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A Family Affair (2024) | Transcript

An unexpected romance triggers comic consequences for a young woman, her mother, and her boss, grappling with the complications of love, sex, and identity.
A Family Affair (2024) Nicole Kidman

A Family Affair (2024)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Joey King, Kathy Bates, Liza Koshy

Plot: An unexpected romance triggers comic consequences for a young woman, her mother, and her boss, grappling with the complications of love, sex, and identity.

* * *

[“I’m Your Man” playing]

♪ Call me good ♪

♪ Call me bad ♪

♪ Call me anything you want to, baby ♪

♪ But I know that you’re sad ♪

♪ And I know I’ll make you happy With the one thing that you never had ♪

♪ Baby, I’m your man ♪

Hey, what’s going on, everybody? For First We Feast, I’m Sean Evans, and you’re watching Hot Ones.

And today we’re joined by Chris Cole.

He’s an actor you know for his beloved superhero franchise Icarus Rush.

With Icarus Rush Labyrinth on the way, this year could be his best year yet.

♪ You bet ♪

♪ If you’re gonna do it, do it right ♪

♪ Right, do it with me ♪

♪ If you’re gonna do it, do it right ♪

♪ Right, do it with me ♪

♪ Everybody knows Where the good people go ♪

♪ But where we’re going, baby ♪

♪ Ain’t no such word as no ♪

♪ Baby, I’m your man ♪

♪ Don’t you know who I am? ♪

♪ Baby, I’m your man ♪

[“Feather” playing]

♪ Oh, it’s like that ♪

[vehicles honking]

♪ I’m your dream come true When it’s on a platter for you ♪

[woman]…very clearly not my fault.

I left on time, I did.

Like, any normal person would understand that.

He’ll understand that. Everyone’s gonna understand that.

That’s fine. You can go ahead.

This is a lesson. I’m being taught something here.

I’m being taught that if I let you in, I’m gonna get there faster.

It’s good karma.

[clears throat]

[truck honks]

Oh, my God!

Now I’m going to lose my shit.

Thanks for coming.

Thanks for changing your plans.

Oh, of course.

You know I’m always here for you.

I’m so sorry I’ve been so preoccupied with the movie starting.

Well, don’t worry, Chris. I mean, I’m not a needy girlfriend.

I know we’re okay.

Right, okay.

Anyways, I got to thinking, you know, where is Ashley in all of this?

Where is this wonderful woman that I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to know and…

I think it’s time we took a big step.

[waiter] May I tell you the specials?

Yes, please. In great detail.

No.

Uh, if you don’t mind, I’m starving today.

Excuse me one second.

Okay.

[waiter] Absolutely. We’ve got…

[chimes]

[automated voice] Text message from Chris Cole.

[sighs]

Read it.

Where the fuck are you?

I don’t care if you have to sell a vital organ.

Get your ass here or you’re fired!

My God!

What we have is so special… and spectacular and…

Whoa! Hi.

…that, you know…

See that famous guy that looks mad at me right now,

looks like he wants to kill me, that’s my boss.

And I really need to get this…

Whoa! Whoa!

I’m furiously joyful.

I have to get it over there or he’ll kill me. For real this time.

Can I…

I’ll have paparazzi here before he leaves.

Thank you.

My gosh, is that Bradley Cooper?

Where?

Nope, it’s just a normal person.

[chuckles softly]

[sighs in relief]

Can I get a water, please?

Absolutely.

Thank you.

Sweetheart, you and I, we’re great.

And it’s because of how great we are that I feel at the same time that we’re heading in a direction that we’re not quite equipped for.

Huh?

I’m gonna be immersed in this film. That’s… That’s how I work.

Uh-huh.

So I just think it would be best

if we took our foot off the gas a little bit.

Wait, what?

You just said we should take the next step.

I said “a” step.

You said a big step.

I know.

You did.

And that big step is a… big step away…

from this relationship.

Does that make sense?

Hold on. You’re…

Wait, you’re saying that you’re ending this?

Ashley, you and I both know that there’s a future for us.

It’s just, it’s not a future that starts right now.

Hey. Hey.

I still want to be friends.

Do you even have friends?

I’m gonna take these, though, ’cause they’re gorgeous.

So…

Okay.

Bye.

Bye.

[exhales]

[clears throat]

[“Believe” on radio] ♪ But after all is said and done… ♪

[Chris] My God! Listen to these lyrics. Cher is singing this about me. Listen.

[singing along] ♪ Do you believe in life after love? ♪

I’m trying, Cher. I’m trying.

♪ I can feel something inside me say ♪

♪ I really don’t think You’re strong enough, no ♪

[music stops]

Where were you, by the way?

Jesus.

I was stuck there, stalling,

just riffing, making it up as I go.

And you’re so lucky that I won improv championships when I was a kid,

because believe me, that was one of my best performances of all time.

Still, I had to say a lot more than I wrote down last night,

which means Ashley probably felt the sting of rejection

much more because of you.

Because of… You’re blaming that on me?

Yeah.

Really?

Sometimes the incompetency,

like, you deserve to be fired.

[sighs]

Then fire me.

No.

Is this about the movie?

You think I’m paranoid, but if 3 doesn’t do well,

while we’re filming 4,

then they won’t invite me back for 5 and 6.

So? Who cares? That’s okay.

You know, you’ll have actual time, like a real actor to do other things.

I’m worried the script doesn’t make sense.

‘Cause it doesn’t make sense. It’s very confusing.

Like, the whole department store Santa being a Nordic terrorist thing.

They want a Christmas movie.

It’s Die Hard meets Miracle on 34th Street.

The real Santa is kidnapped.

Why do you have to go to Antarctica

before your run-in with the suicide bombing reindeer?

Do you hear how stupid that sounds?

No, it’s Die Hard meets Miracle on 34th Street

with a little bit of Speed.

But Speed was already Die Hard on a bus.

You’re just being confusing on purpose.

No, it needs a rewrite.

I actually found a great writer for that.

All right, I have an idea.

Tomorrow, we’re gonna find a great writer.

I’m gonna comb through all the agent lists.

Be at my house at 8:30.

But first, you gotta go clean up this mess and pick up my stuff from Ashley’s.

No. God, please, no. Chris. Ugh!

When you gave earrings to Kimmy and Whitney,

it was so awful for me getting your stuff back.

I felt like I was grave robbing.

What are you talking about? I left my autographed Jordans there,

I left my Himalayan T-shirt.

I left my copy of The Courage to be Disliked.

I have several underwears there, and people sell those.

So, my house, 8:30. And bring a latte with cow’s milk.

From a real cow.

They still make that, right?

Or is that, like, canceled?

I know it’s repetitious, I know that.

I’m sorry, I’m just…

No. There’s something here.

It’s just too many words.

Too many words.

This reads like you’re thinking of finally getting out there again.

I don’t know.

Everything I write sounds irrelevant to me.

Do you feel irrelevant?

No.

I find myself absolutely fascinating.

That’s because you are.

I’m scared.

I haven’t written anything for me in so long, and…

But that’s just growing pains, kid.

We all go through it.

Life walloped you.

You picked yourself up. You raised that gorgeous girl, Zara.

Now you just don’t know which direction to take.

It’s okay.

It’s exciting.

You could get to ask yourself, “Who was I?”

“Who was I before I was everything to everybody else?”

[sighs]

Why do you write?

Why do I write?

Um…

To find out what I think about things I don’t understand.

Well…

And what things don’t you understand now?

Now?

Now.

Pretty much everything since Charlie died.

You’ve never written about Charlie.

Because it’s not easy.

And if I did, I don’t think I could let you read it.

Why not?

I was your editor before I was your mother-in-law.

Yeah, but you’re Charlie’s mother…

before you were my editor.

Before I was Charlie’s mother,

I was a young woman who wanted things for herself.

I wanted to be Stevie Nicks.

[both laughing]

We’re still everything we always were, kiddo.

I’d love to believe that.

[sighs] Mom?

Hey, Mom.

[Brooke] Hey, baby.

Beautiful, huh?

[kisses]

How was Grandma?

She was good.

Mom, were you my age when you published your first book?

Um…

No, I was 29.

Why?

[sighs]

I’m just wondering when my life is gonna start.

You’re 24, baby, and you’re smart and you’re talented.

When you work hard, it’s going to pay off.

Isn’t Chris building you up to run his company?

Mmm. Sometimes I think he forgets.

Well, don’t let him forget.

You tell him what you want.

Don’t let him push you around because he’s famous.

You just speak up for yourself.

You can do that.

[cell phone vibrating]

[sighs]

[Zara] Hi.

I can’t sleep.

I was thinking about everything you said about the movie today.

Hey, Chris.

Remember when you first hired me

and you said that you would, you know, train me to…

Think you could run an errand for me really quick?

Just a really quick errand.

Sure.

Are you sure that this grocery store is even gonna have this?

What is it? What is it called again?

Isolated whey protein. Or whey protein isolate.

It doesn’t matter, whatever one. Just look for the word “iso.”

Okay. Gosh, you play one superhero and you’re like a biochemist or something.

