Sylvie's Love (2020) - full transcript

A woman working at her father's record store in Harlem in the late 1950s meets an aspiring saxophone player. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
("Nearness of You" by George
Shearing Quintet playing)

♪ It’s not ♪

♪ The pale moon ♪

♪ That excites me ♪

- (car horn honks in distance)
- (traffic passing)

♪ That thrills ♪

♪ Or delights me ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ It’s just
the nearness of you ♪

♪ It isn’t your sweet ♪

(quiet chatter)

♪ Conversation ♪

♪ That brings ♪

♪ This sensation... ♪

All right, gentlemen.

Why don’t we take one
from the head.

Keep it nice and smooth.

♪ It’s just
the nearness of you ♪

♪ When you’re in my arms ♪

♪ And I feel you
so close to me ♪

♪ All my wildest ♪

- (hands clap, fingers snap)
- See ya.

(elevator bell dings)

♪ Dreams ♪

♪ Come true ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

♪ I need no soft lights ♪

♪ To enchant me... ♪

Y’all aren’t about to begin,
are you?

- You have a few more moments.
- Thank you.

Oh, Mona.

- ♪ Oh, no... ♪ - (song fades)


Robert Halloway.

("Fools Fall in Love"
by The Drifters playing)

Hey, boys!

Breakfast is served!

- All right.
- (Buzzy chuckles)

CARMEN: If you’re hungry,

there’s some butter right there.

- BUZZY: Thanks, Carmen.
- ROBERT: Thank you, Carmen.

- You’re welcome, baby.
- Pass the salt.

Oh. Gentlemen, gentlemen.

- Morning. -Morning.
- Morning. -Morning.

- Hey, what time’s the gig
tonight? -DICKIE: 9:00.

I need to find a record store
to pick up Monk’s new side.

Newk’s on it.

Well, ain’t no record stores
around here.

You’re gonna have to go
to Harlem.

Hey, you mind if I tag along?

Got to cop me some new kicks.

Soles on these are so thin,

if I stepped on a sandwich,
I could feel the mayonnaise.

- (others chuckling)
- CARMEN: You’re a nut, Chico.

♪ Playing it cool ♪

- ♪ I used to laugh... ♪
- MR. JAY: See? See?

There’s nothing wrong
with this fan.

(fan clatters)

Come on, good fan.

- Talk to me.
- (TV playing quietly)

Daddy, that fan is broken.

That’s why it was
out on the street.

See, now, now,
that’s what you said

when I found that TV set
you’re watching, too.

- And it had a perfect picture.
- Yeah, with no sound.

And what’d I do?

BOTH: Found another TV
that only has sound.

Right. That’s right.

Know what you call that?
Call that ingenuity.

That’s called cheap
is what it’s called.

(laughter, chatter over TV)

- (knob clicks)
- (TV sound mutes)


Sylvie, it is a beautiful
summer day out there.


Wouldn’t you rather be outside
with Mona or something?


I want to be here
spending time with you.


I’ll be in my office.

- I’m gonna get this fan
to work. -Please.

(knobs clicking)

(laughter over TV)

(door opens, closes)

ROBERT (voice-over): Carmen
said it’s up here, right?


(drumsticks clicking,
banging rhythmically)

Great googa mooga,
look at all that sugar.

Hey, how you doing?

You know the lighter the roast,
the stronger the coffee, right?

- (woman chuckles)
- Chicago Sweetney.

Where you going?
Want to go this way?

♪ ♪

(TV playing quietly)

♪ ♪

- (door opens)
- (bell jingles)

(door closes)

LUCY (over TV): Yes, ma’am.

WOMAN (over TV): Let her roll!

- ROBERT: Excuse me, miss?
- (audience laughter over TV)

You got Thelonious Monk’s
"Brilliant Corners"?

It’s in the bebop section

between Charlie Mingus
and James Moody.



What are you doing up here?

I thought you were downstairs
boxing chocolates.

- ETHEL: Oh, they kicked me
out of there fast. -LUCY: Why?

ETHEL: I kept pinching them
to see what kind they were.

- (audience laughter)
- (Sylvie laughing)

This is the fourth department
I’ve been in.

Oh? I didn’t do so well either.

WOMAN: All right, girls.

Now, this is your last chance.

If one piece of candy
gets past you

and into the packing room
unwrapped, you’re fired.

- (Sylvie chuckling)
- (Robert clears throat softly)

- WOMAN: Let her roll!
- (audience laughter)

- (bell dings)
- ROBERT: All set. -Oh.

That will be three dollars.

Um, how much is the discount
if you work here?

We’re not hiring.

- Well, this sign says you are.
- (chuckles)

You see... (sighs)

my fiancé is over in Korea,

and my mother won’t allow
television inside the house,

so I have to come here
to Daddy’s store every day

to watch my shows until Lacy
comes home and we get married

and I can finally have
a TV of my own.

- Oh. (chuckles)
- (stammers)

But my mother, Eunice Johnson

of the Eunice Johnson
School of...

School of Etiquette and Manners.

- SYLVIE: Uh-huh.
- Mm-hmm.

She has some of
the finest young ladies

from the best families
in Harlem attend her schools,

so she has a certain image
to uphold

and therefore doesn’t want
people to think that I’m here

because Daddy can’t afford
to hire help.

So that’s why we put
the sign in the window,

- even though we don’t
need anyone. -Mm-hmm.

MR. JAY: Sylvie?

- Yes, Daddy?
- What’s going on out there?

SYLVIE: It’s just somebody
about the sign again.

Happens a lot. (chuckles)

Uh, hello, sir.

What’s your name, boy?


Robert Halloway, sir.

(softly): Hmm.

MR. JAY: Well,
Mr. Robert Halloway, sir...

- Oh.
-’re hired.

Come back tomorrow morning
at 10:00 a.m.

Yes, sir.

Baby, you need to find
something else to do

this summer besides
watching these TVs all day.


- ♪ Fools give their hearts ♪
- (clears throat)

♪ Much too soon... ♪

(door closes)


how much is this
with my discount?

It’s on the house.

See you tomorrow.

See you tomorrow.

- Thanks.
- Mm-hmm.

- ♪ Fool. ♪ - (door opens)

(Sylvie chuckles)

- (bell jingles)
- (door closes)

(muffled jazz music
playing inside)

- (car horns honking)
- (traffic passing)

(swinging jazz music continues)

♪ ♪

(song ends)

(crowd cheering)

DICKIE (voice-over):
Hey, Sonny. Two J.W. Dants.

- These are on The Countess.
- Who? Miss Ann over there?

SONNY: Yeah.

DICKIE: Come on, Bobby.

("A Kiss to Build a Dream On"
by Louis Armstrong playing)

Good evening.

And thank you for the drinks.

I’m Dickie Brewster
and this is Bobby Halloway.


My friends call me Genie.

- Genie, huh?
- (chuckles)

You grant wishes, too?

Oh, of course.

But only if you rub my lamp
just right.

Mm. Thank you.

Do sit down.

So, B-flat.

You’re the genuine article,
aren’t you?

I noticed you were playing
quintuples in 5/4 time.

That’s quite an innovative way

to experiment with
a non-common time signature.


I’m having, uh,
some friends over

on Friday night, my place.

Sort of
an impromptu jam session.

I would love it
if you could drop by.

The Dickie Brewster Quartet
will be there.

Actually, we have
a late set on Friday.

Oh, we’re a nocturnal bunch.

I’m sure we’ll just be
getting started.

Until then.

Till then.

♪ Babe, give me... ♪

♪ Darling, you send me... ♪

Favorite... from a movie.

"The Man That Got Away"
from "A Star Is Born."

- Oh.
- (chuckles)


Favorite song from
senior year of high school.

"C’est Si Bon," Eartha Kitt.

- Mm.
- (chuckles)

Favorite song to...

mess around to.

I am not answering that.

(Mona laughs)

Well, if old Eunice
hadn’t caught you

messing around with Lacy,

you wouldn’t be getting married
in the first place.

Tell me about
this new boy at the store.

Is he cute?

I didn’t really notice.

That much.



(volume increases):
♪ Wanting to marry you ♪

♪ And take you home... ♪

Just set that down
on that table over there.

Yes, sir.

This basement door is tricky,

so be careful
not to shut it all the way

or else you’ll be
locked down here.

