Meet Joe Black (1998)
William Parrish: It's not what you say about Drew, it's what you don't say.
Susan Parrish: Maybe you're not listening.
William Parrish: Oh yes, I am. There's not an ounce of excitement. Not a whisper of a thrill. This relationship has all the passion of a pair of tit mice. I want you to get swept away out there. I want you to levitate. I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a Dervish.
Susan Parrish: Oh, that's all?
William Parrish: Yeah. Be deliriously happy or at least leave yourself open to be.
Susan Parrish: Okay. Be deliriously happy. I shall... uhh... I shall do my utmost.
William Parrish: I know it's a cornball thing, but love is passion. Obsession. Someone you can't live without. I say fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy, and who'll love you the same way back. How do you you find 'em? Well, you forget your head and you listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Because the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.
William Parrish: Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart. And I'm not hearing any heart. Cause the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.
Joe Black: Careful Bill, you'll give yourself a heart attack and ruin my vacation.
Jamaican Woman: It nice it happen to you. Like you come to the island and had a holiday. Sun didn't burn you red-red, just brown. You sleep and no mosquito eat you. But the truth is, it bound to happen if you stay long enough. So take that nice picture you got in your head home with you, but don't be fooled. We lonely here mostly too. If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us.
Joe Black: I don't care Bill. I love her.
William Parrish: How perfect for you - to take whatever you want because it pleases you. That's not love.
Joe Black: Then what is it?
William Parrish: Some aimless infatuation which, for the moment, you feel like indulging - it's missing everything that matters.
Joe Black: Which is what?
William Parrish: Trust, responsibility, taking the weight for your choices and feelings, and spending the rest of your life living up to them. And above all, not hurting the object of your love.
Joe Black: So that's what love is according to William Parrish?
William Parrish: Multiply it by infinity, and take it to the depth of forever, and you will still have barely a glimpse of what I'm talking about.
Joe Black: Those were my words.
William Parrish: They're mine now.
[Watching the fireworks above the party before they depart]
William Parrish: It's hard to let go, isn't it?
Joe Black: Yes it is, Bill.
William Parrish: And that's life... what can I tell you.
William Parrish: I thought I was going to sneak away tonight. What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we're all together, and you're mine for a night. And I'm going to break precedent and tell you my one candle wish: that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, "I don't want anything more." Sixty-five years. Don't they go by in a blink?
Susan Parrish: I wish... you could have known my father.
Joe Black: I can't believe you people. I come for you, and you want to stay, I let you stay and you want to go.
Joe Black: Should you choose to test my resolve in this matter, you will be facing a finality beyond your comprehension, and you will not be counting days, or months, or years, but milleniums in a place with no doors.
Joe Black: ...But Allison loves you?
Quince: [Quince nods yes between stifled sobs]
Joe Black: How do you know?
Quince: Because she knows the worst thing about me and it's okay.
Joe Black: What is it?
William Parrish: I want you to know how much I love you, that you've given a meaning to my life that I had no right to expect, that no one can ever take from me.
Susan Parrish: Dad...
William Parrish: No! I love you so much. And I want you to promise me something. I don't want you to ever worry about me. And if anything should happen, I'm gonna be okay. And everything's gonna be all right. And I have no regrets. And I want you to feel the same way.
Susan Parrish: I love you, Daddy.
William Parrish: That's why it's okay.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: If you and I were married, I would want to give you what you need, that's all. I'm talking about taking care of each other as best you can. What's wrong with taking care of a woman? She takes care of you.
Susan Parrish: Well you'll have a hard time finding a woman like that these days.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Shoot, you think so?
Susan Parrish: Mm-hmm.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: I don't know. Lightning could strike.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: You know I was thinking, I don't want you to be my doctor. I don't want you to examine me.
Susan Parrish: Why?
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Because I like you so much.
Susan Parrish: And I- I don't want to examine you.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: You don't? Why not?
Susan Parrish: Because I like you so much.
William Parrish: Yes what?
Voice: 'Yes' is the answer to your question.
William Parrish: What question?
Voice: Oh, Bill. Come on. The question. The question you've been asking yourself with increased regularity, at odd moments, panting through the extra game of handball, when you ran for the plane in Delhi, when you sat up in bed last night and hit the floor in the office this morning. The question that is in the back of your throat, choking the blood to your brain, ringing in your ears over and over as you put it to yourself.
