Little Old Man is an upcoming 2022 coming-of-age drama. It tells the small but universally relatable story of self-considered nobody Julian Navarro, a 20-year-old former actor trapped in a state of arrested development and suffering from undiagnosed anxiety and self-induced isolation. He dropped out of college over a year ago and spends the majority of his time crafting narratives on the internet with the aspiration of becoming a future novelist, though is beginning to realize that finding legitimate work in the field is more problematic than he had expected. Julian shares a close relationship with his parents, who are trying their best to support their son in whatever he wants to do with his life, but can't quite fight a gnawing uncertainty regarding his chances at a promising future.
Julian Navarro is a 20-year-old college dropout living at home with his two loving, if dangerously enabling, parents, Brian and Debbie. Throughout the entirety of his largely isolated existence, Julian has lived in the comfortable, quiet suburban neighborhood of Valley Run Drive in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Surrounded by a plethora of nearby homes yet strangely devoid of much noise or other neighbors of his own age, it’s the type of street where Julian can simply wander outside at 2 in the morning and feel completely safe while going for a walk around the expansive block. However, in spite of the remarkable simplicity and peaceful bliss of his sedentary lifestyle, something is beginning to eat away at Julian’s emotional stability. No longer hampered by the burden of school and in desperate search of a career in writing, he struggles constantly with feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, minimal human contact and the knowledge that his parents are starting to worry about his prospects for the future. Having relatively few companions to turn to, Julian finds comfort in the friendship he shares with his near-lifelong best friend, Nick Emerson, a brilliantly adept artist turning his back on his talent in favor of alcohol, weed and cigarettes. Nick believes he has very little chances at success in life, but never ceases to encourage Julian to follow through on his own. Following a meager yet powerfully significant weekend in Margate with Nick and a handful of their colorful acquaintances, Julian develops a much more optimistic outlook as he comes to realize that he isn’t the only person grappling with post-adolescent insecurities.
Inside of an upstairs bathroom, a cloud of steam obscures a mirror while hot and cold running water pours out of a faucet into a basin to fill up the sink beneath. A hand quickly wipes away a bead of the steam, revealing the unenthusiastic bearded face of 20-year-old Julian Navarro. Standing shirtless at the bathroom sink atop a towel placed neatly against a mat, prepared with a razor and can of shaving cream resting nearby, Julian takes a glance at his reflection and purses his lips disgustedly. He clutches a roll of fat within his chest before moving his hand downward to wrap his fingers tightly around another layer of fat situated in his abdomen, pulling harshly. Without wasting any more time, Julian picks up the can of shaving cream beside him and gives it a little shake, popping off the cap and turning off the faucet. He takes a deep breath and submerges his face below the surface of the sink, allowing the warm water to soak his facial hair. Emerging slowly from the water, Julian squirts an abundance of shaving cream onto his hands and massages it thoroughly into his face and neck. He stands still for a moment and removes the cap from his razor, which he proceeds to dip in the water. Without further ado, Julian carefully drags the sharp razor blade upward against his neck, dipping the blade in the sink periodically following each stroke to permit the tiny particles of hair to swim around in repulsive harmony. He repeats the arduous process for the entirety of his hair-capped visage until nary a drop is discernible. While shaving the hair off the bottom of his cheek, Julian receives a concentration-obliterating knock on the outside of the door from his mother, Debbie, startling him. “Shit!” he hisses to himself after unhappily pulling the razor blade down from his face. Through the door, Debbie calls her son’s name in her sweet, low-pitched voice, “Jul?” Irritated by the horrifically timed intrusion, Julian answers back with a loud “Yeah?” as he dips his razor in the sink and frantically shakes it to release all the tiny particles of hair wedged between the blades into the pool of water. “What are you doing in there, sweetie?" Debbie inquires. Julian hesitates, unsure of what to say and frustrated that he’s being forced to explain himself when all he wants to do is get done with this time-consuming task and begin his day. Finally, he settles on a short and sweet summary of what the intention is: “I’m- I’m getting ready to shower.” Debbie asks Julian if he’s going to shower, as if to make sure that she heard him correctly, but