Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

Mavis Gary: Sometimes in order to heal... a few people have to get hurt.
Mavis Gary: Hey, do you know this girl named Beth? She married Buddy Slade from school.
Sandra Freehauf: Yeah, I know that Beth.
Mavis Gary: What do you think of her?
Sandra Freehauf: I don't really like her. I mean, I think you're way prettier than she is. What happened to your dress? I'm sorry, did I say something wrong? Shit. What's wrong? What did I say?
Mavis Gary: I have a lot of problems.
Sandra Freehauf: Can't you get a new dress?
Mavis Gary: It's really difficult for me to be happy. And then for other people it just seems so simple. I know. They just grow up and they're so fulfilled.
Sandra Freehauf: I don't feel fulfilled. And frankly, if you don't feel fulfilled with all the stuff that you have.
Mavis Gary: I need to change, Sandra.
Sandra Freehauf: No you don't.
Mavis Gary: What?
Sandra Freehauf: You're the only person in Mercury who could write a book or wear a dress like that.
Mavis Gary: I'm sure there's plenty of other people who could.
Sandra Freehauf: Everyone here is fat and dumb.
Mavis Gary: Don't say that. I mean, you think so?
Sandra Freehauf: Everyone wishes that they could be like you. You know, living in the big city all famous and beautiful and all that.
Mavis Gary: I'm not really famous.
Sandra Freehauf: Well, you know, special or whatever. I mean, some days when I have a slow shift at work I'll sit and think about you living in your cool apartment, going out and stuff. It seems really nice.
Mavis Gary: Yeah, but most people here seem so happy with so little. It's like they don't even seem to care what happens to them.
Sandra Freehauf: That's because it doesn't matter what happens to them. They're nothing. Might as well die. Fuck Mercury.
Matt Freehauf: Buddy is a married man. By all accounts, happily.
Mavis Gary: Yeah, happily married men go to bars alone with their ex-girlfriends all the time. They call them privately and they make out with them on porches.
Matt Freehauf: He did not make out with you.
Mavis Gary: You weren't there. We made out. It was intense and passionate. He gave me his sweatshirt.
Matt Freehauf: Yes, I noticed. They probably noticed in space. And FYI, you look completely insane wearing it. Look, I don't know what Buddy's doing with you or what you think he's doing with you, but you need to move on.
Mavis Gary: You're one to talk. All you care about is some scuffle that happened 20 years ago. You lean on that crutch and you lean on excuses and you and I both know that you use this whole thing as an excuse to do absolutely nothing with your life.
Matt Freehauf: Scuffle. You don't know shit about what happened to me. Okay? Those jocks you used to blow during lunch, they shattered my legs, bashed in my brains, mangled my cock so that I have to piss and cum sideways for the rest of my life. Then they left me for dead. You know, things aren't too great down south. I can barely get off by myself let alone with another person.
Mavis Gary: You know, what's done is done. You can't keep dwelling on the past, Matt.
Matt Freehauf: Are you fucking kidding? Talk about dwelling on the past. Here you are back in Mercury, like a loser, trying to score with a happily married man.
Mavis Gary: Buddy's not happy, okay? So just stop saying that.
Matt Freehauf: You're hardly the authority on happiness, Sylvia.
Mavis Gary: You know what, Matt? It really is a shame that you're like this because if you had a good personality none of this other stuff would bother people.
Matt Freehauf: Why don't you use my crutch again as a metaphor? That was brilliant. That was masterful. Or no, save it for your little teenage stories because God knows you don't know shit about being an adult!
[last lines]
Mavis Gary: Life, here I come.
Mavis Gary: [to Beth] Fuck you! You fucking bitch!
Mavis Gary: Oh my God. You should see your face. It's a joke. Are you just gonna stand there like a big lump? I love your sweater.
Beth Slade: I'll get you a rag.
Mavis Gary: Go get me a rag because you got so many of those lying around here. Fucking burp cloths, whatever. You know the funny thing is, I could have had this party a long time ago. This exact same party. Yeah! Buddy and I were together for four years and we were inseparable. Jan knows. Right, Jan? Tell them!
