For most New Yorkers, Manhattan is the centre of the civilised world.
For a privileged few,
Manhattan is merely a place to kill time
between weekends at their fashionably rustic country homes.
The place looks great.
I was willing to forego the privilege.
- That's the "before" picture. - Sorry!
- That's the "after". - Could I see the "before" again?
You have to be there to appreciate it.
- I can appreciate it from here. - Luckily, you won't have to.
- You're coming up there next week. - I am?
I wish I could, but I have a meeting
with my editor in town next week.
It's only 40 minutes away.
Take the train in for your meeting
and back when you're done.
You've just thought of everything, haven't you?
Pack your bags, little lady.
You're coming to the country with me.
That's Miranda. We'll talk later.
Nothing left to talk about!
Yes, there is!
- I'll be right down. - I'm coming up.
I'm what you call a bona fide city girl.
I'm a girl about town. I'm the kind of girl
that goes to a late movie in the middle of the week. I'm crazy!
I know it.
Could you tell Steve to call his insurance company?
They still think I'm his "in case of emergency" person.
He needs to update that file.
He wants to talk to you about some stuff, too.
Like what?
Some stuff.
What is he going to tell me?
Now that Jessica's gone, he wants to see me again?
- That he's still in love with me? - Steve's got testicular cancer.
That I'm a horrible selfish bitch?
A few blocks south, Charlotte was also in a compromising position.
Whatever it is you're doing, don't stop.
- It's a fertility exercise. - I know a better one.
Not yet! My basal body temperature reading says I ovulate in five days.
That's perfect. We have five days to practise.
We can't! You need to conserve your juices so they'll be at their most powerful.
Darling, I'm juicy now.
I'm sorry.
We've been trying for three months. I don't want to take any chances.
- Can't it wait until Saturday? - We'll be in Connecticut with Mother.
I know. I was thinking we could stay here and concentrate on this.
She's expecting us. If we miss the orchid show, she'll be devastated.
Then we'll have to have sex at your mother's.
People having sex in Connecticut?
There's a first time for everything.
It's no big deal. The doctor said it's very trendy now.
- Lance Armstrong had it... - Everybody's getting it.
- It's the TiVo of cancers. - It's no big deal.
You've just got to snip one of those guys out of there and I'm done.
So it's stage one? I looked it up on the Net.
- I guess so. - You guess so? You don't know?
Sure. It's stage one. You have the operation.
Stage one: the cancer hasn't spread to the lymph nodes, has it?
Your doctor gave you an ultrasound? A CAT scan?
You know... I turned my head, I coughed, he poked around a little.
Who the hell is this doctor?
He's nice. I got him through my HMO.
Then he must be good.
I talked to some guys in my office who've been through this...
I used a pseudonym.
They gave me the name of a specialist who...
You don't have to do anything.
I have a doctor. It's no big deal.
Will you stop saying that? It is a big deal.
This isn't your crazy yellow toenail. This is cancer.
The longer you wait to find out what's going on,
the more likely it is that the cancer will spread and you will die.
It is a big fucking deal!
I made him cry.
First, I yelled at my friend, the cancer patient. Then I made him cry.
It's understandable, you just lost your mom. You have pent-up anger.
Maybe. But mostly he pissed me off.
He needed a kick in the ass.
You know what you need? A weekend with me at Aidan's country house.
You're not actually going, are you?
If you mean being taken against my will and kidnapped, then yes.
This weekend, I'm a hick town hostage.
I can't go. Steve has cancer.
Somebody has to make him feel bad about it.
You're at the Connecticut compound?
Come on! It's like living in Paris and going to Provence for the weekend.
What is it with weekends? Every guy I've fucked since Memorial Day
wants to know about my weekend.
They just don't get it. My weekends are for meeting new guys.
So that's a no?
I'll have to brave the wilderness on my own.
Not on your own. With Aidan.
I love Aidan.
Aidan loves the country so maybe I'll love the country.
- Because Aidan loves the country? - Apparently that's how it works.
You need to pretend to be someone else to be in a relationship?
No. I believe the word you're looking for is compromise.
Trey loves golf so I'm taking lessons.
Trey loves Bunny so I'm ovulating at the orchid show.
- Which hick town is it? - It's too terrible and too ironic.
It's Suffern.
Suffern, New York.
Sounds like you'd better take some Bufferin to Suffern!
We're home.
There's a lake right over there. One mile.
This floor's original. It dates back to 1874.
The plumbing's 1974, so it needs some work.
I put in a hot water heater.
What do you think? Scary as you thought?
No. God, no.
It was scarier.
Good. Let me stick this stuff in the back
- and I'll give you the grand tour. - I'll be here.
There I was: trapped in a cabin outdated even by Civil War standards,
when I could have been cocktailing and sample saleing.
What is it? What happened? Are you OK?
No! Oh, my God!
There was a huge, giant squirrel in that window.
That's my squirrel. I've been sneaking him nuts
hoping he'd make friends.
