Just Breathe (2008) - full transcript

A troubled teen goes to live with her dad in a small town to reflect on her questionable choices. Unfortunately, she clashes with her father's new wife, who is pregnant.

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[song] "Just breathe"


"A million souls

behind the wall

Our little lives transpire

I can't explain

the loneliness

Everything's on fire

Just breathe


Just breathe..."


[sounds of girls' laughter]


Hurry up!
Okay, okay... shhh...

Sydney: We'll go
in the back door.


Hurry up.


Priest: ...binding this
man and this woman.

Father, You have made the bond
of marriage a holy mystery,

a symbol of Christ's
love for His church.

May their lives always bear
witness to the reality

of that love.

And make their love fruitful.
So that they may be

living witnesses
to Your divine...

Sydney: Weddings are so lame.
I mean the whole marriage thing

is a joke, a big joke.

Priest: When You created
mankind, You willed

that man and woman
should be one.

[song] "Just breathe..

It's like a dream

a warm embrace

A little girl no longer.

Just breathe

they tell me that

it's for the best

And that'll just

grow stronger

Just breathe..."

Sydney: If I could
make time go backwards,

I'd change a lot of stuff.

I'd start when I was 10,
the day my dad left.

I'd change that day.


And I'd probably zap
that day at the mall.

Yeah, that would
definitely be on the list.


Miss, you need
to come back inside.


Sydney: On top of the major
bummer of being dragged

into the manager's office
with the entire store

staring at me like
I'd just killed a puppy,

I had to listen
to lecture 101 B.

Lynn: You're very lucky.
They could have called the

police instead of me.

The car's over there.

Look, aside from the fact
that it's just plain wrong

on every level imaginable,
what would posses you

to do something so senseless?

I mean, Sydney, you know
they have security cameras


Sydney, I am talking to you!

Everybody does it.

Everybody steals?

All of your incredibly
privileged private school

friends are thieves?

And do you think that's okay?

[car doors slam]

Sydney: The problem with
parents is, they don't know

when to get off your
case and shut up.

Maybe I should be more specific.
The problem with my mom is,

that she doesn't know when
to get off my case and shut up.

I have an appointment
to show a house.

And I would care, why?
Because you're calling

my cell at seven on the dot
to check in.

No I'm not, I'm going
to Zack's party tonight.

I told you like a week ago.
Lynn: Well, your plans

have changed.
You're not going anywhere.

Mom, everybody is going.
It's the last day of school.

Lynn: Everyone but you.
[fridge door slams]

That is not fair!

You know what, Sydney?
Life's not fair.

I never thought
that at my age I'd be alone,

working a 60 hour week,
coming home to an empty

apartment and a daughter
who steals for a hobby.

Yeah, well, if your life
didn't turn out the way

you wanted it,
don't take it out on me!

Lynn: I'm running late.
There's meatloaf in the fridge.

Just two minutes on high.
We can talk when I get home.

You can talk to yourself!



[door bangs open and closed]

Sydney: The biggest mystery
of the friggin' universe -

after why people get married -
is why people have kids.

I mean, hello, why bother?

[phone rings]

I'm grounded.

Are you serious?
They still do that?

Yeah, my mom seems to be
stuck in a fifties' time warp.

Zack: Well, what did you do?

What difference
does it make, Zack?

I'm in prison, locked up,
chains and striped uniform.

Is your mom home?

No, she just flew out
on her broomstick.


I'll pick you up in an hour.


Lynn: Sydney?
[door bangs open]

Why didn't you call me?






[computer keys click]

[phone rings]


Why didn't you call me?

Uh... no.
No, it's Zackary Nickolas,

Mrs. Forster.
Where is Sydney?

Well, she's, uh...
she's in the hospital.

Oh my god.
Zack: Well, she just had

a little too much to drink,
all right?

She just got kinda sick.
Which hospital?

[background sirens]

Lynn Forester?
Yes, that me.

How's my daughter?
She'll be fine.

Alcohol poisoning.
We pumped her stomach.

Oh no.
It's pretty standard

with these kids,
especially on weekends.

Well, can I see her?
Here, sign here.

She can go home
as soon as she's ready.

And no solid food for 24 hours.

Thank you.

She's okay,
so I'm just gonna split.

You do that, Zack.

Make it permanent.

I don't want you
to ever see her again.

Yeah, isn't it?


[door clatters open]

Lynn: Go get into your PJs.
I'll be there in a minute

to tuck you in.


[keys drop]


[dialing beeps]

[phone rings]

Ben: Who's calling us, Katie?
Who's calling us?


Ben, it's Lynn.

Is everything okay?
I wouldn't be calling

you if everything was okay.

What's going on, Lynn?

I hardly know where to begin.

Yesterday Sydney was
caught shoplifting.

And last night she snuck out
to a party that I specifically

forbade her to go to.
And then just now she had

her stomach pumped because
she had alcohol poisoning.

Well, is she all right?
Lynn: Yes.

But Ben, I give up.
I cannot do this alone

You have got to show up.

What good will that do?
Sydney doesn't want to see me.

I'll drive 400 miles
and the second I walk

in the room she'll leave
just like she did last time

and the time before that.
Okay, I do not need

a history lesson, Ben.
She's your daughter.

