Stuart Saves His Family (1995) - full transcript

Stuart Smalley, the Saturday Night Live character, comes to the big screen. Stuart, the disciple of the 12 step program, is challenged by lifes injustices. He loses his Public Access Cable Television Show, must beg his manipulative overbearing boss for his job back, rehabilitate his alcoholic father and drug abuser brother, and support his over-weight mother and sister in their lack of ability in handling their relationships with their husbands. Stuart is supported by his 12 step sponsors as a he regresses back to his negative behaviors each time he faces these challenges.

* I want to be ha-happy

* but I won't be ha-happy

* till I make you

* ha-happy, too

* life's really worth l-living

* when we are mirth g-giving

* why can't I give

* s-some to you?

* when skies are gray

* and y-you say you are blue

* I'll send the sun

* smi-iling through

* I want to be ha-happy

* but I won't be ha-happy

* till I make you

* ha-happy, too

* I want to be ha-happy

* but I won't be ha-happy

* till I make you

* ha-happy, too *

captioning made possible by
Paramount pictures corporation

I deserve good things.

I am entitled to
my share of happiness.

I refuse to beat myself up.

I am an attractive person.
I am fun to be with.

Stuart smalley
is a caring nurturer,

a member of several
12-step programs,

but not a licensed therapist.

I'm going to do
a terrific show today,

and I'm going to help people

because I'm good enough,
I'm smart enough,

and doggone it,
people like me.

Hello. I'm Stuart smalley,

and as you know,
I am a perfectionist,

which is one of my problems,

and that's o.K.
Because I own my perfectionism.

Anyway, because I am
a perfectionist,

I tend to be very rigid,

but today,
I've decided to take a risk

and wear a new sweater.

It was sent to me

by a recovering sex addict,
Melissa d.,

who knitted it herself.

She said it gave her
something to do with her hands.

And Melissa writes,

"your show
is a lifesaver.

"Since it is on at noon,

"it allows me to put
the focus on me,

"where it belongs,

and keep it there
for the rest of the day."

Well, Melissa,
I have some bad news

because I was just told

by a certain person
who shall go nameless

that my show
will no longer air at noon,

that from now on,
it will be on at 2:45 A.M.,

following a hair-replacement

and I am very angry,
and that's o.K.

I now realize that I am
entitled to my anger,

and that's a big step for me

because I used to be afraid
of my anger,

and that's why
I stuffed my anger

and why I also stuffed my face,

which is why I weighed
nearly 300 pounds,

you know, before I got into
o.A., overeaters anonymous,

which is where the person
who made this decision,

roz weinstock, belongs,
if you ask me,

because she is a grandiose,
shame-based overeater,

sick in her own disease,
and weighs over 200 pounds

and has a hideous haircut.

O.k., I'm sorry.


That was a big mistake.

I probably shouldn't have
said that.

I just can't believe
I did that.

So you made a mistake.

Human beings
make mistakes.

Oh, thank you.

very comforting.

I'm going to
die homeless
and penniless.

I'm still 25 pounds

No one
will ever love me.

I could--
I could kill myself.

Stuart, that is
just stinkin' thinkin'.

You've got to stop
beating yourself up
over this.

I know.



Got to go.


Have you had enough time
to look at the menu?

We've had enough time
to memoriz the menu.

I'm sorry.
I'm having a personal crisis.

Can I take your order?

For my wife,
the penne arabiata,

and, uh, I will try
the ossobuco.

You know, the ossobuco
is extremely fatty.

You might want to try--

I'll try
the ossobuco...

And also the mixed
baby field Greens.

Low-Cal vinaigrette?

Creamy Caesar.

On the side?

On the salad!

Thank you.

And I'd like another
double scotch.



What am I
going to do?

Oh, poor baby.

Why don't you make
an amends to her?

Tell her how upset
you were about
the schedule changes

and how genuinely
sorry you are.

She's got to accept that.

No, Julia,
you don't know roz.

She's like a cootie
or something.
I--i can't.

Talk to her.

Hi, Laurie.

I have
a 9:30 appointment

to make an amends
to roz.

Oh, yeah.


Stuart smalley
for his 9:30.

Tell him i'm
in a meeting.

She's in a meeting.

I'll just have
a seat. I'll sit.

Yes, yes.

So I'll be seated.

I loved your show.


I find it very comforting.

It's o.K.
It's o.K., Laurie.


Let it hurt.
Feel the pain.

I don't know
what to do.

Well, there is
a support group

for people who live
with compulsive

and I think
they could help
a lot more than me,

and that would be
taking an action.

In fact, that's
what I'm doing
right now--

taking an action.

I want my show back,
so I'm making
an amends,

and maybe roz
will forgive me.

She despises you.

Laurie, order me a--

I know you don't
want to talk to me.

Actually, I've been
looking forward
to this all day.


First of all,
I have a confession.

When I walked
into this building

2 1/2 hours ago,

I was going to make
an amends

for calling you

a grandiose,

but it wasn't
really an amends.

It was just a ploy
to get my show back.

Could we cut to the chase?

I guess what i'm
trying to say

is I had
no right to blow up
and call you names

because when we
attack people,

we're really
acting out
our own shame.

What's really
important here

is not
whether or not
I get my show back.

What matters is,
is that I begin
to heal

my own self-
inflicted wound

by expressing
personally to you

just how truly sorry
I am for what I did.


I guess I just
never realized

how deeply you feel
about this stuff,

and I'm glad
you came today

because otherwise,
I might not have had
the chance

to give you
these letters.

"Dear sir,
I have never written

"to a television
station before,

"but when I saw that you
canceled Stuart smalley,

I just had to say..."

"Thank you
to whoever took

that simpering nutcase
off the air."

I've been collecting these.

"Thank you for making it
safe to channel surf again.

"If I had to hear any more
of that touchie-feelie
new-age drool

"about letting go
or detaching,

"I would have tied
my family up

and detached their heads."

Ha ha ha!

Oh, here's a good one

from a holocaust survivor
in Skokie--

actually prefers
our skinhead hour
to your show.

Ha ha ha!


You are a horrible,

nasty, dysfunctional...


Julia, right? Hi.


Carl, Stuart's
o.A. Sponsor,

this is Julia,
Stuart's alanon


I'm Fred, Stuart's
debtors anonymous sponsor.

And this is...


Jerry, Stuart's
adult children of
alcoholics sponsor.

How you doing?

Well, should we?

Let's go.

Oh, thank you.

[Knocking on door]

Stuart, it's Carl.

Look, I know you lost your show,
and I'm sorry,

but shutting everybody out
is a form of isolating.

You've done this before.

Go away!

it's Jerry.

You're in a shame
spiral, buddy.

Tell me something
I don't know.

Stuart, you're turning
the anger inward,

and that's why
you're depressed.

You're angry at yourself
for losing the show.

Go away.

Stuart, open
the goddamn door!

I didn't mean that.
I owe you an amends.

We're just here
to tell you

you're a terrific,
wonderful person,
and we love you.

I'm sorry.

I'm just not ready
to see anybody.

