Manhattan (1979) - full transcript

Forty-two year old Isaac Davis has a romanticized view of his hometown, New York City, most specifically Manhattan, as channeled through the lead character in the first book he is writing, despite his own Manhattan-based life being more of a tragicomedy. He has just quit his job as a hack writer for a bad television comedy, he, beyond the ten second rush of endorphins during the actual act of quitting, now regretting the decision, especially as he isn't sure he can live off his book writing career. He is paying two alimonies, his second ex-wife, Jill Davis, a lesbian, who is writing her own tell-all book of their acrimonious split. The one somewhat positive aspect of his life is that he is dating a young woman named Tracy, although she is only seventeen and still in high school. Largely because of their differences a big part of which is due to their ages, he does not see a long term future with her. His life has the potential to be even more tragicomical when he meets journalist Mary Wilkie, the mistress of his best friend, college professor Yale Pollack. Although Isaac's first impression of Mary is that she is a pretentious intellectual, he falls for her. They do become friends with the potential of becoming more than just friends as she knows that being the "other woman" in Yale's life is not a long term role that she wants. An Isaac/Mary coupling may complicate matters even more with Yale being mutually in their lives. Regardless, Isaac may be able to rationalize events after they happen, no matter what those events are.


"Chapter one."

"He adored New York City.
He idolized it all out of proportion."

Uh, no. Make that "He romanticized it
all out of proportion."

"To him,
no matter what the season was..."

...this was still a town
that existed in black and white...

"...and pulsated to the great tunes
of George Gershwin."

Uh... no. Let me start this over.

"Chapter one."

"He was too romantic about Manhattan,
as he was about everything else."

"He thrived on the hustle, bustle
of the crowds and the traffic."

"To him, New York
meant beautiful women...

...and street-smart guys
who seemed to know all the angles."

Ah, corny. Too corny
for a man of my taste.

Let me... try and make it more profound.

"Chapter one. He adored New York City."

"To him, it was a metaphor
for the decay of contemporary culture."

"The same lack of integrity to cause so
many people to take the easy way out...

...was rapidly turning the town
of his dreams..."

No, it's gonna be too preachy. I mean,
face ft, I wanna self some books here.

"Chapter one. He adored New York City...

...although to him it was a metaphor
for the decay of contemporary culture."

"How hard it was to exist in a society
desensitized by drugs, loud music...

...television, crime, garbage..."

Too angry. I don't wanna be angry.

"Chapter one."

"He was as tough and romantic
as the city he loved."

"Behind his black-rimmed glasses
was the coiled sexual power

of a jungle cat."

I love this.

"New York was his town
and it always would be."

I think the essence of art is to provide
a kind of working-through situation...

...so that you can get in touch
with feelings you didn't know you had.

Talent is luck.
The important thing in life is courage.

They've had this argument
for 20 years.

Listen to this example.

If the four of us are walking home over
the bridge and a person was drowning...

...would we have the nerve...

Would one of us have the nerve to dive
into the icy water and save them?

It's a key question.

I, of course, can't swim,
so I never have to face it.

Oh... God.

Which of us?

- You want a little more?
- No.

Mm. Oh, man. That is so great.

You don't smoke.

I know I don't smoke. I don't inhale
because it gives you cancer, but...

...I look so incredibly handsome with
a cigarette that I can't not hold one.

- You like the way I look?
- Mm-hm.

Provocative.

- I'm getting through to you?
- Yup. You have to excuse me a sec.

- Jesus, she's gorgeous.
- Mm.

But she's 17.

I'm 42 and she's 17.

I'm... I'm older than her father.
Can you believe that?

I'm dating a girl
wherein I can beat up her father.

That's the first time
that ever occurred in my life.

- He's drunk.
- You're drunk. You should never drink.

Did I tell you... that my ex-wife...

- Who, Tina?
- Mm-mm. My second ex-wife...

...is writing a book about
our marriage and the break-up.

- That's really tacky.
- It's really depressing, you know.

She's gonna give all those details out,
all my little idiosyncrasies...

...and my quirks and mannerisms, and...

Mm, mm, not that I have
anything to hide because, you know...

But there are a few disgusting
little moments that I regret.

It's just gossip.
Gossip is the new pornography.

- You should never let me drink.
- I know.

You should never let yourself drink.

We oughta go
'cause I've got an exam tomorrow.

Oh, do you? The kid's gotta get up...

She's got homework.
I'm dating a girl who does homework.

What is it? What's the matter with you?

You... you... Where are you now?
Your mind is like a million miles away.

I have something I wanna say.

I, uh, I just didn't know
quite how to... get into it.

Um, I, uh...

About seven or eight weeks ago
I went to this dinner party...

...and I met a woman there.

And...

And I've got
kind of involved with her.

You're kidding?

It started out very casually.
I mean, we had lunch a couple of times.

And now it's, you know,

it's getting out of hand
and I don't know what to do about it.

I mean, I'm... It's scary.

Well, who is she? What are the details?

- Well, she's a journalist.
- Uh-huh.

She's very...

- ls she married, too?
- No, no.

- She's very beautiful.
- Mm-mm.

She's very kind of
nervous, high-strung, illusive.

Great. It sounds wonderful.

Oh, she is wonderful.
I mean, she's on my mind all the time.

What are you telling me?
That your marriage is...

I mean, how serious is it?

I don't know, but it's pretty serious.

But you haven't
said anything to Emily?

No! God, no.

It's amazing. I'm stunned
because, of all the people I know...

...I always thought for sure that you
and Emily had one of the best marriages.

We do! I mean, I love her.

- But you're seeing...
- I know it.

But in all the years
that we've been married...

...I've had, what... one or two
very minor things with other women.

I mean, very... I hate the whole idea.

I hate myself
when I'm doing this sort of thing.

But this is just, you know...
This is not like that.

It's terrible. Listen,
you shouldn't ask me for advice.

When it comes to relationships, I'm the
winner of the August Strindberg Award.

Well, I don't think 17 is too young.
Beside that, she's a bright girl.

You'll get no argument from me.
I think she's terrific.

He could do a lot worse.
He has done a lot worse.

I just think he's wasting his life.

He writes that crap for television.

Yale, have you ever thought
any more about having kids?

Oh, my God. Kids.

Listen, I've gotta get this book
finished. it's never gonna get done.

I've gotta get the money
to get this magazine started, huh?

Kids...

We always talk about moving to
Connecticut. You could do it there.

- Connecticut.
- Yeah.

I can't go to Connecticut.
It's not practical.

All my stuffs here.

My work's here.
It's just the wrong time.

What about Isaac?
We can't abandon him, you know?

He can't function anywhere
other than New York, you know that.

Very Freudian.

Mm-mm...

Are you writing a book
on our marriage?

Leave me alone.

- Are you writing about our break-up?
- We've said all that needs to be said.

I know you are because
I have a friend at Random House.

- I'm free to do as I please.
- Yeah, but this affects me.

So you're gonna tell everybody
everything? Our life, our sexual life?

Do you spy on me?

No. I was at a party and a guy said
he read an advance chapter...

...of a book my wife was writing,
and it was hot stuff. He said that!

- I spilled wine on my pants.
- I don't care to discuss it.

- You won't discuss it. How's Willie?
- Fine.

Well, give me some details. Does he
play baseball? Wear dresses? What?

He doesn't wear dresses.

You'll find out the details
when it's your turn to see him.

Don't write this book.
It's a humiliating experience.

It's an honest account of our break-up.

Jesus, everybody that knows us
is gonna know everything.

Look at you. You're so threatened.

I'm not threatened because I was not
the immoral, psychotic, promiscuous one.

I hope I didn't leave out anything.

Are you telling me that... that I'm...
that you had three affairs before me?

That's really hard to believe.
It's mind-boggling.

When I was your age, I was still being
tucked in by my grandparents.

Well, they were really immature boys.
They were nothing like you.

No? What does that mean?

Well, I told you before.
I think I'm in love with you.

Hey, don't get carried away, OK?

This is... This is a terrific thing -
move over - you know.

And we're having a great time,
but you're a kid

and I never want you to forget that.

