Malcolm & Marie (2021) – Transcript

A director and his girlfriend's relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics' responses.

When filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya), return home from a movie premiere and await his film’s critical response, the evening takes a turn as revelations about their relationship surface, testing the couple’s love.

 

 

[crickets chirping]

[car approaching]

[car stops]

[Malcolm] ♪ I need a friend ♪

♪ Troubled mind ♪

♪ One thin dime ♪

♪ I need a friend ♪

[sighs]

[sighs]

[“Down and Out in New York City” by James Brown playing loudly on speakers]

[singing along] ♪ Hey, man ♪

♪ I was born in New York City On a Monday ♪

[snapping fingers]

♪ It seems I was out shining shoes ‘Bout two to noon ♪

♪ All the fat cats in the bad hats… ♪

♪ Doin’ me a real big favor ♪

[Malcolm] You look good tonight, baby.

[Marie] What?

[singing along] ♪ In the bad hats ♪

♪ Laying it on real good ♪

♪ Here’s a dime, boy… ♪

[Malcolm] I said you look beautiful tonight.

[Marie] I can’t hear you!

[Malcolm] I said you look beautiful tonight, baby!

[Marie] Thank you.

♪ When the cold wind comes ♪

♪ It live at New York City ♪

[Malcolm] Baby!

♪ And the street’s no place to be But there you are ♪

♪ So you try hard, or you die hard ♪

♪ No one really gives a good damn ♪

♪ You try hard, and you die hard ♪

♪ No one gives a damn ♪

♪ Here’s a dime, boy Give me a shine, boy ♪

♪ Down and out in New York City ♪

♪ Ain’t no way to be But where can you go? ♪

♪ When you’re down and out In New York City ♪

♪ I’m never, never Never gonna get that way again ♪

♪ Ow! ♪

♪ No, no, no No, no, not me ♪

[Malcolm singing along] ♪ When you need a friend ♪

♪ Need to have a… ♪

♪ When you want a friend ♪

[Malcolm] ♪ Ow! ♪

♪ Gonna get myself together In the morning ♪

♪ Gonna leave it all like one bad dream ♪

♪ All the fat cats in the bad hats Doing me a real big favor ♪

♪ Got the fat cats in the bad hats ♪

[Malcolm] Whoo!

♪ Laying it on real good ♪

♪ Here’s a dime, boy ♪

♪ Give me a shine, boy… ♪

[Malcolm] Whoo! I’m a little wavy. But life is good. Because we f*cking did it!

[Marie] Did what?

[Malcolm] I wrote and directed and premiered a movie that knocked the audience the f*ck out tonight. Did you see that? Did you see that audience?

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] Baby, did you see that audience?

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] I said, did you see the audience? Man, I delivered a f*cking knockout punch. The last eight minutes straight, they were sobbing and when the credits hit, it was like a f*cking bomb. [imitates explosion] It’s like a bomb went off.

[Malcolm grunts]

[Malcolm] It feels good. [laughing] I cannot believe this is real. Baby, I can’t believe this is real. Afterwards, I talked to six critics. Six or seven of ’em. They was all on a n*gga. You feel me? The white guy from Variety loved it. The white guy from IndieWire loved it. The white woman from the LA Times, she really loved it. She kept saying that I’m the next Spike Lee, the next Barry Jenkins, the next John Singleton. I just looked at her, like, “What about William Wyler?” You could tell, for three whole seconds, she was like, “Was William Wyler Black?” [scoffs] Sh-yeah! [chuckles] And then she realized, “Oh… shit. That’s racist too.” She got flushed. Face red. That shit had me dying. Marie, that was hilarious. And she kept stumbling over her words, saying shit like, [imitating woman] “The movie was so emotional. I– Malcolm, I couldn’t even think straight. Oh, my God, Malcolm. Just, just, Malcolm. Malcolm. Oh. [chuckles] Yeah, it was like a super white moment. What was interesting, though, was that you can tell that because I’m Black, as the director, and the woman is a Black lead, stars in the film, she’s already trying to frame it through a political lens, when in reality, it’s a film about a girl trying to get clean. Now, are there certain obstacles, because she’s a Black woman? I mean, hell yeah. Right? That’s reality, too, but it’s not a film about race. No. It’s about shame, it’s about guilt, and how that shit is inescapable. And it annoys me that so many of these journalists can’t help but to flex their college education.

[Marie] Malcolm, you have a college education.

[Malcolm] Yeah, but I’m not academic, baby. I’m not elitist about my shit. I’m not trying to make a film for the three people in my media studies class that I respect. I am a filmmaker.

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] Right?

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] Am I a filmmaker, baby? That’s right.

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] And I’m going to be part of the larger conversation about filmmaking without always having some white-ass writer making it about race ’cause it’s f*cking convenient. You know, I could see– I could see the reviews now. It goes something like this. This is how they be writin’ and shit.

[Marie] [affectedly] “This film is an acute study of the horrors…” They like to use words like that. “…the horrors of systemic racism in this mental healthcare industry.” [scoffs] Instead of it being a commercial film about a drug-addicted girl trying to get her shit together. I mean, these people, these f*cking people are so pedantic.

[R&B song playing softly]

[Malcolm] They are. I mean, we get it. You’re smart. We get it. You’re woke. We get it. Let us, us artists, have some f*cking fun with the shit. Let us have fun with the art.

[Marie] Malcolm, you’re writing the Angela Davis biopic right now.

[Malcolm] Yeah, but that’s different. That’s different. I’m choosing to make a film that’s fundamentally political, but not everything I do is political because I’m Black.

[Marie] Yeah, I think Angela Davis would disagree with you.

[Malcolm] [laughing] She– She would, huh?

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] For real, though, like, if I decide to make… a f*cking LEGO movie, it’s not because I want to tell a story about how the building blocks of the American empire was slave labor. I may just wanna make a LEGO movie.

[Marie] You don’t wanna make a LEGO movie.

[Malcolm] [chuckles] Yeah, that’s true. But that LEGO movie was fire. That shit was heat! Right?

[Marie] And you’ve never gotten a good review in your life.

[Malcolm] Damn, baby, that’s… You right, though.

[both laugh]

[Marie] And you’re complaining about reviews that haven’t yet been written.

[Malcolm] Right again.

[Marie] So, stop. Makes you sound like an asshole.

[Malcolm] Yeah. But shit, you know what I’m saying, though.

[Marie] Yeah, but save it for another day.

[Malcolm] Yeah.

[Marie] You’re complaining about the white girl from LA Times ’cause she gave you a bad review that one time.

[Malcolm] Aw, she didn’t just give a bad review. She gave a dumb-ass review. There is a difference.

[Marie] Malcolm, you won. Okay? She’s comparing you to Spike Lee and Barry Jenkins.

[Malcolm] But she’s such a mediocre-ass writer.

[Marie] Fine, you’re not the next Spike Lee or Barry Jenkins.

[Malcolm] Doubt she knows who William Wyler is.

[Marie] I don’t know who William Wyler is.

[Malcolm] Is it ready, babe?

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] Here comes the mac and cheese. You don’t know who William Wyler is?

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] Oh, man. He did The Best Years of Our Lives. Sh– Shit was heat. Ben-Hur? He’s one of the most versatile filmmakers of all time. I mean, Wuthering Heights. Heads-up. Roman Holiday. Yeah, some classics. It’s different, though. You don’t work in film.

[Marie] You’re right, Malcolm, I don’t.

[“Selfish” by Little Simz playing] ♪ Guess I’m in denial ♪

♪ Maybe I’m wrong, you’re right ♪

♪ Heard it all my life… ♪

[Malcolm] Did you have fun tonight?

[Marie] It was nice.

[Malcolm] [chuckles] “Nice.” The entire night while I was talking to all those sweet, smiling, rich people who, a month ago, wouldn’t give me the time of day, I just kept looking at you. And I think to myself, “God, you’re the most gorgeous creature on planet Earth.” [kisses] And the sexiest too. I mean, there’s nobody sexier. Even Anthony said it.

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] [kisses] I mean, not in a bad way. [kisses] In a positive way. Hmm.

[jazz music playing]

[Malcolm breathing heavily and kissing]

[Malcolm] When I’d see you… with your cranberry and soda… smiling, chopping it up… And I’d think, “God, how f*cking lucky am I?” I couldn’t wait to get you home.

[Marie] Aww, that’s so sweet.

[Malcolm] Hold your cute little ass and kiss it. Tell you that I love you. I love you, Marie.

[Marie] Do you want salted or unsalted butter?

[Malcolm] [softly] I’ll just have you.

[kissing]

[Malcolm] What was that?

[Marie] What?

[Malcolm] That was a fake-ass smile.

[Marie] No, it wasn’t.

[Malcolm] Swear to God, it was.

[Marie] No, it wasn’t. It was nothing.

[Malcolm] Bullshit, I can f*cking read you. I know when nothing is something.

[Marie] Well, maybe you can’t read me.

[Malcolm] No, I can read you.

[Marie] I haven’t eaten all night.

[Malcolm] That’s not what this is.

[Marie] Malcolm, it’s 1:00 in the morning. Can we eat and go to sleep?

[Malcolm] Please, Marie. I really don’t wanna fight tonight.

[Marie] Neither do I. That is why I’m making you mac and cheese.

[Malcolm] So you are angry.

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] Was it the thing that Anthony said?

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] The joke about you being a model?

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] Wouldn’t take it seriously. He’s old and from a totally different era.

[Marie] I didn’t take it personally.

[Malcolm] Promise?

[Marie] Promise.

[Malcolm] Was it Taylor?

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] You sure?

[Marie] Yes.

[Malcolm] I know you get weird around Taylor.

[Marie] I do not get weird around Taylor.

[Malcolm] You get meek.

[Marie] “Meek”? Huh, really?

