The Ice Storm (1997)
Train Conductor: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This train, originating from New York's Grand Central Station, is back in service. Next stop will be New Canaan, Connecticut. New Canaan, Connecticut next stop.
Paul Hood: [narration] In issue 141 of the Fantastic Four, published in November, 1973, Reed Richards had to use his anti-matter weapon on his own son, who Aannihilus has turn into the Human Atom Bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four, because they weren't like other superheroes. They were more like a family. And the more power they had, the more harm they could do to each other without even knowing it. That was the meaning of the Fantastic Four: that a family is like your own personal anti-matter. Your family is the void you emerge from, and the place you return to when you die. And that's the paradox - the closer you're drawn back in, the deeper into the void you go.
[Saying grace at Thanksgiving dinner]
Wendy Hood: Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands. And stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.
Ben Hood: Jesus! Enough, alright? Paul... roll?
Ben Hood: We were golfing. You know, golfing, to me, is something I'm *supposed* to enjoy. And I was on the goddamn golf team in college, so it's something one would assume I'd do well. I used to do well. But basically, these days, golfing for me is like hoeing... or plowing. It's like farming. And George Clair has obviously, in the mere two years since he's been with the firm, he's obviously been taking secret lessons with a golf pro. And I bet the entirety of his disposable income has been dedicated to humiliating me on the golf course. That guy talks nonstop throughout the entirety of the misery of the miserable 18 holes...
Janey Carver: Ben.
Ben Hood: On topics that are the supposed domain of my department.
Janey Carver: Ben.
Ben Hood: Yeah?
Janey Carver: You're boring me. I have a husband. I don't particularly feel the need for another.
Ben Hood: You have a point there. That's a very good point. We're having an affair. Right. An explicitly sexual relationship. Your needs, my needs. You're absolutely right.
Janey Carver: You better get dressed. The boys will be home soon.
Ben Hood: Gotcha.
[they both get out of bed]
Paul Hood: When you think about it, it's not easy to keep from just wandering out of life. It's like someone's always leaving the door open to the next world, and if you aren't paying attention you could just walk through it, and then you've died. That's why in your dreams it's like you're standing in that doorway... and the dying people and the newborn people pass by you... and brush up against you as they come in and out of the world during the night. You get spun around, and in the morning... it takes a while to find your way back into the world.
Philip Edwards: Sometimes the shepherd needs the comfort of the sheep.
Elena Hood: I'm going to try hard not to understand the implications of that.
[Stopping by his son's room, momentarily putting down his luggage]
Jim Carver: Hey guys, I'm back!
Mikey Carver: You were gone?
[Explaining the facts of life to his son]
Ben Hood: On the self-abuse front - and this is important - I don't think it's advisable to do it in the shower. It wastes water and electricity and because we all expect you to be doing it there in any case. And, not on... under the linen... Well... Anyway, if you're worried about anything at all, just feel free to ask and we'll look it up.
Wendy Hood: Are you watching this?
Paul Hood: Watching what?
Wendy Hood: Nixon, dufus, its incredible, he should be shot.
Ben Hood: Hey. Drop the political assassination stuff please.
Wendy Hood: He's a liar.
Sandy Carver: Where are you going?
Mikey Carver: Out.
Sandy Carver: Its freezing!
Mikey Carver: Yeah
Sandy Carver: Then why are you going?
Mikey Carver: When its freezing, Because it means the molecules aren't moving, so when you breath, theres nothing in the air, you know, you breath into your body, the molecules have stopped, its clean.
Ben Hood: Well, that's the whole point of the holidays, Paul. So you and your sister can mope around the house, and your mother and I can wait on your hand and foot, while the two of you occasionally grunt for more food from behind the hair in your faces. Believe it or not, we actually enjoy it.
