First, five reasons why I love Greenberg:
1) The opening line, spoken by Florence to the unseen and unavailable driver in the lane behind her: "Are you gonna let me in?" When I was a junior in high school, Dr. Schnell said that a good story tells you the tale in the first paragraph, but great art tells the tale in the very first line. She was right. Dr. Schnell was always right.
2) The closing line, spoken by Florence to Greenberg, "This is you."
3) The beginning and the ending of the movie. Last week, I had spoken to a couple of friends who thought I would hate this movie. And one of the reasons they thought so was because of the abrupt ending. I like that, though. One of the most exquisite things about Baumbach's writing is that he writes like people talk and tells stories like people live. At least, the people that I know. The ending is sudden and beautiful and scary and open-ended, as are all moments of grace.
4) The rant at Generation Y. "You're all ADD and Carpal Tunnel. I hope I die before I end up meeting one of you in a job interview." Nuff said.
5) The lighting. Every scene looks like forgiveness.
Second, five best quotes from Kicking and Screaming. (I'll warn you, the majority are from Max.)
1) Max: I'm too nostalgic. I'll admit it.
Skippy: We graduated four months ago. What can you possibly be nostalgic for?
Max: I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory... and I didn't have a good time.
2) Max: What I used to able to pass off as a bad summer could now potentially turn into a bad life.
3) Chet: If Plato is a fine red wine, then Aristotle is a dry martini.
4) Louis: Violence is always justified some of the time.
5) Max: Who the hell bought black eyed peas?
There you are, dear Hannah. I'll make you a birthday song list on Monday.