Synopsis of The Last Virgin
Written by Josh
Reneé walks into the living room and finds Ally watching an instructional video on how to kiss. Embarrassed, Ally admits that she's nervous about her third date with Larry. Reneé gently reminds her that people generally have SEX on their first date. "Fine," Ally stammers, "but can't I be nervous about the first kiss?" Dejected, Ally continues, saying she feels like she's forgotten how to kiss.
The next day, Ally enters her office...and finds Kimmy there, shifting nervously. She says that six months ago - - she's humiliated to admit - - she was removed from the partnership track at the law firm of Cole & Nyber. She sued them, and the trial is set to begin tomorrow. However, her attorney has suddenly become unavailable, and she wants Ally to represent her. Her firm comes highly recommended, but there's more to it than that...the defendants have hired Larry Paul to represent them.
Richard doesn't see why Ally can't square off in court against Larry, and tells her to take the case, saying that John will conduct the case and she can second-chair. Ally vehemently objects, reminding them that she is dating Larry. "Ally," Richard replies, "there are reasons pro, reasons con, but at the end of the day, what does it all come down to? Say it with me, John." "Money," John chimes in.
"You took the case?" Larry asks incredulously. Ally asks if he thinks it would be too dangerous, or too uncomfortable. He says he's not the type of lawyer who gets adversarial with opponents, so it's okay if she wants to represent Kimmy. However, he asks her - - trying hard to keep a straight face - - if she knows why Kimmy was denied partnership. Ally admits that she doesn't.
"For being a prude?" John asks, puzzled. Kimmy explains that they fired her because she has values; they said they fired her because she didn't get along with others, because she was too "puritanical" to fit in. She notices John's lip twitching like a bunny's and says it's cute, sympathizing by saying she has a similar twitch in her eye that she gets when she's nervous. John smiles uncomfortably.
Larry arrives at Cage/Fish with Luke Pederson of Cole & Nyber in tow, and they enter a conference room with Ally and Kimmy. Larry takes Ally aside, giving her the same instructions he gave the last time they entered a conference room together: "Do not get agitated, let me do the talking, you have to stay quiet." She starts to agree...then stops, remembering she's on the other side. Larry smiles. As everyone sits own, Pederson implores Kimmy to be reasonable and Larry suggests that Pederson and Kimmy have more in common than differences. "I have NOTHING in common with him," Kimmy snarls. Larry asks why she associated with him - - and the other lawyers at Cole & Nyber - - if she ha nothing in common with them. She protests, saying she didn't "associate" with them; she went in, did her job, and left. Larry asks why, if she didn't consider her colleagues partners, they should have made HER a partner. Suddenly, we hear water trickle slowly into a glass, followed by the dramatic clang of the Bells...as John Cage takes his place at the table. John and Larry stare each other down like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, sizing each other up, and we can instantly tell that the two fastest guns in Boston are about to have a show down. "I find that lawsuits are about truth AND perception," John begins quietly, steepling his fingers. "The truth lives somewhere within those courtroom walls, but when the doors open, it's perception that usually has wings." He continues, saying that the TRUTH may be that they fired Kimmy because she didn't fit in. But the PERCEPTION will be that she was fired for being too virtuous, too moral. "Now, is that the message you want hopping around town in leaps, Mr. Pederson?" he asks, leaning in until he is inches from Pederson's face. "That at Cole & Nyber, there is no room for the pious?" "Would you please lean back?" Larry interjects. "We can see your lip bristle." John's lip begins to twitch, and he leans back slowly, looking daggers at Ally.
Later, in his office, John explains to Kimmy that her demeanor in the conference room didn't help their case. A partnership, he reminds her, is about people being partners, and an alienating personality could be dispositive here. John tells her that he was never popular growing up, and so he formed a shell so it would be more difficult for people to hurt him. But it also became harder for him to let people in, and in that way, he became secure in his own unpopular state. He tells her that tomorrow, in court, she needs to come off as more relaxed, easier to sympathize with...less off-putting. Kimmy is unsure. "There's a wonderful girl in there, Kimmy, I know it," John says. "You just have to bring her out." She looks at him, her face softening.
"No, really, I can't stay," Larry says as he walks Ally into her apartment after their third date. "I'm actually trying a case tomorrow, as opposed to just sitting at a table." Ally laughs, and there is an uncomfortable pause. Their eyes meet, and he leans in, smiling and brushing a strand of hair out of her face. "I wish tonight didn't have to end," he says quietly. She agrees, preparing for the kiss. He leans in closer...and kisses her forehead quickly, saying goodnight and leaving. Ally groans, banging her head against the wall in frustration.
Reneé consoles Ally the next morning, suggesting that perhaps Larry doesn't want to rush it and that forehead is still more promising than cheek. "It's no big deal, really," Ally sighs. "I only just met the guy. How much can there be to lose? Besides, it's okay! I'm a lawyer, I'm independent, I've got the world at my fingertips, and I am woman!" "Damn right!" Reneé agrees skeptically, waiting for the other shoe to drop. "And if he doesn't love me, I don't know what I'm gonna do," Ally finishes weakly.
A smiling and relaxed Kimmy is on the stand, saying that she was prepared to accept not being made partner; however, the fact that she didn't fit in - - because she was "too prude-like" - - shouldn't justify not being made a partner. When John reminds her that the essence of partnership is partnership, she says that she can appreciate that, and if she were causing a disturbance in the work place she could understand being fired. "But because I don't drink...because I don't slap my knee at the racy joke...or because I choose to skip after-hours parties...I don't think it's fair to punish me for that," she says. Mr. Pederson had told her that she wasn't entertaining the clients well enough, that it was important to take them out and show them a good time on occasion, not just do their legal work.