She's in trouble.
You're her father.

We have to figure out
what to do.

I'll come on the weekend.

I need you here now.
Not on the weekend... now!

Okay, calm down.
I'll get there

as soon as I can.
If I don't hit too much

traffic I should be there
just shortly after ten.

I'll be waiting.

[phone clicks]

Lynn: She's changed, Ben,
and if you'd spent any time

with her over the past year
you might have noticed.

Oh, great, now it's my fault?

I can't help it if she
doesn't want to see me.

That's not the point.
What is the point, Lynn?

I asked you to talk her
into coming to the wedding.

She didn't want to come
to her own father's wedding.

That's so shocking, isn't it?

Can we have one conversation
that doesn't end in a fight?

I am not fighting.
I am simply telling you

that Sydney needs
to get away from here.

This boy she's been
hanging out with, Zack,

he's a bad influence.
So get her to keep away

from him.
Oh, now why didn't

I think of that?
You know what, Lynn?

Sarcasm isn't your best quality.
Lynn: Fine.

Then let me spell it
out for you.

Even if I could keep her away
from Zack, which is proving

to be pretty well impossible,
there are at least a dozen

or so kids here
just as bad if not worse.

And I can't watch her every
second like she's a two year old

because I have to work so that
I can pay for this apartment

and the private school
and everything else we need.

You don't exactly
do that on your own.

Would you like me to add up
the child support figures

for the last five years?
What, do you want me

to thank you?
That's the least

that you can do.
All right.

What do you think?
I think that a couple

of months of small town living
would be really good for Sydney.

Look, Lynn, dad isn't well,
and Emma's...

It just isn't a really
good time for us right now.

Well, I'm sorry
to hear about your dad.

You know how much I like him,
but quite frankly I don't care

if it's a good time for you.
It is a good time

for your daughter.

Well the thing is,

Emma's expecting.


You've got to be kidding.
Four months in, almost five.

I see.
No, you don't.

It wasn't planned.
It just happened.

And when were you planning
on sharing this happy news?

Ben: We just wanted to wait.

Wanted to make sure
things worked out.

Well, it looks like they did.


But your wife's condition
changes nothing.

Oh, Lynn.


You're up.

Hey, Sydney, how're you feeling?

What is he doing here?
Lynn: I asked him to come.


Your dad and I need to talk
just a bit longer.

Well, I'm sorry.
Don't want to interrupt

your important discussion.

Oh, and in case
you were wondering,

I hurt.

It's disgusting.

You'd better let your wife
know that her step-daughter's

coming back with you.


Ben: I'm running the
business on my own now.

I knew when I moved to Cloud
Lake that would eventually

happen, but it happened a lot
faster than I thought it would.


I'm glad you're keeping
up with your music.

You can play all you want
out there, 'cause

there's no neighbors
to worry about.

Your granddad's in
a nursing home now.

He'll be real glad to see you.
He talks about you all the time.


You're gonna like Emma.

She's artistic like you.

She paints.


Syd, we're going to be together
for the whole summer.

That's not going to change.
So we may as well

try to make it work.
Just so everything's

real clear, Dad,
I don't want to be here.

I don't want to be with you,
and I especially do not want

to be with your pregnant wife.

This whole summer is gonna suck.

So I think best plan is
for me to listen to my music

and for you to concentrate
on driving, because the sooner

we get there, the sooner
all of this will be over

and then I can go home.

I think we need to set
some ground rules.

Ground rules?

Yeah, so there's no
misunderstanding about what

you can and can not do.
Like what?

Like drinking and smoking
which you can not do.

Not allowed.

So are you like, Amish now?
It's a pretty standard

rule for someone your age.
On what planet?

If you want to go
out at night you have to

run it by us first.

Being you and, um...
[snap, snap, snap]

What's her name?
[brakes screech]

What are you doing?

I have been really
patient with you, Sydney.

I've put up with you silence,
and your rudeness this entire

trip, but I will not tolerate
you being rude to Emma.

Do you understand me?

Can not be rude to Emma.

Got it.


Ben: This is it.

Sydney: Gum is allowed, right?

Emma: You're here!

Welcome home, Sydney.

This is not my home.

That went well.

[birds chirp in background]




No signals!

Emma: Reception is
much better in town.

But you can use the regular
phone anytime you want.



This is Katie.

She's my best buddy.

Aren't you, girl?
Oh, yes.

Oh, yes, yes, yes.

You're a good girl.

I think that's everything.

Where's my room?
Ben: Like I said,

it isn't ready yet.
We don't really have

a guest room.
Well, we do, but we're

just remodeling it.
So you can bunk up here for now.

I guess I'll just take
your suitcases up then.


[dog pants]



You are not putting me in here.

Now you listen...
You know what?

I think you're going to be
happier downstairs in the den.

And there's a TV
down there, too.




How do you get into town?

Well, I was thinking about
checking the place out,

holding up the liquor store.
You know.

Just follow the road
you took to get here.

You can use my bike if you
want, it's out in the back.

I'll walk.

I'm sorry.

It's a big adjustment.
She'll settle in.


Pack of Marlboro Lights.

Come back in five years.

Sydney: But I need them.
Don't bother showing me

your fake ID either.
I've seen it all.