Mikey Carver: Because of molecules we are connected to the outside world from our bodies. Like when you smell things, because when you smell a smell it's not really a smell, it's a part of the object that has come off of it, molecules. So when you smell something bad, it's like in a way you're eating it. This is why you should not really smell things, in the same way that you don't eat everything in the world around you because as a smell, it gets inside of you. So the next time you go into the bathroom after someone else has been there, remember what kinds of molecules you are in fact eating.
[Mikey rides up behind Wendy]
Mikey Carver: I don't ever want to see you.
Wendy Hood: Then why did you come after me?
[Mikey stops, turns his bike around and rides off]
Ben Hood: The only big fight we've had in years is about whether to go back into couples therapy.
Janey Carver: Mikey's been out of it since the day he was born.
Sandy Carver: [Sandy needs help with homework] Hey Mikey?
Mikey Carver: Yeah.
Sandy Carver: Geometry?
Mikey Carver: Sure, anything but this English.
Sandy Carver: How come your so good at Math, but not at English?
Mikey Carver: I'm not good at Math, just good at Geometry. It's like you now when they say you have 2 squared, you think it mean 2 times 2 equals 4, but really they really mean a *square*. Its really space, its not numbers, its space. And it's perfect space. But only in your head, because you can't draw a perfect square in the material world. But in your mind, you can have a perfect space. You know?
Sandy Carver: Yeah, but I just need some help with my homework...
Janey Carver: Mikey have you heard the explosions coming from the back yard?
Mikey Carver: ...I dunno
Janey Carver: Do you know what you brothers been up to?
Mikey Carver: I... I dunno.
Wendy Hood: [playing with a soldier doll] Well, looks like someone got to his private parts before us.
Sandy Carver: Communist Viet Cong.
Wendy Hood: They left it in the jungle.
Philip Edwards: Perhaps you find in books what I try to find in people.
Elena Hood: That sounds vaguely like an insult.
Paul Hood: Your family is the void you emerge from, and the place you return to when you die. And that's the paradox: The closer you're drawn back in, the deeper into the void you go.
Janey Carver: [caught his youngest son Sandy playing with explosives] Sandy! You idiotic little dope! You could blow yourself fucking sky high with this demented crap!
Paul Hood: I've been thinking, Francis. You are one drug-addled, elitist freak. And when the revolution comes I do not want to be lined up with you and shot because you're fucking ripe for political reeducation. You know, like in the fields.
Francis Davenport: Let me enlighten you about something here. You and I exist on opposite sides of a great existential divide, that being your pathetic virginity on the one hand and my astonishing number of sexual conquests on the other. You're simply jealous.
Ben Hood: What's the name of this girl with a fancy New York address?
Paul Hood: Libbets. Libbets Casey.
Ben Hood: Libbets? What sort of a name is Libbets?
Paul Hood: To find yourself in the negative zone, as the Fantastic Four often do, means all every day assumptions are inverted. Even the invisible girl herself becomes visible and so she loses the last semblance of her power. It seems to me that everyone exists partially on a negative zone level, some people more than others. In your life, it's kind of like you dip in and out of it, a place where things don't quite work out the way they should. But for some people, the negative zone tempts them. And they end up going in, going in all the way.
Mikey Carver: When Worlds Collide.
Wendy Hood: What?
Mikey Carver: 4:30 movie. When Worlds Collide.
Ben Hood: What the hell are you kids doing down here?
Wendy Hood: What do you think we're doing, Dad?
Ben Hood: What do I think? I think you're probably... touching each other. I think... You're touching that reckless jerk-off for God's sake, and I think he's trying to get into your slacks! I think at 14 years of age, you're getting ready to give up you're girlhood!
Mikey Carver: Hey, hang on there, mister.
Ben Hood: Hey, don't you direct a single word at me, Mikey. I don't wanna hear it. I'll be discussing this matter with your parents very soon. Young lady.
Wendy Hood: Talking to me, Dad?
Ben Hood: Who else would I be talking to? And take that thing off!
Wendy Hood: [She takes the mask off] You can forget all this stern dad stuff.
