The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
[in a hospital ward]
Chas: Why did you try to kill yourself?
Ethel: Don't press him right now.
Richie: I wrote a suicide note.
Chas: You did?
Richie: Yeah. Right after I regained consciousness.
Chas: Can we read it?
Chas: Can you paraphrase it for us?
Richie: I don't think so.
Chas: Is it dark?
Richie: Of course it's dark, it's a suicide note.
Royal: Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?
Raleigh: [after reading a private investigator's research on Margot's background, which reveals she's been a smoker since she was 12, she married a man in Jamaica at 19, has had numerous affairs and one-night stands with men and women, including Eli Cash] She smokes.
Royal Tenenbaum's epitaph: Royal O'Reilly Tenenbaum 1932-2001 Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Wreckage Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship
Royal: I'm very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman.
[Royal motions to Pagoda]
Royal: He saved my life, you know. Thirty years ago. I was knifed at a bazaar in Calcutta, and he carried me to the hospital on his back.
Ari: Who stabbed you?
[Royal motions to Pagoda again]
Royal: He did. There was a price on my head, and he was a hired assassin. Stuck me in the gut with a shiv.
[Royal's fake terminal illness has been exposed and he is being thrown out of the house]
Royal: Look, I know I'm going to be the bad guy on this one, but I just want to say the last six days have been the best six days of probably my whole life.
Narrator: Immediately after making this statement, Royal realized that it was true.
Eli: I'm not in love with you any more.
Margot: I didn't know you ever were.
Eli: Let's not make this any more difficult than it already is.
Eli: OK, what?
Margot: OK, I'm not in love with you either.
Eli: Yes, I know, you're in love with Richie. Which is sick and gross.
Margot: I think we're just gonna to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that, Richie.
Eli: Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is... maybe he didn't.
Royal: You know, Richie, this illness, this closeness to death... it's had a profound affect on me. I feel like a different person, I really do.
Richie: Dad, you were never dying.
Royal: But I'm going to live.
Eli: I wish you'd've done this for me when I was a kid.
Richie: But you didn't have a drug problem then.
Eli: Yeah, but it still would've meant a lot to me.
Tennis Match Commentator #1: That's 72 unforced errors for Richie Tenebaum. He's playing the worst tennis of his life. What's he feeling right now, Tex Hayward?
Tex Hayward: I don't know, Jim. There's obviously something wrong with him. He's taken off his shoes and one of his socks and... actually, I think he's crying.
Royal: I've always been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember. That's just my style. But I'd really feel blue if I didn't think you were going to forgive me.
Henry Sherman: I don't think you're an asshole, Royal. I just think you're kind of a son of a bitch.
Royal: Well, I really appreciate that.
Eli: [to Richie] I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum, you know?
Royal: [quietly] Me too. Me too.
Eli: It doesn't mean what it used to though, does it?
Margot: Do you send my mother your clippings and your grades from college?
Eli: Please stop belittling me. You never gave me the time of day til I started getting good reviews.
Margot: Your reviews aren't that good.
Eli: But the sales are.
Richie: I have to tell you something...
Margot: What's that?
Richie: I love you.
Margot: I love you, too.
Eli: [reading part of his newest novel at a press conference] The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. "Vámonos, amigos," he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.
Narrator: All memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums had been erased by two decades of betrayal, failure and disaster.
Young Chas Tenenbaum: [about Margot's play] Well, what'd you think, Dad?
Royal: Didn't seem believable to me.
Royal: Why are you wearing pajamas? Do you live here?
Young Richie Tenenbaum: He has permission to sleep over.
Young Chas Tenenbaum: Well, did you at least think the characters were well developed?
Royal: What characters? This is a bunch of little kids dressed up in animal costumes.
Young Margot Tenenbaum: Good night, everyone.
Royal: Well, sweetie, don't be mad at me. That's just one man's opinion.
[Margot gets up and gathers her presents just as Ethel comes in with the birthday cake and everyone starts singing Happy Birthday, which trails off as she leaves the room. Ethel glares at Royal]
Narrator: He had not been invited to any of their parties since.
