Kicking and Screaming

Synopsis: After college graduation, Grover's girlfriend Jane tells him she's moving to Prague to study writing. Grover declines to accompany her, deciding instead to move in with several friends, all of whom can't quite work up the inertia to escape their university's pull. Nobody wants to make any big decisions that would radically alter his life, yet none of them wants to end up like Chet, the professional student who tends bar and is in his tenth year of university studies.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Noah Baumbach
Production: Trimark
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

I think violence

is always justified some of the time.

- So if I disagree, that means you're gonna hit me.

- Hey, Grover.

Hey, Gail.

Who would you rather be stranded

on a desert island with? MacNeil or Lehrer?


Oh, I'll tell you the worst thing

about losing a foot. Hey, man!


Jane, I knew you'd win the fiction prize.

You're a -You're a brilliant writer.

Would you like to dance?

Oh, I would, Lester,

but I find you irritatingly attractive.

Ah, here's my drunk boyfriend.

I was gonna wear my goatee tonight.

And wouldn't that have been embarrassing?

Mmm, yeah. Goatee season is in full bloom.

It's all those film majors.

I was tempted to put vodka in your cran-orange.

I don't know how you can not drink at these parties.

I saw you trip when you got your diploma.


You got pig in a blanket on your chin.

Oh, congratulations

on the fiction prize.

Yeah. You could have, uh, won if you'd submitted.

Or at least it would have been close.

Even though all 618 of us were wearing

caps and gowns out there today...

I couldn't help but think it was a coincidence

that we were both wearing black.

Thank you.

That's almost a sweet thing for you to say.

To life after college.

Hey. Do you -

Do you forget things ever when you drink?

You mean black out? No.

Well, no. I - I don't really black out,

but I don't - I don't always remember everything.

Do you think that's reason for concern?

- Probably.

- What do you mean, "probably"?

You've got a drinking problem.

Get help.

- Is that a pajama top?

- No.


You know, you're sneaky like that.

Like that thing in that movie.

- No, I'm not like him.

- Hey, Jane. Czechoslovakia. Wild.

Watch out.

You got into the university?

Yeah. I'm going to Prague.

They called me this afternoon.

Someone dropped out of the program.

So I guess there's an opening now.

So it's off to Prague to go to school.

I know that Prague's a clich now, but -

Um, so how will that work

if you're living with me in Brooklyn?

Well, it'll be the same,

except I'll be in Prague.

Not just Brooklyn. A-list Brooklyn.

Park Slope, Division II Manhattan.

Prague is Division I Bratislava.

You might want to slow down.

There's no alcohol in that.

Okay. Czechoslovakia is just

the worst place to go.

The way I see it, eventually

you'll make your life in the States.

Why run away now? You're just

postponing that "get started" year.

I'm not postponing anything.

I'm postponing months of emotional paralysis.


It's a bad idea to go directly.

The paralysis is just gonna, uh,

wait for you when you get -

- Wh-What are you writing?

- Some notes.

Will you stop writing what I'm saying.

Can we have one spontaneous conversation...

where my dialogue

doesn't end up in your next story?

- What if I want this material?

- We'll see who gets it first.

Okay. Let me borrow your pen.

I'm gonna write...

"Selfish girl...

abandons helpless boy

for overrated country. "


- You've never even been to Prague.

- Oh, I've been to Prague.

- Well, I haven't been to Prague been to Prague.

- Yeah.

But I know that thing.

I know that...

"stop shaving your armpits,

read The Unbearable Lightness of Being...

fall in love with a sculptor,

now I realize how bad American coffee is" thing.

- Beer. They have good beer.

- "How bad American beer is" thing.

- "How bad American beer is" thing.

- Yeah. I heard you the first time.

I am so glad to find

an actual adult at one of these parties.

It's really just a bunch of

freaked-out kids, huh?


- I'm Josselyn.

- Josselyn.

- What an interesting name. I'm Chet.

- Chet.

- Hello.

- So what do you do?

I'm a, uh, philosophy/German major.

- Philosophy/German?

- Mm-hmm.

I don't get it.

- You're -You're not still a student, are you?

- Oh, yeah. Well, technically.

At least until I complete my thesis.

Which is becoming more and more

overwhelming each year.

This third tome

has become quite a battle.

Which is odd because the second book

came quite effortlessly.

How many years have you been here?

Oh, God. It'll be...

10 come January.

But I skipped a semester my sophomore year.


- Nice party.

- Yes, it is.

About as good

as the one three years ago...

and much better

than last year and the year before.

Although, in my opinion, this doesn't

hold a candle to the one six years ago.

There was a horse at that one.

I didn't go to the one five years ago.

I don't know why. I think I just...

didn't feel like a party, but -

But -


My parents fly in from Chicago,

rent out these swank digs, booze old Otis up...

but apparently

it's still not up to his standards.

- I just - I felt a little antsy. I couldn't eat.

- You have two emotions: antsy and testy.

And now I'm antsy.

What? Come on. I'm a little guy.

- What are you talking about? You're enormous.

- No. But you know what I mean. I'm little.

- You're like a monster. You're huge.

- Yeah, but inside I'm little.

I don't know. Small maybe. I'm small.

As a little guy, I can't do all the things

that all the bigger guys do.


- You're out of your mind is what you are.

- Where's Grover?

The first thing I'm gonna do

is read all the great short novels.

- You wanna get married?

- Yes. Yes, I do.

You okay?

'Cause you fell. I wondered -

Can you name me eight movies

where monkeys play a key role?

- Ding! Uh, Going Ape. Mighty Joe Young.

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach is an American independent filmmaker. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Squid and the Whale and is known for making dramatic comedies. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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