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American Dreamer (2022) | Transcript

Phil's a dreamer. Most dreams don't come true. Phil hates that. But that's not going to stop Phil from dreaming.
American Dreamer (2022)

In this winsome comedy, an entitled Economics professor pursues a tactic to buy an ailing widow’s mansion for nothing, but he quickly realizes that his seemingly foolproof strategy won’t be as easy as he thought.

* * *

[keyboard tapping]

Phil: Modern monetary theory. The heterodox.

A new way of thinking of economics outside the tradition of the old ways, the gold standard versus some nebulous paperback debt.

What does it all mean? No one knows anymore.

Our government prints money like newspapers of old.

[Phil] What is it all based on? What value does it have?

Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Was there ever?

We are now simply a collection of things.

Things we acquire.

I say the hell with it all.

Our car, our laptop, our phone, our home, if we’re lucky enough to be a homeowner, these things are how we now assess value.

Success. Prosperity. But are they?

Our things, our value?

What do we need to be happy? What do we want?

And how far are we willing to go to get it?

This is the human being’s daily dilemma.

Your daily dilemma.

[bell rings]

And I’m saved by the bell, or rather, you are.

Dr. Loder!

Philip!

Hey, Phil.

Ah…

Hey.

Yeah. Craig.

Hey.

Jeez.

I didn’t see you in the lounge, so, um… did you read my article?

Ah… microlending interest matrixes in Bangladesh as a template for African tribal economics.

I think you’re gonna find the subject matter invigorating.

How’s my parking permit situation coming along?

Uh… yes. Yes, yes. I’m working on that, Phil.

It’s, um… it’s a complicated system here.

Lots of precedent and seniority and…

Those two twat waffles are still in diapers and here they are parking on the front lines.

[chuckles]

[typewriter tapping]

♪ I’m a simple man and I sing a simple song ♪

♪ I sing a simple song ♪

♪ because I know it won’t take long ♪

♪ And it makes me happy ♪

♪ The life I live is free ♪

♪ Because nothing bothers me ♪

♪ When sun’s in the skies I open my eyes ♪

♪ When it’s cold and bleak I go to sleep ♪

♪ And I’m happy ♪

♪ Goodbye to all confusion ♪

♪ I’m sick and tired of disillusion ♪

♪ Sunshine fills an empty day ♪

♪ And it carries all my blues away ♪

♪ Money just doesn’t bother me ♪

♪ The things it buys don’t set you free ♪

♪ I got everything I need and life’s just fine ♪

♪ And I sometimes drink a little wine ♪

♪ And I’m happy ♪

♪ I think about the girl’s sometimes ♪

♪ Singin’ a song, we write a few lines ♪

♪ They tell me that it makes them feel so good ♪

♪ I’ll do it some more if I could ♪

♪ It makes them happy ♪

[car horn honking]

Get out of here, man. What are you doing?

Move it!

♪ Goodbye to all confusion ♪

♪ I’m sick and tired of disillusion ♪

♪ Sunshine fills an empty day ♪

♪ And it carries all my blues away ♪

♪ Well I hope you like my simple song

♪ It’s a secret in life if you want to live long

♪ Don’t speed up just slow right down ♪

♪ Always smile and never frown♪

♪ You’ll be happy ♪

♪ I’m a simple man and I sing a simple song ♪

♪ I sing a simple song ♪

♪ Because I know it won’t take long ♪

♪ And it makes me happy ♪

[phone alert chimes]

♪ When I’m gone.

♪ What you gonna do?

Is this house on the list I emailed you?

Yes, Phil. It’s on your list.

That’s why you were invited.

Time to gather. Beautiful dress.

Hmm. This old thing?

I only wear this when I don’t care how I look.

It’s a wonderful life.

It’s not.

Hello, everyone. We’re about to get started.

I wanna thank all of you for coming here.

Exquisite property, Dell.

That’s why we brought you.

Let’s go inside.

[Dell] All the stone work comes from an artesian quarry

on the outskirts of Istanbul.

But more importantly,

did anybody notice the classic Mansard roof?

It’s just absolutely stunning.

The main building is designed as the living quarters.

This wing is dedicated to entertainment.

There’s a movie theater down the hall.

Now, you’ve got your bowling alley, of course,

and you’ve got your game room as well.

Notice the… the craftsmanship,

the attention to detail.

Thank you.

The value per square foot. Gander at the iconic columns.

And thank you.

The large dome ceiling above the grand foyer.

Excuse me, Dell.

Yes?

Is this Italian marble?

Italian marble. Oh, God, no.

It’s Greek. Widely known for its quality.

It’s considered vastly superior to Italian marble.

Oh, yeah… yeah.

And quite a bit more lira.

[offkey piano notes] Oops, sorry.

[chuckles] Um… Greece, huh?

So it’s gonna be real cheap soon.

Giving it away with all those olives.

[scoffs] Very funny.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ll follow me, please.

I mean, this place will be a minimum…

minimum two million bucks cheaper come spring.

I’d hold out if I were you.

I teach economics at Brockton.

I can see the trends before they’re trends.

Excuse me, ladies.

Phil?

May we have a word?

What the hell are you doing?

What?

What are you doing? $10 million fucking?

Oh, my God.

I had places I wanted to see today.

You’re wasting my time.

I’m wasting your time?

Yes!

You’re a waste of my time, Phil!

This house was on your list!

It was on your ‘never gonna happen in a million years’

list of properties that you can’t even afford the…

the landscaping for.

Oh!

That is quite the statement coming from a dirt pimp.

When have you created anything? When have you made anything?

I don’t make money?

Oh!

Oh, I make a lot of money. I make it rain.

Everything about me screams success.

Something you wouldn’t know anything about, Horatio.

You know, I wanted to take you off the group text,

but I thought… no.

Let the asshole come down and see how delusional he is.

Rise up, Phil.

Get yourself a onebedroom starter condo.