Raleigh: [Into tape recorder, softly] Dudley suffers from a rare disorder combining symptoms of amnesia, dyslexia, and color-blindness, with a highly acute sense of hearing.
Dudley Heinsbergen: [from adjoining room] I'm not color blind, am I?
Raleigh: I'm afraid you are.
[Richie tells his father Royal he's in love with Margot, his adopted sister]
Royal: Margot Tenenbaum?
Royal: Well, since when?
Richie: Since always.
Royal: Does she know?
Royal: Well, what does she feel about that?
Richie: I think she feels confused.
Royal: Well, I can understand that, it's probably illegal!
Richie: I don't think so, we're not related by blood.
Royal: That's true. It's still frowned upon. But then, what isn't these days, right?
Margot: [about Richie's suicide attempt] Why'd you do it? Because of me?
Richie: Yeah, but it's not your fault.
Margot: You're not going to do it again, are you?
Richie: I doubt it.
[Margot starts to cry]
Royal: Everyone's against me.
Pagoda: It's your fault, man.
Royal: I know but dammit, I want this family to love me.
Raleigh: Are you ever coming home?
Margot: Maybe not.
Raleigh: You're joking.
Raleigh: Well, I want to die.
Royal: Chas has those boys cooped up like a pair of jackrabbits, Ethel.
Ethel: He has his reasons.
Royal: Oh, I know that, but you can't raise boys to be scared of life. You gotta brew some recklessness into them.
Ethel: I think that's terrible advice.
Royal: No, you don't.
[the family is gathered at the cemetery]
Narrator: Among the few possessions he left to his heirs was a set of Encyclopedia Britannica in storage at the Lindbergh Palace Hotel under the names Ari and Uzi Tenenbaum. No-one spoke at the funeral, and Father Petersen's leg had not yet mended, but it was agreed among them that Royal would have found the event to be most satisfactory.
[Chas, now wearing a blac Adidas tracksuit, nods to his sons]
[Ari and Uzi, also in black Adidas tracksuits, fire their air rifles into the air]
[they fire again]
Dudley Heinsbergen: [pointing at the battered Gypsy Cab] That cab has a dent in it.
[Pagoda stabs Royal]
Royal: That's the last time you put a knife in me! Y'hear me?
Richie: Did you tell Margot about that letter I wrote to you?
Eli: Why? Did she mention it? Yes, I did. Why would have she repeated that, I wonder?
Richie: Well, I would ask you the same question.
Eli: Rightly so.
Eli: I'm worried about you, Richie.
Eli: Well, actually, Margot is, for some reason. But I did find it odd when you said you were in love with her. She's married you know.
Eli: And she's your sister.
[at the hospital, after Richie has slashed his wrists]
Margot: Dudley, where is he?
Dudley Heinsbergen: [has Richie's blood splattered all over his shirt] Who?
Royal: Are you trying to steal my woman?
Henry Sherman: I beg your pardon?
Royal: You heard me, Coltrane.
Henry Sherman: Coltrane?
Henry Sherman: Did you just call me Coltrane?
Henry Sherman: You didn't?
Henry Sherman: Okay.
[he turns away]
Royal: But if I did... you wouldn't be able to do anything about it, would you?
Henry Sherman: You don't think so?
Royal: No, I don't.
Henry Sherman: Listen, Royal, if you think you can just march in here...
Royal: You wanna talk some jive? I'll talk some jive. I'll talk some jive like you never heard!
Royal: Got a minute?
Ethel: [startled] What are you doing here?
Royal: Uh, I need a favour. I want to spend some time with you and the children.
Ethel: Are you crazy?
[she carries on walking]
Royal: Well, wait a minute, dammit!
Ethel: Stop following me!
Royal: Well, I want my family back.
Ethel: Well, you can't have it! I'm sorry for you, but it's too late.
Royal: Well, listen... Baby, I'm dying.
Royal: Yeah, I-I'm sick as a dog. I'll be dead in six weeks. I'm dying.
Ethel: What are you talking about? What's happening? Oh, I'm sorry... I didn't know...
Ethel: Well, what'd they say? What is the prognosis?
