The Best Movie Dialogue of 2010

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Posted January 9, 2011 by Kristian Lin in Blotch

I did a version of this post for last year’s movies, and I have a lot of fun compiling these scenes. I will admit to being inspired by a similar feature in the New York Times’ recap of the year’s movies, but my list isn’t limited by the space requirements of the printed page. Plus, I’ll bet you find the dialogue below funnier than what the Times had. I don’t have access to published or shooting scripts: I’m merely reproducing the words as they appear in the film. The stage directions are mine and not the authors’.

You knew The Social Network would be on this list, so let’s get it out of the way. The script is by Aaron Sorkin, adapted from Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires. The opening scene has been justly celebrated, but there’s lots of other well-written bits as well, like this exchange in a nightclub as Napster co-founder Sean Parker tries to woo Mark Zuckerberg to his vision of what Facebook should be.

MARK: Your date looks so familiar to me.
SEAN: She looks familiar to a lot of people.
MARK: What… what do you mean?
SEAN (takes a breath): A Stanford MBA named Roy Raymond wants to buy his wife some lingerie, but he’s too embarrassed to shop for it in a department store. He comes up with an idea for a high-end place that doesn’t make you feel like a pervert. He gets a $40,000 bank loan, borrows another forty thousand from his in-laws, opens a store, and calls it Victoria’s Secret. Makes a half a million dollars his first year. He starts a catalog, opens three more stores, and in five years, he sells the company to Leslie Wexner and The Limited for $4 million. Happy ending, right? Except two years later, the company’s worth $500 million, and Roy Raymond jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. Poor guy just wanted to buy his wife a pair of thigh-highs.
MARK: Was that a parable?
SEAN: My date’s a Victoria’s Secret model. That’s why she looks familiar to you.
MARK: God…
SEAN: Don’t be impressed by all this. I read your blog.
MARK (defensive): No, no, that was for web cretins.
SEAN (talking past him): You know why I started Napster? Girl I loved in high school was with the co-captain of the varsity lacrosse team, and I wanted to take her from him. So I decided to come up with the next big thing.
MARK: I didn’t know that.
SEAN: Napster wasn’t a failure. I changed the music industry for better, and for always. It may not have been good business, but it pissed a lot of people off. And isn’t that what your Facemash was about? They’re scared of me, pal, and they’re gonna be scared of you. What the VCs want is to say, “Good idea, kid. Grown-ups’ll take it from here.” But not this time. This is our time. This time, you’re gonna hand ’em a business card that reads, “I’m CEO, bitch!” That’s what I want for you. So where the hell is Eduardo?
MARK: He’s in New York.
SEAN: Suckin’ up to ad execs.
MARK: He’s got…
SEAN: An internship. (slight pause) The company’s here. A billion-dollar company’s here. Do you live and breathe Facebook?
MARK: Yes.
SEAN: I know you do. Wardo wants to be a businessman, and for all I know he’s gonna be a good one, but he shouldn’t be in New York kissing Madison Avenue’s ass. This is a once-in-a-generation “holy shit” idea. And the water under the Golden Gate is freezing cold. Look at my face and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

This is an early scene from The Other Guys, where disgraced NYPD detective Holtz has just been mismatched with forensic accountant Gamble, and the male trash talk goes to surreal extremes — the last line couldn’t be more appropriate. The script is credited to Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, but this scene is heavily improvised by the actors, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. This movie had my favorite Mark Wahlberg performance all year. Oh, and I’d totally pay to see a movie made from Gamble’s vision of a tuna vs. lion smackdown.

