Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kiss Me, Quick


To me I don’t think it’s any one pick up line so much as it’s about the clever banter back and forth between your protagonist and another character. I don’t keep a cheat sheet of such dialogue next to my desk, but I do try to call up my reactions to such from various books and movies when I’m trying to have my protagonists getting all heated – seduction being in the mind as it were.

Here’s some that have inspired me:

Bogart and Bacall in To Have and Have Not (from the book by Ernest Hemingway with a screenplay credited to Jules Furthman and William Faulkner, and uncredited, Cleve F. Adams and Whitman Chambers)

What do you want?
I could use a match.
Thanks. Now I need a cigarette.
Here, I can do that. Come on, let me help.
When I get ready to take my shoes off, I'll take
them off myself.


You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve?
You just put your lips together and blow.


Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (screenplay by Ernest Lehman):

I tipped the steward five dollars to seat you here if you should come in.
Is that a proposition?
I never discuss love on an empty stomach.
You’ve already eaten!
But you haven’t.

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (screenplay Nora Ephron):

With whom did you have this great sex?
I'm not going to tell you that!
Fine, don't tell me.
Shel Gordon.
Shel? Sheldon? No, no, you didn't have great sex with…Sheldon.
I did too.
No you didn't. A Sheldon can do your income taxes. If you need a root
canal Sheldon's your man, but humping and pumping is not Sheldon's strong
suit. It's the name. Do it to me 'Sheldon', you're an animal 'Sheldon',
ride me big 'Sheldon'. Doesn't work.

Gilmore Girls (I caution I think this show which my wife and daughter still watch in re-runs is a bit too much on the snappy repartee but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems):

Rory: You're happy?
Lorelai: Yeah.
Rory: Did you do something slutty?
Lorelai: I'm not that happy.

Luke: You go make her stop.
Lorelai: I'm not going over there.
Luke: Why not? You're a woman.
Lorelai: So what?
Luke: So, you have the same parts. You shouldn't be scared of it.
Lorelai: Scared of it? You know, you're gonna be a
bachelor for a really long time.

And then there’s the wit and wisdom of the acrebic Roger Sterling in Mad Men. Here’s he’s talking to the vivacious Joan Holloway (teleplay by Matthew Weiner and Tom Palmer):

Look, I want to tell you something because you're very dear to me, and I hope you understand it comes from the bottom of my damaged, damaged heart: you are the finest piece of ass I ever had, and I don't care who knows it. I am so glad I got to roam those hillsides.

2 comments:

PK the Bookeemonster said...

Just makes ya smile when they do it right. :)

Graham Brown said...

Hey Gary,

Great post - I know I'm late to this but I totally agree - just 'feeling' the dialogue from some great writers helps to get a feel for how to do dialogue ourselves.