Just come back later.


Maybe when I run out
of fig Newtons.

[Telephone rings]

[Machine beeps]

Stuart, it's Jodie.
You have to come home.

Aunt Paula died.


Dear journal,

as I am sucked
inexorably toward home,

I am filled with dread,

but perhaps I can use this trip
to come to grips

with some of
my family-of-origin issues.

Trace it, face it,
and erase it,

as we say in alanon.

My father
is an active alcoholic--

big, stinking drunk--

and so was
his father William.

William had two brothers
and one sister,

my aunt Paula.

Boy, you're
in a giddy mood

Why not?
I'm blessed with
a three-day weekend

after a tough
week's work.

I want to do
something wild
and abandoned.

[Audience laughing]

I loved aunt Paula.

She was an old maid,
so she helped take care

of my brother Donnie,
my sister Jodie, and me.

I'd lay across her lap,

and she'd tickle my back
while we watched TV,

and I'd get goose bumps

and laugh
at the dick Van dyke show.

Anyway, aunt Paula lived
a long, full life.

In fact, she outlived
all her brothers by 30 years,

basically because
she didn't drink.

There's lots of ways
to die from alcoholism--

liver disease,
car accidents, sure--

but smalley men
fall off the roof.



In fact, three smalley men
have met their maker

while changing
the storm window.

Actually, that's not true.

Uncle frank
got smashed one afternoon

and went up on the roof
to trim the big elm.

The doctor said he was dead
well before he hit the ground.

So death is something

we smalleys
can pretty much deal with.

It's life that seems to be

the problem.

Take, for example,

my pot-smoking,
unemployed brother Donnie.

I thought Jodie
was picking me up.

Tommy slashed
her tires again.

But she got
a restraining order.


Well, not to be

but he is the worst
ex-husband yet.

How's dad?
What's he up to?

About a quart a day.

Mom's the one
that's driving me crazy.

Believe me,
the minute I find work,

I am history!

Well, this trip,
I promised myself
to simply detach.

Now, this trip
is about aunt Paula

and honoring her
and remembering her,

and I simply
refuse to get enmeshed
in the family craziness.

I'm going to
let go and let god
and just stay serene.

[Revving motorcycle engine]

I totaled the accord.
Hop on.

I thought Minnesota
had a helmet law!

* mucha muchacha

* mucha muchacha

* mucha muchacha

* mucha muchacha *

they say you can't
go home again.

In my case, make that
you're crazy to go home again.

Seeing my mother is always like
a trip to the dentist

before the advent
of modern painkillers.

Hi, mom.

Hi. Oh,
be careful,

You don't
want to get

Well, you've
been busy--

lots of food.

Well, as a rule,

it's better
to have too much
than too little,

or maybe I just
don't know

how to cook
for a funeral.

I didn't mean to be
critical, mom.

It's just that,
you know,

we're going to have,
like, 20 people.

Aunt Paula died,
not, you know,
the queen of england.

Now, what is that comment
supposed to mean?

I'm sorry.
I didn't--

it's a beautiful
spread, mom,

and I owe you
an amends.


Is that one of
those funny words

that you use
in your little
TV show?

Well, um, actually,
I'm not going to be
doing that anymore.

It's kind of
a mutual decision.

They fired him.

Oh, I told you
that would happen,
didn't I?

Oh, yeah, you did.

I hope that
that helped
to prepare you

for the disappointment.

Oh, well,
what is this?

Oh, I'm sorry, mom.
It's my journal.

In fact,
I just got it.

I plan to write down
everything that
happens to me--

you know,
how I feel about things.

It's going to be
pretty much the story
of my life.

I got a good title for it--
waste of space.

Ha ha ha!

Hi, dad.


Waste of space. Nice.

That's what dad
always called me

when I was growing up.

Hey, dad,
what do you say
you and me tomorrow,

we get
really loaded,

we go up
on the roof,

the storm windows?

Nobody's changing
any windows tomorrow.

We got a funeral.

Seeing aunt Paula
in that coffin

hit me pretty hard,

but my sister Jodie
went right into a lumbar spasm.

You know, aunt Paula
was the best person
in this entire family,

and nobody gives a damn.

I mean, dad hated her,

Donnie just thinks
this is one big joke,

and, well,
all mom cares about
is her stupid glazed ham.

You know,
Jodie, I think
all this stress

is going
right to your back--

I mean,
raising a son
all on your own,

Tommy slashing
your tires,

you know,
and your weight--

more of the stress--

so I was thinking,

Stuart, I am not going

to an overeaters
anonymous meeting.

O.k., forget
I said it.

Madelyn Doyle--

I served in the wacs
with Paula.


Are you Stuart?

Yes, I am.

Oh, I remember you

when you were
this high...

And this wide.

Thanks for--
for coming.

See you
at the reception.

Uh, no.



What the hell
are they doing here?

Oh, they've got
some nerve.

They're not coming
to the reception.

I'm going to
throw them out of
my goddamn house.

Dad's hated cousin ray

ever since ray

accidentally poisoned our dog.

Read about aunt Paula
in the paper.

Denise and I
couldn't be sorrier,

and I mean that
in the sincerest
way possible.

Up yours.

I understand.
It's a difficult time.

Just one question--

where do you
plan to Bury
the old soul?

I'm so sad about aunt Paula.


Because she died.

Yes, yes,
it's a bummer.

What do you suppose
cousin ray meant

when he asked
where we plan
to Bury aunt Paula?

What do you think
that was all about?

he's a jerk.

This is classic
smalley family

Ray wants to Bury
his mother-in-law

in the family plot
next to uncle frank.

Denise's mother?
Why can't they
Bury her there?

Because she's not dead.

After she dies,
why can't they Bury

both aunt Paula
and Denise's mother there?

I thought there were
two graves left
in the family plot,

you know, unless somebody
snuck somebody in there

when we weren't looking.

Look, all I know
is if ray-ray wants trouble,

me and dad
will give it to him.

Donnie, it's a funeral.

Mind if I move your bong?


You know, just be
careful with it.

Donnie was getting
more like dad every day,

and now that he was
living at home again,

he's getting even worse.

Dad was not what you'd call
a great role model,

but as I thought back
on our childhood,

I remembered
he wasn't always so bad.

Set, hike!

Hey, Donnie,
I'm open!

Over here!


Donnie! Come on,
Donnie! Throw it!

Come on!
Pass it!
I'm open!

Come on!
Throw it!
Come on!

I got it!


Oh, great.

When we first moved
into our house,

we lived next-door to this guy
who all the kids just hated.

We called him mean Mr. Dimmit.

I told you kids

to keep the ball
out of my yard!

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Heh heh heh!

Oh, my god, it's dad.
Get down.

Dad, mean Mr. Dimmit
just stole our ball.

Yeah, he just
took it.

Hi, dad.

Let's go.

Come on.

Dad charged off
to find Mr. Dimmit

and get our football back.

Maybe you'd like to pick on
someone with pubic hair.


You going to give me
the ball,

or would you like me
to shove it up your ass?