HOLTZ: You know what I just did? I just walked out that door, saw a couple detectives, and was about to start bad-mouthing you behind your back. But I stopped myself, because my pops taught me that a man who talks behind somebody’s back is a coward.
GAMBLE: Wow, I actually appreciate that.
HOLTZ: Good, ’cause I’m gonna tell you directly to your face.
GAMBLE: No, you don’t have to.
HOLTZ: No, I don’t like you. I think you’re a fake cop. The sound of your piss hitting the urinal? It sounds feminine. If we were in the wild, I would attack you. Even if you weren’t in my food chain, I would go out of my way to attack you. If I were a lion and you were a tuna, I would swim out in the middle of the ocean and freakin’ eat you. And then I’d bang your tuna girlfriend.
GAMBLE: Okay, first off, a lion swimming in the ocean? Lions don’t like water. If you placed it near a river or some sort of fresh water source, that’d make sense. But you find yourself in the ocean? Twenty-foot waves? I’m assuming it’s off the coast of South Africa. Coming up against a full-grown 800-pound tuna with his 20 or 30 friends? You lose that battle. You lose that battle nine times out of ten. And guess what? You’ve wandered into our school of tuna, and now we have a taste of lion. We’ve talked to ourselves. We’ve communicated.
HOLTZ: Yeah?
GAMBLE: And said, “You know what? Lion tastes good! Let’s go get some more lion!” We’ve developed a system to establish a beachhead and aggressively hunt you and your family. And we will corner your pride, your children, your offspring.
HOLTZ: How ya gonna do that?
GAMBLE: We will construct a series of breathing apparatus with kelp. We will be able to trap certain amounts of oxygen. It’s not gonna be days at a time, but an hour? Hour 45? No problem! That will give us enough time to figure out where you live, go back to the sea, get more oxygen, and then stalk you. You just lost at your own game. You’re outgunned and outmanned.
(silence from Holtz)
GAMBLE: Did that go the way you thought it was gonna go? Nope.

Speaking of Will Ferrell, he was a big fan of Lena Dunham’s comedy Tiny Furniture, which is slated to open in Dallas on January 21st. I liked it, too, enough to put its writer-director on my list of breakout talents. Here’s a taste of why. In this scene, Aura has moved back to New York City after graduating from college and leaving her boyfriend behind. Now she’s at a busy house party re-connecting with her friends Ashlynn and Charlotte (who has a British accent), and being introduced to a potential new boyfriend.

ASHLYNN: So I want to introduce you to this boy Jed. He’s so witty and so special, just like you. You’re gonna get along really great. He can get a little grumpy sometimes, but kind of in a cool way. He has a show on YouTube where he rides this rocking horse and talks to fake enemies.
AURA: Oh my God, I think I know who that is. He’s the Nietzschean Cowboy, right?
ASHLYNN: Yeah.
AURA: Yeah, right. He’s the same guy who does the Skeptical Gynecologist videos.
ASHLYNN: You’ve seen those?
AURA: Mm-hmm.
ASHLYNN: You think they’re funny?
AURA: I do think they’re funny. He’s a little bit famous.
ASHLYNN: Yeah, I guess so, in an Internet kind of way. We met at this comedy show. It was really lame, and he really liked my monologue. Oh my God, are you so sad about your boyfriend?
AURA: I am really sad. It’s been really hard these last few weeks. I knew he was going to have to take this journey. I just didn’t think it would be this soon. And then, like…
(Ashlynn crawls across the mattress and out the window, onto the fire escape.)
AURA (taken aback): Okay.
(Aura crawls out onto the fire escape, where Ashlynn is talking with Jed.)
ASHLYNN: Jed, this is my so special friend Aura.
JED: Hello, so special friend Aura.
AURA: Nice to meet you.
JED: Nice to meet you.
AURA: Actually a big fan of your work on the YouTube.
JED: Aw, shucks.
AURA: I actually thought you lived in Chicago, maybe because your MySpace profile says you live in Chicago.
JED: I do live in Chicago. I’m here on business.
AURA: Cool. What kind of business?
JED: Uh, top-secret business. Government stuff.
ASHLYNN: Aura does really cool videos, too.
JED: Oh, cool. (to Ashlynn) I thought you told me there was gonna be some grinding at this party. Like straight-up, eighth grade-style grinding.
ASHLYNN: Oh no, I meant eighth grade-style crying.
JED: Oh, crying.
ASHLYNN: We’re all gonna cry together.
JED: My mistake.
AURA (to Jed): So how long are you in town for?
JED: I’m in town for…
CHARLOTTE (offscreen): Oh my God. Oh my fucking God.
AURA (looking through the window): Charlotte! Oh my God, Charlotte!
CHARLOTTE: Oh my God!
(Her hand comes through the window and slaps Aura in the face.)
CHARLOTTE: I’m so sorry I slapped you. I’m just so overwhelmed! Aura! Aura! You’re here! Are you here?
AURA: I’m here. I know Ashlynn, so I’m here.
CHARLOTTE (to the others): This girl has been my best friend since I’m one. Since I’m less. Zero.
AURA: It’s true. Our moms used to rub their stomachs together when they were pregnant with us.
CHARLOTTE: They were the best friends ever. Until my mum got into Landmark Forum and Tony Robbins and ran off to Wyoming and opened a really dumb bed-and-breakfast. It’s sad, now they only speak once a year. (to Aura) So how’s college in Ontario?
AURA: Ohio. I went to college in Ohio.
CHARLOTTE: That’s really great, but you have to come with me. You have to come with me right now and we have to talk.
(Charlotte leaves, and Aura climbs back through the window.)
ASHLYNN: I’m so sorry. I, like, hardly know her. I met her at this fashion party last week. She’s totally crazy, but in a really fun way. Is her accent real?
AURA: Yeah, I think so. Her dad’s British. She went to fifth grade there.
ASHLYNN: Oh. Well, you should totally stay.
AURA: Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like I should go. I’ve been avoiding her for, like, five years.
ASHLYNN: I can see why.

