There Is No Right Life

The Nelsons

[Teenage son David enters the kitchen. He finds his mother crying softly.]

DAVID: I thought you went out of town.

MOTHER [Wipes eyes quickly]: Came back.

DAVID: What’s wrong?

MOTHER: I don’t know. Everything’s so fucked up. I got halfway down there and thought, “What am I doing?” He’s nine years younger than I am. Doesn’t make me feel younger. Makes me feel older…When your father was here, I used to think, this was it. This was the way it was always going to be. I had the right house, I had the right car…I had the right life –

DAVID: There is no right house, there is no right car.

MOTHER: God, my face must be a mess.

DAVID: It looks great.

MOTHER: Honey, that’s really sweet of you, but I’m sure it does not look great.

DAVID: Sure, it does…

[Reaches for a tissue]

Come here.

[He dabs at the tears on his mother’s cheeks]

MOTHER: I’m 40 years old! I mean, it’s not supposed to be like this!

DAVID: It’s not supposed to be anything. Hold still…

[He continues to wipe away tears]

MOTHER: How’d you get so smart all of a sudden?

DAVID: I had a good day.

From Gary Ross’ script Pleasantville (1998)

Photo: Publicity photo for The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952-66)


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