Like reasonable people do who have no equity,

no money, no tenure.

Finish your little novella and pray that you get a tenure

teaching position with real pay.

Oh, wait. I forgot.

You’re a dreamer, Phil.

Not a doer.

[sighs]

Good day, Phil.

Suck it, Dell. Suck it.

Suck it!

♪ Down, down… ♪

[board clatters]

♪ Down, down, down ♪

♪ Down, down, down ♪

What’s that you’re ogling over there?

It’s got big boobs?

[sharp inhale]

Ooh, she’s a looker.

Midcentury darling.

Original plaster archways, heated marble bathroom floors,

maple tongue and groove ceiling.

What’s that say?

4.6.

4.6 what?

Million.

[laughs]

It’s a home, Nick.

It’s an investment for the future.

Stock market’s no better than roulette,

it’s like legalized gambling.

I happen to know a few things about these things.

You’re all kinds out of whack. You make less than 50K year.

How do you figure that?

I know your whole life story. Adopted by Mormon missionaries.

Disowned by the faith for having sex with a married elder.

Hmm?

Straight C student at Harvard.

Played the orphan card to get in,

played the little person card to stay in.

Divorced twice by the same woman

who took every dollar you never had.

And now you bring home a wee bit under 50K

as an adjunct professor, lecturing spoiled dick weasels,

that’s a direct quote, as to how to invest their trust funds

so they never have to lift a finger their rotten lives.

I’m actually gonna quit drinking.

Yeah, you said that too.

I want a place I can call home, Nick.

Write my novel. My own parking spot.

A window with a view other than garbage cans.

You know, American dream.

It’s not packing boxes for Amazon or shitting in a bucket,

living in a van in the desert.

$4.6 million is a lifetime in debt.

What should one do in a lifetime?

Yeah.

Ah, everybody’s a philosopher.

[keyboard tapping]

[sniffs]

240,000 with livein. What does that mean?

What the hell is this, Phil?

Phil?

What the hell is this?

My new casa.

What am I doing here?

No. More importantly, what are you doing here?

See, I belong here. I’m a real estate agent.

I might sell this house.

In fact, I might even buy this house.

You. You, however, have no hope in hell of ever,

ever owning a property like this.

Yeah. This one I can afford.

You’re living in an alternate reality, my friend.

Says here in print.

“Five million as is, or 240,000 with livein.”

The latter, I can afford.

Classifieds?

Mmhmm.

Who uses them anymore?

Apparently somebody.

Okay. 240K with livein.

Fake news.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Well congratulations, Phil.

Maybe you found a seller who’s as batshit crazy as you are.

What does livein mean? Who the hell knows?

Maybe the place is haunted. It’s a fucking poltergeist.

Maybe that’s your livein.

Loaded with termites ready to collapse.

An infestation of mice. Condemned, probably.

Check it out for me?

There’s gotta be something wrong with this place.

[Astrid] Who are you?

Hi. I’m Dell from Dell and Friends.

[Astrid] Alright.

I noticed that you listed this exquisite house.

It’s a dream house. It’s elegant and stunning.

It’s so us.

Yes, it is.

You getting in?

Eventually.

Eventually rarely comes, Philip.

Here I come!

[water splashes]

[women laughing]

Follow me.

The main house is immaculate.

It’s worth every penny of the asking price.

Actually, she may be half a mil skinny.

Where are we going?

It’s a separate quarters type deal.

Separate how?

[footsteps clanking up the stairs]

[sniffs]

Well, okay.

Why are you showing me this? This is shit.

Shh.

This is where the livein would live in.

Temporarily.

Let me… let me just regurgitate this for clarity.

She will sell the house for 240 K

if she gets to, uh… what’s her name?

Astrid Fanelli.

Astrid.

That’s correct.

Can live there until she croaks.

That’s the deal.

Is she lucid?

Who knows? She’s old, you know.

She’s… she’s lonely.

Her husband passed away years ago,

they never had any children,

and she doesn’t wanna end up in a convalescence home.

Those places… those places are awful.

My mother’s in one. Okay? Trust me.

What if she lives another 20 years? What then?

That upstairs is unlivable.

I’m not a doctor. Okay?

But I’ll say this… she’s actively dying. Okay?

She’s got that wheezing cough rattle.

You know, the one that old people get

before they see Jesus.

She’s, uh, in a wheelchair on oxygen,

and I believe she’s still smoking.

I mean, who does that?

It’s almost too good to be true.

Okay. Okay.

It’s all legal.

Now, we’re gonna need a creative contract.

But that’s… that’s what I do.

Okay. And I get the whole house, I get the entire house?

Every square inch of it.

I don’t wanna be called upon to caretake, to be clear.

I don’t have compassion.

She’s got a nurse, she’s set. She lives there, she dies there.

It’s nonnegotiable.

Okay, I get it.

However, you will be responsible

for the maintenance payments,

the utilities, property taxes

Yeah.

lawn care.

It’s not gonna be cheap and it’s 240K cash up front.

All up front?

Wait a minute. You don’t have it.

I got it.

You wanna go splitsies with me?

50/50.

Okay, you shit pouch.

Now you, you… you tell her I got the money.

Tell Astrid I got it.

Draw up the contracts and you keep your pie hole shut.

You… you’re my realtor.

There’s ethics involved here. You know?

This is a fiduciary relationship.

Look it up, piss flap.

It’s just an offer.

You know what? Offer unaccepted.

Alright.

[sighs]

For the record, again, I don’t advise liquidating

your entire 401K retirement savings plan.

Well, with great risk comes great reward.

The best I can do is eight five.

That’s an 1887 Morgan silver dollar.

That’s worth eight by itself.

Tell you what, I’ll go nine. Not a penny higher.

♪ They feel like stones, stones in the Earth ♪

[Woman] What’s that?

What about that one?

Everything on that table’s a dollar.

How about $0.50 for this one?

No. That’s a buck. One buck.

That’s the dollar table.