Let’s get political for a second. The Ghost Writer was adapted by Robert Harris from his own novel, and the writer wisely kept his own bon mots. In this scene, former British prime minister Adam Lang, his wife Ruth, and chief of staff Amelia are being advised by his lawyer Sid (accompanied by his staffers Josh and Connie) about a war crimes investigation pending against him. The legalese and political intrigue are juiced up by Ruth’s low opinion of her husband and her suspicion that he’s sleeping with Amelia, both of which surface in this contentious meeting.

SID: So here’s the score. You’re not being charged, you’re not being arrested. None of this is gonna amount to a hill of beans. The only thing the prosecutor is asking for is permission to launch a formal investigation.
ADAM: Investigating me for what?
SID: Connie?
CONNIE: Either crimes against humanity or war crimes.
RUTH: Well, that’s absurd. It’s not exactly genocide.
CONNIE (quoting): “Under Article 25, a person shall be guilty of a war crime if that person facilitates the commission of such a crime or aids, abets, or otherwise assists in its commission.”
ADAM: That’s rather sweeping.
SID: Well, if it’s any comfort, you’re in no jeopardy if you stay here, among friends.
ADAM: Are you saying I can’t leave the United States?
SID: As your attorney, I strongly advise you not to travel to any country that recognizes the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
RUTH: Well, just about every country in the world recognizes the ICC.
SID: America doesn’t.
RUTH: Who else?
ADAM: Josh?
JOSH: Iraq, China, North Korea, Indonesia, Israel.
ADAM: And that’s it?
JOSH: There are some parts of Africa…
AMELIA: Wait! (she turns up the volume on the TV)
PROSECUTOR (on TV): I wish to make a short statement. I won’t be taking questions. This morning, I was granted power to investigate the former British prime minister, Mr. Adam Peter Bennett Lang, under Articles 7 and 8 of the 1988 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. I shall shortly be contacting Mr. Lang and the British government to ask for their full cooperation. Thank you.
(Amelia turns down the volume. Through the window, we see and hear a helicopter flying in and landing outside the Langs’ house. Amelia’s cell phone rings.)
ADAM: Oh, God.
SID: Okay, we need to get you to Washington, Adam. Right away. My plane is at the airport. We can get you in to see the Speaker of the House at lunchtime and have a photo op with the Secretary of State in the afternoon.
ADAM: Won’t it look as if I’m panicking?
SID: No, they’ll both say that the meetings were fixed weeks ago.
ADAM: Well, what the hell are we supposed to be discussing?
SID: AIDS, poverty, climate change, who cares? The important thing is to show the world that it’s business as usual.
ADAM: What do you think, Ruth?
RUTH: I think it’s a terrible idea. You’ll look as if you’re America’s whipping boy, running crying home to Daddy.
ADAM: So what would you do?
RUTH: Fly to London. The government will support you.
AMELIA: The British government will cooperate fully with the investigation.
RUTH (acidly): Really? And what makes you think that?
AMELIA: I’m not thinking it, Ruth. I’m reading it.
(She turns the volume back up on the TV. The CNN news crawl confirms her words.)
FEMALE REPORTER (on TV): … believe we can now go live to the U.N. in New York, where the former British Foreign Secretary Richard Rycart is about to make a statement.
RYCART (on TV): I watched the statement in The Hague today with great shock and sadness. Adam Lang was and is an old friend of mine.
ADAM (to the TV): You cheeky bugger!
RYCART (on TV): I regret that he’s chosen to bring this down to a personal level. This isn’t personal. This is about justice. This is about making sure every political leader knows that when they make a decision, they will be held to account by international law. Thank you.
MALE REPORTER (on TV, to Rycart): If you’re called to testify, sir, will you go?
RYCART (on TV): Certainly, I’ll go.
RUTH (to the TV): Of course you will, you little shit!
ADAM: That settles it. Washington it is.
RUTH: I still say it’ll look bad.
ADAM: Not as bad as being led away from Heathrow in handcuffs.
RUTH: It would show you had some guts.
ADAM: Well, then why the hell don’t you just fly back without me? If the British government wants to hand me over to this kangaroo court, then sod ’em! I’ll go where people want me. Amelia, tell the boys we’re leaving. Have one of the girls pack me a bag. You’d better pack one for yourself.
RUTH: Why don’t you share a suitcase? It’s so much more convenient.

