This is why during the World Series, when the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, back from injury, was improbably playing to great heights and thereby helping take the Cubs to greater heights, I quoted Coach Norman Dale aloud to myself. “With Jimmy, all the pistons are firing.” I am not entirely certain my girlfriend even realized what I was saying aloud to myself, or why, but rest assured, that’s what I was doing. And when events in Game 7 seemed to be spiraling toward that nefarious place you don’t walk to talk about at parties (I just did it again!) I thought, as I often do in those moments of encroaching, seemingly inevitable agony, “I saw the iceberg and I see it in your eyes”, which is what Rose DeWitt Bukater said to Thomas Andrews in “Titanic”, and which is just a god awful line, yes, but dammit, this is Rose DeWitt Bukater we’re talking about, my Movie Hero for all time, and so its god awfulness is nevertheless lifted up in my out of control mind to the realm of spiritual truth.
This is how I do. I can’t help it. I think of things in terms of movie quotes. I will not apologize. No, sir, I won’t. And while I simply do not have the time or the space to list every movie quote I say to myself and why - like “You are an idiot, only a fresh faced novice would come up with a conclusion like that!” - here are a few of the most common and most important.
A Few Movie Lines That Matter More Than Most
“My mother used to make coffee this way – hot, strong, and good.”
Any time I have a really good cup of coffee it instantly flashes me back to Jason Robard saying this, poetically haltingly, to Claudia Cardinale in “Once Upon a Time in the West.”
“It’s an X K Red 27 technique.”
When I’m bumfuzzled by something someone has said, or, more likely, have made someone else bumfuzzled by some nonsensical bullpucky I have uttered, my mind immediately flashes to Kevin Kline as Otto in the most ill-conceived CIA agent impersonation in history, and more than any lunatic line he delivers, it is this one, chock full of pompous desperation, that captures the mood completely.
“I believe they set aside their law as and when they wish. Their law no longer has rightful authority over us. All they have over us then is tyranny. And I will not live under that yoke. So I will stay here no longer.”
In the event of any political bullshit, or similarly themed bullshit, I turn to colonial militiaman Jack Winthrop of “Last of the Mohicans” getting gallantly riled up. (Alternate: Corey Glover’s righteous line reading in “Platoon” of “Politics, man, politics. We always getting fucked around here.”)
“I use that fan all the time. All the time.”
Anytime I hear anything of confounding stupidity I immediately imagine Skippy of Noah Baumbach's “Kicking and Screaming” giving his long-winded harange about how every college student brings a fan that they never use as a means to let Parker Posey reach Mach 5 Deadpan with this Hall of Fame reply.
“You up for this one, Maverick?”
“Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.”
When I’m bubbling with excitement and I know even the cruel intentioned universe can’t bring me down.
“And so it is.”
Lisa Bonet as the immortal Marie de Salle offering these four simple words with a line reading that will melt your goddam heart is my all-time all-purpose go-to for bittersweet acceptance.