In “MOVIE QUOTES FOR ALL OCCASIONS: UNFORGETTABLE LINES FOR LIFE’S BIGGEST MOMENTS”, author James Scheibli, a social media manager and freelance writer based in the Bay Area, has put his pop culture expertise and movie-loving upbringing to good use in this book of memorable (and some not-so-memorable) lines from movies that span every genre. He was inspired to compile these quotes when he himself was at a loss for words trying to write a speech for his sister’s wedding. When inspiration hit in the form of a quote from the sci-fi movie “Serenity”, he realized other people who are grasping in the dark for a little spark to ignite their creative juices might benefit from a line or two from movies they may never have seen or never thought of as a feasible font of wisdom.
He has wisely assigned the quotes into sections and subsections where one might find themselves in need of a little help in creating a stirring speech: graduation (both for the graduates and their parents doling out advice); weddings (vows for the couple and third party speeches); sports (both to rile up and console); workplace (pep talks and congratulations for successes as well as words of wisdom regarding failure); grief and loss (for funerals or remembrances or just to bring a little laughter and celebration into the room when needed); and finally hope (for personal inspiration, activism and those striving for social change). Basically, if you have talk to a group of people, for whatever reason, there’s a movie quote for that. His thoughts on keeping the quotes verbatim is refreshing, although the actual authors of the words may not be so freewheeling when he says, “Use these words. Mold them. Speak them. Enjoy them. Share them. Live them. Love them.”
Reading quotes from many movies I have seen resonated with me in different ways. Not only do I appreciate the words themselves, but I also was able to relive how I felt when I watched the scenes in which these quotes were originally spoken unfold on screen.
His selections for the different scenarios one might find oneself in are eclectic and comprehensive in scope and emotion. He goes deep into popular movies as well as those on the fringe to get just the right words that might ring true to someone in a certain situation. He hit the nail on the head A LOT. Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try.” I mean… it doesn’t get any more popular or fundamentally basic than that. “I have loved her, even when I hated her… only married couples will understand that one.” from “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is just a truth bomb in and of itself. The last quote of the book, in the Activism and Social Change section, is by far the longest at two full pages and still socially relevant today. It is from the 1940 Charlie Chaplin movie “The Great Dictator.” This speech apparently takes place during the movie’s climax and it packs quite the punch. I’ve never seen it, but I might just look it up.
There are also additional tidbits in the book that a movie-trivia buff will find interesting. The Fun Facts he’s added throughout regarding the movies are interesting and insightful. Also, film recommendations for each section are a nice bonus. Sure, you can find a random quote that speaks to you, but seeing where it came from and what it meant to the people hearing it in the confines of its movie, brings a whole other level of gravitas to what spoke to you to begin with.
There were a few quotes I didn’t necessarily agree with where or how they were placed in certain sections. For instance, placing “Jack and Sally’s Song”, which is clearly a love song between a couple, into the speeches meant to be given by a third party instead of the vows sections was puzzling. Also, he decided to split up the same halftime speech from “Varsity Blues” into two snippets a page apart. I’ve never seen the movie, but even I could tell they were from the same moment in the movie. It’s a good speech, but I felt it would have been more effective if left as one quote instead of two. (Personal preference alert: Excluding “I guess there is only one thing to do, win the whole F***ING thing!” from “Major League” as a quote and the movie as a whole in the sports movies recommendations is a CRIME.)
While he is spot on for most of the book, there were a few misses in my opinion. He takes the part from President Shepherd’s climactic final speech in the “American President” and used the section where he talks about pandering to middle-aged, middle-class Americans as if Shepherd was praising this vote-getting strategy when the opposite was actually the point of the speech. He also uses “We are Groot” from “Guardians of the Galaxy” as an inspirational quote. I get that it’s usually “I am Groot” and it’s supposed to bring forth feelings of camaraderie, but I also feel like too much backstory would have to be included in any subsequent speech to find that particular quote as a feasible jumping point or conclusion.
As a movie lover and trivia nut, I enjoyed this book’s revisiting of old favorites as well as pointing me in the direction of some new flicks to view. For instance, I think “Cloud Atlas” was quoted in each section, so I’m adding that to my watch list. As a reader wanting to be entertained and forget life for a while, I would like to point out that the quotes are not the only source of inspiration in this book. The author’s own writing can be stirring as well. In the introduction to the “Personal Inspiration, Activism and Social Change” section, Scheibli deftly describes how going to the movies is a form of escapism. “In terms of stress and mental stability, there is no greater bliss than forgetting why you’re at the movies to begin with.” But he also asserts that movies are art because while we seek to escape “in that darkened theater, we may just find a spark that lights the fire within.” He beseeches us to “never shut your mind to the possibility of positive influence. Always search for hope.”
You can read more from the author at https://www.bayarea.com/author/james-scheibli/
Published by Mango Publishing Group.