Are you here with your parents?

Oh, curious, that's all.

I know you're not from town.
You must come from somewhere.


You're Sydney.

How do you know that?

I'm friends with your step-mom.

Heather Barns.
She's not my step-mom.


Nice meeting you, too.

Sydney: Zack?

Zack, you can hear me?

Oh, it's a miracle.
You sound like you're

on the moon, Syd.
Sydney: Worse,

Cloud Lake, Minnesota.

You have to come save me before
the natives suck out my soul!

Right, okay.
All right, I'll make a plan.

Sydney: Look, this isn't
Mission Impossible.

You don't need a plan.
Just write down the address.

It's 14 Orchard Park.
Just get in your car...



Reception sucks out here.

Who are you?
[knock, knock]: Jess Waters.

Is that supposed
to mean something to me?

I was in the cafe just now.
That was pretty cool

what you did with the shades.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Hey, I'm not gonna rat you out.

I'm actually kinda filled
with admiration that you

were able to pull it off.
Heather's got eyes

in the back of her head.
She usually doesn't

miss a thing.

Can I, um...

Can I bum a smoke?

I don't smoke.
You shouldn't either.

What, is that like
the party line in this town?


My mom died of lung cancer
two years ago.

I'm sorry, I...
It's... forget it.

Listen, about the shades?

Heather's okay.

She's been pretty helpful
since my mom passed.

One pair of shades
is not the end of the world.

You shouldn't do something
nasty to a nice woman.

It's bad karma.

Well, thanks for having
my back, karma wise.


Jess: I'll put them back.

Nobody will even
notice they were gone.


I just live on the edge of town,

in the old gray house with
the hammock on the porch.

You should come by,
hang out some time.

Yeah, sure.
Jess: Later, anytime.


I have got to get away
from here.

You're there
for the summer, Sydney.

I got put in the baby's room!

I don't even have a real bed.

Lynn: And are they feeding
you bread and water as well?

Okay, did you know
that Emma is like, 50?


Okay, maybe not 50,
but she's old... like you.

Thank you.

Look, Mom,
I promise I'll be good.

Just let me come home.
Well, it's a little late

for that, Sydney.
I have to go.

Sydney: Mom, you can
not just dump me here!

Sydney, I did not dump you.
You're spending the summer

with your father,
in a resort town.

Some kids might think
that was kind of fun.

Well, you can send them here.

I have to go.
I love you.


Ben: Just breathe.

[loud breath]

Think beautiful,
relaxing thoughts.

I'll relax when we get the
results of the amnio back.

Everything's going to be

just fine.
We're going to have

a perfect baby...
just like you.

This feels so good.


Emma: Alice.
Ben: Hm?

Emma: What do you think
of the name 'Alice'?

Ben: Alice.
I like it.

Old fashioned, pretty...

Emma: Alice
Elizabeth Forester.

Ben: What if it's a boy?

Emma: Mmmm... no.

This is Alice in here.

I can feel her.
Ben: Yeah?


Hello, baby Alice.
Your Daddy loves you.



[whack, smash]



Ben: Whooo...
Good morning!

Emma: I just wasn't sure
what Sydney would like.

So you made everything?

And it seems you are
going to have to eat all of it.

She seems very disinterested
I'm making an appearance.

Well, I'll go get her.

I got to get my stuff
out of there anyway.

Mmm... that's good.


[knock, knock, knock]

Syd, it's Dad.

Sydney: What?


Emma's made a great
breakfast for you.

I don't eat breakfast.
Well, you should.

It's the most important
meal of the day.

Can we please save
the nutrition lesson

for another time?


The doctor has asked
Emma to take it easy.

That's why she's only
working part time right now.

So, I need you to help

her out around the house,
go to the market,

whatever she needs.


I'll take that as a 'yes'.

Can I sleep now?

A little breakfast
wouldn't hurt. [flap]

Rise and shine.


[guitar music]

[Sydney sings]
"I feel

like there's nowhere to turn

They fuel

All the bridges
I've burned..."


That was very... pretty.

Yeah, well, I wasn't
playing for an audience.

I'm going off to the market.
Would you like to come along?


I know this must be
really hard for you, Sydney.

Do you?
Yeah, I do.

When I was a kid my parents
divorced and I...

Guess what?
I don't care.

Talk to you later.

I would really like

for us to try to be friends.


Well, for one thing
we are going to know each other

for a lot of years.
And for another thing,

my doctor just called
with the results from my amnio

and I'm carrying your baby
sister around in here.

That baby is not my sister.

That has nothing to do with me.

It's yours and...
yours and Dad's.


[girls' laughter]


Hey, Sydney, what's up?

Not much.

We're going to St. Paul
to score some tickets

for the John Mayer concert.



Hey, guys,
I got some more stuff.

Oh, okay, great.
Thanks, let's go.

I can't wait, can you?



[door clicks open]


[muffled sound of music]

Sydney, are you hungry?

[muffled sound of music]


[knock, knock]


I thought your father said
no smoking in the house?

Sorry, I can't hear you.


I said, no smoking in the house.


Take those out and put that
cigarette out right now!

Right now!

Jeez, you don't
have to freak out on me.


[loud music]


I completely lost it
on Sydney, I mean completely.