Yes, sir.

Yeah, that’s good.

So what else you do, Robert?

Well, I play the saxophone.

- You don’t say.
- Yeah.

I used to be
a saxophonist myself.

- Is that right?
- Yeah.

Hey, you ever hear
"The Scooty-Scooty Blues"?

No, I don’t think
I know that one.

♪ Long-legged beauty ♪

♪ Gave me
the scooty-scooty blues. ♪


Yeah, yeah.

I wrote that back in, uh...

Orangeburg, South Cackalacky.

Geechie Jay...
That’s what they call me.

- (chuckles softly)
- Tenor or alto?


Oh. What kind of ax you swing?

A Selmer, Super Action.


Had me a Conn New Wonder
with a snakeskin case.

- You still play?
- Nah, nah.

Once I started a family,
I gave all that up.

Nah, this record store
is my only tie to music now.

Yeah, I tried to teach Sylvie,
but, you know, she...

she got in her head she gonna
make TV shows one day.


I mean, can you imagine?

Colored girl making TV shows?


Listen, fellas, I can’t stay
too late, all right?

Why? What you got going on?

Well, Bobby took a day job
at the record store

so he can put the make on
this babe, and she’s engaged.

- Hey.
- (laughter)

I took it ’cause we ain’t

making no dough
at the Blue Morocco.

- That’s why I took it. -Well,
that is all about to change.


- Gentlemen, we have arrived.
- (lively jazz music playing)

- (whistles)
- (laughter and applause)

(lively jazz music continues)

(singing in French)

(music slows)

(song ends)

COUNTESS (voice-over):
Who’s your manager?

Well, we don’t have one.

Not yet.

And how much dosh is

the Blue Morocco paying you
for the summer?

- 200.
- $200?

For the entire summer?

You see, a good manager
would never

let them pay you pennies
for a Picasso,

and that sax player of yours
is the "Demoiselles d’Avignon."

And if you want to be
New York musicians,

you’ve got to look the part.

500 should cover
suits for the four of you.


When someone asks you who your
manager is, what do you say?

You are?

Attaboy. Oh.

Hey, what’s the big idea?

I get 20%.

(scoffs softly)

MR. JAY (voice-over):
Let’s try this.

- (electricity crackling)
- (Sylvie gasps)


Daddy, you almost
got electrocuted.

You leave that thing alone.

It’s just beyond repair.

(from upstairs): Once
Robert finishes downstairs,

you go ahead and close up early.

I’m gonna go find us
an air conditioner.

- (door opens)
- (bell jingles)

(door closes)

♪ Well, I saw my baby walking ♪

♪ With another man today ♪

(singing along):
♪ Well, I saw my baby walking ♪

♪ With another man today ♪

(music continues faintly

♪ When I asked her,
"What’s the matter?" ♪

♪ This is what I heard her say ♪

♪ See you later, alligator ♪

♪ After awhile, crocodile ♪

♪ See you later, alligator ♪

♪ After awhile, crocodile ♪

♪ Can’t you see
you’re in my way now? ♪

♪ Don’t you know
you cramp my style? ♪

♪ ♪

(floorboards thumping
and creaking upstairs)

♪ After awhile, crocodile ♪

♪ See you later, alligator ♪

♪ After awhile, crocodile ♪

♪ Can’t you see
you’re in my way now? ♪

♪ Don’t you know
you cramp my style? ♪

♪ See you later, alligator ♪

♪ After awhile, crocodile ♪

♪ See you later, alligator ♪

♪ So long, that’s all ♪

♪ Goodbye. ♪

- (song ends)
- (Robert clapping, laughing)

- Okay, I was just...
- Uh-huh. (chuckles softly) up, ’cause
my father said that we could

close early, so...

I’m just gonna...

- (chuckles)
- Well, I can...

I can help you if you want.

- ROBERT: Careful,
don’t close... -Oh!

- (doorknob rattles)
- Funny that it does that.

Suppose we’re...

stuck down here
till Daddy gets back, huh?

- ROBERT: Yep.
- (lighter clicks)

Say, can I have one?

Thank you.

How do you use this thing?


Yeah, here.

Hey, you’ve got a French light.

What’s that?

A French light.

It’s when you light a cigarette
and it only lights up halfway.

Supposed to mean
you’re gonna fall in love.


Well, you have one, too.

What’s that supposed to mean?

So Daddy tells me
you’re a saxophone player.


I’m actually in town

with my band from Detroit
for the summer.

We’re playing
over at the Blue Morocco.

- Are you any good?
- (chuckles softly)

Depends on what you like.

It’s not Bill Haley
and the Comets.

(chuckles) Well, I like
all sorts of music.

You have to, working in a
record store and all, you know.

So you can suggest music
to the customers.

For instance, you got
Monk’s "Brilliant Corners,"

and you’re a saxophone player,

so I’m guessing you like
Sonny Rollins.

- Uh-huh.
- Am I right?


Well, then I would recommend

his latest album,
"Way Out West,"

where he leads a trio
with him on sax

and a bassist and a drummer.

Unless of course
you already have it.

I don’t.




(train horn blowing in distance)

So what about your fiancé?

What type of music’s he like?

Little Richard.

(both laughing)

(church bells chiming
in distance)

- (lock clicks)
- (door opens)

(keys jingling)

(lock clicks)

Here you go.

- ROBERT: Thanks.
- Mm-hmm.

My band’s playing tomorrow night

at 9:00 if you want to come.

I could put you
on the guest list.

Can my cousin come?


All right, then.

See you tomorrow.


See you later, alligator.

(Robert chuckles softly)

(applause, cheering)

MAN (voice-over):
And now, ladies and gentlemen,

put your hands together

and give a warm
Blue Morocco welcome

to the Dickie Brewster Quartet.

(swinging jazz music playing)

♪ ♪

(men shouting, whistling)

♪ ♪

- (music slows)
- (applause, cheering)

(song ends)

Thank you, thank you.

This next number is
something we call "B-Loved."

(slow, romantic jazz music

Is that him?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(music slows)

(song ends with light flourish)

(applause, whistling)


I’d like you to meet
Monsieur Antoine Fournier.

Hello, gentlemen.

Pleasure to meet you.

Antoine books
several clubs in Paris.

He’s known as the sort of

patron saint of
American jazz expatriates.

- Wouldn’t you say?
- I’m hardly a saint,

but I do think you guys
would be a hit in Paris.

Not many American Negroes there.

I have a spot I need to book in
one month’s time at Le Sousol,

one of the top jazz clubs
in Paris.

Well, we still got
two months left on this gig,

- so that doesn’t work.
- Oh, leave that to me, B-flat.

That’s what managers are for.

Shall we have another drink?

See you out there.

You guys are dynamite.

DICKIE: Did he say "Paris"?
As in Paris?

- Mm-hmm.
- Ooh.

As in French bread,
French fries.

- Ooh, French thighs.
(laughs) Oui, oui. -Yeah.

ROBERT (voice-over):
How we gonna go to Paris, man?

Dickie’s still on parole.

And when she become our manager?

Man, I don’t know, but I do know

I wouldn’t mind meeting me
some of those mademoiselles.

Speaking of which.

("Why Must I Love You"
by The Esquires playing)

(patting back)

♪ Why must I need you... ♪


You came.

- I did.
- (Mona clears throat)

Oh, this is my cousin Mona.

Mona Lisa. (chuckles)

Like the painting.

Nice to meet you, Mona.

- Oh, this here is...
- Chicago Sweetney.

At your service.

Charmed, I’m sure.

Do you want to sit down?

Uh, sure.

("My Little Suede Shoes"
by Charlie Parker playing)



(Mona chuckles)

♪ ♪

(Robert laughs quietly)

(Sylvie laughs)

So what’s the verdict?

Am I any good?

Well, you’re right,
you’re no Bill Haley.

But I do think
you’re about as good

as any tenor player
I’ve ever heard.

With the exception of
John William Coltrane, but...

I’d say you’re gaining on him.

I don’t think I’ll ever catch
the Trane, but thank you.

Well, thank you for being good.

I’d be awful embarrassed
if you weren’t.

- (both chuckle)
- CONNIE: Hey, Bobby.

We’re all going
around the corner to Freddie’s

if you want to stop by.

When you’re done babysitting.

