Jan 28, 2013

“I would give anything if you were two people so I could call up the one who’s my friend and tell her about the one that I like so much.” — Aaron Altman, Broadcast News

I suppose I should buy the Criterion dvd or bluray of Broadcast News.  And, I am not exactly sure why I have not already.  Because it is a film I am so intimately familiar with? A film in which I know every single line and moment by heart? Because it is not ancient and shot in black and white? Because the make up and the costumes, though appropriate to the period in which it was made, look so ridiculous now? Because the original score is particularly bad, and severely dates the film, as well?

It is my snobbery, I suspect.  I imagine I first started becoming suspicious and snobbish of big-time Studio Pictures around about E.T.  But Broadcast News (1987), written and directed by James L Brooks, starring William Hurt, Holly Hunter, and Albert Brooks, is most definitely a work of such amazing wit and character, and so touching about friendship, as to blow my precious snobbery to smithereens.  It is a film to share with the entire nation that has not seen it yet.

So, until I do own it, and can start passing it around to anyone who is willing to even meet the film halfway on its own terms, I will "share" the film with you in this space.

And, I am -- "Thankfully", I hear many of you say under your breath -- going to skip a critical analysis of the film*, and just share great quotes and personal favorite moments of the film.  It is a mash note, if you will.  And, is more intended for folks who have already seen and love the film.

Great Quotes first:

Blair Litton: Oh, you think anyone who's proud of the work we do is an ass-kisser. 
Aaron Altman: No, I think anyone who puckers up their lips and presses it against their boss's buttocks and then smooches is an ass-kisser. 
Blair Litton: My gosh... and for a while there I was attracted to you. 
Aaron Altman: Well, wait a minute, that changes everything! 

Blair Litton: Except for socially, you're my role model.

Aaron Altman: Let's never forget, we're the real story, not them.

Paul Moore: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room. 
Jane Craig: No. It's awful. 

Aaron Altman: Okay, I'll meet you at the place near the thing where we went that time. 

Aaron Altman: Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If "needy" were a turn-on?

Aaron Altman: [singing and reading] I can sing while I read! I am singing ...  and reading! Both!

Aaron Altman: And if things had gone differently for me tonight then I probably wouldn't be saying any of this. I grant you everything. But give me this: he personifies everything that you've been fighting against. And I'm in love with you. How do you like that? I buried the lede.  

[after Paul fires one of his workers] 
Paul Moore: Now, if there's anything I can do for you... 
Employee: Well, I certainly hope you'll die soon. 

Tom Grunnick: What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams? 
Aaron Altman: Keep it to yourself. 

Jane Craig: No, no, no, it wasn't just the speech.  The same thing happened with this guy. I have passed some line, some place. I am beginning to repel people I'm trying to seduce. 

Aaron Altman: If anything happens to me, you tell every woman I've ever gone out with I was talking about her at the end. That way they'll have to reevaluate me. 

Jane Craig: So you like me, hunh? 
Tom Granick: I like you as much as I can like anyone who thinks I'm an asshole.

Aaron Altman: Six years from now, I'll be back here with my wife and two kids. And I'll see you, and one of my kids will say, "Daddy, who is that?" And I'll say it's not nice to point at single fat women. 

Aaron Altman: A lot of alliterations from anxious anchors placed in powerful posts! 

And, now my favorite moments:

Holly Hunter sending Jennifer off to Alaska ... Hunter reacting to Albert Brooks' declaration of love as if he had slapped her ... Brooks singing L'Edition Special by Francis Cabrel ... Hunter's Come to Jesus "Stop Whining" speech to William Hurt  with Hunter still trying to get him in to her bed after ... the music guys playing the new theme song to Paul, "Big finish!" ... Paul's Come to Jesus with Hunter ... Brooks' and Hunter's moment in the control room to save Brooks' embarrassment ... the domino video and the crowd's reaction to it ... Jack Nicholson not appreciating Paul's crack about knocking some zeros off of Nicholson's contract to save some jobs ... Jane Cusack's mad dash (the film was shot by one of the all-time greatest, Michael Ballhaus) ... Brooks' speech about the devil ... the girly high school-y way Hunter and Jennifer become when talking about if Hurt is off limits to Jennifer or not ... the US Cabinet bit ... Brooks' resigning instead of taking the demotion ... Hurt completely clueless about London being a promotion ... Brooks' kid, Clifford ... just about every single scene between Hunter and Brooks ... and a lot more, besides.

All my love, 

*Which means you will not get a paragraph about Susan Faludi's issues with Holly Hunter's character, Jane, and what I think about that.  Whew, ... 

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