I watched one of my favorite movies this evening.
I love L.A. STORY. There’s not a minute of the movie I don’t love. There’s not a line that doesn’t make me smile. Even if this were the only thing Steve Martin ever did, I would love him for it. If you’ve never seen it, you should put it in your queue right away.
I decided to write about it tonight because I realized something about myself during tonight’s viewing. Or maybe I’ve always known it, but tonight I experienced a moment of clarity about it.
There’s a scene in which Harris (Steve Martin) shows his love interest Sara (his then real-life wife Victoria Tennant) the sights of Los Angeles and they stop by a cemetery to visit the grave of William Shakespeare. (Yes, THAT William Shakespeare. Just roll with it.) They hear a noise nearby, which they investigate, finding a gravedigger (Rick Moranis) preparing a new plot for a recently deceased woman.
What follows is an exchange that may sound a bit familiar to those who paid half a lick of attention in sophomore English…
Gravedigger: Here’s a bloke that’s been around 35 years, I bet!
Harris: Who was he?
Gravedigger: The magician. The Great Blunderman. Not so great now, is he?
Harris: The Great Blunderman … I knew him. He was a funny guy. Taught me magic.
Sara: A fellow of infinite jest…
Gravedigger: That’s it.
Sara: He hath borne me on his back a thousand times?
Gravedigger: She knows, she’s got it.
Sara: Where be your gibes now? Your flashes of merriment that would set the table on a roar?
*One of those “magic movie moment” winds blows. Leaves rustle on the trees and the twinkling of chimes fills the surround sound speakers*
Harris: Ordinarily, I don’t like to be around interesting people because it means I have to be interesting, too.
Sara: Are you saying I am interesting?
Harris: All I’m saying is that when I’m around you I find myself showing off, which is the idiot’s version of being interesting.
Man, if that doesn’t peg my game (or lack thereof) perfectly, I don’t know what does.
One of these days perhaps I’ll learn to stop trying to be witty and just be myself before my feeble attempts at charm start to irritate the ever-loving crap out of whomever I’m crushing on.
Then again, perhaps that *IS* myself.
Then again, maybe that’s just how we big, dumb males are.
Reminds me of one of my other favorite films:
Carrie: What do you do? Straight.
Bo: I just go from place to place and … do what I do best.
Carrie: What’s that?
Bo: Show off.
Carrie: Yeah. You do do that well.