Swimming with Sharks

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Swimming With Sharks is a 1994 film about a young Hollywood executive that becomes the assistant to a big time movie producer who is the worst boss imaginable: abusive, abrasive and cruel. But soon things turn around when the young executive kidnaps his boss and visits all the cruelties back on him.

Directed by George Huang. Written by George Huang.
Life Is Not A Movie (taglines)

Buddy Ackerman[edit]

  • Say this one time with me: "Would you like that in a pump or a loafer?"... Good. Now memorize it, because starting now, the only job that you're going to be able to get on this planet or any other planet is selling SHOES!
  • If they can't start a meeting without you, well, that's a meeting worth going to, isn't it? And that's the only kind of meeting you should ever concern yourselves with.
  • Avoid women directors. They ovulate. Do you have any idea what that does to a three month shoot?
  • You look happy. I hate that!
  • [to Dawn] Look, once you're past the "oops, he caught us" stage and realize that we are both fucked, let me know, okay?
  • You think you know it all, don't you? You're 25 years old. You're a baby. You don't know shit.
  • Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, 'If you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains.' Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, 'What do you really want?'
  • You were getting complacent, ungrateful, complete and total job burnout, and don't think I didn't notice. You just didn't give a shit anymore. Draggin' your feet everywhere. Telling everybody you were doing my job. That you were running the show. That without you, I was nothing. Yeah, people tell me things. So don't come preaching to me about your ideas of what's fair. You're no martyr here. You're no hero. You're just a fuckin' hypocrite. You're just like any other punk kid out there, lookin' for a way in, any way in, and you need me!t
  • Look, I don't make the rules. I play by them. What, your job is unfair to you? Grow up, way it goes. People use you? Life's unfair? Grow up, way it goes. Your girlfriend doesn't love you? Tough shit, way it goes. Your wife gets raped and shot, and they leave their unfinished beers...[choking up] their... their stinking long-necks... just lying there on the ground... [cries for a moment, and regains his composure] So be it. Way it goes...
  • All right, Guy, come on, let's finish this. Give it to me. Show me what you're made of. Show me what you've learned. Don't let me down, son. Everything I've taught you comes down to this. This is the only way that you can hope to survive. Because life is not a movie. Everyone lies. Good guys lose. And love does not conquer all. So let's do this thing. Let's finish it.


  • [After shooting Buddy's phone] I want you, to think and remember, every insult, every offence, everything you have ever taken away from me. Think to yourself. Its pay back time.
  • [While torturing Buddy] It makes me feel so much better.
  • You can't imagine what I've come up with. [shows Buddy an envelope] Paper cuts, now they can be a bitch, occupational hazard I guess. But I bet its been a while since you've had one. Me, I'm starting to get used to them. [slices the envelope into Buddy's face] Stings, doesn't it? Well, like I said, you'll get used to them.


Buddy Ackerman: Excuse me — what is this?
Guy: Sweet-N-Low.
Buddy: [Looks at the packet] No! this is not Sweet-N-Low, this is Equal, the blue packet. Sweet-N-Low is pink. See, Equal blue, Sweet-N-Low pink, its not the same thing, is it?
Guy: I think they both contain the same...
Buddy: What Equal contains is none of my concern here! I don't care if it has fucking fairy dust in it. What I am concerned with is detail. I asked you go get me a packet of Sweet-N-Low. You bring me back Equal. That isn't what I asked for. That isn't what I wanted. That isn't what I needed and that shit isn't going to work around here!
Guy: I, I just thought...
Buddy: You thought. Do me a fucking favor. Shut up, listen, and learn. Look, I know that this is your first day and you don't really know how things work around here, so I will tell you. You have no brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for me. You are here to protect my interests and to serve my needs. So, while it may look like a little thing to you, when I ask for a packet of Sweet-N-Low, that's what I want. And it's your responsibility to see that I get what I want.

Buddy: You wanna talk big directors? Think Attenborough, think Spielberg, think Lean.
Guy: Lean's dead.
Buddy: No, he's not, don't you ever say that! He's just... unavailable.