Royal: [trying to comfort her] Take it easy, Ethel. Now, hold on, baby, hold on. Hold on, OK?
[she starts wailing]
Ethel: Where is the doctor?
Royal: Well, look, just wait a second now. Wait a second. OK, uh, listen, I'm not dying... but I need some time. A month or so. OK? I want us to-to...
[she slaps him hard]
Ethel: WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? Are you crazy?
[she walks off]
Royal: Ethel, baby... I am dying.
[she comes back to him]
Ethel: Are you or aren't you?
Royal: What? Dying? Yeah.
Eli: Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone's *not* a genius? Do you especially think I'm *not* a genius? You didn't even have to think about it, did you?
[Royal is telling his children that he and their mother are splitting up]
Young Margot Tenenbaum: Is it our fault?
Royal: No, no. Obviously, we made certain sacrifices as a result of having children, but no, Lord, no.
Young Richie Tenenbaum: Then why'd she ask you to leave?
Royal: I don't really know anymore. Maybe, uh, I wasn't as true to her as I could have been.
Young Chas Tenenbaum: Well, she said...
Royal: Let's just drop it, shall we, Chassie?
Royal: First thing I want to do is take you out to see your grandmother, at some point.
Richie: I haven't been out there since I was 6.
Margot: I haven't been out there at all, I was never invited.
Royal: Well, she wasn't your real grandmother, and I never knew how much interest you had, uh, sweetie. Anyway, you're invited now.
Richie: You know, Rachael's buried out there too.
Chas: My wife.
Royal: Oh, that's right, isn't it. Well, we'll have to swing by her grave too.
[Chas slams his book shut and angrily walks out]
Royal: [to Chas] Well... you sued me... twice. Got me disbarred. I don't hold it against you, do I?
[cut to Chas and Royal in court, sitting with their lawyers in front of the Judge]
Judge: And how is it possible for Mr. Tenenbaum to withdraw these funds without your written authorization?
Royal: Objection, Your Honor. Damn it, I...
Royal's Lawyer: Why don't you leave the objections to me, Royal?
Chas: Because I started the corporation when I was a minor. So, my father was the primary signatory on most of my accounts.
[Chas' lawyer whispers in his ear]
Chas: He also stole bonds out of my safety deposit box when I was fourteen.
[Royal looks at Chas, then back at the judge. He chuckles uncomfortably]
Royal: [back in present day, to Chas] You think you could start forgiving me?
Chas: Why should I?
Royal: Because you're hurting me.
Narrator: Margot Tenenbaum was adopted at age 2. Her father had always noted this when introducing her.
Royal: [at a dinner party] This is my adopted daughter, Margot Tenenbaum.
Eli: What'd you say?
Richie: I didn't say anything.
Eli: When? Right now?
Eli: I'm sorry, don't listen to me. I'm on mescaline. I've been spaced out all day.
Richie: Did you say you're on mescaline?
Eli: I did, indeed. Very much so.
Ethel: What are you talking about?
Chas: The apartment. I have to get some new sprinklers and a back-up security system installed.
Ethel: But there are no sprinklers here either.
Chas: We might have to do something about that too.
Royal: Can we get somebody over here to kill these mice for us?
Margot: No. They belong to Chas. Or anyway he invented them.
Royal: Get him to stick them in a fucking cage or something.
Dudley Heinsbergen: You wanna play some word games, or do some experiments on me or anything?
Raleigh: [lying on the couch, depressed after hearing about Margot's adultery] No.
Ethel: Royal, this is Henry Sherman.
Royal: [shaking hands with him] Hey, lay it on me, man.
Henry Sherman: How do you do?
Royal: Not too well, I'm dying.
Royal: [about Raleigh] You're two-timing him with that bloodsucker Eli Cash. Now, that's just not right, dammit. You used to be a genius.
Margot: No, I didn't.
Royal: Anyway, that's what they used to say.
Ari: Were you in prison?
Royal: Kinda. Minimum security. I got jacked by the IRS. Shall we split?
Ari: Yes, sir.
Royal: No, call me Mr. Tennenbaum.