You want to hear
my preference?


O.k., let's go home.

It was great.

And dad said,
"why don't you

pick on somebody
with puberty?"

Didn't you, dad?

That night, all of US
just glowed with pride

as Donnie and I recounted

the victorious
confrontation for mom

while dad
held on to that football

in his big, strong hands.

Dad was our hero--
at least that night.

Aunt Paula's last request

was for a peaceful,
serene funeral--

lots of luck in this family.

Sure enough,
when we got to the cemetery,

there was cousin ray
with two policemen

and a court order saying
we couldn't Bury aunt Paula.

What the hell?

Dad was pissed.

Mr. Smalley, I'm so sorry
I missed you at the--

you son
of a bitch!

Mr. Lawson does have
a legal contract

his mother-in-law

a place in the smalley
family plot.

All but one of the graves
is currently occupied.

There's supposed to be
two of them!

Who the hell did you put
in the other grave?

Well, that's for me to know
and you to find out.

Ah! Ah! That's it!

You know, my aunt Paula
paid for that plot!

With money
she could have used
to help my family

after my father
fell off the roof!

I made a ham
for your father.

That was not
a quality ham!

Unless you can
produce some sort
of document,

I don't know
what else I can--

we're really
not very good
at organizing,

you know, papers,
insurance forms,

that sort of thing.

I told dad
to get a drawer.


You see, officer,
this is really
about alcoholism,

which is really
a family disease.

What are we doing?

Come on.


Pull her out.

Please, show
some respect.


I'm a taxpayer,
damn it!

That was the first time

dad had actually slugged a cop
on purpose.

the reception.

Are you insane?

I made
all that food.

My aunt Paula
is not in the ground!

We are not canceling
the reception.

Jodie, Stuart,
you heard dad.

Cancel the reception!

[Engine starts]

Goddamn it,
do as I told you!

[Organ playing]

Our father,
who art in heaven...

The next day,
we laid aunt Paula to rest

in the catholic cemetery,

even though
she was a presbyterian,

but I don't think that meant

she was any farther
from her higher power.

Dad just glared at mom
throughout the whole thing

because she had disobeyed him
and had the reception.

Donnie was in a real bad mood

because he hadn't smoked
any pot

and had just spent an entire
night in a cell with dad,

who hadn't had
anything to drink.

Jodie felt really sick
because she had scarfed

the entire 7-pound glazed ham
at the reception,

and I was upset
because now the whole thing

wasn't about
aunt Paula anymore.

It was about dad
and his drinking

and the whole
family craziness.

Then Jodie took my hand,

and I felt this chill
run up my spine,

as if she was saying

it was up to me
to save my entire family.

It made me want to jump
into the grave with aunt Paula

and let her
tickle my back forever.

As soon as I got back
to Chicago,

I put on my pajamas
and went to bed for six days.

Between losing aunt Paula
and losing my show,

it dawned on me
that my life really sucked.

[Knock on door]

Stuart, it's Laurie.


I have something
for you.

I quit my job, Stuart.

I told roz I wouldn't work
for an abusive boss anymore.

"Dear Stuart, your show
gave me the courage
to feel my feelings

"and to feel my feelings
about my feelings

"and my feelings
about my feelings
about my feelings.

"And my--god bless you.

Amanda q."

The people at
the support group

told me I wasn't

for my boyfriend's

You saved my life!

Maybe that's
a little strong.

Thanks for coming,
you guys.

Come on in.

I've got plenty
of cookies.

Great. Yes.

How do I look?


Yeah. I know.

Believe me.

I don't smell
so great, either.

Laurie brought
maybe 100 letters

from people who loved my show--

co-dependents, overeaters,

you know, my people.

It made me realize
that I do have a gift,

however tenuous.

I shouldn't say that.
I have a gift. I have a gift.

Anyway, Julia reminded me that
I won't have anything to give

if I don't take care of me.

* you'll be swell

* you'll be great

* gonna have
the whole world on a plate *

* startin' here

* startin' now

* honey, everything's
coming up roses *

every morning, like clockwork,
a one-mile walk/jog,

because, you know, you don't
want to kill yourself.

* ...Relax

* blow a kiss

* take a bow

* honey, everything's
coming up... **

and of course, my meetings,

mainly overeaters anonymous
and alanon,

but debtors anonymous, too,

because I have
a lot of money issues--

for example,
having very little.

And every day I remind myself
just how far I've come

and how grateful I am
to be in recovery.

That attitude of gratitude,

it ain't just a platitude.

So for now, I'm happy to have
my life on an even keel,

because I am an adult,

and I refuse to live
from crisis to crisis.

[Telephone rings]


Stuart? It's Jodie.

Donnie's suing me.

Well, why is Donnie
suing you, Jodie?

Jodie was halfway
through a Sara Lee,

going absolutely nuts

because the whole family
was ready to kill each other

over aunt Paula's will,
and now she wanted me

to come home
and fix everything.

So basically,

aunt Paula left
my family her house,

which is worth
about $60,000.

That makes my share
about 12,000,

which, as you know,
I need desperately.

So, what's
the problem?

Or the gazpacho.

I could recommend
the gazpa...Cho.

The problem is

aunt Paula made Jodie
the executor

of her estate,

and now Jodie says
we can't sell the house

because of some problem
with the neighbor.

What kind
of problem?

I don't know.

Jodie was
kind of vague.

She's not really...
What's the word...


I guess you could say.

And now Donnie's
all upset,

and he's threatening
to sue her,

and Jodie wants me
to come home,

which I really feel
that I should.

But then I think

I should just
stay out of it,

and even though
I really need the money,

I should give Jodie
my share.

I'm "shoulding"
all over myself.

Stuart, we all
want to go home

and save
our families,

but we can't.

We're not
that powerful.

And trying to
just makes US

feel even more

and more
screwed up.

I know.

I have been through
this whole thing

You want my advice?
Don't go.

You're right.
I shouldn't.

The smalleys were never
very good with money.

My father grew up
in the great depression--

his mother's.

And there never was much
when we were kids.

And for some reason,

I was always looking for a way
to bail the family out.

* may the lord
always watch *

* over you *

good night,


Wow, a car
full of cash.

Whose is it?

It's first prize
in the ajax

How do you enter?

Easy. Help name

the ajax
white knight.

They got
1,000 prizes.

Now, stand back.

Enter the ajax sweepstakes.

Help name the white knight,

and you may ride off
with a fortune.

Sir cleanalot!

...where you buy ajax
laundry detergent.

No samples, ma'am.

You want to win,
get an entry blank.

In case of tie,
winner will be determined

by earliest postmark.

I was convinced
I had the perfect name

and got to the post office
at exactly 9 A.M.

The next morning.

You've already
sent it in?


Well, I just
don't want you

to be horribly

when you don't win.

What was your name

Sir cleanalot.


I don't know

why I can't
remember that.

It's the ajax
white knight.

He cleans,
you know, a lot.


I don't know.


When the big night
finally arrived,

dad had a new nickname for me.

Here we go.

Is sir eatalot getting
a little nervous?