he refuses to repeat himself. “Okay, well, are you gonna be in there a while? I want to take a shower too.” Julian gives a sigh of frustration and rolls his eyes before squeezing out an obligatory response: “Uh... I just started shaving, so...” he trails away, uninterested in giving his mother anything more substantial or satisfying. “You’re shaving? Do you know how long you’re gonna be?” “No. Not- Probably not long,” Julian offers as a halfhearted attempt at reassurance. “I’ll- I’ll let you know as soon as I’m done,” he promises, saying whatever he can think of to get this verbal ordeal over with. Julian stands still as he impatiently waits for his mother’s latest response, but is pleasantly surprised to hear her turn around and walk back down the stairs, allowing him to peacefully resume his shave. Once he's finished, skin nice and smooth, Julian wipes away meager remainders of white cream lingering on his upper cheeks and earlobes. He picks up the towel he was previously standing on, damp from the water dripping off his body, and uses it to wipe his face. Julian rinses out his razor then dries it with the towel before placing it back into its drawer directly beneath the sink, along with the bottle of shaving cream. Tossing his towel onto the toilet adjacent to the shower, Julian takes a look at his clean-shaven face in the mirror to appreciate the ephemeral amount of time he's given to be free from the burden of masculinity, although it's still not enough to warrant a smile. He turns the tap back on and opens the drain to allow the water to escape, splashing water onto the countless particles of hair that are stuck to the edges of the sink. After examining the sink to ensure that it's clean enough to resist clogging, Julian turns off the faucet and strips off his pants, dropping them onto a laundry hamper in the corner. He ultimately moves into the bath to take a soothing, invigorating shower.
Thereafter Julian walks downstairs blithely into the kitchen with his hair-free, pleasurably smooth visage, freshly washed and neatly brushed head of hair, and wearing his favorite summertime attire: a multicolored-striped T-shirt and a pair of white cargo shorts. Standing in front of the oven preparing a delectable, nutritious breakfast is Julian’s adoring, exceptionally striking mother, Debbie. She’s scrambling eggs, frying several rashers of bacon, and toasting a few slices of whole grain and sourdough bread when Julian enters from behind, causing her to turn around in equal parts surprise and delight. “Hi! Good morning, sweetie!” Debbie exclaims with a cheerful grin. “Or good afternoon, I guess I should say.” Debbie squeezes her son tightly in her arms and wraps her fingers around his clean-shaven face, admiring his decent and clearly visible features. “Look at you, you’re all shaved. You look so good!” insists a characteristically exuberant Debbie. “Thanks,” says a decidedly more aloof Julian. As Debbie returns to her cooking to make the final preparations, Julian reaches inside a cabinet under the sink and pulls out two placemats, which he proceeds to spread onto the dining table accompanied by one napkin each. Debbie steps aside to allow Julian to open up the cutlery drawer, in which he extracts one cutting knife and two forks to place on top of the napkins. Julian then pours himself a cup of steaming hot black coffee and goes to sit down at the dining table, staring out the window in front of him while sipping his morning beverage with contentment. “You have a good shower?” asks Debbie as she butters the popped-up toast. With an emphatic nod, Julian answers, “Mm-hmm. Yeah, I didn’t wanna get out.” Debbie gives a slight chuckle and loyally agrees, “I hear ya, kid.” She serves Julian his breakfast first before fetching herself a platter of the eggs, bacon and toast, then joining him at the table. "Thank you," says Julian with an appreciative smile. "You're welcome. Enjoy it," insists Debbie as she rams her fork into a steaming chunk of scrambled egg and slides it eagerly between her lips, moaning with pleasure at her own creation. Julian scarfs down his food with relish, but when asked if his mother perfected the meal to a science, he jokingly comments that it's merely adequate. Debbie vocalizes her desire to open up a pancake restaurant in town and offers Julian a position as her waiter, mentioning that he would have to awake before midday. Julian smiles and nods his head in concurrence with his mother's optimistic idea. While the pair sits in tranquil bliss eating their food, Debbie suddenly drowns out the mood with a gut-churning reminder: "You excited to see your cousins on Saturday?" Julian falls silent for a moment and stops eating, his hunger and physical ecstasy supplanted by a feeling of agonizing dread rushing in all at once. "Well..." he responds, not having the slightest clue what else to say. His mind is blank. "I was thinking after breakfast, we could take a ride to Boscov's, maybe get you some nice clothes to wear," Debbie adds. "Sound like a plan?" she