My favorite scene from The Moderns, about American expats in 1920s Paris. I've been told it's not funny unless you're watching the movie. Well... bah! Here it is anyway!!
* Oiseau (Wallace Shawn) has decided to fake his own suicide to get out of his contract.
* Nick Hart (Keith Carradine) is trying to get Rachel back, and hates the man she's with, Stone. They recently boxed and Stone won.
* Hemingway is writing a book.
Oiseau: Writing about yourself can be very lonely!
Nick: What are you writing?
Oiseau: It's my obituary. It's too important a task to leave to those hacks in the obituary department.
Nick: Oiseau why don't you just quit the goddamn paper?
Oiseau: Now this'll interest you--I've decided on poison! Drowning was my second choice. I mean, ha! It's much better than asphyxiation. I saw a man once who'd been hung; he looked a bit... disappointed.
Nick: You can't kill yourself Oiseau we're going to Hollywood.
[Hemingway joins them.]
Hemingway [to Nick]: I'm gonna tell you why Carlos beat you in the ring a couple days ago.
Hemingway: Carlos--Stone. I'm working on something, it doesn't matter.
Nick: Right, let's have it.
Hemingway: Scruples. You can't win Andrea with scruples.
Hemingway: Andrea--Rachel, forget it. I'm sitting there watching him waltz around you like he owns you--
Nick: He doesn't own me. He does not own me. He thinks just because he buys something he owns it. It's all the same to him: a piece of ass, a piece of property, it's all about ownership. He doesn't own me, he doesn't own Rachel, and he never will.
Hemingway: Hey, guys like that are bad for all of us, Clark.
Oiseau: Who? -- You know writing about yourself can be very lonely!
Hemingway: What are you writing?
Oiseau: It's my obituary. It's too important a job to leave to those hacks in the obituary department.
Hemingway: Why don't you quit that goddamn paper like I did?
Oiseau: Now this'll interest you--I've decided on pills.
Nick: He doesn't own me.
What Makes It Funny:
* Oiseau contemplating his own obituary.
* Repetition ("He doesn't own me!" "Writing about yourself can be very lonely!")
* Hemingway getting people's names wrong, cause he's clearly "writing about what you know" - putting his friends into his novel. And this confusing Oiseau.
Well, sorry if that doesn't do it justice. Sometimes I just need to write these things on my blog.