L.A. Story (1991) Poster


Steve Martin: Harris K. Telemacher



  • [Admiring a painting] 

    Harris : I like the relationships. I mean, each character has his own story. The puppy is a bit too much, but you have to over look things like that in these kinds of paintings. The way he's *holding* her... it's almost... filthy. I mean, he's about to kiss her and she's pulling away. The way the leg's sort of smashed up against her... Phew... Look how he's painted the blouse sort of translucent. You can just make out her breasts underneath and it's sort of touching him about here. It's really... pretty torrid, don't you think? Then of course you have the onlookers peeking at them from behind the doorway like they're all shocked. They wish. Yeah, I must admit, when I see a painting like this, I get emotionally... erect.

    [the painting is revealed to be of a red rectangle] 

  • Harris : Why is it that we don't always recognize the moment when love begins but we always know when it ends?

  • Tom : I'll have a decaf coffee.

    Trudi : I'll have a decaf espresso.

    Morris Frost : I'll have a double decaf cappuccino.

    Ted : Give me decaffeinated coffee ice cream.

    Harris : I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.

    Trudi : I'll have a twist of lemon.

    Tom : I'll have a twist of lemon.

    Morris Frost : I'll have a twist of lemon.

    Cynthia : I'll have a twist of lemon.

  • Sara : And if I were to go?

    Harris : All I know is, on the day your plane was to leave, if I had the power, I would turn the winds around, I would roll in the fog, I would bring in storms, I would change the polarity of the earth so compasses couldn't work, so your plane couldn't take off.

  • Harris : Let us just say I was deeply unhappy, but I didn't know it because I was so happy all the time.

  • Trudi : Sheila has been studying the art of conversation.

    Harris : Oh, you're taking a course in conversation?

    Sheila : Yes.

    [long pause] 

  • Harris : Ordinarily, I don't like to be around interesting people because it means I have to be interesting too.

    Sara : Are you saying I'm interesting?

    Harris : All I'm saying is that, when I'm around you, I find myself showing off, which is the idiot's version of being interesting.

  • Harris : I could never be a woman, 'cause I'd just stay home and play with my breasts all day.

  • [Harris is trying to convince Sara not to go back to England] 

    Harris : There comes a time in a person's life when it's now or never. It's now or never. Let me read to you from this book of poems: "O pointy birds, o pointy pointy. Anoint..."

    [Sara slams window shut] 

  • [whilst showing Sara around LA] 

    Harris : Some of these buildings are over 20 years old.

  • Harris : Sitting there at that moment I thought of something else Shakespeare said. He said, "Hey... life is pretty stupid; with lots of hubbub to keep you busy, but really not amounting to much." Of course I'm paraphrasing: "Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

  • Harris : [answering the telephone]  Hello, this is Harris. I'm in right now, so you can talk to me personally. Please start talking at the sound of the beep.


    Sara : Hello?

    Harris : Hello.

    Sara : Hello?

    Harris : Hello.

    Sara : Is this a person?

    Harris : Yes, it is a person.

  • Harris : SanDeE*, your... your breasts feel weird.

    SanDeE* : Oh, that's 'cause they're real.

  • Sara : Why didn't you tell me you had just broke up with someone?

    Harris : How do you know I just broke up with someone?

    Sara : Because when men just break up with someone, they always run around with someone much too young for them.

    Harris : She's not so young. She'll be 27 in four years.

  • Harris : I don't think we should make love, all right?

    SanDeE* : Okay, we'll just have sex.

  • Harris : I've been thinking about myself and I think I can become the kind of person that's worth you staying for. First of all, I'm a man who can cry. Now it's true, it's usually when I've hurt myself, but it's a start.

  • Harris : I'm not kissing anyone hello anymore.

    Trudi : Well just shake hands with them.

    Harris : Are you kidding? I just wash my hands and I shake hands with some guy that feels like he's been squashing caterpillars.

  • Harris : So, I'll see you Sunday?

    Trudi : I got a shower Sunday.

    Harris : Oh yeah, and I really should take a bath... Monday?

  • [Harris kisses Sara. ] 

    Sara : Oh no, I can't. This is how Mommy met Daddy.

    Harris : Let your mind go and your body will follow.

  • Crook : Hi. My name is Bob. I'll be your robber.

    Harris : [hands him the money]  Hi, how are you?

    Crook : Thank you very much.

  • Harris : There's someone out there for everyone - even if you need a pickaxe, a compass, and night goggles to find them.

  • Harris : A sign spoke to me, said I was in trouble.

    Trudi : If you're talking to signs, you are in trouble.

  • Harris : I call it performance art, but my friend Ariel calls it wasting time. History will decide.

  • Harris : When I really analyze it, Trudi wasn't for me anyway. The only good times we had were having sex and laying in bed watching TV.

    Ariel : I hate to tell you this, Harris, but if you can find somebody you can have sex with and lie in bed and watch TV, you've really got something.

  • [Harris overhears an amorous couple in the next room] 

    Harris : They're really excited. They must be cheating on someone.

  • [Trudi admits to Harris that she has been cheating on him] 

    Harris : How long has this been going on?

    Trudi : Three years.

    Harris : Three years? You mean this has been going on since the '80s?