Beth Slade: You want to clean up.
Mavis Gary: No, don't bother. It is silk. It's fucked.
Hedda Gary: Mavis, sweetheart.
Mavis Gary: Mother, I'm trying to tell a story here. Yeah, Buddy got me pregnant at 20. And we were gonna keep it! We were gonna have a little baby and a little naming party and a Funquarium. All of that. And then 12 weeks into it, well, I had Buddy's miscarriage. Which I wouldn't wish for anyone. Maybe if things were just a little bit more hospitable down south in my broken body, Buddy and I would be here right now with a teenager and probably even more kids because we always found each other. Always! Right, Jan? Tell them!
Sandra Freehauf: Take me with you.
Mavis Gary: Excuse me?
Sandra Freehauf: Take me with you. To the Mini Apple.
Mavis Gary: You're good here, Sandra.
Matt Freehauf: Guys like me are born loving women like you.
Buddy Slade: What's wrong?
Beth Slade: Nothing.
Mavis Gary: Nothing? What do you mean nothing? My God! What is wrong with you? Are you like one of those little kids who need a fucking chart to learn feelings? Stand up for yourself! Why are you covering for me?
Hedda Gary: That's enough, Mavis! You're drunk.
Mavis Gary: Oh, I've been drunk since I've been back, mom, and nobody gave two shits until this one got all bent out of shape.
Buddy Slade: Mavis, what the hell is going on?
Mavis Gary: Why did you invite me?
Buddy Slade: I didn't invite you. My wife did. Beth practically forced me to call you. She feels sorry for you. We all do, Mavis. It's obvious you're having some mental sickness, some depression. You're very lonely and confused. So Beth made me invite you here even though I knew it was a mistake. I knew it.
Mavis Gary: You're lying.
Beth Slade: He's not.
Mavis Gary: Well. What about now? You hate me now? Cause it should be easy because I fucking hate you.
David Gary: I hope you're eating enough in the city.
Hedda Gary: You gotta start taking care of yourself, sweetie.
David Gary: You know, Lean Cuisine is not a meal.
Mavis Gary: Yeah, I think I might be an alcoholic.
Hedda Gary: [laughs] Very funny.
David Gary: You're not still pulling it are you.
Mavis Gary: Stop, dad.
Hedda Gary: It's just that your hair is so beautiful.
Mavis Gary: You know what, mom? Can you please take down that photo of me and Allen?
Hedda Gary: Which picture, sweetie?
Mavis Gary: The wedding photo. We are divorced.
Hedda Gary: We just thought it was a nice memory.
Mavis Gary: Of my failed marriage?
Hedda Gary: Well the wedding wasn't a failure. Remember the tiramisu?
Mavis Gary: [writing] Just as Kendall hit send, a message from Ryan popped up like magic. It couldn't be denied, they had "textual chemistry".
Mavis Gary: [crying] I'm crazy! And no one loves me. You don't love me.
Matt Freehauf: Guys like me are born loving women like you.
Mavis Gary: I went to Buddy's house.
Matt Freehauf: What happened?
Mavis Gary: I ruined my dress.
Matt Freehauf: When did he get that chair? Sophomore year?
Mavis Gary: Junior. Car wreck. God, he got so much attention.
Matt Freehauf: Yeah, he was the popular cripple. Practically ruined high school for me.
Mavis Gary: Please. That dick ruined my sweet 16. Same weekend.
Matt Freehauf: You are a piece of work.
Mavis Gary: You're a piece of shit.
Buddy Slade: It sucks what happened to Matt. That poor guy suffered so much just for being gay.
Mavis Gary: He's not actually gay.
Buddy Slade: Yeah, I'm pretty sure he is.
Mavis Gary: No.
Buddy Slade: Didn't you call him a theater fag all the time in high school?
Mavis Gary: Theater fag is an expression, Buddy.
Matt Freehauf: Mike Moran is your cousin?
Mavis Gary: Unfortunately.
Matt Freehauf: Oh, here comes the happiest cripple in Minnesota.