And if you see anything else that’s kind of fun or something cool,

feel free to grab that.

What… What does that mean?

Like, that’s incredibly open-ended.

My version of fun is not your version of fun.

I don’t know.

Anything. Anything different or cool or interesting that I might like.

You’re not gonna be surprised, but you’re gonna like it.

You know, I can’t remember the last time I was in a grocery store.

You blew one up in Icarus 1.

You know what I’m saying, right?

Like, I can’t just run around the corner and pick up some ham.

Ham? [scoffs] Do you eat ham, Chris?

I’m just saying, it’s probably been a decade.

[scoffs] How can that be true? That’s nuts.

Yeah, that is nuts.

Have supermarkets changed at all?

Well, I’m looking at the Oreo aisle and it’s gotten totally out of control.

I’m seeing Cinnamon Bun Oreos, something called Snowy Enrobed Oreos.

Frickin’ strawberry shortcake.

It’s… It’s insane.

Strawberry shortcake Oreos? Yeah.

No way.

Do you want some?

Yeah.

Okay.

So cool. What else is there?

Ah, what else is there that you wouldn’t know about?

Do they still have those little rainstorm things on all the vegetables?

I always loved those.

They do? Yeah.

Cool.

I believe I’ve found the golden goose.

It says 5g BCAA, 0.5g fat, 25 grams protein.

That one? That’s the one?

[cell phone vibrating]

[Stella] I don’t know, Zara. I’m a playwright.

I don’t like the idea of rewriting another writer.

There’s already been six writers.

I don’t want to be number seven.

It’s a paying job. God, don’t you want that?

No, actually.

Organizing rich people’s closets is deeply fulfilling.

I’m a little concerned.

Why does this woman have so many scarves?

She doesn’t have a neck.

No.

It’s actually a condition.

Oh, God, now I feel terrible for inquiring about it.

Can you please just fix Chris’s script?

Zara.

Come on.

That way he can read your script and then we can easily get financing,

then you can actually get a movie made.

I just don’t think I can write action heroes.

Of course you can.

What about the rewrite on my movie?

That was great. It needed more scenes with the dad

if we’re trying to get Chris to play the dad.

It’s not about the dad, though.

It’s a coming of queer dramedy.

My coming of queer dramedy.

What’s his movie even about?

It’s Die Hard meets Miracle on 34th Street.

So it’s not about anything.

I know. Okay.

But it’s gonna be great. Please, when can you start?

Well, I have to organize this woman’s entire life,

which will take me until tomorrow.

How have I gone 24 years without this hugging my boobs?

Put it in your bag.

[engine stops]

[line ringing]

[Chris on speaker] No, I changed the code.

What? You don’t even know how to do that.

I called Taylor.

Taylor? Your masseuse?

[line disconnects]

Oh, my…

[grunts]

[line ringing]

Hello?

I told you to be here at 8:30.

I called you. You didn’t pick up.

I had that meeting with that great writer for the rewrites, it ran late.

What writer? I said be here at 8:30!

Oh, my God.

Chris, I understand that, but…

Forget it. You screwed up. You screwed up big time.

I’m really upset.

I want a letter of apology.

And you better have my stuff and my latte, or you really are fired.

Dead serious.

[line disconnects]

[grunts in frustration]

[grumbling]

[grunts]

[camera shutter clicking]

Jeez, come on, Joaquin, stop it! Don’t take pictures of this.

[grunting]

[dog barking]

Zara, I could’ve opened the gate.

I have to do this myself, Emmanuel.

[pants]

[grunts]

[straining]

[grunts]

God.

[door slams]

[grinder whirring]

Where is he, Mila?

Upstairs.

Miss Zara, you told me if you get a twinkle in your eye,

to tell you to take a breath. Take breaths, Miss Zara.

Not this time, Mila.

Oh, boy.

[grunting]

Thirty-nine.

Forty.

Oh, jeez.

Who let you in?

I climbed the gate.

You climbed the gate?

Wow.

That’s a whole new level of desperation.

Well, do you have my stuff or what?

I quit.

What?

I climbed the gate because I thought it was the decent thing

to tell you face to face that I quit.

Wait. Wait.

Zara… Damn it.

Zara! Zara, just wait a second.

Zara, you can’t quit now.

We start filming Monday, we have to go over my lines.

Well, I will train whoever you hire.

Please, no, Miss Zara. Mr. Chris?

Mila, just give it a rest.

Zara.

Come on, I can’t find someone to trust in a weekend.

Well, I can’t have my job held over my head like I’m a hostage.

[Mila sobbing]

Chris, I work my ass off for you.

And for what?

Do you like doing this? You’re making Mila cry.

Two years ago, you said I would start as your assistant,

and I’d learn the business, become associate producer,

then producer, and eventually work up to running your company.

You have no experience producing.

How am I gonna get experience, Chris,

when all I do is pick up your dry cleaning?

I told you to do that Raymond Farr movie and you didn’t listen.

The actor who did do it got an Oscar.

‘Cause I can’t play a blind alcoholic.

It goes against my iconography.

My eyes are too pretty to not be on camera.

I told you we’d see your eyes!

It’s not a Stevie Wonder biopic.

It doesn’t matter!

Audiences want me sober with 20/20 vision.

And this is exactly what I’m talking about, Zara.

You don’t understand this business.

Oh, this business? Really? I don’t understand?

Want your agents and managers to put you in garbage to make money off of you?

I actually care about you, Chris. I should be running your company.

Yeah, because you know everything.

No.

Because I know no one wants to see Die Hard meets Miracle on 34th Street.

Meets Speed!

I can’t believe you’re saying this to me right now.

I’m already freaking out as it is.

They paid me a fortune.

Give the money back.

Give them…

Oh!

Are you insane?

Do you know how much my life costs, Zara?

Yes.

Security, publicists, lawyers, doctors,

cooks, shrinks, meds, drugs.

Do you know how much it costs to rent a private plane?

It’s a lot.

I’m lucky I can even keep the lights on!

You’re never gonna promote me, are you?

What the…

What?

Are you kidding me?

You put my shahtoosh in a plastic bag with my dirty sneakers.

Your what?

This is a shahtoosh T-shirt.

It’s made from the hair of endangered Tibetan antelopes.

It’s the world’s softest fabric.

It’s one of a kind. I only have two.

You’ve been wearing an endangered species?

It was a gift from a Tibetan monk I met in Santa Barbara.

And it’s irreplaceable.

You’re fired.

You’re so fired.

You know what, I am…

[scoffs]

so infinitely disgusted and… and done with you.

Fine. Then get out of my house.

Happy to.

Fine.

Bye.

This is it, then. Sayonara, bitch.

Oh! Don’t even try and come back.

Going.

I mean it. We’re done.

Me too!

Oh!

[straining]

This is it. This is over.

No coming back.

Have fun shaving your own neck.

Have fun in the real world.

God.

Don’t slam that door!

Zara! Do not slam that door.

[grunts]

Zara!

[panting]

Okay.

Now what?

[Brooke] Zara, that you?

[sighs] Yeah.

[sighs heavily] Hi.

What’s wrong?

Nothing. I’m just tired.

Genie’s parking right now, she needs to borrow something fancy.

She’s meeting Malcolm’s parents for the first time at this formal thing.

That’s nice.

You don’t have anything in your closet, but I do.

She can go through mine.

Really?

Yes.

That’s nice of you.

[door opens, closes]

Thank you.

[Genie] Mom, I’m home.

Hi, Genie.

In the kitchen.

Kitchen.

Ah!

We’ve got to celebrate!

Right?

What are you celebrating?

My night off.

My night off to, uh… Off work.

Yay.

[Zara] And we need to celebrate.

Would you make spaghetti instead of this bean thing?

Ooh, and garlic bread? Thank you.

I am making spaghetti and garlic bread.

Why didn’t you tell your mom you quit?

She didn’t want me working for him.

And she would be right. And I can’t handle that.

God forbid your heaven-sent mother ever be right.

You’re right.

It’s not about her being right really.

It’s about me being wrong and wasting two years of my life…

God, I can’t believe I’m such a loser!

[Genie] Come on. No, you’re not.

This is a good thing. All right?

He was a shit to you.

Yeah, well, he’s just stressed, you know.

He’s living a double life as a superhero and an asshole.

And you as an asshole wiper, which, by the way, you are not anymore.

And which is why I got you this.

No, Genie, I’m not worthy.

Yeah!

Shut your yapper. You’re worthy. You’re my super bitch.

I’m 24 and I’m unemployed. I live with my mother.

Super bitch is for big things, you know,

like, like promotions or STD results.

And are you not Chris Cole negative?

Damn right, you are. Not a lot of women can say that.

Also, why are we in your mom’s room?

Well, you know, how my mom writes assignments for Vogue

when she can’t finish a book?

Yeah.

Vogue does not pay very well.

But they do give a lot of swag.

Whoa!

And she never wears any of it.

What?

So I feel like you meeting Malcolm’s parents

calls for something like, I don’t know, Chanel.

Okay, so you expect your model of a mother’s clothing

to fit my body?

