“I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I WAS BEFORE THEY SUNK THEIR CLAWS INTO ME!”
My daughter is growing up to have great taste in movies. I think I’ve been open and honest about my weird habit of “having movies on in the background.” And usually it’s a movie I’ve seen many many times. My daughter is getting accustomed to this strange habit and can often identify the movie. Much of the time she rolls her eyes at me, like “Broadcast News,” how shocking. Not “The Silence of the Lambs.” “The Godfather” AGAIN? Every once in a great while the movie will capture her attention and she’ll sit down and watch it with me. Mind you, I’m usually working on my computer or cleaning n’ organizing when said movie is on.
And so it was one such movie, In the Line of Fire that captured her attention. The main reason for this was due almost entirely to John Malkovich. She had already taken a major shine to Malkovich because we’ve both seen Burn After Reading so many times we can practically quote the entire film. And, of course, Malkovich is BRILLIANT in that film.
But he’s great in this one too. He’s easily the best thing about it. Much of it is just your standard, run of the mill political thriller (my favorite kind, next to ’80s thrillers). But Malkovich’s performance of the psychopathic Leary aka Mr. Carney is the stuff of legends.
My daughter has a keen ear for great lines of dialogue. Naturally she picked right up on one of the funniest lines Malkovich says – when he’s lying about “being from Minneapolis” he kind of insults the nice bank lady (whom he later murders). After he’s insulted her he tries to throw her off track by saying, “you have a very pleasant way about you.” This, of course, became one of our favorite sayings.
But there isn’t a line Malkovich says in the film that isn’t instantly quotable. Check out the following two scenes that some youtuber kindly spliced together — they are two of Malkovich’s best scenes, even if it isn’t the “you have a very pleasant way about you” scene.
My favorite two lines from these clips are, “why did you kill that bird, asshole?” And “You better show me SOME GODDAMNED RESPECT!”
Another great teaching moment came after Emma questioned how the elderly Clint Eastwood could come on to a woman who looked so much younger (Rene Russo). And the answer to that is, simply, “well, he’s Clint Eastwood.” He’s Clint Eastwood. It really is as simple as that.