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American Pop Culture

Happy June, and welcome back to the back page! Picking up from last issue's column, this will be part three of our look at American films and some of the more common references to them that have worked their way into daily conversations of yankees everywhere.


And oh, alright, so I'm taking the opportunity as another excuse to talk movies. For multiple issues in a row. Hey, I've only got a few hundred words per issue, and there's a lot to cover, okay? So, let's get back to it.


Office Space

Like to laugh? Consider yourself a fan of dark humor? Ever worked in an office setting? Honestly, as long as your answer is "Yes" to even just one of those, add this to your list. Yes to all three? Just buy it.




Office Space follows Peter, a computer programmer who hates his job, loathes his girlfriend, and can't summon the nerve to approach the cute waitress until he's persuaded to try hypnotherapy and gets stuck in a mode of relaxation and ambivalence toward his job when his therapist suddenly dies of a heart attack mid-session right before he can snap him out of it.


Zaniness ensues from here, including a plot that Peter cooks up with his work friends to extort money from their employer. Some choice lines from this one are "I believe you have my stapler," "Sounds like someone's got a case of the Mondays," "So yeah, if you could go ahead and do that, that would be great," "If things go well, I might be showing her my O-face," and "I'm going to need those TPS reports ASAP."


Casablanca

Like the Wizard of Oz, this one's been around for so long you've likely already seen it, but this classic black-and-white romantic drama is practically guaranteed to be found in any top 100 greatest American movies list.




Set in Morocco during WWII, it focuses on a nightclub owner (played by Humphrey Bogart) previously exiled from America who finds himself in a position where he must choose between the woman he loves and helping her husband, a resistance leader, escape the city of Casablanca before he's discovered by the Nazis.


Brilliantly written and crafted, it has no shortage of memorable lines that can be found and referenced all over every facet of American pop culture. A few of the biggies from this one include, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," "You'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life," and perhaps its most famous one of all, "Here's looking at you, kid."


More to come the next issue!




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