Tuesday, January 27, 2009

graded on participation

Mom sent me an email today that gave me a great idea for today's blog post.  It's a comment-getter, this one.  Because, you know, it actually asks for comments.  You know how I love movies and how I love to be moved by them.  I'm so happy when a movie somehow elevates our own sense of purpose, our right to exist.  You know those movie lines that sink in like "152 insights into my soul," and you wonder to yourself, "How did they know that?  How did that big Hollywood somebody see me and write my feelings that way?  It's surely happened at least once.  Remember my post (I doubt you do) way back when about how movie makers are like the people in a Quaker church standing up because they just know they have something to say?  Well, with all that intent, surely they've gotten to you at least once.  

If you've seen my MySpace page, you know the quote that is probably the most defining for my own life - ironically from the very movie that joked about the insights into my soul.  Meg Ryan's character wrote it in an email in You've Got Mail.  Thus, I have Nora Ephron to thank for one of the most defining movie quotes of my life:

I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small.  And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I want to?  Or because I haven't been brave?

From this quote on, I looked at life differently.  I have a whole theory about how important the "small life" is - because it is important.  But before this quote I lived life much more passively.  After it, I realized that living the life you're supposed to requires more than just patience.  Sometimes it takes bravery.

Recently P.S. I Love You spoke to me.  The defining moment in it is probably the scene where her husband writes in a letter that he is not trying to help her remember him but to remember herself the way she used to be when she knew what she wanted and didn't worry so much how perfectly she found her way to it.  "Just create."  That's what she knew she wanted to do then and what he wanted to remind her of now.  That movie speaks to me because of that belief in the importance of creativity and also for probably the most perfect love any human ever gave another.  The guy in this movie was so content just to love her, and he did it so well.  I definitely want creating things to come second to that part of my life.

Okay.  Now it's your turn.  A movie, a movie scene, a movie line - Pick one.  It doesn't have to have changed your life - it just has to have moved you.


Anonymous said...

hmmm, so many places I could go with this Seren.
"Your life is defined by its opportunities... even the ones you miss"
I wont go into great detail for fear of ruining a notyetseen movie for some. This is from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I heard the line I immediately thought, it sure is. A grabbed oppurtunity can define you regarding how you handle it. Same goes for the missed oppurtunity, what does one do with the regret, if there is any? Or maybe, that missed oppurtunity turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Tracy said...

My all time favorite would have to be from "Cool Runnings" when the coach (played by John Candy) was explaining to Derrice what he had learned from his experience of cheating to win that medal that he couldn't live without. He told Derrice, "If you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it." Completely changed my perspective on how much I really needed anything.

Molly said...

Wow, this is surprisingly hard for someone who loves movies....I'll get back to you.

zanne said...

from the african queen:

Charlie Allnut: A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it's only human nature.

Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.

serenity said...

Ooh! Good ones so far! And the Cool Runnings one is the only one I already knew. This is very cool - inspiration and movie recommendations all in one. (I know, Mom, African Queen - how did I miss that one growing up?)

Felicity said...

I cry buckets at the end of "Life is Beautiful" when the little boy says, "We won, Mama! We won!"

Oh gracious heavens, I think I'm tearing up right now! (And I do NOT want to analyze why this means so much to me except that I believe it is a movie that shows the possibility of transcendence for our lives - how we are meant to live for more than just the here and now. Sorry, Oprah and your strange looking little man friend.)

Kathy said...

Well. I don't know where to begin. My discovery of this magic probably started when Dorothy clicked her ruby slippers together and assured me there was no place like home, and it has continued with a decades-long montage up to last Sunday afternoon when Anthony Hopkins as the butler in Remains of the Day inspired me once again to just do my reasonable service.

Anonymous said...

So for some reason during 7th grade I became infatuated with the book, then the movie, "The Outsiders." I guess I had come to the age when I started to notice and question social stratification. That, or I just liked that the movie was packed full of stars (Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Tom Cruise, etc. etc.).

"You can't win. You know that, don't you? It doesn't matter if you whip us, you'll still be where you were before, at the bottom. And we'll still be the lucky ones at the top with all the breaks. It doesn't matter. Greasers will still be Greasers and Socs will still be Socs.It doesn't matter."

Even just thinking about it now makes me think about our current family email topic - destiny. Can someone at the bottom really rise to the top? It happens all the time. Loretta Lynn was born in Butcher Holler, grew up in poverty and was married at 13. Yet, even as a young mother of six, she became a country music phenomenon -whether it was her destiny or just a result of all her hard work, or maybe a bit of both. But even with fame and money and awards, at heart she was still just a coal miner's daughter (had to throw that in there - another fav movie). I guess I'd like to think the most "successful" are those who remember their roots like she did. (Or to quote Faith, "Y'all I'm still a Mississippi girl..."
And since all that is way to heavy for a Wednesday morning, I will finish with a line that must have touched Jenna as she quotes it all the time:
"I'm hungry, Mother. I'm really hungry."
(101 Dalmations)
luv, sara

Andrea said...

