An Andrew Sullivan reader notices something about the fully-realized dialogue and conversational pacing as imagined by Aaron Sorkin:
What always struck me about Sorkin’s writing was the pace of delivery. When most of us interact, we hear something, process it, develop a response, and say it. A Sorkin protagonist’s response is fully formed on the tip of the actor’s tongue, waiting for the conversational foil to serve the set-up. The characters seem impossibly intelligent because while the rest of us mortals are still processing the call, the protagonist is already delivering the response.
I haven’t seen HBO’s The Newsroom yet, but I’ve seen enough Sorkin to agree in full with this reader.
It puts me in mind of a diverting indie movie, 2002’s XX/XY, starring one of my favorite actors, Mark Ruffalo.
Most of us live in zones of wretched awkwardness where neither we nor the person we are talking to can think of what to say next. That is why we love the movies so much: Up there, they always think of just the right thing.
And that is what is both admirable and perplexing about Austin Chick’s “XX/XY”: It captures exactly the groping, clumsy, imperfect nature of most human transactions. Kudos? Well, yes, but finally it becomes tiresome; you do, ultimately, want to see movies about people who speak well, not clumsily.
Of course it’s true that Sorkin’s characters speak unnaturally fluidly.
But, at the end of the day, isn’t that what makes them worth watching, and re-watching?