You can't be friends with a squirrel!
A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.
That's my squirrel? Any more surprises I should know about?
Let's see, just...
Hours later, we discovered one satisfying way
to pass the time in the country. Just not enough time.
There I was, miles from home, hours from sleep,
with no one to talk to, nowhere to go, and nothing to do except...
Three hours, two mosquitoes and one too many vodka Kool-Aids later,
I finally found an outlet for my computer, but not my frustration.
Relationships, no matter how good, are inevitably a series of compromises.
How much of ourselves should we be willing to sacrifice for the other person?
In a relationship, when does the art of compromise become compromising?
Meanwhile, back in the civilised world...
What are you doing next weekend?
What did I say?
Tired of being the "wake up and smell the coffee" girl,
Miranda invited Steve for tea and sympathy.
Or, in Steve's case, Chinese food and chop sake.
I thought you hated these movies.
But you don't and the guy at Video Village said this one rocks.
- You want the last spring roll? - No, that's yours.
I don't want it, you have it.
They forgot the tea! Did you want tea? I could make some.
I'm outta here.
- Where are you going? - Home.
Think I want to be treated like some cancer patient?
What are you talking about?
Why don't you want the last spring roll? You eat all the spring rolls!
I'm sorry, I felt bad.
In the park you needed a shoulder to cry on and I was a bitch to you!
You were.
Thank God. Now I have a doctor who knows what he's doing,
I've got my operation and insurance to pay for it.
So thank you for being a huge bitch.
Give me that spring roll.
At the MacDougal's Connecticut compound,
Bunny gave Charlotte a tour of her nursery.
Since my boys have all grown up, my orchids have become my babies.
This year, Waxy Hanahan's Chocolate Oncidium
will be no match for my Rising Suns.
- They're exquisite. - I'm pleased you think so.
I've repotted this one for you.
- I couldn't. - But I insist.
A gift in anticipation of the great gift you're giving me.
- What gift is that? - A grandchild, my dear.
Don't be cross with Trey for telling me.
He knows I'm anxious to have a wee MacDougal to carry on the family name.
I couldn't get any sleep.
- The silence is deafening. - You are in the country.
Then I go to take a shower and there's no water,
so now he's working on the pipes all day.
I had to leave the house before I dehydrated.
I'd like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmopolitan.
- What? - A strawberry shake, please.
- Where are you? - The Frozen Cup in HoHoKus.
I had to drive to New Jersey to get cell service.
The only way to get anything to eat is to make it yourself
and I'm in no mood for Bisquik.
Bunny's picking out schools for her grandchild and I'm not even pregnant.
She didn't let the cook put shrimp in my omelette.
A cook? How far is my country from your country?
How is the house?
There's squirrels everywhere. It's Animal Farm.
- Four legs good, two legs bad. - You didn't say that to him?
He thinks I love it. I don't know why I'm here.
- You're keeping him company. - I'm trying, but he's out hoeing.
So try harder. Go hoe!
Are we going to be schlepping these railroad ties over to the mud hole?
- Yes, ma'am. Don't hurt yourself. - I'm not going to hurt myself.
All right. Ready?
- You OK? - Fine. It's just mud.
Go! Go, go, go!
Shit!
I'm not being helpful any more. Maybe I should get back to the city.
I have that meeting to get ready for.
And several showers to take.
Four hours later, I kissed Aidan goodbye
and had a New York steak with my New York ex.
I tried, but nature and me: it's unnatural.
I love being with Aidan. There's no one in the world I would rather...
I'm sorry.
- Is it OK to talk to you about this? - Go ahead. I'm OK.
I'm glad we can talk about this. If you ever meet someone...
I met someone.
Who is she?
If I tell you, you can't tell anyone.
Is she your imaginary girlfriend?
She's an actress. Willow Summers.
She's not an actress, she's a movie star!
Did you see that spy-girl movie? She was good.
But she wears many wrong things on the red carpet.
I cannot believe you're dating someone...
...named after a tree!
- She's really something. - How did you meet her?
She came up to me at her premiere and asked for a light.
She said, "l have two vices. Smoking and green-eyed men."
- She's a smoothie. - We talked, had a few...
Went up to her hotel,
dress comes off... Red panties.
Kept her high heels on. I lifted her up, put her on the bed...
OK! That's plenty! Thanks.
That was about 30 seconds. I think I did pretty good.
- How's the stock market treating you? - I can't get her out of my head.
She's crazy about me. Willow Summers is crazy about me!
- Someone's crazy. - I'm not kidding.
- When I walked home from her hotel... - You walked?
I thought, "This is something."
There's something here.
Connection.
The red-panty, green-eyed connection.
I think I'm in love.
I realised I'd gone from pretending I didn't hate the country
to pretending I didn't hate listening to Big's Willow talk.
I may have been back in the city, but now I was really Suffern.
One thing was clear: I had to get back to the country.
