪ And I saw something shine

♪ But that part was yours

♪ But it might just be mine

♪ I can share with you
if you give me time

♪ And I'm all blood and knuckles

♪ Longing for home

♪ If it weren't
for second chances

♪ We'd all be alone

♪ I'm a shot through the dark

♪ I'm a black sinkhole

♪ If it weren't
for second chances

♪ We'd all be alone

♪ Look at the garden

♪ We've sown

♪ Sweat in the soil

♪ It's ready to grow

♪ But winter's here now

♪ And it's time for me to go

♪ Things will get harder

♪ But spring's around the corner