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Posts tagged ‘movie quotes’

Movie Quote Monday – Christmas Vacation


Clark: Ellen! I want to have Christmas here in our house. It means a lot to me. All my life I’ve wanted to have a big family Christmas.
Ellen: It’s just that I know how you build things up in your mind, Sparky. You set standards that no family event can ever live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?

One of the things I loved as a kid was big family Christmases. We had Christmas Eve with my Mom’s side at our house, and at my grandparent’s house, there was always a huge gathering of family from my Dad’s side the weekend before or after. At times I’ve really mourned the loss of those. But in each case, the nuclear family switched at some point, from grandma and grandpa with their kids and grandchildren, to the new families being made. The grandkids were grown and having kids of their own, with their own time constraints and needs. Their own traditions. 

For me, as a single person without kids, it’s a little different. I don’t really have a family tradition anymore, because it’s just me. And that can be a little sad sometimes – and in part it’s that loss of tradition that I’ve grieved for. But then I’m kind of a hermit, so mostly it’s all good. I get to go somewhere else, watch some presents get opened, eat, and then go home to my blessed quiet. But I do miss the excitement of seeing my extended family on those big family Christmases. And in my heart, that’s the image I cling to of what Christmas should be.

If you’ve ever seen Christmas Vacation, then you know that Clark’s hopes and dreams of what the holiday should be, well, they don’t pan out. His plans all go wrong, burn down, and pile up, one on top of the other, like the growing heap of ruined stuff he has to keep tossing out to the curb. Poor Clark.

But don’t worry about him, because if he’s anything, it’s hopeful. Maybe it does all fall down around his head, but in the end, so what? Maybe it’s not about what we want to get, but what we do get. Making the most out of that. No, making the best out of that.

Believing the best. Even when Christmas doesn’t deliver what we dreamed it would.

 If Clark taught me anything, that would be it.

Merry Christmas, Sparky.

Movie Quote Monday – Shirley Valentine

I first saw Shirley Valentine as a one-woman play when I was about 16, and I loved it. The movie came out in 1989 and I don’t remember when I first saw that, but when I did it made me fall in love with Shirley Valentine all over again.

It’s about a woman whose kids have left the nest, and whose husband is in his own “chips and egg are on Tuesdays, steak is on Thursdays” kind of funk. And how, at 42, she finds herself somehow morphed from the rebellious and spirited Shirley Valentine of her youth, into “the wife” and “the mother”. She has sunk so far into her life that she simply doesn’t recognize herself anymore.

Shirley’s friend Jane wins a free vacation to Greece, and in a spark of familial defiance, Shirley accepts an invitation to accompany her. But once in Greece, she finds herself abandoned by Jane on the very first night, and instead of being alone at home talking to the wall, she’s alone in Greece talking to a rock. But she quickly decides that she can do alone in Greece just as well as in London, so why not make the very most of her two-week holiday.

So one night she goes out to fulfill her “soft little dream” of sitting by the sea, drinking a glass of wine and watching the sun set. A restaurant owner, Costas, obliges her by carrying a table down to the shore, glad to be able to make someone’s dream come true.

Of course, what Shirley finds is that sometimes the fulfillment of our dreams doesn’t feel the way we thought it would. And the life we’ve lived, even one we thought we wanted, doesn’t always achieve our great expectations.

Shirley:  I’ve led such a little life. And even that will be over pretty soon. I have…allowed myself to lead this little life when inside me there was so much more. And it’s all gone unused. And now it never will be. Why do we get all this life if we don’t ever use it? Why do we get all these…feelings…and dreams and hopes…if we don’t ever use them. That’s where Shirley Valentine disappeared to. She got lost in all this unused life.

I’d be lying if I said I’d never felt the way Shirley feels, and I think lots of people go through some kind of emotional crisis of the “what have I done with my life” variety. I won’t tell you what Shirley does to put the living back in her life (some of which I can’t condone), but I will tell you what Costas says when he comes back and finds her crying:

Costas:  Dreams. They are never in the place you expect them to be.