Is that your girlfriend?

Uh, who, Connie? No.

We just work together.

Kind of like we do,
only she’s not engaged.

("Tears on My Pillow" by Little
Anthony & The Imperials plays)

Well, I do think
I ought to be going home.

Uh, before you do...

...may I have the pleasure
of this dance, Miss Johnson?

♪ You don’t remember me,
but I... ♪

- I really shouldn’t.
- Come on.

You mean to tell me
you’re gonna turn down a dance

with the next John Coltrane?

♪ You broke my heart in two ♪

♪ Tears on my pillow ♪

♪ Pain in my heart ♪

♪ Caused by you, ooh ♪

♪ You ♪

♪ If we could start anew ♪

♪ I wouldn’t hesitate ♪

♪ I’d gladly take you back... ♪

- (song stops)
- You don’t have to go home,

but you can’t stay here.

(Sylvie sighs softly)

Hey, Bobby, uh,
me and, uh, uh...


Yeah, we’re gonna split.

Make sure she gets home okay.

I’ll call you tomorrow, Sylvie.

(Mona chuckles)

(door opens)

- So...
- (door closes)

(laughs): I do have to go home.

Can I walk you?

Did you listen
to "Brilliant Corners" yet?

(chuckles softly)
Only about a hundred times.

(Sylvie chuckles)

I never met a girl who knew
as much about music as you do.

I bet the only thing
you know about

- more than music is television.
- Oh, don’t get me started.

I’ve seen just about
every episode of everything.


I never met anyone who could
play music the way you do.

What’s the one thing
you love about it the most?

Mm, the way it makes me feel.

Oh, that’s me.


Never found anything
to make me feel like that.

So how’d you meet your fiancé?


At a cotillion
at the Renaissance Ball.

At a what?

You don’t know
what a cotillion is?

- No.
- (chuckles)

Uh, it’s a formal ball

where debutantes are
presented to society

and then introduced to young
men from prominent families.

- Oh.
- Mm.

So Lacy’s from
a prominent family?

Oh, sure. His father’s a doctor,

and he has one of the most
successful medical practices

in the country,
Negro or otherwise.

So not just prominent but rich.

I’m afraid, terribly.

Well, thank you for...

walking me home.

And for the invitation.

You were terrific.


You know, where I’m from,

when a fellow walks a gal home
from a date,

there’s usually
a good night kiss involved.

But I guess this wasn’t
really a date, huh?


Well, not officially.


you asked me and I came,
so I suppose it is...

...rather date-like.


Been practicing that?


Good night.


♪ ♪

EUNICE: Sylvie, is that you?

I’ll see you tomorrow.

♪ ♪

Hey, what’s your
favorite song on this?

Uh, "You Don’t Know
What Love Is."

(bell jingles)

Hey, what are you doing tonight?


Oh, hi, Mama.

Robert, this is my mother,
Eunice Johnson.

This is Robert Halloway.

Pleasure to meet you, ma’am.

My husband tells me
that you’re a musician.

Yes, ma’am.

Did you attend conservatory?

Uh, no, ma’am. I’m self-taught.

But he’s really very talented.

- Is that so?
- Mm-hmm.

- Mm.
- Mm.

Well, I do hope that
Mr. Johnson isn’t boring you

with too many of
his own music tales.

- (Eunice and Sylvie laugh)
- Oh, no.

I love Mr. Jay’s...

I mean, Mr. Johnson’s stories.

(Sylvie chuckling)

Well, I’m sure
you have things to do.

Yeah, I should get back to work.

- Excuse me.
- Oh.

You know, my dear,
a young lady should never

lavish gushing praise
on a young man,

especially one
who’s beneath her station.

It might give off
the wrong impression.

You wouldn’t want that,
now, would you?

No, ma’am.

(whispers): Good.


- Okay.
- Need a receipt?


Three dollars change.

(TV playing quietly)

- (door opens)
- (bell jingles)

(door closes)

So I was gonna ask you earlier
if you’re busy tonight,

’cause I want to invite you
to a birthday party...

I wanted to tell you
that what happened between us

last night was a mistake.

It was a momentary lapse
in judgment on my part,

and it can’t happen again.



(church bell tolling
in distance)

(man and woman
chattering over TV)

(TV chatter continues)


(muffled doo-wop music playing
in distance)

Whose party is this anyway?

Oh, didn’t I tell you?

David Rockefeller
and Brooke Astor.


(knocking on door)

Hey! Mmm. Mm-hmm. Mm. Mm-hmm.


("The ABC’s of Love" by Frankie
Lymon and the Teenagers plays)

♪ Find a place there
in your heart ♪

♪ And I’ll tell you
of the ABCs ♪

♪ Gosh knows I love you ♪

♪ Heaven knows it’s true ♪

Excuse me.

♪ I want to be near you ♪

♪ J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q ♪

♪ Run, honey,
and don’t be blind ♪

♪ Sugar, you stay on my mind ♪

♪ True love is hard to find ♪

♪ I’ll tell you of the ABCs... ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

(Carmen laughs)

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪


♪ Happy birthday, dear Carmen ♪


♪ Happy birthday to you. ♪

(cheering, applause)

("She Is My Dream"
by The Tads playing)

♪ An angel in my eyes ♪

♪ There she goes ♪

♪ I love her passing by ♪

♪ I love her ♪

You plan on ignoring me
all night?

♪ For she is my dream ♪

♪ She is my dream... ♪

Look, Robert,
I came here with Mona.

I didn’t even know
that you’d be here.

Oh, so if you knew I’d be here,
you wouldn’t have come?

No, that’s not what I meant.

(Robert scoffs softly)

The bottom line is

you shouldn’t have
kissed me last night.

I’m... I’m engaged.

You don’t have to keep
reminding me

that you’re engaged.

It’s all you ever talk about.

Which is a shame
’cause it’s actually

the least interesting thing
about you.

And for the record,

it wasn’t just me
doing the kissing last night.

♪ Now she has gone ♪

♪ I think I’ll go home... ♪

Somebody paying you
to hold up this wall?

♪ There she goes ♪

♪ An angel in my eyes ♪

♪ There she goes ♪

♪ I love her passing by ♪

♪ I love her ♪

♪ For she is my dream ♪

♪ She is my dream ♪

♪ My only dream ♪

(door opens, closes)

♪ To me it seems ♪

♪ Is to try and make... ♪

(music continues faintly inside)

(door opens)

- ROBERT: Sylvie.
- (door closes)

- What are you doing?
- Walking home.

- It’s late. Let me take you.
- No, thank you. I’m fine.

Can I ask you a question?

If last night
was such a mistake,

why you so bent out of shape

about me dancing
with somebody else?


...mistake or not,

when a girl is kissed by a guy,
she’d like to think that

she’s the only girl
that guy’s been kissing.

So you carrying on
with what’s-her-face

doesn’t make me
feel very special.

Well, the only reason
I was carrying on with her

in the first place
is ’cause of you,

telling me
this was all a big mistake.

That doesn’t make me
feel very special either.

Matter of fact, it made me
feel pretty ordinary.

Well, you’re not.

Ordinary, to me.

In fact, I think
you’re one of the most...

extraordinary people
I’ve ever met.

("To Be Loved" by Jackie Wilson
playing inside)

♪ Someone to care... ♪

You know, we never got
to finish our dance last night.

♪ Lonely hours ♪

♪ And moments of despair ♪

♪ To be loved, to be loved ♪

♪ Oh, what a feeling ♪

♪ To be loved ♪

♪ Someone to kiss ♪

♪ Someone to miss ♪

♪ When you’re away ♪

♪ To hear from each day ♪

- ♪ To be loved, to be loved ♪
- ♪ To be loved, to be loved ♪

♪ Oh, oh, what a feeling ♪

♪ To be ♪

♪ Be loved. ♪

EUNICE: Ears should be
back and over the shoulders,

while the chin remains
parallel to the floor.

(quietly): You have
two new letters from Lacy.

Shoulders are down and relaxed,
while the rib cage is elevated.

Weight rests
in the center of the feet.

Now, these are the key
foundations to perfect posture.

- Let me.
- ♪ Summertime ♪

♪ And the living is easy ♪

♪ Fish are jumping and... ♪

How come you don’t just go
to a real beach?

Because she’s afraid
of the ocean.

