“Well, nobody’s perfect.”

Posted on September 23, 2009

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Now that rerun season is over, I can relax in front of my HDTV and enjoy the newest work of the great writers for Madmen or Big Bang Theory.   TV is a strange universe where, for months on end during the summer, we’ll tolerate recycled shows that we’ve already watched three or four times.  I began to wonder how the movie studios might handle a rerun season of its own if its writers ever go on strike again.  They’ve stored up so many classic lines—the American Film Institute, in fact, issued its Top 100 Movie Quotes a couple years ago.   Why not recycle them for a do-it-yourself script?  It’d be kind of a “service-oriented architecture” for assemblers of film scripts that allows them to borrow proven, effective lines from the best-in-class of the past. 

Thanks to the AFI list, we might end up with something like “Terminator on the Golden Waterfront”:

HER: “Hello, gorgeous.”

HIM: “You talking to me?”

HER: “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”

HIM: “You had me at hello.”

HER: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’”

HIM: “I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

HER: “Listen to me, mister.  You’re my knight in shining armor.  Don’t you forget it.”

HIM: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

HER: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

HIM: “They call me Mister Tibbs.”

HER: “Rosebud.  I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

HER: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

HER: “La-dee-da, la-dee-da.”

HIM: “I’m walking here!  I’m walking here!”

HER: “Go ahead, make my day.”

HIM: ““Hasta la vista, baby.”

HER: “Tomorrow is another day.”

On second thought, perhaps what we’ve got here is failure to communicate.  Writing, like doughnuts, really must be fresh to be palatable.  It gets stale pretty quickly so, the next time you pass that harried writer in the back cubicle, say hello (and thanks) to your little friend.

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