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Body Heat, Directed by Lawrence Kasdan

Warner Bros., August 28, 1981 (US)

Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan

Starring: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Richard Crenna

Ned Racine (William Hurt): You can stand here with me if you want, but you'll have to agree not to talk about the heat.

Much gets made of the weather. Atmospherics constantly crop up as a go-to topic in conversation; everyone has his opinion. Eventually, meteorological chitchat grows banal, explaining why oftentimes the best thing to do is cut the subject off, not only at the pass but also while making one.

Ned: Can I buy you a drink?

Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner): I told you. I've got a husband.

Ned: I'll buy him one, too.

Matty: He's out of town.

Ned: My favorite kind. We'll drink to him.

Matty: Only comes up on weekends.

Ned: I'm liking him better all the time.

Small talk hobbles around as a crutch for the verbally disabled. Two sexually-charged adults descending into an adulterous affair are less inclined to contend with trite conversation because they lack the luxury of time to deliberate inconsequential likes and dislikes. The lascivious trifle in imperative confab, if for selfish gain alone. Serial trysts for the otherwise committed depend upon carefully orchestrated logistics to sort through the whens, wheres, and whats (to do about a pesky spouse) for starters.

Ned: That’s what we’re both thinking now … how good it would be for us if he was gone. It would be real sweet for us.

Matty: No, Ned. Please don’t. Don’t talk about it. Talk is dangerous. Sometimes it makes things happen. It makes them real.

Banter at its most potent comes alive, brimming with ambiguity, innuendo, and consequence, as words spill over imagination into obsession. Neither dames nor marks concede to pleasantries in the world of neo-noir. Instead, civilized rules and customs plummet into an abyss of nihilism, and the thrill of corrupt bodies writhing into contact consummates hapless rhetorical voids.

Matty: I’m greedy like you said. I wanted us to have it all. I don’t blame you for thinking I’m bad. I am. I know it. I’d understand if you cut me off right now. If you never trusted me again you’d probably be smart. But you must believe one thing. I love you. I love you, and I need you. And I want to be with you forever.

In an age of worthless filler, sharp repartee and reading between the lines is one helluva turn on. Come rain or come shine.