You're gonna meet
a lot of terrific men in your life...

...and, you know,
I want you to enjoy me.

My wry sense of humor
and astonishing sexual technique...

...but never forget that you've...
you've got your whole life ahead of you.

Don't you have any feelings for me?

How can you ask that?
I've got nothing but feelings for you...

...but you don't wanna get hung up
with one person at your age.

It's... charming, you know.

Erotic.
No question about that.

As long as the cops don't burst in,

I think we're gonna break
a couple of records.

But you can't, uh, you can't...
it's not a good thing.

You should think of me sort of
as a detour on the highway of life.

- So get dressed because you gotta go.
- Don't you want me to stay over?

I don't want you to get in the habit...

...because first you stay one night,
then two nights,

and then you're living here.

- That doesn't sound too bad.
- It's not a great idea.

You won't like it, believe me.
I'm tough to get along with.

Tomorrow we'll go to the cinema and I'll
show you the Veronica Lake movie. OK?

OK. Veronica Lake's
the pin-up with the red hair?

No, that's Rita Hayworth.
Do we have to go over this all the time?

- Rita who?
- Rita Hayworth. Are you joking with me?

Course I'm joking! You think I'm unaware
of any event pre-Paul McCartney.

- I find these photographs interesting.
- Yes, so do I.

- Do you ever use the camera I got you?
- Oh, yeah, I use it all the time.

I was taking pictures in our drama
class. It's fun, really neat.

You know you sound like
the mouse in Tom And Jerry.

Are you kidding me?

- You should talk! You've a whiny voice!
- Sh! You sound like the mouse.

Well, thanks.

I know, I'm a whiner.

- What are you doing here?
- Hi.

- How long have you been here?
- We were talking about you.

That's hilarious. Wh... What... Were you
walking around behind us or what?

- How are you? Hi.
- Good. That's funny. We were talking...

We're gonna go to
the Shakespeare In The Park thing.

Oh, yeah, right. I wanna do that.

Oh, this is my friend.
Mary Wilke, Isaac Davis and Tracy.

- How do you do?
- Hi. Nice to meet you.

You, too.

- Hello.
- Hi.

We were downstairs.
We saw the photography exhibition.

- Absolutely incredible.
- It's really good.

Really?

- The photographs downstairs?
- Yes.

Great. Absolutely great. Did you?

No, I really felt
it was very derivative.

To me it looked like it was
straight out of Diane Arbus,

but it had none of the wit.

Well, we didn't like it
as much as the Plexiglas sculpture.

You liked the Plexiglas?

You didn't like the Plexiglas either?

Ah, that's interesting.
Nah, no... uh-uh.

It was a lot better than that...
that steel cube. Did you see it?

- Oh, yeah. That was the worst.
- Now that was brilliant to me.

- The cube was brilliant?
- Yes.

To me it was very textural.
You know what I mean?

It was perfectly integrated
and it had a...

a marvelous kind of negative capability.

The rest of the stuff was bullshit.

- You wanna see the Sol Lewitt?
- Sure. That'd be fun.

You wanna see that?

He opens at the Modern soon. I was
gonna do a piece on Sol for Insights.

Do you know that magazine?
It's a little magazine.

They're such schmucks up there.
Really mired in Thirties radicalism.

- What do you do, Tracy?
- I go to high school.

Oh, really. Really. Somewhere Nabokov
is smiling, if you know what I mean.

LeWitt is overrated. In fact,
he may be a candidate for the academy.

Right!

Mary and I have invented the Academy
of the Overrated for such notables as...

...Gustav Mahler...
- Isak Dinesen and Carl Jung.

- ...Scott Fitzgerald.
- Lenny Bruce. Can't forget him, can we?

- How about Norman Mailer?
- I think those people are all terrific.

- Who was that guy you had?
- I didn't. It was yours. Heinrich Boll.

- Overrated?
- Don't wanna leave out Heinrich.

Gee, what about Mozart?
You guys don't wanna leave out Mozart.

- Well, how about Vincent Van Goch?
- She said "Van Goch"?!

- Or Ingmar Bergman?
- You'll get in trouble.

Bergman? Bergman's the only genius
in cinema today, I think.

He's a big Bergman fan.

God, you're so the opposite.
You write that fabulous television show.

It's so funny and
his view is so Scandinavian.

It's bleak, my god.
I mean, all that Kierkegaard, right?

Real adolescent, fashionable pessimism.
I mean, the silence. God's silence.

OK, OK, OK. I mean,
I loved it when I was at Radcliffe,

but, all right, you outgrow it.

Get her away from me. I don't think
I can take too much more of her.

No. Don't you guys see?

It is the dignifying of one's
psychological and sexual hang-ups...

...by attaching them to these
grandiose, philosophical issues?

Here we are.

Uh, listen,
it was very nice meeting you.

It was a pleasure
and a sincere sensation...

...but we have to go.
We gotta do some shopping. I forgot.

Hey, listen, I don't even
wanna have this conversation.

I'm just from Philadelphia, you know.
I mean, we believe in god so, uh... OK?

What the hell does that mean?
What do you mean?

Well, that...

"I'm from Philadelphia.
I believe in god."

Does this make any sense to you?

What a creep. Could you believe her?

- I mean, she was really...
- She seemed nervous.

Nervous? She was overbearing.

She was, you know, terrible!
She was all cerebral.

Where the hell
does a little Radcliffe tootsie

come off rating Scott
Fitzgerald...

...Gustav Mahler and Heinrich Böll?
- Why are you getting so mad?

Because I don't like that
pseudo-intellectual garbage.

"Van Goch!" Did you hear that? She said
Van Goch. Like an Arab she spoke.

One more remark about Bergman, and I'd
have knocked her other contact lens out.

- Is she Yale's mistress?
- That will never cease to mystify me.

I mean, he's got a wonderful wife and
he prefers to... to diddle this yo-yo.

But he was always a sucker
for those kind of women.

The kind that would involve him
in discussions of existential reality.

They probably sit on the floor
with wine and cheese...

...and mispronounce
"allegorical" and "didacticism“.

I get the feeling
that Yale really likes her.

Well, I don't believe
in extramarital relationships.

I think people should mate for life
like pigeons or Catholics.

I don't know. Maybe people weren't
meant to have one deep relationship.

Maybe we're meant to have a series
of relationships of different lengths.

- That's gone out of date.
- Don't tell me what's gone out of date.

You're 17. You were brought up
on drugs and television and the pill.

I... I was World War II.
I was in the trenches.

- You were eight in World War II.
- Right. I was never in the trenches.

I was caught right in the middle.
It was a very tough position.

Get the groceries, will you?

Good morning
and welcome to Human Beings Wow!

We're talking this evening with Gregory
and Caroline Payne Whitney Smith...

...close friends of the Caner family.

We're normal people.
Just like you, we're in debt.

Except that Mrs. Payne Whitney Smith
is a catatonic.

Well, we don't consider her
a catatonic, just quiet.

Jesus, this is the worst.
This is really embarrassing to me.

I mean, I... This is so antiseptic...

No, wrong.
That's very chancy material.

- How do you see this as chancy?
- Who fights more with the censor?

What has the censor got to do with it?
There's no substance to the comedy.

You don't find this insightful?

Worse than not insightful.
It's not funny.

- There's not a legitimate laugh.
- That's funny.

- Look at the audience.
- You're going by audience reaction?

This is an audience raised on TV.

Their standards have been lowered
over the years.

They watch their sets and the gamma rays
eat the white cells of their brains out.

- I quit. I can't write this any more.
- Relax. Take a Lude.

I don't want a lude. All you do is drop
ludes, then Percodans and angel dust.

Naturally, it seems funny.
Anything would if you're...

You should abandon the show
and open a pharmaceutical house. I quit.

Ike, you're being silly.

We've talked to them about that.

- Don't break her neck.
- I won't. That's fine.

What did I do?
I made a terrible mistake.

It's the first smart thing you've done.

I've screwed myself up completely.

For about 30 seconds I was a big hero,
and now it's directly to unemployment.

If you need money, I'll take care of it.

That's not the point.
I got enough for a year.

