When the Worm Turns

In honor of the Fourth of July, here’s six great cinematic declarations of independence. Enjoy!

1. How to tell off the teacher who has just insulted your niece as John Candy does in “Uncle Buck.”

Buck Russell: I don’t think I want to know a six-year-old who isn’t a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they’re ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, and I’m coming looking for you!

[of Anita’s mole]

Buck Russell: Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.

2. How to tell off the trio of mean girls who made your life hell in high school as Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow do in “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.”

Michele: Romy, are you sure you wanna do this?

Romy: Oh yeah, Michele. I am SO sure!

[they approach Christie, Cheryl, & Kelly]

Romy: What the hell is your problem, Christie? Why the hell are you always such a nasty bitch? I mean, okay, so Michele and I did make up some stupid lie! We only did it because we wanted you to treat us like human beings. But you know what I realized? I don’t care if you like us, ’cause we don’t like you. You’re a bad person with an ugly heart, and we don’t give a flying fuck what you think!

[Cheryl and Kelly laugh sarcastically]

Romy: Come on Michele.

Michele: Okay, and… YEAH!

3. How to tell off your a-hole friend who has just insulted the girl you truly love, as Andrew McCarthy does to James Spader in “Pretty in Pink.”

Blane: You couldn’t buy her, though, that’s what’s killing you, isn’t it? Stef? That’s it, Stef. She thinks you’re shit. And deep down, you know she’s right.

4. How to tell off the guy you just met on the Road Trip from Hell who thinks you’re a loser, as John Candy does to Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

Del: You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you… but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I’m not changing. I like… I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.

5. How to tell off your new next door neighbor who is making a racket at night, as Julia Roberts does Aaron Eckhart in “Erin Brockovich.”

George: How many numbers you got?

Erin Brockovich: Oh, I got numbers comin’ outta my ears. For instance: ten.

George: Ten?

Erin Brockovich: Yeah. That’s how many months old my baby girl is.

George: You got a little girl?

Erin Brockovich: Yeah. Yeah, sexy, huh? How ’bout this for a number? Six. That’s how old my other daughter is, eight is the age of my son, two is how many times I’ve been married – and divorced; sixteen is the number of dollars I have in my bank account. 850-3943. That’s my phone number, and with all the numbers I gave you, I’m guessing zero is the number of times you’re gonna call it.

6. And how to make a statement with a simple line of poetry to your unfairly scapegoated, recently fired teacher, as Ethan Hawke does to Robin Williams in “Dead Poets Society.”

Todd Anderson: [standing on his desk] Oh captain, my captain.





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