[Malcolm] Well, you don’t talk a lot.

[Marie] Well, that’s different from being meek.

[Malcolm] I just mean–

[Marie] What? Meek implies that I’m shy or small. That she’s the queen of f*cking England.

[Malcolm] I didn’t mean it like that. I meant–

[Marie] What? What?

[Malcolm] She’s a movie star.

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] She’s about to become a movie star.

[Marie] Don’t jinx her, Malcolm. I have nothing nice to say to Taylor, so I don’t talk to Taylor. It has nothing to do with being meek.

[Malcolm] It’s just… she notices.

[Marie] Really?

[Malcolm] Really.

[Marie] How do you know?

[Malcolm] ‘Cause I just do.

[Marie] Really?

[Malcolm] She sees how you are with other people. You’re talkative. You’re funny.

[Marie] What can I say? I’m personable.

[Malcolm] [chuckles] Right. Which is what makes her insecure.

[Marie] What does? Other f*cking human beings with personalities?

[Malcolm] [chuckles] No. The fact that you’re not yourself and she sees it.

[Marie] [blows] She’ll survive.

[Malcolm] Hmm. So why you angry?

[jazz music becomes louder]

[Malcolm] Marie, you’re angry. Marie, what you angry about? Marie. Marie?

[dish clatters]

[Malcolm] Marie! Marie. Marie, talk to me.

[Marie] I promise you, it’s not a good idea. Let’s just talk tomorrow.

[Malcolm] But you’re upset with me.

[Marie] It’s not that big of a deal.

[Malcolm] I can’t go to bed knowing you’re angry.

[Marie] Malcolm, I promise you, nothing productive is going to be said tonight.

[Malcolm] How do you know?

[Marie] Because I know you.

[Malcolm] What does that mean?

[Marie] And I love you.

[Malcolm] What does that mean?

[Marie] It means you are literally incapable of de-escalating a situation unless it’s work-related. Even then, it’s 50-50.

[Malcolm] [blows raspberry] Why is it that anytime anything good happens, you have to find something, anything, the most minor f*cking detail to harp on, to make ugly, to ensure that there’s no reason to f*cking celebrate.

[Marie] Really? You wanna go there?

[Malcolm] Yes.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] All right, then. What is it?

[Marie] Your speech, Malcolm.

[Malcolm] Oh, give me a break. You’re outside of your mind. When I said you find the most minor detail to make it ugly, I meant it.

[Marie] [grunts] You forgot to thank me, Malcolm. It’s not a minor f*cking detail. That’s a big one.

[Malcolm] But I’ve thanked you a million times before. You know that I’m thankful. You know I’m appreciative. You know I made a mistake, so why turn it into something more?

[Marie] Because it is more.

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] It’s our entire f*cking relationship in a nutshell.

[Malcolm] Oh, you can’t be serious.

[Marie] I’m dead serious.

[Malcolm] You’re psychotic.

[Marie] You’re hyperbolic.

[Malcolm] I’m not. It’s psychotic to think that forgetting to thank you is symbolic of anything other than me legitimately forgetting to f*cking thank you.

[Marie] You thanked 112 f*cking people tonight. You thanked your mother, your gaffer, your agents, your third grade teacher, the usher who worked at the theater when you were 12 and saw whatever the f*ck.

[Malcolm] Didn’t thank the usher.

[Marie] You know what I mean.

[Malcolm] You don’t have to be sarcastic, petty and obnoxious about the shit. All right Marie. I’m sorry. I forgot to thank you. I am genuinely sorry, which is why I apologized to you a thousand f*cking times during the movie. I felt so guilty, I couldn’t concentrate on the movie.

[Marie] Huh. That’s a shame. You’ve only seen it 7,000 times.

[Malcolm] Every time I’d lean over and said, “I’m sorry,” you said it was fine. You squeezed my hand and said it was fine. You said, “I love you. Don’t worry. It’s fine.”

[Marie] Well, Malcolm, I changed my mind.

[Malcolm] How can you just change your mind?

[Marie] Honestly, it’s pretty f*cking easy.

[Malcolm] That doesn’t seem a little crazy to you?

[Marie] Nope.

[Malcolm] It doesn’t?

[Marie] Nope.

[Malcolm] Why?

[Marie] Well, because when I was in the theater, it didn’t matter. Wasn’t that big of a deal. It was fine. Until the after-party, when every single person, from your mother to Taylor, kept coming up to me and going, “You know, I bet you’re probably a little bit upset right now because he forgot to thank you, but you know how much he depends on you.”

[Malcolm] Taylor said that?

[Marie] Yeah. She told me not to read into it.

[Malcolm] What the hell does that mean?

[Marie] Funny you should say that. That’s the exact thought I had.

[Malcolm] I didn’t cheat on you.

[Marie] I didn’t ask.

[Malcolm] Just saying–

[Marie] Didn’t ask.

[Malcolm] Well, I’m just saying–

[Marie] I didn’t ask.

[“Yum Yum (Gimme Some)” by The Fatback Band playing]

[pops lips]

[Marie] It’s not just about you forgetting to thank me, Malcolm. It’s about how you see me. And how you view my contribution, not just to this relationship, but to your work. Specifically in a movie you made about my life.

♪ My name is Yum Yum Gimme some ♪

♪ My name is Yum Yum Gimme some ♪

♪ My name is Yum Yum Gimme some ♪

[door slams shut]

♪ And it better be good, better be good ♪

♪ And it better be good Real good… ♪

[song slowly fades out]


[crickets chirping]

[Malcolm] [sighs]

[Malcolm] [blows]

[Malcolm] [shouting] You know, Marie… you are genuinely… unstable.

[Malcolm] [grunts softly]

[Malcolm] I’m not kidding! Hmm. Mmm. I’m actually concerned for your mental well-being!

[fork scraping]

[Malcolm] Hmm. [clears throat] Hmm.

[chair scraping]

[Malcolm] Obviously, there are certain similarities. But Imani’s not based on you.

[spoon tapping on pot]

[Malcolm] You’re f*cking delusional! [sighs] In what f*cking universe is Imani’s character based on you?

[Marie] Really? Are you actually yelling and belittling me from across this house because you are too busy eating mac and cheese?

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] [imitates Malcolm] “What?”

[Malcolm] I’m not.

[Marie] Don’t f*cking lie! You literally just got seconds.

[Malcolm] No, I didn’t.

[Marie] Do you know how disturbing it is that you can compartmentalize to such a degree that you can abuse me while eating mac and cheese?

[Malcolm] Abuse you?

[Marie] Mac and cheese I f*cking made you.

[Malcolm] Abuse you?

[Marie] Verbally abuse me.

[Malcolm] Thanks for the clarification. It’s kind of an important one. But verbally abuse you? Get the f*cking out of here.

[Marie] If you’re gonna treat me like an insane person and call me crazy, the least you could do is do it without casually eating macaroni and cheese. How does that work for you? What does that sound like in your f*cking brain?

“What a c*nt! Mmm. This macaroni and cheese is delicious.”

“What a c*nt. I wonder if there’s more.”

“What a c*nt. If I could direct commercials for Kraft mac and cheese, I would.”

[Malcolm] Say whatever you want. Get pissed off I didn’t thank you, Anthony said that joke about you being a model, that Taylor said whatever the f*ck Taylor said–

[Marie] It was mean.

[Malcolm] Well, she’s an actor.

[Marie] All night I had to watch you two smile and take pictures together.

[Malcolm] Marie, she’s the lead in my film!

[Marie] I know. I don’t care.

[Malcolm] It’s my job to make her feel comfortable, Marie.

[Marie] Not at my expense.

[Malcolm] Actually, it is. Despite how you f*cking feel about it, it is my job.

[Marie] You’d never forget to thank her.

[Malcolm] Jesus Christ!

[Marie] You wouldn’t.

[Malcolm] ‘Cause she’s psychotic.

[Marie] No, because she would flip the f*ck out and spend the night making you pay for it so you’d never let that shit happen again.

[Malcolm] You’re saying you’re not nuts enough.

[Marie] No. What I’m saying is you spend your entire life catering to the feelings and the whims of literally everyone but me. Agents, producers, crew members, actors, f*cking fictional characters get more respect and empathy from you than I do. And… [scoffs] That’s what’s so odd about this whole f*cking situation, because I get it. Taylor is wonderful in the film. But when you get up there and you talk about her ability to breathe life into the character of Imani without ever mentioning that if I didn’t live my life, she wouldn’t exist, it’s kind of f*cking weird.

[Malcolm] Imani is not based on you.

[Marie] She’s a 20-year-old drug addict trying to get clean. Just a pure f*cking coincidence?

[Malcolm] Obviously, you getting clean was a part of the inspiration.

[Marie] At 20?

[Malcolm] Yes. And you provide genuine insight into that. What that was like. But Imani is not f*cking based on you. It’s an amalgamation of different things, a bunch of things.

Who?

[Malcolm] People!

[Marie] What people?

[Malcolm] A lot of different people.

[Marie] Mmm.

[Malcolm] Like my cousin. Rick, for one.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] A lot of different people and things.

[Marie] Your cousin.

[Malcolm] [sighs]

[Marie] You know what, Malcolm? I feel like once you know someone is there for you and once you know they love you, you never actually think of them again.

[Malcolm] That’s not true.

[Marie] It’s not until you’re about to lose someone that you pay attention.

[Malcolm] Is that what this is?

[Marie] What?

[Malcolm] Is what you’re threatening… if I don’t apologize, I’m going to lose you?

[Marie] I’m not looking for an apology, Malcolm.

[Malcolm] What do you want? A screenplay credit?

[Marie] Don’t be cruel.

[Malcolm] I’m serious. I know we talk for hours about work. Is it so much of a f*cking nuisance that you’d like compensation? I had a draft of the script before you ever came into my life.