  • [Harris' girlfriend slept with his agent] 

    Harris : And I thought they were only supposed to take 10 percent.

  • Harris : [to SanDeE*]  Well, thank you for a lovely lunch and enema.

  • [after they get enemas together] 

    SanDeE* : So, what do you think?

    Harris : I think it was a total washout.

    SanDeE* : God, it really clears out your head.

    Harris : Head? Head? You should go back in there and tell them they're doing it wrong. Well, it was a great lunch and enema, thanks.

  • [as they walk to the restaurant, a loud clanging sound is heard] 

    Harris : What's that clanging sound?

    Roland : It's a nuisance. It's my damn testicles.

  • Harris : So there I was jabbering at her about my new job as a serious newsman - about anything at all - but all I could think was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful and yet again, wonderful.

  • Trudi : Do bullets go bad?

    Harris : No, it's not like milk. They don't have expiration date or anything.

  • Trudi : Isn't that girl Sara awful? I mean, what's with that accent?

    Harris : She has an accent because she's English.

    Trudi : Or maybe she's just trying to impress everybody.

    Harris : Oh, like that big phony, Winston Churchill.

  • Harris : You're on time.

    Sara : Actually I'm late.

    Harris : You're exactly on time.

    Sara : But I had planned to be early.

  • Harris : [after seeing tiny dinner at L'Idiot's]  I'm already finished and I don't remember eating.

  • Harris : [calling the restaurant]  Hello, L'Idiot? Yes, I'd like to make reservations for two for Friday. Saturday? Sunday? Ah good. Eight-thirty. Five-thirty or ten-thirty? Um, five-thirty. Visa... I'm a weatherman... yes, I'm on TV! Renting... I just sold a condo... yes, in this "soft market"... well, I don't see how that's any of your... the low fifties.

  • Harris : Forget for this moment the smog and the cars and the restaurant and the skating and remember only this. A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true.

  • Sara : What did you have in mind?

    Harris : Well, I was thinking of taking you on a cultural tour of L.A.

    Sara : That's the first fifteen minutes, then what?

    Harris : All right, a cynic. First stop is six blocks from here.

    Sara : Why don't we walk?

    Harris : Walk? A walk in L.A.?

  • Harris : Here, let me not drive for a while.

  • [Trudi is loading a gun] 

    Harris : Don't point it at me!

    Trudi : Sorry, I don't know gun etiquette.

  • Harris : We've got sun, earth, and atmosphere, and when you've got that, you've got weather!

  • Harris : If confusion about your love life is ruining your day, I think it's good to go over to your best friend's house and ruin her day too.

  • Gail, News Anchor : And what a surprise this weekend when the weather turned unseasonably low. Here's Harris Telemacher, our "wacky weatherman" with a report.

    Harris : And when the weather dropped down to 58 degrees this weekend, how did you cope?

    Man : I went to make sure all the windows were shut.

    Harris : And, what about your pets? Were they outside? What happened?

    Man : Well, the cats were out till around ten. But it got a little too cold for them and they came in.

    Harris : The cats were out till around ten. But it got a little too cold for them and they came in! Well, that's how L.A. coped with that surprise low of 58 degrees that turned the weekend into a real weenie shrinker!

  • SanDeE* : I don't put any pressure on you, do I?

    Harris : Not at all... I don't pressure you, do I?

    SanDeE* : No, no, I just don't think there should be any pressure.

    Harris : No. Tell me if I pressure you.

    SanDeE* : OK. And you too, but don't feel like you have to.

  • Harris : But then I'd just be using you to get back at her!

    SanDeE* : I don't mind.

    Harris : Let's go!

  • [Sara McDowel asks Harris when the right time for deep, sustained, booming sounds were in L.A. We later find out she plays tuba] 

    Harris : Ah - deep, sustained, booming sounds. Around nine, nine-fifteen.

  • Trudi : He said it's the first day of spring.

    Harris : Oh shit! Open season on the L.A. freeway!

  • Harris : You know, you're really nobody in L.A. unless you live in a house with a really big door.

  • SanDeE* : I'm studying to be a spokesmodel.

    Harris : What is, what is a spokesmodel?

    SanDeE* : Um, it's just a model who speaks, you know, and she points at things like merchandise, you know, like a car or washer and dryer. Sometimes it's something really small, you know, like, like a book or fine art print.

    Harris : They have classes for that?

    SanDeE* : Yeah, 'cause it's a lot harder than it looks.

  • Harris : [Sara dodges cars while driving on the left]  Right side... right side! Get on the right side!

    Sara : I don't think he can hear you.

  • Harris : A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true.

  • Harris : Okay, more wacky, less egghead. What was your name again?

  • Harris : There are two reasons for the ridiculous detour I was about to embark on...

    [SanDeE* is leaving work] 

    Harris : Are you closed?

    SanDeE* : Ya. Sorry.

    Harris : The first reason was: I believed a relationship with Sara was impossible...

    [SanDeE* "spinning" in the rain] 

    Harris : And the second reason was: I was a big, dumb male.

  • Harris : Well, maybe you think it's intellectual because you were raised with a banana and an inner tube... This is an intellectual-free zone.

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

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