Ha ha! Sir eatalot.

I was already nostalgic
for "waste of space."

Now a word
from our friends

at colgate-

At about 8:57,
my heart was pounding,

and I was trying
to block my family

out of my consciousness
and pray

the name was sir cleanalot.

Six weeks ago

we announced

the "name
the ajax white
knight contest."

Well, two million
entries later,

we have a winner.

This is it--

sir eatalot's
moment of triumph.

The winner of

the "name
the ajax white
knight contest"

and the winner
of a brand-new

1967 Pontiac

filled with cash

Mrs. Carl hesby
of council bluffs,


There must be
some mistake, Stuart.

You can't be
Mrs. Carl hesby,

can you?

And the name
submitted by
Mrs. Hesby,

the name of the ajax
white knight,

is sir Lancelot.

Sir Lancelot?

That is
a better name.

Ha ha ha!

Your family
must be very proud.

Ha ha ha!

Sir cleanalot!

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Jodie is a liar.

Either that
or she's just crazy

or both.

I mean, the idea
of Jodie

being in charge
of anything...

Just because she
went shopping

for aunt Paula
a couple
of times.

I took care
of her car.

Good point.

What's the problem

with aunt Paula's

Why can't we
sell her house?

Because the guy's
a jerk.

Part of
aunt Paula's house

slops onto
his property,

so we got to pay
an easement.

What's an easement?

An easement is...

Money that you
got to pay a guy

when your house
slops onto his

Jodie went over

to negotiate
with him,

and like an idiot,

she offers him

3,000 for a little

When dad heard this,
he flipped out.

Your shot.

I shoot
the stripey ones?

the stripey ones.

Anyway, I got
this lawyer

to handle it.

That's not
working out,

and Jodie doesn't
trust me and dad

You got to talk
to this guy

I have to?

You got to try
and chisel him
down a little.


Donnie, how
are you doing?

your brother?


Donnie's brother,
have a beer with US.

No, thank you.

You see,
I don't drink.

Have a beer
with US.

It's really
very kind of you,

but I just had
a diet soda,

and i'm
a little gassy.

Do you think
you're too good

to drink a beer
with US?

Oh, no, no.

I've always been
too scared to drink

because I think
my family has the gene

for alcoholism.

You know, genetics?

We know genetics.

What, do you think
we're stupid?

Hey, look,
numb nuts,

either you
drink a beer
with US,

or I'm going
to drink it

and spit it down
your throat.

Maybe just a sip.

Stuart, don't drink it.

He'd better
drink it.

Don't drink it.

Look, you lay
a finger

on my brother,

I'll hit you
so hard

your relatives
will die.

Oh, yeah?

Oh, no.


please, stop.

Wait. Wait.
No. No.

Can I ask you
a question?

When you were
growing up,

did your dad
ever hit you?


Of course.

See, I thought so.

Because I think

you're acting out
the shame

and powerlessness

of that tiny,
frightened child

that's still
inside of you,

and you might feel
a lot better

if you could say
to your inner child,

"hello, little child.

"I'm going to
protect you,

and no one will
ever hurt you again."

You want to try
saying that?

Give it up!

Thanks for
standing up
for me.


No, really.
I appreciate it.

Yeah. Well, let's
just drop it,

all right?


He takes it high.

He has struck out,

bounced into
a forced play,
and walked.

Nine walks
and a hit batter

from the staff

Hammers down
the left field line.

This will score
at least two.

I've heard everyone's version
of this whole dispute,

and I am totally disgusted

with each and every member
of my family.

Get this.

Donnie's lawyer isn't
charging him a thing.

They're old drinking buddies
from the Navy,

so he's doing it
as a favor.

Some favor.

He's not paying
any attention

because he's not
getting paid,

so the whole thing
has just degenerated.


you don't
have to do this.

You don't have
to be the hero.

Oh, god, Julia,

there are no boundaries
in this household.

Every little thing you do--

[beep beep beep]


[Beep beep beep]




Oh, oh!
I'm sorry.

Are you
on the phone?


Well, I'm sorry.

Who are you
talking to,

A friend.

Oh, someone
I know?

It's my sponsor
from alanon.

It's a 12-step
group I joined

because I come from
such a screwed-up

All right, then.

Have a good chat.

Aunt Paula's house
was considered a fixer-upper.

To me, it looked more
like a blower-upper.

But the big problem was

somebody screwed up
a long time ago,

and 2 feet
of aunt Paula's house

was on her neighbor's

So there was no way
we could sell the house

unless I could settle
this easement problem

with the neighbor.


Um, are you
Orville egeberg?

I'm sorry.
I'm Stuart smalley.

I would have
called you,

but my sister said

that you don't like
to talk on the phone.

Um, as you know,

my aunt Paula
was your neighbor

I guess
since world war ii.

I guess you
weren't close.

when she died,

she left the house
to my family

and made
my sister Jodie

the executor
of the estate.

As you know,

we cannot get
a mortgage

and thus split up
the inheritance

on the house

until we get
the easement from you,

and of course,

you have
sent Jodie a letter

agreeing to Grant US
the easement

for $3,000,

which she agreed to

Or orally, whatever.

I thought we had
an agreement.

Uh, yes,

but the thing is
I am the new executor,

and my father
and brother

have asked me
to come to you

to try to get
the figure, uh...


So I thought this might be
a good time

for a family meeting--

a chance to give you guys
a little update.

Stuart, I got to
pick up Kyle

at the pool.

What's this about?

O.k., um, let's see.

I, um, talked
to Mr. Egeberg,

and, um, it did not
go well.

You fucked up.



So he won't
change the price.

Uh, no, actually,
he did...

He did
change the price.

Now he wants...



I don't
deserve this!

Oh, sure, you do.

It was your idea

to have this moron
talk to the man.

Wait a minute!
Hold on!

We still have
the letter.

He cannot do this!

That's right.
That's right.

We have
the letter.

What letter?

The letter from egeberg.

O.k., this is

I talked
to a lawyer,

who I'm paying for

and he's
a very good lawyer.

He went to Yale,

where the Clintons

And he said

that by asking
Mr. Egeberg

to lower his price,
we essentially

our agreement.

He can do this.

The letter's
no good.

I need a drink.

I will never
escape this shit!

Stop it! Jesus Christ!

The only thing
that's wrong

with this family
is that we don't

stand up
for ourselves.

Now, when you talked
to this asshole,

were you two alone?


No one around?

No, no one around.

Oh, sorry,
I didn't
go to Yale.


Will someone
please tell me

what's happening?

The conversation
never took place.

You know I can't
do that, Donnie.

Well, you're
just going to

have to choose
between US

and egeberg!

No, between you
and the truth.

Oh, Jesus.

The truth?

I'll be right back.

Anybody else
want a drink?

Ha ha ha!


I know Donnie can
be unreasonable--

he almost sued me--

but he's very smart.

Sometimes he has
some good ideas.

So please, please
don't dismiss

this lying thing

just because Donnie
thought of it.

All right. Let's talk
about the truth.

Some for you.

Some for you.

