Big Fish (2003)
Norther Winslow: I've been working on this poem for 12 years.
Young Ed Bloom: Really?
Norther Winslow: There's a lot of expectation. I don't wanna disappoint my fans.
Young Ed Bloom: May I?
Young Ed Bloom: [Edward reeds the poem on the notebook] The grass so green Skies so blue. Spectre is really great!
Young Ed Bloom: It's only three lines long.
Norther Winslow: This is why you should never show a work in progress.
Senior Ed Bloom: They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that's true. What they don't tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.
Will Bloom: A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.
Young Ed Bloom: It was that night I discovered that most things you consider evil or wicked are simply lonely, and lacking in the social niceties.
Senior Ed Bloom: There's a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost... the ship has sailed and only a fool would continue. Truth is... I've always been a fool.
[When meeting young Sandra Templeton for the first time]
Young Ed Bloom: You don't know me but my name is Edward Bloom and I love you.
Young Ed Bloom: There are some fish that cannot be caught. It's not that they are faster or stronger than other fish, they're just touched by something extra.
Will Bloom: Everybody's there, and I mean everybody. And the strange thing is, there's not a sad face to be found, everyone's just so happy to see you.
Will Bloom: That was my father's final joke, I guess. A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him. And in that way he becomes immortal.
Senior Ed Bloom: Sometimes, the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring.
Ed Bloom (Age 10): I was thinking about death and all. About seeing how you're gonna die. I mean, on one hand, if dying was all you thought about, it could kind of screw you up. But it could kind of help you, couldn't it? Because you'd know that everything else you can survive.
Will Bloom: Have you ever heard a joke so many times you've forgotten why it's funny? And then you hear it again and suddenly it's new. You remember why you loved it in the first place.
Senior Ed Bloom: I don't know if you're aware of this, Josephine, but African parrots, in their native home of the Congo, they speak only French.
Senior Ed Bloom: You're lucky to get four words out of them in English, but if you were to walk through the jungle, you'd hear them speaking the most elaborate French. Those parrots talk about everything. Politics, movies, fashion. Everything but religion.
Will Bloom: Why not religion, Dad?
Senior Ed Bloom: It's rude to talk about religion. You never know who you're gonna offend.
Will Bloom: Josephine actually went to the Congo last year.
Senior Ed Bloom: Oh, so you know.
Senior Ed Bloom: Most men, they'll tell you a story straight through. It won't be complicated, but it won't be interesting either.
Will Bloom: In telling the story of my father's life, it's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me. It doesn't always make sense and most of it never happened... but that's what kind of story this is.
Senior Ed Bloom: I've been nothin' but myself since the day I was born, and if you can't see that it's your failin', not mine.
Senior Ed Bloom: People needn't worry so much. It's not my time yet. This is not how I go.
Will Bloom: Really?
Senior Ed Bloom: Truly. I saw it in the eye.
Will Bloom: The old lady by the swamp?
Senior Ed Bloom: She was a *witch*.
Will Bloom: No, she was old and probably senile.
Senior Ed Bloom: I saw my death in that eye, and this isn't how it happens.
Will Bloom: So how does it happen?
Senior Ed Bloom: Surprise ending. Wouldn't want to ruin it for you.
Karl: I don't want to eat you. I just get so hungry. I'm just too big.
Young Ed Bloom: Did you ever think that maybe you're not too big, but maybe this town is just too small?
Josephine: Hi. How are you feeling?
Senior Ed Bloom: Oh, I was dreaming.
Josephine: What were you dreaming about?
Senior Ed Bloom: I don't usually remember, unless they're especially portentous. Do you know what that word means?
[Josephine shakes her head]
Senior Ed Bloom: Means when you dream about something that's gonna happen. Like one night, I had a dream where this crow came and said, "Your aunt is gonna die." I was so scared I woke up my parents, but they said it was just a dream and to get back to bed. But the next morning my Aunt Stacy was dead.
Josephine: That's terrible.
Senior Ed Bloom: Terrible for her, but think about me, young boy with that kind of power. Wasn't three weeks later when the crow came back to me in a dream and said, "Your daddy's gonna die." I didn't know what to do. I finally told my father, but he said, "Oh, not to worry," but I could see he was rattled. The next morning, he wasn't himself. Kept looking around, waiting for something to drop on his head. Because the crow didn't say how it was gonna happen, just those words: "Your daddy's gonna die." Well, he left home early and was gone a long time. When he finally came back, he looked terrible, like he was waiting for the ax to fall all day. He said to my mother, "I've just had the worst day of my life." "You think you've had a bad day," she said. "This morning, the milkman just dropped dead on the porch." Because see, my mother was banging the milkman.
[a poem he's worked on 12 years, written on a note pad]
Norther Winslow: The grass so green. Skies so blue. Spectre is really great!
Young Ed Bloom: [voice over narration] It occurred to me then, that perhaps the reason for my growth was I was intended for larger things. After all, a giant man can't have an ordinary-sized life.