It was like
an out-of-body experience.

Been there done that.

Step parenting
ain't for sissies.

Well, I'm not a sissy
but I am completely

out of my league here.
I mean I really want to

love her, but she's making it
impossible to even like her.

What did I tell you
when you told me

you were gonna marry Ben?

Not quite.
Don't, unless you're prepared

to marry his daughter, too.
I thought you were


I married a man with three kids.

Yeah, but your
kids were different.

Not at first.
What do you mean?

Well, they're always testing
you and you have to outwit 'em.

Figure out what they're
gonna do and cut them off.

How do I manage that?

Start out by being so nice
that it keeps her off balance.

Stock the fridge
with her favorite foods.

Rent dumb movies.

Let her choose
the TV shows you watch.

All right, that'll take
care of a couple hours

out of the day.
What do I do with the

rest of the time?
You keep her busy.

My busboy quit this morning.

I have an opening.

I found with my bunch,
that if they had time

on their hands they used it
to make my life miserable.

Oh, I don't know.

It sounds more like
a military campaign than a life.

You got it.

[guitar music]

Wow, Katie really likes you.

She's picky
about her friends, too.

I got you some snacks
and some movies.


[guitar music]


I had no right
to yell at you before.

I'm sorry.

I mean I'm not sorry

about what I said,
just the way that I said it.

You can't smoke in the house
'cause I'm pregnant

and it's bad for the baby.
And you shouldn't smoke anyway

cause it's bad for you.
But that's the way

I should have explained myself
instead of screaming at you.


[guitar music]

You know, I...

It's really hard to believe
but I used to be really calm...

almost Zen.

Probably the hormones.

Yeah, learned all about that
in Sex Ed.


Well, it's all true.

The funny thing is,
I thought I was going to be

really good at this.
You've probably noticed,

but I'm not the youngest

How old are you anyway?

I'm 39.

I'm going to be 40
when the baby's born.


I didn't mean...
No, no.

'Wow' sums it up perfectly.

I mean if you'd told me a year
ago that I was going to be

married and pregnant I would
have said, "You're nuts."

I mean I'd pretty much given up
on finding the right man,

and having kids.

I was really okay with it.

I had Katie, my friends,
my work...

Yeah, it just
all happened so fast.


I feel sorry for your baby.


You and dad, it won't last.

It never does.

Then she'll be just like me.



Ben: Emma?
Yeah, I'm up here.

Ben: Syd and I are
going to see Dad now.


There you are.
Oh... wow.

What a lucky baby.


Lucky little Alice Elizabeth.

I didn't want to tell you
on the phone.

It's a girl?

And everything's good?

[happy laughter]

I love you.


[sound of lapping waves]

Granddad: Ahh... I could look
at this view all day long.

I imagine myself in the rowboat,

sitting real still,

fish jumping like
there's no tomorrow.


Hey, Gramp, do you remember
the first time you and Dad

took me fishing?
Oh, of course, of course.

You were such
a little tiny thing,

but quite the little fisherman.

I thought the fish
I caught was just huge.

But it was like, this big.


I still have a picture
from that day.



I'm so glad you
could come to visit me.

I've missed seeing you.

And I've missed hearing
those pretty tunes of yours.

Well, I promise I will come back

and play for you again soon,

You'd better, young lady.
I won't forget.

Ben: You catching up?

Oh, we sure are, we sure are.

How's Emma?
How's my buddy, Katie?

They're both fine.
Emma sends her love.

She'll be here
tomorrow with Katie.

Oh, good.
They allow dogs here?

Well, they allow Katie here.

You see Emma, before she was
your Dad's 'Mrs.' she brought

Katie here for art classes.

I painted a picture
of her myself.

It looked more like a space
monster than Katie but it was

the only art I'd ever created,

and I was very,
very happy about it.

Well, you should be, Dad.

[birds chirp]

You know Emma has a friend,

she owns a cafe in town.

Yeah, I know who she is.
You do?

Well, that's good, because
I happen to know that she has

an opening in the kitchen this
summer, a couple hours a day.

You want me to get a job?
Yeah, why not?

Earn a couple extra dollars.
Save up for something you want.

That's how I got my first car.

I'm too young for a car.

Maybe you could save up
for something else then,

a cell phone or a CD player.
I have those.

Even a laptop,
if you work hard enough.

I have a laptop.
Who knows?

You know when I was a kid,

I saved up for comic books.
You know, times have changed,

haven't they?

Ben: Watch your step here
it's a little slippery.


I have that picture, too,
you know.

The one of us fishing that day.


That's one of the best
memories of my life.

It is?
Yeah, it is.


How'd you and Mom hook up?

We met at a movie.

You picked her up?

Not exactly, no.

I was a Senior working
as an usher in this place

on campus that showed
classic films once a week.

The film that night
was with Katherine Hepburn

and John Berrymore.
That's Drew's grandfather,

you know.
Yeah, I got it.

Anyway, I was cleaning up
after the movie

and this girl came in.
She was just a Freshman.

She asked if I ran across
a scarf that she'd left behind.

So we looked for it.

Found it behind a seat.
That was Mom?



Do you want to know something
else that's interesting?

What's that?
In that old film

that night, Katherine Hepburn
was playing a girl.

