Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Angus Macfadyen, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, John Michael Higgins, Carla Gallo, J.B. Smoove, Stephanie Szostak, Michael Panes, Kym Whitley
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Comedy-drama written and directed by Cameron Crowe loosely based on memoir of the same name by Benjamin Mee. The story takes us through the struggles of a family touched by grief when they lose their mother and then deciding to make a drastic change by moving to a new home that comes with a zoo and finding a new way of living and the running theme of the story is about taking a leap of faith toward life altering changes.
Our Favorite Quotes:'I'm a big fan of people being exactly who they are.' - Kelly Foster (We Bought a Zoo) Click To Tweet 'Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.' - Benjamin Mee (We Bought a Zoo) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 100)
Dylan Mee: [voice over] My dad is a writer who specialized in adventure.
[we see footage of Benjamin talking into the camera surrounded by killer bees]
Benjamin Mee: This is Benjamin Mee, I am surrounded by hundreds, probably thousands of killer bees. If I wasn’t wearing this suit I would be dead in an instant.
Dylan Mee: [voice over] He interviewed dangerous dictators.
[we see footage of Benjamin interviewing a dictator]
Dylan Mee: [voice over] He even flew into the center of hurricane Charlie. It was a category four storm.
[we see footage of Benjamin in a helicopter headed into the eye of a category 4 hurricane]
Dylan Mee: [voice over] He knew the ins and outs of strange and exotic adventure, backwards and forwards. But nothing prepared him for this one.
[Benjamin is rushing around in the morning, trying to get his children ready for school; in the car on the way to school Benjamin argues with Dylan]
Benjamin Mee: Look, I’m the one who gets the emails about your lack of effort, man. Okay? You either know where the book is or you don’t.
Dylan Mee: Dad, it’s whatever. Looks I’ll know it when I get to school.
Benjamin Mee: You know what? ‘Whatever’ is the laziest word of the twentieth century, alright? I’m, I’ve had it with whatever! I don’t want to hear it again in this century, ever again. ‘Whatever’ is over!
Rosie Mee: He says it all the time. He won’t have anything left to say in this century.
Benjamin Mee: I’m not letting you out of the car until I get a new word. You know, you got to focus, man. If you focus as much on your homework as you do on your artwork, you’d have it all. But as it is?
Dylan Mee: Dad, I finished the Seventh Tower.
Benjamin Mee: You’re going to get an F!
[there’s silence in the car for a moment before Dylan speaks]
Dylan Mee: Pernicious.
Benjamin Mee: Thank you! Good word.
Dylan Mee: Dad, nobody’s going to give an F to a kid whose mom died six months ago.
Rosie Mee: What does pren, peren, pernicious mean?
Benjamin Mee: Uh, causing insidious harm or ruin. Causing damage.
[after dropping his kids off at school one of the other mom’s approaches Benjamin]
Shea Seger: I thought maybe lasagna. Dinner for three.
Benjamin Mee: Great, thank you.
[Benjamin goes to take lasagna dish but Shea stops him and pulls him close]
Shea Seger: Or four.
Benjamin Mee: You know, my brother is actually coming for dinner tonight, so that’s perfect. And I’ll get the dish back to you within a week.
Shea Seger: In time. In time.
Benjamin Mee: In time then. Thank you.
[he walks off]
Duncan Mee: Benjamin, I’ve arrived at a thought.
Benjamin Mee: Tell me, Dunc.
Duncan Mee: I believe you should court the girl we met at Jamba Juice. She’s a stunner.
Benjamin Mee: She keeps calling me to go hiking.
Duncan Mee: Benjamin, hike her.
Benjamin Mee: Is she a stunner? I mean, is that what they call a stunner now? I mean, what do I know? I was spoiled, I had the real thing.
Duncan Mee: Well, what else do we have around here?
[he looks around for a coffee shop and looks across the road and the coffee shop]
Duncan Mee: Little Dom’s?
[Benjamin looks upset and turns away]
Benjamin Mee: No.
Duncan Mee: Hey.
Benjamin Mee: No. No.
Duncan Mee: Look, the world is going to get very small if you don’t go to any of the places where you and Katherine use to go.
Benjamin Mee: I met her there.
Duncan Mee: Ah, man. I’m sorry, that’s right.
Benjamin Mee: It’s alright, man.