William Parrish: The question.
Voice: Yes, Bill. The question.
William Parrish: ...Am I going to die?
Joe Black: [appearing from the shadows] Yes.
William Parrish: [entering in his library] Hello? Is anyone here?
William Parrish: I said is anyone here?
Voice: Quiet down!
William Parrish: Where are you?
Voice: I'm here.
William Parrish: What is this a joke, right? Some kind of elaborate practical joke? Heh, at my fortieth reunion we delivered a casket to the class presidents hotel room and uh...
[Parrish backing out of library]
Voice: Where are you going Bill?
William Parrish: I uh...
Voice: The great Bill Parrish at a loss of words? The man from whose lips fall "rapture" and "passion" and "obsession"? All those admonitions about being "deliriously happy, that there is no sense in living your life without" all the sparks and energy you give off, the rosy advice you dispense in round pear shaped tones.
William Parrish: What the hell is this?
[creaking, Joe Black appears in faded window]
William Parrish: Who are you?
Voice: Just think of millenniums multiplied by eons compounded by time without end. I've been around that long. But it's only recently your affairs here have piqued my interest. Call it boredom. The natural curiosity of me the most lasting and significant element in existence has come to see you.
William Parrish: About what?
Voice: I want to have a look around before I take you.
William Parrish: Take me where?
Voice: It requires competence wisdom and experience, all those things they say about you in testimonials. And you're the one.
William Parrish: The one to do what?
Voice: Show me around, be my guide. And in return you get...
William Parrish: I get what?
Voice: Time: minutes, days, weeks, lets not get encumbered by detail, what matters is that I stay interested.
Allison: I've felt loved, and that's all that matters. So, never mind favorites. You're allowed to have one. The point is, you've been mine.
William Parrish: How's your working going? I mean elsewhere...
Joe Black: While you were shaving this morning, you weren't just shaving, you weren't just shaving.
William Parrish: What do you mean?
Joe Black: You were hatching ideas, making plans, arriving at decisions, right?
William Parrish: Yeah, I guess so.
Joe Black: So you understand the concept. While part of you is busy doing one thing, another part of you is doing another, perhaps even attending to the problems of your work. Correct?
William Parrish: Of course.
Joe Black: So you understand the concept, Bill. Now multiply that by infinity, take that to the depths of forever, and you still barely have a glimpse of what I'm taking about.
William Parrish: [reaches out and stops him from walking in front of a honking car]
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Listen, could I buy you a cup of coffee?
Susan Parrish: Um, I have some patients coming and so I should probably go.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Yeah, I gotta get up to the apartment and get off to work. But I'd still like to have another cup of coffee. Would you let me do that?
Susan Parrish: Well, yeah, um, okay.
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Deal.
[reaches over the counter for the coffee pot and pours coffee for her and himself]
Joe Black: Don't be feisty, sista.
Jamaican Woman: I not be feisty mista. You com' for me that's good news.
Joe Black: Can do no right by people. I com' to take you you want to stay - I leave you stay, you want to go.
William Parrish: You never know, lightning could strike.
William Parrish: You're not Death. You're just a kid in a suit.
William Parrish: I loved Susan from the moment she was born, and I love her now and every minute in between. And what I dream of is a man who will discover her, and that she will discover a man who will love her, who is worthy of her, who is of this world, this time and has the grace, compassion, and fortitude to walk beside her as she makes her way through this beautiful thing called life.
Joe Black: You're the poison Drew. You've operated behind the scenes to suborn the trust of a man who has stamped you with his imprimatur of class, elegance and stature. I've had the opportunity to be a witness to every kind and degree of deception but Bill Parish has been on the receiving end of machinations so Machiavellian that it has rarely been my experience to encounter and yet he has combated them himself stoically and selflessly without revealing my identity. Had he violated the vow of secrecy he took, his task would have been far easier, he could have turned defeat into victory. But he is too honorable of a man to have done that, because of me, he has lost his work, his company, his reputation, so now, given these losses, I'm compelled to end the need for secrecy.
Drew: We all know this deal is as certain as death and taxes.
