Up in the Air (2009) quotes

Director
Jason Reitman.

Cast
George Clooney.
Vera Farmiga.
Anna Kendrick.

Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.

You know that moment when you look into somebody’s eyes and you can feel them staring into your soul and the whole world goes quiet just for a second?
– Ryan Bingham
Yes.
– Natalie Keener
Right. Well, I don’t.
– Ryan Bingham
You’re an asshole.
– Natalie Keener

How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to feel the straps on your shoulders. Feel ’em? Now I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. You start with the little things. The things on shelves and in drawers, the knick-knacks, the collectibles. Feel the weight as that adds up. Then you start adding larger stuff, clothes, table-top appliances, lamps, linens, your TV. The backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. And you go bigger. Your couch, bed, your kitchen table. Stuff it all in there. Your car, get it in there. Your home, whether it’s a studio apartment or a two bedroom house. I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. And make no mistake, moving is living. Now, I’m gonna set that backpack on fire. What do you want to take out of it? What do you want to take out of it? Photos? Photos are for people who can’t remember. Drink some ginkgo and let the photos burn. In fact, let everything burn and imagine waking up tomorrow with nothing. It’s kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? Now, this is gonna be a little difficult, so stay with me. You have a new backpack. Only this time, I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office, and then you move into the people that you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack. And don’t worry. I’m not gonna ask you to light it on fire. Feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake – your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. Do you feel the straps cutting into your shoulders? All those negotiations and arguments, and secrets and compromises. You don’t need to carry all that weight. Why don’t you set that bag down? Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime – star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks.
– Ryan Bingham

Never get behind people traveling with infants. I’ve never seen a stroller collapse in less than 20 minutes. Old people are worse. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love ’em.
– Ryan Bingham
That’s racist.
– Natalie Keener
I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.
– Ryan Bingham

Can you stop sounding condescending for one second or is that one of the principles of your bullshit philosophy?
– Natalie Keener

I thought I’d be engaged by now. I thought by 23, I’d be married, maybe have a kid, corner office by day, entertaining at night. I was supposed to be driving a Grand Cherokee by now.
– Natalie Keener
Well, life can underwhelm you that way.
– Alex Goran
Where did you think you’d be by err…?
– Natalie Keener
It doesn’t work that way. At a certain point, you stop with the dead lines. It can be a little counter productive.
– Alex Goran
I don’t want to say anything that is anti feminist. I really appreciate everything that your generation did for me.
– Natalie Keener
It was our pleasure.
– Alex Goran
Well done.
– Ryan Bingham
Sometimes it feels like, no matter how much success I have, it’s not gonna matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work, he really fit the bill, you know. White collar, 6’1, college grad, loves dogs, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance but is outdoorsy. I always imagined he’d have a single syllable name like Matt or John or Dave. In a perfect world, he drives a 4 runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his golden lab. And a nice smile. What about you?
– Alex Goran
You know, honestly by the time you’re 34, all the physical requirements just go out the window. You secretly pray that he’ll be taller than you, not an asshole would be nice just someone who enjoys my company, comes from a good family. You don’t think about that when you’re younger. Someone who wants kids, likes kids. Healthy enough to play with his kids. Please let him earn more money than I do, you might not understand that now but believe me, you will one day otherwise that’s a recipe for disaster. And hopefully, some hair on his head. I mean, that’s not even a deal breaker these days. A nice smile. Yea, a nice smile just might do it.
– Alex Goran
Wow. That was depressing.
– Natalie Keener

If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life… were you alone?
– Ryan Bingham
No, I guess not.
– Jim Miller
Hey, come to think of it, last night, the night before your wedding, when all this shit is swirling around in your head, weren’t you guys sleeping in separate bedrooms?
– Ryan Bingham
Yeah, Julie went back to the apartment, and I was just by myself in the honeymoon suite.
– Jim Miller
Kind of lonely, huh?
– Ryan Bingham
Yes, it was pretty lonely.
– Jim Miller
Life’s better with company.
– Ryan Bingham
Yeah.
– Jim Miller

Last year I spent 322 days on the road, which means I had to spend 43 miserable days at home.
– Ryan Bingham

I thought I was a part of your life.
– Ryan Bingham
I thought we signed up for the same thing… I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. You are an escape. You’re a break from our normal lives. You’re a parenthesis.
– Alex Goran
I’m a parenthesis?
– Ryan Bingham

Five words: “randomly selected for additional screening”
– Ryan Bingham

Please, for the love of God, can I fire the next one.
– Natalie Keener

Tonight most people will be welcomed home by jumping dogs and squeling kids and thousands more will ask about their day and tonight they’ll sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.
– Ryan Bingham

You know why kids love athletes?
– Ryan Bingham
Because they screw lingerie models.
– Bob
No, that’s why we love athletes. Kids love athletes because they follow their dreams.
– Ryan Bingham
Well I cant dunk.
– Bob

He broke up with you over text message?
– Alex Goran
That’s kind of like firing someone over the Internet.
– Ryan Bingham

You’re so pretty. You’re exactly what I want to look like in fifteen years.
– Natalie Keener