And I think that’s the thing. We don’t always get what we think we want most; our dreams won’t always fulfill us in the way we thought they would.

Life won’t always fulfill us the way we thought and hoped and planned that it would.

But that’s no reason to give up. Disappointment is not a good enough reason to give up.

We have to keep creating new dreams. And we have to remain open for the adventures that come to us unbidden and unforced, the dreams we don’t even know we have until they’re happening to us.


Have you ever gone through a “mid-life” crisis?

How did you handle it?

Movie Quote Monday: Night at the Museum 2 (Battle of the Smithsonian)

This is one of the rare occasions when a sequel reuses the exact same premise as the first movie and it actually works.

The basic idea is that an ancient tablet has the power to bring all the museum exhibits to life, from sundown to sunup. In the first movie, we see brand new night security guard Larry Daley first learning about this crazy phenomenon and then learning how to deal with all the nightly mayhem. Naturally, there are also bad guys and a struggle to save the tablet from getting into the wrong hands.

This sequel uses pretty much the same idea: magic tablet, exhibits come to life, bad guys. But the action was moved to the many Smithsonian museums lining the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Smithsonian is the largest museum and research complex in the world, so we’ve got a host of new characters along with the old familiars. And the new location gives Larry and company plenty of room to romp, including the National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

The real difference between the two movies is what Larry is personally going through. The first movie is really about Larry finding himself and his purpose in life. In the sequel, Larry has moved up in the world, and things are going pretty great. But by the time the movie’s over, he’s asking himself, “Is this what I want for my life? What really makes me happy?”

Amelia Earhart:  Do you know why I became a pilot?
—Larry:  I don’t know.
Amelia Earhart:  For the fun of it. Why else would anyone do anything?

I can think of a lot of reasons why else I would do something. Like, I love that I have a place to live and I can pay my bills. Sometimes we do things simply because it’s the right or kind thing to do, even if it doesn’t necessarily make us happy.

Of course, this is just a movie, and the choice Larry has to make isn’t really very complex. He’s not deciding between living his dream and having a place to live, for example.

In real life, I think it’s important to love ourselves and seek ways to be happy, successful, fulfilled and content. But I also think real life is just way more complicated than that.

What do you think?

Should we construct our lives with only happiness in mind?

Why else do you do all the things you do?

Movie Quote Monday – Enchanted April

If I could only use one word to describe this movie, it would be “lovely”.

It is a movie full of nooks and crannies, with the story gently bubbling up to fill all those spaces.

Every now and then, it fills in a spot I hadn’t realized was there. And I am surprised and delighted. And I am also filled.

It’s the story of four women, strangers living in a cold and rainy and dreary London. They come together through newspaper advertisements to rent a castle in Italy for the month of April. Each lady is looking for a temporary escape from her London life, and in one way or another, they are running from their loneliness and unhappiness.

In one of my favorite little scenes, it’s raining when two of the women get off the train in Italy. Rose asks, “How is this different?” Lottie answers, “Well…this is Italian rain.”

On the one hand, wherever you go, there you are.

On the other, sometimes we do need the illusion of distance between ourselves and our problems in order to get a better perspective on both.

But there’s one scene that stops me in my tracks every single time. It’s a moment in which Lottie and her husband Mellersh have finally come together as a couple. Mellersh brushes Lottie’s hair as he talks to her, a loving gesture that conveys the intimacy bourgenouing between them.

Mellersh:  In my profession…a man is always helped by having a clever and attractive wife. Lady Caroline thinks you’re attractive…so do I.
—Lottie:  Do you think I’m attractive, Mellersh?
Mellersh:  Yes I do. One thing puzzles me though…why weren’t you attractive sooner?


This always makes me think about the relationships in my life and how I value and nurture them.

And how I don’t.

Am I seeing the beauty that’s right in front of my eyes? Or do I need to adjust my perspective?