Good People

What kinds of movies do I like the best? If I had to make a generalization, I would say that many of my favorite movies are about Good People.

It doesn’t matter if the ending is happy or sad. It doesn’t matter if the characters win or lose. The only true ending is death. Any other movie ending is arbitrary.

If a movie ends with a kiss, we’re supposed to be happy. But then if a piano falls on the kissing couple, or a taxi mows them down, we’re supposed to be sad. What difference does it make?

The best movies aren’t about what happens to the characters. They’re about the example that they set.


Ebert, Roger. “Reflections after 25 years at the movies.” Roger Ebert’s Journal. 12 Apr. 1992.



“I could not do this without this car,” she says as the Corvette picks up speed on Hollywood Boulevard. “I scram all the time.” After a thoughtful interval: “Always have an escape route: metaphysically, physically, financially, emotionally. I don’t think I have every base covered. I know I’ve got this car covered.”


Baum, Gary. “L.A. Billboard Diva Angelyne Bemoans Kardashian, Hilton and ‘Boring, Gauche’ Celeb Culture.” The Hollywood Reporter. 6 Aug. 2015.


the essence of Harold

Harold Ramis

Patton Oswalt: We lost Harold Ramis this year. He’s gone.

Judd Apatow: He made the majority of the movies that made me want to be in comedy. When I was a kid, Ghostbusters was like Gone With the Wind. The night it opened, I went to see it at the UA Plainview on Long Island, and it was like going to see the Who. The place went crazy from the minute it started.

PO: Yeah, that was Star Wars for comedians. It was big and crazy and still funny and intimate and human.

JA: And then he pulled off one of the great comedies of all time, Groundhog Day.

PO: No, I’m sorry, that’s not one of the great comedies of all time, that’s just one of the great films. That’s a great movie that happens to be a comedy.

JA: It was the essence of Harold and what he believed. That affected me in a big way, because I had never thought about any of those ideas when Groundhog Day came out. My parents weren’t religious; they didn’t even talk about religion to say they weren’t into religion. When I said I wanted to be bar-mitzvahed, they said, “You just want the money.” They didn’t let me do it. I mean, their only religion was “No one said life was fair.” So I got zero religion. And in that movie, you got what Harold believed in. And what Harold believed in was very simple—that this is probably it, so why not be a great guy?

PO: You see it in his films. His films make you feel better about the world when you’re done.

JA: Also, he boiled it down to something so simple, and it is my life philosophy—don’t be a dick.

“The Lives They Lived.” The New York Times. 23 Dec. 2014.

(Photo: Chris Walker/The Chicago Tribune)