If I live like Mahatma Gandhi, I'm fine.

My accountant says I did this
at a very bad time. My stocks are down.

I'm cash poor or something.
I got no cash flow.

I'm not liquid, something's not flowing.
They got a language all their own.

We discussed this. It's difficult
to live here without a big income.

Yeah, plus I got two alimonies and child
support. You know, I gotta cut down.

I'll have to give up my apartment.

I'm not gonna be able to
play tennis, pick checks up at dinner...

...or take the Southampton house.

Oh! Plus I'll probably have
to give my parents less money.

It'll kill my father.

He's not gonna be able to get
as good a seat in the synagogue.

He'll be in the back,
away from god, far from the action.

Have you said anything to Tracy?

I gotta get out of that situation.

She's a young girl. What am I...? I'm...

You know, it's ridiculous. I mean, I...

What happens if the year goes by
and my book doesn't come out?

Your book is gonna come out.
Your book is gonna be wonderful.

The worst thing that can happen is
you'll learn something about yourself.

Listen, I'm really proud of you.
I mean, this is a very good move.

This is a wonderful turnout.

The Museum of Modern Art
has been very generous.

And the proof of the strength
of the Equal Rights Amendment...

...is that so many of you
who would never do it before

put on black tie tonight.

We love you for it.
We need you and you've come through.

And now no more talk. Enjoy yourselves.

Hi. What are you doing here?

Congratulations on your book.
It was terrific.

- Oh, thanks.
- Absolutely terrific.

Listen, I'd like you
to meet Isaac Davis.

Hi, how do you do? Isaac Davis.

- Isaac, hello. Hi.
- Wh-what are you doing here?

Well, of course I'm here.

What a funny coincidence. Uh,
excuse me, Isaac Davis. We met before.

- I'm sorry.
- No, no, it's all right.

I heard you, uh, quit your job.

Yeah. A real self-destructive impulse.
I wanna write a book, so I...

Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna
march in New Jersey, you know?

We should go there,
get some guys together.

Get some bricks and baseball bats
and explain things to 'em.

There was this devastating
satirical piece on that in the Times.

Well, a satirical piece
in the Times is one thing,

but bricks get right to the point.

Aw, but biting satire
is better that physical force.

No, physical force is better with Nazis.

It's hard to satirize
a guy with shiny boots.

- Well, you get emotional, but...
- We were talking about orgasms.

- Oh, no, please!
- Really? I'm sorry. I didn't...

I'm from Philadelphia. We never
talk about such things in public.

You said that before.
I don't know what it meant then either.

I'm just about to direct a film...
uh, of my own script.

The premise is this guy
screws so great...

- Screws so great?
- Screws so great...

...that when he brings
a woman to orgasm, she's

so fulfilled that she dies.

Now this one, excuse me,
finds this hostile.

It's worse than hostile.
It's aggressive-homicidal.

You have to forgive Dennis.
He's Harvard direct to Beverly Hills.

It's, uh, Theodor Reik
with a touch of Charles Manson.

I finally had an orgasm and my doctor
told me it was the wrong kind.

Did you have the wrong kind?
I've never had the wrong kind. Ever.

My worst one was right on the money.

Good night.
It was nice to meet you.

Same here.

Bye-bye.

Oh, gee!

It's an interesting group of people.
Like the cast of a Fellini movie.

They're such fun, such wonderful people,
and Helen is a good friend.

- She's a brilliant woman.
- Mm-hm.

She's a genius. I met her through
my ex-husband Jeremiah.

How come you guys got divorced?
I never...

What do you mean
"How come we got divorced?"

What kind of a question is that?
I hardly know you.

You don't have
to tell me if you don't...

Well, we had problems. We fought a lot.

I was tired of submerging my identity
to a brilliant, dominating man.

He's a genius.

He was a genius,
Helen's a genius, Dennis is a genius.

You know a lot of geniuses.

You should meet some stupid people.
You could learn something.

Well, why'd you get a divorce?

Why? I got a divorce because my ex-wife
left me for another woman.

- Really?
- Mm-hm.

God, that must have been demoralizing.

I took it well under the circumstances.

Phew-wee.

I tried to run 'em both over
with a car.

That's incredible sexual humiliation.

It's enough to turn you off women
and it accounts for the little girl.

Hey, the little girl is tine. Jesus,
she's... What's with the little girl?

Oh, sure. I understand, believe me.
16 years old, no possible threat at all.

She's 17. She's gonna be eight...
Sometimes you have a losing personality.

I'm honest. I say what's on my mind
and if you can't take it, then fuck off.

I like the way you express yourself,
too. Pithy, yet degenerate.

- You get many dates? I don't think so.
- No, I do. I actually do.

I never thought I was very pretty.

Oh, what is pretty anyway? I hate being
pretty. It's all so subjective anyway.

The brightest men just drop dead
in front of a beautiful face.

When you climb into the sack, if you're
a bit giving, they're so grateful.

Yeah, I know I am.

- D'you have kids?
- Me, yeah.

He's being raised by two women.

I think it works.

They made some studies,
I read in a psychoanalytic quarterly.

You don't need a male.
Two mothers are fine.

Really? Because I feel
very few people survive one mother.

Listen, I gotta get my dog. Wanna wait?
I gotta walk it. Are you in a rush?

Oh, no, sure.
What kind of dog you got?

The worst.

It's a dachshund. You know,
it's a penis substitute for me.

Oh, I would have thought then
in your case a Great Dane.

So, you serious with Yale or what?

- Serious?
- Mm-hm.

Well, he's married.

Uh, I don't know. I guess
I should straighten my life out, huh?

Donny my analyst always tells me...

- You call your analyst Donny?
- Yeah. I call him Donny!

I call mine Dr. Chomsky, you know.
He hits me with a ruler.

Donny...'? That's first name.

Donny says I get involved in situations
and that it's deliberate...

...especially with
my ex-husband Jeremiah.

I was his student and, um...

- Really? You married your teacher?
- Yeah, of course.

That's very, uh...

He failed me
and I fell in love with him.

Oh, that's perfect.

I was sleeping with him
and he had the nerve to give me an F.

- Really?
- Yeah, really.

Not even an Incomplete, right?
Just a straight F?

You got a good sense of humor.

Hey, thanks! I don't need you
to tell me that, you know.

I've been making good money
off it for years,

till I quit my job to write this book.

Now I'm very, very nervous about it,
you know, but...

D'you wanna...?
Oh, you don't have to pay.

- Oh, that's OK.
- I'm serious! Wanna walk by the river?

- You know the time?
- What do you mean?

If I don't get at least 16 hours,
I'm a basket case.

I'd like to hear about your book.
I really would. I'm quite a good editor.

- Yeah?
- Uh-huh.

Well, my book is about
decaying values. It's about...

See, years ago I wrote
a short story about my mother

called The Castrating Zionist...

...and I wanna expand it into a novel.
I could talk about my book all night.

isn't it beautiful out?

Yeah, it's really so pretty
when the light starts to come up.

Mm, I know. I love it.

Boy, this is really a great city.
I don't care what anybody says.

It's really a knockout, you know.

I think I better head back.

I've got an appointment
with Yale for lunch later on.

Mm, hi.

No, no. No, I'm awake.

Jesus, what are you...
What are you doing? It's 7:15.

Oh, yeah.

Really?

You did? At the museum?

Yeah, well, she's very active
in the feminist movement.

Uh, so you're gonna go
apartment hunting with Tracy?

Yeah, well, you should be able
to find something. It's Isaac.

Yeah, I don't think
you'll have any trouble.

I knew you'd...
see she's a terrific woman,

if you spent some time with her.

You still feel the same way about her?

'Cause you hadn't
mentioned it in a while.

So you... Yeah. Mm-hm.

Yeah, mm-hm, right. I know.

She's great, I know. Great.

So, uh... No, I gotta go
apartment hunting today.

I have to get something cheaper.

I can't keep living where I do.
It's just...

- Isaac's terrific, isn't he?
- Mm, yeah.

Said he had a great time with you.

Really? That's good 'cause I always
think he's uncomfortable around me.

Oh, come on.