In a whole other vein, here’s another British political film, and a much funnier one. As I wrote in my breakout talents post, Chris Morris’ Four Lions caused a sensation over in Britain but only had a limited release in this country, probably because so much of its humor is specifically British. This scene takes place at a public forum where Barry, a Caucasian convert to Islamic terrorism who calls himself Azzam al-Britani, debates a stuffy MP named Malcolm Storge. They’re interrupted by a Muslim heckler named Hassan. By the way, in Hassan’s rap, the British pronunciation of the word “tomatoes” sort of rhymes with “martyrs.” Regardless, if a terrorist started rapping that badly near me, I’d ask him to go ahead and kill me.

STORGE: I’ve never stood up in public and professed any in-depth knowledge of Islam, but what I do know is that most British Muslims, they don’t want to be out abroad fighting British foreign policy. What they do want is to get on peacefully with their daily lives, and we support that.
BARRY (sarcastically): Yeah, yeah, yeah, a good Muslim always keeps his mouth shut, yeah? (scattered applause from the audience) Are you surprised that kids are goin’ off to training camps?
STORGE (to the audience): That is not what I was saying.
MODERATOR (to Barry): So why are kids going off to training camps?
BARRY: Well, first off, I object to the term “training camps.”
MODERATOR: You just used it.
BARRY: No, I did not. It’s a Western fantasy. You people think of Muslims runnin’ around the mountains with guns and bombs. Yeah, that’d suit you right down to the ground, wouldn’t it?
MODERATOR: But they do exist, don’t they?
BARRY: I’m not sayin’ they don’t exist. What I’m sayin’ is, if you’ll listen, is that if they didn’t exist, you people would ’ave to invent them.
STORGE: That is absolute rubbish.
HASSAN (heckling from the audience): Yeah, yeah, yeah, this whole debate is twisted, man.
MODERATOR: We’ll take questions later, please.
HASSAN: No, no, no. You think we’re all bombers, don’t you?
STORGE: That is absolute…
HASSAN: No, no. When you see someone like me, you think “bomber,” right?
BARRY (to Storge): Yes, you do.
STORGE: That is not the case.
HASSAN: So why shouldn’t I be a bomber if you treat me like one?
BARRY (agreeing): Mashallah, brother.
HASSAN: Yeah, mashallah!
(He takes off his hoodie, revealing an explosive device strapped to his body. The crowd gasps in horror.)
HASSAN: Yeah! (raps) “I’m da mujahedin / And I’m makin’ a scene. / Now youse gonna feel what da boom-boom means! / It’s like Tupac said, / When I die, I’m not dead. / We are the martyrs, / You’re just smashed tomatoes.” (shouts) Allahu akbar!
(The crowd screams as he detonates the device. There’s a tiny pop, and party streamers go flying harmlessly in all directions from the fake bomb.)
BARRY (after a moment): Mashallah, brother!
(The crowd jeers in disapproval.)
HASSAN: Oh, what? What? Just ’cause I’m a Muslim, you thought it was real.
(The crowd continues jeering. Cops drag Hassan away, while Barry tries to start a chant of “Police state!” Storge is revealed cowering behind the table.)
BARRY (pointing at Hassan): He’s being rendered! He’s being rendered!

