Connie Baker
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Quotes for
Connie Baker (Character)
from Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

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Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Katherine Watson: Since your wedding, you've missed six classes, a paper and your midterm.
Betty Warren: I was on my honeymoon and then I had to set up house. What does she expect?
Katherine Watson: Attendance.
Connie Baker: [timidly] Most of the faculty turn their heads when the married students miss a class or two.
Katherine Watson: Well then why not get married as freshman? That way you could graduate without actually ever stepping foot on campus.
Betty Warren: Don't disregard out traditions just because you're subversive.
Katherine Watson: Don't disrespect this class just because you're married.
Betty Warren: Don't disrespect me just because you're not.
Katherine Watson: Come to class, do the work, or I'll fail you.
Betty Warren: If you fail me, there will be consequences.
Katherine Watson: Are you threatening me?
Betty Warren: I'm educating you.
Katherine Watson: That's *my* job.

Betty Warren: [Betty's Third Editorial Voice Over] Wellesley girls who are married have become quite adept at balancing their obligations. One hears such comments as, "I'm able to baste the chicken with one hand and outline the paper with the other." While our mothers were called to the workforce for lady liberty it is our duty, nay, obligation to reclaim our place in the home bearing the children that will carry our traditions into the future. One must pause to consider why; Ms. Katherine Watson, instructor in the art history department, has decided to declare war on the holy sacrament of marriage. Her subversive and political teachings encourage our Wellesley girls to reject the roles they were born to fill.
Katherine Watson: Slide - Contemporary art...
Connie Baker: No, that's just an advertisement...
Katherine Watson: Quiet. Today you just listen. What will future scholars see when they study us, a portrait of women today? There you are ladies: the perfect likeness of a Wellesley graduate, Magna Cum Laude, doing exactly what she was trained to do. Slide - a Rhodes Scholar, I wonder if she recites Chaucer while she presses her husband's shirts. Slide - hehe, now you physics majors can calculate the mass and volume of every meatloaf you make. Slide - A girdle to set you free. What does that mean? What does that mean? What does it mean? I give up, you win. The smartest women in the country, I didn't realize that by demanding excellence I would be challenging... what did it say?
[Walks over to a student and picks up her copy of the editorial]
Katherine Watson: What did it say? Um... the roles you were born to fill. Is that right?
[Looks up at Betty]
Katherine Watson: The roles you were born to fill? It's, uh, it's my mistake.
[Katerine drops the student's paper back onto her desk]
Katherine Watson: Class dismissed.
[Katherine walks out of the classroom]

Charlie Stewart: My parents say my future is right on the horizon.
Connie Baker: Tell them the horizon is an imaginary line that recedes as you approach it.

Connie Baker: And, it was perfect, romantic, we stayed up all night, talking.
Joan Brandwyn: [to Giselle] You're late, what happened to Sunday brunch?
Giselle Levy: We stayed up all night, too. Not talking.
Connie Baker: The psychoanalyst again.
Giselle Levy: Divine exhaustion.

[Giselle has been secretly seeing a married psychologist]
Betty Warren: Does he pay you for sex? I mean, at the rate you're going, you could make a fortune.
Joan Brandwyn: Betty!
Betty Warren: Everyone thinks so. Do you know what they say? They say you're a whore. And pretty soon, once they've all sampled you, they'll toss you aside like a used rag.
Joan Brandwyn: Betty, stop! Now!
Betty Warren: The men you love don't even want you! Your father doesn't want you!
Giselle Levy: [to Connie] I'm gonna meet you downstairs.
Betty Warren: Professor Dunbar?
Connie Baker: Betty, that's enough!
Betty Warren: Everyone knows that you hide outside his house! It must be torturous running after a man who doesn't even care about you. Who's in love with someone else. Who hates you!
Giselle Levy: Betty...
Betty Warren: He *hates* you!
[Giselle pulls Betty into a hug]
Betty Warren: Get off of me!
[Betty struggles, but gives in a sobs on Giselle's shoulder]
Betty Warren: [about her husband] He doesn't want me!
Giselle Levy: [sympathetically] I know...

Katherine Watson: Slide. Contemporary art.
Connie Baker: Now that's just an advertisement.
Katherine Watson: Quiet! Today you just listen. What will the future scholars see when they study us? A portrait of woman today? There you are ladies. The perfect likeness of a Welesley graduate, Magna Cum Laude doing exactly what she was trained to do. Slide. A Rhodes scholar. I wonder is she recited Chaucer while she presses her husband's shirts. Slide. Heh, now you physics major's can calculate the mass and volume of every meat loaf you ever make. Slide. A girdle to set you free! What does that mean?... What does that mean?... What does it mean? I give up. You win. The smartest women in the country... I didn't realize that by demanding excellence I would be challenging... what did it say?
[walks over to student's desk and picks up newspaper]
Katherine Watson: what did it say? um... the roles you were born to fill
[looks up at Betty]
Katherine Watson: is that right? the roles you were born to fill?... It's uh it's my mistake.
[drops paper and walks out of classroom]
Katherine Watson: Class dismissed.

