I love getting lost in a Wes Anderson movie. After I feasted on his latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel, I met a friend for lunch to discuss. We share a great enthusiasm for his films, so as often happens, the conversation ended up covering the entire catalog. We talked about favorite lines and scenes, how we would rank the movies, and the intricacies of the soundtracks.
Forced to choose a single Wes Anderson moment, I always arrive at one from Moonrise Kingdom. Young Sam and Suzy have run away and are alone for the first time in the woods. Suzy reveals that she is sometimes depressed and that her parents think of her as a troubled child. Sam, awkward and new at all of this, bursts out laughing. Suzy, hurt and crying, walks away.
The only thing harder than being honest and vulnerable with another person is wondering if you made a mistake during the interminable silence that follows.
Sam realizes that he's done something awful. He catches up with her, gives her his neckerchief, and apologies. Then, he says:
"I'm on your side."
Since I first saw the scene, I've been mesmerized by the clarity and simplicity of that statement. It succinctly captures the very essence of friendship, love, and loyalty.
When I think of what friends mean to me, and the sort of friend I hope to be, that's what I think about: I'm on your side. There is strength and freedom in those four words.
The Moonrise Kingdom script, with scenes from the film, is available online.