Finding Forrester (2000)
Forrester: The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.
Jamal: Opens the letter
Forrester: Dear Jamal, Someone I once knew wrote that we walk away from our dreams afraid that we may fail or worse yet, afraid we may succeed. You need to know that while I knew so very early that you would realize your dreams, I never imagined I would once again realize my own. Seasons change young man, and while I may have waited until the winter of my life, to see the things I've seen this past year, there is no doubt I would have waited too long, had it not been for you.
Forrester: No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think!
Jamal: "The rest of those who have gone before us cannot steady the unrest of those to follow." You wrote that in your book.
Jamal: Did you ever enter a writin' contest?
Forrester: Yeah, once.
Jamal: Did you win?
Forrester: Well of course I won!
Jamal: You win like money or somethin'?
Jamal: Well, whadchu win?
Forrester: The Pulitzer.
Prof. Robert Crawford: [to Jamal] Perhaps your skills do reach farther than basketball.
Prof. Robert Crawford: What?
Claire Spence: [whispered to Jamal] Don't...
Jamal: [to Crawford] You said that my skills reached "farther" than basketball. "Farther" relates to distance, "further" is a definition of degree. You should have said "further".
Prof. Robert Crawford: Are you challenging me, Mr. Wallace?
Jamal: Not any more than you challenged Coleridge.
Prof. Robert Crawford: Perhaps the challenge should have been directed elsewhere. "It is a melancholy truth that even...
Jamal: "great men have poor relations" Dickens.
Prof. Robert Crawford: "You will hear the beat of..."
Prof. Robert Crawford: "All great truths begin..."
Prof. Robert Crawford: "Man is the only animal...
Jamal: "that blushes... or needs to." That's Mark Twain.
Jamal: Come on, Professor Crawford...
Prof. Robert Crawford: [shouting] Get out!
Prof. Robert Crawford: [whispered] Get... out.
Jamal: Yeah. I'll get out.
Jamal: I was wondering if I could bring you more of my stuff. Or maybe I could write something else.
Forrester: How about 5,000 words on why you should stay the fuck out of my house!
Jamal: We've been talking about your book at school.
Forrester: People have been talking about it for years. They just haven't been saying anything.
Jamal: I think I got it down, though. I figure you were writing about how life never works out.
Forrester: Really? You had to read a book to figure that out?
Forrester: In some cultures it's good luck to be wearing something inside-out.
Jamal: And you believe that?
Forrester: No, but it's like praying: what do you risk?
Jamal: Women will sleep with you if you write a book?
Forrester: Women will sleep with you if you write a bad book.
Forrester: My name is William Forrester.
[points to 'writers wall of fame' pictures]
Forrester: I'm that one.
Jamal: Man, fuck you William! You wanna know what the real bullshit is? How about you let me take on this one cause you're too damn scared to walk out that door and do something for somebody else. You're too damn scared, man! That's the only reason.
Forrester: [throws glass against wall and breaks it] You don't know a goddamn thing about reason; There are no reasons! Reasons why some of us live and why some of us don't! Fortunately for you, you have decades to figure that out!
Jamal: Yeah, and what's the reason in having a file cabinet full of writing and keeping the shit locked so nobody can read it? What is that man? I'm done with this shit.
Forrester: I have an homeland that I have not seen for too long.
Jamal: Oh, you mean Ireland?
Forrester: Scotland, for God's sakes!
Jamal: I'm messing with you, man.
Forrester: Let me ask you a question... those two foul shots at the end of the game... did you miss them, or did you *miss* them?
Jamal: Not exactly a soup question, now is it?
Forrester: Writers write things to give readers something to read.
Forrester: What's your name?
Jamal: Jamal Wallace.
Forrester: Sounds like some kind of marmalade. How old are you?
Jamal: I'm sixteen.
Forrester: Sixteen? And you're black. It's remarkable.
Jamal: "Remarkable"? It's remarkable that I'm black? What does me being black have to do with anything?
Forrester: You don't know what to do right now, do you? If you say what you really want to, I may not read any more of this. But if you let me run you down with this racist bullshit... what does that make you?
Jamal: I'm not playing this game, man.
Forrester: I say you are playing it. An expression is worth a thousand words. Perhaps in your case, just two.
Jamal: I ain't seen nothing change.
Forrester: You ain't seen nothing? What the hell kind of sentence is that?
Forrester: Whatever we write in this apartment stays in this apartment.
Jamal: [about leaving the Bronx] What's hard is knowing that you're safe there. 'Cause people you need to worry about, they know you got nothin' to give 'em.
Claire: So it's a good thing you're here?
Jamal: Yeah, but these people don't think I got anything to give 'em either.