Whatever Works (2009)
Boris Yellnikoff: That's why I can't say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.
Boris Yellnikoff: The human race. They've had to install automatic toilets in public restrooms, because people can't be entrusted to flush a toilet.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Am I a member of my generation?
Marietta: How'd he get that limp?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: He jumped out the window and his suicide didn't work.
Marietta: You can't win 'em all.
John: [as he kneels down to pray] Lord I've sinned, please forgive me!
Boris Yellnikoff: Why do all the religious psychotics wind up praying in my doorstep?
Boris Yellnikoff: [to audience] I happen to hate New Year's celebrations. Everybody desperate to have fun. Trying to celebrate in some pathetic little way. Celebrate what? A step closer to the grave? That's why I can't say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works. And don't kid yourself. Because its by no means up to your own human ingenuity. A bigger part of your existence is luck, than you'd like to admit. Christ, you know the odds of your fathers one sperm from the billions, finding the single egg that made you. Don't think about it, you'll have a panic attack.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Boris, what are you doing? Who're you talking to?
Boris Yellnikoff: What? There's people out there watching us!
Marietta: Out there?
Boris Yellnikoff: Yeah, they're watching... well, there was when we started. I don't know how many are left.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Does anybody see anybody out there?
Marietta: Out there? No!
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Oh Boris...
Boris Yellnikoff: [to audience] See? I'm the only one that sees the whole picture. That's what they mean by genius.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: All I know is that nothing moves faster than the speed of light, so you may as well relax.
Boris Yellnikoff: Can you believe this cracker, this red state Neanderthal, this mindless zombie of the National Rifle Association?
John: My shrink says that the guns were all a manifestation of my sexual inadequacy.
Boris Yellnikoff: Yeah, if it wasn't for sexual inadequacy the National Rifle Association would go broke!
Boris Yellnikoff: Happy birthday dear Boris, happy birthday to you!
Boris Yellnikoff: I'm dying! I-I'm dying!
Jessica: Should I call an ambulance?
Boris Yellnikoff: No, not now! No, not tonight, I mean eventually!
Boris Yellnikoff: Love, despite what they tell you, does not conquer all, nor does it even usually last. In the end the romantic aspirations of our youth are reduced to, whatever works.
Boris Yellnikoff: That's not what I'm saying, imbecile. You guys completely misrepresent my ideas, why would I even want to talk with those idiots.
Boris' Friend: Just calm down.
Boris' Friend: That's not true, Boris.
Boris Yellnikoff: No, don't tell me to calm down, I am calm. Just stop.
Boris' Friend: Don't jump on us just because we don't understand what you're saying.
Boris Yellnikoff: I didn't jump on you. It's not the idea behind Christianity I'm faulting, or Judaism, or any religion. It's the professionals who've made it into corporate business. There's big money in the god racket, big money.
Boris' Friend: Here we go...
Boris Yellnikoff: Don't you know you have to sing happy birthday twice to get the germs off?
Boris Yellnikoff: How old are you?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: I, I'm 21.
Boris Yellnikoff: 21? Yeah, you're 21 like I play for the Yankees. 21...
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: You're a professional athlete, with that limp?
Boris Yellnikoff: Look, you're a sweet kid. Stupid beyond all comprehension, but you'll never survive here. You got nothing going for you. Zero, zilch. Ya know, you may be beauty queen material in the deep south, but this is the big time. Here you're a three. A five maybe after you bathe.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: If you throw me out and I wind up an Asian prostitute, that's gonna be on your conscience.
Boris Yellnikoff: I give up. Sleep on the couch, imbecile child. I'm too tired to prolong this brutal exchange between a bedraggled microbe, and a Nobel level thinker.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: So what kind of genius are you any way?
Boris Yellnikoff: What *kind*?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Yeah, like what are you a genius at?
Boris Yellnikoff: Quantum Mechanics.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Yeah, but what field... Like music?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Do you really think I'm beautiful?
Boris Yellnikoff: I admit that I didn't give you you're full due at first - physically. However, as only a great mind can do, I've reassessed... my... position, and uh, changed my mind.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: So you could, you could never think of marrying me?
Boris Yellnikoff: Have you lost your mind? Why on earth would you even fantasize about such a thing. What could I offer you but a bad temper, hypochondriasis, morbid fixations, reclusive rages, and and misanthropy. And what could you offer me? A character out of Faulkner, not unlike Benjy.
Boris Yellnikoff: Yes, my life is circumscribed, but I manage to avoid stress. I've achieved a delicate balance, and as long as I can maintain it, I feel less inclined to ending it.
Boris Yellnikoff: It's uncanny, she's exactly the kind of moron you described.