- Mona.
- (laughs)

But, you know,
even though there’s no water,

you can still go skinny-dipping.


♪ And your ma
is good-looking... ♪

CHICO: How can anybody be
afraid of the ocean?

MONA: She doesn’t want to get
her hair wet. (chuckles)

(door opens, closes)

♪ Don’t you cry... ♪

ROBERT: "It is not in the stars
to hold our destiny

but in ourselves."

that’s Shakespeare, isn’t it?

I don’t know.

It’s just something
my mother used to say.

Now, is she back in Detroit?

No. She passed away,
couple years back.

Sorry to hear that.

(softly): Yeah.

She’s the reason
I’m here, really.

Always wanted to be
a musician, you know?

But after high school,
reality set in

and I took a job
on an assembly line.

And then when my mother passed,

it made me realize that
life’s too short to waste time

on things you don’t
absolutely love.

So, quit the auto plant,

joined the band, and the rest,
as they say, is history.

But how do you know?

If you love something
absolutely, I mean.

I don’t know.

I guess when it’s
the only thing that matters.


Thank you.

("Sincerely" by
The McGuire Sisters playing)

♪ Sincerely... ♪

You didn’t.

- I did.
- (laughing)



Tell me everything. How was it?

It was...


(softly): Oh.

Oh. Damn.

I’ve done it plenty of times,

and it ain’t never been

(both chuckle)


♪ Please say you’ll be mine ♪


♪ Oh, Lord ♪

♪ Won’t you tell me why ♪

- ♪ I love that fella so ♪
- (Sylvie chuckles)

(Mona gasps)

♪ He doesn’t want me... ♪

You know what it was?

(softly): What?

- (squeals)
- (both laughing)

("Fools Fall in Love"
by The Drifters playing)

♪ Well, fools fall in love
in a hurry ♪

♪ Fools give their hearts
much too soon ♪

(singers vocalizing)

♪ Just play them
two bars of "Stardust" ♪

(bicycle bell dings)

♪ Just hang out one silly moon ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ And they’re making plans
for the future ♪

(singers vocalizing)

♪ When they should be
right back in school ♪

(singers vocalizing)

- ♪ I used to laugh ♪
- (car horn honks)

♪ But now I understand ♪

♪ Shake the hand ♪

♪ Of a brand-new fool. ♪

(Sylvie gasps)

Hey. Ain’t you supposed to be
slaving at the wax museum?

I was, but that was
just Mr. Jay.

- He said he had to let me go.
- (door opens)

Gentlemen. Gentlemen. Ah.

That’s it.

The Countess got us
out of our contract.

We’re heading to Paris
at the end of the month!


(Chico grunts excitedly)

(saxophone playing sad version
of "B-Loved" in distance)

♪ ♪

(quietly): Robert.

What if my mother had heard you?

What was I supposed to do?

I’ve been trying to call you
since I got fired,

and she keeps hanging up on me.

I have something important
to tell you.

- Okay.
- I’m leaving.

What? Where to and when?

The band got offered
a gig in Paris,

and I’m leaving in two weeks.

- Goodness.
- That’s why I had to see you.

Come with me.

- To Paris? (chuckles)
- Yes, to Paris.

What if we don’t work out?

- That won’t happen.
- How do you know that?

’Cause the only thing
that matters is us.

Just promise me
you’ll think about it.

- Robert...
- Promise me.


I promise.

(chuckles): I’ve got to go.

See you later, alligator.

(knock on door)



How long have you been sick?

Well, I fainted last month.

Dr. Parker said it was
probably just heatstroke,

but I haven’t been
feeling so good since.

Last month?

When’s the last time
you got your period?

I don’t remember.

Oh, Sylvie.

You think you might be...?


You got to tell Robert.

(exhales slowly)

Come on now, Bobby.

Plane leave in an hour.
We better get a move on.

♪ ♪

All right.

- (car approaching)
- (horn honking)

Man, I almost thought
you weren’t coming.

- I’ll get your suitcase.
- Robert.


There isn’t any suitcase,
is there?


But I couldn’t let you leave
without saying goodbye.

And I wanted to tell you that...

...I think you very well could
be the next John Coltrane.

And what are you gonna be?

- CHICO: Bobby?
- (chuckles)

Your biggest fan.

CHICO: We got to go.
We’re gonna miss our plane.

See you later, alligator.

After awhile, crocodile.

(engine starts)

- (busy chatter)
- ♪ One, two, three, hey ♪

♪ Look at Mr. Lee ♪

♪ Three, four, five... ♪

SYLVIE: WNAT Television.

MAN (over phone):
Mr. Schuller, please.

SYLVIE: Oh. Hey, Mr. Adams.

Mr. Schuller? Sure thing.

- WNAT Television.
- WOMAN: Kate Spencer, please.

Kate Spencer?
Who may I say is calling?

Beverley Marshall.

I’m calling about the assistant
to the producer position,

for "Bon Appétit"
with Lucy Wolper.

One moment please.

♪ Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee ♪

- ♪ His name is Mr. Lee ♪
- ♪ Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee ♪

- ♪ He’s the handsomest
sweetie ♪ -♪ Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee ♪

- ♪ That you ever did see ♪
- ♪ Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee ♪

- ♪ My heart is aching ♪
- ♪ Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee... ♪

- Thank you.
- (phones ringing in distance)

Kate Spencer.

Sylvia Parker.

Nice to meet you. Please.

(Kate clears throat)


Have you ever worked
in production?

No, ma’am.

I haven’t.

Are you married?
Do you have any kids?

Yes, both.

Producer’s assistants
work long hours,

and generally speaking,
it’s not...

the best job for a housewife.

Long hours, huh?

I suppose that’s code for
"the producer would rather hire

"a gal that doesn’t mind

being chased around his office
all night long."

Well, if that’s the case,
thank you very much.

Are you quite finished?

I... am the producer of
the Lucy Wolper cooking show,

so I can assure you
I have no desire

to chase you around my office
all night.

So... why don’t you
sit back down and tell me:

Why should I hire someone
with no experience

to be my assistant?

Because until about
five seconds ago, I didn’t know

that a Negro woman television
producer even existed.

And all my life, that is
all I’ve ever wanted to be.

("Your Little Toy"
by The Hearts playing)

♪ Are you tired of your toy? ♪

- Hi, Lacy.
- LACY: Hey.

♪ It used to give you
lots of happiness and joy ♪

♪ I was... ♪

- You won’t believe...
- Dan Evans called.

I got the account.


(both grunt)

So he wants to get together
and discuss the details.

Tomorrow night, he and his wife
are coming over for dinner.

- Here, tomorrow night?
- Yeah.


Well, I was gonna tell you that
I’m starting a new position

at the station tomorrow,
as a producer’s assistant.


Okay. (chuckles)

I don’t know
that I’ll have time to cook.

Is there any chance
we can do it another night?

They’ve already confirmed,

and your mother’s
watching Michelle.

I thought we agreed.

You can work
as long as it doesn’t interfere

with your responsibilities
at home.

Be a dear,
pull something together.

Dan Evans.



♪ ♪


(Kate talking quietly)

- Right. -Do not forget
the eggs this time.

I need carrots in this bowl,

and I need mushrooms
in this bowl.

- You got it?
- Yeah.

Okay, great. Thank you so...

Good. You are early.

You need to go to Melman’s
on 14th for the meat.

We need a blade-cut rib roast,
and don’t, don’t,

don’t let them give you
anything frozen.

We don’t have time to defrost.

Here’s a ten.

Get receipts for everything.

Blade-cut rib roast, okay.

Try to say that
five times fast. (chuckles)

Well, what are you waiting for?

- Right.
- Go.

Can somebody get me potatoes?!

And here we have
our finished beef bourguignon.

Join us tomorrow, when we’ll be
making duck à l’orange,

and remember to clean your
tough kitchen jobs with BAB-O,

the world’s sudsiest cleanser.

I’m Lucy Wolper.

Bon appétit.

(jaunty theme music playing)

KATE: And that’s our show!

- Thank you! Thank you!
- (bells ringing, chatter)

Oh. Give her the shoes, please.

(Lucy groans)


You must be the new girl.

Lucy Wolper.

Sylvie Parker.

Welcome to the set.

Pleasure. Thank you.

Have a good night.


Say... what do you do

with the guest of honor
when the show’s over?