[Marie] It’s not about credit. I don’t want f*cking credit.

[Malcolm] Well, what is it, Marie? What do you want?

[Marie] The film is beautiful. I’m proud of you. Took forever to make and it was tough, but I have one question. Do you think that the movie would be as good as it is if we weren’t together?

[Malcolm] No.

[Marie] And that’s all I wish you would have said.

[Malcolm] Great. Are we no longer fighting?

[Marie] That depends.

[Malcolm] On what?

[Marie] On whether you can manage to not say something hurtful for the rest of the night.

[Malcolm] I mean, I’m not that bad.

[Marie] [inhales sharply] F*ck you aren’t. [sighs]

[Malcolm] Can I kiss you?

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm] Are you sure?

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm sighs]

[Malcolm] But I really, really wanna kiss you.

[Marie] [softly] I don’t care. Just don’t take me for granted.

[Malcolm] I don’t.

[Marie] You did.

[Malcolm] I’m sorry.

[Marie] You can kiss me now.

[Malcolm] [softly] Yes!

[chuckles softly]

[Marie] I’m the only person who tells you you’re being an asshole when you’re being an asshole.

[Malcolm] I know.

[Marie] And now… that you’ve made a movie that everybody loves… the world’s gonna be kissing your ass.

[Malcolm] [chuckles] You think so?

[Marie] Mm-hmm. Yep. I heard that shit all night. “Oh, he’s so sensitive.” “He’s so in tune to emotion. He’s romantic.” “I bet he’s sweet, right?”

[Malcolm] What did you say?

[Marie] I said, “Well, I mean, yeah. When he’s not being an emotional f*cking terrorist.”

[groans and laughs]

[jazz music playing]

[Malcolm] Yes. Yes.

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm grunts]

[Marie] Mmm.

[Malcolm] You think you’re tough, skinny-bones Jones?

[Marie] I am tough.

[Malcolm] Nah, I’ll eat your ass for breakfast. You light work.

[Marie] You know, life is gonna get easier, but it’s also gonna get harder.

[Malcolm] What do you mean?

[Marie] Just don’t believe the hype, Malcolm.

[kisses]

[Marie] And don’t push away the people who ground you.

[Malcolm] Yeah.

[Marie] Yeah. … You’re gonna start making fake movies about fake people with fake emotions.

[both chuckle]

[Marie] Then you’ll start having dinner with the white girl from LA Times.

[both laughing]

[Marie] Yeah. Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] No! Not the white girl.

[Marie] You’ll be talking about this one-take and… and that one-take, and how the camera…

[Malcolm] [laughing]

[Marie] You know you do that, right?

[Malcolm] [laughing]

[Marie] Literally. Next thing you know, you’ll be on your press tour for your new LEGO film. Talk about how it’s an allegory for the failures of reconstruction.

[Malcolm chuckles]

[Marie] “Well, the original working title was… Forty LEGOs And A Mule, but the…”

[both laughing]

[Marie] “The studio got a little, uh…”

[chuckling]

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] Mm-hmm. Malcolm, you laugh, but I can see it. I’m serious, I can see that shit.

[Malcolm laughs]

[Marie] All your new Twitter friends will be quote-tweeting your ass, handclaps and shit, talkin’ ’bout, “This is what change looks like.” “Yes, king!”

[Malcolm] Oh, brutal.

[Marie] Mm-hmm. But the rest of America will be like, “What the f*ck is this Negro doing selling us some shit with these LEGOs? I’m not seein’ that shit.”

[both laughing]

[Marie] Then there’s gonna be boycotts, f*cking protests because you’re politicizing these LEGOs, but thankfully, you’ll have your new white girlfriend from the LA Times. I mean, she’s gonna come ridin’ in with her SPF-50 brigade on some real soccer mom shit…

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] …tweetin’ at people left and right. “Well, this is literally censorship! Who is in charge here? It is our moral obligation to go and see this movie written and directed by a real Bla… I mean, person of color. We are gonna make history, okay? We’re going to make it the biggest box office ever.” And the next thing you know, you will have made a toy company a billion dollars.

[laughs] Yes!

[Marie] Yes! “Congratulations, Malcolm Elliot! You f*cking did it!”

[Marie imitates airhorn]

[Marie] “Here’s a couple million dollars and a f*ckin’ fruit basket. But just as a thought, have you ever considered doing the Angela Davis biopic, but with LEGOs?”

[both laughing]

[Malcolm] You know your white voice is crazy.

[Marie] You laugh, but…

[Malcolm] That’s funny.

[Marie] You could change the world.

[Malcolm] You should’ve never given up acting, baby.

[Marie chuckles] Why, Malcolm?

[Malcolm] I always believed if you found a character that actually allowed you to be yourself, you’d be astonishing.

[Marie] Well, Malcolm… unfortunately no one can really write me except you.

[Malcolm] Hmm. Hmm.

[Marie sighs]

[Malcolm sighs]

[“I Forgot To Be Your Lover” by William Bell playing]

[Malcolm singing along] ♪ Have I told you ♪

♪ Lately that I love you? ♪

♪ Well, if I didn’t, darling, I’m sorry ♪

♪ Did I reach out And hold you in my loving arms ♪

♪ In my loving arms ♪

♪ Oh, when you needed me? ♪

♪ Now I realize that you need love too ♪

♪ And I’ll spend my life Making love to you ♪

♪ Oh, I forgot to be your lover ♪

♪ And I’m sorry, I’m so sorry… ♪

[Malcolm] Marie!

♪ Have I taken the time ♪

[Malcolm] Marie!

♪ To share with you ♪

♪ All the burden that love will fare? ♪

♪ And have I done the little ♪

[Malcolm] Marie.

♪ Simple things to show you ♪

♪ Just how much I care? ♪

[Malcolm] Marie!

♪ I’ve been workin’ for you Doin’ all I can ♪

[Malcolm] Marie!

♪ …didn’t make me a man ♪

[Malcolm] Marie, stop playin’.

♪ And I’m sorry I’ll make it up to you somehow, baby ♪

[Malcolm] Marie! Shit. Marie!

♪ Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, baby ♪

[Malcolm] Marie, stop playin’.

[crickets chirping]

[Malcolm] Marie!

[door slides open]

[Malcolm] Marie! Marie! Shit.

[crickets chirping]

[leaves rustling]

[Malcolm] Marie.

[wind chimes tinkling]

[footsteps receding]

[footsteps approaching]

[Malcolm] Marie! Oh, my God!

[drawer slams shut]

[Malcolm] Where the f*ck did you go?

[Marie] To pee.

[Malcolm] To pee– Where?

[Marie] Outside.

[Malcolm] Why didn’t you just use the bathroom?

[Marie] Because I didn’t grow up with a backyard. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet.

[Malcolm] Jesus!

[Marie] You know, you are the neediest man I have ever dated. But at the same time, you are also the least jealous man I have ever dated. I mean, I could literally be hanging on some random guy’s arm and you would never think it’s sexual. You’d just come up to me and be like, “Hey, babe. What the hell are you doing? I need your help. I can’t remember anybody’s name here. Let’s go.”

[Malcolm] But whose arm are you hanging on?

[Marie] That’s it. Doesn’t matter.

[Malcolm] Is this about tonight, Marie?

[Marie] Mmm. Kinda.

[Malcolm] “Kinda”?

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] Mm-hmm.

[Marie] I was outside smoking and you were in here apologizing in whatever emotionally obtuse way made sense to you. As if a song written 50 years ago about a different f*cking girl would somehow make me feel better about our relationship.

[Malcolm] Some people would say lack of jealousy is a good thing.

[Marie] Not when it borders on indifference.

[Malcolm] What are you talkin’ about, Marie?

[Marie] Malcolm, you can encourage me to have a life of my own, but that’s just… That’s bullshit. You don’t actually want me to have a life that is separate from yours because you are too f*cking needy.

[Malcolm] Thought we were done fighting.

[Marie] Don’t be sensitive. This isn’t a fight.

[Malcolm] Yeah, right.

[Marie] It’s not. It’s an observation.

[Malcolm] Tsk. Oh, you don’t wanna go there.

[Marie] Why is that?

[Malcolm] Trust me, you don’t.

[Marie] Why is that?

[Malcolm] Even if you do, you’re not thinking clearly.

[Marie] I think I’m thinking clearly.

[Malcolm] Trust me, you’re not.

[Marie] I do have a slightly masochistic streak.

[Malcolm] But you’re not dumb.

[Marie] Oh, my God. Thank you.

[Malcolm] Don’t be a f*cking brat.

[Marie] And don’t f*cking patronize me and tell me I gave up something when you know damn well your work is all that you have time for and all you f*cking care about.

[Malcolm] Oh, so you gave up a f*cking career in acting to be an emotional f*cking support dog.

[Marie] F*ck you, Malcolm!

[Malcolm] I get it now.

[Marie] F*ck you!

[Malcolm] All right, so ’cause you’re scared, you didn’t want it. You never wanted it.

[Marie] F*ck you!

[Malcolm] ‘Cause you’re scared to try and fail.

[Marie] You are f*cking ugly inside.

[Malcolm] No, f*ck you! Marie, when I met you, you were a f*cking pilled-out disaster.

[Marie] F*ck you!

[Malcolm] You were barely 20 years old. Couldn’t hold a conversation without noddin’ off, or passin’ out, or breaking down. Don’t act like for the last five years you became so f*cking enlightened that I f*cking… forgot the old you. Of course I want you to have a life, Marie.

[Marie] [sighs]

[Malcolm] You know why? Because I’m terrified that if you don’t, you’re gonna hang everything on mine. And when, God forbid, I forget to thank you at a f*cking movie premiere, you come home, you start a fight, and by morning you’re drinking on Xannies, trying to f*ckin’ cut your wrists with a pair of f*cking nail scissors.