Come on, $0.50

You’re trying to chisel me out of two quarters?

You know what?

That is a collector’s item for shit’s sake.

Get out of here. Give me that.

Give me that. Give me that.

Go, go! Get the hell out of here.

♪ It’s where I go to be alone ♪

Everything on this table’s $2.

$238,000.07.

♪ With you… ♪

Do you have any of the maintenance records?

It’s 30 something years old.

The maintenance records disintegrated.

Dad, it’s got an eight track!

Don’t touch anything!

[cat meows]

Sorry your dad’s a deadbeat, cat.

Initial here.

Signature here on each page.

There. Oh, God.

It’s supposed to be brainless, Phil.

Okey dokey.

Congratulations.

You’re a homeowner, my friend.

Twentyeight percent is a gift.

[typewriter clacking]

♪ These are the days ♪

♪ That I have known ♪

♪ Held in my hands, Felt in my bones.

♪ Mmmmmm… ♪

♪ Mmmmmm… ♪

♪ Mmmmmm… ♪

♪ Mmmmmm… ♪

[sprinkler spitting]

[woodpecker tapping]

Go away.

Ugh. Get lost.

[woodpecker tapping]

Oh, God.

[glass shatters]

Oh, shit.

[pipes screeching]

Oh! Fuck!

[thuds]

[groans]

[thuds]

Oh!

[groans]

♪ Ain’t no flies on us. ♪

♪ Ain’t no flies on us. ♪

[humming]

♪ Ain’t no flies on us. ♪

Now, what kind of person throws shoes out of a window?

A dumbass stoner. And clean up this glass too.

The last thing in the world I want around here

is a belligerent teenager.

I’m sorry, I understand. I’ll pay for the glass.

Well, good.

You got duct tape on your face.

I fell.

Did you hurt yourself? Did you break anything?

No. I’ll be okay.

Because if you break anything, you pay for it.

I mean, if you fix it, then you pay for that too.

Mmhmm?

Um… alright.

You must be Astrid.

[gasps] You’re smart.

Imagine that, a professor who’s got smarts.

Okay. Well, it’s nice to meet you.

Okay, better than the real thing.

Um… the shower, the hot water?

Mmhmm?

It’s really hot.

You want me to help you make the hot water colder?

No.

You want me to teach you how to run a shower?

No. No. No, no, no.

Um… I set the temperature just right,

and then when I got in,

the pipes started to rattle and it made a really loud noise.

And then maybe you heard it, and then it turned scalding hot,

the hot water. It was… it burned.

It burned me. I got… I got burned.

You think you’re gonna live?

Yes.

Do you want me to get a plumber?

Yes, please.

You have to pay the plumber in cash.

He doesn’t take credit.

Thank you.

Oh great, another kid.

♪ And all I want ♪

♪ is all that you possess ♪

♪ And all I want ♪

♪ is all that I can’t get ♪

♪ And I can’t breathe, ♪

♪ for the things I see ♪

♪ And the things I want and I long to be ♪

♪ And I crave much more than I’d ever need ♪

[knock on door] Phil.

That hasn’t changed.

Whoa.

You’re, uh… you’re all cut up there.

I had a mishap.

Is that duct tape?

Yes.

That stuff isn’t that hygienic, Phil,

and it’s awfully hard to remove.

I do have some Goo Gone in my office.

What can I do for you, Craig?

My article.

Have you gotten around to it yet?

Yeah.

I, um… haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

I had a wild few days, Craig.

I moved. I bought a house.

[chuckles]

Shiitake mushrooms, congratulations.

Let me be the bearer of even more fantastic news.

Lot B, spot 334, right behind the humanities building.

Don’t tickle my nuts here, Craig.

No, no.

This is not a nuttickling, as you say.

It goes on the rear right bumper.

[chuckles]

Don’t mess that up.

They’re absolutely Gestapo about sticker placement.

Where does one put this on a scooter?

Scooter… hmm, doesn’t go on a scooter.

You have a 1984 Saab 900, license plate B4…

I sold the car.

You sold the car?

I wanted a more fuelefficient option.

Shite. Screw me running. Phil, I…

Craig!

Uh, please release. Release.

So Lot B, it’s, uh…

it’s for cars only, it’s not a scooter lot.

And the flipping sticker is registered to your Saab plates.

What does it matter? It’s still my vehicle.

Parking spots are like kidney transplants around here. Okay?

Now you have to register for the scooter lot.

Who knows how long that’ll take.

Scooter drivers tend to be a lot younger.

Three years of work on this. My day’s shot, Phil!

It’s absolutely shot!

[keyboard tapping]

Oh shit, shit. What… what?

Out, out, out. Off! Off, off, off!

Ah, God…

You should probably watch that in private.

It’s not what you think.

No, no, it’s okay.

I, uh… I prefer older partners.

What?

Can I buy you a beer?

Why would you do that?

Because it’s not every day you see your favorite professor

out and about in a social setting.

Your favorite professor?

By far.

That’s very kind of you.

What makes you say that?

You’re not that insecure, are you?

What? No.

It’s a little embarrassing, but I’ll say it.

You’re the reason I’m into economics.

Don’t tell me any more.

[chuckles]

Your master’s thesis on the economic plight

of the middle American coal miner was poetry, pure poetry.

You read my master’s thesis?

It’s on my bedside table.

I’m with some friends. We’re all in your class.

Come on, let me buy you a beer

and I’ll tell you how wonderful you are.

In the history of mankind,

humankind, in every great story, in every great film…

the hero wants two things.

Number one, and this is by far the most important,

he wants to go home.

Even LeBron James, the king himself,

changed the course of his career

by bringing a championship to his hometown of Cleveland.

Cleveland!

Nobody wants to live in Cleveland!

And I, your humble cultural economics professor,

have liquidated everything.

All for the dream of going home.

The power of four walls and a patch of grass.

American dream is as alive today as it’s ever been.

What’s number two?