I missed you so much.

Yale, this is ridiculous.
You're married.

Listen to me. I'm beginning
to sound like one of those women.

It sounds terrible. I hate it.

- Why don't I just move out?
- No! I don't wanna break up a marriage.

Besides, I'm not looking
for any big involvement here.

It's just... I don't...

It's crazy. It's crazy. I think about
you when you're not around.

- What do you want me to do?
- Nothing. I don't know.

I just guess I should be seeing
someone who's not married.

You're so beautiful. You make me crazy.

Oh, Yale, please stop it.

We're in Bloomingdale's
and someone's gonna see us.

Did I tell you I may have
an interview with Borges?

I told you that we met before. He seems
to feel very comfortable around me.

- Let's go somewhere and make love.
- Not now! Not now, Jesus.

Anyway, you've got a writing class in
an hour. Your students are gonna know.

You're gonna have
this big grin on your face.

And I don't wanna go to your house

'cause I can't stand the dog
and the phone ringing.

Can't you hold me? Does your love for me
always have to express itself sexually?

What about other values like warmth
and spiritual contact? Hotel, right?

Jesus, I'm a pushover!

Oh, hi, Isaac.

- Hi. Is Willie ready?
- Yeah. Come on in.

He'll be right down.

- How you been, Ike?
- Good. How you been?

- I've been terrific.
- Yeah?

Yeah. Been getting a lot of work done.
Things are going really well.

- Want some coffee or something?
- Uh, no. How's Willie doing?

Willie's fine. He's beginning
to show some real talent in drawing.

Where does he get that?
'Cause you don't draw and I don't draw.

I draw.

Yeah, but there's no way that
you could be the actual father.

I'm hoping you'll take Willie
on the 16th

'cause Connie and I
want to go to Barbados.

Are you still gonna
write that stupid book?

I mean, are you serious about that?

I'm very serious about it.
It's an honest book.

You have nothing to be ashamed of.

- Excuse me.
- Can I talk to you a minute? Excuse me.

Here's what I still don't understand.
Where are you running?

I can't understand
how you can prefer her to me.

- You can't understand?
- No.

You knew my history!

I know. My analyst warned me, but you
were so beautiful I got another analyst.

D'you think we can be
ever just friends?

You're putting in all the details?

No, not the part where
you tried to run her over with the car.

Wha... I tried
to run her over with a car?

What are you talking about? It was late.
You know I don't drive well.

It was raining. It was dark.

Why were you lurking outside the cabin?

I was spying on you guys
'cause I knew what was happening.

You were falling in love.

So you felt you had to
run her over with the car?

Do I look like that type of person?
You know how slowly I was going?

Not slowly enough
that you didn't rip the front porch off.

Get the kid. I can't... I can't have
this argument every time I come over.

- You look funny in that jacket.
- I know.

I had hoped for something
in the gabardine.

- So, do you miss me?
- Yeah. Do you miss me?

Of course I miss you. I love you. That's
why I come and get you all the time.

- Why can't we have frankfurters?
- Because this is a Russian tearoom.

I mean, you wanna have a blintz or
something. Frankfurter gives you cancer.

Besides, you see those two women here?
They have very beautiful women here.

We could do well.

I think we could have picked up
these two, if you were quicker.

I'm serious.

I think the brunette liked you.

I think I should, uh...
No, I'll call him.

Mm...

Hello, Yale? Um, I'm sorry for calling.

Well, no, no, nothing's wrong. I...

Well, I just thought
that it's Sunday out...

...and maybe if you could get away,
we could go for a walk or... Mm.

Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

Oh, that's right. You mentioned that.

Well, OK, it was just a shot.
Yeah. Yeah.

Well, I won't keep you. OK. Bye-bye.

Hello?

Oh, hi! Hi, how you doin'?

No, not at all.
I was just sitting around

looking through the magazine section.

Uh, no, no, I didn't read the piece
on China's faceless masses.

I was checking out the lingerie ads.

Yeah, I can never get past them.
They're really erotic.

You wanna go for a walk?

I don't know, I've gotta get out.

I'm going stir-crazy
and Yale's with Emily's parents.

It's such a beautiful Sunday.

It's an electrical storm.
You wanna wind up in an ashtray?

- It was such a beautiful day out.
- Yeah, wonderful.

I think the Chrysler Building blew up.

- Oh, no! Thunder scares me.
- It's not my favorite sound either.

D'you know every year
one or two people get killed

during a storm in Central Park?

Why don't I run up ahead
and we'll talk later?

Jesus Christ, I'm soaking wet.
This is awful!

You look ridiculous! You know that?

Next time you want someone
to walk with you, get somebody else.

I've never seen anybody react
so strongly to a little bit of water.

It wasn't the water.
It was the electricity.

I'll turn into a guy that sells
comics outside Bloomingdale's.

What do you think? You think
I look terrible? How do I look?

- I can't see.
- You should see your face!

You look kinda nice, actually.
You're sort of pretty.

- I'm really annoyed with Yale.
- Why?

He was supposed to see me today
and then he couldn't.

And I had tickets
to this Vivaldi concert.

He had to cancel on me, of course.

- That's what happens when...
- I know. You're having an affair.

- What a terrible way to put it.
- Hey, I didn't put it that way.

My husband, well, my ex-husband,
had an affair when we were married.

- Really?
- Yeah. At least one that I know of.

And I never mentioned anything because
I felt that I was deficient in some way.

That I was bad in bed, not bright
enough, or physically unattractive.

- But in the end he was just a louse.
- Yeah, I know. An intellectual louse.

Oh, God, was he brilliant.
I was so crazy about him.

Really opened me up sexually.
Taught me everything.

Women found him devastating.

Oh, look. There's Saturn.

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun.

How many of the satellites
of Saturn can you name?

There's Mimas, Titan, Dione.
Hyperion, of course. Uh...

I can't name any of 'em and fortunately
they never come up in conversation.

Facts.
I got a million facts at my fingertips.

They mean nothing 'cause nothing worth
knowing is understood with the mind.

Everything valuable enters
through a different opening...

...if you'll forgive
the disgusting imagery.

I don't agree at all. Where would
we be without rational thought?

You... you...
you rely too much on your brain.

The brain is the most overrated organ.

I know. You probably think
I'm too cerebral.

Well, you are, you know,
kind of on the brainy side.

What's the difference what I think about
you? God knows what you think of me.

You're tine. Are you kidding?

You do have a tendency to get a little
hostile, but I find that attractive.

Oh, yeah?
Well, I'm glad you do.

So, you think I have no feelings?
Is that it?

Hey, wha... You're so sensitive, Jesus!
I never said that.

I think you're...
I think you're terrific.

Really, you know. I... I...
You're very insecure.

I think you're wonderful, really.

What do you think?
It's probably stopped raining out.

You wanna grab a bite
or something like that?

I gotta
see somebody this evening.

I don't know if it's a great idea.

Right. Well...
So what about sometime next week?

I might give you a call,
if you have any free time?

Uh...

I'm not gonna have any free time

'cause... I don't think
it's such a great idea.

I'm working on this book and it,
you know, takes a lot of my energy up.

OK. OK.

Your parents were in a good mood.
I almost had a good time.

- Who did you call after dinner?
- Oh, uh, David Cohen.

He wants me to review the new book
on Virginia Woolf.

Written another one,
if you can believe it.

- Are you OK?
- Yeah, I'm fine. What do you mean?

- You seem sort of nervous.
- No, I'm not. I feel good.

- I was gonna ask you how you felt.
- No. I'm OK.

- You seemed strange at dinner.
- Ah, just more thoughts about kids.

Oh, come on.

Listen, I told Cohen I'd stop by and
pick up the book. Is that OK with you?

Yeah.

It's not too crowded.

No, not bad for Sunday.
I thought it'd be jammed.

Gee, I'm glad you could get out tonight

'cause...
I really did wanna see you a lot.

I like it when you get
an uncontrollable urge.

Yeah, I know, it's my best feature.

My boyish impetuosity.
It's my... You look adorable.

So I have a chance to go to London...

...study with the Academy
of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Really? When did this happen?

