Synopsis: Smart-but-ineffectual journalist Dan "We use euphemisms!" cannot decide between his girlfriend, loving-but-clingy waitress Alice, or his lover cold-but-intellectual photographer Anna; herself indecisive between Dan and honest-but-thuggish "You're bloody gorgeous!" doctor Larry. The film puts the four leading characters in a box and strips them apart.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Mike Nichols
Production: Sony Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 47 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

Hello, stranger.

Sorry. Looking for a cigarette.

I've given up.

Thank you.

-Got to be somewhere?


You didn't fancy my sandwiches?

-Don't eat fish.

-Why not?

Fish piss in the sea.

-So do children.

-Don't eat children, either.

What's your work?

I'm sort of a journalist.

-What sort?

-I write obituaries.

Are we in for a long wait?

She was 21 when she came in.

Does it hurt?

I'll live.

Do you want me to put your leg up?

Yes, please.

Who cut off your crusts?


Did your mother cut off your crusts

when you were a little boy?

-Yes, I believe she did.

-You should eat your crusts.

You should stop smoking.

How long was I out?

-About 10 seconds.

-Then what?

You came to. You focused on me.

You said, "Hello, stranger."

What a floozy.

The cabbie crossed himself, he went,

"Thank f***. I thought I'd killed her."

I said, "Let's get her to a hospital."

He hesitated.

I think he thought there'd be paperwork

and he'd be held responsible.

So I said with a slight sneer,

"Please just drop us at the hospital."

Show me the sneer.

Very good, buster.

Thank you.

-I told you, I've given up.

-Try harder.

You live here?

Just arrived from New York.

Taking a vacation?

I'm on an expedition.

Where's your baggage?

-Where are you staying?

-I'm a waif.

A red bus.

Policeman or "bobby."

Observe the distinctive helmet.

Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Please note the famous dome.

-This is a truly magnificent tour.

-It's the London tourists never get to see.

-What's this?

-I've no idea.

They're all people

who died saving the lives of others.

I've been here before.

Twenty years ago, we came here.

My mother's dead. My father and I came here

the afternoon she died.

She was a smoker.

She died in the hospital, actually.

-ls your father still alive?

-Hanging on.

He's in a home.

-You're late for work.

-You saying you want me to go?

I'm saying you're late for work.

How did you end up writing obituaries?

Well, I had dreams of being a writer,

but I had no voice.

What am I saying? I had no talent.

So I ended up in obituaries,

which is the Siberia of journalism.

Tell me what you do.

I want to imagine you in Siberia.


We call it "the obits page."

There's three of us:. me, Graham, and Harry.

When I get to work, without fail....

Are you sure you want to know?

Well, if someone important died,

we go to the "deep freeze"...

which is a computer file...

with all the obituaries,

and we find the dead person's life.

People's obituaries are written

while they're still alive?

Some people's.

Then Harry, he's the editor,

decides who we'll lead with.

Then we make calls, check facts.

At 6:
.00, we stand around the computer

and look at the next day's page...

and make final changes.

Add a few euphemisms

for our own amusement.

Such as?

"He was a convivial fellow."

Meaning he was an alcoholic.

"He valued his privacy." Gay.

"He enjoyed his privacy." Raging queen.

What would my euphemism be?

-"She was disarming."

-That's not a euphemism.

Yes, it is.

-What were you doing in New York?

-You know.

Well, no, I don't. What, were you studying?


Look at your little eyes.

I can't see my little eyes.

Why did you leave?

Problems with a male.


-Kind of.

And you left him, just like that?

It's the only way to leave.

"l don't love you anymore. Goodbye."

-Supposing you do still love them?

-You don't leave.

-You've never left somebody you still love?


This is me.

Enjoy your stay.

Please remember

our traffic tends to come from the right.


Do you have a girlfriend?

Yeah. Ruth.

She's called Ruth. She's a linguist.

-What's your name?


My name is Alice Ayres.


I'm just gonna change the film.

Are you okay for time?

-Do you mind if I smoke?

-lf you must.

-I don't have to.

-Then don't.

I liked your book.


-When's it published?

-Next year. How come you've read it?

Your publisher sent me a manuscript.

I read it last night.

You kept me up till 4:.00.

I'm flattered.

Is your heroine

based on someone you know?

Yes. She's someone called Alice.

How does she feel

about you stealing her life?

Borrowing her life.

I'm dedicating the book to her.

She's pleased.

Do you exhibit?

Sometimes. I have a thing next year.


-Of who?


How do your strangers feel

about you stealing their lives?


Am I a stranger?

No. You're a job.

And you're a sloucher. Sit up.

You didn't find it obscene?


-The book.

I thought it was accurate.

About what?

About sex. About love.

In what way?

-You wrote it.

-You read it till 4:.00.

Don't raise your eyebrows.

It makes you look smug.

-But you did like it?

-Yes, but I could go off it.

Stand up.

Any criticisms?

I'm not sure about the title.

Got a better one?

The Aquarium.

So you liked the filth.

-You like aquariums.

-Fish are therapeutic.

-Hang out in aquariums, do you?

-When I can.

Good for picking up strangers?

Photographing strangers.

Come here.

You're beautiful.

I don't kiss strange men.

Neither do l.

Do you and this Alice live together?


Are you married?


-No. Yes.



-Do you have any children?


-Would you like some?

-Yes, but not today.

Would Alice like children?

She's too young.

She works in a caf near here.

She's coming to meet me.

Quite soon.

Why are you wasting her time?

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Patrick Marber

Patrick Albert Crispin Marber (born 19 September 1964) is an English comedian, playwright, director, actor, and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Closer" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <>.

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