But I wouldn't rely on it to provide the entertainment.
I would take it with me, otherwise known as...
...Samantha.
- What's next, Samantha? - You've got to be kidding me.
- We're baking a pie here! - You are. I'm just baking.
It's hotter here than outside. Can't we turn on the air conditioning?
One cup of milk.
No, we can't. There is no air conditioner.
Or milk, for that matter.
What time's the next train?
You can't go! You have to entertain me when Aidan goes to bed.
You lured me here under false pretences.
- I told you it was rustic. - Don't kid yourself. It's a dump!
Aidan worked very hard on this place.
He put that hot water heater in by himself.
With his own bare hands.
Actually, I was wearing gloves at the time, but thanks.
- Is it hot in here or is it me? - It isn't you.
I'm preheating the oven.
It couldn't be any hotter in here. Or could it?
Who's the farmer with the delts?
Young MacDonald?
That's Luke Gilmore. Came out here after the market crash.
He doesn't say much. Keeps to himself.
- What does he do out here? - Push-ups by the look of him.
What are you up to, Sammy Jo?
If we're going to bake us a pie, we're going to need us some milk.
Anybody home?
- You lost? - No!
I'm staying next door and I'm baking a pie from scratch.
I realised I'm fresh out of milk.
Help yourself.
- From New York City? - Yes.
But only until I can afford a little farm all my own.
Ever milk a cow before?
But something tells me I'd be very good at it.
Squeeze off the milk with your thumb and forefinger,
then roll down into a fist. Squeeze and roll.
Squeeze and roll.
Squeeze and roll. I think I can do that.
Squeeze and roll. Squeeze and...
I usually get a little warning before that happens.
I guess it just takes practice.
Anything else need milking?
While Samantha worked up an appetite, Charlotte's eggs were ready.
- I'm in the bath. - It's time! I'm ovulating!
Get out of the tub, get into this bed, make love to me right now.
I was just telling Trey
how much you remind me of myself at your age.
There you are. What are you doing here?
- What were you doing up there? - What do you mean?
Your mother was watching you bathe!
She was not watching me. We were talking while I was in the bath.
I don't know how you were brought up,
but that is not acceptable bath-time behaviour past the age of five.
If you think I'm bringing a child into that, that I'm that kind of mother,
think again.
She raised you like that, but I am not your mother.
I was raised by a woman named Eva Neil. She was my nanny.
I don't remember ever seeing my mother
except after her tennis lesson and before cocktails,
when she drew me a bath and told me how she spent her day.
So I know, I have always known,
that you could never be that kind of mother.
That's my ovaries. I'm ovulating.
I'd better get to work.
I have to do it in the right position. Wait. I have to get my legs up.
While trying to make a baby, Charlotte and Trey destroyed Bunny's
and Waxy Hanahan's Chocolate Oncidium won first prize once again.
Back in New York, the patient Steve was greeted by a patient Miranda.
You're up. How are you?
On drugs.
- How long you been here? - Not long. A while.
Is that OK?
- I talked to the doctor. - How's he?
He said everything looked pretty good down there.
I told him I'd seen better.
- Sorry. - Visiting's over.
- You'll have to leave now. - I'm sorry. I don't think so.
- Are you a family member? - I'm his "in case of emergency" person.
It's OK if you want to go.
Shut up or I'll give you a sponge bath.
20 minutes.
Drink your juice.
Meanwhile, on his farm,
Young MacDonald had Samantha.
That was good!
You're a man of few words, but they're all the right ones.
What are you doing next weekend?
Look! I made crust!
Now we just have to put apples in and it's pie.
- Look at that. - You don't understand.
The only thing I have ever made in a kitchen
is a mess and several fires. Feel like peeling some apples?
- I feel like taking a shower. - Now?
You've been outside all day. I've been cooped up in here.
We'll do it together. It'll be fun.
- Are you OK? - No, I am not OK!
I burned my legs!
I hate that squirrel! I hate this oven!
I hate...this!
House. You hate the house.
- I hate the house. - Thank you.
I'm sorry, I just...
I don't belong here. I don't know where anything goes.
And I've burnt my legs. It really hurts.
Jump up here.
There it is.
Is that better?
I'm sorry.
I don't hate the house. I hate the squirrel!
The squirrel's not so bad.
The house will get better, you'll see.
Maybe I should just come up on the weekends.
Or every other weekend.
I don't have to come at all.
Weekends are good.
One slow train ride and two fast-food apple pies later...
This is surprisingly delicious.
Why make one when you can buy one so perfect and individually sized?
Wait a minute. Hold still.
- Souvenir? - I am never leaving this city again.
Actually, the country's looking pretty good to me now.
- So you'll be back next weekend? - Not next weekend, no.
So when are you going back?
Are you going to finish that pie?
In the end, Aidan and I compromised.
He spent money on air conditioning and I spent enough time in Suffern
to realise that city girls are just country girls...
...with cuter outfits.