Joe Black: Death and taxes?
Joe Black: *Death* and taxes?
Joe Black: What an odd pairing.
William Parrish: When I introduce you, and I tell them who you are, I don't think anyone will stay for dinner.
Susan Parrish: Love, passion, obsession, all those things you told me to wait for, well, they've arrived. What are you afraid of, Dad? That I'll fall head over heels for Joe? Well, I have.
William Parrish: I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a dervish.
Quince: You're free! You're free to l - love each other completely, totally. Just no fear. So there's nothing you don't know about each other, and it's okay.
Susan Parrish: Do you love making love to me?
Joe Black: Yes
Susan Parrish: More than peanut butter?
Joe Black: Yes. Much more.
Joe Black: I would like it if we were friends.
Susan Parrish: I've got plenty of friends.
Joe Black: I don't have any.
Susan Parrish: Well, I can see why.
Susan Parrish: So you're a one-girl guy?
Young Man in Coffee Shop: Yes, I am. That's right. Looking for her right now actually. Who knows, you might be her.
William Parrish: Who is you? Did you tell her who you are?
Joe Black: No.
William Parrish: Does she know here she's going? Huh? You see, Susan went for that poor son of a bitch whose body you took. And everything else since has been aftermath. You say you love her but you don't know what love is. She loves you, she doesn't know who you are. You make a deal you're breaking it. Bottom line is, Joe, you're swindling her soul, and you're doing it with your eyes wide open.
Joe Black: I don't like what you're saying.
William Parrish: I'm past caring what you like and what you don't like. You're stealing my daughter and I'm not gonna let you.
Susan Parrish: So tell me Joe... How come a man as attractive, intelligent, well-spoken... diffident in the most seductive way, and yet... powerful... is all alone in this world?
William Parrish: It's hard to let go, isn't it?
Joe Black: Yes it is,Bill.
William Parrish: What can I tell you? That's life.
Joe Black: Bill, why at this juncture are you letting yourself be so concerned by business matters?
William Parrish: I don't want anybody buying up my life's work! Turning it into something it wasn't meant to be. A man wants to leave something behind. And he wants it left behind the way he made it. He wants it to be run the way he run it, with a sense of honor, of dedication, of truth. Okay?
Joe Black: Easy, Bill. You'll give yourself a heart attack and ruin my vacation.
Joe Black: Are you threatening me?
William Parrish: Yeah, I certainly hope so. Yeah. I loved Susan from the moment she was born, and I love her now and every minute in between. And what I dream of is a man who will discover her, and that she will discover a man who will love her, who is worthy of her, who is of this world, of this time, and has the grace, compassion and fortitude to walk beside her as she makes her way through this beautiful thing called life.
Construction Foreman: Please. Please. Don't worry. Don't worry.
Allison: It's utter chaos around here. And I'm terrified we're running out of time. Am I trying to be too perfect?
William Parrish: Tell me who you are.
Voice: Are you giving me orders?
William Parrish: No. I'm sorry, I...
Voice: No. You're not. You're trying to handle the situation. But this is the one situation you knew you never could handle.
Susan Parrish: My mom always said you could set your heart by that clock.
William Parrish: Don't blow smoke up my ass, it will ruin my autopsy.
William Parrish: You're at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong woman!
Joe Black: Are you threatening me?
William Parrish: Yeah, I certainly hope so.
Jamaican Woman: You waiting here to take us? Like you is a bus driver to there?
Joe Black: No man, I on 'olliday.
Jamaican Woman: Some spot you pick.
Joe Black: How are you doing?
William Parrish: What the hell do you care?
Joe Black: Just asking, Bill.
William Parrish: You wanna know? I'll tell you. You're looking at a man who is not walking through the valley of the shadow of death. He's galloping into it. At the same time, the business he built with his own hands and head has been commandeered by a couple of cheap pirates. Oh, yes! I almost forgot. My daughter's fallen in love with Death.
Allison: If food is the prose of poetry, then lights are its poetry. I like that. If music were the food of love, play on. I'm going out of my mind.
William Parrish: [sentimentally] I remember when you were little girls, and uh...
Quince: I love little girls.
William Parrish: [to Susan about Joe] I don't think this is the lightning you're looking for.