A recent study that doesn’t exist showed that 78% of all daily conversation between males age 18-35 is made up of quotes from some part of the entertainment industry. Shocking, but true. The movies and television we watch and the music we listen to helps to shape who we are and how we act and that is a scientific fact.
While my brother and I are about five years apart and had vastly different* experiences in college, one thing we shared was a love of cinema. While we never saw many movies together over the last 10 years, we certainly saw many of the same films and quote them to the point where my mother complains that we’re not actually having a real conversation when we’re together.
[*Sidebar! In college he drank Busch Keystone in Massachusetts while I drank Keystone and Busch in New York. That's vastly different, right? It's like we're not even related.]
Just last month on Father’s Day I went home and went golfing with my brother and father. After one particularly good drive, my brother said, “ain’t nothing wrong with that.” Without even thinking, I said, “cornbread.” I had instinctually referenced Chris Rock’s No Sex In The Champagne Room. That’s how real this is. My brother and I both laughed while my father looked confused.
Is there a rhyme or reason to what and when we quote? When I was in Atlantic City two summers ago for a bachelor party, every other line was a Hangover reference. For some reason, that’s just the way we’re wired. Lines from movies or television stick with us and for that, we thank you. Now here are some of the films that shape my humor.
The Big Lebowski
You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. I don’t think there’s a line in this entire film that isn’t quote-worthy. If you think there is, then obviously, you’re not a golfer. I’m hoping that FSV builds us a corporate office so that we can join a bowling league and call our team The Big Leadowski. I don’t know what you’ve heard about Tim Ryan, but that creep can roll. They just better not schedule any league games on the Shabbos. This movie really tied the list together, did it not?
You can’t talk about referencing movies without referencing Anchorman. Anchorman is the Seinfeld of movies that are referenced on the internet. We all have this frame of reference and we all think of Baxter when something happens that is so outrageous you can’t help but be impressed. Anchorman also started the string of Will Ferrell movies that would cover just about everything you ever wanted to reference. From religion (Ricky Bobby) to love (Blades of Glory) to nautical lady friends and hate (Step Brothers) to what the worst thing in the world to call someone is. (Semi-Pro)
Ah, Denver. The sunshine state. Technically, Old School beat Anchorman by a year, but it’s a completely different monster from the Ferrell/McKay world. I saw Old School twice in theaters (the highest compliment you can pay a film) and my friends and I all burned holes through DVD copies of Old School. Old School taught us that you don’t need to buckle up in the backseat and would make every list about everything because Frank has a nice little Saturday planned. You enjoyed Old School? The whole neighborhood knows you enjoyed Old School.
Some friends and I watched a bootleg version of Zoolander on my computer Freshman year. It was a life-changing experience. When I texted my brother to check on his beer preference in college (I have to be accurate) he asked why I needed to know. I told him it was for a post. His response, without any prompting and without knowing anything about the post was a Zoolander quote. Zoolander also caused my friends and I to request Wham! whenever we went out and there was a DJ for the entirety of college.
I love Super Troopers just as much as you guys do. Really. But I could watch Beerfest every day for the rest of my life. I just watched it two nights ago. Beerfest and Old School are the only films I saw in theaters twice. When I’m trying to annoy someone, I’ve been known to make slow punching motions and say “da bubble.” If you drink, this movie is downright important. Also, it’s one of the first movies to quote your friends who have been better when they’re drunk since they started drinking.
Kevin Smith’s Jersey Trilogy
The first Kevin Smith movie I ever saw was Dogma. I rented it on video on weekend in high school, but didn’t totally appreciate it. Freshman year of college, I walked into a new friend’s room as he was starting to watch Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Without knowing much of anything about the Jersey Trilogy that came before J&SBSB, I proceeded to laugh my ass off. J&SBSB forced me to go back and watch the entire Smith catalog. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Clerks: The Cartoon were all added to my collection and watched over and over again. I loved these movies so much I saw Jersey Girl in the theater and liked it. A couple weeks ago, my special lady and I were watching television and we flipped past America’s Most Wanted for long enough to hear something about a convenience store clerk who had been shot on a day he wasn’t scheduled to work. See, sometimes quoting a movie isn’t really appropriate, but luckily when you’re with someone who knows what you’re thinking, you don’t even need to make the reference. The point is, Kevin Smith will be listed as a writer when the credits roll on my life.