Young Ed Bloom: There comes a point when any reasonable man will swallow his pride and admit he made a mistake. The truth is... I was never a reasonable man.
Norther Winslow: Roses are red. Violets are blue. I love Spectre.
Will Bloom: You become what you always were - a very big fish.
Young Ed Bloom: Sandra Templeton, I love you and I WILL marry you.
Senior Ed Bloom: You are in for a surprise.
Will Bloom: Am I?
Senior Ed Bloom: Havin' a kid changes everything. There's burping, the midnight feeding, and the changing.
Will Bloom: You do any of that?
Senior Ed Bloom: No. But I hear it's terrible. Then you spend years trying to corrupt and mislead this child, fill his head with nonsense, and still it turns out perfectly fine.
Will Bloom: You think I'm up for it?
Senior Ed Bloom: You learned from the best.
Wilbur (Age 10): Is it true she's got a glass eye? I heard she got it from the gypsies...
Young Don Price: What's a gypsy?
Ed Bloom (Age 10): Your momma's a gypsy.
Young Don Price: Your momma's a bitch.
Josephine: I'd like to take your picture.
Senior Ed Bloom: Oh, you don't need a picture. Just look up "handsome" in the dictionary.
Senior Dr. Bennett: Did your father ever tell you about the day you were born?
Will Bloom: A thousand times. He caught an uncatchable fish.
Senior Dr. Bennett: Not that one. The real story. Did he ever tell you that?
Will Bloom: No.
Senior Dr. Bennett: Your mother came in about three in the afternoon. Her neighbor drove her, on account of your father was on business in Wichita. You were born a week early, but there were no complications. It was a perfect delivery. Now, your father was sorry to miss it, but it wasn't the custom for the men to be in the room for deliveries then, so I can't see as it would have been much different had he been there. And that's the real story of how you were born. Not very exciting, is it? And I suppose if I had to choose between the true version and an elaborate one involving a fish and a wedding ring, I might choose the fancy version. But that's just me.
Will Bloom: I kind of liked your version.
Young Ed Bloom: And what I recall of Sunday school was that the more difficult something became, the more rewarding it was in the end.
Young Ed Bloom: She said that the biggest fish in the river gets that way by never getting caught.
Jenny: I loved a man who could never love me back. I was living in a fairytale.
Will Bloom: I know better than to argue romance with a French woman.
[Amos returns from the woods after being a wolf for a night]
Amos Calloway: Didn't kill anything, did I?
Young Ed Bloom: A couple of rabbits, but I think one of 'em was already dead.
Amos Calloway: That would explain the indigestion.
Senior Ed Bloom: It's rude to talk about religion, you never know who you're gonna offend.
Will Bloom: [to Ed] You're like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny combined - just as charming, and just as fake.
Will Bloom: A man tells so many stories, that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.
Amos Calloway: Tell me, Karl, have you ever heard the term "involuntary servitude"?
Amos Calloway: "Unconscionable contract"?
Karl: Uh, nope.
Amos Calloway: Great!
Young Ed Bloom: I just saw the woman I'm going to marry. I know it. But I lost her.
Amos Calloway: Oh, tough break. Well, most men have to get married *before* they lose their wives.
Young Ed Bloom: I'm gonna spend every day for the rest of my life looking for her. That, or die alone!
Amos Calloway: Damn, kid. Lemme guess. Real pretty? Reddish-blondish hair? Blue dress?
Young Ed Bloom: Yeah!
Amos Calloway: I know her uncle. Friends of the family.
Young Ed Bloom: Who is she? Where does she live?
Amos Calloway: Forget it kid, don't waste your time. She's out of your league.
Young Ed Bloom: What do you mean? You don't even know me.
Amos Calloway: Sure I do! You were hot shit back in Hickville, but here in the real world, you got squat! You don't have a plan, you don't have a job, you don't have anything except the clothes on your back.
Young Ed Bloom: Now I may not have much, but I have more determination then any man you're ever likely to meet.
Young Ed Bloom: Your last name is different. You married.
Jenny: I was 18, he was 28. Turns out it was a big difference.
Norther Winslow: Everyday a new adventure, That's my motto.
Will Bloom: You know about icebergs, dad?
Senior Ed Bloom: Do I? I saw an iceberg once. They were hauling it down to Texas for drinking water. They didn't count on there being an elephant frozen inside. The wooly kind. A mammoth.
Will Bloom: Dad!
Senior Ed Bloom: What?
Will Bloom: I'm trying to make a metaphor here.
Senior Ed Bloom: Well you shouldn't have started with a question, because most people want to answer questions. You should've started with "the thing about icebergs is."
Amos Calloway: I haven't seen a customer this depressed since the elephant sat on that farmer's wife!
Amos Calloway: [laughs, beat]
Amos Calloway: Depressed?
Amos Calloway: See, the big guy likes it.
