Ever since I first saw Philadelphia Story–I don’t know when, at about 12–I regularly return to the dialog, either on screen or in my memory. Almost every time I do, and anyway with surprisingly long-lived regularity, I find a new meaning layered into those lines.
The frequency of these little revelations has dwindled, naturally, so that now whenever I do find something new, it’s accordingly more special. Today while doing dishes I was recalling this bit of banter, and surprised myself with a new angle. I decided to start recording this process, since it seems like it will never end. I’ll have to retroactively mark down some of my past discoveries.
Under what name do you publish?
My own: Macauley Connor
<stifles laughter> What’s the “Macauley” for?
<an incredulous glance to Liz> My father taught English history. I-I’m Mike to my friends–
–Of whom you have many, I’m sure.
I’ve always loved that volley:
- She’s making fun of his name, as if he’s putting on airs with “Macauley”.
- Her last line here is bulletproof: she’s paying a complement, but actually opening the question of whether or not he has any friends, which he never said anything about.
And the bit that came to me tonight over dirty dishes:
- He’s trying to shed the arrogance she’s assigning to him, by offering his nickname; but she won’t let him.
Until next time.