Royal: Oh, I'm kidding. Call me Pappy.
[after the fire drill]
Chas: Four minutes, forty-eight seconds. We're all dead. Burned to a crisp.
Uzi Tenenbaum: Who's your father?
Chas: His name is Royal Tenenbaum.
Ari: You told us he was already dead.
Chas: Yeah, well, now he's really dying.
[the priest breaks his ankle and is being loaded into the ambulance]
Raleigh: Do you have an alternate?
Raleigh: Are there priests on call?
Ethel: Raleigh says you've been spending 6 hours a day locked in here, watching television and soaking in the tub.
Margot: [lying in the bath] I doubt that.
Ethel: Well, I don't think that's very healthy, do you? Nor do I think it's very intelligent to keep an electrical gadget on the edge of the bathtub.
Margot: I tie it to the radiator.
Margot: You probably don't even know my middle name.
Royal: That's a trick question. You don't have one.
Royal: That was my mother's name.
Margot: I know it was.
Peter Bradley: [interviewing Eli Cash on television] Now, your previous novel...
Eli: Yes, Wildcat.
Peter Bradley: Not a success. Why?
Eli: Well... Wildcat was written in a kind of obsolete vernacular...
[long pause as he starts to become spaced out]
Eli: [whispering] Wildcat... wild... cat... pow... wildcat...
[he gets up]
Eli: I'm gonna go. I'm taking this off and I'm going. Stepping out.
Royal: [watching the television] What the hell kind of way to act is that?
Richie: He's on drugs.
Royal: [laying some flowers on the grave of his mother - Helen O'Reilly Tenenbaum, 1899-1954] She was a tough old broad, wasn't she?
Chas: I wouldn't know. Excuse me.
[he starts to head off with his sons Ari and Uzi to visit their mother's grave]
Royal: Oh, that's right, we've got another body buried here, haven't we?
Eli: [hearing the news that Royal is dying] I am very sorry, Margot.
Margot: It's okay. We're not actually related anyway.
Chas: Please don't get in the middle of this, Mr. Sherman. This is a family matter.
Margot: Don't talk to him like that.
Henry Sherman: Call me Henry.
Chas: I prefer Mr. Sherman.
Ethel: Call him Henry.
Chas: Why? I don't know him that well.
Ethel: You've known him for 10 years.
Chas: As your accountant, Mr. Sherman, yes.
Raleigh: You've made a cuckold of me.
Margot: I know.
Raleigh: Many times over.
Margot: I'm sorry.
Raleigh: And you nearly killed your poor brother.
Ethel: What's he talking about?
Margot: It doesn't matter.
Raleigh: She's balling Eli Cash.
Royal: So, what do you think of this big old black buck moving in up there?
Royal: Henry Sherman. You know him?
Royal: Is he worth a damn?
Richie: I believe so.
[Henry has gathered the family into Royal's room]
Henry Sherman: Pagoda has something to say.
Pagoda: [points at Royal] He has a cancer.
Henry Sherman: No, he doesn't. I know what stomach cancer looks like. I've seen it. And you don't eat three cheeseburgers a day with french fries if you got it. The pain is excruciating.
Royal: How would you know?
Henry Sherman: My wife had it. Not only is there no Dr. McClure at Colby General, there is no Colby General. It closed in 1974.
Royal: [getting out of bed] Aw, shit, man.
Pagoda: Oh, shit, man.
Narrator: Royal Tenenbaum bought the house on Archer Avenue in the winter of his 35th year. Over the next decade, he and his wife had three children, and then they separated.
Henry Sherman: I just wanted to apologize for the other day, when I proposed to you.
Ethel: Why? I thought it was very sweet.
Richie: Read it back to me so far, Pietro.
Cote d'Ivoire Radio Operator: [speaks with an Italian accent, his words are shown in subtitles] "Dear Eli, I'm in the middle of the ocean. I haven't left my room in four days. I've never been more lonely in my life, and I think I'm in love with Margot."
Richie: New paragraph.
[Chas has told Royal to get out of the house. As Royal gets up to leave he suddenly seems to suffer some kind of 'attack' and falls to the floor]
Chas: Are you OK?