Young Ed Bloom: I just saw the woman I'm going to marry, and I lost her.
Amos Calloway: You were a big fish in a small pond, but this here is the ocean and your drownin'. Take my advice, go back to Puddleville; you'll be happy there.
Sandra Bloom: [of Edward to her fiance] He's almost a stranger, and I prefer him to you!
Young Jenny: There's leaches in there.
Young Ed Bloom: Did you see that woman?
Young Jenny: What did she look like?
Young Ed Bloom: Well, she was, uh...
Young Jenny: Was she naked?
Young Ed Bloom: Yeah, she was.
Young Jenny: It's not a woman. It's a fish. No one ever catches her.
Senior Ed Bloom: What do you want, Will? Who do you want me to be?
Will Bloom: Just yourself. Good, bad, everything. Just show me who you are for once.
Young Ed Bloom: [voice over narration] I was the biggest thing Ashton had ever seen. Until one day, a stranger arrived.
Young Ed Bloom: The biggest fish in the river gets that way by never getting caught.
Will Bloom: My father talked about a lot of things that he never did and I'm sure he did a lot of things that he never talked about. I'm just trying to reconcile the two.
Will Bloom: We have to take Glenville to avoid the church traffic because the damn church people drive too slow.
Senior Ed Bloom: I've told you a thousand facts, Will, that's what I do. I tell stories.
Will Bloom: You tell lies, Dad.
Young Jenny: Promise me you'll come back
Young Ed Bloom: I promise. Someday. When I'm really supposed to.
Senior Ed Bloom: Will never told ya?
[Josephine shakes her head]
Senior Ed Bloom: Aw, probably just as well. He would have told it wrong, anyway. All the facts, none of the flavor.
Josephine: Oh, so this is a tall tale?
Senior Ed Bloom: Well, it's not a short one.
Young Ed Bloom: [voice over narration] As soon as my bones had settled in their adult configuration, I set upon my plan to make a bigger place for myself in Ashton.
Pretty Girl: Edward Bloom!
Senior Ed Bloom: [to Will] Your mother was never supposed to marry me. She was engaged to somebody else.
Young Ed Bloom: [voice over narration] With my prospects few, I took a job as a traveling salesman. It suited me. If there's one thing you can say about Edward Bloom, it's that I'm a social person.
Senior Ed Bloom: Tell me how it happens.
Will Bloom: How what happens?
Senior Ed Bloom: How I go.
Will Bloom: You mean what you saw in the Eye? I dunno that story, Dad, you never told it to me.
[Ed and Norther are in line at a bank together]
Young Ed Bloom: And now what are you doing?
Norther Winslow: I'm robbin' this place!
Karl: Friend, what happened to your shoes?
Young Ed Bloom: [Looking down at his feet] They kinda got ahead of me.
Norther Winslow: Roses are red. Violets are blue. I love Spectre...
Will Bloom: [to Edward Bloom] Dad, I have no idea who you are because you have never told me a single fact.
Young Ed Bloom: You don't know me, but my name's Edward Bloom... And I love you.
[talking about the witch]
Zacky Price (Age 10): She'll make soap out of you. That's what she does. She makes soap out of people.
Young Ed Bloom: There are some fish that cannot be caught. It's not that they're faster or stronger than other fish. They're just touched by something extra.
Ping: [in Cantonese, to Edward who was hiding in the dressing room] Who are you?
Young Ed Bloom: [In Cantonese] Please, I'm not going to hurt you.
Jing: [In Cantonese] Damn right you're not! GUARD!
Young Ed Bloom: I can't go back, I'm a human sacrifice.
Josephine: [the phoe rings as a pregnant Josephine and Will come home from the grocery store, she lays the bags down and answers the phone] Qui appelle? Yes. Yes, he's here.
[she turns to Will and extends the phone]
Josephine: It's your mother.
Will Bloom: [he takes the phone] Hi.
[he holds up a 'one second' sign as he talks to her]
Will Bloom: What does Dr.Bennet say? No, sure, I'll talk to him. Yeah, I'll wait.
Josephine: It's bad?
Will Bloom: Yeah, it's more than they thought. They're gonna stop chemo.
Josephine: You need to go.
Will Bloom: Probably tonight.
Josephine: I'm going with you.
Will Bloom: No, no, no. You shouldn't.
[he places his hand on Josephine's stomach]
Josephine: I'm going with you.
[Will strokes her face]
Senior Ed Bloom: A man sees things differently at different times in his life. This town didn't seem the same now that he was older. A new road had brought the outside world to Spectre, and with it, banks, liens and debt. Almost everywhere you looked, people were bankrupt.
Senior Ed Bloom: [narrating over his younger self having just been told Sandra is engaged] Fate has a cruel way of circling around on you. After all this work to leave Ashton the girl I love was now engaged to one of its biggest jerks. There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost; the ship has sailed, and that only a fool will continue. Truth is, I've always been a fool.