Her name was Sydney Fairfield.

That's where my name comes from?

Sure does.
And the minute you announced

yourself to the world -
and boy, did you have a set

of lungs on you -
we knew that was the perfect

name for you.



[clatter of dishes]

Hi, Heather.

What can I do for you?

Um... I was wondering
about that job?

Here, take this to the kitchen.


[guitar music]

Zack: Hello?






What are you doing here?

You said I had to come.

Like, your soul
was being sucked out.

I tried to call you
a million times.

I didn't think
you'd actually show up.

Yeah, well, you're like,
"Zack you have to come."


Yeah, well, usually I can't
count on people, you know?

Yeah, well, you can
count on me, all right?

Now, come on.
Get your stuff together.

Look, Zack, it's been okay.

[truck brakes squeak]

That's my Dad.
I can handle him.


Ben: Hey, there.

Ben Forester, and you're...?

This is my friend, Zack.

Ben: Zack.
Yeah, I know all about Zack.

Look, whatever Mom told you,
it's not true.

Ben: What are you doing here?
Zack: I came to get Sydney.

What do you mean?
Sydney: I called him when

I first got here last week.
Well, sorry you drove

all this way for nothing, Zack,
but Sydney's not going anywhere.

You'd better get in that
car and turn around.

Ben: What were you

planning on doing?
Just taking off?

No! I didn't think
he would actually show up.

You'd better get going.
Yeah, well, she called me,

Zack, the reason Sydney

is here is to get her away
from her Chicago friends,

and that includes you,
especially you.

Now, aside from the fact
that I'm not about to let

my 15 year old daughter
drive off with some kid,

I particularly don't want her
to go with you.

Let me handle this, Emma.

Now you get in that car,

you turn around and you go.


And don't you even
think about coming back.


I was going to tell him
that I was going to stay.

Now I want to go more than ever.

I hate you.


[sound of pelting rain]


[crashing thunder]



[Katie whines]

Hey, Katie?

Oh, come here.

You can't come with me, girl.

You've gotta stay home.

Stay home, okay?
Go home!

Go! Go!


[thunder crashes]



Emma: Sydney!


Ben, wake up!


[dialing beeps]

[phone rings]

Lynn: Hello?

Lynn, it's...
it's Emma, Ben's wife.

Emma, what...
what happened?

Is Sydney all right?
I'm sure everything is fine

but Ben and Sydney had a fight.

It's just that she took off.

Well, she's gone.

What do you mean gone?

Ben is out looking for her
right now, and I'm sure he's

going to find her, but um...

All right.
I'll be there as soon as I can.


[sound of rain]

[birds chirp, horses whinny]


[door clatters open]


Good morning!


You told me the gray house
with the...

With the hammock on the porch.

Glad you found it.
Come in, come in.

Here, good.
Sydney: Thank you.

Jess: Are you hungry?

Your parents, I mean,
your dad won't mind

that I'm here, right?
Oh, he works night shifts.

He won't be home for hours.


Jess: Nothing like cold pizza
after a hard night.

Do you mind if I have some more?

Knock yourself out.

You should probably
call your dad after...

when you're done with that.

'Cause I'll call the cops
if you don't.

They'll be happy I'm gone.


For sure.

I ran away once.

How come?

When my mom was sick,
my dad had to take two jobs

to pay all the medical bills.

After she died,
I figured he'd be around

a lot more so we could talk,
and whatnot.

But, he just kept working...

more than before.

And when he was home
he was real quiet

and it wasn't like I was there.

So, I just got fed up and left.


Then what happened?

I didn't get very far.

Dad called the cops,
they brought me home.

That was that.


And now, is it better?

It's okay, I guess.

We go bowling
once a week together.

It's cheesy, but man, he's good.


My dad and I, we used to do
stuff together all the time.

You want some fruit?

I've got some
maraschino cherries.


[door clicks open]

Oh, thank God.


I'm really sorry that
I messed up your baby's room.

Well, maybe you
can help me fix it?

You want me to help?

Who better?

Come on.

You go take a nice warm bath,
and then we'll get to work.


[sound of approaching truck]

[truck door thunks closed]


She's okay?
Upstairs having a nap.

Who's that?

I called Lynn.
What? Why?

Because she's her mother.

She needs to know
what's been happening.

Any news?

Sydney's back.
She's fine.

Hello, Lynn.

please come in.

I'm sure you could
use some coffee.

Thank you.
She's okay.


[door clicks opens]
Please, come in.

Here, take a seat.
Make yourself at home.


You really didn't have
to come here, Lynn,

everything's under control.
Well, that's not what it

sounded like when your wife
called me at 4:00 a.m.


Sydney, get your
things together.

What's going on?

You're coming home with me
just like you wanted.

I can't believe
I trusted you with her.

Now hold on.
You order me to take her

and then you expect me
to perform miracles?

I'm doing the best I can under
very difficult circumstances.

Lynn: You know what?
Your 15 year old daughter

disappears in the middle
of the night.

That's doing your best?
Ben: I don't see you winning

any mother-of-the-year awards.
That's why she's here, isn't it?

Lynn: Well, at least
I'm a parent 24/7,

a concept that you would
never understand.

Look, I don't
need this right now.