Royal: [with a wooden spoon between his teeth] 'Fuck do you care?
Eli: [immediately after landing in the front room after crashing his car into the house] Where's my shoe?
[on cue, Dudley retrieves his shoe]
Richie: I think he's very lonely. Lonelier than he lets on. Maybe lonelier than he even realizes.
Ethel: Have you spoken to him about this?
Richie: Briefly. And he agreed that...
Chas: I'm sorry, maybe I'm a little confused here. What are you suggesting?
Richie: That he come here and stay in my room.
Chas: Are you out of your mind?
Richie: No. I'm not. Anyway I think he'd be much more comfortable here than at...
Chas: Who gives a shit?
Richie: I do.
Chas: You poor sucker. You poor, washed up papa's boy.
[after seeing Royal asleep on a hospital bed with a heart monitor and IV at his bedside]
Chas: Get out.
Chas: Looks like you and Dad are back together again, huh.
Richie: He's your dad too, Chas.
Chas: No, he's not.
Richie: Yes, he is.
Chas: You really hate me, don't you?
Richie: No. I don't. I love you.
Chas: Well, I don't know what you think you're gonna get out of this, but believe me, whatever it is, it's not worth it.
Richie: Chas. I don't want to hurt you. I know what you and the boys have been through. You're my brother and I love you.
Chas: Stop saying that!
[Chas Tenenbaum and his sons enter his mother's house with several bags]
Etheline Tenenbaum: Chas? What's going on?
Chas: We got locked out of our apartment.
Etheline Tenenbaum: Well, did you call a locksmith?
Chas: Uh huh.
Etheline Tenenbaum: Well, I don't understand. Did you pack your bags before you got locked out?
Richie: You dropped some cigarettes.
Margot: Those aren't mine.
Richie: They just fell out of your pocket.
Royal: [outside the hospital, having been refused in to visit Richie] We could shimmy up that gutter, jump over that window ledge, and then pry open that ventilator shaft.
Pagoda: [points] There he is.
[they see Richie getting onto a bus]
Royal: [to Etheline, about Henry] I didn't think so much of him at first. But now I get it, he's everything that I'm not.
Royal: [seeing Ethel with Henry for the first time] Look at that old grizzly bear.
Richie: And I heard about Eli.
Margot: I know. Poor Eli. Anyway, we mostly just talked about you.
Richie: You did?
Margot: Yeah. I guess that was the attraction, if you know what I mean.
Royal: I got a pretty bad case of cancer.
Chas: [yawns] How long you gonna last?
Royal: Not long.
Chas: A month? A year?
Royal: About six weeks. Let me get to the point, the three of you and your mother are all I've got and I love you more than anything.
[Chas scoffs and mock laughs]
Royal: Chas, let me finish here. I've got six weeks to set things right with you and I aim to do it. Will you give me a chance?
Royal: Do you speak for everyone?
Chas: I speak for myself.
Eli: How's Richie?
Margot: I don't know. I can't tell.
Eli: Yeah, me neither. He wrote me a letter. He says he's in love with you.
Margot: What are you talking about?
Eli: That's what he said. I don't know how we're supposed to take it.
Richie: Are we still friends?
Richie: Are we?
Eli: Of course. How can you even ask me that?
Richie: Doesn't matter.
Eli: Doesn't matter? It does matter.
Richie: I heard about you and Margot.
Eli: [long pause] I'm sorry.
Ethel: [about Royal's fake terminal illness charade] Were you part of this, Pagoda?
Henry Sherman: Of course he was.
Royal: No... well, yeah, he was, but, I mean, he wasn't *that* involved.
[During a war game with BB guns]
Royal: [on top of a roof, aiming at Chas] Hold it Chassie. Hold it right there.
Young Chas Tenenbaum: What are you doing? You're on my team!
Royal: Ha-ha! There are no teams!
[he shoots at Chas, hitting his hand. Chas screams in pain and shoots back at him. Royal laughs as he ducks out of the way]
Narrator: The BB was still lodged between two knuckles in Chas's left hand.