The other day.
Got a letter in the mail.

Well, that's great. That's terrific.

But I don't wanna go without you.

Hey, I can't go to London and study.

Especially Shakespeare.
You know, I don't look good in leotards.

- I'm serious.
- Of course you should go. It's great.

You'll have a great time.

It's a great town
and you're a wonderful actress

and it's a terrific place to study.

You'll be the toast of the town.
You'll have a good time, really.

- You shouldn't pass that...
- So what happens to us?

Well, you know, we'll always have Paris.

I'm kidding.

What kind of question is that?
You can't think of that now.

You won't take me seriously
just because I'm 17.

Yeah, exactly, because you're 17.
I mean, it's ridiculous.

You're 17 now.
When you're 36, I'll be...

- Um...
- 63.

63, right. Thank you.

You know, it's absurd. You'll be
at the height of your sexual powers.

Of course, I will too probably, but...

...you know, I'm a late starter.

- Who ordered the plain pie?
- Me.

So you must be anchovies,
sausage, mushrooms, peppers.

- Mm-hm.
- Forgot the coconut.

So what do you wanna do tonight?

We'll go to the movies,
I'll take you dancing...

- Anything?
- Absolutely anything.

OK, I know what we can do.

Well, get the filthy look
off your face.

Shut up. It's not filthy.

This is so corny. I can't believe
this. Is this what you wanted to do?

I don't think it's corny.
I think it's fun!

It is fun, but I did this
when I was a kid, you know.

Well, I've never done it.
I think it's great.

On my prom night I went
around this park five times, six times.

If I had been with a girl, this would
have been an incredible experience.

Quit fighting it.
You know you're crazy about me.

I am. You're...
You're God's answer to Job.

You would have ended
all argument between them.

He'd have said
"I do a lot of terrible things

but I can also make one of these."

And Job would've said "OK, you win."

Look, this is crazy. I just can't do
this any more. It's really bullshit!

You're married and
I expected to see you this weekend...

...and I sit around like
I've nothing to do, so I called Isaac.

We went for a walk.

- It was just lucky he was free.
- I know. I'm sorry.

Oh, it's not your fault.
What the hell. It's a no-win situation.

It's just I'm beautiful and I'm bright
and I deserve better!

I know.

- What if I took some action?
- No!

Oh. I'm not a home wrecker.

I don't know how I got into this.
I guess we met at the wrong time.

It happens. Hello?

Oh, hi. Oh, hi, Harvey. How are you?

Uh, what?

Well, um, why don't you bring it by
on Thursday and I'll read it then, OK?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, OK. Right, I'll talk
to you later. OK, bye-bye.

- What d'you want me to do?
- Waffles. Nothing. It's just...

Waffles! Will you stop that now?
We're just going no place. Excuse me.

Look, I know it's terrible.

I'm at Sneedon's Landing
with Emily and her parents...

...and I love her!
And I'm thinking about you all the time.

Christ. I don't wanna hear it.

I'm from Philadelphia.
My family's never had affairs.

My parents have been married 43 years.
Nobody cheats at all. Hello?

Oh, Donny. Hi!
it's my analyst.

Hello. Uh...

Um, no, uh... Well, I think
that'd be impossible. Uh...

OK, well, probably later in the week.
OK, all right.

I'll get back to you. OK, bye.

Oh, man. Waffles!

Please, just don't. This is really a bad
time... Waffles! ...A bad time for me.

I gotta think things through here.

- Obviously I shouldn't have come here.
- Well, no, probably not.

Listen to that! How am I gonna...?

What is that sound? Can you hear that?
Listen. Where's it coming from?

It's like somebody's
playing the trumpet.

Or somebody sawing... Like a man
sawing a trumpet in half. Right? Right?

- Let's fool around.
- You hear it?

It'll take your mind off it.

How many times a night...? How often
can you make love in an evening?

- Well, a lot.
- Yeah, I can tell. A lot. That's...

Well, a lot is my favorite number.
Gee, really? Can you?

Let's do it some strange way
you've always wanted to do...

...but nobody would do with you.

I'm shocked. What kind of talk
is that from a kid your age?

I'll get my scuba-diving equipment
and really show you...

- Take me seriously!
- I do take you seriously, but...

Listen to this.

Am I crazy? Wha...? Ah!

It's a rumbling.

Listen to that goddamn...
Where the hell is that coming from?

- It's probably just the elevator shaft.
- It's not. It's coming from the walls.

Let's... Let's...
Can we check into a hotel?

- Oh, you're crazy!
- I can't sleep here. I can't.

Where's the aspirin? What d'you do...

I can help you fix this place up,
if you give me a chance.

No, and I don't want you living here.

Tonight is a special occasion.
It's my first night in the apartment...

...so I wanted to break in the place
and I was afraid to sleep alone.

Hey, what is this?
There's brown water!

- The pipes are rusty.
- What is this, Tracy?

- The pipes are rusty.
- Look at this. It's brown water.

I'm paying $700 a month.
I got rats with bongos and a frog.

And I got brown water here.

- Look. It's disgusting.
- What's gonna happen to us?

Listen. You keep ignoring me.
What's gonna happen with us?

What do you mean?
D'you have a good time with me?

- Aren't I a load of laughs and fun?
- Yes.

So, and that's it, and we have fun.

Then you're gonna go to London
exactly as we discussed it.

You're gonna take advantage of that
opportunity and study acting over there.

And you'll think of me always
as a fond memory. It'll be nice.

You know we have to
stop seeing each other?

Oh, yeah. Right, right.

I understand. I could tell by
the sound of your voice over the phone.

Very authoritative, you know.
Like the Pope or the computer in 2001.

It's not fair to you
and I don't know what I'm doing.

- Right.
- I mean... Come on, don't be angry.

You brought this up. You're not happy
the way things are going.

I'm not angry.
It's just I knew it was gonna end,

but now it's happened I'm upset, OK?

Look, you don't wanna
make a commitment.

And I don't wanna break up my marriage

and then find out
we're no good together.

I've gotta start thinking about Emily.

OK, you made your point very clear.

I'm just glad one of us
had the nerve to end it.

- Will you be all right?
- Yeah...

Of course I will. What d'you think
I'm gonna do? Hang myself?

I'm a beautiful woman.
I'm young, highly intelligent.

I got everything going for me.
The point...

The point is that... I don't know,
I'm all fucked up. I'm just... Shit!

What am I doing in this relationship
anyway? My phone never stops ringing.

I could go to bed with the entire
faculty of MIT, if I wanted to.

It's just...

I don't know. I'm wasting myself
on a married man, so I don't know.

Listen, I think I'd better go now.
I just want you to have this.

I got these tickets
to see Rampal tonight.

Oh, Mary. This is very hard on me, too.

Please! Just take them
and go with your wife.

Mary, you love Rampal.
Call somebody up. Take Isaac.

Fuck off, Yale!

Um, I know you're gonna think
the water's a little brown,

but you can drink it.

Don't get thrown by this.

- I'm really sorry for bothering you.
- No problem.

It's just...

- God, this is brown, isn't it?
- It is, but you get used to it.

I didn't know who to call.

I don't think you should take Valium.
It causes cancer.

- No. Half a Valium?
- Yeah, abdominal cancer, I think.

When did they find that out?

That's just my theory, but I think
it's correct. I got tissues someplace.

Well, I guess
I deserve everything I get.

Come on.

It's true. It's really true. I mean,
I knew it couldn't possibly work out.

Yeah, you pick a married guy...

...and when it doesn't work out,
it confirms your worst feelings.

What worst feelings?

You know. Your feelings about men
and marriage and that nothing works.

Oh, please, don't psychoanalyze me.
I pay a doctor for that.

Hey. You call that guy
that you talk to a doctor?

You don't get suspicious when he calls
you at 3am and weeps into the telephone?

So he's unorthodox.
He's a highly qualified doctor.

He's done a great job on you.

Your self-esteem is like
a notch below Kafka's.

What is that noise?

Yeah. Incredible, isn't it?

There's a guy upstairs.
I don't know what the hell it is.

It's like he's up there strangling a
parrot or something. I can't stand it.