Well, I'm sorry to interrupt
your schedule, Ben.

Let me pencil in when you do
need it, and I'll come back.

I am really tired,
so I'm going to go sleep.

And then I have some
painting to do.

So please, go home, Mom.

I'm sorry that you drove
all this way for nothing.


What is she talking about?
She and I are...

we're starting
a project together,

fixing up the baby's room.

You and Sydney?


Lynn: And she wants
to stay and finish it?

Emma: Looks like it.


Well, I would rather
have her here than anywhere

near that Zack character,
that's for sure.

But if there is any more
of this kind of thing

she's coming right home.
Trust me, there won't be.

I wouldn't bet on it.

Lynn, don't you want
to stay and rest up?

Lynn: No, thank you.
I have to get back.

It was nice meeting you, Emma.
Nice meeting you, too, Lynn.



The two of you together,
it's painful to watch.


That's why we got divorced.

But that was five years ago.

It's just the way it is, Em.

And how does Sydney
fit into all that?

She had nothing
to do with the divorce,

That's between Lynn and I.

Oh, yeah, that's what
my dad used to say,

"I didn't divorce you,
I divorced your mother."

Well, your dad had a lot of
wise sayings, and he was right.

Yeah, well, you know what, Ben?

Those wise sayings are
meaningless to a girl whose

whole world is falling apart
right in front of her.

Ben: Look, nobody can change
what's happened in the past.

You just have to move on.

Well, we can't do that, Ben.

We just can't.


Heather: Hey, Emma.

So, how'd she do?

Great, she only broke
two plates.

The tally's usually higher
in the first week.

I'm all done.
Great work.

Now you can home with your...
with Emma.


I wasn't going to bolt

if that's what
you were thinking.

No, that is not why I'm here.

I had to go to the library
and I thought maybe you'd

like to have some company
biking home.

Oh, sure.


Emma: These trees are so old,
they have been lining

this street before
this was even a street.

It was a dirt road
and there were carriages

riding along here.

I'll take you in there some time
and show you all the antiques.

Sydney: Okay.

Emma: Oh, look!
Look up here at the church.

There's a wedding.

Pretty bride.

The gown's all wrong
for her figure,

and her veil's too short.

Plus she's wearing
way too much makeup.

Wow, you sound like an expert.

Well, I've been
to a lot of weddings.


There's this church by my
school and me and my friends,

we like to sneak in and watch.

I bet you'll make
an extra pretty bride.

I'm never getting married.

Why not?

Well, look at them.

They're like,
"Ooo, I love you so much,

it's gonna last forever."

Yeah, you love each
other right now.

But what about
when you break up?

What happened?
Where did all the love go?

[intermingled voices]

I don't think I can answer
that one for you, Sydney.

No one can.
That's why I'm not

getting married.

All right, come on.

Your dad's staying
the night at St. Paul.

He's got to talk to a developer
about a building project,

so it's just going to be
us girls.

Maybe we could order a pizza
and work on the baby's room.



This is going to look great.

Better than before.

[phone rings]


Yeah, just a minute.

It's for you.

Oh, hi, Jess.

Um... wow.

I can't go.

Go where?

Can you hold on?

Jess and some of the girls are
going to the John Mayer concert

tonight on the Riverton campus,
and, um... somebody got the flu

so there's an extra ticket.

You like John Mayer?

Who doesn't?

Emma: And it's just girls?

You'll come straight home
right after the concert?

Straight home.

Then you get to go.


Hey, Jess.
Yeah, I can go.

Okay, I'll be ready
in ten minutes.

Okay, bye.

Thanks, Emma.
I'm gonna go get dressed.


Um... I'm kinda new to this
whole step-mom thing.

All I know is that
I trust you, and that's why

I'm letting you go.

You won't do anything
to abuse that trust will you?

No way.

Then you'd better get going.

[intermingled voices]

That was sick.

He is so hot.
I know.

Let's go to the Zebra.

The Zebra?
What's that?

You'll see.

Come on!

Sydney: Jess...!

[sound of car motor]

Sydney: Is this the place?

Seriously, is this the place?


[car doors thunk open, closed]

You guys, you guys,
I can't go in there.

I'm only 15.
Tara: Like we're 21.

Here, I borrowed
this from my sister.

Sydney: No, no, guys.
No, no, no, no.

Robin, I can not go in there.
I have to...

Man: Hey, baby.

Man: What's up, ladies?

Sydney: You guys, wait up!

You guys, can we
please talk about this?

Man: Where are you going?

Man: Wait up, wait up,
wait up.

Man: Voom, va va voom.

[loud dance music]

Tara: Leave the talking to me.

[loud dance music]

I need some IDs, ladies.

You got it.

[loud dance music]

What'll you have?

Four vodka sodas.

[loud dance music]

Jess: Perfect timing...
for me anyways.

I got work in the morning.
Me, too.

Me three.

Um... Tara, I don't think you
should be driving like this.

Hey, I have driven
totally ripped before

and it was totally cool.

I drive better on a few drinks.

Me, three.

Bartender: Last call.

Tara: What's with you
anyway, Sydney?

You've been like, sitting
on one drink all night.

I told you not
to bring along any babies.

Look, I'm not a baby.
I just don't want to get sick.