Duncan Mee: Look, you got to let a little sun light in. Okay? Human interaction is a good thing. Take it from a guy who spent six months on a commercial fishing boat in Bali trying to find himself.
Duncan Mee: Alright? Yeah. You know what I found? I missed people. So just do me a favor, attempt to start over.
Benjamin Mee: I shall try to start over.
[doing a fake Chinese voice and bowing]
Duncan Mee: You’re handsome!
Benjamin Mee: And so are you!
[Duncan hugs Benjamin]
Duncan Mee: I love you, my brother.
Benjamin Mee: I love you too, man.
Duncan Mee: You’re a good guy.
[as he walks away]
Duncan Mee: Sunlight. Human interaction.
Benjamin Mee: Got it!
Duncan Mee: Joy.
[Benjamin is in his editor’s office, pitching a new story]
Benjamin Mee: Alright, McGinty, so get this. I go to the volcano eruption site and I take the kids, and I write about the end of the world, from the point of view of the generation that’s going to save it. And we do a whole thing about how life is elemental and all the software and laptops and apps in the world aren’t going to change that, and we call it, you ready? iPocalypse.
[McGinty looks unimpressed]
Delbert McGinty: Wow. Just wow.
Benjamin Mee: It’s good, right? I mean, I think it could be a series. Like, uh, like the killer bees.
Delbert McGinty: That is bold stuff.
Benjamin Mee: You’re not going to say yes, are you?
Delbert McGinty: No. Listen, I think we should give you an online column. That way you’ll be protected. This is the way we live now. If the paper goes down or gets sold, you’ll still be safe. You’ll be viral.
Benjamin Mee: Don’t keep me around out of…
Delbert McGinty: I am not!
Benjamin Mee: Out of sympathy. I mean, I, I hate sympathy. I’m sick of sympathy.
Delbert McGinty: I know.
Delbert McGinty: You know what? Bad things happen, you just keep going.
Benjamin Mee: I quit.
[Benjamin walks out of McGinty’s office]
Delbert McGinty: Benjamin. You lost your wife, man! In some quarters sympathy would be considered the appropriate response.
Benjamin Mee: No, I’m not going to sit around here and spin my wheels and live in a state of sponsored pity.
Delbert McGinty: Please! Let me lay you off, so you can get the benefit.
Benjamin Mee: That’s more sympathy! No! I quite! And I love you. And those patched elbows.
Delbert McGinty: You’re killing me.
Benjamin Mee: I’ll miss you.
Delbert McGinty: Text me.
[Benjamin and Dylan sit in the principal’s office as Dylan has stolen money]
Benjamin Mee: Classy. Real classy.
Dylan Mee: They left the cash box right on the counter. It’s kind of their fault, if you think about it.
Benjamin Mee: That’s three suspensions in one semester. That’s got to be some kind of record.
Dylan Mee: Yeah, well. Maybe I’ll get a prize.
Benjamin Mee: Could you possibly be making a joke right now? Because…
[he stops as the squeaky noise coming from the open window gets louder]
Benjamin Mee: Jesus, that is annoying!
[he gets up to and tries to fix the window]
Dylan Mee: Dad, stop.
Benjamin Mee: I can fix it.
[referring to the principal]
Dylan Mee: Here he comes!
[the principal walks into his office and looks over at Benjamin trying to fix the window]
Benjamin Mee: Frame’s a little loose. I, just give me one second.
Principal: I’m fine with my squeaky window, Mr. Mee. In fact, I rather enjoy it.
Principal: Besides today’s theft, there’s a darkness here that we need deal with. Mr. Deveraux, Dylan’s art teacher, wanted you to see his wall mural.
[he motions for Benjamin to follow him]
Principal: We encourage creativity at the school.
[showing Benjamin the other student’s paintings]
Principal: There’s a nice treatment of the word ‘love’. A whimsical portraiture of recycling. A hard hitting expose about world peace. Here’s the great Bob Marley, although we don’t endorse all that he stood for. Sunflowers. And guess which one is your son’s?
[we see Dylan has done a gory painting of a decapitation]
Principal: We’re a three strike school, Mr. Mee. And today was his fourth strike. I’m sorry, we have to expel Dylan. But, as one parent to another, I, I would examine his inner life.
