“I didn’t get much sleep last night so, forgive me if I am a little foggy. But, you know, today is a special day. We are here to mark a crossroad in lives of two people. A crossroad where they come together and now walk along a new road. Not same road they were on before, it’s new road… a road that… As many of you know, I lost my wife recently and Jeannie lost her mother. Helen and I were married forty-two years. She died very suddenly. I know we owe she could be with us today. And I think it would be appropriate to acknowledge just how pleased she was that Jeannie had found someone to share her life with- a companion, a partner. I recall the day, when Jeannie first told us that she’s been proposed to. We hadn’t yet met this Randall fellows, so we were understandably a little suspicious. Later she brought him home for Christmas so we can get a look at him. I remember there was a big snow storm, and Randall here, helped me shovel off the front walkie, pitch straight in. That brings me to what I really want to say. What I want to say, what I really want to say is… thank you, to you Randall, for taking such good care of my daughter, especially recently, with her loss. Ever since I arrived here couple of days ago, I have so enjoy getting to know Jeannie’s new family: Roberta…Thank you for your generosity, for opening your home. Your talent in the kitchen is… Larry, your wonderful eloquence. Sandra, your skill with handicraft is truly remarkable. That item that you showed me, was so very artistic. Duncan, I haven’t got to know you very well, but I cant tell from our brief conversation that you are a very thoughtful young man. Everybody else, terrific people. In conclusion, I just want to say on this special day, on this very special day, that I am very… pleased.”
— About Schmidt (2002), screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, novel by Louis Begley
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is wedding toasts, suggested by Shaula Evans. Today’s suggestion by Teddy Pasternak.
Trivia: When Jack Nicholson met Alexander Payne to discuss his role, Payne had a one-sentence directive for him; it was “Jack, I want you to play a small man.”
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary from Teddy: “I love how he struggles to find something nice to say about his daughter’s new family and how diplomatic he is with the compliments. My favorite: “That item that you showed me, was so very artistic.” He pulls it off, though, and manages to make everyone believe he means every word. The subtext and meaning of the speech is best understood watching the scene that immediately follows – Warren’s letter to Ndugu – where his true feelings about his adventure and his achievements in life become clear.”