plan to be surprised.

There are a few movies which will alter the course of an evening in our little apartment. If {cv} is out of town, I will always leave on You've Got Mail and Forrest Gump. If he's here, Love Actually and Dan in Real Life make the cut. Dan in Real Life is the most recent addition to this list. In case you haven't seen it, Steve Carrell plays the widowed father of three girls. I won't divulge too many details, but these four words from the last scene of the movie struck me last night: plan to be surprised.

Without giving away the entire storyline, I can still give this quote a little context. Steve Carrell's character, Dan, plays a newspaper advice columnist and shared a snippet of one of his columns:
Dear Readers, for most of you, this is my first column in your paper. In the future, I will be answering your questions, but today I want to break from my usual format and talk to you about the subject of plans. Not so much my plan for this column, but life plans, and how we all make them. And how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we're really honest with ourselves, our plans usually don't work out as we had hoped. So instead of asking our young people "What are you plans? What do you plan to do with your life?" Maybe we should tell them this: Plan to be surprised. {quote found here}

We attended a college graduation party for one of my cousins yesterday, so this movie struck a little closer to home. For so long, I've been a planner--wanting to always know what is coming next. When we were long distance, I needed to know when our next visit would be. When I was in college, I needed to know when my next paper was due. Over the years, I have learned firsthand how exhausting these plans can be. The truth is that the "plans" I had for myself at 18 sound downright boring compared to the life I lead today. I never dreamed about a life in Rhode Island--alongside {cv}, my best partner in life--surrounded by the most amazing friends and family imaginable. No offense to international lawyers, but I'm pretty glad my 18-year-old dreams didn't come to fruition. 

What movie do you find on TV and always watch to the end? 
{Please also tell me I'm not the only one who takes movies this literally!} 
Have a great Monday, friends :) xoxo {av}



  1. I have been wanting to watch Dan In Real Life for a long time, clearly I need to get on that! I love watching movies and pulling out a quote or two and letting that percolate in my mind for a while afterwards. As always, excellent blogging work, love coming here :)

  2. I've never seen Dan in Real Life, but I love this quote! You've Got Mail and Forrest Gump are totally movies I can never turn off, even though I've seen them both probably 100 times...other movies like that for me are How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Catch Me if you Can :)

  3. i wish i had tttvvvv. but, i always watch sweet home alabama....and cry. why? no idea. none.

  4. I really like Dan in Real Life, and I love this whole post, in fact. I normally can't function if I'm not planning something, but I've recently been thrown into a situation in which my husband and I are moving to 4 different states over the course of 2 years for his job. I literally have no control, and you know what, I'm so excited about all the adventures we will have! I am learning that I don't always have to have a plan to be happy.

    As for movies, we must be soulmates because I will also always always always watch You've Got Mail and Forrest Gump. Another is Ever After.

  5. Talladega Nights came on last night and I had to watch the whole thing...Remember the Titans is always a good one too! Never gets old.


  6. I've never seen Dan in Real Life, but I'm obsessed with pulling quotes from movies and applying them to my life. It's a sickness. I really love Aaron Sorkin dialogue, so my new favorite quotes are from Newsroom. This one, from the end of last season, is just so great:

    “The greater fool is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool— someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their life trying not to be the greater fool; we toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.” — Sloan Sabbith

  7. another reason to love Dan in Real Life - it was filmed in your backyard on the coast of RI.

    Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version) never disappoints. Never.

  8. Such wise advice-- sometimes you just need to slow down & enjoy what is happening around you instead of worrying to much about the future.

  9. I have several go-to movies that generally related to my mood. For example, if I need a good cry, I'll put in P.S. I Love You because it works every time. I do love finding quotes in movies that connect with real life though. :)

    - Pam
    Stolen Moments

  10. i'd kind of forgotten about that movie, but i definitely to read that quote. thanks! :)