Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 27, 2012

Revisiting “Broadcast News”

As newspapers, magazines and television news departments continue to slash funding and permanently “lay off” employees, the battle for ethics that Holly Hunter (Jane) and Albert Brooks (Aaron) faced in the 1984 film, “Broadcast News,” now seems comically out-of-date and overly-melodramatic.

The sacrifice-him or sacrifice-the-integrity-of-the-news moral dilemma that television news producer Jane reluctantly approaches in her relationship with the lovable but vapid reporter/anchorman William Hurt (Tom), who has faked tears while reporting a story, seems a tempest in a teapot now.

Still…. as I began the yearly first-sorting of the tax receipts yesterday,  I watched the movie again.  And what still holds up is the razor-sharp dialogue, most of which comes out of the mouth of the wonderful Albert Brooks, who, by the way, sure as hell should have been nominated for an Academy Award this week for his work in “Drive.”

Great moments in “Broadcast News”:

TV news employee who has just been permanently laid off: “You know I’m just old enough to be flattered by the term ‘ early retirement.'”
Paul, newsroom boss (warmly):
  “That’s wonderful.  What a lovely line. Now, if there’s anything I can do for you….”
TV news employee who has just been permanently laid off:
  “Well…. I certainly hope you’ll die soon.”

Jane:  “So you like me, huh?”
Tom:  “I like you as much as I can like anyone who thinks I’m an asshole.”

Paul (sarcastically):  “It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.”
Jane (sincerely):  “No…… It’s awful.”

Aaron:  “Wouldn’t this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If “needy” were a turn-on?”

Tom:  “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?”
Aaron:   “Keep it to yourself.”


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Responses

  1. A terrific film, indeed, particularly the scene where Brooks does live news and is bathed in sweat. Afterwards, Holly Hunter’s character asks him “people called in to complain about the sweating” and he says, “No, NICE calls, worried that I was having a heart attack.”

  2. “(Bla bla bla bla bla). And I’m in love with you. How do you like that? I buried the lead.”

    Wow. I’m definitely putting this one on my watch list.

    • Another good line.


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