This tense little playlet comes from the middle of Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give. In it, a radiology technician named Rebecca and her grandmother Andra have gone for a drive to upstate New York. With them are Rebecca’s patient, Mrs. Portman, and her grandson Eugene, whom Mrs. Portman is trying to fix up Rebecca with even though he’s several inches shorter than Rebecca. Eugene is driving, while the two old women are in the back. Andra spends much of the film being difficult, but Mrs. Portman smooths out her edges in this scene rather admirably.

REBECCA: Mrs. Portman, I’m so sorry. I heard about the results. When are you gonna get the operation?
EUGENE: Uh, the surgery is scheduled for next month.
REBECCA: Right.
ANDRA (to Mrs. Portman): What have ya got?
MRS. PORTMAN: It’s cancer.
ANDRA: Oh, what a horror!
MRS. PORTMAN (calmly): The breast, it just comes off, just like that.
ANDRA: Suppose you get a boyfriend, then what?
MRS. PORTMAN (chuckling): You’re funny, Andra.
ANDRA (to Rebecca): See? She thinks I’m funny.
REBECCA: I’m so sorry, Mrs. Portman.
MRS. PORTMAN: It’s okay, I’m an old lady. It’s a tragedy when it’s somebody young. And I’ve been very lucky.
ANDRA (grimly): Cancer is not lucky.
MRS. PORTMAN: Okay, before the cancer.
ANDRA (to Mrs. Portman): You’ve got a handsome boy there.
EUGENE: Thank you, Andra.
ANDRA: It’s the truth. (softly, to Rebecca) But he’s very short.
REBECCA: Grandma…
ANDRA: That’s good. Otherwise, he would never go for you if he was tall.
MRS. PORTMAN: Becca is a lovely girl, and I’m sure a lot of boys notice her.
ANDRA (defensive): What did I say? I didn’t say anything!
REBECCA: Sure. How’s your sandwich, Grandma?
ANDRA: Mine’s not good. Mine’s bad.
REBECCA: Okay. Well, mine’s good. You want some of mine?
MRS. PORTMAN (to Andra): You want some of mine?
ANDRA: No, yours looks bad, too.
MRS. PORTMAN (after a pause): You have a lot of friends left, Andra?
ANDRA: Nobody’s left. I had friends. Not a lot. I was very selective.
MRS. PORTMAN: Good for you. It’s good to be selective.
ANDRA: A lot of people were jealous of me.
MRS. PORTMAN: Oh?
ANDRA: Because I was smart. People mistook me for a schoolteacher. I never finished high school, but people thought I was smart.
MRS. PORTMAN: Well, I can see that.

Here’s a terrific scene from the early part of The Kids Are All Right, by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg. Lesbian moms Nic and Jules suspect that their son Laser is gay even before they catch him watching their stash of gay porn with his best friend Clay. So they have this very funny talk with him, in which they have the wrong end of the stick.