You know, I’ve never
really thought about it.

- You want it?
- Would you mind?

My husband has a client coming
over for dinner in an hour,

and they expect
a home-cooked meal.


Take it.

- Really?
- Enjoy. (chuckles)

You are a lifesaver.

- Thank you very much.
- Don’t mention it.

Heat it up with the oven at 350.

- (chuckles) Sure thing.
- (chuckles softly)

SARAH: Wherever did you learn

to make beef bourguignon
like that?

- Fantastic.
- Thank you.

From the Lucy Wolper show.

Oh. Well, I simply must
have our girl Viola

- call you for the recipe.
- Please do.

Cigar, Parker?

Snagged a couple dozen
Petit Upmanns

- before the trade embargo.
- Mmm.

Absolutely. Let’s go out
to the front porch.

I got a bottle of Haig
and Haig Pinch

that will go perfect
with those Cubans.

SARAH: So your husband’s
a shoo-in for the account.

Oh, good thing.

It’s all he can talk about.

It should make him happy.

Oh, well, hopefully
everyone will be happy.

- Dan, your husband, the NAACP.
- (door closes)

Oh, goodness, what’s the NAACP
got to do with it?

Dan’s company was targeted
by the NAACP

for having discriminatory
hiring practices.

Can you imagine?

Then it’s a good thing they’re
giving such a big account

to a Negro in business.

Oh, of course
I didn’t mean to imply

that that was your husband’s
only qualification.

Why, just today,
I remarked to my Danny

that I couldn’t even tell
your husband was a Negro

on the telephone.

He has such good diction.

You really do have
a lovely home.

Thank you.

- Oh, here, let me help you.
- Oh, no.

I’ll go and fix us some coffee.

Sounds delightful.

- LACY: Now, that was a success.
- (dishes clinking)


Nice folks, huh?

You think so?

Yeah. What was wrong with them?

They were perfectly gracious.

They’re bigots.

You do realize
that man is in trouble

- with the NAACP, don’t you?
- So what?

This account’s worth
half a million dollars.

♪ ♪

(horns honking)

SID (voice-over):
Good work today, fellas.

- I think we got it.
- All right.

All right. Thanks, Sid.

See ya.

Y’all aren’t about to begin,
are you?

You have a few more moments.

Thank you.

Oh, Mona.



(Robert chuckles)

What are you doing in New York?

We’re recording an album.

That is terrific.

- Wow. Congratulations.
- Thank you.

And what about you?
What are you up to?

Well, I’m supposed to see
a concert with my cousin Mona.

- You remember Mona, don’t you?
- Mona Lisa. Yes.

- (chuckles)
- Of course. How is she?

Oh, she’s fine, except
I’m afraid she stood me up.

The show’s about
to start, folks.

So good to see you.

You, too.


Do you like Nancy Wilson?

("All My Tomorrows"
by Nancy Wilson playing)

♪ Today I may not have
a thing at all ♪

♪ Except for just
a dream or two ♪

♪ But I’ve got lots of plans
for tomorrow ♪

♪ And all my tomorrows ♪

♪ Belong to you ♪

♪ Right now it may not seem
like spring at all... ♪

(song fades)

I’m going uptown.

Is there somewhere
I can drop you?

I’m just around the corner
at The Plaza.


You know, it just dawned on me.

This might possibly be
the last time

I get to see you
without buying a ticket.

Imagine that.

♪ ♪


Can I have
the Monte Cristo sandwich?

- Wonderful.
- (hangs up phone)

(knock on door)

You know, when a gal
asks a fella out on a date,

there’s usually
a good night kiss involved.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

ROBERT (voice-over):
Come with us on tour.

I’m afraid I can’t.


Because of him?


No, because of her.


The sauce thickens.

What’s her name?

- Michelle.
- Hmm.

She’s beautiful.

Isn’t she just?

Bartender, I’ll have another.

(phone ringing)

- (vacuum stops)
- (TV playing quietly)


MONA (over phone): Hey, kiddo.

Mo. Hey.

Oh, just put that over there.

SYLVIE: What happened to you
the other night?

I was worried sick.

Where are you?


(chuckles) That’s why
I couldn’t make it on Friday.

We’ve expanded
the Voter Education Project

into Southwest Georgia,

and yours truly was tapped as
the representative from CORE,

so I had to leave
right after work on Friday.

Say, when do you think
you’re gonna be back?

Looks like I’m gonna be here
at least through the summer.

Anyways, I’m sorry
you had to go alone.

Oh, no, that’s okay.

I, um...

I didn’t go alone.

I went with Robert.

- Robert Robert?
- Mm-hmm. Robert Robert.

I couldn’t believe it.

I was waiting for you
outside of the theater,

and then there he...
there he walks by me,

just out of the blue.


Well, I’d been waiting so long,

I figured
you weren’t gonna come,

so I invited him to join me.

Which he did,
and afterwards he asked me

if I wanted to have a drink,

which I said
would not be a good idea,

so I got into a cab and I left.

And that was it?

Well, no, not exactly.
(chuckles) I...

Before he left, he told me
where he was staying.

I don’t know
what I was thinking, Mona.

I thought maybe I’d...

I don’t know.

You didn’t.

I did.


the two of you didn’t...

No, we did.

(gasps) What?

I know. I know.

But it’s not as if
it’s gonna happen again.

I mean, he goes back on
the road, so I won’t see him.

Just a...

a one-time thing
which I’ll forget.

Oh. Wow.


- Really nice.
- (door closes)

COUNTESS: Hi, boys.

- Look out.
- Hello.

So, Miles Davis... hi, Sid...

Is in Studio A,

and he told me to tell you
that he saw you in Paris.

- Oh.
- Wow. What?

He’s only got a minute,

but he wants to meet
the genius behind the band.


Hey, fellas, you hear that?

Miles is a fan.


Come on, B-flat.

(Sid chuckles)

Oh, hey, Sid.

You got any extra comps
for the show this Friday?

Sure. How many you need?

Just one.

Send it to this address
please. Thanks.

Now, of course, when you make
French onion soup,

you’re going to need
an awful lot of onions.

And if you’re prone
to tearing up,

one trick is to keep
a bowl of salted water nearby.

And speaking of salt,
let’s pause to welcome

one of our newest sponsors,
Lighthouse Salt.

- Now with more iodine.
- (jaunty theme music ends)

(bell rings twice)

(crew chattering)

- Sylvie?
- I’m awake.

A courier delivered this
for you earlier today.

Oh. Thank you.

- (door opens)
- (TV playing quietly)

LACY (singsongy): Hello.

- MICHELLE: Daddy!
- (door closes)

How’s my girls?

Daddy’s got
a little surprise for you.

(chuckles, gasps playfully)

- Disneyland?
- That’s right.

- We leave in two weeks.
- (both giggle)

The check cleared
for the Evans account.

- I gathered.
- (Lacy grunting playfully)

Okay. You go in
and you put your pajamas on,

and I’ll be in there in just
a minute to tuck you in.

LACY (mumbling):
Go to bed. Just go to bed.

(grunting, sputtering playfully)


Thank you.

I can’t take a vacation
right now.

I’ve just started this job
two weeks ago.

MAN (over TV): Masters is dead.


With money like this,

there’s no reason for you
to keep working at all.

Lacy, I don’t want to quit
my job; I happen to like it.

What do you say we go out
to a fancy dinner Friday night,


We’ll discuss it then.

Well, I can’t Friday night.

I have to work late.

So this couple gets a flat
during a snowstorm, okay?

And the guy goes out
to fix the flat,

but he’s got no gloves, see,
and he starts to get cold.

He goes back to the car
to warm up.

Gal says, "Hey, why don’t you
put your hands between my legs?

That’ll warm them up, right?"

So he does it.

After a while,
his hands get warm.

He goes out to continue.

He’s fixing the flat.
His hands get cold again.

He goes back to the car, says,

"Can I put my hands between
your legs and warm them up?"

She says, "When are your ears
gonna get cold?"


"When are your ears
gonna get cold?"

He doesn’t get it. You’re cute.

Do you ever think about
just letting her be herself?

LUCY: Oh, I love that one.
You get it, don’t you?

- Lucy?
- (Lucy laughing)

- Yeah.
- (chuckles): Oh.