How can you stand it? It's terrible.

I know.
I used to have a great apartment.

- Wanna go for a walk? It's quieter out.
- No, I think I'll just go home.

No, come on.

He led me on! That's the point of it.
Why am I reluctant to criticize him?

Relax. Yale would not do that.
He's not that kind of a guy.

Don't defend him.
You guys all stick up for each other.

Yale has his problems as we all do.

I'm starting to sound
like Rabbi Blitzstein.

Well, thanks for letting me come over.
I appreciate it. It's very nice of you.

Tracy and I are going out tonight,
if you wanna come along.

Oh, no, I'll be fine. I'll be OK.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

- That's a healthy piece of towel paper.
- Oh, gee. God!

Well, goodbye. Thanks a lot.

But my point is a cab driver
doesn't make enough money...

Oh, look at that... that guy's toupee.
That's unbelievable.

That is hilarious. Mm, there's a... a...
an inch of cheesecloth. You can see it.

I don't know why, you know,
his loved ones don't tell him.

It's like the toupee dropped on his head
from a window ledge as he was walking.

But look at his wife. Looks like her
face has been lifted about 8,000 times.

I know. It's so plastic. It's so tight.

I hate that. I just hate that. I wish...

Why can't they just age naturally
instead of putting all that junk on?

I know. Old faces are... are nice.

Yeah. They're great.

Mm... Mm...

Hey, be careful. I think
I got black bean sauce in the bed.

Oh, look. It's great.
The late show's a WC Fields film.

Mm.

Oh, great. We gotta watch that.

om on, God.

Boy, I really feel good, you know.
I got my life together finally.

Yeah?

You know, I just had
to cut this thing off finally.

I'm not the type for affairs.

D'you ever hear from Mary, or see her?

No. We cut it off.
It's easier that way.

She's terrific. She deserves more
than a fling with a married guy.

Yeah, she's screwed up, but great.

Right up your alley.
You oughta call her.

- I... I should call her?
- Yeah.

- Why should I call her?
- Because she likes you.

She told me she did.

- You're crazy.
- No. She said she Ends you attractive.

- She said she found me attractive?
- Yeah.

- When was this?
- She said it when she first met you.

- I didn't know. I can't.
- Sorry about that.

I always think of you guys together.
I couldn't...

It's over. Unless you're serious
about Tracy. Are you?

- No. Tracy's too young.
- Then call her up.

Listen, she's an unhappy person.
I mean, she needs something in her life.

I think you guys
would be good together.

I could be a good influence on her.

I think that under
my personal vibrations,

I could put her life
in a kind of good order.

That's what you said about Jill, and she
went from bisexuality to homosexuality.

Yeah, but I gave it
the old college try there for a while.

- Listen, you should call her up.
- No kidding. What did she say about me?

She said that she likes you very much.
She thinks you're smart.

- She thinks you're...
- Keep going. Don't stop.

- ...Attractive.
- Really? No kidding.

You see, to me a great movie
is with WC Fields. That's what I like.

Or Grand Illusion. That's...

I see that every time it's on
television, if I'm aware of it.

So what you got to eat here? Nothing.

Oh, Jesus, what is this?

You got a corned beef sandwich here
from 1951, I think.

- Look at this. I mean...
- Yeah, I know, I know.

- I don't have time to cook.
- Corned beef should not be blue.

Ugh, it's really terrible.

- Hey.
- What?

Come here.

What're you doing?

What am I doing? You have to ask?
I was kissing you flush on the mouth.

I... I cannot get my life
in any kind of order. It's just...

it's something I wanted
to do for ages.

Yeah, I know.

Do you? I thought I was hiding it.
I was trying to be real cool and casual.

I thought you wanted to kiss me
at the planetarium.

- I did.
- I thought so.

But you were going out with Yale then

and I would never
in a million years interfere...

Did you want me to kiss you?

Mm, I don't know what I wanted.
I was so angry at Yale that day.

But you were so sexy.
You were soaking wet from the rain...

...and I had a mad impulse to throw you
down on the lunar surface...

...and commit
interstellar perversion with you.

I can't go from relationship
to relationship. It's senseless.

I can't do it.

Well, what... Are you still
hung up on Yale? Ls that the problem?

I've got too many problems.

I'm really not the person
to get involved with. I'm trouble.

- Hey, honey, Trouble is my middle name.
- What are you saying?

Actually, my middle name is Mortimer.

I'm... I'm kidding.

My problem is I'm both attracted
and repelled by the male organ.

Shh.

So it doesn't make for
good relationships with men.

What about your relationships
with women?

You never really told me much
about your first wife.

My first wife was
a kindergarten teacher, you know.

She got into drugs
and she, uh, moved to San Francisco.

Went into est, became a Moonie.

She's with
the William Morris Agency now.

D'you like that?

This... this, I think, has a kind of
wonderful otherness to it, you know.

- A marvelous negative capability.
- OK.

Kind of wonderful energy to it,
don't you think?

I thought that wine
was wonderful, didn't you think?

And it just made my face
all flushed and hot.

Yeah. You look so beautiful
I can hardly keep my eyes on the meter.

It's 14 bucks!

I know, but it was a great restaurant.
Didn't you love it?

Yeah, I love seafood. Course I'm drunk.
I don't know if you can tell or not.

Hey, you know,
it was the only time in my life

I ever had Chianti from Warsaw.

- Give me a kiss.
- OK.

What are you thinking?

I was thinking there must be
something wrong with me...

...because I've never
had a relationship...

...that's lasted longer than
the one between Hitler and Eva Braun.

I think you're still drunk!

It's great. It's... it's...

I don't play the harmonica, but it's an
incredible... harmonica is what it is.

Well, you said you wanted to learn.
I'm trying to open up that side of you.

Tracy, you're throwing away
an enormous amount of real affection...

...on the wrong person.

It's not wrong for me.

Listen, I don't... I don't think
we should keep seeing each other.

Why not?

Because I think you're getting
too hung up on me, you know?

"Hung up on me."
I'm starting to sound like you.

I'm not hung up on you.
I'm in love with you.

You can't be in love with me.
We've been over this.

You're a kid. You don't know what
love means. I don't know what it means.

Nobody knows what the hell's going on.

We have laughs together.
I care about you.

Your concerns are my concerns.
We have great sex.

You... But you're 17 years old.

By the time you're 21,
you'll have a dozen relationships...

...believe me,
far more passionate than this one.

Well, don't you love me?

The truth is that I love somebody else.

You do?

Hey, come on... We... we...

This was supposed to be
a temporary fling. You know that.

You met someone?

Don't stare at me with those big eyes.

You look like one of those barefoot kids
from Bolivia who needs foster parents.

Have you been seeing someone?

No. Yes. Someone older.

I mean, y-y-you know, y-y-you know.

Not as old as I am,
but in the same general ballpark as me.

Gee, now I don't feel so good.

It's not right.
You shouldn't get hung...

I mean, you should open up your life.

You know, you've got to.

You state it like it's to my advantage,

when it's you that wants
to get out of it.

Hey, don't be so precocious, OK?
I mean, don't be so smart.

I'm 42. My hair's falling out.

I'm starting to lose
some hearing in my right ear.

Is that what you want?

I can't believe that you met somebody
that you like better than me.

Why should I feel guilty about this?

I've always encouraged you
to go out with guys more your own age.

Kids from your class.
Billy and Biff and Scooter.

And, you know, little Tommy or Terry.

Hey, come on, don't cry.

Don't cry.

Come on, don't cry.

Tracy... Tracy, don't...
Come on. Don't cry, Tracy.

- Tracy...
- Just leave me alone.

Tracy, come on, don't...

Leave me alone.

- That was wonderful.
- I'll say.

- I love being in the country.
- Mm, it's very relaxing.

The mosquitoes have sucked all the blood
out of my left leg. Apart from that...

- Doesn't it make you feel better?
- Yeah, you were dynamite...

...except I felt for about
two seconds you were faking.

- Not a lot.
- No.

Yes. When you dug your nails
into my neck, you were a little...

Well, I guess I'm nervous around you.