I’m built like a cereal box, bitch.

Let’s put it on.

Is Genie still here?

No, she left.

Mom…

Yeah?

What should I do with my life?

What?

I quit my job.

I quit Chris.

Oh. Oh!

Honey, I thought you were gonna stick with this.

Stick with… It’s not my fault.

It’s him. He doesn’t take me seriously.

Okay. Do you take you seriously?

I can certainly tell by asking me that that you don’t take me seriously.

No, I’m just saying you have trouble sometimes walking away from things.

Oh, my God.

But you do.

I mean, the television writing classes.

You are the one who says…

The business classes, the documentary film classes.

This producing thing, you said, “This is it.”

“Producing thing?” Cool.

“I’m stick…”

Don’t be offended.

No, I’m sitting here. I’m freaking out right now.

I have no idea what to do.

I’m asking you for help and you are picking on me.

Picking on you? Come on.

Picking on me.

Now that…

Yes!

You walk in here and you say, “What am I gonna do with my life?”

as though “What are we having for dinner?”

I can’t answer that.

You were right.

I wasted two years of my life with him.

You were right.

I don’t want to be right, Zara.

I want what’s best for you. That’s it.

Okay, good. Then please tell me what… what is best for me.

That’s what I want to know.

Only you can answer that, baby.

[sighs]

I’m taking a shower.

♪ Call you one time, two time, three time I can’t wait no more ♪

♪ Your fingers through my hair That’s on my mind ♪

♪ I know it’s been a minute Since you walked right through that door ♪

[Chris] Good boys.

It’s good?

There’s more coming.

[sighs]

You just killed me.

“He shoots terrorist elves.”

This is awful.

[“Dreaming” playing on speakers] ♪ You could tell I was no debutante ♪

[doorbell chiming]

♪ You asked me what’s my pleasure ♪

♪ A movie or a measure? ♪

♪ I’ll have a cup of tea ♪

[doorbell chiming]

♪ And tell you of my Dreaming ♪

♪ Dreaming is free ♪

♪ Dreaming ♪

♪ Dreaming is free ♪

Hello?

Anybody home?

Zara?

Zara?

♪ Reel to reel is living rarity ♪

♪ People stop and stare at me ♪

♪ We just walk on by ♪

♪ We just keep on dreamin’ ♪

[music stops]

Zara?

[door opens]

[Brooke shrieks]

[Chris gasps]

[gasping]

Jesus! I’m sorry. Sorry.

You’re… You’re Zara’s boss.

The front door was… You left the front door open. I…

Do you always just let yourself in?

Well, I’m famous, so yeah.

I’m looking for Zara. Is she…

Do you work here?

No.

I live here. I’m Zara’s mother.

You’re…

You’re Zara’s mom?

Yeah.

Were you in kindergarten when you had her?

Oh. [scoffs]

Zara is out. She’s, um, she’s running errands.

When do you expect her?

Oh. Uh, not for hours.

[Chris] Oh.

Is it weird if I wait?

Uh…

No, not at all.

Thanks.

The kitchen’s there if you want to help yourself to some water.

I’m just gonna get changed. I’ll be back in a second.

Sorry.

Actually, do you have any tequila?

Uh… Oh.

Yeah. Help yourself.

Huh.

Bad day?

[sniffing]

Yeah.

Ugh.

I was cleaning out my office, so…

Oh, sit down, please.

Okay.

[Chris groans]

[exhales]

Do I sense an accent, like South African or…

[chuckles] No, I’m Australian.

Do you know Margot Robbie?

No, I don’t.

Mmm.

I do.

Um, Zara told me that she quit.

Oh!

That’s good.

Well…

I thought I fired her.

I thought it was my fault.

Really?

That’s why I came here to beg her to come back.

Great.

Yeah.

I’m so glad.

Yeah, me too.

I really, really want her to come back.

Yes.

Of course.

Well, hey, I poured you one.

Um…

Cheers.

Yes.

To Zara coming back.

[chuckles nervously]

Ooh.

I’m gonna get some chips.

Okay.

You know what, we don’t need Chris.

He can’t play a dad anyway.

We’ll just raise the money ourselves.

Ask people for money? No, that’s horrifying.

I’ll do it. Not a big deal.

I used to walk around with one of those UNICEF boxes at Halloween.

It can’t be that different.

I don’t know, Zar.

I mean, I appreciate everything,

and I probably wouldn’t have finished without you pushing me.

But this is my first screenplay,

you know, my first chance.

Whoa!

Stella, don’t do that to me.

I’ve asked around.

Who? This is… You don’t know anyone.

The rich closet lady said I… I need a new producer.

A real one.

I’m sorry.

Oh, my God.

[Chris] It was just a misunderstanding, really.

I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately.

Not that I’m excusing it.

[soft music playing]

I’m about to start this movie, and the script is terrible.

Then why are you doing it?

Because it’s part of a franchise,

and I’ve been playing the character since I started.

[Brooke] Mmm.

Have you ever seen the Icarus Rush movies?

No, I’ve never seen them.

You’ve never seen the Icarus Rush movies?

No.

Sorry.

No, it’s…

Is it based on the Icarus myth?

Does he take out terrorists?

No.

Oh.

Does your character’s wings melt flying too close to the Sun?

No, but they do get burned

flying too close to an underground nuclear fusion plant.

That’s crazy. How’d you know?

It’s an Icarus thing.

[Chris] Huh.

Mmm.

I have a book.

Actually, it’ll have the Icarus myth in it.

Do you wanna see it?

Yeah.

[Brooke] Yeah.

Oh!

Are you all right?

Oh!

Just in here.

Okay.

Icarus was a minor character.

He was the son of Daedalus, who… who was an engineer

who built the labyrinth

that King Minos had the Minotaur trapped in.

[chuckles]

Dr. Minotaur was my arch-nemesis in the first three movies.

There you go.

Then he asked for too much money, so we killed him.

Here it is. You can have a copy.

I have two.

Really?

Yeah.

Thank you.

[Chris exhales]

What did you win those awards for?

Writing.

Writing?

Yeah.

You’re a writer?

Mmm-hmm.

Like a real writer?

Wow.

Zara never told me that.

She didn’t?

Mmm-mmm.

No.

It’s, uh…

It’s a mess in here. Phew.

Yeah.

So, tell me about your script.

What are you gonna do?

I don’t know.

I’ve made bad decisions left and right.

[Brooke chuckles]

[groans] You don’t wanna hear this. I’m not in therapy.

No, I’m enjoying it. Zara never tells me anything.

What do you think I should do?

I’m not qualified to advise you on the movie business.

Why? I feel like right now you’re the smartest person in the room.

What does Zara think you should do?

She thinks we should get a new writer.

That’s a good idea.

Zara’s smart. She has very good taste.

Is that Zara’s dad? Oh.

Yes.

Yeah, he passed away.

Eleven years now.

Oh, uh…

I’m… so sorry.

When I say it out loud, it sounds so long ago.

Yeah, but it still feels like it happened yesterday, huh?

Yeah.

My brother…

I’m sorry.

It was a long time ago.

Whoa!

What is this?

Oh, no, no, no. No. That’s the cover of my first book.

[chuckling]

It’s from my first book cover.

What…

Wow!

Beautiful.

[chuckles] Let’s figure this out.

So tell me, what is the biggest problem with the script?

That it’s being made.

[both chuckle]

[Zara] No, Grandma, I can’t be a writer.

Mom’s a writer and dad was a writer. That’s their thing.

[on speaker] Mom already published 100 essays by my age,

and I’m sitting here eating a box of donuts.

Oh, dear God, the whining. Stop it!

And stop comparing yourself to your mother.

Let me ask you one question. What makes you happy, kid?

People thought that my quads were completely fake.

They think I got implants.

What?

People magazine.

[laughs]

A four-page spread…

No.

…on my quad job.

Yeah, they called me the Quad Father.

It’s not that funny, actually. I had to sue ’em.

Oh!

Yeah. But they’re real.

See, they move and stuff.

[Brooke chuckles]

Yep, that feels real.

It feels like yours. Mmm.

It is.

I did have surgery, though.

Really?

Yeah.

Where?

Just right here.

I fell on set.

Oh, yeah, I see it.

Yeah.

Some broken glass.

Ooh. Mmm-hmm.

Yeah.

I broke my hand.

Really?

When I was eight.

Playing football.

You play football?

Did.

No way.

You’re so easy to talk to.

It’s really nice.

And you smell so good.

[sniffs]

What are you wearing?

Sunscreen.

Shiseido? SPF 35?

Yes.

No, no, no.

God, I’m so sorry.

No, it’s not that. It’s okay. I just think…

I… It hit me. I haven’t been kissed in…

[sighs]

A long time.

Is there anything I can do to help?

You can hold still.

Mmm.