Oh, no... God, no.

- Could you imagine?
- (Lucy laughing)

LUCY: "When are
your ears gonna get cold?"

(mocking): "When are your ears
gonna get cold?"

Girl, we’d never
make it past the censors.

SYLVIE: Daddy!

(radio static crackles
over headphones)

- Daddy.
- Oh.

(both chuckle)

- Hey, girl.
- Hey.

- Keys.
- Yeah, about that.

Look, she’s been acting
a little finicky lately.

Oh, no. What’s she been doing?

Well, the radiator
had a little trouble,

but I think I finally fixed it.

Okay. You better have.

I’m gonna be late.

- I got to go.
- Sylvie, honey.

You gonna tell him?

I don’t know.

Thank you.

Sending you love!


(blows note)

MAN (over speakers):
Ladies and gentlemen,

the Dickie Brewster Quartet!

(crowd cheering)

(intercom beeps)

Evelyn, do you know if Mrs.
Parker has left for the day?

EVELYN: I’m sorry,
Ms. Spencer, she has.

(sighs): Okay.

Um, actually, would you
ring her at home for me please?

(groans softly)

♪ ♪

Hey, can I get your autograph?


Thank you for coming out.

- Hope you enjoyed it.
- Thank you. Yeah.

Bobby, got a little surprise
for you.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah, yeah.

You remember Connie, don’t you?

Hi, Bobby.

I’ll let you two
get reacquainted.

(whispers): I’ve got a surprise
for you underneath my coat.

L-Let’s get you back in the car

before you catch a cold,
all right?

♪ ♪



There you go.

Thank you.

(engine starts)

(keys jingling)

LACY: Your boss called.

I know his band
was playing tonight.

It was all over the damn radio.

I could’ve had any girl
in Harlem, you know that?

- But I chose...
- I know.

CROWD: Five, four, three, two,


Happy New Year!

- ("Auld Lang Syne" playing)
- (cheering)

(noisemakers blowing)

Happy New Year!


(band playing
"Quizás, Quizás, Quizás")

(Carmen singing in Spanish)

♪ Quizás, quizás, quizás ♪

(singing in Spanish)

♪ Quizás, quizás, quizás. ♪

♪ ♪

- (song ends)
- (crowd cheering)

Bravo. Bravo.

♪ ♪

- Oh, hello!
- Hello. Sorry that we’re late.

Every year, my father has
a New Year’s Eve party

at his little record shop,
and we went by there,

and of course we got stuck
in traffic at Times Square.

What did we miss?

Oh, you missed
absolutely nothing, nothing.

In fact, I think we should’ve
gone to your father’s party.


("One Mint Julep"
by Sarah Vaughan playing)

Place is something, huh?

I’ll say.

Bobby, when are you gonna
get a place like this?

♪ Went in a tavern
to get a few nips... ♪

(Carmen and Connie laugh)

Hey! Fellas, have you seen

Don de Michael’s review of
the album in "Down Beat" yet?

Not yet.

- Good?
- What?

Good? It’s fantastic.

"’B-Sides, ’
the auspicious debut

"from the
Dickie Brewster Quartet,

is nothing short of genius."

I got to go show Dickie this.

Hey, Sid.

The record’s a big hit, right?


So how’s it that Dickie can
afford a swell place like this

while the rest of us
still live on the north end?

Dickie’s tunes.

He got an advance
on the publishing.

I’ve been working on those
tunes with Dickie for years.

You know that, Sid.

He owns the copyrights.

Look, if you want
to make the big bucks,

you got to own the tunes.

Listen, you’re a talented kid.

When you’re ready to record
as a leader, you let me know.


- I cannot find my husband.
- (Sid chuckles)

I think he went
to get more booze.

(sighs): Oh.

All right.

Oh, Bobby, I almost forgot.

There was a message for you
on the answering service.

Seemed urgent.

What are you doing in here?

You... I was looking
everywhere for you.


- Oh.
- (chuckles)

Oh. I almost forgot.

You’re looking at

the future Mrs.
Melvin Carmichael, Esquire.


My goodness.

(laughs): Well, congratulations.

- Well, thank you.
- (laughs)

- Oh.
- Okay.

- Aw, thank you.
- Hmm.

So, I told the network brass

that I won’t be renewing
my contract for the New Year.

You didn’t.

I did.

Well, this place is sure gonna
be colorless without us, huh?


What-what do you mean
"without us"?

It’s only natural
the new producer

will want to bring
her own assistant, right?

Oh. Oh. Oh, right.

Um, well...

you know, you could
always ask her.

- They found someone new
already? -Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Yes. And she comes
highly recommended.

- Hello, Operator?
- (music playing nearby)

How may I direct your call?

Uh, person to person
in New York City.

May I have the name please?

- Mr. Herbert Johnson.
- (door opens)

May I put you on a brief hold?

- ROBERT: Yes, I’ll hold.
- Ah, ah, ah.

We wouldn’t want the missus
to see that, now, would we?

DICKIE (slurring):
I don’t care. (chuckles)



Happy New Year, mon frère.

Your fly is open.



(pants zip)

(singing quietly)

- MR. JAY: Robert?
- ROBERT: Hey, Mr. Jay.

Is everything all right?

MR. JAY: There’s something
you need to know.

- Calling it a night?
- Yeah.

I don’t blame you.

Hey, I seem to have
lost my husband.

- Have you seen him?
- Oh.

You might try Kate’s office.

Or should I say "your office"?


Thanks very much.

Say, Evelyn.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, Sylvie.


She’s a wonderful little girl.

You’d be proud.

ROBERT: Thanks.

(hangs up phone)

("Fly Me to the Moon"
by Doris Day playing)

♪ Fly me to the moon ♪

♪ And let me play
among the stars ♪

♪ Let me see
what spring is like ♪

♪ On Jupiter and Mars ♪

♪ In other words ♪

♪ Hold my hand ♪

♪ In other words ♪

♪ Darling, kiss me ♪

♪ Fill my heart with song ♪

♪ And let me sing forevermore ♪

♪ You are all I long for ♪

♪ All I worship and adore ♪

♪ In other words ♪

♪ I love you. ♪

Mom, Dad,
what are you doing here?

What’s going on?

Let me get you some coffee.

DR. PARKER: Sylvie...

it’s your father.

What happened?

He had a heart attack
at the party after you left.

(coffee pouring)

I truly am sorry.

♪ ♪

- Thank you so much for coming.
- (quiet chatter)

- Thank you.
- (woman speaks softly)

Thank you.

Eunice, this was lovely.

You’re working?

You’re ignoring our guests.

Come on. That can wait.

It can’t, actually.

The show must go on.

And my show isn’t
gonna produce itself.

I have to be at work
tomorrow morning, so...

let me finish, please.

The TV station can wait.

They will understand
if you take a few days off.

Now, come on. You’re not
being a very good hostess,

- and what will people say?
- You know what, Lacy?

I don’t care what people think.

And you’re perfectly capable
of entertaining our...

- Sylvie, you’re being
irrational. -No, I’m not.

You know what I realize?

Is that life is too short
to waste time

doing things
you don’t absolutely love.

And what is that
supposed to mean?

Sit down.


It means that I’m tired
of trying to be

someone that I’m not.

You married me
even though I was pregnant.

It was such a noble thing to do.

So I’ve tried to be the woman
that you want me to be,

but it is exhausting.

I can’t be
the woman of your dreams

while also trying to be
the woman of my own.

Okay, okay. Let’s talk
about this later, okay?

Lacy, I want to start
living my life for myself.

(Lacy sighs heavily)

I’ve never done that.

And where do I fit in?

I don’t know.

Okay, okay. I’ll-I’ll...

let you get back
to your work, then.

But for the record,
I didn’t marry you

because it was
the noble thing to do.

I did it because I love you.

And I never wanted you to try
to be the woman of my dreams.

I just wanted to be
the man of yours.

But we both know

that position’s
already been filled.

(door closes)

(horns honking)

DICKIE: All right, fellas,
well, that’s it for the day.

No, it’s still a little loose.
Let’s run it one more time.

Man, we gonna run it
into the ground.

Look, I said let’s cool it.

And I said let’s run it again.

DICKIE: Well, to the best
of my knowledge,

this is
the Dickie Brewster Quartet,

so if I say that’s it,
that’s it.