[as they are leaving Dylan’s school]
Dylan Mee: You think he was expelling me for my artwork.
Benjamin Mee: I can almost live with the artwork. I mean, if Charles Manson needed a personal muralist, you’d be the guy. But no, he didn’t expel you because of the artwork. He expelled you because you stole. You stole! Breaks my heart.
[Benjamin opens his fridge to place the lasagna dish Shea had given to him earlier and we see his fridge if packed with lasagna dishes]
Benjamin Mee: Always lasagna.
Rosie Mee: Dad, someday you’re going to have to eat some of that lasagna.
Benjamin Mee: Honey
Rosie Mee: Or throw it away.
Benjamin Mee: Hey Rosie, am I doing anything right?
Rosie Mee: You’re handsomer than the other dads. Lots of them don’t have hair, so that’s good.
Benjamin Mee: Awesome. I’m going to take baldness off my list of things to worry about.
Rosie Mee: Good.
[as Benjamin and Rosie go house hunting with their real estate agent]
Mr. Stevens: It’s a new day for you, Mr. Mee. We have a full day of house hunting planned and I’ll think you’ll be very excited at what’s available.
Benjamin Mee: We just want new. We want new, new everything, new opportunities, new schools. Just new.
Mr. Stevens: In the current economic environment you’re going to find that now the buyer is not the king.
Benjamin Mee: What I’m hoping for is like a big back yard, substantial. You know, just rolling hills.
Mr. Stevens: It’s going to be very hard to find rolling hills in the city. It’s not available.
Benjamin Mee: Then stationary hills.
Benjamin Mee: The hills don’t have to roll, alright honey?
[Rosie nods her head]
Benjamin Mee: Just new.
Mr. Stevens: You know what? It’s all about new. People love new. I love new. Hell, I’m new! Excuse my language, but I’m new. Hell, I’m new!
Benjamin Mee: I’m glad you’re excited about it.
Mr. Stevens: I know. I’m excited about new stuff. New, is the new old.
Benjamin Mee: New.
Mr. Stevens: New, new, new!
Rosie Mee: I like you.
Mr. Stevens: I like you too, Rosie.
Rosie Mee: I wish Dylan had come with us, this is fun.
Mr. Stevens: Oh, I wish Dylan were here too! The more the merrier! That’s what I always say, right?
Rosie Mee: My mommy died.
Mr. Stevens: Oh, wow! My condolences go out to you and your family, Mr. Mee. Oh, wow.
Benjamin Mee: Sweetheart, Mr. Stevens is a stranger honey. He didn’t know mommy.
Rosie Mee: I know, but he should have.
Mr. Stevens: Oh, oh, oh, oh! Just knowing you, Rosie, right now, I, I, I love your mom. Uh, I love her. I picture, I picture your face on a grown lady.
Benjamin Mee: How long have you been doing this job?
Mr. Stevens: First day, it’s my first day!
Benjamin Mee: Really?
Mr. Stevens: Yeah! First day. So, our adventure begins.
[after seeing house after house, Rosie shows Benjamin a listing for an 18-acre home in the country]
Benjamin Mee: I mean, what we do with eighteen acres?
Mr. Stevens: Well, let me be honest with you. Rosemoor property has some challenges.
Benjamin Mee: Well, what doesn’t?
Mr. Stevens: True, but this situation, I’m going to go for the word ‘unique’.
[as they drive up to the property]
Benjamin Mee: Wait a second. Is that it?
Mr. Stevens: Yes.
Benjamin Mee: Rosie.
Mr. Stevens: And, uh, look.
[both Benjamin and Rosie are captivated by it as they drive up]
[as they walk towards Rosemoor house]
Benjamin Mee: You don’t have to take a picture, Rosie.
Rosie Mee: Why not?
Benjamin Mee: We’re going to live here.
Mr. Stevens: Oh, Mr. Mee, we have to talk. Okay? Let’s not rush into things.
[as they look around the house]
Mr. Stevens: Right now, I think we’re jumping the gun.
Benjamin Mee: This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.
Mr. Stevens: Uh, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s, uh, let’s just take it all in first. Don’t take a gift that’s not given to you yet now.
Benjamin Mee: This place is perfect. Why didn’t you mention it earlier?
Mr. Stevens: Well, it’s a bit complicated.
Benjamin Mee: Complicated is okay. Complicated can be great. We love complicated, right?
