Popcorn Addict’s 2012: Most Memorable Line

Most Memorable LineNow, this may not technically be my call to make (I have been watching movies dubbed into Russian for the last two months) but I feel it is an important category to recognise nonetheless.

Every awards ceremony going has at least one category for script-writing (be it for an original or adapted screenplay), but none reward the inherent accomplishment of a great line. Screenplays as a whole aim to fade into the background, to emulate naturalistic dialogue in such a way that the audience forgets that it is watching something scripted. Good lines, however, viewers will be laughing at, reeling from or quoting for days to come.

Here then are five of what are in my opinion the best phrases, sentences and lines of dialogue of 2012. Whether they have made you laugh, caused controversy or simply entered the public consciousness in a big way, these really are the lines of the year.

“You can’t change the ending. The old one works. It’s been focus-grouped” – Wolf, Mirror, Mirror

While this line deserves mention simply for not being the God-awful pun that the trailer suggests was at one time being used in its place, it is also representative of everything that Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror got right — and, as a result, of everything Snow White and the Huntsman got dreadfully wrong. Both films were pale imitations of the timeless Disney classic, both films tragically miscast their Snow Whites and both films prised style over substance, but only Mirror, Mirror had the good will to send itself up in the process. Making excellent use of the dwarves, and being charming and funny in the process, Singh more than makes up for his films failings. And that’s before you even take into account the closing credits.

“You’re gonna love my boyfriend” – Mitch, ParaNorman

There is much to be praised in Laika’s equally freaky follow-up to 2009’s Coraline, ParaNorman. The film is genuinely frightening (for a kid’s flick, at least), boasts some surprisingly adult themes thanks to its focus on child-murder and mob-mentality, and makes unfetted allusions to sex and violence. While each of the above might be considered more than enough to provoke controversy in the mid-South, Bible-belt puritanism it aims to satirise, it was a supporting character’s passing reference to an off-screen boyfriend that caused the biggest stir. Admittedly, such conservatism isn’t exactly difficult to offend, but it’s still worth celebrating such a step forward in a mainstream American children’s movie.

“This is my bargain, you mewling quim” – Loki, The Avengers

Having previously utilised the Chinese language to fill the world of Firefly with its own censor-beating profanity, Joss Whedon this time employs a phrase that would have had the olden days up in arms. Essentially an anachronistic variant on “whining c—“, the line (given in the film to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki) nevertheless made it past Marvel and the BBFC and into the final cut of the film. It prompted much discussion on online and in print, earning at least a passing allusion in almost every review of movie. With Joss devoted following of Whedonites growing by the day and The Avengers going on to become the third highest grossing movie of all time, the barb is now part of popular culture.

“Imagine if America was a dictatorship” – General Aladeen, The Dictator

The Dictator is not a great movie. Heck, I’m not even sure it could be honestly described as a good movie. But as with his other features Borat and Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen has once again produced a movie that is at the very least relevant. The line — uttered at the film’s end — is used to open a speech in which the writer and star very astutely compares America to a dictatorship (“You could lie about why you go to war”). It’s a bravura statement, and one that Cohen fearlessly delivers to American audiences looking for a bit of squeamish fun. It’s just a pity that such sharp subversion had to happen in the same movie in which a tight-roping dictator shits himself.

“I’ve got the harbringer on line two” – Operations Guy, The Cabin In The Woods

The second entry on this list from the pen of Joss Whedon (though it’s entirely possible that it was in fact coined by frequent Buffy collaborator and this film’s director Drew Goddard), The Cabin In The Woods was finally released this March after several years gathering dust on MGM’s shelf. Like Scream, it aimed to both celebrate and subvert the horror genre (or at least the horror genre of five or six years ago, maybe longer). Unlike Scream, it also attempted to deconstruct the genre by going behind the scenes and beyond the simple story of some teenagers a cabin in the woods. While saying any more would risk giving the game away, this line is a great example of Whedon’s knack of undercutting horror with hilariousness.

“Oh, come on! I do not sound that much like Peter Griffin!” – Ted, Ted

I realise I’m going beyond the customary rule of five (which I stuck to with my award for best on-screen chemistry), but this is hardly an award with any debt to tradition. Perhaps the “Spider-pig” of 2012, this line from Seth MacFarlane’s Ted beautifully demonstrates his dab-handedness with a good pop-culture reference. Alluding to his own television work rather than that of others, MacFarlane once again deals in the gags and goofs that made Family Guy and American Dad! such roaring successes. Like those shows, Ted may be light on everything but one-liners, but it is nevertheless largely considered to be one of the funniest films of the year.

Winner: The Avengers

Worst line of 2012: “No, I came back to stop you!” – Batman, The Dark Knight Rises

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to Popcorn Addict’s 2012: Most Memorable Line

  1. Ross Miller says:

    I prefer the Ted line: “Back off Susan Boyle!”

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