written by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, from the novel by Louis Begley
Warren Schmidt: Uh, I didn't get much sleep last night so...forgive me if I'm a little...foggy. (an uncomfortable silence; Warren sighs deeply) But you know...today is a special day. We're here to mark a crossroads in the lives of two people. A crossroads where they...come together...and now walk along a new road. It's not the same road that they were on before. It's a new road. A road...that...um...(gives up, sighing) ...As many of you know, I lost my wife recently. And Jeannie lost her mother. Helen and I were married 42 years. She died very suddenly. I know we all wish she could be with us today and I think, I think it would be appropriate to acknowledge just how pleased she was that Jeannie had found someone to share her life with. A companion. A partner. I recall the day when Jeannie first told us she had been proposed to. We hadn't yet met this Randall fellow so we were understandably a little suspicious. Later, she brought him home for Christmas so we could get a look at him. I remember, uh, there was a big snowstorm and Randall here helped me shovel off the front walk. He pitched right in. (laughter from the guests; Warren chuckles but his mood suddenly changes to something more somber) But that brings me to what I really want to say. What I want to say...what I really want to say is...uh...... (brightens again)...thank you, to you, Randall, for taking such good care of my daughter, especially recently with our loss. Ever since I arrived here a couple days ago, I have so enjoyed getting to know Jeannie's new family. Roberta, thank you for your generosity, for opening your home. Your talent in the kitchen is... Larry, your wonderful eloquence. Saundra, your skill with handicrafts is truly remarkable. That item that you showed me was so very artistic. Duncan, I, I haven't gotten to know you very well, but I could tell from our brief conversations that you are a very thoughtful young man. (Duncan (Mark Venhuizen) stares blankly into space) Everybody else...terrific people. Terrific. And in conclusion, I just want to say on this special day, this very special day...that I am very...pleased.
Larry (Howard Hesseman): Hear hear!
(Warren puts the microphone back on the stand and leaves the reception for the bathroom, practically scampering)
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