Rosie Mee: Mm-hmm.
Benjamin Mee: What’s so complicated about this place?
Mr. Stevens: Well, you see, it’s, uh, it’s, uh…
Benjamin Mee: What is it?
[Stevens starts laughing nervously]
Mr. Stevens: It has complications to it, Mr. Mee. And, uh…
[suddenly they hear a loud noise of a lion roaring]
Mr. Stevens: It’s a zoo.
Benjamin Mee: A zoo.
Mr. Stevens: It’s a zoo.
Rosie Mee: Yay!
Mr. Stevens: Yay.
[they go down to see the lion on the property]
Mr. Stevens: This was a fully functional zoo until two years ago, they were shut down. The state’s been maintaining for it now, you know, just to keep it up, keep it going.
Benjamin Mee: I mean, could I, uh, you know, buy the property and then just relocate animals?
Mr. Stevens: Well, actually, the state that’s selling the property with a stipulation that whoever comes one board and buys the property, has got to care and maintain these endangered animals.
Benjamin Mee: Oh, come on.
Mr. Stevens: And then there’s the remaining staff on board and, you know. If someone doesn’t buy this property soon, these animals will probably have to be, uh…
[both Stevens and Benjamin look at Rosie]
Benjamin Mee: Well, thanks. I mean, I don’t know anything about animals, zoos. I mean, it’s, uh…
Mr. Stevens: It is.
Benjamin Mee: It is what it is.
Mr. Stevens: It is what it is. Sometimes you don’t know what it is until you see what it is. You know? Once you see what it is, then you can figure out is, it is what it is. You understand?
Benjamin Mee: No, but we can move on.
Mr. Stevens: Yeah.
[as Benjamin decides that he can’t look after a zoo]
Benjamin Mee: It’s just, it’s just too bad. So we keep on looking.
Mr. Stevens: Yeah.
Benjamin Mee: Right, Rosie?
[they look back and see that Rosie is missing]
Benjamin Mee: Oh, God. Great, I keep her home from school for one day and she gets eaten.
[they look around for Rosie and find her playing with birds and feeding them]
Benjamin Mee: Boy, it’s a shame. Can’t just…
[as Benjamin watches how happy Rosie is he realizes he’s going to buy the property]
[after Benjamin has told Duncan that he’s decided to buy a zoo]
Duncan Mee: I said human interaction. This is what happens when people have a, you know what, occur in their lives. They wake up one day and they say, ‘I’m going to quit my job and try something completely different with my life.’ But then they wake up another day and they say to themselves, ‘thank God, my older brother didn’t let me dad’s inheritance by buying a broken down zoo, in the country, nine miles from the nearest Target store.
Benjamin Mee: But maybe my older brother didn’t see this place.
Benjamin Mee: Look, this is simple destiny. The place makes seventy five percent of its revenue in the summer time. If I can have this place back up by the end of June, right? I’ll be open by July. It’s only February right now, it’s a lot of work but I think I can do it. Duncan, you should have seen Rosie.
Duncan Mee: Look, do, I’m begging you, do what other people do, go to Vegas, lose a little bit of money. Or do what I did when Sheila left me.
Benjamin Mee: Start handicapping horses.
Duncan Mee: Well, that was a little misguided.
Benjamin Mee: Go into commercial surfing business and call myself Captain Dunc. Start cliff diving in Acapulco at the age of thirty eight.
Duncan Mee: I miss Sheila, man.
Benjamin Mee: I know, man, I know.
Duncan Mee: Alright, forget that! Forget all that. Don’t do what I did. Travel the stages of grief, yet stop just before zebra’s get involved.
Benjamin Mee: It’s only two zebra’s.
Duncan Mee: Uh-huh.
Benjamin Mee: And a lion, and a jaguar and forty seven other species, seven of which are endangered and all of them are saved the second we make this deal. The kids are going to be so psyched.
Duncan Mee: Really? Psyched. Are they really going to be psyched?
[after Benjamin tells Dylan about wanting to buy the zoo]
Dylan Mee: You’re freaking kidding me! It’s a zoo!
Benjamin Mee: Well, yeah. Look, these animals need somebody to rescue them.
Dylan Mee: The animals need to be resc…?! Dad, my friends are here! My whole life is here!