♪ Here’s your
old friendship ring ♪

♪ I can’t... ♪

Four ball, corner pocket.

Hey, man, you’ll never guess
who I saw back home.

Mona Lisa.

You know, Sylvie’s cousin.

- Oh, yeah?
- Mm-hmm.

She was in town for that, uh,

Walk to Freedom they had
over there on Woodward.

Oh, yeah, I heard about that.

- How’s she doing?
- Well, she good.

She real good.

12 ball, corner pocket.

She did make mention though
that, uh, Sylvie...

Her and her old man split up.

Is that right?


Side pocket.

- One more?
- No, man, I’m gonna split.

- Mm! Come on.
- Yeah.

I’m gonna hit the can.

Hey, Buzz, you see
where Connie went?

Yeah, man, I think she left
with Carmen and Dickie.

Hey, Bobby,
you remember Big Tank?

He’s in town from Detroit.

TANK: Bobby.

Hey, Big Tank.

- Hey.
- How’s it going, man?

Everything’s peaches, man.

- Good to see you.
- I’m over at Motown now.

I heard your stuff
on the radio. It was nice.

Real nice.

Well, the whole world’s

to the sound of young America.

Hey, not bad
for a couple of cats

from the Brewster-Douglass
Projects, am I right?

Not bad at all. (chuckles)

And, hey, you know, seeing
how you and I go way back,

if you ever want to join
the hit parade,

you just got to let me know.

I’ll put a good word in for you
with Berry himself.

I’m his right-hand man,
so to speak.

All right.

- Big Tank.
- Bobby.

- Good to see you.
- Good to see you.

- Bobby.
- (fingers snapping)

(engine idling)

♪ ♪

(engine stops)

♪ ♪



So I heard
you and Lacy split up?

Yes, we did.

My father passed.

I’m sorry you didn’t get
the chance to say goodbye.

I did.

He called me
from the hospital that night.

(Robert sighs)

And he told me that...

He told me about Michelle.

Is she really mine?

- (whispers): Yes.
- (sighs)

Why wouldn’t you
tell me that, Sylvie?


Why didn’t you tell me?

Why wouldn’t you tell me that?

Did you think
I wasn’t good enough for you?

Is that what it was?
Were you embarrassed?

- No. -Did you think
I couldn’t provide for you

- the way Lacy could?
- No. Robert, no.

Then why?
Why wouldn’t you tell...

Why wouldn’t you tell me?

Why wouldn’t you tell me
that I had a child?

For five years, and I had
to find out from your father?

I don’t know. I...

I wanted to. I just didn’t...

(Robert sighs)

I didn’t want
to have to make you choose.

And then I saw how much you had
accomplished with your band,

and I couldn’t. I...

I have a child.

I want to meet her.

(Sylvie chuckles softly)

I want you to.


I’m sorry.

♪ ♪

I’m sorry.

(whispers): Yeah.


SYLVIE: Michelle,
I have someone very special

that I’d like for you to meet.

This is Mr. Halloway.

Now, that’s not the proper way
to introduce yourself.

It’s a pleasure
to meet your acquaintance.

Much better.

Well, the pleasure is all mine.

Mommy, can you push me?

Why don’t we let
Mr. Halloway try?

May I?

All right.

♪ ♪

All right.

How’s that?

(quiet chatter)

ROBERT (voice-over): You know,
I thought about coming back

a thousand times.

SYLVIE (voice-over):
Why didn’t you?

ROBERT: I don’t know.

I guess I just wanted you
to be happy,

even if I couldn’t be
a part of your life.

SYLVIE: You know,
she reminds me of you.

Yesterday she picked flowers
from the garden

and made a bouquet.

They were mostly weeds,
but it was adorable.

- She’s so sweet.
- (both chuckle)


- (chuckles)
- I don’t know. You just...

I really, really want to
take care of you and Michelle.

(chuckles softly)

Looks like something’s
going on with my hands.

They’re shaking.

You nervous?

(chuckles): No.

You don’t have to be
embarrassed if you are.

- I think it’s sweet.
- I’m not embarrassed.

- No?
- No.


I should get a fork.


"Pleasant experiences ahead.

Don’t pass it by."


♪ The shadow of your smile ♪

♪ When you have gone ♪

May I have the pleasure
of this dance, Ms. Johnson?

♪ Will color all my dreams ♪

♪ And light the dawn ♪

♪ Look into my eyes, my love ♪

♪ And see ♪

♪ All the lovely things
you are ♪

♪ To me. ♪

SID (voice-over):
It was really great today.

How you feel? Good?

All right,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

- B-flat.
- Hey, Sid.

Step into my office.

- Take a seat.
- (clears throat)

(door opens, closes)

- How you been?
- I’m great. I’m great.

Good to see you.

No, thanks.

What can I do for you?

Well, you said, when I was
ready to record as a leader,

to come see you, so...

I’m ready, Sid.

Yeah, I’ve got
a bunch of new tunes

that I’ve been working on

that I really think
you’re gonna love...

Let me stop you right there.

Do you know what the number one
song in America is right now?

"Fingertips" by
Little Stevie Wonder.

A blind kid.

He’s from your hometown,
plays the harmonica.

(chuckles softly)
I don’t follow.

You see, it’s not just
that jazz ain’t cool anymore.

It’s ice-cold, man.

It’s like Pluto.

The-the kids...
They’re not listening to Monk;

they’re doing The Monkey.

Well, I got a kid of my own
to support now, Sid.

- Bobby.
- There’s got to be something.

I’m sorry.

Sid, wait. (chuckles softly)

(paper slides)

Just listen to the tunes...

Sorry, Bobby.

But the times,
they are a-changin’.

(phone ringing)

Chicago Sweetney.

ROBERT: Hey, Chic.

If it isn’t Bob Halloway.

- How the hell are you?
- Oh, I’m okay, man.

- I can’t complain.
- (TV playing quietly)

Uh, I know it’s been a while.

I’m sorry
I haven’t been in touch.


You back in New York?

I am, yeah.

Hey, I’ve been thinking about
putting together my own outfit.

I want to see if you and Buzz
might be interested.

You know, get the fellas
back together.

I tell you, Bobby,
your timing couldn’t be worse.

With you running off
the way you did,

Buzzy and I had to take a gig
with Sarah Vaughan.

We’re headed back to Europe
tomorrow for three months.

Hey, Bobby, you still there?

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Congratulations, man.

That’s-that’s wonderful.

- Thanks, man.
- Hey, look,

I know you got a lot to do
before you go,

so I’m not gonna keep you.

Well, it’s good
to hear from you.

Everything okay?

Oh, everything’s peaches, man.

Travel safely.


What are you doing out here,
all by your lonesome?


What about, Mr. Halloway?

Went down to
my old record company today,

play some new tunes for
the guy that signed our band.


He said jazz is dead.

Didn’t even want
to hear anything.

Well, what do they know anyways?


♪ ♪

I can take care of things until
something pans out for you.

Then what kind of man
would that make me?

One who is trying his best.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

ROBERT (voice-over):
Uh, Detroit eight, Tremont one,


Please hold for your party.

(line ringing)

- TANK: Hello?
- Hey, Big Tank.

- It’s Bobby Halloway.
- Bobby, is that you?

Yeah, man.

Hey, you still think you can
put in a word for me at Motown?

Think I’m ready to join
the hit parade.

So I say to my husband,

"You want to invite your boss
over for dinner? Go ahead.

The TV dinners
are in the Frigidaire."

- (laughing)
- (jaunty theme music playing)

- (snorts, chuckles)
- Speaking of...

I never knew she was so funny.


I just let her be herself.

Trust Swanson for the best
in frozen dinners.

(jaunty music theme music ends)

♪ Hey, work, work ♪

♪ Ah, work it out, baby ♪

♪ Work, work ♪

♪ Well, you’re
driving me crazy ♪

♪ Work, work ♪

♪ With just a little bit
of soul now ♪

♪ Work ♪


♪ I can Mashed Potato... ♪


- How was your day?
- (music stops)

- Long.
- (both chuckle)

How was yours?

I got ahold of a buddy of mine
in Detroit, and guess what.


He’s gonna get me a job
with a Motown band.

(sighs) Motown?

I know, I know.

It’s not quite
the music that I play,

but a job is a job, right?