♪ My heart goes up ♪

♪ My heart goes down ♪

♪ We fall in love ♪

♪ And we fall we back out ♪

♪ I’ll give you anything you want ♪

♪ Anything you want ♪

♪ Anything, anything ♪

♪ Just don’t tell me no ♪

♪ You stop it still ♪

♪ Then you make it rush ♪

♪ You’re like a pill ♪

♪ That I just can’t trust ♪

♪ You tell me to stop But I keep on going ♪

♪ Tell me to stop but I keep on going ♪

♪ Tell me to stop but I keep on going ♪

♪ Keep on, keep on, keep on ♪

♪ You’ll never stop this flame… ♪

How nice is this dress?

Fifty percent off at Nordstrom’s.

[gasping]

And so worth the bargain.

Is this shahtoosh?

Yeah. I don’t care.

[moans]

I’ve been waiting for you forever.

Is that a line from a movie?

Yeah.

But this time I mean it.

Oh, that’s so hot.

[moans] Help me with my bra.

Mom?

Mom?

Mom?

[gasps, chokes]

Zara!

[shrieking]

[gagging]

Zara!

[shrieks]

[Chris] Oh, shit.

[Brooke] Zara?

[Zara groaning] Oh, my God.

Oh, my gosh. Zara, are you okay?

[Chris] Should I call 911?

Hey, Zara!

Honey.

Zara, if you can hear me,

name the movie I won a Teen Choice Award for.

[Brooke breathing heavily]

I think she’s fine.

God, you smell like sex.

[Brooke] Can you sit up?

Okay.

[Chris] Sit up. Come on.

[Brooke] Good, good.

Are you dizzy?

I’m okay.

Oh. Oh!

Okay, we have to call Dr. Randy.

Ew. Ew. Ew.

His skin, it’s so close to me.

His… [gags] Get him away.

I can’t look at that.

Put some clothes on.

Get him away.

You ripped my shirt.

Oh, God. [exclaims]

I’ll put some clothes on too.

So you were just miles away from your home on what, a little stroll, a walk?

No, we were discussing your future.

“We?”

Yeah.

Was that before or after you took my mother’s dress off?

Before.

Okay, Zara, it was just sex.

What’re you saying? Are you talking to me?

It was just sex.

Hi, Chris Cole.

Hey.

Aw.

How dare you talk about my mother like that?

Is that your T-shirt?

Uh… He had nothing to wear.

She ripped my shahtoosh.

This is just getting worse by the minute somehow.

I mean, it just happened.

Look at him.

Look at her.

[Brooke chuckles softly]

What is he, 20 years younger than you?

Sixteen.

Oh! Oh, pardon me.

Okay, Zara, I know…

This isn’t easy, and… and it hurts you.

But this is…

I mean, remember when you got your eyebrow pierced,

and I begged you not to do that, and you did it anyway,

it was terrible, we were fighting, and I said, “Why did you do it?”

And you said,

“Well, it made sense at the time when the guy was putting it in.”

This is my eyebrow piercing.

Your view of this experience

is that it made sense when the guy was putting it in?

That was a terrible analogy.

I’m just… I just…

I can’t believe…

[Dr. Randy] Ah.

[Brooke sighs]

How’s my favorite patient?

Well, she’s a little banged up, Dr. Randy.

Not by a 34-year-old actor, I’m not.

[clears throat] Are you in any pain?

It’s too much to verbally describe.

Hey.

I’m sorry.

It’s just… Waiting room’s a little fan filled.

[Dr. Randy] What?

Chris Cole in my office.

How you doing?

Come on.

Are you with them?

Sort of.

Yes.

No.

You know, I just have to say

you were absolutely astounding in Trouble My Brother.

Oh, thanks, man.

Who knew you could sing?

[Chris] Yeah. Since I was a kid.

All right.

I always wondered how they got that one shot of you climbing that statue.

Oh, jeez. None of that’s actually real.

[Dr. Randy] Oh, man.

There’s a harness, but…

That’s wild.

Yeah, it was.

Fan girl, could I get some medical attention here?

Doctor.

Okay, let’s just follow the light with your eyes.

Let me ask you one thing about the harness, and this is important.

Hey, Brooke.

Yeah.

Can you just give us a second?

Oh.

Bye, Chris.

Bye. See ya.

Oh, my God, you’re not Jack and Rose. Just get out of the car!

Get out of the car.

What do you want?

What if I made you associate producer?

Are you kidding me right now?

Would that get you to come work for me again?

Oh, my God, Chris, you’re making me feel awful.

What am I doing? I’m not doing anything right now.

I don’t wanna feel like I’m getting ahead because my mother slept with a celebrity.

She didn’t sleep with a celebrity. That’s derogatory.

Okay? I’m a movie star. She slept with a movie star.

I don’t have the energy.

Okay, I didn’t come here looking to have sex with your mom.

All right?

I came to your house looking for you so I could offer you this job.

[scoffs]

It’s just a title, really.

It’s not even really a job. It’s a shitty job.

But I think you’re ready for it.

If that’s what it takes for you to come back and work for me,

then so be it.

I… Oh, God!

Fuck!

This whole… thing with my mother,

this gross little… little sexcapade thing, it’s over!

It’s got to be over.

It’s never happening again. Never happening again.

Okay. Got it. Never again.

Okay.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

Zara, can we talk?

Not now, please.

I went a little crazy.

I’m allowed, right?

[sighs]

Will I see you in the morning?

I leave early.

I got my job back.

I’m an associate producer.

Well, that’s good, isn’t it?

My father gave his life for me to fly in this world.

He gave his last breath for my freedom.

And I won’t stop until I bring him justice.

Before the sun is down, I’ll kill every last one of them,

if that’s what I have to do.

[yelling]

Jesus!

[in French]

[bell rings]

[in English] No… No guns.

No.

No shooting.

No shooting.

What happened this time?

Um… Hey.

What?

Does she have to yell “cut” in French?

It’s one word. “Cut.”

I was good in that one.

You were great. They don’t want you to shoot in this scene.

Why? It’s my motivation.

They’re considering this a trailer shot. They wanna keep guns and shooting out.

Why? It’s the revenge part of the story.

There’s a problem with guns in this country. That’s why.

Tell her not to interrupt my takes…

No, I’m not telling her anything. It’s your first day.

You need to speak to your director.

Absolutely not.

She called me fat.

She asked if you were hungry.

The way she said it, you should have heard it.

She went…

[in French accent] “Lunch time. You hungry?”

Stop it! Stop it!

Did you tell her we’re looking for a writer to rewrite the script?

Problem scenes are after Christmas. We don’t have time.

Yes, I did. And I also found the writer.

And it’s Stella Poms, she’s a real writer, she can do it.

I left her script in your trailer, I want you to read it before tomorrow.

[crew] Going again.

Okay.

Okay.

Go.

Okay.

[sputters]

It’s freaking hot.

It’s too hot!

I can’t fly when I’m sweating.

[bell rings]

Don’t forget to read Stella’s script.

Yeah, I’ll do it tonight.

Tell the First AD that I don’t understand the director.

So I need a translator or something.

Okay.

And pick up my dry cleaning.

Living the dream, baby.

[cell phone chimes]

[upbeat music playing]

I can take that for you.

Oh. Thank you.

What would you have done if I didn’t show up?

Eaten with the waiters.

I used to work here.

Hi.

Is this what you do just to have dinner and talk?

Is this what you wear to have dinner and talk?

Well, it’s been in the closet for years.

Is it too much?

You look…

Wow!

That’s nice.

Do I have to keep this shootout at the Victoria’s Secret?

It’s kind of sexist.

Like, what year is it?

What are you gonna replace it with though?

A phone call where he unpacks intimacy issues?

That’s not gonna work. He has to kill Rudolph, the coke dealer.

This is killing my soul.

You know, a friend of mine from USC

just sold a reality show called The Real Delivery Boys of West Hollywood.

Oh, my God, I would hate-watch that so hard.

Same.

[Brooke] And then, um, I moved from the UK to LA

because I wanted to be Joan Didion.

Then I met my husband, Charlie, and he was a writer.

What was he like?

Charlie?

He was fantastic. A great guy.

He was funny and he was smart.

He could make friends with anyone.

He was a beautiful writer

and he probably didn’t get to show the world

everything that he can do, but…

Mmm.

Enough about me.

I don’t want to talk about me anymore.

Anyway, what about you?

Did you always know you wanted to be an actor?

No, I sort of just fell into it.

Mmm-hmm.

When I was younger, um, we lived in the middle of nowhere

and my mom died when I was young,

and it was just my dad and my older brother and me for years.

But then, my older brother died.

So it was a heart condition thing that we didn’t know he had.

And after that, it just no longer felt like home.

So I ended up moving to LA.

And, uh, I just…

Uh…

What?

[chuckles] Nothing. I’ve…

Jesus. What is it about you? What is…

Why do I feel so confused?

I think it’s because I’m trying to impress you.

And I know I don’t.

Does that matter to you?

It does. Usually all the time.

Except now with you.

Right. Well, if it makes you feel any better,

I was so nervous about coming here.

Really?

Mmm-hmm.

I tried on about 20 dresses, so…

So then what made you decide to come and see me?

Well, I feel like we have to talk about what happened.

Because Zara doesn’t know about this even, so I have to tell her.

Okay.