Some for you.

Xerox copies
of Stuart's journal.

I've taken the Liberty
of underlining

some of the more
fascinating entries.

"I am disgusted

"with each
and every member

of my family"?

"I forgot how much
I hate my mother."


Well, nice being home.

I'm just going to go
pack a few things.

Oh, no, no.

It's not
that easy, buddy boy.

We'll see you in court!




Today I declare
emotional independence

from my family.



Now, come on.
You do it. Your turn.

[Crowd cheers]

Oh, no.

Come on. It's fun.

No. I don't
want to.

Why not?
It feels good.

No. I can't.

So you never
go back home?


And your mom
just never talked

about how
it happened?

It's not really hard
to figure out.

She was married
to a drunk.

This charming,
attractive guy
comes along.

They have a fling,

and nine months
later, me.

You ever meet him?

About two years ago,
I tracked him down.

He lives
in St. Louis.

Wife and family.

So I wrote him
at work.

"Dear Mr. Ahern,
you don't know me.

"I'm your daughter.

"My other dad
knew I wasn't his,

so he hit me a lot."


So I sent off
the letter

with a picture
of myself,

and a few weeks

I get
this phone call.

He's coming up
to Chicago on business.

Can we have dinner?

Stuart, I was
so excited.

"I'm going to meet
my father!"

Well, I walk
into the restaurant,

and I realize

I have no idea
what he looks like.

Then this guy
walks in...

About 55...

Very distinguished...

And he has my eyes...

And my nose.

This is my dad.

We had
a lovely dinner.

He was very nice,
very charming.

And as we
were leaving,

in the parking lot...

He made a pass.


So I am moving past
the family stuff

and putting the focus
where it belongs--

on me...

And my inability
to trust men.


I guess
you got to accept

that you just
never had a father.

So from now on,
when you need one,

I'll be your dad.

You know, when you're
not being my mom.

I'm so proud of you.

I love you so much.

You're such
a wonderful girl.

[Bicycle bells ringing]

I mean, you really
are doing great...

you know, the abuse

and your real father
hitting on you

and everything.

Oh, yeah. I'm doing
just great.

Well, you are.

You got lots
and lots of friends

and a great career.

I couldn't
keep a show

on public access,

and that's
supposed to be

some kind of

That was not
your fault.


Do you ever watch

the health cable

I tried.

They had this whole
eyeball operation.

I almost threw up.

Well, they also have

some pretty good
new-age stuff.

Maybe you should
send them a tape.

See, the thing is

I never actually
taped my show.

I was always
too scared to watch.

Oh, great.
That's healthy.

Marlon Brando
never watched

any of his movies.

He evidently had
the same problem.

Stuart, somebody
must have a tape.



Um, Stuart smalley
to pick up a tape

and leave.

Oh, yes.
It's right here,
but I'm sorry.

Ms. Weinstock said

she wanted to talk
to you first.

I'm sure she's--
she's very busy.

I'm sorry.

Ms. Weinstock said

that the tape
would cost $400.

I'm sorry.

Maybe that's
what she wanted
to talk about.



Ms. Weinstock?
Yes. I'm sorry.

I just wanted
to let you know

that Stuart smalley
is still here.

I'm in a meeting.

I was wondering if
it would be all right

if I went
on my lunch break.

Oh, a half an hour.

That's too long.

Oh, o.K. 20 minutes.

All right. I'm sorry.

Could I bring you
back something?

Oh, no, thank you.


I'll be back
in 20 minutes.


Sorry. Sorry.

The rest is

The prospectus
pretty much
tells it all.

I'll be happy
to answer any

When exactly
do the bonds mature?

The munis mature
in 10 years,

in 15...Months.

I'm sorry.

This is

Can I see you
for a second, please?

Stuart, you have to
return the tape.

I know. You're right.

Ted, how fast
can you copy this?

For you?
Right away.

Oh, god.
Oh, god.

Sorry! Sorry!


I decided to...

Get something...

To eat.

Oh, I could have
gotten you something.

I'm sorry.

No. I'm--
I'm sorry.


I lied.
I didn't eat.

That's o.K.

Aren't you
going to ask me

why I lied--

what I did
after I left?

I'm sorry.

Would you
like me to?

Is one
of your parents

an alcoholic?

I'm sorry.

That's a personal

That's o.K.

Right after
you left,

I grabbed this tape
from your desk

and ran out
and had it copied.

So I call the show

Mike's makeover

and just change
my name to Mike--

not legally,
of course.

You are the lowest.

Well, then,
Seth's makeover,

I guess.

This tape
is the property

of the Chicago
public access

Copying it without
my permission

is a federal

And, mea,

I'm sorry.

You're fired.

You are a hairless,
disgusting, sadistic...


Gina! Gina! Gina!

Since the tape
is a recording

of programs written
and performed by yourself,

and since
the $400 figure

so egregiously exceeds
the fair market value

of labor and materials,

there would be
absolutely no basis

for Ms. Weinstock's

should she decide
to file one.

Go away.

Thanks, Bob.
Appreciate it.

Stuart, there's
something else.

I talked to
the health cable network.

They love your tape!


Oh, yes!

Yes! Yes!
Yes! Yes! Yes!


They want me to do
five shows a week
for four weeks.


And they're paying you.

And they're
paying me.

Fred, they're
paying me!

I still can't
believe it.

You start taping
a week from Monday.

That soon.

Well, that's...
That's good.

Gives me less time
to worry.

Oh, boy.

Would you
enjoy this,

for god's sake?

I can't.

When anything good
ever happens,

I'm always waiting

for the other shoe
to drop.

That might make

a good topic
for a show.

Stuart, you need
to stop worrying

about all 20 shows.

Let's just take it one
show at a time. O.K.?


Oh, Stuart, look.

Mr. Smalley?


Stan brunner.
I'm the director.

Thanks for
coming down. Hi.

Just want
to put you

in front
of the camera

and make sure everything
is set for this afternoon.

Have a seat up there.

Thank you.

He's a little nervous.

We'll get him
in and out
in a jiffy.

You have
some lunch.

This afternoon
will go bang,
bang, bang.

Stuart, can you turn
in to the mirror,


You know,
I like this already.

At the old place,
nobody cared.

If the show was a disaster,
it was a disaster.

We've got you down
for 20 shows, right?

Yes. Four weeks,
five shows a week.

Well, it's going to
be tight

because they're
only giving US
four hours.

Per show?

Ha ha ha!
Yeah, right.

O.k., looking good.

Excuse me.

You're not suggesting
that you're taping

all 20 shows
this afternoon?

Don't worry
about US.

We do this
all the time.

it's your friend

I'm a little
worried about.

God, Grant me
the Serenity...

Everybody came down,
and we brainstormed

and came up
with 20 topics.

Well, 19, actually--

number 20 is
I don't have to have a topic.

Carl felt
my first show should be

today, I will
own my panic,

since it would
be very "in the now,"

but I thought
I had a better idea.

I'm Stuart smalley,

and I am so delighted
to be here,

and for my first show,

I've decided
to demonstrate

just how powerful a tool
the daily affirmation can be.

