But then I end up watching the end of 'Erin Brockovich' and reaching for the Kleenex.

    Oh, the things we do when no one is looking. Or in my case, when no one's around...
    

My wife was out of the state for work, and a Friday evening was about to commence. She texted, wondering what was on my agenda for the night.     

    My reply text left no room for interpretation: "Crack a beer or two and watch sports."


    It was primed to be a solitary evening where I only had to worry about doing whatever made me happy. Both the Wild and the Timberwolves were playing, so I had visions of watching one on the big screen while watching the other on my laptop. It was going to be so good.


    Then the Wolves fell behind early on and looked lethargic. The offensively challenged Wild couldn't generate any scoring chances and soon enough found themselves down 1-0.


    I could almost hear the remote control on the arm of the couch nearby, beckoning me. "Come on! These games are boring! Pick me up! Let's see what else is on!"


    I couldn't resist. I snatched it up and soon was scrolling through the program guide. And after a few seconds, there it was, one of the many movies that catch my eye in situations just as this, when I'm watching a sporting event and for whatever reason it's disappointing me and my viewing preferences start to wander.


    Not only did I stumble across the film "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts as the real-life California woman who brought utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric to its knees for poisoning the area's groundwater, I stumbled across it with around 20 minutes left, which meant I'd catch the best part, when Erin goes to tell the wife who's been stricken with cancer from the water, along with her two daughters, that they're getting $5 million of the $333 million settlement the judge ordered PG & E to pay.


    There are plenty of movies that – if I happen to find them while paging through my on-screen program guide – compel me to watch, even if my initial intention was to watch one of my favorite sports teams compete. It’s that much better if I’m fortunate enough to stumble across one of these films right when one of my favorite scenes or timeless, classic lines of dialogue is being spoken.


    "Erin Brockovich" is one of them, and so is...


    • Good Will Hunting: “Do you like apples? Well I got her number; how do you like them apples?”


    Dead Poets Society: (Yes, I’m printing this whole thing...sue me.) “We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”


    • The Princess Bride: “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.”


    • The Shawshank Redemption: “I guess it comes down to one thing, then. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”


    • The Breakfast Club: “Look, I can see you getting all bunged up for them making you wear these kinda clothes. But face it, you're a Neo-Maxi-Zoom-Dweebie. What would you be doing if you weren’t out making yourself a better citizen?”


    • Gladiator: “Death smiles on us all. All a man can do is smile back.”


    • A Beautiful Mind: “I need to believe, that something extraordinary is possible.”


    • Valley Girl (Don't judge!): “That Julie chick is truly dazzling.”


    • Almost Famous: Question: “What do you love about music?” Answer: “To begin with? Everything.”


    • Scrooged (It's priceless even when it's not Christmastime): “It's Christmas Eve! It's...it's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.”


    • The Deer Hunter: “To Nick...”


    • Moonrise Kingdom: “It's not an accomplishment badge; I inherited it from my mother. It's not meant for a male to wear, but I don't give a damn.”


    • American Hustle: “The art of survival, is a story that never ends.”


    • American Beauty: “It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.”


    • Rushmore: Max: “I like your nurse’s uniform, guy. Dr. Peter Flynn: “These are O.R. scrubs.” Max: “O, R they?”


    • Field of Dreams: “Hey...dad? You wanna have a catch?”


    • The Ice Storm: “Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands. And stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.”


    • The Big Sick: “Love, love isn’t easy. That’s why they call it love.”


    • Silver Linings Playbook: “The world will break your heart 10 ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can't begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday's my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.”


    • Captain Fantastic: “My face is mine, my hands are mine, my mouth is mine, but I'm not. I'm yours.”


    Well, that’s enough for today. What movies make you stop what you’re doing and watch, even if it’s just long enough to get to your favorite scene?