So I’m guessing that, you know, what happened…

that won’t happen again.

Um…

I don’t think it should.

Oh. That’s too bad.

Well, uh…

well…

Can we still be friends?

Yes, I would like that.

Me too.

I don’t have any real friends.

You don’t?

No.

I… I came here when I was 19.

I didn’t know anyone.

Yeah.

Then I got famous and everybody knew me.

But… You know, they didn’t.

Mmm.

Do you ever feel free to be yourself?

Yeah.

Well…

I don’t know.

That’s not really someone anyone’s ever been interested in before.

Have they ever met him?

[Brooke chuckles]

That’s a good point.

[server] And here you go.

Thank you.

Thanks.

That does look good. Thank you.

[server 2] Bon appétit.

[both chuckle]

Do you wanna go on a walk after dinner?

Where do you walk in LA?

New York.

♪ It isn’t working ♪

♪ I’m a tidal wave of question marks ♪

♪ And you’re just surfing ♪

♪ Leaning into me like it’s an art ♪

♪ It’s so crazy ♪

♪ Lately ♪

♪ You just understand my feelings ♪

♪ Make me ♪

♪ See I’m capable and fine ♪

[Chris] Oh, that’s amazing.

♪ Tonight, I’m ready to dive ♪

♪ Maybe it’s the loving in your eyes ♪

[gasps]

♪ I’m here, see through ♪

♪ Maybe it’s the magic in the wine ♪

♪ I’m feeling loose ♪

You ready?

Yes.

[Brooke] What?

Wow!

♪ But you got me From my head to my feet ♪

♪ And I’m ready to dive ♪

♪ ‘Cause the water’s warm And nothing is wrong, it’s all right ♪

So do you ever get tired of playing the same guy over and over again?

[sighs]

Yeah.

[Brooke] Mmm.

Yeah, sometimes I do.

But, you know, I’m also incredibly appreciative of that guy

because, well, let’s face it, like,

he’s the only reason anyone cares about me.

Not anyone.

Not me.

Yeah, not you.

So what about you?

Mmm?

What about me?

What’s the great Brooke Harwood writing next?

You don’t know I’m great.

You’ve not read anything I’ve written.

“He was an island of one.”

“Having sent all the ships back to sea.”

Mmm.

Okay. Okay, I’m impressed.

It’s beautiful is what it is.

Thank you.

I don’t know who that guy is, but I feel bad for him.

Who is it about?

It’s about all of us, really.

I mean, that’s how I see it. It could be any of us.

Do you think so?

Yeah.

We’ve all been the island. We’ve all been the ships.

[Chris] Mmm.

And really, life is just a constant dance to be neither.

Okay. Here are some rules.

God, you feel so good.

No, listen to me.

Yeah.

You don’t get to break my heart.

Please.

And also, don’t ever lie to me.

And don’t pretend this is more than it is.

[cell phone chimes]

[Zara clears throat]

What is this outfit?

Oh! You don’t… You don’t like it?

I do. But why?

What were you doing?

I need to talk to you about something.

Okay.

It’s about Chris.

Okay.

So, um, I didn’t want to upset you, but we had dinner tonight,

Chris and I. And, um…

And I would have told you, but it just, it didn’t feel safe…

to tell you the truth.

[scoffs]

Okay. Go ahead, it’s safe.

So we had dinner because we needed to talk about what happened,

and, um, he’s very nice.

And yeah, I think, um, well, there seems to be more to him.

More to him than you think.

No, there isn’t.

Is that all? Just had dinner?

Yeah.

[Brooke] Ugh. I just feel awful.

I didn’t know what to do, and I… I just lied straight to her face.

And I am sneaking around behind my daughter’s back.

Sounds marvelous.

How do I know that it was just that?

How do we know it was just dinner?

They had dinner. They didn’t have…

Stop it. Stop.

…sex.

Nope, I don’t want to hear it.

You know, between you and your daughter,

I don’t have much time for my own life here.

Are you with someone now?

Of course I am.

I mean, look, did you ask her?

What am I supposed to say?

“Hey, Ma, are you, are you banging boots with my boss?”

This is backwards.

So here’s the thing.

Do you like him well enough to tell her you want to see him?

My mom Love in the Afternoon-ed my evil boss,

and now they’re having dinner.

First of all, it’s such an adorable reference,

it almost makes it cute.

And now I’m rooting for them.

Second of all, you don’t know that they had sex.

She was wearing the Vogue clothes.

Okay, yeah, they’re making out.

Just the way that he goes through women, he’s going to hurt her.

And I will have to kill him.

He’s a movie star. It’s… It’s not real.

Brooke, you need to live a little.

No great tryst ever started with someone being rational.

[pleasant music playing]

[inaudible conversation]

Come on.

[laughs]

[inaudible]

My brain is gone!

[inaudible]

Hey, can I speak with you for a sec?

Okay.

Sorry. Everyone’s in my ear.

Oh, okay.

Um, so Chris needs a little bit more clarity on the direction.

So I’m going to help out with translation until we get a translator.

My French is pretty good

as long as I speak it in LA of course, not Paris.

Yes, yes. It would be good if, uh, if I could speak in French.

Oui, oui.

Um, one more thing. Uh…

Chris, he really likes it when directors are, like, tough on him.

Okay.

So when I translate,

I might use words that are a little, just, a little bit more severe.

Okay. Great. Good. Très bien.

Okay, okay.

[man] Action.

Ariadne.

[woman shuddering]

I’m so cold.

Talk to me, soldier!

I’m so cold.

Hey!

I’m cold.

Hold on!

Open your eyes. Look at me. Stay with me!

I need you to hold on.

It’s time to fly.

[director speaks French]

[in English] Uh, cut. Cut. Cut, cut, cut.

Cut, cut, cut. Okay.

[bell rings]

[speaks French]

Yeah.

[in English] Okay.

[Chris] What happened on that one?

Okay.

Okay. [speaks French]

[in English] Go.

This sucks. She needs more.

[in French]

[in English] Your performance, it’s… it’s bullshit.

She doesn’t believe you.

[in French]

[in English] You need to look at this soldier

as if she’s one of the many, many women that you’ve betrayed,

and you’ve got to show us how ugly you are inside

and how much remorse you feel

for what a piece of shit you are to women and how you use them.

Okay.

Soldiers…

Uh, how you use women as soldiers.

Right?

Oh, women as soldiers.

Right.

That’s what she said.

Yeah.

Yeah, totally.

Okay?

Okay?

Yeah. Okay with me? Yeah.

Great. Great.

It’s gonna be great. Great.

That’s what she said.

It’s a good note, I think.

Yeah.

Oh, it’s a great note.

I like her.

Yeah, me too.

#MeToo.

[Zara] That’s not what that means.

[gasping]

Time check.

4:04.

Okay.

You going right to the benefit?

No, I’m going home first.

Did you get my plus one?

Mmm-hmm.

Do you have a name?

They don’t need one. They’re with me.

The director and I agreed on a writer.

Stella?

No, she’s not right for this.

But I found someone good.

Wait, did you like Stella’s script?

Yeah.

Yeah, she’s a great writer.

But she just wrote too many scenes with the dad.

It’s not his story.

Okay. Time check.

4:52.

Oh, God.

Get out.

No. No.

This ice bath is my bitch.

I’m gonna stay in here all day. Bring me a pillow.

I’ll sleep in this baby.

I mean, look, it’s different.

It’s just different.

We’ve been fighting a lot…

He’s just being Malcolm. You guys are great.

Hi.

Hi, baby.

Hey.

I didn’t think I’d see you. I’m just rushing out.

Wow. Okay. That body has a Pilates membership.

Also, thank you so much for this.

Oh! How did it go with Malcolm’s parents?

I think his parents liked my outfit more than me.

Right, I’m sure they loved you.

Anyway, I gotta go. So have fun. Bye.

Bye.

Okay.

That was quick.

Yeah.

I just can’t believe he hired a writer without talking to me.

Mmm. Malcolm still hasn’t texted me back. That’s weird.

That’s weird, right?

I’m sure he’s just busy.

This associate producer thing is actually bullshit.

It is a made-up title.

I have absolutely no power.

I’m just this gopher to him, still.

You know what? I know what it is.

I accidentally cut his mom with my big toe under the table.

I’m so sick of this, you know.

I’m just bounced around by everyone. [sighs]

Okay, look, Zar, you have a credit from this, right?

That’s an incredible start.

Cherish that.

Do you have more wine I can cherish, though? Please.

There’s more in the bar. Can I have some, too?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I’ll be right back.

♪ She turn fire into rain ♪

♪ Heal your pain like novocaine ♪

Genie!

Yo!

Shave your armpits. We’re going out.

♪ Ooh, I love livin’ in a woman’s world ♪

Thank you, sir.

No problem.

♪ A woman’s world ♪

[indistinct chatter]

Here we go.

[both] Hey.

Um, uh, sorry.

Um, Zara Ford.

I am Chris Cole’s assistant.

I technically am not supposed to be attending tonight,

but, you know, Chris just called me

asking for his nutritionist.

Hello.