NIC: Laser, your mom and I accept and love you unconditionally. You know that, right?
LASER: Yeah.
NIC: And you know that you can be open with us about anything.
LASER: Yeah, I know.
NIC: Okay.
JULES: Laser, do you want to talk to us about anything?
LASER: Like what?
NIC: Anything. You know, anything on your mind.
LASER: Well, there is something. But it’s more of a question, though.
NIC: That’s okay.
JULES: We won’t judge you.
LASER (a moment to steel himself): Why do you guys watch gay man porn?
NIC (thrown off her rhythm): Well, first I have to say that we rarely watch that movie.
JULES (to Nic): Honey…
NIC: And second, I really don’t appreciate you snooping around our room, okay? Was that Clay’s idea?
LASER: No, Mom.
NIC (changing the subject): Wait a second, I have to say again, I don’t like him.
LASER (heard this before): I know, I know.
NIC: He seems unstable.
JULES (to Nic): Honey, that’s not what he asked.
NIC (to Jules): Do you want to answer his question?
JULES: Yeah, okay. (to Laser, after a pause) Well, sweetie, you know, human sexuality is complicated, and sometimes desire can be, you know, counterintuitive. You know, because women’s sexual responsiveness is internalized, sometimes it’s exciting to see that responsiveness externalized. Like with a… like with a penis.
LASER: Wouldn’t you rather watch girls doing it, though?
JULES (warming to the subject): Well, you would think that, but in these movies they hire two straight women to pretend, and the inauthenticity…
NIC (cuts her off): Whoa, enough! (pause) Laser, your mom and I sense that there’s some other stuff going on in your life. We just want to be let in.
LASER: What do you mean?
JULES: Are you having a relationship with someone?
NIC: You can tell us, honey. We would understand and support you.
LASER (giving it up): Look, I only met him once.
NIC: What do you mean, once?
JULES: Did he find you online?
NIC: Wait, who did you meet once?
JULES: What?
LASER: Paul.
JULES: Paul? Who’s Paul?
LASER: I met him with Joni.
JULES: Why was Joni there?
LASER: She set it up.
NIC: Forget the setup, who’s Paul?
LASER: Our sperm donor.
(stunned silence from both moms)
LASER (suddenly realizes): Did you guys think I was gay?
NIC (lying her ass off): No! No way!
JULES: Of course not.

In Looking for Eric, a postman and die-hard Manchester United fan named Eric Bishop experiences a mid-life crisis and copes by holding extended conversations with the spirit of legendary Man U player Eric Cantona, who portrays himself and speaks imprecise, French-accented English. The conversation refers to a 1995 incident when the player karate-kicked an abusive Crystal Palace fan. Since both characters here are named Eric, I refer to them by their last names.

BISHOP: All right, sweetest moment ever?
CANTONA: It wasn’t a goal.
BISHOP: It’s got to be a goal, Eric.
CANTONA: No.
BISHOP: Come on! Last minute, FA Cup final against Liverpool. Beckham takes the corner. The goalie runs out, he punches it away. It hits your chest, it hits the floor, it’s on its way up. Bang! You thwack it right in the net!
CANTONA: No.
BISHOP: Wimbledon! It’s got to be Wimbledon! You’re goin’ towards the ball, the ball’s comin’ in, you’re sussin’ out the trajectory of it, the angle of it, the spin on it, the way the wind’s blowin’, the speed of the wind, everything. You stick your right foot out, you stop it in mid-flight, it bounces about a foot up off your leg, you come back, you whack it in, the most perfect volley in the world, in it goes! It’s a goal. It’s got to be a goal, Eric!
CANTONA (shakes his head): It was a pass.
BISHOP: A pass? (remembers) My God! To Irwin against Spurs! Yes! Beautiful!
CANTONA: I knew how clever he was, left, right-footed. Came in a flash. I flicked it to the outside of my boot, surprise everyone. He took it in stride and my heart soared.
BISHOP: A gift!
CANTONA: Yeah, like an offering to the great god of football.
BISHOP: What if he’d missed?
CANTONA: You have to trust your teammates, always. If not, we are lost.
BISHOP: It must have been tough on you when you got banned. Nine months! The bastards! That twat got what he deserved!
CANTONA: I had to work hard. Dig deep inside. I needed something to fill me up when I was on my own. Something to aim for, you know?
BISHOP: It’s funny, innit? Sometimes we forget that you’re just a man.
CANTONA (imperiously): I am not a man! I am Cantona!
(He holds the act for a few moments more before finally laughing.)
BISHOP (laughing with him): So what did you do to keep yourself going?
CANTONA: I learned the trumpet.
BISHOP: The trumpet?
CANTONA: Yes.
BISHOP: Are ya takin’ the piss now, Eric?
CANTONA: No, it’s true. Listen!
(He produces a trumpet from somewhere and plays a wobbly version of “La Marseillaise” over the rooftops of Manchester.)