Benjamin Mee: Man, you got expelled! Alright? What am I going to do? What am I suppose, what am I, am I going to home school you?
Dylan Mee: No!
Benjamin Mee: Right! So what did we talk about? A new place, a new start.
Dylan Mee: This is what you want. It’s not what I want!
Benjamin Mee: What?
Dylan Mee: It’s a zoo. I’m moving to a zoo.
[he turns and walks off and Benjamin looks at Rosie]
Rosie Mee: We bought a zoo!
Benjamin Mee: Yes, we did. We did buy a zoo. Give me some fork.
[the hit their forks together]
[Benjamin and Rosie are getting rid of old clothes]
Benjamin Mee: Alright, let’s let this shirt start over! Okay, two more left.
[he throws the shirt into a box and takes out another shirt out of the closet]
Benjamin Mee: Oh, a good one. Oldie but a goodie. What do you think?
[he shows the shirt to Rosie]
Rosie Mee: Mommy used to wear that sometimes.
Benjamin Mee: She did. This was, uh, it started out as mine, but, uh, she kind of adopted it. But it’s got rips and everything everywhere. Tough to give some of these things away, right?
[he looks at Rosie]
Benjamin Mee: Keep it?
Rosie Mee: It’s time. Let that sweatshirt start over.
Benjamin Mee: Let it start over. Okay.
[he throws the shirt in the box and turns back to the closet]
Benjamin Mee: This is it, the last item.
[he takes out the item from the closet and shows Rosie a small stuffed toy monkey]
Rosie Mee: Never! That we’re keeping.
Benjamin Mee: Okay.
[after the Mee family moves into the zoo, the head zookeeper Kelly introduces the other zookeepers and then Benjamin awkwardly introduces his family]
Benjamin Mee: Uh, this is Rosie, my daughter. And my big boy, Dylan. And our dog, Leon. And this is our zoo now, I guess. And love the house, smells and all.
[looking at Rosie]
Benjamin Mee: Right?
[there’s an awkward silence]
Benjamin Mee: So I would like to declare us all modern day adventurers. And sponsors of animal greatness.
[everyone seems amused and less than impressed]
Benjamin Mee: Okay, terrific let’s go.
[as Kelly and the other zookeepers give the Mee family the tour of the zoo they stop to look at their bear]
Kelly Foster: This is Buster, he’s our six hundred fifty pound North American Grizzly. He was seven seventy, but, uh, but he’s been stressed out. You know, he’s moody. We had him on Paxil, but we can’t afford it, so he’s occasionally depressed. He can still rip your arm off though.
Benjamin Mee: Hey there, Buster. Are you missings the meds?
[suddenly the bear roars in response]
Benjamin Mee: Woh!
[as the Mee family are getting a tour of the zoo, the stop and look at some tigers]
Rosie Mee: I thought they would roar like a lion.
Kelly Foster: No, no, tigers and lions are very different. Tigers don’t growl or roar, they chuff. Like a, uh…
[Kelly makes a chuffing noise and Rosie imitates the noise]
Kelly Foster: Yeah, when you chuff at them they chuff back.
[Kelly turns to the tigers and starts making chuffing noises at them]
Kelly Foster: Try, go on.
[Rosie makes chuffing noise at the tigers at the same time Benjamin tries to make a chuffing noise but this embarrasses Dylan]
Dylan Mee: Oh, my God!
[to Rosie pointing out one of the tigers]
Kelly Foster: That guy there, that’s Spar. He’s our oldest, he’s seventeen. He’s a Bengal tiger. You know tigers have a special sensors in the front of their two inch canines. They can actually detect the pulse in your aorta. So when they attack, they bite you, take your pulse with their teeth, reposition those suckers and boom! There goes your carotid.
Rosie Mee: Wow!
Kelly Foster: Yeah.
Kelly Foster: So there’s a few decisions you’ll have to make straight away, Ben. Uh…
Benjamin Mee: Benjamin. Ben was my dad.
Kelly Foster: Spar, you just met the tiger, he’s going to need some special care so we have a large animal vet coming from San Diego. It’s just that he’s a fortune to get here and, uh…
Benjamin Mee: That’s okay, I’ll pay.
Kelly Foster: Well, no. He’s also very old, so the truth is we don’t really know how much longer he’s got and I…
Benjamin Mee: Just step it up. What else do we have?