[Malcolm muttering] Stupid motherf…

[Marie] Malcolm, I want you to leave this room.

[Malcolm] Oh, shut the f*ck up, Marie. You know, I get it. I really do. You have pain and f*cking disappointment and dreams like everybody else on planet Earth. You’re mad you didn’t get the jobs you wish you’d got. You’re embarrassed you had to play “Skinny Girl In Alley” and “Concerned Nurse Number Two.” Well, guess what? None of us are proud of where we first start off. I started off, I had to do token f*ckin’ punch up on straight to VOD rom-coms, and under-the-table rewrites on films that didn’t wanna f*cking pay writers! But you keep working! You keep on trying! You work harder and harder ’cause even if you’re not talented, which you are, you can still get somewhere, as long as you don’t have an ego. You don’t have to be proud of everything you do! But you do have to work harder than 99% of people. [breathing heavily] You know what’s bullshit? What’s a f*cking cop-out, Marie? Is you acting like my work is so f*cking suffocating that you can’t even breathe, that you don’t have any f*cking space. I mean, look around. Look at this f*cking house the production company put us up in. Pick a room, get to f*cking work, and stop blaming me for your inabilities to get your shit together!

[Malcolm breathing heavily] I checked you into rehab. I went to group therapy with you. I’ve been with you. I f*cking supported you every single step of the way. When you were depressed, when you were on so many meds that you couldn’t f*ck for half a year, I was there for you. When you relapsed, I was there for you. When we lived on 38th Street and you went out to that meeting, right? And you went to the meeting and you didn’t come home because you were f*cking somebody else, right? Guess who was there for you? This n*gga right here. So, don’t go there. Do not f*cking go there because you are not gonna win this one, Marie. Trust me.

[Malcolm sniffles]

[clattering in kitchen]

[bottle opening]

[gulps, sighs]

[sniffles]

[glass clatters]

[sighing]

[Marie] All right, how about we cut the bullshit, Malcolm? Since everybody’s f*cking being honest tonight, how about you be honest? Hmm? About the real reason you were there for me. I was good f*cking material. Hmm? That’s why you stuck by me. Because I was a story. It was a world of emotions you weren’t used to seeing so f*cking close. And because I was 20 years old and I’d never been loved the way you loved me or thought you loved me, I didn’t realize what I was to you. A f*cking movie. A tragedy. One that you could continue watching for as long as you were there for me. And tonight, in that f*cking audience, I watched the whole shit play out. So don’t pretend like it was a selfless f*cking act, Malcolm. It’s literally the basis of your art and it is the reason why all these people are calling you brilliant and brave and fearless. [scoffs] “So tell us, Malcolm. How were you able to breathe life into the character of Imani? How were you able to channel the voice of a young woman so well, so authentically?”

“Hmm. Well, Jennifer, that’s a good question. I guess you could say I stole it. I ripped it off. Not a literal theft, a spiritual one.” You’re a f*cking fraud. The reason you didn’t thank me tonight is because you already know that. [scoffing] You have nothing new to say. [laughs] All you can do is f*ckin’ mimic. Be a f*cking parakeet, a goddamn c0ckatoo. I mean, God forbid you are ever alone, and have to dream up another original idea. What are you going to write, Malcolm? Huh? Yourself? Give me a f*cking break. You don’t have the balls. [slaps leg] You don’t have the gravitas, the f*cking introspection to look at yourself and your flaws and your shortcomings and the fact that you may not be the next Spike Lee or Barry Jenkins because those motherf*ckers had something new to say. Something true to themselves and their f*cking experience. You say the film is about shame and guilt.

[pouring liquid]

[Marie] Correct? Your words, not mine. All right. Well, I have a question for you, Malcolm. Whose f*cking shame? Whose guilt? What the f*ck do you know about shame and guilt? You have two parents, no bad habits other than being a f*cking prick, and a college education. Your mother is a therapist. Your father is a professor. Your sister works for a think tank in D.C. But out here, on these streets, these smiling f*cking rich people, they think you know what it’s like to scrap. Think you f*cking lived it. Give me a break. You’re more privileged than the white girl who works for the LA Times, who thinks she’s doing a public service by lifting up your mediocre ass.

[Malcolm] Now you’re being cruel.

[Marie] Try slitting your wrists with a pair of nail scissors. You’re not gonna wanna survive it, because it’s embarrassing. Don’t worry. I’m not so petty I throw it out in argument because I’m angry.

[Malcolm] I didn’t mean it.

[Marie] Too late. It’s embarrassing and it’s cruel, and it makes me regret sharing so much with you.

[softly] F*cking calling me…

[door shuts]

[mumbling profanity]


[instrumental music playing]

[water running]

[foot tapping]

[crickets chirping]

[Malcolm] [muttering] I’m keeping you…

[Malcolm] Bullshit!

[Malcolm] How the f*ck am I keeping you from a life? So stupid.

[Malcolm grunting] F*cking bullshit.

[Malcolm mumbling indistinctly] I know… I know what this is. This is bullshit. F*ck Malibu.

[Malcolm banging] What do you mean, “mediocre”?

[Marie inhales deeply]

[water gurgling]

[door slides open]

[Malcolm] Were you just trying to be mean? Is that why you said it?

[Marie] Out of everything I said, “mediocre” is what stuck with you?

[Malcolm] I just wanna know if you actually believe it.

[Marie] Guess.

[Malcolm] Answer the question.

[Marie] What is the question specifically?

[Malcolm] Do you not like the movie?

[Marie] I never said that.

[Malcolm] So you don’t like me and the movie.

[Marie] I never said that.

[Malcolm] That’s literally what you just f*cking said.

[Marie] I feel like you’re being a bit irrational.

[Malcolm] I’m being f*cking irrational? I’m being f*cking irrational? This is the biggest night of my life, and you’re trying to turn it into the worst and I’m being irrational.

[Marie] Look at you.

[Malcolm] You’re so f*cking solipsistic that you see yourself in everything. Even in things you had nothing to do with. You notice the way Imani walks. You turn to me and say, “I wonder where you got that walk from.” I don’t say shit. I actually smile, don’t I? Keep that shit light because I don’t wanna hurt your feelings, but you tally that shit up, Marie. While I’m actually doing something, creating something, you’re on the sidelines trying to justify your motherf*cking existence. “I know that line.” “I said that.” “I did that.” “You got that from me.” Shit, even feedback from you comes with an IOU, Marie. You wanna play f*cking dirty? Well, let’s f*cking go. You wanna hurt me, Marie. I promise you, I can hurt you ten times worse. You’re a f*cking featherweight, a level-one boss. I can snap you like a twig.

Imani is based on you as much as she is on me. What she says to the nurse, that’s what I said to the doctor when my dad was in the ICU. You noticed the way Imani walks, didn’t you? It’s a good walk. That was my ex-girlfriend, Jess. So was the scene on the bicycle in the rain. It wasn’t based on the trip you and I took to Barcelona. That’s Jess and I on the Citi Bike in Brooklyn.

The way she ties her shoes with two loops… That was Jayla. You weren’t the first. The joke about how she doesn’t give handjobs. Well, that’s an old played-out line that every n*gga done heard before.

The joke she makes about how quickly she orgasms. That was Kiki. Kiki. She’s a dancer. Dancer. We’ll call her a dancer. Who I met outside of St. Louis on a road trip. I f*cked the shit out of her in the penthouse suite of a Marriott. Once on the bed, once in the shower. We might’ve even f*cked in the closet or some shit too. I got a Polaroid of her. Sitting naked in a heart-shaped tub. It’s in a photo album at home in our closet.

But you’re an addict, right? That’s what makes you so f*cking unique, right? That’s what makes your contribution so much more significant, right? Get the entire f*ck out of here. You’re not the first broken girl I’ve known, f*cked or dated. I wrote my first script in a one-bedroom apartment with Leah, who I thought loved hour-long showers until I found her passed out with a f*cking needle in her arm. Two years ago, I got an email from her sister saying she took a whole bottle of Tylenol to the head and passed away and asked if I had any pictures ’cause she was putting together a slideshow on her behalf. Now that I think about it, I should’ve thanked her tonight. She deserves it.

Same with Tasha. First girl I actually loved, I truly loved. The first girl who truly broke my heart. She never cheated on me. She’s got that going for her. She found Jesus, got married, got divorced. She constantly DMs me pictures of her daughter saying she wished she had a child with me. I send her heart emojis because I honestly don’t know how to respond to that.

[Marie] Are you done?

[Malcolm] Not even f*cking close. Why, would you like me to stop?

[Marie] [quietly] No, Malcolm. Keep going.

[Malcolm] Why?

[Marie] Hmm.

[Malcolm] ‘Cause you like that shit? You know how disturbed you are, Marie? You may have gotten clean, but you still haven’t figured this part out. Why you love being hurt, traumatized and f*cking eviscerated? It’s not normal. It’s not healthy, and it permeates every aspect of our relationship. The way we talk, the way we fight, the way we f*ck. I’ve dated some damaged people in my life, Marie. But none of them wanted to be debased and degraded like you. And honestly, Marie… it’s nothing to be proud of. So stop f*cking smiling, ’cause you look like a clown. Now there’s some material for you.