asks, crunching on the tip of a long, crispy slice of bacon. "I don't know," Julian responds. "Why can't I just wear what I have?" "Uh, because a lot of what you have is old and creased. I mean, I love your clothes, don't get me wrong," Debbie assures him as she takes another mouthful of egg, "but... you know, your aunt's coming over. All of her kids. It's good to look nice. I mean, it's not like we see them that often." Julian makes a strained effort to return to his breakfast, even as the sickening thought of the approaching event looms over him like an ominous dark cloud. When Debbie stands up and opens the refrigerator door to grab a water bottle, the refrigerator suddenly begins to emit a buzzing that irritates Julian intensely. "Can we call someone to come over and fix that?" he asks. Debbie takes a swig of water and answers back, "Mm, I know. It's pretty annoying, isn't it? It stays nice and quiet for like, what, 2 or 3 weeks and then it starts up again." However, she then remarks, "But, you know, I don't want them coming over here just for that. They're liable to move things around in there and next thing you know, the whole refrigerator will break down. I would just leave it." Julian remains in his seat and takes a bite out of a piece of toast, looking deeply bothered by the unrelenting buzzing in his ears. While chewing on a strip of bacon, Debbie utters, "Pss," and nods toward the front step leading into the kitchen. Julian turns his head around to find his mackerel tabby cat, Sandy, lazily strolling into the kitchen up to his chair, where he proceeds to rub his head affectionately against Julian's bare leg. "Hey, baby boy," responds Julian as he reaches down and lovingly strokes Sandy's furry, endearingly corpulent body. "Oh my God!" exclaims Debbie. "He loves you, you know that? I do almost everything for him. I get his bed nice and fluffy every morning, I clean his shit. And you're the one he goes to. Always." Julian snickers and tells his mom Sandy loves all 3 of them equally, but has different ways of showing it, to which she states, "Yeah, but... I don't know. It seems like you're his favorite. The way he comes up to you and smashes his big body into your leg." Debbie turns to Sandy and mentions, "I'm- I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little offended, Mr. Sandy, but I'll let you go." Julian groans and deduces that Sandy must be hungry. He gets up reluctantly and takes a container of cat food from the cupboard, motivating Sandy to run up to his brother excitedly. Julian tears open a container of tuna and scoops a few teaspoons into the cat bowl. He removes a wrapper from a bowl containing dry food and sprinkles some of it into the wet tuna before transporting the bowl onto the floor where Sandy begins chowing down at breakneck speed. "Isn't that adorable how he likes to eat when we're eating?" asks Debbie. "Yeah," Julian agrees as he reclaims his seat. "But I'm so tired. I can't be doing this all the time." Debbie flashes him a disapproving smirk followed by a playfully disgusted "Julian!" He smiles back at her.
Julian walks down the steps into his basement and opens a pair of double doors leading into a darkened closet. He pulls a chain to turn on an electric light and discovers a stack of boxes on the floor, sitting beside his cat's old litter box, discarded board games, a framed photograph of his older cousins in their youth, a family portrait of his aunt and uncle with their three sons in front, and numerous books from childhood. Reaching inside one of the cardboard boxes, Julian pulls out a series of unusual letters from his younger days in Hebrew school and skims them. One letter gives a report of his social skills, describing him as having difficulty socializing with fellow classmates and keeping quiet throughout most of the day. Julian glances through another letter that begins with more flattering words about him, noting his kindhearted, empathetic nature: One evening in class during lunchtime, a friend of Julian's began to burst out crying because his parents forgot to pack him a lunch, and immediately as a response, Julian offered to give him half of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He puts the letters back in the box then opens another one to find a photo album, which he proceeds to extract. Digging into the album, Julian comes across pictures of his parents' wedding, himself as a newborn baby in the hospital, and family get-togethers. As he turns a page, a small photograph unexpectedly slips out of the book and drops to the floor. Julian lays the album in its box, bends down to pick up the photo and gazes at it intently. Initially, his expression is one of fondness and longing, until slowly it devolves into a bitter, pensive frown. He shakes his head slightly in disrelish and roughly tosses the mysterious photo back into the box before shutting the lid. With an aggressive tug at the pull switch, Julian turns off the light and walks briskly out of the closet, closing the double doors in front of him.