Come here.

Shh.

The sandwich.

Ahh…

Everybody wants a sandwich.

That is so true.

I’m so hungry.

[all laugh]

Imagine.

[laughing] Oh, my God.

Dr. Loder… you are officially my favorite professor.

You must be a freshman.

Cultural economics? It’s like watching paint dry.

[both laughing]

[male student] I don’t know you,

but I actually really like cultural economics.

[female student] You do?

Youth of the world, so free.

So dumb.

Absolutely brainless.

Uh…

You wanna share a ride home?

It’s likely not on the way.

We could just go to your place.

I’m your professor, Claire. You’re a student.

There’s an unwritten code of ethics.

Actually, there’s a written code, to be clear.

You are… young.

I’m a graduate student.

You are?

Yeah. And I’m 30.

Oh shit.

Yeah. Yeah.

[chuckles] Shit.

So, you know, technically, I’m not a ‘student’ student.

I’m a consenting adult who happens to be taking your class

and who happens to be really, really into you.

[Phil] That’s… that’s impressive, Claire.

[Claire] Oh, wow.

[Phil] Oh, jeez.

Are you okay?

Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s just, uh…

I didn’t expect it to be so…

Yeah, it’s a common misconception.

An unfair stereotype, actually.

It’s the unconscious bias that’s plaguing society’s perception

in a clandestine way.

You know, it’s a logical conclusion, given a…

You talk too much.

I’m sorry, I’m just trying to go with the flow.

I can’t believe this is happening.

Oh…

The coal miner didn’t set out to poison his lungs

with the black soot of capitalism.

He set out, like all hardworking middle Americans did,

to burrow a path to freedom.

[together] A freedom he would never realize…

at the cost of his own virility.

Yeah.

It’s poetry.

Yeah.

Ow! Ow, ow.

It’s poetry.

Oh, God.

[Claire] Wanna see something fun?

[Phil] Yeah.

Whoa! Oh, gosh, that’s unexpected.

[woodpecker tapping]

[knock at door]

Someone’s at the door.

No, it’s a woodpecker.

It sounds like knocking.

That’s what they do. It’s called drumming.

It’s repetitive, pecking at a resonant object.

Good morning, Mr. Loder.

Whoa!

Good morning.

Oh!

Is this a bad time?

Well, you just walked right in here, didn’t you?

I, uh, knocked. I was knocking.

Do you want your shower fixed or what?

Um… yeah. Yes, I do.

This is your girlfriend?

I don’t… what?

We’re friends.

Whatever. Okay, whatever.

This, uh… is one of my kids. His name is Boris.

He’s the best plumber in town and he’s agreed to do your work

before he gets started on his day.

Wait. What is he?

I don’t like repeating myself, Mr. Loder.

It is so taxing.

So, I fix shower or what? I have busy day.

Mr. Loder. Mr. Loder, yes?

Uh… what? Yes, yes.

Good.

Go.

Okay, Mama. See you, Mama.

You’re the best. He’ll pay you with cash.

Okay, Mama.

You have cash, yes?

What?

Okay, borrow it from her. That’s what friends are for.

[Boris singing in foreign language]

[Boris whistling]

[keyboard tapping]

Hi Mom.

[indistinct conversation]

It’s chilly but the sun is out.

[keypad tapping]

[indistinct conversation]

[alert pings]

Whoa! [thuds]

[clock ticking]

[single note played]

[playing piano]

I’m breathing. I’m breathing.

[glass breaks]

[car pulls up outside]

Fuck!

Ow!

Shit!

[groans]

[grunts in frustration]

[grumbles]

[groans]

[thuds]

What was the picture of?

A family reunion photo.

Who’s family?

Our family.

Your family?

Yes, us.

You. Huh.

Anything else seem to be missing?

Well, not that we can tell. We haven’t fully inspected.

Missing family reunion photo.

[camera clicks]

Looks like he got in through here.

Aren’t you gonna take fingerprints and such?

We’ll get to that.

The perp used the air conditioner

to gain access to the window.

Perp used air conditioner to gain access to window.

New window units

are just an open invitation for burglars.

May as well leave a key under a rock.

May as well leave a key under a rock.

You got someone staying upstairs?

You were sleeping?

Napping.

And you didn’t hear any glass breaking?

No, officer, I did not hear any glass breaking. No.

You must be a heavy napper.

Sorry. What is your name?

Maggie… Pennington.

She’s one of my kids.

You have a cut on your head.

Yeah, uh… I fell getting out of the shower.

Astrid knows. I told her about it.

Do you have any knowledge of this?

Uh… I just remember that he had a cut on his head,

and he put duct tape over it,

and I thought what an idiot to put duct tape over a cut.

[Officer] That… that’s not being very helpful, ma’am.

Thanks for your time, Mr. Loder.

If we have any additional questions we’ll, uh…

we’ll get in touch.

Okay. Here to help, Officer.

You have a good day.

Okay. Thank you, Officer.

Keep up the good work.

Let’s go, Mom.

[knock at door]

Astrid wants to invite you to dinner.

Okay. That’s very nice of her.

Oh, now. Tonight?

Yes.

Oh.

Unless you’d rather not or you’ve eaten already?

No, neither.

Um… Okay, thank you.

I’m just gonna be a minute, I gotta put on my face.

Don’t be long.

Your forehead’s bleeding.

Oh.

No, I don’t think it is.

It must be the light in here.

♪ There ain’t no flies on us. ♪

♪ Dah, dah!

[both singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us. ♪

♪ There may be flies on some other guys, ♪

♪ but there ain’t no flies on us. ♪

Okay, this is older than you two put together.

It’s a Bordeaux ’32. Open it, Mr. Loder.

So, tell me about yourself. Any past lives?

Wives, children?

I’m afraid I have been perpetually alone

for quite some time now.

By choice?

By happenstance.

My wife died 12 years ago.

Yes, I’m so sorry. I feel that pain.

