Saturday, October 11, 2008

best/worst lines of dialogue

My addictive pop culture foe, Entertainment Weekly, has another list out. This time it lists the worst lines of dialogue from films. Wait, this is something I can actually get behind.

There's "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her" from Notting Hill (which, let's be honest, is a God-awful line that is delivered well by Julia Roberts) and "Love means never having to say I'm sorry" from Love Story, which sends all sorts of wrong messages about love. (No, you really should apologize.) I don't care for some of their other choices -- like Baby's line "I carried a watermelon" from Dirty Dancing which is appropriately and justifiably awkward. But the list includes my second least favorite line of all time: "She rescues him right back" -- the closing lines from Pretty Woman. There are so many reasons why I'm anti-Pretty Woman, yet I've seen it about twenty times and continue to watch it if I ever happen across it on TV. (Damn you TNT and your constant repeats!)

So if that's my second least favorite line... what's the worst? Hands down, no question about it: "Nice boys don't kiss like that," "Oh yes, they fucking do" from Bridget Jones's Diary. I'm sorry... what did he say? The ending of that movie rings so untrue to me (he leaves to buy her a new journal without telling her...?), and those closing lines just confirm that Hollywood trite will find its way into any Jane Austen adaptation. That line goes completely against Mr. Darcy/Mark Darcy's character and it's just so... ugh.

So hmm... what are some of the best lines of dialogues? Let me know if you have any suggestions, but I certainly think these are top notch:

"But... it goes to eleven." -- from This is Spinal Tap, also entirely usable in life. Example: "On an Awesome scale of 1-10, I go to 11."

"Inconceivable!" "I do not think that word means what you think it means." -- best delivery EVER, The Princess Bride, and you can certainly use these lines (and certainly this whole scene) in almost every situation.

"To my big brother George, the richest man in town." -- from my favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life. This line alone makes me cry.

"Daisy... Daisy..." -- from my other favorite movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Perhaps one of the saddest deaths in cinema.

"Fra-gee-lay. It must be Italian." -- it's impossible to pick a favorite from A Christmas Story.

Umm, Robin Williams's entire speech by the lake in Good Will Hunting

"My real name is plain Jane Jones." -- from Closer, though it's difficult to understand the gravitas and sadness of this deceptively simple line. This scene is brilliant. Also, another great line is Clive Owen's character describing a heart: "A heart is a fist covered in blood!"

"Yipee-kay-ay, mother fucker!" -- from, of course, Die Hard. There are a lot of great lines from this, but I certainly use this line whenever I have a feeling of accomplishment. Or, if I'm around children, I censor it as TBS does: "Yipee-kay-ay, melon farmer!"

"It's for me." -- closing lines from The Lives of Others. Perhaps one of my favorite last lines of a film. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this movie. I think it's the best movie made in the last 25 years, and it's my third favorite movie. It's a film that really sticks with you. -- HGW XX/7.

"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks." -- from Forrest Gump, another deceptively profound lines. I swear, I learned more about love and life from Forrest Gump than I did my own life. (By the way, I think Tom Hanks won his second consecutive Oscar because of one particular scene -- the scene where Jenny and him are dancing and the camera pulls back through a window into the outside rain. Hanks is Gump in that moment.)

"He was my father. And my mother... my brother... my friend. He was you... and me. He was all of us." -- from V for Vendetta. Not going to lie. I saw this movie with about 15 people and I left them without explanation so that I could go cry in my car for a good thirty minutes. This movie really spoke to me, and holy cow, V has my two favorite paintings in his lair.

"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in." -- from American Beauty. People tend to think of this movie as overrated, but that's one of the consequences for being brilliant and then other people noticing that brilliance. Is it pretentious? Maybe, but that's such an unfortunate word to apply to this movie. I heart this movie.
Hmm, perhaps I'm getting carried away here. There are certainly some great scripts out there. But these are lines that effect me emotionally -- they embody the essence of that film and my relationship to that film.

Alan Sepinwall recently posted something similar. He asked what pop culture dialogue makes it into everyone's daily lives, and he received 110 comments -- and counting! Below are some highlights from (some earlier) comments on his post:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "Bring out your dead" becomes "Bring out your laundry" or "Bring out your recycling", etc.

The Simpsons: "Oh Lisa, it's not that I don't understand, it's just that I don't care."

Arrested Development: "Her?" "I think I just blue myself." "COME ON!" "STEVE HOLT!" "I'm an ideas man, Michael. I think I proved that with Fuck Mountain."

The Big Lebowski: "This is not Nam. This is (insert word). There are rules."
As far as pop culture in everyday lives, I think I say "He's a clean old man" (A Hard Day's Night) and "This is a very inter-esting situation" (It's a Wonderful Life) fairly often, and I'm going to try and incorporate the following line into my common vernacular: "He irks me. He's irksome." (The Mentalist). Perhaps on another day I'll post all of my favorite lines from 30 Rock. I seriously should make an effort to quote that show every day. I wish my life were like an episode of 30 Rock -- BLERG!

1 comment:

Goddessdster said...

Most of my favorite lines are from either The Princess Bride or Buffy.

Xander to Angel: I told you to eat before we left!

Buffy: I think I speak for everyone here when I say, 'Huh?'

After seeing Bridget Jones, I tried to remember how the book ended, because something just rang wrong with me. But the book, fluffy as it is, simply drifted out of my mind, never to be thought of again.