[footsteps receding]

[Malcolm] You know what I just realized, Marie? It’s not about justifying your existence. It’s not. It’s about you being so scared and so selfish that you have to break me down. Second guess everything I do. “Am I mediocre?” “Can I do this without her?” “I don’t know. I better ask Marie. Maybe Marie will know the answer.” “Where’s Marie? I need Marie.” That’s a cut. “Marie, where did you go?” “Did you see that performance? What’d you think?” “You liked it? Yeah, me too.” God forbid I’m secure enough in my opinion that I don’t need you. That’s what this all is about. Your whole speech about fake films. You just need a reason to be needed because if I don’t need you, then what the hell am I doing with you, Marie? You want control because you can’t imagine the reason I’m with you is because I love you. I just love you, baby. I don’t need you. But I love you. That there’s somebody on this planet that just loves you. I love the way your mind works, Marie. I do. I love the way you see the world. I love the way you think. Your instincts. And I’m so f*cking grateful because everything that you’ve been through, everything… That’s what made you you. That’s what made you you. The girl that I love, the girl that I f*ck with, the girl that I’m up at 2:00 a.m. in the f*cking morning on the biggest night of my life because she’s relentless. [laughing] And crazy. [voice shaking] And I’m sorry, though. I’m sorry. I apologized, you know, and… a thousand times. I know I f*cked up. But honestly, the second we got home, all I wanted to do was celebrate with you, baby. Marie, my girl, the love of my life.

You wanna know the part of Imani that’s based on you? It’s the end. The part that makes it such a tragedy. The part… that she… Where she loathes herself so much because of all the guilt and the shame. That she can’t let the good in. That’s the part that’s based on you. Her inability to fathom that there’s someone on this planet Earth that just loves her. Despite her not loving herself. That’s you. That’s the part that isn’t fiction.

[Marie sighs]

[glass clattering]

[bottle opening]

[liquid pouring]

[solemn instrumental music playing]

[Marie sighs]

[Marie inhales deeply]

[water splashing]

[Marie crying]

[water running]

[Marie sighs]

[Marie] You gonna start smoking again?

[Malcolm sighs]

[knuckles cracking]

[“Get Rid Of Him” by Dionne Warwick playing on cell phone]

♪ We’re your friends And we’ve got some good advice ♪

♪ Before you let him break your heart You’d better think twice ♪

♪ He isn’t worth the tears you’re cryin’ ♪

♪ He’s only out to break your heart ♪

♪ Him with his cheatin’ and his lyin’ ♪

♪ He’s gonna rip your dreams apart ♪

♪ But I love him ♪

♪ And there’s nothing I can do ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Uh-uh ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Do you mean to say You still consider him? ♪

♪ Ah-ha ♪

♪ When you tell me that he’s lazy ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ You’re just sayin’ things I know ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ You can tell me that I’m crazy ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ But I’ll never let him go ♪

♪ He will hurt you ♪

♪ And he’ll break your heart in two ♪

[Marie singing along] ♪ Get rid of him Uh-uh ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Do you mean to say You still consider him? ♪

♪ Ah-ha ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

[flicking cigarette]

♪ Oh ♪

[Marie singing along] ♪ But I love him ♪

♪ And there’s nothing I can do ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Uh-uh ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Do you really mean to say That you can still go on this way? ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ No! ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Uh-uh ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ I know he’s out to break my heart And he’ll rip my dreams apart ♪

♪ But I love that fella so And I’ll never let him go ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ No ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no ♪

♪ Get rid of him ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no… ♪

[Malcolm] F*ck! That f*cking piece of shit! F*ck you! F*ck you! F*ck you! F*ck you! F*ck you! F*cking piece of shit! F*ck you!

[Marie] What’s going on?

[Malcolm] F*ckin’ LA Times review’s up.

[Marie] Oh, shit. What does it say?

[Malcolm] I don’t know. F*cking Internet.

[Marie] Is it good?

[Malcolm] Hold on.

[Marie] Who sent it to you?

[Malcolm] No one. I found it.

[Marie] How come no one sent it?

[Malcolm] Marie, stop. It’s loading.

[Marie] All right. What’s the headline?

[Malcolm] Oh, gotta pay a f*cking paywall now? A f*cking paywall? Really?

[Marie] When was it posted?

[Malcolm] Dollar-ninety-nine a f*cking month. Twenty minutes ago.

[Marie] And no one sent it to you? How come no one sent it to you?

[Malcolm] Shit. Where’s my f*cking wallet?

[Marie] You don’t have your credit card saved in your phone?

[Malcolm] No!

[Marie] Why?

[Malcolm] Because I don’t trust that shit.

[Marie] Really?

[Malcolm] Marie, stop.

[Marie] I’m sorry. Okay. Okay. Did what’s-her-name write it?

[Malcolm] The white girl?

[Marie] Yeah.

[Malcolm] Yeah.

[Marie] Then it’s gotta be positive. She wrote it.

[Malcolm] Shit, I hope so. Where’s my motherf*ckin’ wallet?

[Marie] Did you check the bedroom?

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] Did you check the bedroom?

[Malcolm] Yeah, I checked the f*cking bedroom!

[Marie] Okay. Well, then did you check the bar?

[Malcolm mumbles]

[Malcolm] I checked the f*cking bar too, Marie! Where the f*ck is the… Where the f*ck is the… Oh, I got it. I got it.

[Marie] Got it? Where was it?

[Malcolm] Doesn’t matter.

[Marie] Mmm.

[Malcolm breathing heavily]

[Malcolm] Oh, shit! Where the f*ck is my phone?

[Marie] Malcolm.

[Malcolm] Where’s my phone?

[Marie] Malcolm. Malcolm?

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] It’s right here. It’s right here. Calm down.

[Malcolm] “Imani review. A cinematic tour de force takes aim at the twin horrors of healthcare and racism, in Malcolm Elliot’s rebellious, jazzy directorial debut.” I f*cking hate this woman.

[Marie chuckles]

[Malcolm] I mean, who wants to see that film?

[Marie] “Cinematic tour de force” is all I heard.

[Malcolm] You didn’t hear f*cking “jazzy”?

[Marie] No, I heard “jazzy,” too.

[Malcolm] “Like the opening Steadicam shot.” It’s a dolly, you f*cking idiot. “Through the streets of Bed-Stuy, we know one thing about our slender protagonist Imani. She marches to her own beat.” “She sets the tone, the atmosphere, the vibe.” “She may slink and slide through halfway houses and in-patient hospitals, but make no mistake, as the title suggests, this is her film, her world, her turf. Until it’s not.”

[Marie] “If you can’t tell by the rhythm of my white girl words, you are in for a Black film.”

[Malcolm] [chuckling] The synopsis. Boring, boring, boring. The only reason you know it’s 2-perf 35 is because I said it at the premier, dipshit. “Positive…” “Leading to a harrowing and indelible scene where Imani overdoses at a Chinatown market, and that’s where Elliot’s true target becomes clear.” “This is a film about how the American healthcare system treats women of color.” And at this precise moment, every Negro who subscribes to the LA Times just said, “Then why the f*ck do I need to see this film?” Just ’cause the film doesn’t star anybody that looks like her doesn’t mean it’s political.

[Marie] Malcolm, what’s wrong with being political?

[Malcolm] Political films are exhausting.

[Marie] You love political films.

[Malcolm] Not the ones the white woman from the LA Times calls political.

[Marie] I’m sure she loves Do The Right Thing.

[Malcolm] Made at a time when politics weren’t cool. That’s what made it so f*cking revolutionary. “When Imani is placed under 5150, a term for people being held against their will and being a danger to themselves and others, after a harrowing scene with a pair of nail scissors, she… She’s placed under the care of friendly doctor played by… TV show fame… But Elliot knows the waters he’s wading into, and carefully, brilliantly subverts the white savior trope.” Oh, she’s on one now. This f*cking stupid… “Later, when Imani finds herself, uh… at her ex-boyfriend’s house begging for a fix, Elliot uses tight lenses.” It’s the f*cking same lens. “Claustrophobia… One begins to question his intentions in reveling in the trauma of his Black female heroine for so long.” “It’s a scene better implied than depicted.” “If not for the restraint of his own picture, then merely to separate itself from an exhaustive history that depicts gendered violence against women of f*cking color.” Are you f*cking kidding me? Are you kidding me, ma’am? Are you f*cking– In the next line! Oh, shit! Oh, shit! She says it’s a “genuine masterwork.” A genuine f*cking– I can’t read this f*cking shit anymore. It’s too f*cking moronic. I mean, the fact that the LA Times will hire such a f*cking halfwit is beyond me. First she says that I brilliantly subvert the white savior trope. She is a savior. She’s trying to save her, so how the f*ck did I subvert it, lady? How? You wanna know how? It’s because I’m Black! If I was white, she would’ve said I fell for the trope. But because I’m a man, she can question my intention saying that I’m reveling in the trauma of a woman. “Better implied than depicted.” The f*ck out of here! Why? Because Taylor took her shirt off?

[Marie] I’m sure she just doesn’t think that the nudity was necessary.

[Malcolm] None of it is necessary, Marie. None of this shit is necessary. Movement, blocking, lighting, f*cking digital versus film. This cut here, that cut here. Let’s pan. Two-shot. None of this shit matters. It’s all about what you want. But my f*cking problem with her before she even wrote this dumb-ass, b!tch-ass, p*ssy-ass review is the same after readin’ this c0ck-sucking, motherf*cking, dog-d!ck review.

[Marie giggles]

[Malcolm] She’s not looking at the film. The ideas in it, the emotions, or the craft. Cinema doesn’t need to have a f*cking message. It needs to have a heart and electricity. Morons like this sap the world of its mystery because they need everything spelled out with f*cking A-B-C blocks. And they’re terrified to embrace anything potentially dangerous because they’re trying to predict the culture. This f*cking bobblehead shouldn’t be writing for the LA f*cking Times. She should be holding smiling sun placards for the local news because all she is, is a motherf*cking weatherman! … Or weatherwoman. … Whatever. F*cking… Dorothy-ass…

[Marie] Malcolm.

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] She did call it a genuine masterwork.