Thank you.

What was her name?

Molly.

Mm.

Here’s to Molly.

No, I don’t… I’ve had enough.

Life is short.

[laughs]

Nothing longer than life.

And you, Astrid?

Me? Let’s see now.

I had five countries, four husbands,

twentysix cats and kids all over the world.

How many kids?

Oh, let me think now.

One doctor, one lawyer, one mathematician.

Um… a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.

[women laughing]

And my, uh… and my precious

little personal attorney, Magpie.

What kind of law do you practice, Magpie?

Oh. Probate, mostly.

Wills, real estate, property disputes.

Okay, so she will settle the property transfer

when the time comes.

What property transfer?

Well, Astrid and I…

No, no. He bought the house, Mag.

He bought the house and it’s gonna go to him when…

I mean, when I croak. I want a berry pie.

I think we’re all set, Mom.

No need for sweets after all that wine.

No.

No, it’s…

No, we have a guest to consider.

I’m not a sweet person.

Oh, I can see that.

Let me… let’s get ready for bed.

I have to take my shot.

I have the ultimate fountain of youth solution.

I do lots and lots of vitamin C

blended with Human Growth Hormone.

And then my doctor says, by the way,

that my innards are like a 40yearold

and I may never die.

Good night.

Mr. Loder…

She’s in the early stages of dementia.

Whatever arrangement you think you have with her

will be worthless in a court of law.

This house will never be your house.

You have anything to say?

It was a wonderful evening, Maggie. Thank you.

I’ll enact a power of attorney and evict you

before the week’s out.

You wouldn’t wanna get a power of attorney, Maggie,

this late into Astrid’s dementia.

There are laws about that that protect the elderly.

[door closes]

[keyboard tapping]

She has offspring, Dell!

An heir.

I have a contested will in my future.

I sold everything for that house.

Everything I own!

Well, good thing it wasn’t much.

I’m gonna sue you… and everyone involved with you!

Your families, your whole company!

Come on, Phil, you’re losing your mind.

Show some class.

I will be sleeping on your organic Royal Pedic pillowtop

in six months.

Are you done with the threats?

[pounding]

Just get it out. Get it out.

You told me the old lady has no children.

Well, I told you what she told me.

We don’t run background checks.

Why not?

They’re not criminals and we’re not the FBI.

She’s also hopping around like Fred Astaire.

There’s no oxygen, no… no wheelchair.

She is not actively dying, doctor. No.

Do you wish death upon her?

Not tomorrow.

No! No, no. That’s awful.

I do not wish death upon anyone.

Oh, God.

I’m saddened to receive such sagacity from an asshole.

I’m only an asshole to you, Phil.

Your experience of me is wholly your own.

Okay. Okay, Plato.

I think you are an asshole therefore you are one.

You exhaust me.

What are we gonna do?

We need more information.

I know this guy and he does this sort of thing.

Oh, you know a guy.

He’ll find out everything there is to know about her

and her kids.

So just chill out.

Chilling out.

Huh?

Yeah.

Let me make this right.

[sighs]

What kind of moron buys a house under such circumstances

without doing a background check of the owner?

[crying]

Wait a minute.

You aren’t… are you crying?

[crying] I’m sorry.

You’re crying.

Thank you, Jerry.

I had my whole life wrapped up in that house.

I sold everything. I mean, I have nothing, Jer.

Literally nothing. And I’m just sad.

I’m so sad.

Oh, okay. I have seen a lot of tears in here.

I get it.

Jerry. What can we… what can we do?

We can turn over every stone, find out who this Astrid is.

Surveil this Maggie.

See how many other kids there are, wills, etcetera.

See what your options are. Hmm?

We can make it as right as we can.

That’s what I do.

Uh… the daughter, the one who threatened you.

Maggie Pennington.

Maggie.

Huh.

Attorney at law.

Seems to be a local bigwig with the Chamber of Commerce,

the Planning Board,

the City Council advisory panel. Single.

How’re you getting all that?

Her Facebook page?

Yeah.

Mmhmm.

And then look at this.

Astrid…

When the gap between rich and poor ballooned in the 1920s,

the wealth cavity reached critical mass

and no one paid attention.

Then it ruptured, causing the Great Depression.

Billions of dollars lost, millions of people destitute.

Hoovervilles in every park.

[chuckles]

America at its finest. Ah.

The whole system is one bureaucratic,

unfiltered cesspool with a side of ass plunging.

We work, we save, we make sacrifices…

[groans] sacrifices.

All so we can have four walls and a roof or a plot of land,

a place to hang your proverbial hat.

Which, by the way, you sold to your dick toast neighbor

for $0.50 and the asshole gave it to you in nickels.

So… bend over boys and girls and take the long rod

of economic life in the old U.S. of A!

[moaning]

Housing market. Oh, bonds, funds.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

Just tools of the rich

to help them accumulate more and more wealth,

while sucking the life out of the middle class,

which holds its ankles and hopes that Aunt Sue dies,

so she can leave that pittance of inheritance,

so they can finally pay off the mortgage

that’s choking the life out of them.

Yes, the little man is fucked.

[laughs]

Pun intended.

[scoffs]

[keyboard tapping]

Son, if you wanna be something, you better be good at it.

‘Cause life doesn’t treat failures kindly.

Thanks Dad, I miss you.

[sighs]

I read your agreement.

The point is not part of the common area.

You have use of the side easement.

You would deny a man a view like this?

A man who would swindle an old lady out of her estate? Yes.

See, that is not a truism. Astrid and I made a deal.

She sought out that deal, I did not.

She advertised. I showed up.

The terms were hers. We signed a contract.

That is the story in its totality.

She should have consulted me before any of this.

I agree.

The whole situation has become very unpleasant

for all involved.

Every penny I never had is tied up in this place.

Hence the box of wine.

You care to partake?

No, it smells awful.

It tastes even worse.

You have nothing to lose but your demureness.

