The Movie: Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986 (Woody Allen, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Woody Allen as Mickey Sachs, a hypochondriac TV producer who makes it through a health crisis to fall in love with his ex-wife’s sister. This is the movie’s last line, and the moral of the story.
How to use it: Whenever all the drama seems too much to bear, and to remind yourself that while sorrow is inevitable, heartbreak isn't permanent.
It’s remarkable how people –- I, specifically –- chase down new opportunities for heartache, as if everyday life didn’t throw enough at us. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and it seems to me that all this emotional recklessness is a modern evolutionary compensation for the fact that we’re not physically running away from tigers anymore. If I had to duck mammoth stampedes on a regular basis, I would not need to make myself sad – or happy, or excited, or fearful, or anything – by leaving one group of friends and family, wreaking havoc with my possessions, and hurling myself from one side of the country to the other.
For better or worse, mammoths are extinct.