Contrary to the formulaic meet-cute, guy-loses-girl, gets-girl all in a perfect 90-minutes of film, love in real life takes time, it evolves and sometimes ends without being tidy. Within this culture of rom-coms and love fantasies have come silly clichés and advice about love, sex, romance and commitment. For example, in my opinion, the worst quote ever is “Love is never having to say your sorry,” from Love Story. Blech.
Sometimes, though, popular figures in our culture get love right and you can relate and it feels real and even inspiring. And when that happens, we should share (and even yell from rooftops, “That IS what it feels like!”). Here are some of my favorite honest, smart and genuine pop-culture quotes about love:
13. Amy Poehler
“Don’t treat your heart like an action figure wrapped in plastic and never used. And don’t try to give me that nerd argument that your heart is a ‘Batman’ with a limited-edition silver batarang and therefore if it stays in its original packing it increases in value.”
12. Chelsea Peretti
11. Robbie Hart, The Wedding Singer
In true Adam Sandler fashion the love song at 3,600 feet has its pratfalls and absurdity, but the lyrics are super sweet.
I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad Carry you around when your arthritis is bad All I wanna do is grow old with you. I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches build you a fire if the furnace breaks Oh it could be so nice, growin old with you. I’ll miss you, kiss you, give you my coat when you are cold. Need you, feed you, I’ll even let you hold the remote control. So let me do the dishes in the kitchen sink Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink. Oh I could be the man to grow old with you. I wanna grow old with you.
10. Marilyn Monroe
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
“Once you’re back on your feet – if you ever make it back on your feet – that’s the ultimate achievement. I remember I was in New York at the Trump Hotel and I woke up and I just knew I was over it. It was a different day. I felt different. I didn’t feel lonely. I felt like I wanted to get up and be in the world. That was a great, great feeling.”
8. Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
“I’ll tell you what I do want. I want someone who will be monogamous, and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching Lost. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking forks out as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me, even when I’m old. And that’s what I want.”
7. Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists, well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.”
6. Ray Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
“Look, you want to know what marriage is really like? Fine. You wake up, she’s there. You come back from work, she’s there. You fall asleep, she’s there. You eat dinner, she’s there. You know? I mean, I know that sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not.”
5. Mindy Kaling
“I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun.”
“I’m a human being and I fall in love and sometimes I don’t have control of every situation.”
3. Hannah Horvath, Girls
2. Bill Murray
When Bill Murray found himself in the same Charleston, South Carolina restaurant as a bachelor party, the groom’s bros asked Murray to give a speech. At first Murray said no, but changed his mind and totally surprised the guys when he hit it out of the park:
“If you have someone that you think is The One, don’t just sort of think in your ordinary mind, ‘Okay, let’s pick a date. Let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”
1. This brilliant, wonderful scene from Louie
Dr. Bigelow: So you took a chance on being happy, even though you knew that later on you would be sad.
B: And now… you’re sad.
B: So… what’s the problem?
L: I’m too sad…. Look, I liked the feeling of being in love with her. I liked it. But now she’s gone and I miss her and it sucks. And I didn’t think it was going to be this bad, and I feel like, why even be happy if it’s just going to lead to this, you know? It wasn’t worth it.
B: You know, misery is wasted on the miserable.
B: You know, I’m not entirely sure what your name is, but you are a classic idiot. You think spending time with her, kissing her, having fun with her, you think that’s what it was all about? That was love?
B: THIS is love. Missing her, because she’s gone. Wanting to die…. You’re so lucky. You’re like a walking poem. Would you rather be some kind of a fantasy? Some kind of a Disney ride? Is that what you want? Don’t you see? This is the good part. This is what you’ve been digging for all this time. Now you finally have it in your hand, this sweet nugget of love, sweet, sad love, and you want to throw it away. You’ve got it all wrong.
L: I thought this was the bad part.
B: No! The bad part is when you forget her, when you don’t care about her, when you don’t care about anything. The bad part is coming, so enjoy the heartbreak while you can, for God’s sakes. Pick up the dog poop, would you please? Lucky sonofabitch. I haven’t had my heart broken since Marilyn walked out on me, since I was 35 years old. What I would give to have that feeling again…. You know, I’m not really sure what your name is, but you may be the single most boring person I have ever met. No offense. Give me my dog. Come here. You…. Don’t fall down.