Wheelchair Mike: Mavis?
Mavis Gary: Mike.
Wheelchair Mike: What is up, girly-friend? Holy shit, cuz. This is such a rad surprise.
Mavis Gary: Yeah, I'm in town just for a little real estate thing. How are you?
Wheelchair Mike: I'm great! Kim and I just had our six-year anniversary.
Mavis Gary: Wow, six years. What is that, wood? Porcelain?
Matt Freehauf: Strychnine?
Wheelchair Mike: Anyway, the kids are great. Work is a trip but I play hard too. I've been doing a lot of rock climbing.
Matt Freehauf: You mean rock crawling, right?
Wheelchair Mike: No I'm vertical, bro, believe it or not. We can do anything a normal can do. Probably more, because we've had to reboot for extra positivity. You know what I'm saying? You should try it, Matt.
Mavis Gary: You should try it, Matt.
Matt Freehauf: No.
Wheelchair Mike: I love the way this guy talks. He's like, no! I'm so glad you guys are buds. I can totally see it. It's like Will & Grace.
Mavis Gary: Aww, it is.
Matt Freehauf: No, it isn't.
Wheelchair Mike: Look I'm gonna roll back to my boys, but we should chat later. I'll buy you a scotch or whatever you got there. Love this place. Total time capsule, right?
Mary Ellen Trantowski: [regarding Mavis] Psychotic prom queen bitch.
Mavis Gary: I hate this town! It's a hick, lake town that smells of fish shit!
Matt Freehauf: Why Buddy?
Mavis Gary: He's a good man. He's kind.
Matt Freehauf: Are other men unkind?
Mavis Gary: You see that window up there?
Matt Freehauf: Yeah.
Mavis Gary: I bet Buddy is awake. Jerking off or something.
Matt Freehauf: Or perhaps he's caring for his infant daughter.
Mavis Gary: The baby, the baby.
Matt Freehauf: The problem that has no name.
Mavis Gary: [answers phone] Hey, Buddy!
Buddy Slade: Mavis Gary. It's been how long?
Mavis Gary: I'm not sure. Gosh. Wow!
Buddy Slade: So you're actually back in town, huh?
Mavis Gary: Yeah, well, I'm just passing through. I am insanely busy as always.
Buddy Slade: Well, I don't know how long you're around with your real estate thing, but I'd love to grab a drink.
Mavis Gary: Okay. Well, if you're feeling spontaneous I could meet you at Woody's in, I don't know. 15 minutes?
Buddy Slade: [laughs] Spontaneous really isn't a thing these days. I don't know if you heard but I am a new dad.
Mavis Gary: Duh! Everyone knows. Yeah, the whole gang. I got that announcement. Thanks for that, by the way.
Buddy Slade: You're welcome, you're welcome. How about we meet tomorrow at this place called Champion O'Malley's? It's kind of fun.
Mavis Gary: Of course, yes. Yeah! How does 8:00, 8:30 sound?
Buddy Slade: 6:00 would be better.
Mavis Gary: 6:00 is perfect.
Buddy Slade: Great, I'll see you at 6:00.
Mavis Gary: [to Matt] Could you walk any slower?
Mavis Gary: I've been seeing quite a bit of Buddy.
David Gary: The old beau, huh?
Hedda Gary: I remember you kids were so cute in high school.
Mavis Gary: It's funny how those initial instincts can be so right, you know? I mean, you make all these mistakes along the way, but the world will make sure you end up with the person you're meant to be with.
Hedda Gary: It's good to keep those people in your life. The people who really know you best.
Buddy Slade: Mercury's changed a lot since then, though. We're way less of a hick town.
Mavis Gary: Really?
Buddy Slade: Yeah, we've got this place. It beats Woody's, right? And we're getting a new Chipotle at the mall.
Mavis Gary: And I noticed you got a KenTacoHut. You know, one of those Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell.
Buddy Slade: Pizza Hut! That's genius. KenTacoHut. You sound like one of your crazy characters.
Matt Freehauf: Oh, so you're not trying to destroy Buddy Slade's marriage.