Don’t consider this anything more than a courtesy.

We shall call it… congeniality.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.

A quick death than an easy one.

A pretty girl and an honest one.

The cold pint and another one.

It’s awful.

[coughs]

A pretty girl and an honest one.

Orion.

Orion, right. Right.

He, Orion…

Mmhmm.

Boasted that he would kill every animal on Earth,

so Artemis sent a scorpion to deal with Orion,

and the scorpion killed Orion and then Zeus…

he raised the scorpion up to heaven.

And later he did the same with Orion

to teach us mere mortals to curb our excessive pride.

I’m a Scorpio.

Mmhmm.

Why don’t you take me to your lair

and beat the excessive pride from my loins?

Oh, I’m curious.

Hmm.

I’ve never had boxed wine.

[snoring]

[Astrid yells]

Hello? Astrid?

Ah, shit.

Ah! Oh!

God!

[glass shatters]

Ow! Ah!

Astrid?

It looks like she slipped on some water.

Yeah, I don’t know. I wasn’t with her.

It looks like that water came from upstairs.

And?

Your bathroom? The toilet?

Yeah. I don’t… I…

Drains are connected.

Look, her son is the plumber.

So, what are you… what are you saying?

I’m saying that she slipped on some water

that possibly came from your toilet.

Oh.

So, your crime theory is that I rigged my shitter

to leak water that traveled through the connecting pipes,

that dripped in the exact spot where the old lady

was gonna be walking?

[Maggie] Phil!

Ride with me, please?

Miss Pennington?

Yes, Doctor.

Okay. Uh… so we got her heartbeat back.

Ah. Thank you.

Thank you.

Is she conscious, can I see her?

Hello.

They got her heart beating.

Oh, God, that’s great.

Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

I’m sorry. Are you… are you family?

Doctor, he’s with me. He lives with Mom.

Okay. Uh, well… so… yes, we got her heartbeat back.

But she was without a heartbeat for a very long time,

essentially without any oxygen.

[sobs] Oh, God. Please, no.

I’ve seen these things go many different ways,

so try to stay even about it, as hard as that is.

We’re doing all that we can.

Okay? Yeah.

[announcement over PA]

[crying] Try to stay even.

Who says that?

I just think he’s being optimistic.

What does that mean?

What?

Being optimistic?

I don’t know. I’m not a doctor.

I don’t know what he was thinking.

I just think given the situation,

he was just trying to be positive, you know,

because the odds are… what?

No. I mean, it’s common knowledge

that without a heartbeat,

without blood being pumped through your body,

without oxygen to your brain…

I had an uncle who had the exact same problem.

I’m sorry we did what we did last night.

Now Maggie…

I don’t think you’re a very good person.

This is my parking spot.

The one thing I own around here.

The locks have been changed. Check your messages, Phil.

Housing market.

Oh, bonds, funds, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I’ve been having a series of very bad days.

This behavior conflicts with every single ethics regulation

known here at Brockton University

or any university in the Western Hemisphere.

I know, I know. I was totally out of control.

I am guilty.

Who’s Claire Milano?

Uh… I believe she’s a student in my cultural econ class.

She’s left me several messages

wanting to discuss your behavior outside of class.

I see.

You’re suspended, Phil.

The department will conduct a full investigation

into your behaviors.

Craig. It’s all conjecture, really.

I mean, the person is guilty until proven innocent.

It’s still America, right?

There are protections for teachers.

Teachers do have protections.

There are protections for tenured professors here.

I need this job, Craig.

You’re my friend, right?

We’re friends, Craig.

Friends, Philip?

Friends read friends’ journal research reviews.

[motor rattling]

Ah!

Come on, we gotta get two.

[laughter]

[Maggie] I got two! I got two!

Here, here, here.

Whoo!

Phil! You son of an angel.

Please, come here.

Phil.

Come here.

You saved my life.

I don’t understand.

Nobody does.

Only… a higher power. And God herself.

[chuckles]

What are doctors for? Oh.

They know you should still be in the hospital

under observation.

That is such bullshit.

They just love to poke and probe and discover the undiscoverable.

I wanna tell you something.

I saw Jesus.

He talked to me.

He sounded like Jimmy Stewart but he looked like Prince.

You were…

I was dead for 12 minutes,

and they thought it was my heart, but it wasn’t.

What was it?

Well, they’re not certain.

One doctor believes it was a gas bubble

blocking oxygen to her windpipe.

Right. I will never eat hummus again.

Who cares?

Because of you… I woke up,

I got myself dressed and walked out of that

God forbidden antiseptic hospital,

and I came here to look at the sunset.

All because of you.

I don’t know what to say.

Just know you are an angel, Phil.

And because of you, I’m gonna see many more sunsets.

[keyboard tapping]

I’ve seen a lotta freakshows in my day.

But you, you’re in a category all by your lonesome.

I expect that verbal diarrhea

is because of what’s inside this envelope?

You’re damn tootin’.

What kind of sick pervert hires a professional

to surveil the woman he’s fornicating

to take intimate photos of the most bizarre…

No, no, no, no.

The most dangerous acts of sexual deviance

I’ve ever witnessed.

Wow.

Holy shit.

Yeah. Holy shit.

I couldn’t kiss my wife this morning.

How did you get these?

I’m a private investigator, Mr. Loder.

I said I would track the lady and that’s what I did.

It’s like you were right there in the room.

It’s incredible.

Okay, okay, alright. Okay, okay.

Dell, these are private. It’s private.

And you… you’re a private investigator.

You’re bound to code of confidentiality.

I know what I’m bound to. Now I know what you’re bound to.

Next time just have some decency

and take selfies for shit’s sakes.

I’m not even gonna begin to defend myself here,

that hasn’t been really working out for me.

But I’ve got to say, you are very gifted at your job.

To a fault.

What else did you find out about Miss Pennington?

I’m waiting on the background check,

medical and dental records

and financial history and I’ll continue my surveillance.