You see, all my life,

I've heard the same things
over and over again.

"Stuart, you're not
good enough.

you're not smart enough.

"Oh, and by the way,

no one likes you."

You know who's saying
all these horrible things?

My mom? Well, yeah.

My dad? Him, too,

but mainly these words
were coming from me.

That's right--
the little Stuart

that sits inside my brain,

every little thing I do.

Well, today,

to show how
the daily affirmation works,

I've invited someone

who has even less
self-esteem than I do,

if you can believe that.

We'll call her
mea c.

To protect
her anonymity,

and, mea,
first of all,

I want to thank you
for doing this.

I know how much
courage it took.

Mea, can you
hear me?


I'm sorry.

You look a little
nervous, mea.

Maybe try
to relax a little.


Maybe if you just
unclenched your,
uh, body.

Your whole body
looks a little--
a little tight.

a cleansing--

big, cleansing

Good. Good.

Very, very good.

Now, mea,
I want you...

To look
in this mirror.

Don't look at me.

Only you can
help you.

That's it.
Look in the mirror.

Now, see how pretty
you are?

Let's--let's take
those glasses...Off.

Oh, good, good.

O.k. Let's--let's
put the glasses
back on.

You look very pretty
with the glasses.

Sorry. Thank you.

Mea, have you
ever noticed

that you apologize
a lot?

Oh, I'm sorry. Do I?

Yes, you do.

I guess--no, that's
exactly the point,
you see.

I want you to look
in that mirror, mea,

and I want you
to repeat after me.

"I am a worthy
human being."


O.k., I really
couldn't hear you.

Try it again.

Oh. O.K.

I'm a worthy
human being?

No, mea. It's
not a question.

Try it again.


I'm sorry. What is
the second part?

"Worthy human

I am a worthy
human being."

Just say it.

Am I saying it
to you or to myself?

Just say it.

"I am a worthy
human being."

I'm a worthy
human being.

O.k., now louder.

I am a worthy
human being.

O.k., mean it.

I am a worthy
human being!

Believe it.

I hate you, mom!


No, that was--

that was

That was
actually good.

I think we're--
I think we're
getting somewhere.

Uh, do you think

your mom might
be watching?

She's dead.

Oh, good.

The rest of the shows
went great

except for the I don't have
to have a topic show,

in which I just blanked
for five straight minutes,

but the health cable
network people were happy

with the 19 good shows

and have decided to play
the first one twice.

It was that good.

Look at me.

Look at me!

Talk to me.
I'm a human being.

I'm a human being!

Darn you, mom.

Darn you, mom!

The response has
been tremendous.

We want to start
running the show

three times a day.

That's great, Andy.

So what kind of bump
are we talking about?


Well, we up it
to...100 a show

and 25 per repeat viewing?

Oh, that's o.K.
You don't have
to give me a bump.

That's 750 a week.

Not to mention specials.

Ha ha! Specials.

He'll sleep on it,
Andy. Thanks.

Give me a call.

750! I could--
I could get a car.

The money's not
the important thing.

What's important
is that you've
found a place

that really
appreciates you,

and that's all you
ever really wanted--

a little

And I could get a car.

Excuse me,
Mr. Smalley.

I'm Tina best.
I work in sales.

Could I get
your autograph?

Oh, sure, Tina.

I just love
your show.

Oh, you do?

I think
it's wonderful.

Oh, thank you
very much, Tina.
That's so nice.

Thank you.

Ha ha ha!

I signed an autograph.

Excuse me.


Hi. You Mr. Smalley?

Yes, I am.

Ha ha ha!

Oh, wait!

You forget your, uh...


So basically, the strategy is,

you get me to lie

because if I don't,

everyone goes to jail
for perjury.

That's your plan?

That's about
the size of it.

Stuart, what's
the big deal?

The guy had a stroke.
He's a goner.

It's your word
against a dead man's.

All you have to do
is take the stand

and say your conversation
with egeberg never
took place.


I work a program
based on rigorous honesty,

and most of all,
that means

being honest...

With yourself.



egeberg's nephew
now wants

for the easement!

He can do that?

He's an asshole.

The man is extorting
your family,

and all because--
I'm sorry to put it
this way,

but all because
of how badly you mishandled

your duties as executor.

Stuart, you know
I want my share
of the inheritance

so I can move out
of mom and dad's.

He's really dying
to get out.

But forget about me.

Think about Jodie--


You see where we live,

and Kyle sleeps
on the couch.

I'd sleep on the couch
except for my back.


I promise you,

if we get through
this today,

I will give my share

to Jodie...


For Kyle.

Do you swear
the testimony
you're about to give

is the truth,
the whole truth,

and nothing
but the truth,
so help you god?

I do.

Please be seated.

Could you please
state your name
for the court?

Uh, merl egeberg.

And Orville egeberg
is your uncle?


He was my uncle.

Yes. I'm very sorry.

You were with him,
weren't you--

at your uncle's side
when he passed away?

Yes. Yes, I was.

And as he lay
on his deathbed,

did he say anything

about a member
of the smalley

approaching him
to renegotiate

the price
of the easement?

Yes. He told me--



What law school
did you go to,
Mr. Von arks?

Dying declaration.

Of course
it's admissible.

You're overruled.

Sit down!

Go ahead, Mr. Egeberg.


My uncle told me

that Stuart smalley
came to the door

to ask to renegotiate
the price of the easement.

Thank you.
No further

The defense calls
Stuart smalley.

Stuart smalley!

When he said my name,

I honestly did not know
what I was going to do.

I knew how much the money meant
to Jodie and--and Donnie

and how much dad
was counting on me,

and they'd all
made it sound so easy--lying--

and I knew that if I did lie,

we'd win because
it would be my word

against a dead man's.

Raise your
right hand.

Do you swear
that the testimony
you're about to give

is the truth,
the whole truth,

and nothing
but the truth,

so help you god?

It was all my fault.


Mr. Smalley, you haven't
been questioned yet.

Everything Mr. Egeberg's nephew
said is true.



Well, it is!

Your honor,
it's quite obvious

that this witness
is insane.

He's right!

My son's a nut!

Order! Order!

Judge, Stuart's
telling the truth.

We lied.

Quiet! Traitor!

Bailiff, I want order
in this courtroom.

No. It's o.K.


Order! Order!

It's o.K., really!

It was a nightmare--

the absolute low point
of my life,

which is saying something.

Of course, we lost,

but Mr. Egeberg's nephew
respected me

for telling the truth,

so he's charging US
only $10,000 for the easement,

but dad was mad anyway

because the judge found him
and Donnie guilty of perjury

and sentenced them each

to 100 hours
of community service

picking up garbage
along the highway,

and all this pain
I caused everybody else

was caused by my need
to fix everything,

and I realized

that if I'm going to be
any good to anybody else,

then I have
to work on Stuart

because that's the only person
I can really fix--


because what they say
is really true.

It is easier
to put on slippers

than to carpet
the entire world.

