Intolerable Cruelty
written by Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone, Ethan Coen, & Joel Coen; story by Robert Ramsey, Matthew Stone, and John Romano

Bronco (Blake Clark): I herebly declare the 12th Congress of the National Organization of Matrimonial Attorneys Nationwide [NOMAN] open. As our first order of business, it is a privilege to call to the the podium our keynote speaker, from the Los Angeles firm of Massey, Myerson, Sloane and Grilomick, a man whose name is synonymous with bitter disputes and big awards, Miles Massey.
(applause from the audience)
Miles Massey: Thank you, Bronco. (reading from his notes) In the world of... (stops, attempts to start again)... in the world of matrimonial law, there are ... (stops again) ... in the world of matrimonial law, there are multiple tactics ......... (tears his notes in half) Friends, this morning I stand before you a very different Miles Massey than the one that addressed you last year on the disposition of marital assets following murder-slash-suicide. I wish to talk to you today not about technical matters of law. I wish to talk to you about something more important. I wish to talk to you from the heart. Because today ... for the first time in my life ... I stand before you -- naked ... vulnerable ... and in love. Love. It's a word we matrimonial lawyers avoid. Funny, isn't it? We're frightened of this emotion which is, in a sense, the seed of our livelihood. Well, today Miles Massey is here to tell you that love need cause us no fear. Love need cause us no shame. Love is ... good. (low disturbed mumblings from the audience) Love is good. (more disturbed mumblings from the audience) Now, I am of course aware that these remarks will be received here with cynicism. Cynicism: that cloak that advertises our indifference and hides all human feeling. Well, I'm here to tell you that that cynicism that we think protects us, in fact, destroys. Destroys love, destroys our clients, and ultimately destroys ourselves! Colleagues, when our clients come to us, confused and angry and hurting, because their flame of love is guttering and threatens to die, do we seek to extinguish that flame? So we can sift through the smoldering wreckage for our paltry reward? Or do we fan this precious flame, this MOST precious flame, back into loving, roaring life? Do we council fear or trust? Do we seek to destroy or build? Do we meet our clients problems with cynicism -- or with love? The choice is of course each of ours. For my part I've made the leap of love and there is no going back. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last time I will address you as the president of NOMAN or as a member. I intend to devote myself to pro-bono work in East Los Angeles or one of those other... ... God bless you all.
(Massey wanders off stage to hesitant then loud enthusiastic applause from the audience.)

[ please return to the main movie monologue page ]