The Sessions (film)

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The Sessions is a 2012 film about a man in an iron lung who, wishing to lose his virginity, contacts a sexual surrogate with the help of his priest.

Directed and written by Ben Lewin, based on the article "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate" by Mark O'Brien.

Mark O'Brien[edit]

  • [to Amanda] I'm interested in the opinion of an asshole.
  • [to Father Brendan] My penis speaks to me, Father Brendan.
  • Holy Mother of God, what are "body awareness exercises"?

Cheryl Cohen-Greene[edit]

  • [to Mark O'Brien] It was penis-vagina all the way. And you definitely get an A for orgasm.

Father Brendan[edit]

  • [to Mark O'Brien] It's amazing to me how often God is brought into the sex act. I understand even among non-believers the most common expression of sexual ecstasy is "Oh, God!"


Joan: Would you mind if I asked you a favor?
Mark O'Brien: What? You need help moving furniture.

Father Brendan: I understand you'd like me to hear your confession.
Mark O'Brien: Yes, I would. I told my attendant to come back in half an hour. Is that okay?
Father Brendan: I'm in no rush.
Mark O'Brien: I can be a bit time consuming, but I'm, uh, worth the trouble.
[Father Brendan breaks a smile for the first time.]
Father Brendan: I'm here for you, Mark.
[He sits down.]
Mark O'Brien: Okay, this is not exactly a confession. I haven't yet done the deed. I was hoping sort of hoping to get a quote in advance.
Father Brendan: What's on your mind?
Mark O'Brien: The most immediate thing on my mind would be one of my attendants, Joan. I'm thinking of getting rid of her. It's an evil thought, but I - I can't help it.
Father Brendan: Is she dishonest, or incompetent?
Mark O'Brien: No, neither of those. She looks at me the wrong way. It's that you-need-me-more-than-I-need-you look. I'd like to show her she's wrong, just for the evil satisfaction it will give me. Is that a sin, Father?
Father Brendan: Well, it obviously troubles you.
Mark O'Brien: Yes, it troubles me a lot because what if it's really just a power trip. You know? Me against her. Me against the world.
Father Brendan: I really wouldn't worry about that. The question is whether you like having her around.
Mark O'Brien: I can't stand her.
Father Brendan: Well, then get rid of her. If I were in a position to choose, I'd find someone nice. Even if it was a power trip.
Mark O'Brien: Then I have your blessing to fire her?
Father Brendan: Unofficially, yes.
Mark O'Brien: That's good enough for me.

Mark O'Brien: Do you have any experience?
Amanda: No, none at all.
Mark O'Brien: That sounds perfect.

Amanda: So, how long can you stay out?
Mark O'Brien: Three or four hours.
Amanda: Yeah?
Mark O'Brien: Depends on how much fun I'm having.

Mark O'Brien: So, what sort of chance do you give me?
Laura White: Of achieving your romantic fantasy? Very small to minute.
Mark O'Brien: Oh, look, you don't have to pull any punches. You can be direct with me.

Laura White: Would I be correct in assuming you're unable to masturbate?
Mark O'Brien: Correct.
Laura White: Has anyone done it for you?
Mark O'Brien: No.
Laura White: Have you ever asked anyone?
Mark O'Brien: Not specifically. I asked someone to marry me once. She declined. Does that come close to masturbation?

Mark O'Brien: So, is it possible for me to know a woman in the biblical sense, so to speak? And - and do I want to find out?
Father Brendan: And you want my opinion?
Mark O'Brien: Please.
[Father Brendan contemplates for a few moments. He looks up at the statue of Jesus, then makes a decision.]
Father Brendan: In my heart, I feel like He'll give you a free pass on this one. Go for it.

Mark O'Brien: I feel really proud of myself, imposing on someone I hardly know, to fornicate in their home.
Rod: Get over it. It's perfectly normal.

Clerk: So, uh, what sort of therapy are they doing?
Vera: They're having sex.
[The clerk laughs.]
Clerk: You're shitting me.
Vera: Okay, I'm shitting you.
Clerk: Oh no, come on, tell me for real. What are they actually doing?
Vera: Well, today, after some appropriate foreplay, they're gonna try to achieve full penetration.

Cheryl Cohen-Greene: So, what shall we talk about?
Mark O'Brien: We don't have to do much talking?
[Cheryl smiles at Mark.]
Mark O'Brien: I just wanted to be seen with you in public. And I want people to say, "Hey, who's that gimp with that beautiful blonde?"

Clerk: What kind of therapist is she, really?
Vera: I told you the first time, she's a sex therapist.
[The clerk looks at her closely. She appears to have a completely straight face.]
Vera: Today they're working on simultaneous orgasm.
Clerk: What's that?

Mark O'Brien: I wanted to believe that because of Cheryl, my life had changed. But it hadn't. I just kept thinking, is that it? Is that all there is?
Father Brendan: I think you've done a great thing.

Susan Fernbach: Would you like me to visit you?
Mark O'Brien: Are you married?
Susan Fernbach: No.
Mark O'Brien: Do you have a steady boyfriend?
Susan Fernbach: No.
Mark O'Brien: Then please visit as often as you can.

Father Brendan: I'm flabbergasted.
Mark O'Brien: She adores me. She'll do anything for me, and I can get pretty kinky sometimes.
Father Brendan: Here I was, ready to offer comfort to the forlorn. That's supposed to be my specialty. Now I guess I can throw away that little speech.
Mark O'Brien: No, no. Please make the little speech. I'd love to hear it.
Father Brendan: Okay, fine. Here it goes. The meaning of love. Love is a journey.
Mark O'Brien: I like it already.
[There is a pause.]
Father Brendan: That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I told you it’s short. Love is a journey.




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