He’s just having a hard time making his own choices…

with these things.

I’m here for that.

Mmm. Sorry. You are not on the list.

Like, I had said prior, I am his assistant.

He just called me.

So, right.

Like I said prior to right now, before, you’re not on the list.

Oh, you are just reeking with importance, aren’t ya?

She’s important.

I had no idea until this moment.

Come here, baby.

Hey, I see you. Who hurt you?

Was it Mama or Papa?

Oh! Oh! Hey, hey, hey. Hi, Jesse! That’s Chris’s publicist.

This is Christ’s publicist, and… can you please help us get in?

This is… Chris called asking for his nutritionist.

Yes.

Where’s Larissa?

She’s pregnant.

Pregnant.

She could of course work as a pregnant woman

’cause a woman can do anything when she’s pregnant.

She found out today.

Right.

And now she’s in labor.

Yes.

And I suggest you not call her because she is not thrilled.

But this is her replacement.

Hi.

And you are?

I’m Clarissa Mia Thermopolis.

Clarissa.

At your service.

Here to advise on all things snacks.

Whatever. Explain it to me later.

They’re with me. Come on.

Thank you, Jesse.

That whole thing was so bad for women.

Do you guys just wait till I’m in the room to start going at it?

Okay. Um…

We need to start letting people in.

One second. Sorry.

You lied to me.

I was gonna tell you everything.

Really?

Tonight.

Which lie were you gonna tell me about?

Was it this or was it you rewriting the movie?

She had really good ideas.

No, no.

I’m sorry. I should’ve told you about that. That was wrong.

I just thought you were smarter than this, Mom.

To fall for this love bombing bullshit.

I mean, you don’t care how I feel about this.

Excuse me, Chris. They need you for photos.

Okay.

Oh, right.

Sorry.

Good luck.

It’s not her fault…

Don’t speak.

Okay.

Come here and keep your voice down.

I have cared my entire life about how you feel.

Oh!

Yes.

I didn’t realize I was such a burden.

I’m so sorry.

Burden?

That’s not what I said.

That’s what that made me feel like.

Come on, Zara.

What is this worth? What is this for, sex?

What is it for? God!

Sex?

Okay.

Step aside with me now.

Baby, this is more than that.

More than that. No, it’s not.

I’m sorry, but it’s not.

It is.

Every girl that he dates thinks it’s more than that, Mom.

This is different.

I mean it. Listen.

It doesn’t take a genius

to know that he uses women.

Zara!

Why are you fighting for this?

I don’t think you’re right.

Because I’m starting to feel things again that I never thought I would feel.

Not since your father have I felt like this.

What?

All right.

No! You did not just say that!

What is wrong with you?

I can’t believe you just said that!

[shushes]

You don’t get to compare him to Dad!

That’s my dad! Stop it!

God, do I even matter to you?

Of course. Of course you matter to me.

I just don’t see why it has to be one or the other.

You can’t have both.

Why?

Because, Mom, I’m not you.

I’m not this Pulitzer prize-winning,

national book award whatever. Okay?

Where is this coming from?

Because, Mom, you don’t understand.

You will never understand what it’s like to be your daughter.

I… I am never gonna measure up to you. Ever.

And he chose you over the writer that I chose.

And you took that away from me.

I… I did not know

I was taking anything away from you.

But you…

But you did.

And I’m sorry. I would never do it.

You know, if you don’t end this with him, Mom, I’m gonna have to move out.

Well, maybe moving in wasn’t the best thing.

Okay. Zara.

How you guys doing?

Hey, Malcolm.

Let me have that.

Thanks.

[cell phone vibrating]

[sighs]

Hi.

Hey.

You okay?

Not really, no.

Well, how’s Zara?

Um…

She’s staying at Genie’s.

We didn’t do anything wrong.

A little lying, maybe, but…

A little? [scoffs]

When will I see you?

I’m going to go to Big Bear and see my mother-in-law early

and help her get set up for Christmas.

So, I don’t know, maybe after the holidays.

What about New Year’s?

Chris.

I think Zara may be right, and I can’t just keep pushing and…

I have to take care of my daughter and it’s just, you know…

No, it’s okay.

Okay. Thank you.

Just, uh…

Listen, get some rest and… and don’t worry about it.

You know? I’ll see you after Christmas.

Yeah, yeah, sure.

[sniffles] So have a nice Christmas.

You, too.

Love you.

Bye.

[exhales sharply]

[cell phone vibrating]

Yeah?

Can I come and see you?

[Brooke chuckles]

[sniffles]

Now?

It just feels… it feels weird.

Like, I feel like I’m being betrayed by both of them.

I’m not crazy, right?

No, dude, you’re not.

This is your mom and your boss.

It’s weird.

Mmm-hmm.

Especially knowing every detail you know about Chris.

Yeah.

Yeah, that’s true.

But on the other hand, you know…

Thank you.

…is it possible that none of this has anything to do with you?

[Zara] Whatever, it’s fine.

It’s just very awkward right now.

So I would really love it if I could come back

and stay with you guys after the holidays.

What are you doing for the holidays?

You guys going to Chicago? Malcolm’s family?

You know, we’re not really sure yet.

I may visit my folks on my own.

[Leila] So how did you and Chris leave it?

I told him it would be too uncomfortable for Zara.

Honey, if you want him to come and you call him, she’ll get over it.

I’d love him to come but…

It wouldn’t be right. She was very upset.

I know Zara. Let me talk to her. Let me work my magic.

What good am I if I can’t convince my granddaughter

to let BuzzFeed’s hunkiest brunette come for Christmas?

You do not have permission to Google him.

I know. But I can’t stop now.

It will lead to no good.

He’s just so…

I bet he’s even more gorgeous in person.

Stop.

Isn’t he? When he’s moving.

You want him here more than me.

I do.

Oh, go call him.

You have to behave in front of him.

All right.

You’re no fun.

[Zara squealing]

Hey, honey, I’m so glad you’re here.

Oh, my God.

[both exclaiming]

[sighs] She compared him to Dad.

Oh! He was a looker.

You know, when your mother got here, she couldn’t stop crying.

You know how long I’ve been trying to get her to have a life?

You think after your father died, it was easy?

A 13-year-old needs a lot of attention.

It’s not my fault that she never dated.

No, but she’s seeing someone now and you’re trying to stop it.

It’s not that she’s seeing someone, it’s that it’s him.

He’s so self-absorbed and selfish and…

God, he’s such a diva.

I know, darling. So are you.

Well, I just don’t know why all of a sudden she needs a guy.

She doesn’t need a guy.

And you don’t need to know everything.

Ugh! I don’t know, I kind of think I do.

But what if Chris makes her happy?

[scoffs]

It’s her life.

I just don’t want to see her get hurt. She’s my mom.

Your mom? Is that all she is to you?

What else should she be?

Well, I suppose, to a child, that’s all she would be.

To a young adult, she might also be a woman.

[car door opens, closes]

[indistinct conversation]

He’s here?

I told her to invite him, so blame me.

Grandma.

I know how you’re feeling, but just listen to me.

You know I love you.

And I’m taking this time to understand what’s happening here.

I don’t want your mother to be hurt either.

And I’m a pretty good judge of character.

And this is my house, and it’s Christmas.

And your moody mopey attitude is just gonna be the end of all of us.

So we’ll make it nice and you’ll be a grown-up.

And if you can’t, fake it.

All right.

God, love you.

[sighs]

[“The Christmas Song” playing]

[indistinct conversation and laughter]

♪ Chestnuts roastin’ on an open fire… ♪

[Leila] Somehow, I got separated from the group.

I…

What?

I think it was when I went to take a wee.

And so, it was pitch black,

so I figured the only way out was to go through.

The desert.

Wait, without water?

Yeah, nary a drop.

Are you…

It’s true.

That’s insane.

That’s for my midlife crisis vacation, you know, so…

That’s the craziest thing I’ve heard.

Well, it’s a good story, right?

Amazing.

I’m lucky to be here.

You know, I’ve done all this crazy stuff in movies.

You know, my fair share of bad ones too.

Believe me.

Yeah.

Zara will tell you. Beneath the Sea.

God.

What?

No, don’t start this.

[Zara] Chris.

Come on.

What is Beneath the Sea?

Invisible zombies that turn your brain into kelp.

That turn your brain into kelp.

Kelp.

I didn’t know you didn’t like that one.

Jeez.

What? Kelp?

Oh, God.

Oh, man.

Sorry. In all seriousness, what I meant to say was

that I’ve done all this stuff in movies, but very little in real life.

Yeah.

So cheers.

Aw.

[Zara] Mmm.

You’re a true legend.

So are you.

She certainly is. To Leila.

Cheers.

Guys, thank you so much. This is so nice to be here with you.

We’re happy you’re here.

Thank you.

Uh, I haven’t had anywhere to go for Christmas in, like, forever, so…

What about Lake Como with George Clooney?

Zara.

[Chris] I…

Really?

You know what I mean. Not just a place, but a home.

Thank you.

Aw.

Without you guys, I would be a very sad, sad man.

Very sad, very famous man.