Walking upstairs, Julian goes into his bedroom and sits down at his writing desk. On the wall behind his bed is a white poster displaying a series of drawings that depict an assortment of horror villains. Julian turns on the computer and opens a document on Microsoft Word whose heading reads "The Boy Beneath the Blanket". Beneath the title exists a manuscript that chronicles the life of a 14-year-old boy named Anthony Tremblay, who has spent the last 9 months being held captive in his bedroom by his domineering and schizophrenic parents following the outbreak of a deadly pandemic. Clicking beside the final sentence in preparation to begin another, Julian finds himself hamstrung by his customary bout of writer's block. He gently places his fingers on the keyboard and commences typing a new sentence, only to swiftly delete it in the belief it's not good enough. Julian leans back in his chair and takes a deep breath, scratching the back of his head in frustration. He stares blankly at the black and white page in front of him, straining to think of the words that'll continue Anthony's story appropriately. After a brief pause, Julian swallows and puts his hands back on the keyboard and produces a full follow-up sentence without stopping. Once completed, he leans forward with one hand over his mouth and carefully scrutinizes his words. He erases a portion of the sentence and begins wringing his hands between his legs. Julian turns his head to the right to stare at his wardrobe, then around toward the door to witness Sandy ambling inside. Julian rolls his eyes and exhales as Sandy walks toward him and rubs his head against Julian's bare leg twice. Julian reaches for Sandy's lower back and gives it a gratifying scratch, stimulating him to lift his bum in the air. As Sandy makes his way under the computer desk to rub up against the wires and plugs, Julian refocuses his attention on the screen and makes a determined effort to resume writing, but few words of magic come to mind. He rests an elbow on his leg and scratches at his temple, closing both of his eyes momentarily. Julian tugs the skin in the center of his neck softly and lets out a sigh of discouragement. Ultimately, he reluctantly exits out of the document and stands up to walk away from the computer, pausing in the middle of the room to decompress. Sandy rushes after his brother to prevent him from leaving. Julian looks down at him with a slight smile and rubs his eyelid with fatigue.
Julian sits in the passenger seat of his mother's Mercedes-Benz as she drives the two of them to the clothing store. As they're driving along a narrow road, Julian stares out his window longingly at his former high school, Cherry Hill West. He notices that there are several construction workers renovating the main entrance while a silver gate surrounds the parking lot. "So, what were you working on upstairs?" asks Debbie as she grips the steering wheel and directs her eyes toward the road ahead. "You doing your writing?" Julian nods his head and succinctly confirms, "Yeah." Debbie glances at him in expectation for further detail, but he remains tight-lipped. "Yeah? Is that your novel you're working on?" "Mm-hmm," answers Julian as he smacks his lips and nods once more. "Yep." When Debbie presses him for precise details on his story and its length, Julian evades the subject. "What's it about?" she asks. Julian shrugs his shoulders and states, "It's, like... you know," then follows it up with a chuckle of indifference. "Oh, okay. I get it," says Debbie with an understanding snicker of her own. "It's private, right? You don't wanna tell me anything? It's this big, top-secret, greatest-story-ever-told kind of thing, and you don't wanna spoil any of it. Is that the dilemma going on here?" "Yep, you pretty much got it figured out," retorts Julian, smiling at his mother's customary silliness. "Well, how long is it?" Debbie asks. "Uh... I don't know. I mean, it's a novel, so it's gonna be pretty long, I guess," Julian answers. Debbie can clearly discern that Julian has minimal interest in divulging his writing process at the moment, however the curiosity proves so overwhelming that she's unable to contain herself from releasing the latest question: "Well, are you close to being finished?" "Mmm, I just started working on it a few weeks ago," Julian says. "It's probably gonna take a little while." Debbie takes that in and stays silent for a moment before blurting, "Come on, Julian! Finish the book and get it published! That way you can become rich and buy me and Daddy a home in California. You know, like one of those houses we saw on Mega Mansions the other day. Ah, we could have a gigantic pool right in our backyard, hire a team of chefs so I'd never have to cook again. Wouldn't that be great?" Julian gives Debbie a nonchalant shrug and promises, "That's the plan. But I think I'd miss your cooking." A smile breaks out on Debbie's face, and she turns her head toward Julian. She was subconsciously waiting to hear that answer. "Hey, maybe after this summer, we'll look into getting you back into driving," Debbie mentions. "How does that sound?" Julian suddenly turns pale and pauses, at a loss for words. He opens his mouth slightly, then decides to close it. "It's so important to drive," insists Debbie. "And you were doing really well before. You were