No, thanks.

I understand.

Is NiteAid a hallucinogen?

It contains doxylamine

which can leave you feeling disoriented.

The phenylephrine can cause dizziness and lightheadedness.

You remind me of me.

I want you to get serious about seeing a psychiatrist, Philip.

You’re losing your grip on reality.

I know.

Ugh. Oh, I gotta… I gotta pee.

Oh…

[urinating]

[keyboard tapping]

Whoa! My brakes!

Whoa, whoa!

[yells]

Oh!

God.

[grunting]

[coughing]

Oh, my God.

Oh, you keep showing… oh, my God.

You saved my life again.

No, no, no, no, no.

Yes, yes.

You were sent to me from heaven to watch over me.

And this I know to be true.

I think I did something to your wheelchair.

I think I messed with it.

Stop avoiding the light.

I think I tried to kill you, Astrid!

You did not.

Yes, I think I did!

I was drinking, and I don’t know anymore.

I don’t know anything anymore. But I had NiteAid, and I think…

I think… I don’t… I’m not… I’m not married.

Beatrice, my wife, she’s an imaginary woman.

Beatrice… and she has a twin.

It’s a sad male fantasy.

Every time I see the light, I see your face.

It’s just because I’m standing over you backlit.

Say whatever you want.

It’s… you’ll understand one day.

Like I do.

Phil?

I’m… this little old lady.

And I get to say whatever the fuck I want to.

This is it.

I love you.

I don’t know how long it’s been

since you’ve heard those words, but… I love you.

Thank you.

Oh… yeah.

I don’t want the house anymore.

You can have it, Phil. It’s yours.

I don’t want it. I’m done, Astrid.

I need to get far away. I don’t care about the money.

I just… oh, God, I just want my soul back.

Oh, you are serious?

Yes.

I see that.

I’m clear.

Oh, I’ll just give it to the kids.

They’re gonna fight over my grave anyway.

I don’t think so.

Yeah, well, you don’t know them like I do.

No, I mean I don’t think you’re ever gonna die.

That’s the real problem.

Sorry.

It’s true.

That’s a thought.

Well, you’re like a cat.

[both laugh]

And now you’ve got seven lives left.

Yes!

[laughs]

It’s true.

Yes, it’s true.

Kitty kitty.

[laughing]

Laugh it up.

Crazy old lady.

Be quiet.

I’m never gonna die so I don’t have to hear you.

Okay.

Alright.

I love you.

[piano playing]

Phil. Come, come dance with me.

You know… you can, you can love.

You can be happy. You can be whole.

You can be safe.

I want that.

You deserve it, Phil.

How would it work with us?

How would what work?

Making love, everything.

I wanna feel your lights.

[chuckles]

Come on. Let’s go.

Be gentle with me, Phil.

No.

Oh… Oh, yes. Alright. I love you, Phil.

I love you, too, Astrid.

[playing “Chopsticks” on piano]

Hello.

Thanks.

Oh, you might wanna wear this. She’s a little wobbly.

Okay. Into the verve.

Sorry I’m late, car trouble.

Oh, you bought a car?

It’s an aphorism.

I ordered an appetizer.

I’m not gonna stay, so thank you.

Oh.

Okay.

Let’s just jump right in, then.

I’m here to jump.

I talked to the family

and they’ve decided to offer you a partial refund of your money.

Partial, what does that mean?

$50,000.

You feel good about that?

I feel fine.

There’s no out clause in your contract.

Did you read your contract?

My broker read it on my behalf.

Yeah. You should get a better broker.

$75,000.

No.

65K.

No.

60K, final offer.

50. Take it or leave it.

Fine, we have a deal.

The paperwork will be at my office.

You can stop by any time and sign.

The funds will be released at that time.

Who’s gonna take care of Astrid?

That’s important to you?

It is.

She’s, uh… reconsidering an assisted living situation.

Well, as they say, it is what it is.

Yes, it is.

You asshole.

Hello, Claire.

You know, you can’t just sleep with someone

and then discard them like they’re styrofoam.

Well, you really shouldn’t discard styrofoam, Claire.

It is recyclable.

Okay.

Always a smartass.

You know, I’m seeing someone else.

Well, I think that’s very healthy.

Why don’t you two discuss this in private?

So, you’re sleeping with him now?

Claire…

Don’t touch me.

Um… that’s really…

Um…

Claire, please. Please!

I had feelings for you.

Well, I didn’t mean for that to happen.

You know what? I’m glad you got suspended.

It’s not very nice to wish ill upon people, Claire.

Don’t try to educate me anymore, Dr. Loder.

You’ve lost that privilege.

How do I make this right?

I’m gonna make it right. I’ve been talking to the Dean.

Yeah, he listens to me.

He understands me, and he is a great writer.

His work on microlending in Bangladesh

towers above your scribblings.

That’s a real mind.

You’re a shit writer, Phil.

I can’t believe I ever thought you had any talent.

$32.

[keyboard tapping]

[camera clicking]

Miss Pennington. Fornicators.

Go ahead and peck, little bird.

It’s in your nature.

[bird pecking]

[Astrid yells]

Astrid? Ah… Astrid.

Astrid?

Okay, so I am at St. Vincent’s Memorial

in the, um, same place we were before.

I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet.

Uh… but I guess you saw my number and you didn’t wanna…

Okay, here comes the doctor. You should get here immediately.

Hello.

Okay. Um, well… this is never easy. So…

No.

No.

She suffered a massive…

No, Astrid doesn’t die. [chuckles]

She can’t die. She died died?

I’m sorry for your loss.

Is there anyone you’d like us to call for you, perhaps?

[keyboard tapping]

[knocks on door]

Um… you all packed up?

Yeah.

I have left the domicile room clean as per the exit agreement.

Which you still need to sign.

I will… on the way out of town.

I trust the check will be there waiting for me?

Yeah, it is.

Alright then uh… goodbye.

