Graham: It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.
Best line of the movie. (Okay, maybe "He's Iraqi" is really the best line. But the opener works out of context, too, which the Iraqi line doesn't.) I'm not sure the theme actually gets followed through in the course of the movie. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.
The theme seems to be more that making assumptions about people based on race is a bad idea, even though sometimes those assumptions are justified. And also that there are no easy answers.
Peter: We didn't get any coffee that you didn't want and I didn't order, and this is evidence of racial discrimination? Did you happen to notice our waitress was black?
Anthony: That waitress sized us up in two seconds. We're black and black people don't tip. So she wasn't gonna waste her time. Now somebody like that? Nothing you can do to change their mind.
Peter: So, uh... how much did you leave?
Anthony: You expect me to pay for that kind of service?
Anthony: Look around! You couldn't find a whiter, safer or better lit part of this city. But this white woman sees two black guys, who look like UCLA students, strolling down the sidewalk and her reaction is blind fear. I mean, look at us! Are we dressed like gangbangers? Do we look threatening? No. Fact, if anybody should be scared, it's us: the only two black faces surrounded by a sea of over-caffeinated white people, patrolled by the triggerhappy LAPD. So, why aren't we scared?
Peter: Because we have guns?
Anthony: You could be right.
Anthony: It's just black people demeaning other black people, using that word over and over. You ever hear white people callin' each other "honky" all the time? "Hey, honky, how's work?" "Not bad, cracker, we're diversifying!"
Graham: Mom, I can't talk to you right now, OK? I'm having sex with a white woman.
[hangs up, and Ria gets out of bed]
Graham: OK, where were we?
Ria: I was white, and you were about to jerk off in the shower.
After her explanation of her heritage, Graham's line about parking cars on lawns? Felt totally out of left field. Like, you just pissed off your girlfriend so now you're gonna make a lowhanded crack about her heritage? And it is further evidence of my lack of knowledge of racial stereotypes that my first reaction was "parking cars on front lawns? wtf? where did that come from?"
Shereen: They think we're Arab. When did Persian become Arab?
Officer Ryan: You think you know who you are?
[Officer Hanson nods]
Officer Ryan: You have no idea.
When Officer Ryan raced to the overturned car, I thought he recognized the car as belonging to his father or something. I think by the time the woman walked away with the other cops he knew who she was, but I'm unsure as to when the realization occurred. When she first started screaming at him he didn't seem to recognize why she did so, like he was just figuring she was in shock or something. And it would be an interesting commentary on his objectification of her if he really didn't recognize her face.
(Sidenote: Looking at IMDb I see the image of the two of them holding each other is the main cover image. Interesting choice.)
One of the nicest bits of complexity in the movie was Hanson and Ryan's black supervisor talking about how it would reflect poorly on him if it became public knowledge that someone he had personally supervised was a racist prick.
I liked Hanson trying to make up for what had happened to the guy, though I wasn't entirely buying the black guy's near-suicidal-ness.
Nice mirroring -- how both officers end up saving one half of the couple they demeaned the night before.
And then Hanson still trying to make up for it, picking up the hitchhiking kid. I can understand why he didn't say "I know you're lying kid, I was one of the officers you ran away from," but I was still pissed that he was kind of a jerk to the kid (I mean, what's he gonna say? "I've been carjacking this afternoon"?). And okay, you freak out 'cause you think the kid is pulling a piece on you, and you've had a rough day (the whole farting thing was awful) but still.
I can understand rolling the body out the car to the side of the road, but setting the car on fire? How you gonna explain this/buy a new car?
Nice touch with the car fire warming the kids.
Isabel said Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock's characters (Rick and Jean) were flat, and I agree.
And in conclusion: Magic snow!!! *snerk*