March 20, 2009. “Day 54”

“Frankly, Rosebud, you can’t handle the truth!” Have a favorite line from a movie?

For some reason, this prompt took me a while to answer and now looking back on my answer I don’t think this is at all one my favorite lines from a movie but just a line from one of my favorite movies.  Nevertheless, here //EDIT/it/EDIT// is my answer to the prompt:

The Royal Tenenbaums is filled with hilarious quotes but these quotes don’t particularly make sense out of context. At the turning point of the film Royal turns to his family, after being kicked out, and says: “These last six days have been the best six days of my entire life.” A frequent liar, Royal is surprised to realize that this statement is absolutely true.

He then says this:

Royal: Richie, this illness, this closeness to death… it’s had a profound affect on me. I feel like a different person, I really do.
Richie: Dad, you were never dying.
Royal: …but I’m gonna live.

I can’t think of why exactly I enjoy this quote, except for the fact that it’s full of hope.

I think my favorite line from a movie is much more simple than that.  It’s from ‘Half Nelson’, the movie from 2006 that earned Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination.  He has a one night stand with this teacher who then rummages through his bookshelf.  She finds a copy of Che in Africa and The Communist Manifesto. Since he owns these books she asks him if he’s a Communist; annoyed, he replies back with the question:  “If I owned Mein Kampf would you think I’m a Nazi?”  Their conversation ends like this:

Isabel: Well, you don’t have a copy of Mein Kampf, but if you did, then yes, I’d ask if you were a Nazi.
Dan: Maybe I’m hiding it.
Isabel: Why would you hide it?

Dan: ‘Cause it’s just not cool to be a Nazi anymore, baby.

Ryan Gosling is a phenomenal actor and I would definitely recommend watching this movie.  I always like to watch my favorite movies with the director’s commentary on after I’ve seen them a couple of times and listening to the director’s idea for this film was eye-opening.  It’s such a beautifully written and well-directed film, with profound meaning wrapped up in simple gestures and words.  Everything has significantly more meaning than you think it does at first glance.

This is not one of those moments with profound meaning though.  This is just a scene where Ryan Gosling looks and sounds really sexy.

Another favorite line from ‘Half Nelson’:

Second chances are rare, man.  You ought to take better advantage of them.

Even if it’s only been a few days, I can’t read anything I’ve written without wanting to take a big red pen and slashing and rearranging sentences. On the Internet, specifically WordPress, it’s so easy to make corrections but it’s so much harder to remember the first mistakes once you’ve taken them out. I want a track record, I want a list of edits in case I want to put something back in its place, keep a little reminder of a longer story for when I have time to tell it.

I spent the better part of an afternoon this summer roping off entries, marking things as private from years past (more because of my gratuitous use of the “F” word and “like” and less because of confidential information) and now I want to retell these stories because sometimes I got it right the first time–like Royal’s quote.

Doesn’t it always feel so profound when you realize that everything is always ending and beginning? That you can always decide to live and it’s always going to be a BIG DEAL moment?

I think the more of those moments you can get the better; I think I got it right the first time (although second chances are pretty great, too, so…you know). And while that sounds much more congratulatory than I intend it to, it’s just right.

At first, the idea of retelling stories (or just straight-up telling them) seemed like an implication that I had nothing else to say, but it’s kind of the opposite.


I was happy. I am happy. Hell, I’m often drunk on a complex cocktail of profound gratitude, enjoyment, wonder…

Jennifer Gilbert, always getting it