Susan Delacorte: [Katherine shows the class a painting of a rotting animal] What is that?
Katherine Watson: You tell me. "Carcass", by Soutine, 1925.
Susan Delacorte: It's not on the syllabus.
Katherine Watson: No it's not. Is it any good? Hm? C'mon, ladies, there's no wrong answer. There's also no textbook telling you what to think. It's not that easy, is it?
Betty Warren: Alright, no. It's not good. In fact, I wouldn't even call it art. It's grotesque.
Connie Baker: Is there a rule against art being grotesque?
Giselle Levy: I think there's something aggressive about it. And erotic.
Betty Warren: To you, everything is erotic.
Giselle Levy: Everything *is* erotic.
Susan Delacorte: Aren't there standards?
Betty Warren: Of course there are! Otherwise, a tacky velvet painting could be equated to a Rembrandt!
Connie Baker: Hey, my Uncle Ferdie has two tacky velvet paintings. He loves those clowns.
Betty Warren: There *are* standards! Technique, composition, color, even subject. So, if you're suggesting that rotted side of meat is art, much less *good* art, then what are we going to learn?
Katherine Watson: Just that. You have outlined our new syllabus, Betty, thank you. What is art? What makes it good or bad, and who decides?

[referring to a childlike drawing of a cow]
Katherine Watson: 25 years ago, someone thought this was brilliant.
Connie Baker: I can see that.
Betty Warren: Who?
Katherine Watson: My mother. I painted it for her birthday. Next slide. This is my mom. Is it art?
Susan Delacorte: It's a snapshot.
Katherine Watson: If I told you Ansel Adams had taken it, would that make a difference?
Betty Warren: Art isn't art until someone says it is.
Katherine Watson: It's art!
Betty Warren: The right people.
Katherine Watson: And who are they?
Giselle Levy: Betty Warren! We're so lucky we have one of them right here.

Connie Baker: [reading from an advertisement] "When your courses are set and a dreamboat you've met, have a real cigarette! Have a Camel!" I've got my courses, I've got my Camel cigarette. Where the hell is my dreamboat?

Connie Baker: [holding up a diaphragm] This isn't what I think it is, is it?
Joan Brandwyn: Where'd you get it?
Giselle Levy: From the school nurse.
Betty Warren: It's against the law!
Giselle Levy: No, honey, it's a girl's best friend.
Betty Warren: A certain kind of girl.
Giselle Levy: Meet the last virgin bride.
Betty Warren: Spencer is a gentleman.
Giselle Levy: And even gentlemen have dicks.
Connie Baker: Maybe I'll get one!
Giselle Levy: What, a dick?
Betty Warren: Don't be stupid, Connie!
Connie Baker: [hurt] Someone, somewhere, someday might be interested. Just in case, I'll be prepared.
[Connie leaves, fighting back tears]
Joan Brandwyn: Was that necessary?
Betty Warren: I was taught it's best to speak honestly.
Giselle Levy: You're a bitch.

[about a contemporary abstract painting]
Giselle Levy: That's Jackson Pollock.
Susan Delacorte: In a word.
Connie Baker: I was just getting used to the idea of dead, maggoty meat being art. Now this?
Susan Delacorte: Please don't tell me we have to write a paper about it.
Katherine Watson: Do me a favor. Do yourselves a favor. Stop talking, and look. You're not required to write a paper. You're not even required to like it. You *are* required to consider it.

[about Vincent van Gogh]
Katherine Watson: He painted what he felt, not what he saw. People didn't understand, to them it seemed childlike and crude. It took years for them to recognize his actual technique. To see the way his brush strokes seemed to make the night sky move. Yet, he never sold a painting in his lifetime. This is his self-portrait. There's no camouflage, no romance. Honesty. Now, sixty years later, where is he?
Giselle Levy: Famous.
Katherine Watson: So famous, in fact, that everybody has a reproduction. There are post cards...
Connie Baker: We have the calendar.
Katherine Watson: you go. With the ability to reproduce art, it is available to the masses. No one needs to own a van Gogh original, they can paint their own. Van Gogh in a box, ladies! The newest form of mass-distributed art; paint by numbers.
Connie Baker: [reading from the box] "Now everyone can be van Gogh. It's so easy. Just follow the simple instructions and in minutes, you're on your way to being an artist."
Giselle Levy: Van Gogh by numbers?
Katherine Watson: Ironic, isn't it? Look at what we have done to the man who refused to conform his ideals to popular taste. Who refused to compromise his integrity. We have put him in a tiny box and asked you to copy him.

[about Charlie Stewart]
Connie Baker: We spent last weekend at the Cape! A little hideaway he knew about.
Betty Warren: Operative word, 'hide'. Men take women to the Cape in the winter when they're embarrassed to be seen with them. He's using you.
Giselle Levy: He's not using you if you want to go. Come here, don't listen to her.
Betty Warren: I love you, and I swear I'm not saying this to hurt you. Charlie's promised to Deb McIntyre. She wears his pin. Giselle, you know it's true.
Giselle Levy: I don't know anything about a pin.
Connie Baker: Are her parents named Phillip and Vanessa?
Betty Warren: You know them?
Connie Baker: Only from a distance.

Betty Warren: Have you seen Spencer?
Connie Baker: [in tears] No. But I did see Charlie Stewart. And he told me that he and Deb broke up last summer. And you told me that they were together when he invited me to the Cape.
Betty Warren: Oh Connie, I don't keep track of his dates. They've been on-again, off-again for the past few years.
Connie Baker: No, no apparently they've been off-again for a while. For quite a while.
Betty Warren: So?
Connie Baker: So you made me believe that he was hiding me! Either way, why couldn't you let me be happy?

Connie Baker: Do you swear not to repeat what you see or smell here tonight?
Katherine Watson: Smell?
Connie Baker: Yes, smell. Hands up.