making your turns beautifully. I didn't even have to tell you what to do a lot of the time. You were very calm and careful on the road. Think in all the times we went driving, you just ran into one garbage can, which is not a big deal. But you are gonna have to take that permit test again. Sorry to say." Julian feels himself becoming nauseated by the thought of returning to the DMV. He rubs his forehead and says, "It took me 4 times to pass it the first time." "I know," Debbie says. "But I'm sure you'll do great. I mean, it's the same exact questions as before. You only need to get, what is it, like 30 of them right? That shouldn't be too difficult. I'll look for the book or you could go online and look up the questions. It'll give you all the answers. You just have to study them a little bit. Then whenever you're ready, I'll take you over." Julian remains silent, unable to think of a single sentence that would change his mother's mind. "But we need to get serious about it this time!" Debbie sternly states. "Me and Daddy were a little too lax with you before. This time, as soon as you get your permit renewed, we're gonna go out driving every single day! I mean it! We'll pick up where we left off. I'll have you take my car around the neighborhood and then we'll work your way onto the more busy streets, get you comfortable with being in traffic and learning how to -" "I don't think the DMV is the safest place in the world to be right now," Julian interjects. "I mean, standing in line with thousands of people for three hours and everyone's bunched together shoulder to shoulder. It's like... I- I don't know. Fucking death trap!" Debbie takes a second to consider Julian's legitimate concern and nods her head in acknowledgement. Julian turns on the radio and surfs through a selection of songs before settling on The Weeknd's "Save Your Tears", which Debbie begins to dance and sing along to in her seat. While initially embarrassed by his mom's exuberance and utter lack of shame, Julian quickly gives in to the upbeat ambience of the music, grinning cheerfully while swaying a little from side to side.
Julian and Debbie arrive at the clothing store, and Debbie parks her car in the parking lot. As Julian opens his door, Debbie immediately reminds him, "Don't forget your mask." With a roll of his eyes, Julian snatches his medical mask from the map pocket and begrudgingly puts it on his face before exiting the vehicle. Debbie takes a mask out of her purse and follows suit. They wander through the store in search of some stylish, respectable clothing for Julian in preparation for the upcoming get-together. Debbie eagerly flips through a selection of shirts while Julian trails behind, looking extremely bored as though he'd rather be anywhere else in the world. "Ooh, this is nice," says Debbie as she releases a purple shirt with a button-down collar from its hanger. "What do you think of this one? You wanna try it on?" she asks. Julian gives an indifferent shrug and grabs the shirt from his mother, staring at it from top to bottom. "Yeah, it's- it's nice," he concurs halfheartedly. "Okay, we'll look around a little more for you," says Debbie, "and then maybe I'll pick out something nice for me to wear." She flashes him a zealous smile and slightly raises her shoulder, knowing that their little trip to the store was about more than merely finding clothes for Julian. Turning his head around to gain a more comprehensive view of the clothing department, Julian witnesses an abundance of customers strolling up and down the aisles and entering through the entryway, most of whom are wearing a mask while a decidedly smaller amount go barefaced. Debbie continues to select a few more shirts along with different pairs of shorts and slacks, all while Julian drags his feet and throws his head back against his neck, letting out a sigh of disgust and tiredness. He enters the changing room holding a couple shirts while the rest of his items are managed by his mother, who's directly behind him. "Okay, here you go," she says as she hands Julian the several shirts and trousers. Debbie takes off her mask. "What do you think you're gonna try on first?" Debbie asks excitedly. "Me personally, I think that that purple shirt would look gorgeous with those cargo shorts! The purple and the beige reflecting off each other, it would look so cool." Debbie is so full of excitement and unnatural anticipation it's almost as if whatever clothes Julian picks out will serve as a validation of her own "refined" tastes. Julian takes off his mask and places it on the clothes holder, in company with the assortment of clothes. "Uh, I don't know yet," says Julian, unable to return his mom's enthusiasm. "Okay, well, whichever you decide, just make sure you let me know after you try it on. I wanna see how it looks." Once Debbie turns around and walks off, Julian closes and locks the door and takes off his shirt. He surveys his reflection in the full-length mirror and cringes in disgust before putting on the purple shirt with the button-down collar, pushing only the lower button through its buttonhole while leaving the top couple undone. To test its comfortability, Julian twists to his left and right side. The shirt is of medium size and as a result, Julian's excess of chest fat is marginally accentuated. He unzips and pulls down