No, weâ€™re not talking about the journal Dialogueâ€”weâ€™re talking about lines of dialogue from film, television, or books that creep their way into our homes and stick around for years, much like food supplies from the cannery. The lines that resonate with us can reveal a lot about ourselves and our families.
This is the argument that Stephen King makes in his article â€œLines to Live By,â€? published in the June 2003 issue of Entertainment Weekly. He explains that families can â€œdevelop a whole stock of great lines, a kind of inner slanguage that helps to trace a familyâ€™s growth.â€? He shared the lines that held prominence in his home, and he polled his readers on their favorite lines. Based on the responses he received he published a list of great movie lines, which you can read about here.
Weâ€™d like to do the same for the T & S audience. Below are our favorite pieces of dialogue that continue to resonate with us over the years.
â€œI choo choo choose you.â€?
â€”Ralph Wiggam, The Simpsonâ€™s
Ralph Wiggam gives Lisa Simpson a valentine with a picture of a train accompanied by this message. We canâ€™t help but be touched by his crush on Lisaâ€”so full of hope and naivetÃ©. It reminds us of when we fell in love. Plus, Shannon is a lot like Lisa (feminist-minded, smart, yellow skin), and Brian is a lot like Ralph (picks nose, plays flute with nose, dreams he is a Viking, etc.).
â€œDignity! Always dignity.â€?
â€”Gene Kelly, Singinâ€™ in the Rain
Gene Kellyâ€™s character claims this is the motto of his Hollywood career, but the scene reveals that his road to success was actually paved with a series of very undignified jobs. Having checked most of our dignity at the door when we moved to LA eight years ago, this line has always had special meaning for us.
â€œBut as for myself, to me he doth not stink.â€?
The Queen of the Lamanites, uttered these immortal words when her husband had been in a catatonic state for two days and everyone tried to convince her he was dead and stinking. She waited by his bed faithfully until he awoke. The line represents the unconditional love and loyalty a woman can have for a manâ€”even if he is a bit, well, stinky.
â€œI saw an old couple bein’ visited by their children – and all their grandchildren too. And the old couple wasn’t screwed up, and neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don’t know, you tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleein’ reality, like I know I’m liable to do?…But me’n Ed, we can be good too…And it seemed real. It seemed like us. And it seemed like well…our home…If not Arizona, then a land, not too far away, where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved…I dunno, maybe it was Utah.â€?â€”H.I., Raising Arizona
We have a pet theory that although the filmmakers donâ€™t make it explicitly clear, H.I. and Ed, the main characters of this movie, are actually Mormon. At the very least theyâ€™re Mormonesqueâ€”throughout the film they struggle with traditional gender roles. H.I. is a crappy provider and canâ€™t hold down a job and Ed is devastated by her infertility. Finally, at the end of the film, H.I. has a personal revelation in a dream and in this closing monologue he sees the glory of their posterity and references Utah. What could be more Mormon than that?
What lines have made their way into your familyâ€™s inner â€œslanguage,â€? and why does that dialogue hold meaning for you? Feel free to share lines from films, television, literature, scriptures, conference talks, blog threads, nothing is off limits.