Diner Quotes

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"[last lines]
Matt Drayton: Now Mr. Prentice, clearly a most reasonable man, says he has no wish to offend me but wants to know if I'm some kind of a *nut*. And Mrs. Prentice says that like her husband I'm a burned-out old shell of a man who cannot even remember what it's like to love a woman the way her son loves my daughter. And strange as it seems, that's the first statement made to me all day with which I am prepared to take issue... cause I think you're wrong, you're as wrong as you can be. I admit that I hadn't considered it, hadn't even thought about it, but I know exactly how he feels about her and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you son feels for my daughter that I didn't feel for Christina. Old- yes. Burned-out- certainly, but I can tell you the memories are still there- clear, intact, indestructible, and they'll be there if I live to be 110. Where John made his mistake I think was in attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think... because in the final analysis it doesn't matter a damn what we think. The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it's half of what we felt- that's everything. As for you two and the problems you're going to have, they seem almost unimaginable, but you'll have no problem with me, and I think when Christina and I and your mother have some time to work on him you'll have no problem with your father, John. But you do know, I'm sure you know, what you're up against. There'll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say screw all those people! Anybody could make a case, a hell of a good case, against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happened to have a pigmentation problem, and I think that now, no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse, and that would be if - knowing what you two are and knowing what you two have and knowing what you two feel- you didn't get married. Well, Tillie, when the hell are we gonna get some dinner?
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"Jack Tanner: You know, T.J., just before you called me last spring, Lexy and I went down to the Democratic Leadership Conference in South Carolina. The last night, we were sitting aroud with Kirk O'Donnell, and Hart, and Biden, a couple of the other candidates, who were shooting the breeze about how much the party had changed since the Sixties. And suddenly, out of the blue, Lexy turned to Hart and she asked him who his favorite Beatle was. Now, at first, Hart laughed, and then he stumbled around trying to remember a name. Then she repeated her question for Biden, and Biden said, well, he'd never been a Beatles fan, he was into jazz. And Dukakis answered Paul, 'cause he liked his wife or something. Now, I don't know if Lexy knows the names of all the Beatles herself, let alone the answer to her own question, but it suddenly dawned on me that I sure as hell did. And I knew for sure that anybody who didn't had absolutely no claim to generational leadership. Now I must have, what, uh, ten years on Joe Biden; but, dammit, he wasn't paying attention back then, and I was. And one of the things I figured out very early on was the singer mattered as much as the song - that ideas were only as valuable as the people who got behind them. I mean people that wouldn't settle; people unafraid of honest inquiry; people who didn't mind asking the impertinent question. God, the impertinent question. Where the hell would we be without it? It's the glory and the engine of all human experience. Copernicus asked it, and shook the foundations of his world. Darwin asked it, he's repudiated to this day. Thomas Jefferson asked it - so invigorated by it he declared it to be an inalienable right. I'm not smart enough to know all the answers. But I do know we've got to keep asking the questions. That's what the American experiment is all about. It's at the very core of our character as a people. We owe our vigor to its constant renewal. You know, I don't have much patience for these guys who go around saying the pride is back in America. For some of us, it never left. Vietnam may have covered some patriots in shame, but not this one. We got in there for moral reasons, and, by God, we got out of there for moral reasons. Where else on this Earth does such debate settle on anything other than expediency? Only in America. Watergate - triumph of the system. How could anybody watch Barbara Jordan thunder away at those House hearings and not feel a surge of pride in the miracle of this country? And then there are those people who tell you that our noisy dissent, our raucous squabble, weakened us as a country - caused us to lose our supremacy. Don't you believe it. We are the envy of this world. Why? Because, throughout our history, we have always maintained that we could do better. We have insisted that we could do better. We've always been willing to reinvent ourselves for the common good. And in our darkest hour, leaders, real leaders, have always stepped forward to hold the American people to the responsibility of citizenship. Well, it's time for that kind of leadership now, T.J. And I'm not sure that it's me, but I'd like the chance to find out.
[He starts to leave the room, then turns back]
Jack Tanner: Oh, and if you young people are still wondering, the right answer is John Lennon.
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