I will leave the key under the mat.

Phil…

Yeah, no… no. Don’t…

Phil, I… I think this is just… just great.

I mean, 50 grand? Come on!

50 grand, that’s nothing to scoff at, right?

Yeah, better than a kick in the balls.

I mean, you got a wad of cash in your pocket.

You’re gonna hit the road, right?

Explore what’s out there for you.

I mean, that’s the American dream. Right?

Look at me. What do I got?

I mean, I’ve got… all the money I could ever ask for.

I’ve got a big, beautiful house and a wife who checks Zillow

every morning to see what her half is worth.

Sorry to hear that, Dell.

I’m sorry to say it.

Uh… okay, gentlemen.

I’ve got a novel to write and miles to go before I sleep.

Phil.

May our paths cross again.

You always know where to find me.

Go get ’em.

Okay. Thanks, Dell.

Oh, and, uh… Phil.

Give me a jingle if you need me to look at that exit contract.

♪ Home is where your heart is ♪

♪ And this is where the start is ♪

I will dream as I see fit.

♪ This is when it’s true ♪

♪ I’m only home when I’m with you ♪

♪ Home is… ♪

Hello, officer. What seems to be the hubbub?

A memorial service.

Oh, must’ve been a grand person.

Yeah, your housemate.

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us. ♪

Come on!

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

Come on, now.

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

♪ There might be flies on some of you guys ♪

♪ but there ain’t no flies on us. ♪

Yeah!

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

Is this for Astrid Fanelli?

Yeah. Were you one of her kids?

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

Let’s have some music!

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

Yes.

Come on!

I am.

From what year?

A while back.

[crowd singing] ♪ There ain’t no flies on us.

Yeah! Opa!

[applause and cheers]

And that was one of Mama’s favorites.

I remember how I first meet her back in the 1990.

My family and I come to America from Greece.

I have no friends. I no spoke English

and my mother sent me to this

American summer camp to better in fit.

[crowd chuckles]

This beautiful woman, Astrid Fanelli,

she have no kids for herself.

So she opened camp for all the kids.

[man in crowd] Alright!

But today we sing to her all the songs she sing to us.

[singing] ♪ This land is your land.

[all singing] ♪ The land is my land.

♪ From California to the New York island. ♪

♪ From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters. ♪

♪ This land was made for you and me. ♪

[cheering]

[keyboard tapping]

You just can’t find tumble marble anywhere these days.

Look at the detail here in the stonework

It’s really, really something special, unique,

and it’s original. All of it, really.

Uh… of course, the view. It comes with the property.

Hey. You gonna be okay?

Me? I’m not the one who died.

That happens.

Nothing to think about anymore.

You, on the other hand…

you’re gonna be plagued by thoughts and opinions,

vernacular, intellect.

These daydreams.

You gotta stop dreaming, Phil.

I’m gonna miss you.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Well… congratulations. You pulled it off, buddy.

We’ve got multiple offers all way north of the asking price.

You’re gonna be rich.

Okay?

Why aren’t you falling out of your chair?

Well, here’s the deal.

I don’t think I’m gonna sell.

This place has sentimental value.

Astrid would not want me to. Plus, the kids love the camp.

I’m not motivated.

You need to be motivated about these things.

I want you to come clean with me.

You did this deliberately. You did it deliberately.

You did, Phil.

No.

You knew… you knew all along

that you had no intentions of selling the property.

No, I’m never 100 percent certain

about anything these days. It’s hard to be.

[sighs]

You motherless son of a bitch.

I have a mother, Dell. She’s a good woman.

You don’t wanna be happy? Fine.

Son of a bitch.

He’s so angry.

Anger is fear turned outwards.

Well, he must be very fearful then.

You want another?

Ahhh… you think I should?

You did say you’re going to curb your drinking.

Did I say that?

More than once.

You also said you were going to see someone… a proper psychiatrist.

Yeah. I remember that.

Hey, don’t be blue. I’m just looking out for you.

We only want what’s best.

I’m so grateful for you. For both of you.

[sighs]

Isn’t it a lovely day?

I’m going swimming.

I’m getting in too.

Do what you must.

One more beer.

And book that appointment!

Ladies…

[laughing] Watch out!

I promise I will make an appointment with a shrink, post haste.

What will that mean for us?

I wanna know what that will mean for us.

A perplexing, indeed.

♪ What a beautiful day ♪

♪ What a beautiful day ♪

[keyboard tapping]

♪ And the band played on …♪

There are times when I really dislike my job.

And this is one of them.

Jerry… not a fan of your envelopes.

Just speak to me.

Now look, your girlfriend, Miss Pennington…

is cheating on you.

Oh, Jerry…

[Jerry] This is good news?

What she’s doing there is devious.

It is troublesome.

That is for certain.

Dr. Loder! Hey.

Phil, Phil. Hey.

Dr. Kapinski?

I have, uh… great news.

Oh. My parking credentials. Look at that, VIP.

Yeah.

I can park wherever I want in whatever vehicle I want.

The highest honor bestowed here at Brockton University.

Yeah, yeah. Took a little finagling, but…

As these things do.

You know, I was just wondering…

[Phil] Yeah.

Thinking.

Well, uh… I just wanna make sure

those pictures, you know, that there aren’t any

Duplicates.

Oh yeah, there are.

Actually, I have one right here in my wallet.

Doesn’t Claire look lovely in that light?

Oh, God.

Have a good summer, Craig.

You too, Phil.

♪ The swallows flown and snowflakes cloud the skies ♪

♪ But man’s , and sins, and happy things ♪

♪ Don’t seem so far away ♪

♪ For thoughts of love are shining in your eyes ♪

♪ All the people stare as we took the air ♪

♪ And they smiled to hear me say ♪

♪ What a beautiful day what a beautiful day ♪

♪ And the band played on as we walked along ♪

♪ And the world went on its way ♪

♪ What a beautiful day what a beautiful day ♪

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