20 Great Movie Lines From John Cusack

How do you explain the long, rarely-wavering romance we have with John Cusack? The New York Times did an interview with John this week, and the actor proved himself to be as slippery as ever when it comes to nailing him down to answers to frequently asked questions about his appeal. And yet, at the end of the article, I found myself loving him just as much as before.

His movie characters have a “progressive sensibility” that run through them, the author opined.

“I wanted to make the characters as human as possible,” Cusack replies at one point after having the question posed to him in numerous different ways. “I thought, you know, In Hollywood, if you tell lies about love and violence, you can make a fortune. All you’ve got to do is lie about both. Or lie about yourself.”

What does it all mean? I have no idea. Neither did the interviewer. Neither did John, I suspect. But i still love it. And I love the wisdom that trickles through in the lines from his movies – both lines he spokes or has spoken to him. Here are 20 of my favorite.

1. “It’s not easy getting rides. Do you know what I mean? I mean most people are real afraid to pick up hitchhikers. I mean you never know who you might pick up. I mean I could be some crazed slime ball. I mean a real deranged, violent psycho. You know what I mean? I mean a guy who would rip out your heart and eat it just for pleasure.” (The Sure Thing)

2. “I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.” (Better Off Dead)

3. “Suicide is never the answer, little trooper.” (Better Off Dead)

4. “Do you realize that for every lost doll there’s a little girl with a broken heart.” (One Crazy Summer)

5. “Everybody loves Menudo!” (Tapeheads)

6. “Sometimes, when you feel right, there’s a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it’s going to go a long way. Damn, if you don’t feel like you’re going to live forever.” (Eight Men Out)

7. “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” (Say Anything)

8. “You must chill. You must chill.” (Say Anything)

9. “Who’s a boy gonna talk to if not his mother?” (The Grifters)

10. “They say great men are embraced by thousands of strangers.” (True Colors)

11. “The only thing new about this world is the history we don’t know.” (City Hall)

12. “A thousand innocent people get killed every day! But a millionaire’s pet gets detonated, and you’re marked for life.” (Grosse Pointe Blank)

13. “If you can’t trust a South American drug lord, who can you trust, huh?” (Con Air)

14. “To hold on to sanity too tight is insane.” (Pushing Tin)

15. “Consciousness is a terrible curse. I think. I feel. I suffer.” (Being John Malkovich)

16. “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” (High Fidelity)

17. “What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films – these things matter.” (High Fidelity)

18. “Maybe the absence of signs is a sign.” (Serendipity)

19. “The universe lets your heart expand that way, and I think that’s the function of all this pain and heartache that you go through and you gotta go through that to come out to a better place and that’s how I see it, anyway.” (Must Love Dogs)

20. “Great White Buffalo.” (Hot Tub Time Machine)