Tara: You know what would
make me sick?

Just having one drink.


Okay, guys, let's
figure this out.

My share is 22 with tip.

[loud music]

Maybe you should have
some coffee or something.

Why don't you take a chill
pill, Nurse Betty, okay?

[loud music]

Jess, I thought
you were my friend.

What do you want me to do?

You get to leave
at the end of summer.

I have to stay here.

[loud music]

Tara: Oh, it's been raining.


[background, men argue]

[remote car starter beeps]

[background, men argue]

[car doors thunk open, closed]

[car starts up]

[car honks]

I really do not think
you should be driving!

Whoa, you don't want
to ride with us, your deal.

[arguing voices in background]

[sound of car engine]

Guys, wait!
I don't even know where I am.

[sounds of argument]

[sound of rain]

[phone rings]


Emma! Emma!
I don't know where I am!

What happened?
I went out with the girls

to a club.
I know I said I wouldn't,

and I'm sorry.
But they were drinking

and I thought Jess would...
Sydney, look.

Take it easy.
Okay, here's what you do.

You go inside the club,
stay on the phone,

and call yourself a cab.

I can't, I can't.
It's closed.

What's the name of the club?
I don't know, I don't know.

It's some animal.
Which animal, Sydney?



[loud yelling men's voices]

The Zebra!
It's the Zebra!

The Zebra, okay.
Stay right where you are, okay?

I'm coming right now.
I'm on my way.

Please hurry, Emma, please.



[sound of approaching car]


Man: All right!
Man: Hey, hey, baby.

Give me my wallet.
Give me my wallet.

Hey, how much for both of us?
Sydney: What? No!

Man: Hey!


[phone rings]

Ben: Emma? I got your message.

What's going on?
Where are you?

I'm on my way to pick up Sydney.

Ben: It's the middle
of the night.

Where is she?
You know what?

You're breaking up, Ben.
I've got to concentrate

on the road, okay?
I'll call you

as soon as I find her.






[knock, knock, knock]




[sound of approaching car]


Sydney, get in here.

Quick, before you freeze.
[car door clatters open]

Here, there's a blanket
in the back.

Put this on.

Here, get warm.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
No, you did the right thing

by calling.
You did the right thing.

You're not mad?
No. I'm relieved.

Because my mom would be
pissed if anything happened

to me, right?
No, because I care about you.

You do?


I care about you very much.

Even after all
the stuff I've done?

Even after all the
stuff you've done.


How did you and my dad meet?


I was teaching art therapy
at the nursing home.

Your granddad and I,
we really hit it off.

Yeah, he said...
he said he painted Katie.

Ah, he loved Katie.

Yeah, your dad and I started
having coffee after his visits,

mostly just to talk about
his father at first.

Then, one thing led to another.

Then they lived
happily ever after?

Well, I don't there's
any happily ever after

except in fairy tales, Sydney.

You're not happy?

Oh, yes, we are!

But we have to work
at it every day.

I mean it's not just a given.

You and Dad...

you gonna stay together?

Like, forever?

Emma: Yes.

[sound of rain and wipers]


I know.

That rocking chair
that Dad built...

he built it so that you could
rock the baby in it, right?

Yeah, yeah, he did.

When I was little,

my dad built me a doll house,

and the girl's room,
looked exactly like mine.


It's okay, sweetie.

It's okay.


You know what?
I'm just gonna pull over here.


Come here.

Come here.

It's okay, it's okay, sweetie.

I know, I know.

I really wish
I came to your wedding.

Me too, me too.

We so wanted you to be there.


I just couldn't because,

I had this hope that...

That your mom and dad
would get back together.

How did you know?

Because when I was your age

I had that very same hope.

I just thought
that if I didn't go, then...

then I could still hope.

I don't know.
It sounds stupid.

No, it does not.

It does not sound stupid.


OH! Oh!

Emma, Emma, what's wrong?

Are you okay?

No, it's okay.
What hurts? What hurts?

I'm okay,
I'm fine... OH! OH!

Oh, okay, okay, we need
to go to a hospital, okay?

Emma, Emma, you can not take
chances with your baby.

We need to go to the hospital
right now, okay?

Emma: Okay.

Look, if you need me to drive
I'll take over.

I will, I can handle it.
No, I'm okay.

I'm okay.
All right.

Okay, we'll go.



Where's Emma?

She's in there, but nobody
will tell me anything.

I need to see my wife.

Emma Perangeli Forester.

I'll call you when you can
go in, sir, have a seat.

I don't want to have a seat.
I want to see my wife.

I'm sorry, sir.
You'll have to wait.

[intermingled voices]


Ben: Are you all right?
Nurse: She's fine.

She can go home now.
Are you sure?

Honey, I've been poked
and prodded everywhere.

I'm fine.
Nurse: You just make sure

that she takes it nice and easy.
All right, thank you.

I guess that includes
no late night drives as well.

Honey, the doctor said it
could've happened anytime.

It was good that
Sydney was there.

She was wonderful.

If I'd been alone I don't
know what would have happened.

Can we just get out of here?
Fine, I'll get the car.

Stay with Emma.


[birds chirp]

I'd really like
to stay here with you,

but I have to be at the
construction site in an hour.

The inspector's coming.