Marietta: You are not the gentleman I was expecting.
Boris Yellnikoff: I'm sure not. I'm sure you'd be happy if she married the guy who caught the biggest catfish in Plaquemin County.
Marietta: I'd be happier if she married the catfish.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Well you see mama, Boris is a genius okay, he doesn't have a lot of patience for us inchworms.
Boris Yellnikoff: We, we inchworms! I was almost nominated for a Nobel Prize.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: That's right Boris, and what was it for? Best Picture?
Randy: I dreamt about you last night.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Don't use that line, because Boris said he dreamt about me last night, and I really doubt that it's mathematically possible for me to be in two dreams at one time.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Oh wait, I always carry some Viagra with me.
Randy: That's okay, I eat a lot of red meat...
John: Who's this?
Boris Yellnikoff: Who are *you*?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: This is Boris, my husband.
John: Boris your who?
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: He's my husband, I'm Mrs. Boris Yellnikoff.
John: Who are you?
Boris Yellnikoff: I'm her husband. You want to pass out here, or go into the living room.
Boris Yellnikoff: See, I'm the only one who sees the whole picture. That's what they mean by genius.
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Here, I'll put something on TV.
Boris Yellnikoff: I saw the abyss!
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Don't worry, we'll watch something else.
Marietta: Listen, listen. I want to go someplace fun. Take me someplace fun. It's New York, let's go!
Melodie St. Ann Celestine: Boris, where can I take her that's fun?
Boris Yellnikoff: How about the Holocaust museum?
Jessica: You are a very difficult man to live with
Boris Yellnikoff: Is that why you had an affair?
Jessica: I didn't have an affair, it was a brief interlude of infidelity
Boris Yellnikoff: [to Melodie] Believe me,
[He clears his throat]
Boris Yellnikoff: If I can comprehend quantum mechanics, I can certainly comprehend the processes of a sub-mental baton twirler.
Boris Yellnikoff: [to Melodie] You know, it's been proven television eats away the brain.
Boris Yellnikoff: [Referring to his first wife] We were both students at the University of Chicago. She had a high I.Q. and a low-cut dress.
Boris Yellnikoff: [to audience] Why would you want to hear my story? Do we know each other? Do we like each other? Let me tell you right off, ok... I'm not a like-able guy. Charm has never been a priority with me. And just so you know, this is not the feel good movie of the year. So if you're one of those idiots who needs to feel good, go get yourself a foot massage.
Boy on Street: Mommy, that man's talking to himself.
Boy's Mother: Come on, Justin.
Boris Yellnikoff: [to audience] What the hell does it all mean anyhow? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nothing comes to anything. And yet, there's no shortage of idiots to babble. Not me. I have a vision. I'm discussing you. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your newspapers. The TV. Everybody's happy to talk. Full of misinformation. Morality, science, religion, politics, sports, love, your portfolio, your children, health. Christ, if I have to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to live, I don't wanna live. I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables. And your omega 3's, and the treadmill, and the cardiogram, and the mammogram, and the pelvic sonogram, and oh my god the-the-the colonoscopy, and with it all the day still comes where they put you in a box, and its on to the next generation of idiots, who'll also tell you all about life and define for you what's appropriate. My father committed suicide because the morning newspapers depressed him. And could you blame him? With the horror, and corruption, and ignorance, and poverty, and genocide, and AIDS, and global warming, and terrorism, and-and the family value morons, and the gun morons. "The horror," Kurtz said at the end of Heart of Darkness, "the horror." Lucky Kurtz didn't have the Times delivered in the jungle. Ugh... then he'd see some horror. But what do you do? You read about some massacre in Darfur or some school bus gets blown up, and you go "Oh my God, the horror," and then you turn the page and finish your eggs from the free range chickens. Because what can you do. It's overwhelming! I tried to commit suicide myself. Obviously, it didn't work out. But why do you even want to hear about all this? Christ, you got your own problems. I'm sure your all obsessed with any number of sad little hopes and dreams. Your predictably unsatisfying love lives, your failed business ventures. "Oh, if only I'd bought that stock! If only I-if only I purchased THAT house years ago! If only I'd made a move on THAT woman." If this, if that. You know what? Gimmie a break with your could have's and should have's. Like my mother used to say, "If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolley car." My mother didn't have wheels. She had varicose veins. Still, the woman gave birth to a brilliant mind. I was considered for a Nobel Prize in physics... I didn't get it. But, you know, its all politics. It's like every other phony honor. Incidentally, don't think I'm-I'm bitter because of some personal setback. By the standards of a mindless, barbaric civilization, I've been pretty lucky. I was married to a beautiful woman who had family money. For years we lived on Beekman Place. I taught at Columbia. String theory.