his shorts in exchange for the beige cargos, squeezing himself into the tight pair of shorts and engaging in a slight struggle to slide the button through the hole in its waistband. After taking a deep breath, Julian calls out to his mom, "Okay," and unlocks the door to his room. Debbie scurries to Julian and gazes in awe at his appearance. "Oh my God!" exclaims Debbie, unsure of what words would do justice to such a remarkable sight. "That... Wow! Jul, you look really great in that!" Julian gives a small close-mouthed smile in appreciation, but doesn't say anything with regard to how he feels. "How do they feel?" Debbie asks. "Are they comfortable?" Julian nods halfheartedly in feigned assent and responds, "Uh-huh." "God, you just look amazing in clothes!" says Debbie. "And you're so skinny." His labored smile suddenly falters and then fades as he rolls his eyes. "Now, you're sure they feel good on you, right?" asks Debbie, uncertain that Julian was being candid in his initial answer. "They're not too tight around the arms or anything?" Julian shakes his head. "No, they feel fine. I like the way they look." "Okay, awesome," says Debbie with a pleased smile. "They do look really nice, I have to say." Her observant eye catches sight of something amiss and she grabs the hem of his shirt and pulls it down slightly. "Okay, well, I'm gonna go look around the store a little bit," Debbie says, "see if I see anything I like. Um, you wanna try on some more while I'm gone?" Julian nods. "I guess." "Okay, I'll be right out here if you need me." Debbie turns around and starts to walk off, only to turn back to deliver one last request: "And don't forget, I wanna see how those other clothes look on you too, okay?" Debbie turns around and makes her way to the women's section. Julian gives a weary sigh and closes the door to his cubicle.
Later in the evening, Brian Navarro enters the foyer of his home carrying a briefcase and wearing a white long sleeve button-down shirt, a black tie and a pair of black plaid dress pants. "Honey?" he calls out while sliding out of his brown leather dress shoes, which he proceeds to kick into the nearby closet. "Yeah, hi, babe," responds Debbie from inside the kitchen. As Brian starts to loosen his collar and tie, he sarcastically remarks, "I'm almost home." Debbie darts into the foyer, grinning cheerfully. "Hey, baby!" greets Debbie, who wraps her arms around Brian and kisses him passionately on the lips. "How was your day?" she asks. "Uh, not bad. It was pretty good," Brian replies with a modest unconcern and a hint of prostration. He walks over to the living room to put his briefcase down on the floor, and Debbie shouts to the upstairs, "Jul, Daddy's home." "Okay," Julian answers from within his bedroom. He is sitting in front of his computer writing another paragraph for his novel. Looking over the final sentence he's typed to ensure that he feels contented, Julian minimizes his manuscript and walks out of his bedroom.
Brian opens the refrigerator and pulls out a pitcher of sweetened iced tea, which he places atop the lazy Susan. Debbie withdraws a tray of lamb chops from the oven. Brian sits down at the head of the dining table and pours himself a glass of iced tea. Sandy trudges into the kitchen to greet his father. "Sandy!" Brian exclaims. "Hello, my baby! Hi, Sandy. Come here. Get over here, you." He reaches down and strokes Sandy along his back and scratches him under the chin. Sandy purrs loudly, rubbing against Brian's legs. Debbie transfers two lamb chops to a plate before scooping quinoa and some broccoli onto the side. She sets the plate of food down on Julian's placemat. "And as usual, Julian gets served first," Brian observes with playful resentment. "Oh, you're darn right he does! He's the king," Debbie rejoins lightheartedly, walking back to the countertop to prepare Brian's dinner. "I've explained this to you already. This should not come as a surprise at this point." Brian chuckles with amused disbelief. "Nope, no surprise at all," he retorts, shaking his head. "Somehow my unemployed, non-taxpaying son manages to outrank me at every turn." "Oh, you be nice, you hear me?" Debbie demands. "Our son worked very hard today, I'll have you know." "Mm, yeah," returns an unconvinced Brian as he takes a sip of his iced tea. Julian walks into the kitchen toward his father. "What the hell do you want?" teases Brian, whose stern face is suddenly transformed by a loving smile. With a chuckle, Julian enfolds Brian in his arms and plants a kiss on the top of his head. "Aww, you two are so cute together!" Debbie remarks as she provides Brian with his dinner. While father and son remain locked in their embrace, Brian softly asks, "How was your day? Accomplish anything?", to which Julian nonchalantly replies, "It was fine. We had a good day." "Yeah, what did you do?" Brian asks in an effort to take, or at least affect, an interest in whatever's going on with his son. With a note of discomfiture in his voice, Julian answers, "Uh, I worked some more on my writing." "Really?" says Brian, nodding his head in reverence. "Good for you." Debbie delivers slices of multigrain baguette bread wrapped in tinfoil to the table. "Did you tell Daddy we went clothes shopping?" she asks Julian, walking back to the countertop to serve herself a small, lean cut of lamb.