Are you feeling okay?


You know, Sydney said
that she wished she had

come to our wedding.

Emma, you are a magician.

But I don't think
it would have changed a thing.

After all this,
how can you not see

that she is not the problem.

You are.
You and Lynn.

[phone rings]


Yes, it is.


Okay, I'll be there right away.

thank you for calling.


It's Dad.


[Sydney sings]
"Words, oh words

What do they say?

Oh words, oh words.

Just get in the way.

It's not what you tell me

It's just what you do

That shows the deeper side

of you.

And love, oh love

Lives in the quiet

And love, oh love

You can laugh you can cry it

I know you'll always be

Right here inside me

I just can't say goodbye

to you..."



Thanks for coming, Lynn.

You mean in spite of the
fact you didn't invite me?

I'm sorry.
I wasn't thinking.

I didn't expect you to.

You know for a long time
he was 'Dad' to me, too.

Ben: Don't start, okay?
Not today.

I didn't mean anything by it.
Sure you did.

You meant that
I'm not really family.

I might as well

take Sydney home.
It'll save me a drive.

Oh no, she doesn't...
she doesn't need to leave yet.

Yes, she does.

You've got a lot
on your plate now.

Visit's over.
Ben: Fine.

You want to take her?
Go ahead.


Remember me?

Is anybody going
to ask me what I want?

Sydney, this is between
your father and me.

Sydney: No!
No, it's not!

God, nobody asked me
anything in my entire life.

Lynn: That's not true.
Ben: This isn't about you,

Nobody asked me

about splitting up.

One minute I had a Dad
who built me doll houses

and played with me
and took me fishing.

And the next minute he was gone!

Lynn: You were ten years old.

God, it doesn't matter, Mom!

You told me that our
house was warm and safe.

And that we were a family.

But it wasn't safe!
It wasn't!



Did we do that to her?

Yeah, I think we did.

Oh, god.

Maybe it's not too late...

to start asking Sydney what
Sydney feels about her life.

Give her back some
sense of control.

Control over what?
We're already divorced.

It's history.
Emma: Just hear me out.

I've been reading a lot,

and I read this book
about ceremonies.

Your father's funeral
was so beautiful.

We all got to say goodbye
and pay him tribute

and express our feelings.

Well, isn't the end of
a marriage kind of like a death?



Emma: So I was thinking
we could have a ceremony.

A funeral for a marriage?

That's morbid.
Emma: No, listen, listen.

This is not about your divorce.
This is about your marriage.

It's about letting your
daughter see that her parents

used to be in love once.

That she came from love.

You did love each other, right?

Yes, we did.

Your husband was my first love.


Don't you think your
daughter needs to hear this?


Why don't you stay
overnight, Lynn.

I can book you
a room at the inn.

It's only a couple
of miles away.

You can think about it, surely.

I'll stay the night.
But I...

I don't know about the rest.


'Morning, Lynn.

Did you sleep well?

No, I didn't sleep at all.
Me either.

If Sydney wants to do this
ceremony thing, I'm willing.

Okay, me too.

Come on in.

Can I ask you a question?

We could have it
in the back yard.

Emma: Yeah, that would be
beautiful, out by the lake.

Lynn: I think your
dad would like that.

Emma: He would.
Sydney: Well, isn't this cozy.

Emma: Come and join us.
Sydney: I think I'll pass.

Ben: We want to run
something by you.

Oh, really?
Well, that's a first.

Emma: You know how people
have these ceremonies

for a lot of rites of passage
like births, deaths, weddings.

Lynn: Your dad and I,

we wanted, if you wanted
to do some sort of

divorce ceremony.
A what?

Ben: You said you weren't
included, and you were right.

Lynn: So, we want
to do it, as a family.

This is weird, really weird.

Emma: Sydney, just
give it a chance, okay?

Sit down with us

for a few minutes.



Lynn: Your dad and I,

we want you to know
that you had parents

who loved each other,

and respected each other.

And we really did think
it would last forever.

Why are you telling me this?

Because we thought
you should know.

And we're so, so sorry
that we hurt you.

Ben: It's the last thing
in the world we wanted

to do, sweetheart.


look at me.

Can you forgive us?

Forgive you?





Lynn: We're here today
to honor the memory

of our marriage.

Ben: We're standing here
in front of the people we love

most in the world, to honor
the years we spent together.

To honor the love that once was,

and the amazing product
of that love.

Lynn, you were my inspiration.

Your faith in me gave me the
courage to challenge the world.

Ben, you made me see myself
the way you saw me,

beautiful and exceptional.

You gave me wings.

You are the mother of my child.

For this I will always
have you in my heart.

You're the father of my child.

For this I will always
have you in my heart.

Sydney, I have
something for you.

Most people are lucky
to have one perfect memory

in their life.

This one's mine.


Thank you.

I love you.
Sydney: I love you, too.

Emma: Well, I think this
occasion deserves a picture.

That's right.
Everybody get together.

Come on, Lynn.

Ready... everybody put
your heads together and...


Sydney: Time can't go
backwards, that's true.

We can't change
what's already happened,

but we can change
everything else.

My parents showed me that.
My parents and Emma.

Ben: Let's see it.
Oh, that's great!

Ben: I look good!