[Brooke chuckles]

[Leila] Oh, my God.

This is my life. Every day.

You warned me. You warned me.

Every day. This is my life.

It’s the chamomile.

From Sorrento? Ma certo.

Salud.

Salud.

Okay.

What do you think?

Baby, he’s a peach.

Yeah, right?

Yeah.

I’m dying to know what he looks like naked.

No!

Probably kill me.

Wouldn’t you kill him?

Then I would die happy.

This is getting serious. I can tell.

Is this… It’s getting serious?

Yeah, it’s sort of… I…

I don’t know.

But I don’t want to go through what I went through with Charlie.

Oh, honey, Charlie died so young. It was horrible.

I don’t mean that. I just…

I’ve never told you this, but we were having problems.

Before he was diagnosed.

Big problems. Did he tell you?

No.

Oh.

He didn’t want to be married to me. He wanted a divorce.

Oh.

Charlie.

I’m so sorry.

I mean, it was a tough time for Charlie.

Before he got sick, it really was.

He’d written that book for three years.

[scoffs]

It didn’t make a dent.

And then my book came out and…

Yeah.

I know he was proud…

For me, but it was difficult.

Yeah.

And I started to see him sink,

and then I tried to pull him out, and I couldn’t. And…

I would just make it worse,

and then I would make myself smaller so that he wouldn’t feel so small.

And then he was diagnosed.

And we just… never talked about it.

It just hung in the air between us.

And I stayed, and I held his hand and I loved him.

Yeah, I know.

And he died.

Mmm.

Oh, God.

You’ve carried this around all these years?

Why didn’t you tell me?

Because I…

Don’t you know you’re more a daughter to me than anything else?

Don’t you know that?

I just want you to be happy.

I know.

Does that guy upstairs make you happy?

Yeah, I feel really good when I’m with him.

It makes absolutely no sense.

But it feels wonderful.

Does that make sense?

Oh, yeah.

And if it ended tomorrow, I think I’d be fine, but…

[sighs]

I don’t want to need him.

Because then if it ends, [sighs] it’s gonna hurt.

When it ends, it’ll hurt.

Honey, the end is none of your business.

You love being with the guy,

that’s the beginning and the end.

Tomorrow’s gonna come anyway.

Okay.

I say we take a vote on it.

I vote yes.

[Brooke laughs]

[Leila chuckles]

[Brooke] I vote yes.

Excellent.

[Leila] Drink on it.

[glasses clink]

Look at this.

It’s gorgeous. I love it.

Yeah.

Thank you so much.

You’re welcome. Merry Christmas.

[gasps] Oh.

Let’s see here.

Whoa!

Hey, look at that.

[Brooke] “Zara Ford

Associate Producer.”

Yeah. This is great.

[Brooke] Yes.

Merry Christmas.

Well done.

All right. For you.

Thank you.

What?

It’s got your essays from The New Yorker.

[Brooke] Wow.

From Vogue.

And all your short stories in one place.

No, you did all of this?

Do you like it?

Thank you. Yeah, I love it.

Okay.

Thank you.

Merry Christmas. You’re welcome.

Thank you.

[Chris] Oh. So what’s next?

Here, I’ll grab that for you.

You got that? It’s heavy.

I got it.

It’s all good.

[Brooke whispers] Thank you.

Just one more hug, one more hug.

Thank you for everything.

[laughs]

It was just so sweet. Thank you.

Oh!

You’re a doll.

[Chris] Thank you so much.

That was the best Christmas ever.

[Brooke] You’d know if she wasn’t, let me tell you.

[Brooke and Chris laugh]

We’ll see you at home, huh?

Okay.

Zara.

Zara, what’s wrong?

Nothing. I’m good. I’ll see you at home.

Yeah.

Okay. Drive safe.

You too.

[Brooke] Yes.

[Chris] Yeah.

[Brooke] Can we? I know who can help…

[conversation continues indistinctly]

[Chris] Yeah, that’ll be fun.

[Brooke] Yeah, sure.

I’d go. I’d like a dance.

[chuckles]

Hey, baby.

We were thinking of ordering in. What do you think of Thai food?

I’m starving.

Mmm.

I don’t think you should stay, Chris.

Hmm?

Zara, come on.

[chuckles] What’s wrong?

You almost had me fooled, man.

This whole holiday.

You’ve almost got away with it.

Okay.

What’re you talking about?

You just wanted to have some fun with my mom,

spend the holidays with someone, didn’t care who.

All right, let’s not say things that we’re gonna regret.

You think that you know him and you don’t. You don’t know him.

Do you know that he has me order $500 lotion from Japan

shipped out just for his elbows.

Okay.

I have eczema there.

Or that he forces me to make gift baskets for his dogs on their birthdays

and half birthdays,

but I have to pay for them myself, or they won’t be surprised.

That’s the whole point is to surprise them.

I don’t…

I don’t even…

[Zara] I could…

What?

God, he’s asked me to get him cleaner air or I’d be fired.

One time. That was one time.

What about how anytime I mess anything up,

I have to write him an apology letter.

And even if I don’t mess up, he just kind of wants one.

Is that true?

But God, I got carried away.

That’s not even what I wanted to say.

The thing that I’m most upset about

is how every time he breaks up with a woman,

every time…

he gets them the same pair of diamond earrings.

And he’s already bought them for you.

What are you talking about? That’s not true.

No, don’t.

Oh, my God.

[hesitates]

Wait. Wait a second.

Zara, that’s not… Hey, listen, those were a gift. Okay?

Before I thought of the book,

I… I panicked…

and I didn’t know what to get you.

Can you just stop?

Just stop, Chris.

Did he take you to New York Street, Mom?

[Chris sighs]

Oh.

I need you to leave.

Brooke, I…

She asked you to leave, Chris.

I need you to leave now.

All right.

[door opens, closes]

[Brooke] Well, that was humiliating.

How’d you know about the New York Street?

Because I’m usually the one

who has to call the studio guard to let him on the lot.

Hmm.

This… I don’t know.

This was… Turned messy, and I don’t think I handled it well,

but I needed you to know what he was really like.

And you know what he’s really like.

Yeah, I know him very well.

But somehow, after two years of working for him

and actually caring about him,

he doesn’t know me at all.

Maybe I don’t know you either.

I wish you hadn’t done it this way.

This is…

[ice cubes clattering]

[knocking at door]

I don’t even know where to start right now.

I, like… Ugh.

I found earrings in Chris’s bag for my mom.

And you know what that means for…

Zara, can you just stop, please?

For, like, a second.

Where’s Malcolm?

Can I just sleep in your bed tonight if he’s gone?

Malcolm and I broke up.

Like, ten days ago.

What?

What? I was staying with you guys. I was here.

You were together before I left.

No, we weren’t!

Okay? I just… I didn’t tell you.

Why not?

I don’t know.

I didn’t think you had the capacity to worry about me.

Or care, frankly. Just…

Are you trying to say that I don’t care about you?

Well, it’s been a lot about you lately, Zar.

And actually, no, not just lately.

I know that you’re upset and that you didn’t mean that.

But, like, that is so mean.

No, actually, I do mean that.

Okay? ‘Cause I told you that we were fighting.

And not once did you ask if I was okay.

You really think… you really think I’m that horrible of a friend

that I wouldn’t care what you’re going through?

You hear yourself, right?

You’re literally making it about yourself right now

as I’m telling you this.

It’s all about how I’m making you feel.

And it’s exhausting.

I love you, I do. But I am exhausted.

I just… I can’t.

I can’t. I can’t anymore.

[“Present Without a Bow” playing]

♪ We’ve been moving too fast ♪

Hey, Zara.

Hey, Mila.

It’s okay.

♪ Come and sit by the fire ♪

♪ Stop rushing around ♪

♪ ‘Cause this time of year ♪

♪ It’s meant for two ♪

♪ So don’t leave me lonely ♪

♪ If I don’t have you ♪

♪ The holiday’s Just another day that’s cold ♪

♪ Standing all alone under the mistletoe ♪

♪ I don’t feel the cheer ♪

♪ Ooh, without you here ♪

♪ There’s no red and white stripes On a candy cane ♪

♪ Silent Night Just wouldn’t sound the same ♪

♪ Where’d the magic go? ♪

♪ All I know is me without you ♪

♪ Is like a present without a bow ♪

Hi.

Happy New Year.

♪ Before we know The wreath will come down ♪

Hi.

This is for what I can only imagine has been a really shitty break up

and for what I know for a fact has been… has been a shitty friend.

You’re such a bitch, you regifted this.

I’m the worst.

There’s no redeeming qualities.

The only thing you’re good at is snacks.

♪ Standing all alone under the mistletoe ♪

♪ I don’t feel the cheer ♪

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year.

♪ There’s no red and white stripes On a candy cane ♪

♪ And Silent Night Just wouldn’t sound the same ♪

♪ Where’d the magic go? ♪

[chimes]

♪ All I know is me without you Is like a present without a bow ♪

Is it your mom?

[sighs]

[exhales]

[indistinct chatter]

You could have been head of Bloomingdale’s,

but you’re here. And you’re about to get blown up.