[Malcolm] I don’t give a f*ck! Unlike her, at least I’m consistent. You can’t hang everything on identity. You can’t say that I brilliantly subverted this trope ’cause I’m Black, but I fell into this one because I’m a f*cking man! Identities are constantly shifting. Does the male gaze exist if the filmmaker’s gay and not straight? And to what degree? What if they’re asexual? What if they’re transitioning and you don’t even know it? You can only look back at things and wonder what the f*ck it all means! I mean, why did Ben Hecht and Selznick, two f*cking Jewish men, spend so much time on Gone With the Wind? To this day, no one can explain to me why the f*ck Billy Wilder made Spirit of St. Louis and lionized that Nazi bastard Lindbergh, huh? Or why Ida Lupino loved film noir and f*cking violent men. Why Ed Wood wore f*cking panties? He wore panties and made B films about f*cking space aliens. Or Elaine May was fascinated with emotionally stunted men. I mean, did she see herself in them? Did she hate them in real life, but wanted to get to know them through the work? I mean, the fact that Barry Jenkins isn’t gay, is that what made Moonlight so universal? Or was being gay the reason Cukor empathized with women more than men? It’s all a f*cking mystery is the point! What drives a filmmaker? What drives an artist?

[Malcolm breathing heavily]

[Malcolm] I mean, why did Pontecorvo, a f*cking rich Italian Jewish man… Why did he f*cking feel such a kinship to Algerian Muslim guerrilla fighters that he f*cking made Battle of Algiers? A f*cking classic! Tell me that! Can you tell me that? F*cking Karen! Can you tell me that? You can’t, can you? Because why? ‘Cause nobody knows! Who the f*ck knows? Who the f*ck knows? Why did I shoot the scene the way I did? Is it because I’m a man, because I’m straight? Is it because I’m desensitized to violence or is it because I believe that if you witness trauma onscreen, the audience should also feel that f*cking trauma? That is the mystery of art. Of film. What drives someone to make something and f*cking say something. Now, you can criticize this system, which, like every f*cking system, is white as f*ck, and in our business, f*cking male and white as f*ck! I mean, goddamn! Sh!t, I’ve been waiting my whole life, I’ve been askin’, “Where the f*ck are all the Black filmmakers, ’cause I’m gettin’ sick and tired of these little British boys runnin’ around here all in they feelings trying to overcome a f*cking birth defect to save the f*cking Queen from Hitler.”

[Marie chuckling]

[Malcolm] Just do me a f*cking favor, all right? Ban every f*cking film with a postscript, and we’ll be good. We’ll be f*cking great! But to write shit like this? To write this bullshit? To box people in because you don’t have the love of film, because you don’t have the mind to critique the form, medium, technique. You don’t have the words to describe the f*cking emotions or too much fear that you’re not gonna get clicks, or too much f*cking fear that the mob’s gonna turn on you. F*ck you for inhibiting the ability for artists to dream about what life may be like for other f*cking people. F*ck you! Twice! With a sick cactus d!ck! Even if you come up short, even if you could do better, f*ck you! You’re the reason they make this f*cking stale, safe, stagnant turgid f*cking shit in the first place! You’re the reason! Not me! You’re the reason! I mean, you should be f*cking bold! You should be f*cking reckless! People should be f*cking reckless! They should be yelling at the top of their lungs! Hey, Karen! Hey, Al! I hear you, and I don’t give a f*ck! Because they’re not gonna get any better until they start rebelling against this f*cking purist, moralistic, academic nonsense in the same way Spike Lee rebelled against the white system when he made Do the Right Thing. Normally, I f*cking wish death upon someone like this. Someone who lacks the f*cking imagination like this. But instead, I’m gonna pray f*cking hard, the way my mama taught me, that she gets f*cking carpal tunnel, until her hands atrophy and cramp and she can no longer write nonsensical f*cking garbage like this anymore!

[Malcolm panting]

[grunts]

[Marie] Mmm.

[Marie laughing]

[Malcolm] Oh, my God. So this is what happens when you get a good review? You’re f*cking crazy.

[both chuckle]

[Malcolm] I’m ser– You’re delirious.

[Malcolm grunts]

[chuckles]

[Marie] Honestly, Malcolm, you are a true insane person.

[Malcolm] I know. I know. I just… I’m tired of fighting, Marie.

[Marie] That was a fight you had entirely with yourself.

[both chuckling]

[Marie] You think you’re the first writer in the history of writing to have this issue with critics?

[Malcolm] ‘Course not.

[Marie] Of course not, ’cause it’s all the same bullshit. So, what, Malcolm? You wanna make movies, and no one’s allowed to say anything bad about them? Give me a break.

[Marie mockingly] “Oh, no! Someone attacked my movie.”

[Malcolm] Well, f*ck these lazy-ass critics.

[Marie] Malcolm, you are not making pottery for a living, okay? You are a filmmaker, and filmmaking is the most capitalistic, mainstream f*cking art form on the planet Earth. No matter how many times Taylor told E! News that she was a f*cking communist.

[Malcolm] She what?

[Marie] Or a Maoist.

[Malcolm] Come on.

[Marie] It was something like that.

[Malcolm] She might’ve talked about the redistribution of wealth, lack of social programs.

[Marie] While selling a film?

[Malcolm] The mental healthcare industry–

[Marie] For $15 a ticket?

[Malcolm] I’m just saying– Marie.

[Marie] On E! News.

[Malcolm] It was Entertainment Tonight.

[Marie] And you wonder why the white girl’s talking about the mental healthcare system in her review.

[Malcolm] Because…

[Marie] Mm-hmm.

[mumbling]

[Malcolm] Oh, she… Oh, shit, you’re right.

[Marie] Right?

[Malcolm] Oh. [chuckles]

[Marie] Yep. [chuckles]

[stomping feet]

[Marie] I hate to break it to you, but uh… no one in this game is a radical.

[Malcolm] Oh, Taylor’s pretty radical.

[Marie] Bullshit. She likes to play one on TV.

[Malcolm] What do you mean?

[Marie] All of y’all are a bunch of hookers and hoes.

[Malcolm] You calling me a ho?

[Marie] Yes, I am calling you a ho.

[Malcolm chuckles]

[Malcolm laughing] F*ck you.

[Marie] ‘Cause you’re a ho! What? You are. That’s fine. That’s why you’re hell-bent on sounding smart, ’cause you’re compensating for the fact that you’re a f*cking ho. Instead of just understanding that… this is just how the world of ho-dom turns. You know, you got an actress in a $2,000 dress, talkin’ about socialism on a red carpet because she’s too afraid to admit that, guess what, she’s just… she’s just a f*ckin’ actor. There’s no shame in that. And then you got every entertainment outlet running with her call to arms, her viva la revolution. Not because they actually care or want to spread the message. But because they know that there’s nothing that sells more than disgust.

[Malcolm] Hmm.

[Marie] That’s what gets the clicks. And you dumbasses fall for that shit every time. I mean, honestly, nobody cares what you have to say. They don’t. You guys play f*cking dress-up for a living.

[Malcolm scoffs]

[Marie] This is some only-in-America, ho-ass shit.

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] And all of you are guilty. You know? So just stay in your lane. Keep doing your ho shit. It’s fine.

[Malcolm mumbles]

[Marie] Malcolm, you got a great review with an asterisk. Boo-f*cking-hoo.

[Malcolm] I’m a ho, huh?

[Marie] Mm-hmm. Most definitely.

[Malcolm] I love you.

[Marie] Don’t manipulate me.

[kissing]

[slow jazz music playing]

[Malcolm] Okay.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] Okay. I got a gameplan.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] I love what’s happening.

[chuckles]

[Malcolm] Oh, my God. And thank God. I just… Been wanting to do this all night.

[giggles]

[Malcolm] Here’s the gameplan. I’m gonna go from here… to the bathroom. Because I have to pee.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] Okay. Is it okay?

[Marie] That’s fine.

[Malcolm] And let’s just keep it positive. Happy thoughts. You stay right here. Don’t move. You look beautiful. Stay right here. Okay?

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] You stay right here.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] Hey. Oh, my God. Oh, my…

[chuckles]

[footsteps receding]

[urinating]

[toilet flushes]

[faucet squeaks]

[water running]

[Marie] Malcolm?

[Malcolm] Yeah?

[Marie] Can I ask you a question and you promise to answer without making me feel like shit?

[Malcolm sighs deeply] Yeah.

[Marie] Why didn’t you cast me? … When you first wrote it, you wrote it for me. So why didn’t you cast me?

[Malcolm clicks tongue]

[Malcolm] So that’s what this whole thing has been about tonight?

[Marie softly] No.

[Malcolm] Bullshit, Marie.

[Marie] It’s not.

[Malcolm] You’re lying. Yes, it is.

[Marie] [voice shaking] I’m not lying. … At some point, Malcolm, this was something that we were gonna do together. And I don’t know when that changed. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, I just know that I was in that audience… and I thought to myself, “Wow. I did not mean to give all that away.” [breath trembling] And I don’t wanna get into all the reasons why you cast Taylor, but you’re so good at fighting. You’re so good at fighting. You fought to make the movie, to make it the way you wanted to make it. So why didn’t you fight for me? Because I would have been good. [sniffles] I would have. Maybe even better.

[Malcolm] So there it is.

[Marie] What?

[Malcolm] The f*cking truth. Leave it to you to spend the entire night burning it all to the ground only to reveal that in the end, you’re just jealous.

[Marie] I’m not jealous.

[Malcolm] Yes, you are.

[Marie] I’m not jealous.

[Malcolm] Of course you are.

[Marie] Malcolm, the feeling that I’m feeling right now is deeper than that.

It’s not jealousy. [crying]

[Malcolm] Oh, come on. Give me a break, Marie.