Matt Freehauf: Mavis, I would keep all of this to yourself. I would find a therapist.
Mavis Gary: I'm going to a rock concert with an old flame and I think there is a chance we may reconnect.
Sales Lady: Let's show him what he's been missing.
Mavis Gary: No, he's seen me recently. He knows. But his wife hasn't seen me in a while, so.
Mavis Gary: I used to sleep in his t-shirts and boxers. I think I still have a few.
Beth Slade: Hey, I still have one of my ex-boyfriend's t-shirts. I can't bring myself to get rid of it.
Buddy Slade: What? Which one?
Beth Slade: [laughing] Like I'd tell you.
Mavis Gary: Mary Ellen, you were great tonight. It's so inspiring to see a single mother with so much confidence on stage. Really.
Mavis Gary: Sometimes in order to heal a few people have to get hurt.
Mavis Gary: Weren't you that hate crime guy?
Matt Freehauf: Excuse me?
Mavis Gary: You totally were. You're the hate crime guy! Oh my God, why didn't you just say that? Now I know who you are. Matt, the hate crime guy.
Matt Freehauf: Yes, Mavis. When when we were seniors a bunch of jocks who thought I was gay jumped me in the woods.
Mavis Gary: That's right!
Matt Freehauf: And hit me on the legs and dick with a crowbar.
Mavis Gary: With a crowbar. I totally remember that.
Matt Freehauf: It was national news. I mean, until people found out I wasn't really gay. Then it wasn't a hate crime anymore. It was a fat guy getting his ass beat.
Mavis Gary: Didn't you get to miss a bunch of school?
Matt Freehauf: Yes, I got to miss about six months. It was awesome.
Mavis Gary: Fuck. How's your dick?
Matt Freehauf: Not good. Not good.
Mavis Gary: Does it work?
Matt Freehauf: Yeah, it works. You know, it just kind of does.
[makes sideways hand gesture]
Mavis Gary: [singing] She wears denim wherever she goes. Says she's gonna get some records by the Status Quo, oh yeah! I didn't want to hurt you. Oh yeah!
Matt Freehauf: I think we went to high school together.
Mavis Gary: At the same time?
Mavis Gary: I just want you to know that I'm feeling everything that you're feeling. Buddy, these last few days have been some of the best in my life.
Buddy Slade: They have?
Mavis Gary: You don't have to pretend. I know what's in here.
[touches Buddy's forehead]
Mavis Gary: And I know what's in here.
[touches Buddy's chest]
Mavis Gary: Buddy, you're my moon. My stars. You're my whole galaxy.
Buddy Slade: [avoids a kiss from Mavis] Mavis! What are you doing?
Mavis Gary: You don't have to be afraid. It's okay. You can come to the city with me like we always planned.
Buddy Slade: What the hell are you talking about?
Mavis Gary: We can work this out. You know we can. We can handle this like adults.
Buddy Slade: Mavis, I'm a married man.
Mavis Gary: I know. We can beat this thing together.
Buddy Slade: You're better than this. I have to go and I think you should leave.
Buddy Slade: I'm gonna grab a drink. You want a beer?
Mavis Gary: Oh, just a water.
Beth Slade: Can you get me another Summer Ale? It's fine. I'll just pump and dump after the show. Don't worry, I'm not trying to get my kid hammered.
Mavis Gary: Wow, look at that.
Beth Slade: Ah, yes. The Funquarium. Always chills her out.
[talks to the baby]
Beth Slade: Starting to get smiles.
Mavis Gary: Cute.
Beth Slade: She's like, Buddy's clone.
Mavis Gary: No, I see you in there.
Beth Slade: Really?
Mavis Gary: A lot of you, in fact.
Beth Slade: Thanks. So how's it going? I know you're a writer. I saw a nice article about you in The Sun.
Mavis Gary: Yes, I'm an author of a young adult series. It's disturbingly popular. I like your decor. It it, shabby chic?
Buddy Slade: Pier One?
Beth Slade: A little bit Goodwill.
Mavis Gary: Buddy and I used to go thrifting all the time. Remember that? The 90's?

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