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where they are about to jump off the cliff into the river, after being chased for day's:
Butch-"O.K, on the count of three..."
Butch-"Why not?"
Sundance-"I can't swim!"
Butch - "SWIM???? well hell the fall alone will probably kill ya!"
(and they jumped!)

or as Samwise say's to Frodo when he is overcome with fear at crossing Mordor
"Let's just make it down the hill for starters."

Try not to look tooooo far ahead, or you will probably talk yourself out of it.

serenity said...

Sara, that reminds me of another one that moves me: You can have roots and wings, Mel.

(Sweet Home Alabama)

Felicity said...

@Andrea - I can hear Dad's voice repeating that Butch Cassidy line! Seriously, it is a CLASSIC from our house. So ridiculously pessimistic yet strangely happy-go-lucky. : )

Anonymous said...

I have to comment again, Sara you need TO WRITE A BLOG my sister, I love it!!!
Derek just NOW said that quote to me (101 Dalmations) we say it all the time, and think of Jennaroo.
Tracy's inspired me to watch Cool Runnings, can you BELIEVE I've never seen it?

--now I'm quoting Coal Miners Daughter Sara thank you (lol)

Tracy said...

By the way, Serenity... this has more to do with your last post than this one, but have you ever seen "Shining Through" with Melanie Griffiths & Michael Douglas? If not, you HAVE to see it! Pretty much everything Melanie Griffiths' character knows about life, she's learned from movies! You'd love it... great story!

Molly said...

Ok I've narrowed it down to a few"

Fredrich to Jo in Little Women: But I have nothing to give you. My hands are empty.
[entwines her hands with his]
Jo: They're not empty now.

Also LW, Friedrich: Your heart understood mine.

Mr. Bingley: [to Jane, about to propose to her] First, I must tell you I've been the most unmitigated and comprehensive ass. (not THAT is an apology)

It's a Wonderful Life, Clarence: [In book inscription] Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.

Sooooo, many more. These are some of my faves though.

Katie said...

I, too, adore You've Got Mail and the quote about a small life. (So many lines from that one have moved me.)

Here's one from the 1996 remake of Sabrina (which I like better than the original), about the bridges of Paris:

Sabrina to Linus: You find one you love, and you go there every day with your coffee and your journal, and you listen to the river.

Linus: What does it tell you?

Sabrina: That's between you and the river.

You've got me thinking now - I'm sure I can come up with more. Fun post!

Sarah said...

Amazing Grace. William Pitt and Wilberforce are racing. After Pitt wins, he turns to Wilberforce and asks "Why is it that the thorns hurt when you stop running."

Den said...

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins,
Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer

Molly said...

Ahem, Serenity, do only early posters get the love?? hehehehe

Cheri' said...

Like Serenity, I love the movie P.S. I Love You.

Three quotes from it:

"I don't worry about you forgetting me. It's that girl on the road you keep forgettin'."

"Alone or not, you gotta walk ahead!"

"The thing to remember is: If we're all alone, then we're all together in that too."

I just love the way her husband loved her and knew her so well. Even after he was gone, he loved her into finding her destiny.

serenity said...

No, Molly! I'm soaking them up. Actually I'm writing them down. These are all so good.

Lucinda said...

Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Why you doin' this, Doc?
Doc Holliday: Because Wyatt Earp is my friend.
Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Friend? Hell, I got lots of friends.
Doc Holliday: ...I don't.

Kate: I'm a good woman to you, Doc. Don't I always take care of you? Nobody takes care of you like me. I'm a good woman.
Doc: Yes, I know. You are a good woman.
Doc: Then again, you may be the Antichrist.

serenity said...

I love Doc Holliday, Cindy.

Kathy said...

"I'm your Huckleberry."

molly said...

Cindy! I love those! "I've got two guns...one for each of ya"

Kelly H-Y said...

I have so many ... but when asked to remember them ... I go totally blank! :-) I'm sure I'll think of one the minute I hit 'publish your comment'! :-)
Hope you're doing well!

Widney Woman said...

I couldn't think about it a the time. Stage fright or something. Perhaps I should never go on a game show for fear I'll choke up.

My Best Friend's Wedding
"Love the shoes, love the bag, love it."
"Jules, who's following you? Nobody. Get it?"

My favorite movies are Much Ado About Nothing and You've Got Mail. If I could, I would live in those movies. Now that we live in a big city, I'm always looking for my little 'Shop Around the Corner'.

serenity said...

Simone, I totally get the stage fright thing! And your favorites are two of mine as well. Of course, you knew my obsession with You've Got Mail. I had the Much Ado soundtrack play while I walked down the aisle (my porch actually) when I got married and then as we walked down together too. David Gray threw flower petals from the roof. My grandmother said, "That wasn't a wedding, it was a production!" I love that comment you made, "I want to live in those movies." I'm with ya, Babe.