[Marie] It’s the fact that I can’t tell my story anymore. I can’t articulate all the f*cking chaos that’s going on in here because you already did. [sniffles] You already did and Taylor already did. I know it’s not solely mine. I know that. I know it happened to both of us. But the difference is you were able to take all the ugly shit and make it something beautiful. Something good. Something that… that could move people. But, Malcolm, I’m stuck with it.

[Malcolm] Yeah.

[Marie] I just wish it was something we could have done together. And to be brutally honest, yes… I would have been better. Because I experienced it. I lived it. Not only would I have been better, I would have made your film better.

[Malcolm] You gave up acting. When I got the film financed, I asked you to audition. You said yes, but you were reluctant. You have talent, but that’s not enough. It’s not enough. You have to want it, Marie.

[Marie] Trust me, Malcolm, I wanted this one.

[Malcolm] That’s f*ckin’ bullshit. You didn’t try, and that’s the harsh reality of all of this. That same instinct that exists in Imani, in you, that instinct to f*cking self-sabotage, that didn’t go away.

[Marie] I didn’t try because you didn’t want me.

[Malcolm] Now you wanna play the victim. Now you wanna say you felt like I didn’t want you so you didn’t try. You are f*cking intolerable.

[Marie sighs deeply]

[Marie] F*cking… You fake-ass, fraudulent, thievin’ f*ckin’ con man! You didn’t want me because if you did, you would have to share the f*cking stage. You wouldn’t be the sole author of this film. It would have a lineage that extended beyond you and your f*cking brilliance, because people would ask me and I’d say, “Yes, this shit happened to me.” Then all of a sudden everyone would go, “Is it him or her that’s talented?”

[Malcolm] If that’s what you have to tell yourself, then be my guest.

[Marie] It’s about ownership. It’s about the illusion you wanna create that filmmaking isn’t a collaborative effort. It’s you, and everybody else is just following the f*cking directions. Because if it were me…

[Malcolm grunts loudly]

[Marie] If it were authentic ’cause of me, you couldn’t swing your d!ck around! That’s why you didn’t thank me tonight. That’s also why you didn’t cast me.

[Malcolm] Authenticity.

[Marie] Yeah. Mm-hmm.

[Malcolm] Ain’t that the word of the day?

[Marie] It’s all I f*cking heard tonight. “He’s such an authentic filmmaker.” “The movie is authentic.” “He channeled his voice authentically.”

[Malcolm] Know why people love that word?

[Marie] Why?

[Malcolm] They don’t know what makes something good.

[Marie] I think authenticity is key.

[Malcolm] Of course you do, because that’s all you have to offer. Anyone, all they have to say.

[Marie] It’s all I have to offer.

[Malcolm] The only word that people that don’t know shit about film feels like they got something to offer…

[Marie] No, I have nothing to offer.

[Malcolm] They can’t say anything about film, but they love to talk about authenticity. They don’t know d!ck about film. About f*cking Citizen Kane or Best Years of Our Lives

[Marie] No one f*cking cares about that shit!

[Malcolm] Authenticity. Oh, shit! They know that shit through and through. Authenticity does not f*cking matter, your perspective doesn’t–

[Marie] Doesn’t matter. You don’t f*cking have any!

[Malcolm] Recreating reality doesn’t make something interesting. It’s about your interpretation about reality. What you feel about reality.

[Marie] You’re full of shit.

[Malcolm] What you reveal about reality. Perspective, your perspective. Transcribing a conversation or holding a camera up and pressing record, that’s a f*cking YouTube video. That’s a f*cking confession or memoir.

[Marie] Okay.

[Malcolm] We’ve seen and heard it a f*cking thousand times before.

[Marie] All right.

[Malcolm] Your experience, your life, your f*cking struggle, doesn’t matter. You’ve been an addict, boring! You overdosing, not f*cking interesting. It’s about transferring your emotions and all those moments into something cinematic and moving. So, you know what? Good luck, Marie.

[Marie] I hate you!

[Malcolm] I hate you hate too!

[Marie] I hate you more!

[Malcolm] I hate you the most!

[Marie] I f*cking hate you!

[both screaming]

[grunts]

[screams]

[Marie] F*ckin’ asshole!

[Malcolm] F*cking mental patient.

[exhales deeply]

[“Wasted” by NNAMDÏ playing]

♪ Tell me what you want me to hear ♪

♪ ‘Cause I ain’t got time to waste I ain’t got time to waste ♪

♪ I don’t got, I don’t got I don’t got time ♪

♪ Tell me what you want me to hear ♪

♪ ‘Cause we ain’t got time to waste We ain’t got time to waste ♪

♪ We don’t got, we don’t got We don’t got time ♪

♪ Tell me what you want What you need and what you feel ♪

♪ I love to hear you speak… ♪

[song stops abruptly]

[Malcolm] Marie, what are you doing? Put the knife down please. Marie?

[Marie crying] Do you remember those antidepressants I was on? I’m not on them anymore. I’m not doing well. I’m really, really not doing well. [sighs] I’ve never been clean. And I don’t plan on getting clean. I’m a piece of shit. I’m a liar.

[Malcolm clears throat]

[Marie] I cheated on you. I f*cked your friends. [laughing] I f*cked your friends. God, I feel like I’m crazy. [chuckling]

[knife tapping]

[Marie] I’ve stolen from your mother. And you know what the f*cked up thing is? [sniffles] I don’t even care. I don’t mind. Because I deserve it. Tell me where the f*cking pills are. [exhales deeply] Tell me where the pills are.

[Malcolm] Um…

[knife tapping]

[Malcolm] Mmm.

[knife scrapes]

[knife clatters]

[Marie] And that, Malcolm, is what authenticity buys you.

[Malcolm] Well, damn! Why didn’t you do that in the audition?

[knife scrapes]

[knife clatters]

[door creaks]

[Malcolm] You are, by far, the most excruciating, difficult, stubbornly obnoxious woman I’ve ever met in my entire life. I go from wanting to cut your head off one moment to wanting to kiss your beautiful, stupid little face the next. I f*cking love you. I love you. [kissing] Should we get married?

[Marie] Not in the mood.

[Malcolm] Seriously, I feel like we’re gonna get married and divorced at least a couple times, might as well start now.

[Marie] No.

[Malcolm grunts]

[Malcolm] I’m so turned on right now.

[Marie] I’m not.

[Malcolm laughing] F*ckin’ psychopath!

[Marie giggles]

[Malcolm] All this madness was about you, and that scene, sayin’ to me that you could do it better than Taylor and seed doubt in my mind that, for the rest of my life, the movie could’ve been better.

[Marie] Mm-mm.

[Malcolm] Yes. That’s exactly what you doin’.

[Marie] Mm-mmm. No.

[Malcolm] That’s bullshit.

[Marie] It’s not!

[both laughing]

[Malcolm] Brilliant!

[both moaning]

[Marie] You know what’s interesting about the white girl from LA Times calling out that scene in her review?

[Malcolm] Marie, who cares?

[Marie] I mean, I’ve always said, it was my least favorite in the film. But my favorite in the script.

[Malcolm] Can we talk about this later, please?

[Marie] I think it’s important, you know?

[Malcolm] I beg you.

[Marie] To look back and wonder why that is. Don’t you?

[Malcolm] No.

[Marie] Not to strip you of your mystery, you know, just out of curiosity. Out of pursuit of wanting to be, I don’t know, a better f*cking artist.

[Malcolm] Oh. You are exhausting. You gonna be this exhausting at 70 or will you have exhausted yourself?

[Marie] That depends where you are.

[Malcolm] Living with the white girl from the LA Times because at least I can win an argument against her.

[Marie] But, you know. It just made me wonder, why did I see that scene so differently?

[Malcolm] I don’t know. How did you see the scene?

[Marie] It was less graphic.

[Malcolm] So what? He doesn’t attack Imani? That’s what it was on the page.

[Marie] No, he attacks her. I just never thought that you’d shoot it with her top off.

[Malcolm] What’s the difference?

[Marie] Her tits were out.

[Malcolm] So?

[Marie] So, I just feel like you sexualized her.

[Malcolm] Marie, if I rolled a camera on you right now, am I sexualizing you, or is this what you have on, on a Friday night?

[Marie] My tits aren’t out.

[Malcolm] If you were in a Chuck E. Cheese, they’d throw your ass out. It was Taylor’s idea anyway.

[Marie] I’m sure it was. Look, it just made everything more graphic. Okay? And I just thought… would the scene have been a bit different if you were a woman?

[Malcolm] Yes, but I also would have shot the entire movie differently because I wouldn’t have been me, I would’ve been a woman. I would’ve had a totally different sensibility. But that’s not how you judge film intelligently, by the 600 trillion different choices not made due to an intangible yet purely hypothetical assessment of one’s identity. But rather the choices actually being f*cking made.

[Marie sighs] Look, I’m not defending her as a great f*ckin’ thinker.

[Malcolm] Good. ‘Cause she’s an idiot.

[Marie] I’m just saying… would the movie have been a little better if you had a dash of femininity?

[Malcolm] Who gives a f*ck?

[Marie] I do.

[Malcolm] F*ck.

[Marie] I do. I do. I do, Malcolm, because it just made me wonder if the problem she has with you as a filmmaker is the same problem I have with you as a partner.

[Malcolm] Well… All that being said and done, Karen thinks I’m a f*cking tour-de-force.

[urinating]

[scoffs] Now you like her review?

[Malcolm scoffs] F*cking masterwork is what you’re looking at right now, girl.

[Marie] [groans and chuckles] You’re joking, but I’m not.

[Malcolm] That’s unfortunate, because I really can’t keep arguing about this shit.

[Marie] The more I think about it, her problem is my problem.

[Malcolm] Which is what?

[Marie] That I’m with you. I haven’t walked out. I’m not wondering what other movies are playing. I got you. I’m on your side, and then you just… You gotta f*cking take shit too far.

[Malcolm] Come on.