Jordan Pressler as Julian Navarro
Charlie Plummer as Nick Emerson
Erin Daniels as Debbie Navarro
Ron Livingston as Brian Navarro
Nathan Gamble as Kevin Fabian
Liam Koeth as Cameron Emerson
Debbie distracts Julian from his shaving
- (Julian stands before a mirror shaving the hair off the bottom of his cheek when suddenly he hears a knock against the outside of the bathroom door, startling him)
- Julian: (hisses to himself) Shit!
- Debbie: (O.S.) Jul?
- Julian: (annoyed) Yeah?
- (Julian dips his razor in the sink and frantically shakes it to release all the tiny particles of hair wedged between the blades into the pool of water)
- Debbie: (O.S.) What are you doing in there, sweetie?
- Julian: (hesitates) I'm- I'm getting ready to shower.
- Debbie: (O.S.) You're gonna shower?
- (Julian refuses to repeat himself)
- Debbie: (O.S.) Okay, well, are you gonna be in there a while? I want to take a shower too.
- (Julian gives a sigh of frustration and rolls his eyes)
- Julian: Uh... I just started shaving, so...
- Debbie: (O.S.) You're shaving? Do you know how long you're gonna be?
- Julian: No. Not- Probably not long. I'll- I'll let you know as soon as I'm done.
- (Julian stands still as he impatiently waits for his mother's latest response, but is pleasantly surprised to hear her turn around and walk back down the stairs)
Julian and Debbie eat breakfast
- (Julian walks downstairs blithely into the kitchen with his hair-free, pleasurably smooth visage, freshly washed and neatly brushed head of hair, and wearing his favorite summertime attire: a multicolored-striped T-shirt and a pair of white cargo shorts. Standing in front of the oven preparing a delectable, nutritious breakfast is Julian’s adoring, exceptionally striking mother, Debbie. She’s scrambling eggs, frying several rashers of bacon, and toasting a few slices of whole grain and sourdough bread when Julian enters from behind, causing her to turn around in equal parts surprise and delight)
- Debbie: (with a cheerful grin) Hi! Good morning, sweetie! Or good afternoon, I guess I should say.
- (Debbie squeezes her son tightly in her arms and wraps her fingers around his clean-shaven face, admiring his decent and clearly visible features)
- Debbie: (giddily exuberant) Look at you, you're all shaved. You look so good!
- Julian: (decidedly aloof) Thanks.
- (As Debbie returns to her cooking to make the final preparations, Julian reaches inside a cabinet under the sink and pulls out two placemats, which he proceeds to spread onto the dining table accompanied by one napkin each. Debbie steps aside to allow Julian to open up the cutlery drawer, in which he extracts one cutting knife and two forks to place on top of the napkins. Julian then pours himself a cup of steaming hot black coffee and goes to sit down at the dining table, staring out the window in front of him while sipping his morning beverage with contentment)
- Debbie: (as she butters the popped-up toast) You have a good shower?
- Julian: (nods his head) Mm-hmm. Yeah, I didn't wanna get out.
- Debbie: (gives a slight chuckle) I hear ya, kid.
- (Debbie serves Julian his breakfast first before fetching herself a platter of the eggs, bacon and toast, then joining him at the table)
- Julian: (with an appreciative smile) Thank you.
- Debbie: You're welcome. Enjoy it.