Larry asks if Kimmy is a woman of values, suggesting that perhaps she imposes hers on others. When she denies this, he reminds her that last Christmas, she got everyone a copy of William Bennett's "Book of Virtues." She says that yes, it's a wonderful book. Larry continues, asking if - - that same Christmas, the night before - - she pulled down all the mistletoe from around the office. "Kissing can get a little out-of-control, especially with the eggnog flowing," she points out, her smile becoming more forced. Larry presses on, asking her if - - when confronted with a box of mistletoe in her office - - she said, "These vile and disgusting plants promote free sex." She replies that she simply said she thought the decorations were inappropriate. Larry asked if she ever complained about the secretaries wearing short skirts. She gently answers that yes, she feels fashion can go a bit far sometimes. Larry reminds her of a bumper sticker she has on her car - - "Oh, I put that there a while ago," she says lightly - - that reads "Virgins Rule." "I'm not ashamed of it," she says, smiling and winking at Larry. John and Ally frown, realizing what's happening...she's nervous, and her eye is twitching. Larry asks if she once asked the litigation department to join her in prayer. "Oh, it was before a really big case, and I didn't insist on it," she answers, her eye blinking rapid-fire. The jury leans in as one for a closer look. She slaps her hand over her eye impatiently.
In the courtroom halls, Ally confronts Larry, saying she thought his tactics were unnecessarily mean and she didn't like them. Sensing there's something else on her mind, he asks what's wrong...she refuses to tell him, stalking away. John watches this. "She's very emotional," John tells him quietly. "I'd go after her." "I don't do that," Larry replies. "Of course not," John says. "I'd imagine that would make it more difficult to live life alone." He walks away, leaving Larry to digest this.
"The problem wasn't her values," Pederson testifies, "it was that she was so judgmental. She made people feel so uncomfortable." John attacks him like a red-haired machine gun, asking if a firm like Cole & Nyber - - a firm with three hundred employees - - can't make room for one virgin; if they're opposed to the concept of piety; if they want to send the message to the other employees, "Hey, I'd better start rolling with the jokes around here, suck face under the mistletoe, or I'll be the next to go"; if she was warned when she was hired that her values may be used against her. Before Pederson can form a single reply, John withdraws all his questions, feigning disgust.
Ally goes to Larry's office, apologizing and admitting that she was upset because he didn't kiss her last night. He tells her that he didn't want to rush it, that he feels like it could be right and he didn't want to blow it by moving too fast. She suggests that maybe it isn't right, that maybe - - what with the added stress of the trial - - they should just step back for a while. "Ally, don't run from me, don't run from whatever you're feeling," he says. "You don't think I was scared? I've been dating one woman after another...it gets as easy as it does old...and suddenly, you're with someone who could be right? It's terrifying." She admits shyly that she's spent the past two days obsessed with the idea that she's forgotten how to kiss. He suggests that it might be symbolic; when he first met her., he got the sense that she was a person who had forgotten how to love and be loved. She says she doesn't know how to respond to that, and leaves. "I...talk too much," he says to himself, frowning.
"When Kim Bishop was fourteen," John says to the jury, "she was the only one of her peer group who chose not to smoke pot. She wasn't cool. In college, she skipped the Bloody Mary brunches and went to church instead. The prude. When her peers were out having fun, she went to the library and studied, with the idea that, one day, she'd be a partner in a law firm. And here she is today, she's one of the brightest and most productive associates in her law firm, being denied partnership because her lifestyle isn't wild enough. We ridicule the innocent, the pure. You believe in God? Well, you keep it to yourself. Frown on premarital sex? Joke's on you. Don't want to drink a little alcohol after work? Well, what kind of a partner could you be? The virtuous? How could we respect them? They're just stupid. If you want some idea of just how idiotic they can be, take a look at this one. She believed if she was a good lawyer, put in the work, did the hours, won her cases, that she'd be rewarded regardless of how much fun she was. How silly is that?"
"'She's been rejected her whole life,'" Larry counters pensively. "I wonder. Clearly, she encountered some people to form close friendships with. Maybe she just got so used to being rejected at some point, she was no longer open to the idea that hey, things could work. Sometimes people, on occasion - - I've been one of them - - get so used to things not working out, they become strangely more comfortable with failure than they are with success. Kimberly Bishop has never gotten along with people. At some point, she has to ask, 'Is it me? Am I the one?' Nobody at Cole & Nyber was saying to her, 'You can't be who you are.' Perhaps she refuse to accept them. Everything could have worked out here. All she had to do...was let it, really." His eyes meet Ally's, and he sits down.
"In the matter of Bishop vs. Cole & Nyber, we find in favor of the defendant," the jury says. John apologizes to Kimmy, suggesting that she could appeal, but she says that she should admit to herself that it was the right verdict. She sincerely thanks John for his support and kind words. He assures her that he meant them. She starts winking, and his lip begins to twitch...she asks if he'd like to go to dinner. He nods, his nose whistling.
Ally sits in her office that night. The phone rings, and she picks it up...it's Larry. She makes small talk uncomfortably, ending by saying that they should get together sometime and hanging up. She shakes her head, closing her eyes. Suddenly, Larry walks in, holding his cell phone. "'We should get together sometime?'" he asks, grimacing. "You think I'm just going to sit back and wait for you to get with the program? You may be afraid of all this, Ally, but I'm not." She warns him that he's only seen the tip of the neurotic iceberg...she's demented, self-absorbed, vain, incapable of letting herself be loved. "That we need to work on, then," he says, leaning in and kissing her on the lips for a long time. "I think you remember how to do it," he comments. She rises, and they hold each other. "I'll see you tomorrow, right?" she asks. "You'll see me tomorrow," he assures her. "And the day after that?" she asks.
"And the day after that," he replies gently.
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