From mid-November to late December in my house, the Hallmark Channel with Christmas love story after Christmas love story is on pretty much nonstop. My wife and daughter love them, they can’t get enough of them.
I’m a Christmas softee, so I must admit that I’ll pull up a chair and watch for a few minutes. The key word there, being “few.” When they’re on 24/7, however, you can pretty much tell right away the ones with legitimate plot construction and passable acting from the shoddy, repackaged, over-dramatized ones.
I happened to pass our living room this week and saw my wife finishing up the latest one. The Hallmark movies always end with a kiss. I wouldn’t be a good husband if I didn’t tease her, so, of course, I broke out in mock tears and started quoting from Notting Hill, my wife’s favorite romance movie of all time.
“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her,” I said quoting the line that Julia Robert’s character, Anna Scott, says during a key moment to Hugh Grant.
You would have thought that I had made fun of the Pope and Jesus Christ himself. My wife has seen my schtick enough to have her comeback ready. Right on cue, she joked at least this time I didn’t butcher the line.
She’s right of course. I love movies and, especially great writing, but I can never remember great movie lines verbatim for the life of me. I always end up butchering them in one way or another. If I was more of a singer, I’d be the guy in the back of the bus, singing the wrong words to whatever pop song is hot at the moment.
In any event, great movie lines have a way of transporting us back to another time, another place. They say so much with so little and they make us feel something, everything from anger to joy, sadness to happiness. I couldn’t help but think back on a few of the all-time greats:
–“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” –Gone With the Wind, 1939
–“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – The Godfather, 1972
–“May the Force be with you.” -Star Wars, 1977
–“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” –The Wizard of Oz, 1939
–“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” –Dead Poets Society, 1989
— “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” –Forrest Gump, 1994
–“I’ll be back.” –The Terminator, 1984
–Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” –Rocky Balboa, 2006
–“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” –Jaws, 1975
–“Here’s looking at you, kid.” –Casablanca,1942
–“Houston, we have a problem.” –Apollo 13, 1995
–“There’s no crying in baseball!” –A League of Their Own, 1992
–“You can’t handle the truth!” –A Few Good Men, 1992
“I am your father.” –Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980
–“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” –Cool Hand Luke, 1967
–“You had me at ‘hello.’” –Jerry Maguire, 1996
–“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” –Braveheart, 1995
–“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” –Gladiator, 2000
–Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. –Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
–“Say hello to my little friend.” –Scarface, 1983
–“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.” –The Shawshank Redemption, 1994
–”Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” –It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946
Something tells me that in the future I won’t be quoting from any of the hot, new Hallmark Channel or Lifetime Christmas movies, but that’s okay, this is a pretty tough list to break into.
What’s your favorite line?