So I’m gonna go down
and get things set up,

and when I come back,
I’d like very much

if we could move to Detroit
as a family.

What do you think?


I think, uh...

Look, I know your job
is important to you,

so just think about it.


- Yes, you’ll think about it?
- Yes, I’ve thought about it.


- Yes, we’ll go.
- Yes?


♪ I want to be your boyfriend ♪

♪ So open up your heart
right now ♪

Can you bring me a present?

♪ And let me come on in,
’cause I’ve got... ♪

Can I bring you a present?
Of course.


What type of present?

A puppy.

A puppy, huh?

I’ll see what I can do.

(chuckles) Don’t you dare.

Hey, if you run into
Smokey Robinson, you tell him

that there’s no need to shop
around ’cause you’re his guy.

♪ Well, come on, baby ♪

♪ And let me tell you why ♪

♪ Tell you why ♪

- (giggles)
- A puppy?

♪ I’m gonna win
your good loving ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ ’Cause I’ve got
determination ♪

Tell him,
"See you later, alligator."

See you later, alligator.

♪ Plus a whole lot
of conversation ♪

♪ I’ve got determination ♪

(engine starts)

♪ And I’m determined
to win your heart ♪

♪ Your heart, your heart ♪

- (horn honks)
- ♪ Don’t you know that ♪

♪ I live by the motto ♪

♪ Of "never say die" ♪

♪ And nothing beats a trial
but a failure ♪

♪ I ain’t gonna fail if I try ♪

♪ You look so good to me ♪

♪ I want your love
right now... ♪

(song fades)

(humming softly)

- ROBERT: Hey.
- Bobby.

- Big Tank.
- Hey.

What are you doing here, man?

What you mean
what I’m doing here?

- Stop joking around, man.
- DEWITT: Sherman!

I told you to take those suits
to the cleaners an hour ago!

Oh, yes, sir. Right away, sir.

No problem.

Bobby, look, man, I don’t have
time to talk right now.

You got to understand.

What you mean
you don’t got time to talk?

We spoke on the phone.

I came back to Detroit.

You said you’d get me
a job with the band.

Man, I didn’t think you’d
actually show up, you know?

Everybody in Detroit knows
I’m full of shit, you know?

I-I was just jivin’ you.

Trying to make myself
feel like a big shot.

I just run errands
for them, man.

I got to get these jackets
to the cleaners, man.


You said you’d get me
a job with the band.

- Tank.
- (door closes)

♪ ♪

(quiet chatter)

LUCY: The key to a good soufflé
is whipping the whites...

MR. JAY (voice-over):
She got in her head

she gonna make TV shows one day.

Can you imagine?

Colored girl making TV shows?

♪ ♪

ROBERT (voice-over):
I never met a girl who knows

as much about music as you do.

Bet the only thing
you know about

more than music is television.


♪ ♪

I guess I just
wanted you to be happy,

even if I couldn’t be
a part of your life.

♪ ♪


You’re early.

Oh, I wasn’t expecting you
for a few days.


So, you will not guess
who I spoke to today.


Well, as it turns out,
she knows the head honcho

at our Detroit affiliate

and, well, she called him
and told him

what a crackerjack producer
I am,

and he said that all I have to
do is simply walk in the door

and I’m as good as hired.

Of course, I’d have
to work my way up again,

but, as you said,
a job is a job.

Which reminds me, Robert,
we have got to start

looking into schools
for Michelle.

Oh, God, I’m rambling.

(laughs): I’m sorry.

Why don’t you sit down.

Aye, aye, Captain.

Come join me.


You know, I have not
sat down all day.


You have my full attention.

Oh, God, I didn’t ask you.

How’d it go?

What is it?

I need to go back
to Detroit, alone.

Do they need you to start
right away or something?


Then I’m not quite sure
I understand.

I don’t want you to come.

What do you mean
you don’t want me to come?

What do you mean
you don’t want me to come?

Robert, please don’t do this.

I’m not a family man, Sylvie.

Help me understand, Robert.

What happened in Detroit
that made you...

realize suddenly
that you aren’t a family man?



Did you run into Connie?

- No, Sylvie. You know me.
- No, I don’t know, Robert!

(picks up cup)

- (Sylvie sniffles)
- (sets down cup)

You want to go, Robert?


All right, you go.

♪ ♪

Can I at least say goodbye
to Michelle?

I said, get out.

Go, Robert!

(knock on door)

Sorry to interrupt.

Lucy’s ready to do her pickups.

- (door closes)
- (Sylvie sniffling)

When you decide you want to
come back, you do me a favor.


♪ ♪

(mechanical buzzing)

(mechanical buzzing continues)

(bell rings)

(buzzing fades)

♪ If I go ♪

♪ A million miles away ♪

♪ I’d write a letter ♪

♪ Each and every day ♪

♪ ’Cause, honey, nothing... ♪

- Hey, Ed.
- Hey, Bobby.

You ever run into Charlie
Parker back in New York?

Nah, I wish I had.

Passed away in ’55
right before I got there.

- (phone rings)
- Is that so? -Mm-hmm.

- Sylvia Johnson.
- MONA: Sylvia Johnson.

(gasps) Mona.

- Hey, kiddo.
- Where are you?

Washington for
the March for Jobs and Freedom.

Oh, of course you are.

Gosh, I miss you.

Oh, I miss you, too, kiddo.

Why don’t you drive down and
come to the march on Wednesday?

Mm, gosh, I wish I could,

but, you know,
the show shoots on Wednesdays.

Oh, then at least come
for the weekend.

We can drive down to the beach
at Sandy Point.

You know, I could use the break.

Maybe I’ll see
if Mama can watch Michelle.

(elevator bell dings)

♪ Oh ♪

♪ You’re the apple
of my eye... ♪


Sylvie? (laughs)

Look at you!

(laughs) You, too. My goodness.

- Fancy seeing you here.
- I know.

Oh, God, Buzzy and Chico

are playing a gig
with Sarah Vaughan

Wednesday after the march.

- My goodness.
- (chuckles)

And Robert was
supposed to join them,

but he couldn’t get time off
from the plant.

The plant? Is that what
they’re calling Motown now?

(laughs) No, honey,
the auto plant where he works.


Anyway, I’ve got to run, but
I hope to see you Wednesday.

Give the guys my love,
would you?


♪ I’d just say,
"Welcome home..." ♪

Hey, favorite song from summer?

"Don’t Say Goodnight"
by The Valentines.

Oh. (chuckles)

1957... now, that was
a great summer.


♪ Oh ♪

(both laughing)

♪ You’re the apple
of my eye... ♪


See you later, alligator.
(chuckles softly)

♪ And, oh, you’re,
you’re cake and ice cream ♪

♪ Oh, you’re sugar... ♪

Been practicing that?


♪ Everything nice ♪

Good night.

♪ You’re the girl
of my, my, my ♪

- Just...
- ♪ My dreams ♪

♪ But if you wanted
to leave me... ♪

What I don’t understand is
why he wouldn’t just tell me

that he didn’t have the job.

I would’ve gone with him.

I think that’s exactly
why he didn’t tell you.

Kind of like you not telling
him about being pregnant.


he didn’t want you to throw away

everything you worked
so hard for.

You know...

most people never find
that kind of love.

Not even for a summer.

It’s, well...

It’s extraordinary.

To extraordinary love.

♪ Change the love
I have for you. ♪

Hey, now.

Favorite song for this moment?

"The Best Is Yet to Come."

- Sure is.
- (elevator bell dings)

MONA: See ya, kiddo.

ED (voice-over): Catch that
Tigers game last night?

- No. Who’d they play?
- Kansas City.

Oh, yeah? Who won?

Hey, uh, Ed,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

All right.

So I suppose you never did
get to meet Smokey, huh?

No, not exactly.

Do you remember
that thing you told me about

wanting me to be happy?

Even if it meant you couldn’t
be a part of my life?

Well, what if I can’t be happy
unless you’re a part of it?

♪ ♪

(Robert chuckles softly)

Well, then I guess that means
we’re stuck with each other.

♪ ♪

("B-Loved (French Version)" by
Cécile McLorin Salvant playing)

(singing in French)

♪ ♪

You could put it
to some good use.

- Is that Mr. Jay’s sax?
- Mm-hmm.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(song fades)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(music fades)