Kelly Foster: Rickety posts. Uh, deep rock in tortoises, a weak enclosure between the jaguars and the tigers, they don’t get along. Um…
Benjamin Mee: Okay, why don’t we start with the, uh, posts.
Kelly Foster: Okay.
Benjamin Mee: The posts and the cages.
Kelly Foster: Posts and what? They’re not called cages, they’re called enclosures. They haven’t been cages in like a century. My brief marriage, that was a cage.
Benjamin Mee: Not mine.
Kelly Foster: I have a question for you. You’re some random guy from the city, no one in the zoo community has ever heard of you. You know nothing about animals and you moved into a dump. I mean, what kind of regular person just up and buys a place like this? Especially somebody with kids. Why?
[Benjamin doesn’t reply]
Kelly Foster: You have no idea what we’ve been dealing with here. We used to have three times the staff, they all quit. I’m twenty eight, I never go out, I’m here every day. My girlfriends, they text me, they’re out living their lives meeting guys named Brett, and I’m here shoveling shit. Bear shit! I’m pathetic! I had to move back in with my mother. No one gets paid, Ben…jamin. We need somebody who can really take charge of this place, or else we and all these animals are gone.
Benjamin Mee: So your question is?
Kelly Foster: Why did you buy this place?
[Benjamin pauses moment before replying]
Benjamin Mee: Why not?
[he smiles and turns to carry on their tour of the zoo]
Benjamin Mee: Coming?
[Benjamin decides to build a new enclosure for the porcupines, he starts talking to them but they get agitated and Benjamin jumps and falls over the fence hurting himself]
Robin Jones: Listen, you’re not talking to them correctly yet, boss. You got to be real with them.
[hurt and angry, Benjamin turns to the porcupine]
Benjamin Mee: I’m never talking to you again! You little asshole!
Robin Jones: Now you’re talking to him. There you go.
[as Duncan helps Benjamin with renovating the zoo]
Duncan Mee: It’s great, I get it. This whole spiritual journey. We’re all in cages, man. I love it. But, uh, at the risk of stating the obvious, you’re insane. Okay? You’re drilling yourself into insane debt.
[Benjamin looks up and notices Kelly and she looks over at him]
Kelly Foster: You good?
Benjamin Mee: Huh? Yeah, all good. Thanks.
[Kelly walks off and gets on with her work]
Duncan Mee: Who’s that?
Benjamin Mee: That’s Kelly.
Duncan Mee: Holy shit! Okay, here’s the revised Duncan plan. Dump the animals, keep Kelly. That’s true joy.
Benjamin Mee: It’s about Rosie, man. She is happy here.
Duncan Mee: Rosie is seven, just make her a nice zoo screensaver and she’ll be just as happy.
Benjamin Mee: I’m trying to give them an authentic American experience.
Duncan Mee: And it ends with you authentically living on my valor couch with your two children. I see you working in a field in Bolivia for angry men with large mustaches.
[to the ostrich coming towards him]
Duncan Mee: Hey, back off!
[Dylan is drawing when Lily finds him and brings him a sandwich]
Lily Miska: How did you get the nose bleed?
Dylan Mee: I, uh, slipped on the roof and banged it.
Lily Miska: It’s a weird house.
Dylan Mee: Yeah.
[she sits down next to him, watching him draw]
Lily Miska: I like your drawing.
Dylan Mee: Thanks.
Lily Miska: It’s a little dark. Where’s the sun?
Dylan Mee: There’s not sun at the end of the world, that I’m aware of.
Lily Miska: I’m off at four.
[Dylan’s looks at her confused]
Dylan Mee: Cool.
Lily Miska: So I’ll come back every day at four fifteen and bring you a sandwich.
Dylan Mee: That’s okay.
Lily Miska: Well, bye.
Dylan Mee: Bye.
[as Rosie and Dylan are shucking ears of corn getting their dinner ready]
Benjamin Mee: Hi, guys. I forgot to buy butter.
[Rosie and Dylan look disappointed]
Benjamin Mee: How important is butter to this meal tonight? We’re going to take a vote. And remember, it’s nine miles each way to the grocery store. Nine miles. Nine miles there, nine miles back. So I think the question we need to ask ourselves as a family, is butter worth your dad driving eighteen miles right now, today? Let’s vote.