- Still?
- Well, yeah.

So crazy.

Because I'd like
everything to work out.

It will. You should leave everything
to me. I'll make everything happen.

- D'you really promise?
- Mm-mm.

Because I like you.
I feel good around you.

I don't blame you.

Yeah, I mean... Yale was great, he was
absolutely great, but he was married.

And Jeremiah, my ex-husband.

He was just this oversexed,
brilliant kind of animal.

- Hey, what am I? Grandma Moses?
- Not at all. No, no, no.

- You're much different.
- Yeah?

Yes. You're someone
I could imagine having children with.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Hit the lights. Go ahead. Turn 'em out.

We'll trade fours.

Well, we never see you any more.

'Cause I'm working on my book.
I'm submerged.

- It's that girl. Serious, isn't it?
- Well, serious, you know.

When are we gonna get to meet her?
I'm sure Yale'd like to meet her.

We should go out sometime.

I don't understand. Why does he
need a car? A sudden urge.

He just wants it.

What...? Is there nothing I can do
to dissuade you from this?

It's so crazy. They should ban all cars
from Manhattan. I mean, this is crazy.

Listen, Emily wants to know
why I never bring Mary around.

Why not bring Mary around?

- I don't know. Is it awkward for you?
- Are you kidding?

I spoke to her. It's no problem for her.

- Then why not?
- Well, you know.

Hey, don't get this thing. I hate cars.
It screws up the environment.

- This is a work of art.
- Yeah.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- This is Emily.
- Hello. Nice to meet you.

- This is Yale.
- Hi, Yale.

So, shall we go?

- Yeah, let's go.
- Sure.

Look at that.
That building is almost torn down.

Can't they have those things
declared landmarks?

Yeah, I once tried to block demolition.

Getting some people to lay in front of a
building, and a cop stepped on my hand.

The city's really changing.

I need something for round the house
that doesn't make me look too Mexican.

Ugh, this is...

- Mary?
- Oh, my God. Jeremiah. Well...

- Hi.
- Um...

Jeremiah,
this is my friend Isaac Davis.

Hi. Glad to meet you.

- God, this is incredible.
- Incredible.

I'm in town for a few days.
There's a symposium on semantics.

- Well...
- And you're looking so great.

I just, uh...

- You. You're so thin. You lost weight.
- Well, I have an exercise machine.

Well, you really look good. Really good.

God. Well, I'm a bit late,
but it's just so nice seeing you.

- It's great seeing you.
- I read an article by you...

...on Brecht.
- Oh, shit! I know.

I always was a sucker
for Germanic theater.

- Well...
- God.

- OK. Well, God... OK. So long.
- Bye. Bye, Jeremiah.

Bye. Bye.

God, what a surprise.
I cannot get over it. My ex-husband.

And he really does look a lot thinner.
He looks great.

You certainly fooled me. I was shocked
'cause that's not what I expected.

- What did you expect?
- I don't know.

You had always led me to...

You said he was a ladies' man,
that he opened you up sexually.

So? So?

Then this little homunculus,
you know...

He's quite devastating.

Really?

Well, it's... it's amazing
how subjective all that stuff is.

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

- Boy, you're really typing away.
- Yeah, it's a cinch.

You still reviewing Tolstoy?

No, no, I finished that two days ago.
I'm on that novelization.

What... what do you waste your time
with a novelization for?

Why? Because it's easy and it pays well.

It's like another contemporary American
phenomenon that's truly moronic.

The novelizations of movies.
You're much too brilliant for that.

You should be doing other stuff.

- Like what?
- Fiction.

I've seen your fiction.
It's terrific.

Hello?

Mary, hi. It's Yale.

I was hoping you'd pick up.

Listen, could we meet for coffee?

Well, why? What is it?

Well, you know, I miss you.
I just thought maybe we could talk.

No, I don't think
that would be possible.

I don't think that would be
possible at all.

I'm sorry, I just, uh...
No, I... I'm sorry. I gotta go.

- Who was that?
- What?

Who was that on the phone just now?

- Uh, dance lessons.
- Dance lessons that was?!

Yeah. Do we want free dance lessons?

Right. They give you one free lesson,
then they hook you for $50,000 worth.

Viking loved my book.
They loved the first four chapters...

...and, you know,
they were really complimentary.

Yale had read them
and thought they showed promise.

But Yale's family,
so of course he's encouraging.

But Viking will shell out the money.

Maybe it'll inspire Yale
to finish his book.

He's been talking about it long enough.

Mary read the stuff and she was laughing
out loud. I respect her judgment.

Although she's doing
a think piece on...

Hello?

Hey, where were you? You were
supposed to be home an hour ago.

- Uh... I bought the car.
- Oh, no. You did?

I know it's a meaningless extravagance,
but I had to have it.

- That thing we saw?
- Yeah.

Did you hear Viking Press loved
the first four chapters of Ike's book?

- Great!
- They were real complimentary.

Next week I get the car
and we'll celebrate.

- OK.
- In our new car.

Jesus, listen to this.

"Making love to this
deeper, more masterful female..."

...made me realize
what an empty experience...

"...what a bizarre charade
sex with my husband was."

Please. That is so nauseating. I... Oh!

Is this true? Did you make love
with Jill and a woman?

She put that in?

Christ! She wanted to, I think.
I didn't wanna be a bad sport.

- Did you have a good time?
- No, I didn't.

Did you hear the one
where he tried to run her lover over?

- Oh, yeah.
- Whose side are you on?

I didn't try and run her over.
It was raining. The car lurched.

Jesus, now everybody in town
is gonna know all these details.

Everybody... All my friends and...

Listen. "He was given to fits
of rage, Jewish, liberal paranoia..."

...male chauvinism,
self-righteous misanthropy...

"...and nihilistic moods of despair."

"He had complaints about life,
but never solutions."

"He longed to be an artist,
but balked at the necessary sacrifices."

"In his most private moments,
he spoke of his fear of death...

...which he elevated to tragic heights
when, in fact, it was mere narcissism."

- I came here to strangle you.
- Nothing I wrote was untrue.

You make me out to be
Lee Harvey Oswald!

It's an honest account.

- That I'm narcissistic?
- You're self-obsessed.

- Misanthropic and self-righteous?
- I wrote some nice things about you.

Like what? What?

You cry when you see
Gone With The Wind.

What are you laughing about?

- You let her write that garbage?
- Wait. This is between you two.

D'you honestly think
that I tried to run you over?

You just happened to hit the gas
as I walked in front of the car.

- Did I do it on purpose?
- Well, what would Freud say?

That I really wanted to run her over.
That's why he was a genius.

Listen, I'm going upstairs.
I got work to do.

Don't forget
that Willie's at ballet class.

Look, I better warn you.

I've had some interest in this book
for a movie sale.

- Anybody home?
- Uh-huh.

Yeah? I got an unbelievable story to
tell you. Absolutely incredible. You OK?

- Oh, yeah.
- Yeah?

Just let me get one glass of brown water
'cause I'm dying of thirst.

- Isaac, I wanna talk to you first.
- Mm-mm. So I go over to Jill's today...

...because I'm real annoyed over that
junk she printed in the book. And...

Isaac, before you get wound up,
there's something I wanna tell you.

- What's the matter? You look pale.
- Well...

Wh... What's the matter?

Hey, what... Is there something wrong?
What is it?

I think I'm still in love with Yale.

What?

You... Are you kidd...?

- You are?
- Yes.

Well, when did this happen? What...

Well, you are or you think you are?

I started seeing him again.

When? Since when?

Just since today. I mean,
that's why I wanted to be open about it.

Jesus, I'm... I'm shocked.

I'm... I'm shocked. I'm surprised.

I think I've always
been in love with him.

How does he feel about this?

Well...

He wants to move out of his place
so that we can live together.

I'm stunned.
I mean, I'm in a state of, uh...

Somebody should throw a blanket
over me. You know, I'm...

Well, you see, he called me several
times in a very depressed state...

...and he still loves me.

This is shaping up like a Noel Coward
play. Somebody should go make martinis.

I don't blame you
for being furious with me.

I'm too stunned to be furious.