Well, this has been
a great show,

and you know what?
I deserve it...

Because I'm good enough,

I'm smart enough,

and doggone it,
people like me.

Well, stay tuned
for juice island.




Terrific show,

Oh, thank you,

It's great
to have you back.

Oh. Ha ha!

It was--

oh! Wonderful.

Did you really
like it?

It was great.

What was your
favorite part?

All of it.
I have to go to work.

I know. Go!


Thank you.
You, too. Go.

Oh, did you like
the slipper th--

go, go!

Stuart! Phone.

Oh, thank you.


Stuart smalley.

Dad shot Donnie!
Dad shot Donnie!


Wh-where did
dad shot Donnie?

In the side!
In the side!

I mean where--
in the house?

In the side!
In the side!


With his deer rifle!

Was there
an argument?
What happened?

No! Dad shot Donnie!

I mean, is he--

is he going to live?

I don't know. I...

Dad sh him!
I mean, he shot him!

O.k., Jodie, look.

I would never
ordinarily say this,

but, um...

Is there any way
you can get

to a pound cake?

I couldn't get Jodie
to calm down,

and this is a person
who lives for crises,

so I called the hospital
and asked for Donnie's room,

and the phone rang,
and Donnie picked it up,

and he told me
what happened.

He and dad were
up near braniard deer hunting,

and of course,
they were drinking...

A lot.

Well, eventually
they ran out of beer,

so Donnie went off
to buy some.

I guess he was gone
for quite a while,

and dad lost all track of time.

He probably lost
all track of everything,

he was so drunk.

Anyway, when Donnie
finally came back

with the case of beer,

dad heard him stumbling
around in the woods,

thought Donnie was a deer,


Shot him.


Hi, mom.

Are you o.K.?


Is--is dad coming out?

I don't know,

and I don't care.

Oh, hi, dad.

Um, is...

Is Donnie o.K.?

I'll get the car.

O.k. See you
for dinner.

I'm sure mom's
cooking up a storm.

Now, what is that
supposed to mean?

Uh, nothing.

I just know how much
you like to cook.


You know, especially
in a crisis.

Are you crazy?

I didn't mean it
critically, mom.

If this is what
they teach you

in those 12-step
or 13-step or 14
or whatever...

It's 12.

12 steps.

Well, I don't know
how I'm supposed
to keep track.

This may come
as a shock to you,

but I have not had
the easiest life.

I know
that you think

when I'm working
around the house,

cooking and cleaning
and breaking
my back,

that I do it
because it's fun.

Well, it is not fun!

It is not fun

for one single

Well, at least mom
was beginning to get

in touch with her feelings.

Hi--hi, Donnie.

Hey, bro.

Uh, I brought


Well, you look good.

No, really.

It's, you know,

hard to believe
you were shot.

Ha ha!
Well, I'm o.K.


Did you see dad
in the hall?


Well, dad's got
a real problem.

Ha ha! You think?

He just tried to sneak me

a half pint
of Jack Daniel's...

And when I said no...

He went nuts.

You know, i--i think

that this accident
was supposed to happen.

I needed something
to scare the shit
out of me.

I'm not drinking anymore.

Yeah. No drinking
and no drugs.



I'm sorry I've been
such a lousy brother.

The worst.

Ha ha!

Over the years,
I've always picked on you...

Which is a pretty
easy thing to do.
You're such a dork.

Thank you.

But I think a lot of it
was because I was jealous.

Of me?

You were always
trying to do something
with your life,

and I thought
I was tough, man...

And you're the tough one.


We've got to do
something about dad.

You want me
to shoot him?

Because it worked
for you.

I don't know.

But we've got
to do something.

Mrs. Smalley,
your children

to go ahead with
this intervention,

whether or not
you choose to

It would really
help, mom.

It could make
all the difference.

What happens afterwards?

I've called a friend
at hazelton.

It's a rehab.
They've got a bed
waiting for him.

Well, i--I'm not
so convinced

he's an alcoholic.


Mrs. Smalley,
does your husband

ever drink
in the morning?

This is one
of those tests.

Yes, he drinks
in the morning.

Does he ever
drink alone?


Has he ever--

shot a family member
while drinking?


If I do this

and it doesn't work,

he's going to
make my life hell.

How's your life now?

This could work.

Is there
anyone else--
any friends of his

who might
be willing
to participate?


Uh, dad doesn't have
any friends who would do this.

Uh, the truth is,
I'm his best friend.

if he refuses
to stop drinking,

what are you
willing to do?

Are you willing
to tell your father

that you will
completely cut off

your relationship
with him?

Yeah. Yeah,
I'll tell him.

Don't if you don't
mean it.

I don't want you
to threaten anything

you're not willing
to follow through

I'll say it.
I'll mean it.

Me, too.

Oh, god.


Mrs. Smalley?

You want this
to work?


I just can't.

What can you
tell him?


I'll tell him
I'll spend less time
taking care of him

and more time pursuing
my own interests.

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha!

Ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha! "Pursuing
my own interests."

Ha ha ha!

That ought
to clinch it.

Ha ha ha!

You know, it hurts
when I laugh.
Ha ha ha!

The intervention is tomorrow.

Each of US is supposed
to tell dad

how his drinking
has affected US

and how it made US feel,

but looking
through the old photos,

I started thinking,

"things weren't so bad.

They did
the best they could."

But then I found some pictures
I thought mom had thrown out.

They were pictures of US
in Hollywood.

It was our big trip
to Los Angeles--

the whole bit.

Well, dad got loaded
the last night,

and by the time we got him up,

we had about an hour
to see Hollywood.

Go, go, go!

Dad! Dad!
Bob hope!

Natalie wood!

Mom! Doris day!

Marilyn Monroe!

Dad! Sophia loren!

Come on!
Let's go!

Now, before the trip,

dad had promised Jodie

he'd take a picture of her

standing in front
of the Hollywood sign.

Oh, god!


Our plane's
in 35 minutes!

It's o.K., dad!
I don't need
the picture!

Oh, no.

I'm not having mom say,

"Jodie didn't get
her picture

because we couldn't
get you up!"

[Tires screech]

Ah, perfect.

All right.
Let's go.

Out of the car.
Come on. Camera.

Hurry up. Hurry up.

Come on.

All right.

Ah, that's good.

Where's the sign?


the goddamn sign?

Get it.

Get out there!

But there are cars!

Move out
into the center
of the road,

goddamn it!


Oh, my god!
There's a car!

[Horn honks]


This is insane!

What the hell are you
doing over there?

Come back.

No! No! Go back!
Go back!

Right there.

A little
closer to Stuart,

That's right.
Yes. Uh-huh.

Good. Oh,
that's good.

Look happy!

All right!


Ah, goddamn it!

Find another road!

Stop it,
you maniac!

Come back!


Oh, my god!

Everybody smile!




The doctors
in the emergency room

said if I wasn't so fat,

I would have really
gotten hurt.

The weird thing is,

we've never talked
about it since.

In fact,
I think that's when

the no-talk rule
began in our house,

but at 10 A.M. tomorrow,

all that will change.