I saved the best for last. Edgar Wright’s movies are known for their action sequences and gags, but they also feature brilliant dialogue. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which Wright and Michael Bacall adapted from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels, is no exception. In this scene Scott enters a coffee shop and has successive encounters with his sister Stacey, her co-worker Julie, his girlfriend Ramona, and his ex-girlfriend-turned-rock star Envy Adams. This whole series of exchanges is delivered at breathless speed, yet each conversation has its own tone. One of the many clever features is the way the movie bleeps out Julie’s obscenities with a sound effect and a black bar that appears on the screen over her mouth. Those are represented here by a █████. Typically, Scott can actually see the black bars.

STACEY (on her cell phone): Hello?
SCOTT (on a public phone): It’s Scott.
STACEY: What did he do this time?
SCOTT: No, it’s Scott. It’s actually me.
STACEY: What did you do this time?
SCOTT: I didn’t do anything. It’s everyone else that’s crazy. Look, I’m having a meltdown or whatever. Are you still working?
STACEY: I am literally about to leave.
SCOTT: Cool, I’m coming in.
(He hangs up the phone, leaves the booth, and walks into the store, which is only a few feet away.)
SCOTT (ordering from the barista, whose back is to him): I think I’ll make it a decaf today.
JULIE (the barista, turning around to face him): Scott Pilgrim!
SCOTT (shocked): What did you do with my sister?
(tapping sound on the store window)
STACEY (somehow outside the store, her voice muffled through the glass): Sorry, I have to go.
(She leaves.)
JULIE: So what can I █████ get you?
SCOTT: Is there anywhere you don’t work?
JULIE: They’re called jobs. Something a █████ball like you wouldn’t know anything about. And by the way, I can’t █████ believe you asked Ramona out after I specifically told you not to █████ do that.
SCOTT: How are you doing that with your mouth?
JULIE: Never █████ mind how I’m doing it! What do you have to say for yourself?
SCOTT (paying): Can I get a caramel macchiato?
JULIE (taking his order): You know what? Maybe it’s high █████ time you took a look in a mirror before you wreak havoc on another girl.
SCOTT: Me? Wreak havoc?
JULIE: And speaking of █████ which, I hear the girl who kicked your heart in the ass is walking the streets of Toronto again.
(She points to a CD with Envy Adams on the cover.)
SCOTT: So I can just get my coffee over here?
(He walks over to another part of the store and finds himself face to face with Ramona.)
RAMONA: Sorry that got a little crazy last night.
SCOTT: Yeah, you kind of disappeared.
RAMONA (contrite): Yeah, I do that. Listen, I know I can be hard to be around sometimes. I totally understand if you don’t want to hang out any more.
SCOTT: No, no, I want to hang. You know, the whole evil ex-boyfriend thing…
RAMONA: Exes.
SCOTT: It’s no biggie. I know it’s early, but I don’t think anything can get in the way of how I … shit!
(The camera pans over to reveal Envy in the store, standing in front of a poster of herself, wearing the exact same outfit as the image of herself and striking the exact same pose.)
SCOTT: It’s my ex!
RAMONA: The big one?
SCOTT: Mm-hmm. Envy.
(Envy walks over.)
RAMONA (eyeballing her): I’m gonna … excuse me.
(She retreats to the other side of the store.)
ENVY (to Scott): Your hair’s getting shaggy.
SCOTT (suddenly wearing a cap): Yeah?
ENVY (indicating her): So that’s Ramona.
SCOTT: Yeah.
ENVY: Okay, I’m jealous.
SCOTT: You’re jealous?
ENVY: I’m allowed!
SCOTT: You left me for that cocky pretty boy.
ENVY: You haven’t even seen him.
SCOTT: I know. You left me for someone I’ve never even seen.
ENVY: Maybe you will see him. We’re playing Lee’s Palace. You should so totally come.
SCOTT: That’s so not going to happen.
ENVY: Great, you’re so on the list.
(Scott and Ramona both watch her leave the store.)
JULIE: Caramel macchiato for █████ Pilgrim!


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