1 How did you first come to see this movie?
I think I saw this on cable, or … I don’t really remember. Must have been cable, or something.
2 What makes it a movie worth owning?
There are so many great lines and I have been guilty of quoting many of them over the years. “I hid behind the car.” “Any forward gear will do, here.” “Kids did this.” “Who taught you to alphabetize?” “I’ll hit you so hard, I’ll kill your whole family.” “Smile of the week.” They may not sound like much out of context, I now realize, which is how I typically use them anyway, so whatever. Also, this cast is insane.
3 What are your favorite parts?
I like so much about this movie. When Kevin Bacon punches out the windows in the basement at the dance. When he tips his car over. The young Mickey Rourke and his popcorn trick. Daniel Stern’s record obsession. Paul Reiser egging Steve Guttenberg on in the diner about finishing his sandwich. All the diner conversations.
4 What do you relate to in the movie?
I love hanging out in diners. Or at least I used to. The diner in Silver Lining Playbook was my hangout when I lived in Upper Darby. Just drinking cup after cup of coffee and bullshitting with your buddies. That was me back in college. I miss that.
5 Who is your favorite character and why?
I guess Kevin Bacon’s character. Everyone thinks of him as this loose cannon, a loser. But he is smart. He knows all the answers to the trivia questions despite his brother asking if he’s ever read a book. He tries to light his cigarette on the store display stove top and he strips down and sits in the manger when baby Jesus is stolen from the nativity scene.
6 How did this movie make you feel?
A sense of belonging, like I was one of these guys and their problems were my problems. And there was nothing so awful that couldn’t be fixed by going to the diner.
After the movie
1 How accurate were your memories of this movie?
Pretty accurate. This is one of my favorite movies, so I’ve seen it quite a bit.
2 How much had you forgotten?
It’s not that I forgot it, so much as I didn’t remember until I saw it again: the scene where Steve Guttenberg’s mother chases him around the kitchen with a knife. When they go to see Seventh Seal and Guttenberg says, “What am I watching? The movie just started and I don’t even know what’s going on.”
3 Do you still like this movie?
4 Did you have any new feelings or experiences?
I don't know. I still feel like the same moments got me. Like when Daniel Stern and his wife get into the argument over his records and they are just not connecting and then he's driving away in his car to "Ain't Got No Home."
5 What is the take-away?
The sense of camaraderie and sticking with your friends as life changes. Each of the characters is going through something different (except Paul Reiser – I don’t know what his deal was), but they always had the diner.
6 How do you think watching the movie impacted/ will impact your future actions if at all?
The kid who goes around quoting Sweet Smell of Success actually made me watch it.