Ben Hood: I'm not interested in your smart remarks right now, young lady. Let's go. Right now. You and I can discuss it on the walk home.
Paul Hood: Libbets? Hey, Dostoyevsky- I'm also really a fan. And, uh, what you were saying, you know- have you ever read The Idiot?
Libbets Casey: The ldiot ?
Paul Hood: If you liked Notes From Underground, you'll love The ldiot.
Libbets Casey: Great. Thanks for the tip.
Paul Hood: The ldiot!
Janey Carver: Sandy, you idiotic little dope! You could blow yourself sky high with this demented crap!
Janey Carver: Hey... hey. I'll take this.
Sandy Carver: You're not going to tell Dad, are you?
Janey Carver: Would it matter? What's this?
Sandy Carver: You know, just a whip. The one Uncle Frank got me from Mexico.
Janey Carver: Not packed with explosives, is it?
Sandy Carver: No.
Sandy Carver: Play with the whip.
Janey Carver: Oh, jeez, Benji. Well, here you are.
Ben Hood: Damn right. Where the hell are you?
Janey Carver: What are you talking about?
[she drinks her Martini]
Ben Hood: Don't bullshit me around, Janey. Jesus Christ. I've waited around for more than half an hour in nothing but my boxer shorts.
Dorothy Franklin: Ben. Janey.
Ben Hood: Oh, hi, Dorothy. Ted.
Wendy Hood: [On the phone] No, come on. He's like a big infected white head. I would never...
[hears door being shut]
Wendy Hood: Shit, it's my parents.
[turns off light and hides under the bed still on the phone]
Wendy Hood: He's so gross.
Wendy Hood: Dad, stop it!
Ben Hood: Get to sleep, young lady. I mean it.
Wendy Hood: [opens bedroom door] Fascist.
Ben Hood: If I were a fascist, I would have sent you to one of those southern military academies a long time ago. Now, get to bed.
Ben Hood: What's all that about? I mean, what the hell happened?
Janey Carver: A prior engagement overcame me.
Ben Hood: What?
Janey Carver: Listen, Benjamin Hood, I have obligations that precede your... From before you showed up. I mean one or two good natured encounters, that doesn't mean that I'm... I'm not just some toy for you. When I remembered some chores I wanted to get done before the party, I just did them, that's all. Because I wanted them to get them done before I saw Jimmy.
Ben Hood: Jimmy? Jimmy? I'm not sure how to take this. Wh-what do you mean Jimmy? I thought you and your husband had...
Janey Carver: How you take it isn't that all that interesting to me, Benjamin. I'm sorry.
Ben Hood: I just can't believe you could be so...
Ben Hood: [Janey hands drink to Ben] Thanks. You having one?
Janey Carver: In a bit.
Ben Hood: [he leans his head onto Janey] You know, I think Elena might suspect something. Maybe, it's all for the better, you know?
[he starts unbuttoning his shirt]
Ben Hood: Yesterday at dinner, she - Well, she didn't say anything. Has she acted funny to you? Have you noticed anything?
[he takes his shirt off]
Janey Carver: Have I noticed anything?
Ben Hood: Mmm.
Janey Carver: I'm not married to her, Benjamin. You are. I think you've probably a better vantage point from which to observe her.
Ben Hood: Yeah, but... I've been working a lot lately and - No, that's not it. I... I guess maybe we're just on the verge of... saying something. Saying something to each other. On the verge.
Janey Carver: I'll be back.
Ben Hood: Hmm?
Janey Carver: Birth control.
Ben Hood: Right. Gotcha.
[he drinks and takes his pants off leaving him wearing nothing but boxer shorts and socks. He heads to the bedroom doorway]
Ben Hood: Janey?
[hears car starting. He looks at the window through the blinds seeing that Janey is going somewhere leaving Ben all alone]
Ben Hood: Well, it's great that we can all be together. And this Thanksgiving, no yelling, no hysteria, especially with your grandpa not here, although we miss him.