We have a problem.

[knocks on door]

Chris? It’s Zara.

What’s going on?

Chris?

What am I doing?

What business do I have playing a good guy?

Anyone that I’ve ever loved or cared about won’t even talk to me.

I should be playing the bad guy.

You’re not a bad guy, Chris.

[sighs]

You just act like one sometimes.

Does she hate me?

No, she doesn’t hate you.

She’s busy.

She’s moving to Princeton to teach spring semester.

Oh.

Yeah.

[sighs] Zara.

I know you’re not gonna believe me, but those earrings,

they were just earrings.

Okay, look, it did cross my mind

to end things with your mom, but only out of habit,

because I always run from something when it’s too good for me.

Then I got the idea to put that book together for her,

and I kept thinking about how good it’d make her feel

and how all I wanted to do was make her feel good and…

I forgot.

I forgot about the earrings. I forgot they were even in my bag.

And the lot, come on, the lot, you know, that’s my go-to place

when I’m away from photographers, it’s the only place that I can go.

I don’t have many places where I can…

Not easy dating me.

[sighs] Or working for you.

Well…

Yeah.

I know it’s too late, but…

Maybe you could tell her someday.

Zara, New York…

No, I… I took that way too far.

I’m really sorry.

Well, it was different with your mom.

Like, what… Why was it different with her?

[sighs] I’ve never fallen in love in New York before.

You’re still quitting after this?

Yeah.

I’ll make sure you’re taken care of though.

You always do.

Think you’re gonna be ready to boogie in, like, 15?

Yeah. Yeah. I was born ready.

All right.

[grunts]

Hey, Zara.

Yeah.

Thanks.

You’re good at this producer thing.

[door closes]

Hey.

Hi.

Jeez, you’re… You’re going, huh?

Just getting organized.

If you want any of these or Genie does, let me know before I donate them.

How’s the movie going?

Okay, Mom, why did you…

Why did you take this Princeton job?

Because I need a change.

And it’s gonna be a relief not to have to write for a while.

Why?

It has nothing to do with Chris, does it?

No. You were right about him.

I…

Yeah, I… [sighs] He made me do those things.

The apology letters, all… all of it.

But… I… I don’t know, like…

Over the course of our lives,

God, I made you do so much worse than that.

When I was seven, I made you carry me the entire way up the Eiffel Tower.

Oh, my God, that’s right.

And you screamed the whole way.

And then I made you sit with me until I fell asleep

every single night until I was 12 years old.

[Brooke] Mmm.

You never got paid for that.

You never asked for anything back ever.

When [sniffles] Dad died,

I was just this miserable little 13-year-old

who took all of my problems out on you.

I think about all these kids

who have these big, big dreams, the size of the ocean,

and parents tell them they can’t do it.

And there’s you.

I know that whatever I do with my life…

I have you…

and I’m really lucky.

And I don’t know why it took me this long to realize

your happiness doesn’t take anything away from me.

It should be given and you deserve to feel happy,

and you deserve to feel alive and to feel seen.

And I finally… I see you, Mom.

I really do.

[chuckles]

Mmm.

Hey.

I love being your mother more than anything in this world.

I know.

So…

Yes?

Not to change the subject, but…

Change it, quick.

What about Chris?

Oh! No, no, that is over.

It’s over. Done.

Back to real life.

[sighs]

[Zara] And I know you’re not into pasta lately.

Is semolina flour supposed to be better?

[Chris] It’s nothing to do with the flour.

They’re carbohydrates. I’m allergic to carbohydrates.

No one is allergic to carbohydrates. You might have a gluten thing…

[Chris] Most people are allergic to carbohydrates.

You sure about this?

Chris, it’s gonna be fine.

Trust me. It’s time.

Come on.

Honestly, I think I’m gonna stay in here.

Don’t… Give me my purse.

Come on. Come on, let’s go.

I promise, it’s… We’ll have fun. Gonna have a good time.

Yeah, yeah.

No. Come on. Come on.

No, no, no. It’s gonna be great.

Look, no one cares.

You’re just a guy in a velvet jacket, walking into a grocery store.

[Chris] This is suede.

Suede? Okay, well, you know.

No one’s noticing me.

You’re handling it really well.

What’s going on?

I don’t know. Everyone’s normal-ing, I guess, today.

No way!

Yes!

Okay. What are they called again?

Kiwano. Horned melons.

What are they for?

For my dementia.

Okay, you don’t even have dementia.

Because I eat horned melons and they only sell them at this store.

So hop to it. I need three.

All right, I’ll be back.

Do you want any of your, uh, organic avocados?

Yeah, obviously.

These are all organic?

[Zara] I think so. Oh!

Oh, jeez! Chris, come on.

[Chris] I thought these came in potions.

Brooke?

Hi. [chuckles nervously]

Uh…

What are you doing here?

Um, Leila said that she urgently needed some horned melons

and this was gonna cure her dementia,

which I now realize is absolutely ridiculous.

Zara, come on. What are you doing?

Okay, this is… How do I say this?

How do I say this?

Gosh. Um, I was wrong.

And I’m sorry.

Yeah. That was tough.

Well, I… I mean, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. I was way out of line.

I was a little…

Enough. We’re all sorry, we love each other, and it’s really cute.

We love each other. Great.

We’re wrong and sorry, I love it.

Listen, none of this is normal at all, and I honestly think that’s why it works.

Against all odds, you guys are kind of cute together.

It’s not necessarily what I imagined for either of you, but I just…

I wanted to tell you that I think you deserve a real shot

and I’m… I’m done standing in the way.

So you just produced us? Did we just get produced?

Good, isn’t she?

Yes.

Very good. She’s my daughter.

Well, you know, I’m just gonna mosey on this way.

Yeah. Okay. Mmm-hmm.

Have fun, you two.

Listen, I don’t know what she was planning,

but this is, I mean, truly, I had nothing to do with it.

Can I just say one thing? Just one thing.

Yeah, yeah, of course. What?

I’ve spent a lot of my life taking people for granted.

Okay? And honestly, Brooke, until I met you,

I didn’t know what that made me.

What does that make you?

An island of one.

I don’t want to be an island of one, Brooke.

I don’t have the infrastructure for that.

I don’t know what this is. It’s just…

It’s… Chris, it’s a long shot.

What? Who cares? Is that any reason not to take it?

I suppose the end is none of our business.

Why are we even talking about the end?

We haven’t started yet.

[chuckles]

Come on.

Okay. What do you wanna do?

You really wanna know what I wanna do?

Brooke, I would like to get a cart,

and I would like to make a list,

and I’d like to go to the cereal section over there

because it looks amazing, and I would like…

You’ve never seen the cereal section?

Not like that. This store is insane.

This is the coolest store I’ve been in. I’m not joking.

I don’t get a chance to go shopping very often.

I definitely don’t get a chance to go shopping with someone that I like.

So can we just start there?

It seems like a pretty good place to start.

Go rainstorms! Go, go, go.

Go thunder.

[thunder rumbling over speakers]

Let them stay as long as they want.

Extras’ overtime is on Chris.

Thank you.

Mmm-hmm.

Hey, excuse me. Who’s in there?

Is it Chris Cole? Is that true?

Don’t know what you are talking about.

Only people in there are my mom and her boyfriend.

[indistinct]

[indistinct]

Okay, let’s shoot it.

I did. Um…

Could you please get me a digital copy sent to me and the director

and then another print copy for Chris ’cause he won’t read digital?

Also, I’d love to get on the phone with the line producer.

I need to talk about the new one-liner.

I’ve got a couple questions.

Also, I’d love a hot coffee whenever you get a chance.

You got it.

Thank you.

What time is call tonight?

Uh, 7:00 p.m.

Are you ready for the night shoot?

Yeah, of course I am.

Never seen you stay awake through an entire night…

That’s not what your mom said.

Oh!

Wait. That’s not what I meant.

Get out!

Get out of my office.

I didn’t mean your mom.

No, no, no, no.

You know what I was getting at?

Uh! Uh…

I was kidding.

Shut up.

Sorry.

Don’t come back in here.

Sorry.

Nope.

See you tonight.

Okay. Love you.

Love you too.

♪ Wait ’til I turn my love on ♪

♪ Wait ’til, wait ’til Wait ’til I turn my love on ♪

♪ I’m no cheap thrill ♪

♪ I’m a rollercoaster ride, baby Jump on ♪

♪ Come on, come on ‘Cause, baby, if you can’t tell ♪

♪ You’re what I wanna love on, oh ♪

♪ Wait ’til I turn my love on ♪

♪ Wait ’til, wait ’til Wait ’til I turn my love on ♪

♪ You’ll get your thrill ♪

♪ Just promise You’ll be patient with the outcome ♪

♪ Oh, come on ‘Cause, baby, if you can’t tell ♪

♪ You’re what I wanna love on, oh ♪

♪ Wait ’til I ♪

♪ Oh yeah, wait ’til I ♪

♪ Baby, if you can’t tell ♪

♪ You’re what I wanna love on, oh ♪

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