Movie Night: Death Takes a Holiday













Best Experienced With:     Jay Z and Alphaville;    Young Forever


(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background music for this evening’s treatise in a new browser window.  May I please have some of your Milk Duds?  Thank you.)


“Be that as it may, a question can often be answered two ways”

(Brad Pitt as Death in Meet Joe Black)




Would image it would be challenging as a film writer person to go through life as M. Night Shyamalan, and not simply because of the uncomfortable pause from the second grade teacher each time he or she kicked off class by calling roll call.  Not for the massive time involved in filling out insurance paperwork or signing home loan documents.  No, it would be the expectations that every single movie you made until the sun burned out had some sort of massive surprise.

No chance to ever do a movie about a kid and his dog, or two people falling in love and then falling out of love and then falling back in love.  Nope, were you M. Night Shyamalan you’d have to make a movie about a boy and his dog and then at the end the dog would shed his dog skin and become a giant fire breathing cicada with an army of unicorns that took over Canada.

Hoosiers is one of my favorite sales and marketing movies.  Was watching those kids from Butler a few weeks back thinking about Gene Hackman screaming at his players to pass three times before shooting.  Used to show that part in the 1990’s at the beginning of sales training classes because it is an excellent example of discipline.   The other best sales and marketing movies, in no particular order, are:

  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Tin Men
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Braveheart
  • Wall Street
  • Enron:  The Smartest Guys in The Room
  • Lost in Translation
  • Up In The Air


Glengarry Glen Ross not so much for the thirteen minute Alec Baldwin speech at the beginning, although that is a money speech.  Not because it is the only Mamet three act play that actually translated well into film.  Showed Glengarry Glen Ross to sales training classes because of the morons sitting around complaining about the “leads being weak” instead of going out and creating opportunities by knocking on doors.  There was a reason Mr. Romo never had to worry about winning the steak knives.  Mr. Romo was out creating opportunities and winning the Cadillac while the other morons were complaining about the leads and how someone else has a better territory.

All great sports movies are also great sales and marketing movies so we will throw in the following sports movies to widen the fishing pond for your weekend rentals:

  • Brian’s Song
  • Miracle
  • Jimmy Valvano’s speech at the ESPY’s
  • Breaking Away
  • When We Were Kings
  • Chariots of Fire
  • It’s Good to Be Alive:  The Roy Campanella Story


Love movies generally have absolutely nothing to do with business, yet some may have a hot third date this coming weekend and need a good movie suggestion.   Any of the four below are wonderful.   If you cry I will call you a sissy.

  • Seven Pounds
  • Grosse Point Blank
  • Lars and The Real Girl
  • Buffalo 66


The Woman Who Loved Eddie Vedder (TWWLEV) was very nearly christened The Woman Who Loved Brad Pitt (TWWLBP).  Was really only a toss of a coin that got her TWWLEV instead of TWWLBP.  Was also easier going through those four years with her being TWWLEV because as mentioned last year, I actually get a haircut periodically and always felt more attractive than Mr. Vedder.  On my best days in 1996, never felt remotely close to Mr. Pitt’s attractiveness quintile. 

Some of my favorite movies are those with extremely high body counts.  Movies like True Romance where virtually everyone dies at the end.  That kind of high body count.   Might be because we all snuck into the first slasher movie, Halloween, back in 1978.  Our group was chock full of thirteen year olds and it was a big deal that we snuck into the Fairview Theater for an “R” movie. 

Nothing we had ever seen on the big screen prepared us for Michael Myers and the wide variety of ways he brought death to those naughty kids.  Some viewers were scarred for life.  I became so hooked on high body counts that the finest twelve-step programs in Europe could not get me to watch ET or anything remotely like ET.   Have never seen ET and never will.   There is no death in ET.


Meet Joe Black does not have a high body count.  It does, however, have the finest “car kills man” scene in the history of moviemaking.  If you have not yet seen that scene, please go You Tube it and watch it.  The rest of us will stay here and wait for you.   See it?  Pretty cool, eh?  Imagine how happy I was watching that in a theater with TWWLEV.  Thought I was being dragged to a Brad Pitt flick on a Saturday night and BOOM, Brad Pitt gets destroyed by not one car but two cars.  Eighteen minutes into the movie and, seemingly, I am home free.        No more Brad Pitt.

Imagine my dismay as Brad Pitt is reanimated as Death when Death chooses to take a holiday.  Brad Pitt fatless, nearly naked and thirty feet high when he finally decides that he and the Claire Forlina character are going to make whoopee.  While Ms. Forlina’s character was equally nearly naked, I still kept hoping and praying for cars to crash through her bedroom wall, once again flipping Mr. Pitt head over heels and killing his character once and for all. 

Ms. Forlina married for the first time in 2007, breaking my heart.  I remain hopeful that their marriage blows up bigger than Nagasaki in the very near future.  At that time, I will toss my halfhearted pursuit of Natalie Imbruglia to the side and be there for Claire to help her pick up the pieces.  Patience is a virtue.

Meet Joe Black remains one of the best combos of business and love movies.  Death, Quince, and William Parrish have fantastic lines, some of which are shared below.  If you’ve never seen it and you have a third date coming up this weekend, go pick it up.  You are welcome!

Meet Joe Black has the finest negotiating line in any movie.  Joe Black says the following line twice during the film and it would make an excellent parting line in your next negotiation.   The next time you are in a high stakes, heated negotiation and you feel like testing your walk away power in the negotiation, gather your belongings, thank the other party for their time and say the words directly below.  Please let us know how it turns out?  At the very least, you will feel empowered on your way to the parking lot.   Odds are the other party will be waiting at your car  

“Should you choose to test my resolve in this matter, you will be facing finality beyond your comprehension, and you will not be counting days, or months, or years, but millenniums in a place with no doors.”

The best quote a friend told me about love years ago is “love is allowing yourself to be known and knowing the other person”.  Believe she stole that from Kahlil Gibran but have never checked……..great quote, nonetheless.   It captures the essence of love rather well.  Meet Joe Black has the finest line about the definition of love, as Quince explains to Death towards the end of the flick.

“Because she knows the worst thing about me and it’s okay”

Meet Joe Black has the finest line from a father about a daughter in any film when William Parrish says the following about his daughter:

“I loved Susan from the moment she was born, and I love her now and every minute in between. And what I dream of is a man who will discover her, and that she will discover a man who will love her, who is worthy of her, who is of this world, this time and has the grace, compassion, and fortitude to walk beside her as she makes her way through this beautiful thing called life.”

Meet Joe Black has the one of the finest toast lines ever.  William Parrish makes the following short and sweet toast to the folks at his 65th birthday party.  Very honest toast with a solid shout out to luck at the end, as well as a very cool wish for his friends. 

What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we’re all together, and you’re mine for a night. And I’m going to break precedent and tell you my one candle wish: that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, “I don’t want anything more.” Sixty-five years. Don’t they go by in a blink?

Finally, we come to William Parrish’s explanation of love to his daughter, played by the aforementioned Ms. Forlina.  Meet Joe Black has the finest descriptive paragraph on love ever written for a movie, play, sonnet, or haiku in the history of mankind or dinosaurkind. 

“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I’m not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you’ll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love – well, you haven’t lived a life at all.  You have to try.  Because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.”


Would submit that the finest of career adventures also mirror the quote above on love.  This makes Meet Joe Black the finest business and love movie in the universe.













The Mind of Mully

 So if you love me, baby

This is how you let me know

Don’t ever let me go

That’s how you let me know



 For more details on The Woman Who Loved Eddie Vedder (TWWLEV), please click the following link:


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