This is Our Youth
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This Is Our Youth, Kenneth Lonergan's lacerating look at affluent young Manhattanites of the 1980s, depicts two days in the lives of three college-age Upper West Siders who are from wealthy families but living in doped-up squalor. Dennis—with a famous painter father and social activist mother—is a small-time drug dealer and total mess. His hero-worshipping friend Warren has just impulsively stolen $15,000 from his father, an abusive lingerie tycoon. When Jessica, a mixed-up prep school girl, shows up for a date, Warren pulls out a wad of bills and takes her off, awkwardly, for a night of seduction. A wildly funny, bittersweet, and moving story, This Is Our Youth is as trenchant as it was upon its acclaimed premiere in 1996.
I should’ve … I don’t know. WARREN So are you heavily into fashion development? JESSICA Yeah. I’ve been doing a lot of designing. I’ve always done it. It’s what I want to do. WARREN Well … My basic philosophy about clothes is that they should be comfortable, and not look like too many people had to slave over their creation. But then again, I’m not very fashion-oriented. JESSICA Yeah, but, you know, you will be someday. WARREN I doubt it. JESSICA Yeah, but you will. Your whole
Unfortunately it has nothing to do with what I’m talking about … WARREN That is unfortunate. JESSICA I’m not talking about the chemical structure of your brain, I’m talking about— It’s like, when you find an old letter you wrote, that you don’t remember writing. And it’s got all these thoughts and opinions in it that you don’t remember having, and it’s written to somebody you don’t even remember having ever written a letter to. WARREN I’ve never found a letter like that. JESSICA Well I
comes in the front door. He is a skinny nineteen-year-old—a strange barking-dog of a kid with large tracts of thoughtfulness in his personality that are not doing him much good at the moment, probably because they so infrequently influence his actions. He has spent most of his adolescence in hot water of one kind or another, and is just beginning to find beneath his natural eccentricity a dogged self-possession his friends may not all share. But despite his enormous self-destructiveness, he is
nineteen-fourteen. JESSICA reads what’s embroidered on the cap. JESSICA “Wrigley Field, Home of the Chicago Cubs, Opening Day.” (Reads off the other side.) “True Value.” WARREN True Value Hardware, all right. She puts the hat on. WARREN Looks good, Jessica … She smiles. A moment. JESSICA I didn’t know your family was from Chicago. WARREN They’re not. Just my grandfather. He was actually really cool. When he was a young man, he was like a fairly well-known aviator. You know, with like
Take it to Christian’s house. WARREN He’s not home. DENNIS Take it to Yoffie’s house; go to Leonard’s house. I don’t care. WARREN Nobody’s home. Everyone’s parents are home. I’m not allowed in their houses. Come on. I don’t want to be wandering around the streets with all that money. Come on. Pause. DENNIS This is so typical of you, man, I mean this is like … WARREN Yeah yeah yeah. DENNIS This is like the prototype moronic move we’ve all come to expect from your corner. You drive the