Study Guide

Marty Love


TOMMY: You tell Marty, Aunt Teresa, you tell him, "Go to the Stardust Ballroom. It's loaded with tomatoes."

The slang of the young in the mouths of the old is always worth a laugh. (Even if the slang is insanely outdated.)

MARTY: I also want you to know I'm having a very good time with you now and really enjoying myself. So you see, you're not such a dog as you think you are.

There's some connection here between a not-dog and social enjoyment: So when does "dog" refer to looks, and when is it just someone you don't want to spend any time with?

MARTY: Now I figure, two people get married, and they gonna live together forty, fifty years. So it's just gotta be more than whether they're good looking or not.

Seems legit. This is the kind of attitude that separates Marty from fairy tales. Marty is interested in the quality of that "ever after."

MARTY: That's one of the most beautiful things I have in my life, the way my father and mother were. And my father was a real ugly man. So it doesn't matter if you look like a gorilla. So you see, dogs like us, we ain't such dogs as we think we are.

See if you can separate out the different kinds of beauty Marty is referring to here.

MARTY: I'll borrow my brother Freddie's car, or you can call me up when you feel blue, or I'll call you up. And it's gonna be nice. Don't be so afraid.

For Marty, loneliness is just about the worst thing he can imagine. Does it seem like that's also true for Clara?

MARTY: I like you. I like you. I been telling you all night, I like you. [...] I just wanna kiss, that's all.

When polite romance turns to the physical? That's where things get a little sticky.

CLARA: You're the kindest man I ever met. The reason I tell you this is because I want to see you again very much.

So Clara's rejected that first kiss attempt, but she wants Marty to know she's still interested. Are they interested in the same kind of 'ship?

CLARA: I know that when you take me home, I'm going to just lie on my bed and think about you.

Tell us a better sentence to hear from that date you're super into. We dare you.

TERESA: That's the first time Marty ever brought a girl to this house. She seems like a nice girl. I think he has a feeling for this girl. You heard him sing. He been singing like that all morning.

Even though Marty's always in a good mood (except when he's pushed into a tantrum, of course, by other people), this singing thing is extra special.

MARTY: Oh, I had a nice time. I didn't try nothing. She's a nice girl. I just met her last night, you know. I just talked with her. I didn't even try nothing.

So, are nice girls "dogs," always? Are "dogs" always nice girls? What are the rules in this cinema universe? We need to know.

MARTY: All I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna go down on my knees and beg that girl to marry me.

If there's a more reasonable explanation of what love is, we've never heard it.

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