Buddy: Get me packed up, I gotta get to services.
Guy: What services? Who died?
Buddy: No one... yet. It's Yom Kippur, you idiot.
Guy: Oh, I didn't realize Ackerman was a Jewish name.
Buddy: It's Jewish enough, especially when the big players are involved. [sarcastically] Besides, I have a sudden need to atone for my sins.

Guy: That's a bagel stain.
Dawn: Bagel stain?
Guy: I put too much cream cheese on Buddy's bagel and he threw it at me. But I learned a very valuable lesson... never put too much cream cheese on Buddy's bagel.

Guy: That's another thing. All this time that I've worked for you, I still don't know a thing about your ex-wife. Jesus, there's not even a trace or a picture in the whole house. Was she beautiful?
Buddy: Yes.
Guy: Did you love her?
Buddy: Yes.
Guy: How nice. When she coming home? [lights a cigarette] I forgot, she left you.
Buddy: What do you want?
Guy: What do I want? What do I want? [thinks for a moment] Tell me a story. Tell me about a young Buddy in love with a woman who just didn't want him. Was it a painful separation? Did you find her in the passionate throes of a secret lover? Did you take it from everything she had? Or did the lousy bitch only get half?
Buddy: She died.
Guy: [taken aback] Oh. [sarcastically] Well, is that all? Well, boo-hoo! What a line. "My wife just died, can you come home with me. Hold me. Love me. Fuck me." Christ, you are such an asshole!
Buddy: [numb] Christmas eve, twelve years ago. She was on her way to the mall. I was supposed to have gone with her. We hadn't started our Christmas shopping yet, but it was going to be simple, just some stuff for our parents. Money was tight and shopping was a hassle anyway. We even promised not to give each other gifts. On the way, there was a car that had broken down, Mallory pulled over to help. I always told her that she was such a busybody, but she called it "just being nice". She got out and asked if everything was all right, or something stupid. Anyway, it was a scam, bunch of punk kids stealing cars. They shot her. [pause] And all this time, I was stuck at the office wrapping Christmas gifts for my boss. A lot of gifts, we had a good year, that year - I was there till 3 A.M. And the whole time I'm thinking to myself, "Oh boy, she is gonna be pissed. When I get home, I am a dead man". [pause] Anyway, I got home, got the message, went down to the hospital to identify her. It was a whole week into the new year before I found them, these stupid wind up toys and a note: "In the constant rat race of life, don't ever forget to unwind". [pause] She was never any good at writing notes.
Guy: [sheepish] Look, I didn't know...
Buddy: Oh, Guy didn't know! imagine that! Boy genius here didn't know something!

Buddy: What, you think somebody just handed me this job? I've handled the phones, I've juggled the bimbos, I've put up with the tyrants, the yellers, the screamers. I've done more than you can even imagine in that small mind of yours. I paid my dues!
Guy: I didn't spend one year...
Buddy: And I spent 10! Dammit, it's my turn to be selfish! it's my turn. That's the trouble with your whole MTV, microwave dinner generation. You want it all now. You think you deserve it just because you want it? It doesn't work like that. You have to earn it, you have to take it, you have to make it yours. but before you do that, Guy, you need to decide what it is you really want.
Guy: I want you to stop calling me in the middle of the night! I want you to stop sending me the fucking office for your goddamn phone numbers or your fucking sunglasses! I want my life back!
Buddy: What life? I gave you life. Before me, you were nothing. Before me, you were an ink spot, and now you're playing in the majors! I made you. You will always be "Guy from Buddy Ackerman's office"! You wanna go back to your shitty little existence? Go ahead. Leave. There's the door. No one's stopping you. You could have left any day, but you stayed. So let's just forget the Dudley-damn-Doright crap, because out here it's kill your parents, fuck your friends, and have a nice day!

[Guy has just found out that Buddy and Dawn were once lovers]
Dawn: Guy, it's not what you think.
Buddy: Oh, really? Well, what are we supposed to think? A young, eager producer comes up to the house of a top executive for a midnight rendezvous? She's right, Guy, it's not what you think. She's definitely not selling Girl Scout cookies!


  • Back Stabbing - Two Faced - Revenge
  • In Hollywood all his dreams could come true... But first he has to make coffee.
  • He's been humiliated, kicked and spat on... and it's only 10:00 am.
  • Life is not a movie


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