Sunday, December 25, 2016

10 Movie Quotes that Move Me, Make Me Laugh or Bring Back Memories

A good movie quote is one that stands on its own. Adding context adds to its value but movies can’t be remembered in their entirety. So, I chose 10 movie quotes that do a good job of summing up something about a movie I love that once I think of the line, the movie comes rushing back. A few of these are included on the AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes and but the majority are overlooked gems.

1.Capote
2.Lost In Translation
3.Swingers
4.Office Space
5.Sunset Blvd.
6.When Harry Met Sally
7.Rocky
8.Under the Tuscan Sun
9.Monster Squad
10.Pulp Fiction


Truman Capote: (Phillip Seymour-Hoffman):“Ever since I was a child, folks have thought they had me pegged, because of the way I am, the way I talk. And they’re always wrong.”1


Several years ago I heard a movie was being made about Truman Capote and although I knew who he was, he seemed to be one of those writers you don’t meet until college if at all. Understanding that I started to read up on his very social life, the rivalry with Gore Vidal and his fatal alcoholism. He appeared to be an archetype. An artist who struggled with his public persona and his private one. The film Capote and this quote in particular captures the period he wrote “In Cold Blood” in such a quiet and heartbreaking way that it reveals some things about him that he himself could have never said. So much of who we are remains unnoticed and hidden for a reason. It seems that Truman Capote became aware of what happens when you are confronted with the darkest side of yourself.


Bob (Bill Murray): “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”2


Lost in Translation was, for me, a ode to those who don’t know what they want from their lives. Charlotte, played by Scarlett Johansson, is 23, married, and in Tokyo with her husband when she meets Bob, an actor going through the motions of his has-been status doing commercials. They form an almost unbelievable friendship, trading barbs and wisdom, as a way to pass the time and stave off loneliness. There is such an urgency in this world to know what you want and to always be moving that to see things slowed down, like they are in this film was refreshing. For once the characters in a film were allowed to think about what they wanted and recognize that the journey and who they meet is more important that the goal itself.


Trent (Vince Vaughn): “Vegas, baby, Vegas!”3


Trent, played by Vince Vaughn, is the best and worst kind of friend wrapped into one. He can always be trusted to get you into some kind of trouble but will stand by you until you’re out of it. The main character in Swingers played by Jon Favreau is in a romantic rut and Trent decides nothing cures ex-girlfriend blues like a trip to Las Vegas. Their trip didn’t turn out how they hoped it would be. However, that’s the lure of Las Vegas; anything is possible. Even though I yet to win the jackpot, Las Vegas will always represent that bit of escapism you need when life is becoming too stale.


Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston): “I don’t like my job, and, uh, I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore.”4


Feeling like a hamster in a wheel is a common feeling if you have ever worked the nine-to-five for an extended period of time. The bosses start to seem like your parents and routines start to feel more like psychological warfare. In Office Space after an uh, interesting hypnotist session, Peter’s work stress goes away and starts to do all the things that his job or his conscience kept him from doing. He simply stops going to work and with that the movie became a fantasy for the millions, at least myself, going to and from cubicles everyday.


Norma Desmond (Joan Crawford ): “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small.”5


Even though Sunset Blvd. was released in 1950, the characteristics of Norma Desmond, played by Joan Crawford seem so familiar. The delusions she had, the sense of entitlement, the obsession with keeping up appearances are now clichés of any once-famous performer. The theatrical quality that Joan Crawford brought to Norma only makes her more enticing to watch, almost as enticing as the scattered lives of celebrities today. Celebrity gossip is a guilty pleasure of mine and I find that this is the way I enjoy Sunset Blvd., seeing Norma in a way she would never want anyone to see her.


Customer: “I’ll have what she’s having.”6


Watching When Harry Met Sally and reaching the famous scene when Sally (Meg Ryan) fakes an orgasm in a diner is always amusing because you’ll find that Harry’s (Billy Crystal) reaction mirrors that of any men who are watching the movie with you for the first time. The otherwise awkward moment is made classic by another customer in the diner who recognizes the value of such an um, experience.


Rocky (Sylvester Stallone): “I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each other’s gaps.”7


Most movies having to do with any sport usually feature love interests as an afterthought, fearing that it will detract from the overall goal of the film. In the movie Rocky, the love between Rocky and Adrian is tender and genuine. However, instead of detracting from Rocky’s struggle to become a boxing champ his love makes him stronger. I’I’ve always thought that the first Rocky was quite a romantic movie and the subplot gives the film more depth than a sports movie ever needed to be.


Katherine (Lindsay Duncan): “Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.”8


Katherine, played by Lindsay Duncan, acts as muse, confidant, and sometimes a kick in the pants to Under the Tuscan Sun’s Frances (Diane Lane) who buys a house in Tuscany on a whim and struggles to find fulfillment while constantly weighing her impulsive decision. Katherine, a former actress who once was directed by Federico Fellini, is larger than life and at many times gives advice to Frances that was passed down from Fellini himself. Katherine lives her life in the present while Frances is still stuck in the past. It is not until she fully lets go that she realizes that she has everything she wants and is surrounded by people she loves.


Horace (Brent Chalem): “Wolfman’s got nards!”9


Monster Squad was my favorite movie when I was a kid. In fact any movie that featured kids following some scheme in order to save the world or just score some cash was a big hit in our house. I knew even then that the special effects were dated and the villains looked like they were dressed in stock Halloween costumes but the movie is full of great one-liners. The Wolfman was by far the scariest character but he seemed to share the same weakness as any other man and that was to be kicked in nards.


Jules (Samuel L. Jackson): “The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be a shepherd.”10


A hitman who has a change of heart was not a very common occurrence in movies before Pulp Fiction. Especially a hit man like Jules, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Hearing a bible verse before being killed is a chilling and cruel way to go and Jules delivered it in way would fill his targets with fear. But upon a near death experience, Jules decided that it was a wake up call and that he should start a new life. This is one of the themes of Pulp Fiction. There comes for many of the characters, an existential crossroads when they must choose to keep living the life they have or start out on a different path. The wisdom is in knowing when a crossroads is upon you. I have struggled with the choices I’ve made, wondering if the outcomes will be what I hope. In world of Pulp Fiction though, Jules made the right choice; he could have easily killed the two thieves trying to hold up the diner but lucky for them, he was in a “transitional period.”


1.Capote
2.Lost In Translation
3.Swingers
4.Office Space

5.Sunset Blvd.
6.When Harry Met Sally

7.Rocky (1976 film)
8.Under the Tuscan Sun
9.Monster Squad
10.Pulp Fiction


Labels: 10 Movie Quotes that Move Me, Make Me Laugh or Bring Back Memories

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