- (Debbie rams her fork into a steaming chunk of scrambled egg and slides it eagerly between her lips, moaning with pleasure at her own creation. Julian scarfs down his food with relish)
- Debbie: Oh my God! This is delicious. I think I've outdone myself. What do you say? Have I got it down to a science or what?
- Julian: (shrugs) Mmm, it's, uh... you know.
- Debbie: Adequate?
- Julian: Yeah, at the very least.
- Debbie: Pretty mediocre.
- Julian: Not the worst thing I've ever forced down.
- Debbie: Not the worst. Okay. You know what? Just for that, I'm never making you eggs ever again. That's it. From now on, you're gonna have to fend for yourself, learn how to cook your own breakfast. How does that sound?
- Julian: I put together a mean bowl of cereal.
- Debbie: (chuckles) Cereal? Okay, fine. Enjoy your boring bowl of cereal every morning. See if I care. (Beat) Oh, by the way, early in the morning while you were still sleeping, I went for a bike ride around the neighborhood, and I came across this really nice, abandoned building. I think it used to be that old Wawa that closed down a few years ago. Anyway, it's located right in front of the most congested highway. It would be the perfect spot to open up our pancake shop: "Debbie and Julian's Pan-crepes". I swear to God we would make a fortune. I mean, think about it. People are driving to work. They want to grab a quick, delicious breakfast. We'll install a drive-through so they don't even have to get out of their car if they don't want to. And they can have anything they want inside their pancakes: chocolate chips, blueberries, bananas. Everything under the sun because they're so thin. And we could set our own hours from seven o'clock in the morning till, say, 2:30 in the afternoon. Have the whole rest of the day to ourselves. I could just see it.
- Julian: Dad said we would go bankrupt before the end of the year.
- Debbie: (gives a dismissive wave) Oh, don't listen to him. That man has no faith in anything. (eats a chunk of scrambled egg) And, you know, hey, I could give you a position too. You could wait tables. Earn some extra money now that you're not going to New York as much these days, right? I think it would be so much fun. Give us something to do in the winter when it gets cold. Only thing is you would have to be awake and out of bed before noon, which, for you, I know is like asking you to shave your head, but... (chuckles)
- Julian: (smiles and nods his head in concurrence) Okay.
- Debbie: You excited to see your cousins on Saturday?
- (Julian falls silent for a moment and stops eating, his hunger and physical ecstasy supplanted by a feeling of agonizing dread rushing in all at once)
- Julian: Well...
- Debbie: I was thinking after breakfast, we could take a ride to Boscov's, maybe get you some nice clothes to wear. Sound like a plan? (crunches on the tip of a long, crispy slice of bacon)
- Julian: I don't know. Why can't I just wear what I have?
- Debbie: Uh, because a lot of what you have is old and creased. I mean, I love your clothes, don't get me wrong, (takes another mouthful of egg) but... you know, your aunt's coming over. All of her kids. It's good to look nice. I mean, it's not like we see them that often.
- (Julian makes a strained effort to return to his breakfast, even as the sickening thought of the approaching event looms over him like an ominous dark cloud. When Debbie stands up and opens the refrigerator door to grab a water bottle, the refrigerator suddenly begins to emit a buzzing that irritates Julian intensely)
- Julian: Can we call someone to come over and fix that?
- Debbie: (takes a swig of water) Mm, I know. It's pretty annoying, isn't it? It stays nice and quiet for like, what, 2 or 3 weeks and then it starts up again. But, you know, I don't want them coming over here just for that. They're liable to move things around in there and next thing you know, the whole refrigerator will break down. I would just leave it.
- (Julian remains in his seat and takes a bite out of a piece of toast, looking deeply bothered by the unrelenting buzzing in his ears)
- Debbie: (while chewing on a strip of bacon) Pss. (nods toward the front step leading into the kitchen)
- (Julian turns his head around to find his mackerel tabby cat, Sandy, lazily strolling into the kitchen up to his chair, where he proceeds to rub his head affectionately against Julian's bare leg)
- Julian: Hey, baby boy. (reaches down and lovingly strokes Sandy's furry, endearingly corpulent body)
- Debbie: Oh my God! He loves you, you know that? I do almost everything for him. I get his bed nice and fluffy every morning, I clean his shit. And you're the one he goes to. Always.