[Marie] No, we’re in a fight, maybe the worst fight we’ve ever been in, but instead of just making your point and saying it’s not about you, it’s an amalgamation of a bunch of different people, you gotta f*cking revel in it. You gotta twist the knife and put images in my head that you and I both know will never f*cking leave me.

[Malcolm] What?

[Marie] Kiki.

[Malcolm] Oh!

[Marie] Kiki.

[Malcolm] I was angry, Marie. What the f*ck!

[Marie] From outside of St. Louis. A heart-shaped bathtub?

[Malcolm] I was angry.

[Marie] You’re a cheeseball. Ugh! Malcolm! Ew! Ew!

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] Ugh! You’re a f*cking moron, honestly. You could’ve won without all that shit. You could’ve won with 20% of what you said, but you cannot help yourself. It is just who you are. ‘Cause if I were ever f*cked in a penthouse suite of a Marriott, in or around a heart-shaped bathtub, I would never f*cking utter a word about it aloud. I would never tell my friends about it, I would never wield it in a fight as a weapon. You know why? Because I know it would hurt me way more than it would hurt you. [sighing] And it’s a bummer, Malcolm, you know? I really enjoyed having sex with you. Up until about 15 minutes ago, it was an aspect of our relationship that I genuinely had no complaints about. It was also my only remaining vice, that and cigarettes. But, well, lo and behold, you had to take shit too far…

[Malcolm] Come on.

[Marie] And obliterate any and all joy there was to be found in f*cking you.

[Malcolm] The gloves were off, okay? We were in a fight, like…

[Marie] Oh, it didn’t support your argument. It just grossed me the f*ck out. It made me go, “I cannot believe I have unprotected sex with this nasty-ass, grimy-d!cked f*ckin’ brute, a f*ckin’ animal, a f*ckin’ barnyard animal.”

[Malcolm chuckles]

[Marie] That’s what you are. A f*ckin’ hog. You are a shit-where-you-eat hog. Hog of a human being.

[Malcolm gags]

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] Yeah, you f*ckin’ think it’s funny.

[Malcolm] You’re being dramatic.

[Marie] I’m not being dramatic. You think ’cause we had a common enemy in Karen from the LA Times, all shit is sweet. We good now? Think again, motherf*cker. We ain’t good.

[Malcolm chuckles]

[Malcolm laughing]

[Marie] She’s my spiritual sister. I mean that. We’re both seeking refuge from your assaultive, battering ram of a f*cking personality. Because of your limitations as a partner, and a filmmaker, we are both ducking for cover. We may not have a lot in common, but sis and I are in the f*cking foxhole.

[Malcolm] Oh, you are the last person to talk, Marie. You have f*cked, dated some of the wildest, strangest human beings that ever walked this planet Earth. You have, one, no f*cking standards, which is a red flag. Two, no f*cking type, which is also a red flag. And three, no discretion. Which means everyone who knows you, knows you’re a red flag and talks about you’re a red f*cking flag.

[Marie] Well, Malcolm, here’s the difference. I’m not lugging my balls around this house bragging about the places they’ve been. I don’t need to know the details. I don’t need to know all the… the moves and the steps and the places that brought you to my doorstep. You’re here. I loved you unconditionally. Why? Because I value mystery. The unknown. It’s what supports the tension of a relationship and forces us to be the best version of ourselves. The what-if factor. What if there’s someone who loved him better? Who was smarter, nicer. Woke him up every day with breakfast and a blowjob. What if I’m not the best girlfriend he’s ever had? What if he dreams of someone else? Better conversations, a girl with hips and an actual ass instead of this string bean body? Look, I know a little bit about your type. Not so much that I’m paralyzed with insecurity and doubt. So that every single day when I get up, and I talk to you, and I wear this fancy f*ckin’ dress, and I hold your hand, I’m trying to be the best girlfriend you have ever had. So, when you tell me that who I’m up against is Kiki…

[Malcolm] Here we go with the bullshit. Here we go.

[Marie] …from St. Louis, in a heart-shaped bathtub, it makes me give a lot less of a f*ck.

[Malcolm] You gotta bring up all the shit.

[Marie] I don’t know where you’re going, but I’m not done. I’m not even f*cking close to being done.

[Malcolm sighs]

[Marie] But what it also makes me realize, the reason you don’t get jealous is because you don’t value that mystery, do you? The reason you don’t value it, the reason why you never wonder if you’re the best f*ck I’ve ever had, or the most talented person I’ve ever been with, or the kindest, or the smartest, it’s because it is inconceivable to you that there is anybody on this planet that is more interesting than you are.

[Malcolm clicks tongue]

[Marie] Your lack of curiosity is merely an extension of your narcissism, your megalomania, your egotistical view of the world. As a result of never doubting yourself, you never stopped to ask yourself, “How can I be a better partner?” You’re good. You are set. The man I’m looking at right now is as good as he’s gonna get. You yelling at me in a bathtub about how you’re gonna snap me like a twig, is the best and worst of who you will be in this relationship. And that’s why you can forget to thank me in your speech. Because you’re not afraid that I’m gonna come home and go… [inhales deeply] “You know what? You lost me tonight. F*ck this shit. I am out.” But if you steamroll every single person in your midst, day in and day out, you are going to end up living in a fictional f*cking reality. Look at me. I’m the last person standing. I’m the last person to look at you and go, “You know what? Up your f*cking game.” “If not for me, then for your work.” Malcolm, if this is a movie, you hold on to me for dear f*cking life. Because that’s who we’ve been for one another. That’s who you’ve been for me and I’ve been for you from the day we met. From the day I overdosed in that market, from the day you drove me to rehab. From the first day I read your script about me, about us, about our relationship. About how drugs were destroying my ability to love you and your ability to love me. All I wanted tonight was a “thank you,” Malcolm. That is it. That’s all.

“Thank you, Marie. Thank you for loving me.”

“Thank you for making my life better, for getting your life together.”

“Thank you for watching 100 cuts and reading 100 f*cking drafts.”

“Thank you for your notes, your experience, your patience, your authen-f*cking-ticity you bring to this film. Thank you.”

“Thank you for being a drug addict. Thank you for being clean.”

“Thank you for dumb shit, like buying toilet paper and milk and organizing the shit with the movers. Thank you.”

“Thank you for doing the shit I don’t wanna think about.”

“Thank you for making me coffee in the morning. Thank you for making me smile.”

“Thank you for the good sex and the cuddles.”

[Malcolm sniffs]

“Thank you for doing the laundry and picking out my suit tonight and making my ungrateful ass some mac and cheese after I forgot to f*ckin’ thank you.”

“Thank you for the mistakes you’ve made… for the charm you bring, the life you bring.”

“Thank you for loving me.”

“Thank you for getting over this, for moving forward, for being you.”

“Thank you for all the shit I forget to thank you for… and thank you for looking so goddamn sexy in that dress tonight.”

“You make me look good.”

“You make me a better person.”

“Thank you for understanding that I’m not always great at expressing how I feel and it comes out in my work more than in real life.”

“Thank you because… I know it doesn’t always feel good, so I hope you can live with that.”

[voice breaking] “Thank you.”

“I know I’m emotionally obtuse sometimes, but I’m grateful you don’t hold it against me.”

“Thank you… for assuming the best.”

“I love you, Marie. I’ll always love you, my Marie.”

“Thank you.”

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

[Malcolm] I love you, Marie.

[jazz music playing]


[slow jazz music playing]

[Malcolm sighs]

[Malcolm] I’m sorry. … Thank you.

[Marie] You’re welcome.


[birds chirping]

[sighs softly]

[Malcolm grunts]

[Malcolm grunts]

[Malcolm] Marie?

[Malcolm sighs]

[Malcolm] Marie?

[Malcolm grunts]

[Malcolm sighs]

[Malcolm] Marie!

[birds chirping]

[Malcolm] Marie!

[“Liberation” by OutKast ft. Cee-Lo playing]

♪ And there’s a, and there’s a ♪

♪ And there’s a And there’s a fine line ♪

♪ Too late, but baby, I’m on it ♪

♪ Ya, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Yo, yo, uh-huh ♪

♪ There’s a fine line Between love and hate, you see ♪

♪ Came way too late but, baby, I’m on it ♪

♪ And there’s a fine line Between love and hate, you see ♪

♪ Came way too late but, baby, I’m on it ♪

♪ Can’t worry ’bout What a n*gga think, now see ♪

♪ That’s liberation and, baby, I want it ♪

♪ Can’t worry ’bout What another n*gga think ♪

♪ Now that’s liberation And, baby, I want it ♪

♪ Lemme hear it, lemme hear it Lemme though, lemme hear it ♪

♪ How many times I sit back and contemplate? ♪

♪ I’m fresh off the dank But I’m tellin’ my story ♪

♪ My relationship with my folks Is give-and-take ♪

♪ And I done took so much Now give me my glory ♪

♪ To have a choice to be Who you wants to be ♪

♪ It’s left up-a to me And my momma n’em told me ♪

♪ Yes, she did ♪

♪ I say, to have a choice to be Who you wants to be ♪

♪ It’s left up-a to me And my momma n’em told me ♪

♪ No, no, no ♪

♪ Oh, Lord, I’m so tired, I’m so tired ♪

♪ My feet feel like I walked Most of the road on my own ♪

♪ All on my own ♪

♪ We alive but we ain’t livin’ That’s why I’m givin’ until it’s gone ♪

♪ ‘Cause I don’t wanna be alone ♪

♪ I don’t wanna be alone ♪

♪ I don’t wanna be alone ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ No, no, no ♪

♪ If anything I can say to help you find Believe we could fly ♪

♪ But I can feel it in the wind Beginning or the end ♪

♪ But people, keep your head to the sky ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

♪ Shake that load off Shake that load off ♪

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