Well, then I wish you would.

I wish you'd get angry
so that we could have it out.

I don't get angry.
I tend to internalize.

I can't express anger. That's one of the
problems I have. I grow a tumor instead.

Well, I told you that
I was trouble from the beginning,

from when we started dating.

So what does your analyst say?

Donny's in a coma.
He had a very bad acid experience.

Oh, that's gr... That's great.
I mean, you know...

I think you're making
a big mistake here.

Why?

Why? Because you... Why?
Because you're preferring Yale to me.

I know that sounds egotistical,
but, uh, you know...

This guy's been married 12 years.
What do you think will happen?

He'll be away from her for a month,
he'll go crazy.

And if he does commit to you, when you
start to feel secure, you'll drop him.

I know it.
I give the whole thing... four weeks.

I can't plan that far in advance.

- You can't plan four weeks in advance?!
- No!

What kind of foresight is that?

Jesus. You know, I knew you were crazy
when we started going out.

You always think
that you're gonna be the one

that makes 'em act different, but...

Isaac, I'm sorry.
I really am. I'm really sorry.

Mm-mm. Oh, well, I'm...

I'm sorr... Where are you going?

- I gotta get some air.
- Oh.

What are you doing here?

I spoke to Mary. Were you gonna tell me?

I was, but...
I'm trying to teach a class.

So where can we go and talk?

- How'd you get past the security?
- I walked right past.

What are you telling me?
That you're gonna leave Emily...

...and run away with
the... the winner of the...

...Zelda Fitzgerald
Emotional Maturity Award?

Look, I love her.

- What kind of crazy friend are you?
- A good friend. I introduced you two.

- Why? What was the point?
- 'Cause I thought you liked her!

- I do! Now we both like her!
- Yeah, well, I liked her first.

“I liked her first."
What are you, six years old? Jesus!

Look, would I have encouraged you
to take her out if I still liked her?

So you liked her?
Now you don't like her?

It's early. You can change your mind
one more time before dinner.

Don't get sarcastic about this.
You think I like this?

How long were you gonna see her
without telling me?

Don't turn this into
one of your big moral issues.

You could've said, but you... All you
had to do was call me and talk to me.

I'm understanding. I'd have said no,
but you'd have felt honest.

I wanted to tell you about it.
I knew it would upset you. I...

We had a few innocent meetings.

A few? She said one. You guys should get
your story straight. Don't you rehearse?

We met twice for coffee.

Hey, she doesn't drink coffee.

Did you meet for Sanka?

That's not too romantic.
A little on the geriatric side.

I'm not a saint, OK?

You're too easy on yourself.
Don't you see?

You're... You rationalize everything.
You're not honest with yourself.

You talk about you wanna write a book,

but in the end
you'd rather buy a Porsche.

You cheat a little bit on Emily
and you play around the truth with me.

The next thing you know you're in front
of a Senate committee naming names.

You are so self-righteous.

I mean, we're just people. We're just
human beings. You think you're God!

I gotta model myself after someone.

You just can't live the way you do.
It's all so perfect.

Jesus, what are future generations
gonna say about us? My God!

You know, someday
we're gonna be like him.

And he was probably one of the beautiful
people, dancing and playing tennis.

And now look.
This is what happens to us.

You know, it's important
to have some kind of personal integrity.

I'll be hanging
in a classroom one day...

...and I wanna make sure when I thin out
that I'm... well thought of.

Ike!

Isaac, where are you going?

No, I knew Yale had affairs.

But then, nothing's perfect.

Marriage is a... requires
some minor compromises, I guess.

It's funny 'cause I'm just
a non-compromiser.

I mean, I can't... I can't see that.

I think it's always
a mistake to look the other way

'cause you pay for it in the end.

But then you saw what Jill
wrote about me in that book.

I'm living in the past.

How about you? You seeing anybody?

Yeah. You know, I... I never had any
problem meeting women. I mean, that's...

But I was thinking about this
just about a week ago.

I think, and I know this sounds strange,

but I think
I really missed a good bet...

...when I let Tracy go.

- Remember Tracy?
- Yeah. I liked her.

Yeah. I was thinking about this
at home last week...

...and I think, of all the women
I've known over the last years...

...when I actually
am honest with myself,

I think I had the most relaxed times...

...and, you know,
the nicest times with her.

She was a terrific kid,
but young, right?

So that's that.

Why don't you call her?

No, I would never do that.
I think I blew that one.

I kept her at a distance
and I would never give her a chance.

And she was so sweet, you know.

She called me. She left a message
with my service about a month ago...

...that I should
watch Grand Illusion on television

and I never returned her call.

'Cause I, you know, I didn't wanna
lead her on or anything.

She really cared about me and I...

You know I was
a little pissed off at you.

Me?

I figured if you hadn't introduced Mary
to Yale, this might never have happened.

An idea for a short story
about, um, people in Manhattan...

...who are constantly creating...

...these real, unnecessary,
neurotic problems for themselves...

...'cause it keeps them from dealing

with more unsolvable,
terrifying problems...

...about, uh, the universe.

Um, let's, uh...
Well, it has to be optimistic.

Well, all right, why is life worth
living? That's a very good question.

Um...

Well, there are certain things,
I guess, that make it worthwhile.

Uh, like what?

OK, um, for me, uh...

Ooh, I would say Groucho Marx,
to name one thing.

Um, and Willie Mays.

And, um... the second movement
of the Jupiter Symphony.

And, um, Louis Armstrong's
recording of Potato Head Blues.

Um, Swedish movies, naturally.

Sentimental Education by Flaubert.

Uh, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra.

Um, those incredible apples

and pears by Cézanne.

Uh, the crabs at Sam Wo's.

Um, Tracy's face.

Hi.

Hi.

I...

What are you doing here?

Well, I ran.

I tried to call you on the phone,
but, uh, it was busy...

...so I knew that
was two hours' worth of...

So I couldn't get a taxi cab, so I ran.

Where you going?

London.

You're going to London now?

What d'you... What d'you mean? If I got
over here two minutes later, you'd be...

...you'd be going to London?

Well, let me get
right to the point then.

I don't think you oughta go.

I think I made a big mistake.
And I would prefer it if you didn't go.

Oh, Isaac.

I mean it. I know it looks real bad now,
but, uh, you know, it, uh...

Are you seeing anybody?
Are you going with anybody?

No.

So... well...

D'you still love me,
or has that worn off or what?

Jesus, you... pop up...

You don't call me
and then you suddenly appear.

I mean... What happened
to that woman you met?

Well, I'll tell you,
I don't see her any more.

I made a mistake.
What d'you want me to say?

I don't think you oughta go to London.

Well, I have to go.

I mean, all the plans
have been made, arrangements.

I mean, my parents are there now
looking for a place for me to live.

Well...

Do you still love me or what?

Do you love me?

Well, yeah, that's what... Of course.

That's what this is all about, you know.

- Guess what? I turned 18 the other day.
- Did you?

I'm legal, but I'm still a kid.

You're not such a kid. 18 years old.

They could draft you.
In some countries you'd be...

- You look good.
- You really hurt me.

It was not on purpose, you know.

I mean, I, uh...
You know, it was... I mean...

It was just the way
I was looking at things then.

Well, I'll be back in six months.

Six months! Are you kidding?

Six months you're gonna go for?

We've gone this long. I mean, what's
six months if we still love each other?

Hey, don't be so mature, OK?

I mean, six months is a long time.
Six months!

You're gonna be in the thea...

...working in the theater
with actors and directors.

You know, you go to rehearsal
and you hang out with those people.

You have lunch a lot and before you know
it attachments form and... you know...

I mean, you don't wanna get into that...
You'll change.

In six months you'll be
a completely different person.

Well, don't you want me
to have that experience?

I mean, a while ago
you made such a convincing case.

Yeah, of course I do, but, you know...

I mean, I just don't want that thing
about you that I like to change.

I've gotta make a plane.

Come on, you don't... Come on.

You don't... You don't have to go.

Why couldn't you have
brought this up last week?

Six months isn't so long.

Not everybody gets corrupted.

You have to have
a little faith in people.