This guy's
a good lawyer?


Says he can keep me
out of jail, huh?

Yeah. If you do
what he says, yeah.

Mr. Smalley.

Your family
has asked me

to help them

of some concerns
they have about you.

They have
some things

that they'd like
to say to you,

and I'm going to
ask you

just to sit
and listen,

hear them out,
and then--

then we'll give you
a chance to talk.

Can you agree
to that?

Who the hell are you?

Mr. Smalley, I can
understand this is
real uncomfortable--

who did this?

Oh, oh. You, huh?

Uh, Mr. Smalley,

your whole family
is concerned.

You know
about this guy?

I hope somebody
has told you
the whole story.

Why don't you just
sit down right here, hmm?

That's right.


you have something
to say to your father?

You were drunk
at all my weddings.

[Jodie sobbing]

Did you get to meet
her ex-husbands?

Dopey, drunky,
and shithead.

You agreed to listen.

I didn't agree
to anything.

At least I stayed
with my ungrateful family

and provided for you.

None of you went hungry.

That's painfully obvious.

Mr. Smalley.

A man might stay with you
if you weren't so damn fat.


What? I'm
under attack here.

It wasn't my fault.

You're an asshole!

Well, you want
a piece of me?


Come on!

Mr. Smalley, please.

Ha ha ha!


Sit down...Please.


do you have
something to say?


There were a lot
of instances

in my childhood

when your drinking
made me feel bad,

but this is now,

and I want to talk
about now.

I have changed a lot

in the last
three years.

I mean, I lost
127 pounds,


I don't think
you even noticed.

But more than that,

I've made a lot
of progress
as a person...

And it hurts me...



You refuse to--

to even see that.

Aw, it's o.K.,

I'm here for you.

Come on.

Why don't you give
your alcoholic dad
a big hug?

Mr. Smalley.

Well, isn't that
what you do

in your 12-step

I always think

I should organize
one of these for you!

Because you're addicted.

You're addicted...

To 12-step programs!

Ha ha ha!

God, you'd drink, too,

if you had liberace
for a son.


We're both drunks!

And you know what?
You're dangerous!

The alcohol has made you

to yourself
and to all of US!

You've scarred
all of US!

I mean, look at me!

I haven't done shit
with my life!

And that's all my fault?

No, it's not
all your fault,

but stuff happened...

That made it hard.

You remember
my first year at Kennedy?

New school,
new kids.

You know, I actually
got up the courage

to have a party.

Down in the basement?

We were playing
records and stuff.

And you got so drunk,

you fell down the stairs
in front of everybody.

That just--

that just
never happened.


Mrs. Smalley?

Maybe if you just
cut down a little...

After the holidays.


Why did we do this?

There is one more
piece of information,

Mr. Smalley.

This is a letter

from the district attorney
of hennepin county

regarding your
hunting accident.

It says if you don't
get help...

You go to jail.

Hmm. Oh.

If this is what
it's like in rehab,

send me to jail.

I'll talk to you
at home.

Well, that was fun.


That night,
I had this dream.

It's a recurring dream
I've had most of my life.

I'm holding dad in my arms,
and he looks up at me.

His eyes just look into mine

and seem to say,

"I'm sorry I'm so helpless.

"Thank you for saving me.

I love you."

And that's the end.

I can't take this.

You see, the thing is,

I have nothing
to spend it on.

You could spend it
on yourself.

No, I can't. Actually,
that's one of my problems.

I'm an anorexic spender.

I'll pay you back.


They called your bus.


I don't think
I'm coming back
for Christmas.

I have to get on
with my life.


It's going to be weird
not being home.

I'll miss the, uh...

Fighting, mainly.


You guys going to
be o.K.?

Final call.

Uh, take care of Kyle

and yourself.

You, too.

Go to meetings.

You know where I am.

And get a sponsor.

And the whole thing was
just a humongous disaster,

and mom and dad
won't talk to me,

and I told Jodie and Donnie

that I just--
I won't be coming back,

which means I'll be
having Christmas

without my family
for the first time ever,

and that's o.K.

Because I have
lots of friends,

and believe me,

we're going to celebrate

because when it comes
to partying,

no one gets down

like people in recovery.

It's true.

But still I know
it's going to be

a bumpy time for me

and that's o.K.

I have to accept that

as we say in program,

"alcoholism is
a threefold disease--

Thanksgiving, Christmas,
and new year's."

Isn't that clever?

Anyway, I guess I've finally
given up the fantasy

of the smalleys ever having
a Norman Rockwell Christmas--

or a Norman Rockwell anything,
for that matter--

and that's progress,

I guess.

And as we say,


not perfection."


Merry Christmas

and always remember

you're good enough,

you're smart enough,

and doggone it,

people like you.



Let's party!

[Cheering and applause]

[Music playing]

Merry Christmas,

Merry Christmas,

Jerry! Thank you
for coming.

So moving.
Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas.

I think
you're great.

Oh, I love you, too.

I think you're
just great.

I know.

O.k. That--that's good.

O.k. Merry--
merry Christmas.

Oh, I'm sorry.

that's o.K.

You two! Ha ha!

Oh! You didn't put that
on plastic, did you?

Oh, no. Cash only.

Sorry to take
your inventory.

Thank you.

Ah, can you
excuse me?


That was a great show.

I'm so proud of you.

Thank you.

Um, about
Christmas dinner--

I'm going to have
to give you a rain check

because I'm going to Ohio.

I called my family,
and I've reconciled with,

well, pretty much
all of them.

That's amazing.

It's a miracle.

No. It's a joke.

Ha ha! Ha ha!


We're going to have
a great Christmas.

The best ever.

Come on. I want you
to meet some of my friends.


This is Julia.
She's my best friend.

This is my big brother.

Hi, Julie. Don.

Ha ha! Come on.
Let's meet everybody.

* grab your coat
and get your hat *

* leave your worries
on the doorstep *

* just direct your feet

* to the sunny side
of the street *

* can't you hear
that pitter-pat? *

* and that happy tune
is your step *

* life can be so sweet

* on the sunny side
of the street *

* I used to walk
in the shade *

* with all my blues on parade

* but I'm not afraid

* this rover crossed over

* if I never have a cent

* I'll be rich
as rockefeller *

* gold dust at my feet

* on the sunny side
of the street *

* I used to walk
in the shade *

* with all my blues on parade

I was ugly and lonesome!

* but I'm not afraid

* 'cause this rover

* he done crossed over

* if I never have a cent

* I'll be rich,
as rich as rockefeller *

* gold dust at my feet

* on the sunny side
of the street *

oh, yeah!

* on the sunny

* sunny

* the sunny, sunny side
of the street **

ha ha ha!

Captioning performed by
the national captioning
institute, inc.

Captions copyright 1995
Paramount pictures corporation

* though I know
we don't share a name *

* I still love you
just the same *

* so I don't share
a house with you *

* it doesn't mean
that I don't care *

* I know you're
always there for me *

* take my hand, show me how

* 'cause I'm only learning now

* what makes a family

* what makes a family *