Wonder Boys (film)

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Wonder Boys is a 2000 film about an English Professor who tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

Directed by Curtis Hanson. Written by Steven Kloves, based on the novel by Michael Chabon.
Undependable. Unpredictable. Unforgettable.

Grady Tripp[edit]

  • Whenever I wondered what Sara saw in me, and I wondered more than once, I always came back to the fact that she loved to read. She read everything every spare moment. She was a junkie for the printed word. And lucky for me, I manufactured her drug of choice.
  • So there it was. Somewhere in the night, a Manhattan book editor was prowling the streets of Pittsburgh; best-selling author at his side, dead dog in his trunk.
  • I had no business trudging up to James Leer's parents' house in the middle of the night. Not when all that really mattered was trying to make things right with Sarah. But we had decided to rescue James Leer. I wasn't quite sure from what because I was pretty much convinced that everything that came out of James' mouth was basically horseshit. But maybe that really didn't matter. Sometimes people just need to be rescued.
  • As for me, I lost everything: my wife, my book, my job, everything that I thought was important. But I finally knew where I wanted to go. And now I have someone to help me get there.

Sara Gaskell[edit]

  • So. I guess we just divorce our spouses, marry each other, and have this baby, right? Simple.


Antonia "Tony" Sloviak: Oh, that's such a beautiful Greenhouse.
Grady Tripp: It's Mrs. Gaskell's, it's her hobby.
Terry Crabtree: I thought you were Mrs. Gaskell's hobby.
Grady Tripp: Piss off, will ya Crabs? I lost a wife today.
Terry Crabtree: You'll find another one, you always do. She'll be younger, prettier; they always are.

James Leer: It's just... for good luck. Some people carry rabbits' feet...
Grady Tripp: ...You carry firearms.

James Leer: Professor Tripp? Can I ask you a question?
Grady Tripp: Yeah, James.
James Leer: What are we going to do with... it?
Grady Tripp: I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell the Chancellor I murdered her husband's dog.
James Leer: You?
Grady Tripp: Trust me, James, when the family pet's been assassinated, the owner doesn't want to hear one of her students was the trigger man.
James Leer: Does she want to hear it was one of her professors?
Grady Tripp: ...I've got tenure.

James Leer: Now, that is a big trunk. It holds a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly.
Grady Tripp: That's just what they used to say in the ads.

[Sara smells Antonia's perfume on Grady's clothes]
Sara Gaskell: Is that Cristalle?
Grady Tripp: Mm.
Sara Gaskell: My God, I wear the same scent as a transvestite.

Grady Tripp: What do we have here? This looks like... that's our old friend Mr. Codeine. That should take the old pinch out of the ankle. Want one?
James Leer: No, thanks. I'm fine without them.
Grady Tripp: Right. That's why you were standing in the chancellor's backyard spinning that "cap gun" of yours. You're fine. Yeah, you're just as fit as a fuckin' fiddle.

James Leer: You're mad at me, aren't you? You're mad because I shot your girlfriend's dog.
Grady Tripp: It wasn't her dog, it was her husband's... [looking at James] Who said anything about a girlfriend?
[James smiles]
Grady Tripp: Okay, James, I wish you hadn't shot my girlfriends dog. Even though Poe and I were not exactly what you'd call simpatico, that's no reason he should've taken two in the chest.

Sara Gaskell: You didn't happen to call our house last night, did you?
Grady Tripp: I think I might have, yes.
Sara Gaskell: What do you think you might have said?
Grady Tripp: I think I might have said I was in love with you. [pause] He told you?
Sara Gaskell: He told me.
Grady Tripp: And what did you say?
Sara Gaskell: I said it didn't sound like you.

Hannah Green: Grady, you know how in class you're always telling us that writers make choices?
Grady Tripp: Yeah.
Hannah Green: And even though your book is really beautiful, I mean, amazingly beautiful, it's... it's at times... it's... very detailed. You know, with the genealogies of everyone's horses, and the dental records, and so on. And... I could be wrong, but it sort of reads in places like you didn't make any choices. At all. And I was just wondering if it might not be different if... if when you wrote you weren't always... under the influence.
Grady Tripp: Well... thank you for the thought, but shocking as it may sound, I am not the first writer to sip a little weed. Furthermore, it might surprise you to know that one book I wrote, as you say, "under the influence," just happened to win a little something called the Pen Award. Which, by the way, I accepted under the influence.

Terry Crabtree: Let me get this straight. Jerry Nathan owes you money, so as collateral he gives you his car.
Grady Tripp: Only I'm beginning to think that the car wasn't exactly Jerry's to give.
Terry Crabtree: Ah, so whose car was it?
Grady Tripp: My guess? Vernon Hardapple.
Terry Crabtree: The hood jumper?
Grady Tripp: He said a few things that lead me to believe that the car was his.
Terry Crabtree: Such as?
Grady Tripp: "That's my car, motherfucker."

Vernon Hardapple: Why did you keep writing this book if you didn't even know what it was about?
Grady Tripp: I couldn't stop.

Terry Crabtree: It's comforting to know that America's children have you for a teacher.
Grady Tripp: Nobody teaches a writer anything. You tell'em what you know. You tell'em to find their voice and stay with it. You tell the ones that have it to keep at it. You tell the ones that don't have it to keep at it too because that's the only way they're gonna get to where they're going. Of course, it does help if you know where you wanna go. Helping my students figure that out...that and Sara...that's what's made these last years worthwhile.


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