The Trouble with Bliss

Synopsis: A comedy/drama about 35-year-old Morris Bliss, who is clamped in the jaws of New York City inertia: he wants to travel but has no money; he needs a job but has no prospects; he still shares an apartment with his widowed father; and perhaps worst of all the premature death of his mother still lingers and has left him emotionally walled up. When he finds himself wrapped up in an awkward relationship with the sexually precocious, 18-year-old daughter of a former classmate, Morris quickly discovers his static life unraveling and opening up in ways that are long overdue.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Michael Knowles
Production: 7A Productions/Variance Films
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

My friend N. J.

Once told me there are

seven defining

moments in a person's life.

The challenge is figuring out

which ones they are.

You know, I know you.

I feel like I know you too.

We're... connected

or something.

Well, I know I know you, but...

... But not from today.

Mmm... not from now

and all this.

Before today?

Five times.


You married?

No, that's my mother.


Why is the picture so old?

She died when I was a... kid.

People do that, I guess.

Dying, I mean.

My grandmother did.

Made the post, actually,

the way she died.

She accidentally hung herself

opening her front door.

Wow, I remember that.

That... was your grandmother?

So she... ?

Yeah, she wore her keys on a

shoestring around her neck.


Did you read all of these?

Is your last name, like, Barnes & Noble

or something?

Wait... five times. What do you

mean... we've met five times?

Five times.

Oh, I know this guy!

We studied him in school.

He's from, like, Britain

or England or somewhere.

You study Ruskin in school?


We study a lot of

different stuff, so...

Why not this guy, right?

I mean, he's famous.

He... liked little girls.

I mean really little girls.

That's what my teacher

said, younger than me.

He stopped loving them

when they started to grow.

He died a virgin.

Well, I didn't say

that he loved them

the same way

that you just did me.

You know...

Some girls in my class shave.

Do you think that

I should shave?

What? You don't want me now?

It's just...

It's time for you to go.

Go? I don't have to go.

It's only four!

Ohh! What's with the map?

It's nearly six.

What were the five times?


Stefani, you have to go.

What are the pins for?

They're all places I've gone.


You've been

to all those places?

No, not yet.

They're places I plan to go.


Spain. Why Spain?

Homage to Catalonia.



It's, uh, George Orwell.

And here?

Prince Edward Island.

Anne of Green Gables.

Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles.

You've really gotta go.

How 'bout you buy me cigarettes

because I don't have any money.


No cigarettes.


Mmm. Really, you gotta go.

Daddy's comin' home.



My father's name is Danny,

he lives with me.

Does he tuck you in at night?

Shake your pee-pee

when you're done tinkling?

You gotta go.

I was just funning with you.

It's what couples do, you know?

They fun with each other.

It was outside that comic

book shop, Forbidden Planet.

What was?

First time I saw you.


That one time

I was with my dad.

Your dad?

Yep. You guys were, like,

best friends in high school.

Best friends... me and your dad?

Stephen Jouseski.

Stephen Jousesk?

Yeah. He yelled,

"hey, Twisted Bliss, "

and then you raced

into the store.

Jetski? Your Jetski's daughter?

Well, his last name's Jouseski.

It's mine too. Also my mom's.

Buy me cigarettes.

He's your dad?



What's that for?


Oh, I need you to

buy them for me.

I thought you said you were 18.

Well, I am, it's just

I don't have any I. D. ,

and those Deli guys are

a**holes about carding.

It's time to go.

You know what I don't like?

Shoes, please.

I don't like the fact

that you're so old.

It's gonna be kind of hard

having a boyfriend

who's so much older than me.

By the time I'm 21

and we can go to bars together,

you'll be... I don't even know.

But you'll still be

a lot older.


Is that daddy?


And, yeah, that's why

you need to go.


You afraid that daddy

won't be happy to see me?

Danny, and, yeah, I'm mean... .

No. I don't think right now is

the best time to introduce you.

- He's older.

- Oh, older. Older than you?

Ooh. He's one of those

you've got to carry around and

bathe and feed and stuff?

Does he wear one of

those giant diapers?

Stephanie, really,

you've got to go.

Wait! Are you coming with me?

Yeah? It's me. Let me in.

Listen, go to the Bodega around the

corner right here on First Avenue.

Mr. Charlie's

is the name of the place,

is the name of the guy

behind the counter,

and tell him

Mr. Charlie sent you,

and he'll sell you cigarettes.

Wait. You want me

to tell Mr. Charlie

that Mr. Charlie sent me?

Charlie's, with an "s. "

Time to go.

Wait. No.

When am I gonna see you again?

Because this weekend

is awful for me.


I don't know, maybe Monday?

Stromboli pizza, after school?

Okay. Don't play with me.

And call me?

- Call me often.

- Okay. I will.

Tell me you love me.

Stephanie, come on.

Tell me.

Okay. I love you.

And you're sorry for...

being so crabby.

I'm sorry I was crabby.

Now, give me a kiss.

A real one.




Ahh... oh! And I

left you a present!

A-a surprise.

Surprise? What is it?

Oh, can I keep the change?

Change? Yeah, sure. Keep it.

- What... what's the surprise?

- Monday, stromboli pizza. Don't forget.


Hey, daddy, how was your day?

What the hell have you

been doing in here?

I buzzed and I buzzed you.

I was in the bathroom.

Now, what I'm smelling here...

I mean, you had

all day to do that,

and you wait till

I'm coming home.

Well, if you hadn't

lost your keys. Again.

Besides, I had that interview.

Yeah, so... When do you start?

We're still working out

the details.

Soon, though, I hope.

Good. 'Cause I can't keep

giving you an allowance.

Did you take care of

those things

that I asked you

to take care of?


Did you get the groceries?

Well, no.

Mail the letters?

Not yet.

Well, please tell me that you

got the keys made for me.

At least tell me you did that.

It's on my to-do list.

What the hell have you

been doing all day,

aside from stinking

the place up?

I had the interview,

daddy, I told you.



Right. Let me go

take care of that stuff.

What are you waiting for?

Well, the thing is, I kind of

spent the money you gave me.

"Kind of spent it"?

I spent it.

On what?

Well, I had the job interview,

and I spent it.


And the groceries?

Okay, then. Uh, thanks daddy.

Should have seen

what I just saw.

Yeah? What's this?

- Clear shot.

- Clear shot?

Standing at the top

of the stairs,

all sexy and smart-ass-ish.


Had a clear shot

of her womanhoodliness.

No panties.

She called me daddy.

"Hello, daddy. "


Wow is right.

Got a good smell of her

as she passed by.


I'm gonna go take care of

those keys before they close.

Yeah, do that.

Ah, Mr. Charlie's!

- Hello! Hello!

- Hey! Has a woman... ?


- I haven't even asked you...

- Ah, yes, I know.

- Well, did she... ?

- No!

- When did she... ?

- No, Mr. Charlie's. The girl. No problem.

I tell her come any time,

all the time.

A friend of Mr. Charlie's

is a friend of Mr. Charlie's.

She's your daughter, yes?

Daughter? She's a...

No, she's not my daughter.

Ohh. Understand.


I'm sure you do.

Uh... never mind.

Mr. Charlie's no shop?

Uh, no, not right now. Later.

Ah, yes, later, Mr. Charlie's.

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Michael Knowles

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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