written by D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, John Cusack, & Scott Rosenberg, from the novel by Nick Hornby
(complied from several different points in the movie by yours truly)
Rob: What came first? The music or the misery? People worry abnout kids playing with guns or watching violent videos that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands, of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery, and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
(Continues to listen to the music through the headphones, Laura (Iben Hjejle) approaches and takes out the headphones from the stereo; Rob glares for a moment.)
Rob: You don't have to go this second. You can stay until whenever.
Laura: (whispering) No. We've done the hard part now, I might as well just--
Rob: Just stay for tonight then.
(She immediately turns around and walks to the door).
Rob: Laura. You're just gonna--
(Laura picks up her bags, sighs and leaves. Rob turns around and speaks to us again, clearly angry and frustrated.)
Rob: My desert island, all-time top five most memorable breakups, in chronological order are as follows: Alison Ashmore, Penny Hardwick, Jackie Alden, Charlie Nicholson, and Sarah Kendrew. Those were the ones that really hurt. (shouting) Can you see your name on that list, Laura? Maybe you'd sneak into the top ten. But there's just no room for you in the top five. Sorry! Those places are reserved for the kind of humiliation and heartbreak you're just not capable of delivering. (turns on hard rock on stereo, loud, and opens window to shout at Laura getting into her car) If you really wanted to mess me up, you should have gotten to me earlier! Which brings us to number one on the top five all-time breakup list: Alison Ashmore.
(we see the following in flashback. A young Rob sneaking away with Alison to kiss on the school bleachers - while "I Want Candy" plays in the background) One moment they weren't there -- not in any form that interested us, anyway -- and the next, you couldn't miss them. They were everywhere. And they'd grown breasts. And we wanted -- actually we didn't even know what we wanted. But it was something interesting. Disturbing even. My relationship with Alison Ashmore lasted for six hours: the two hours after school, before the "The Rockford Files" for three days in a row. But on the fourth afternoon...Kevin Bannister.
(We see this as well, in flashback.)
Young Rob's Friend: Slut.
Rob: It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that's happened to me since. All my romantic stories -- are a scrambled version of that first one. (now on an elevated subway platform) Number two on the top five all-time breakup list...was Penny Hardwick. Penny was great lookking, and her top five recording artists were Carly Simon, Carole King, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and Elton John. (Elton John's "Crocodille Rock" plays over this flashback on a high school campus now) She was nice. Nice manners, nice grades, nice looking. She was so nice, in fact, that she wouldn't let me put my hand underneath on even on top of her bra. Attack and defense. Invasion and repulsion. It was as if breasts were little pieces of property that had been unlawfully annexed by the opposite sex. They were rightfully ours and we wanted them back. Sometimes I got so bored of trying to touch her breast that I would try to touch her between her legs. It was like trying to borrow a dollar, getting turned down, and asking for 50 grand instead. I wasn't interested in Penny's nice qualities, just breasts. And therefore, she was no good to me.
(Flashback: Penny (Joelle Carter) tries to kiss Rob goodnight and it turns away)
Young Rob: What's the point? It never goes anywhere.
(Young Rob walks away, leaving Penny on the verge of tears on the porch steps)
Rob: I started dating a girl who everyone said would give it up and who didn't. And Penny went with this asshole named Chris Thompson who told me had sex with her after something like three dates.
(Later in the film, he continues with the Top Five list -- again seen in partial flashbacks.)
Rob: Number three in the top five all-time breakup list? Charlie Nicholson. Sophomore year of college. (Charlie, to our surprise, is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.) As soon as I saw her, I realized she was the kind of girl I'd wanted to meet ever since I was old enough to want to meet girls. I mean, she was different. She was dramatic and she was exotic. And she talked a lot and when she talked she said remarkably interesting things about music, books, film and politics. And she talked a lot. And she liked me. She liked ME. She LIKED me. At least I think she did. (clears throat) We went out for two years. And I never got comfortable. Why would a girl, no, a woman, like Charlie go out with me? I felt like a fraud. I felt like one of those people who suddenly shave their heads and said they'd always been punks. I was sure I'd be discovered at any second. And I worried about my abilities as a lover. And I was intimidated by other men in her design department and became convinced she was gonna leave me for one of them. (beat) Then she left me for one of them. The dreaded Marco.
Young Rob: (shouting in the rain up at her apartment, the antithesis of "Say Anything") Charlie! You fucking bitch! Let's work it out! Just open the fucking door, Charlie! Look, let's talk it -- Char-- (sees the dreaded Marco in the window with her, shirtless and clothed in only a sheet and Young Rob is silenced. We see him screaming a moment later, walking through the rain.)
Rob: And I lost it. Kinda lost it all, you know? Faith, dignity, about fifteen pounds. When I came to a few months later, I found to my surprise I had flunked out of school. Started working at a record shop. Some people never got over 'Nam or the night their band opened for Nirvana. I guess I never really got over Charlie. But the thing I learned from the whole Charlie debacle is that you gotta punch your weight. You see, Charlie, she's out of my class. She's too pretty. Too smart. Too witty. Too much. I mean, what am I? I'm a middleweight. Hey, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I've read books like "Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera." And I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say...my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash.
(Later in the movie...)
Rob: Anyway, me and Charlie, we didn't match. Marco and Charlie matched. But me and Sarah, number four on the all-time list, we matched. She'd just been dumped by some asshole named Michael. (Flashback)
Sarah (Lili Taylor): I mean, Michael, was such an asshole.
Rob: I'd just been run over by Charlie.
Young Rob: I know exactly what you mean.
Sarah: I mean, it's just so painful. And draining. I'm just gonna be by myself for awhile.
Young Rob: Me too. Me too.
(They suddenly kiss passionately)
Rob: It made sense to pool our collective loathing for the opposite sex and while were were at it, we get to share a bed with somebody at the same time. We were frightened of being left alone for the rest of our lives. Only people of a certain disposition are frightened of being left alone for the rest of their lives at 26. We were of that disposition. So when she told me --
Sarah: I met someone else.
Young Rob: Who?
Sarah: Just someone else.
Rob: It was contrary to the whole spirit of our arrangement. So how come I got dumped?
(Later in the movie...)
Rob: Number five. Jackie Alden. Jackie Alden's breakup had no effect on my life whatsoever. It was a casual thing and I was glad when it ended. I just slotted her in to bump Laura out of position. But now, congratulations, Laura. You made it to the top five. Number five...with a bullet. Welcome.
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