Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Casablanca" Sketch


One of these days I’ll review the movie “Casablanca.” It will be a loving exploration of what I consider to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It never ceases to amaze me that it just got everything right. Not a wasted scene, character, line, or moment. All the more remarkable since the movie was being rewritten as they were shooting (and not just little polishes here and there. Ingrid Bergman wanted to know who she’d end up with so she’d know how to play her scenes and the writers told her they weren’t sure yet so she better play it ambiguous).

Anyway, this is not that day and this is not that post. Rather this is a sketch I wrote years ago that explores a more negative take on “Casablanca,” it gives credence to the tiny voice inside your head (or for some maybe not so tiny) that screams during the ending of the movie, “Don’t do it Rick. Don’t let her go!”

John- Did you know that Humphrey Bogart was shorter than Ingrid Bergman so they made him wear lifts or stand on boxes in Casablanca?

Stefan- Okay, am I a bad friend if I don’t pretend to care?

John- I’m not surprised, God forbid you like something mainstream.

Stefan- I don’t hate it because it’s popular, that would be pointless and stupid. I hate it because it’s dated and inaccurate.

John- It’s a classic story of love and sacrifice.

Stefan- It’s the sacrifice part that’s wrong. If he had the girl why would he give her up?

John- It was the right thing to do.

Stefan- No, no, no. It was the “right” thing to do. It was the thing society tells us to do. But it wasn’t the correct thing to do. Ingrid got on that plane and sure the other guy was happy, but what about Bogart. You can’t tell me that he didn’t give himself the short end of the stick and the saddest thing about it is that he’s actually proud of himself. He’s assured himself a lifetime of regret and jealousy as he pines for the love he’ll never find again and from his face you’d think he’d just struck the Daily Double.

John- Your world is a sad, lonely place to visit isn’t it?

Stefan- I don’t know why you find realism so depressing.

John- Real life isn’t as bad as you think.

Stefan- You think I don’t know that? Real life is even worse than I think it is. I’ll be the first to admit that.

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