[next scene shows Benjamin driving home from the grocery store, with Dylan waiting for him on the front porch]
[to Dylan; after Benjamin has driven to the grocery store for butter]
Benjamin Mee: Eighteen miles, for butter. But I’m just telling Kelly here that she’s got to, she’s got to go have some time to herself, so just tell me what, uh, you know, just give me a list of what to do and I’ll do it.
Kelly Foster: You sure?
Benjamin Mee: Yeah. We got it.
Kelly Foster: Um, okay. Spar has a new medication, so just make sure that this gets in his food, that he eats it all. Uh, turn off the lights in the garage. Oh, the garage, um, there is a new shipment of exotic snakes, so just leave them in the travel crates and I’ll put them in exhibit in the morning. Oh, and the monkey’s need fruit as well.
Benjamin Mee: Go home. Go out. Go to the city. Go find your girlfriends.
Kelly Foster: I think I’ll just find my pillow.
[she turns to leave]
Kelly Foster: Alright. Good night.
Benjamin Mee: Good night.
[suddenly Kelly turns as she remembers something]
Kelly Foster: Ooh! Um, that thing! You wanted me to remember that thing, and I…
Benjamin Mee: Go home.
Kelly Foster: Okay.
[she smiles and turns to leave and Benjamin watches as she walks to her car]
[after Kelly leaves, Benjamin walks to the house]
Benjamin Mee: Nine point two miles. So technically, that’s eighteen point four miles for butter.
Dylan Mee: You know I found some, right?
[as they try to give Spar his medication]
Rosie Mee: He looks tired, dad.
Benjamin Mee: He’s going to be okay.
Benjamin Mee: Isn’t that right, buddy?
[Spar does a quite chuff]
Benjamin Mee: See that? He likes us.
Rosie Mee: Dylan really loves you, you know?
[Benjamin looks at her in surprise]
Benjamin Mee: I know.
Rosie Mee: He’s just mad that his friends don’t visit him here. He thought they would all visit, but nobody came.
Benjamin Mee: Well, they will.
[as Benjamin is tucking Rosie in for the night he sees she got his old sweatshirt that his wife used to wear under her bed cover]
Benjamin Mee: Now, what do we have here? It’s our old friend, huh? I didn’t think this one was going to make the trip.
Rosie Mee: Did mama hurt a lot before she had to leave us?
Benjamin Mee: Um, well. Uh, do you remember the night that, uh, we were tucking you in and you asked mommy that?
[Rosie shakes her head]
Benjamin Mee: No?
Rosie Mee: No.
Benjamin Mee: Well, she said, uh, she said that it looked worse than it felt, remember? She said that sometimes people look really sick, but they don’t feel really sick. Do you feel like you can’t see her?
[we see Dylan is hovering outside Rosie’s door, listening to their conversation]
Rosie Mee: Yeah.
Benjamin Mee: You feel like you can’t hear her voice?
Rosie Mee: No. But I know what to do, catch her spirit.
Benjamin Mee: Catch her spirit, that’s right.
Rosie Mee: Here we go.
Benjamin Mee: Okay, go for it.
[Rosie reaches out her hands to “catch her spirit”]
Benjamin Mee: There you go, then put it in your heart. Hold it there. Can you see her?
Rosie Mee: Yeah.
Benjamin Mee: Yeah. She’s never far away.
[Rosie also gives Benjamin her mom’s spirit]
Rosie Mee: Right there.
Benjamin Mee: That’s right. Mom will always be in your heart and my shoulder.
[they both laugh and Dylan wipes away a tear as he watches them]
[as they are doing their morning routine of getting ready]
Benjamin Mee: Did you even read that book?
Dylan Mee: You’re funny with everyone else, but never with me. Which I find funny.
Benjamin Mee: Yeah. You know what I find funny? I got to drive you forty thousand miles to school.
[hands Rosie her lunch pack]
Benjamin Mee: And don’t think I don’t notice you just changed the subject.
Rosie Mee: Dylan likes Lily.
Dylan Mee: Please, she’s way younger than me! She’s twelve. It doesn’t work like that.
Rosie Mee: She’s about a foot taller.
Dylan Mee: Don’t be a tiny person.
[after they discover their yard is covered in snakes and everyone is helping them to pick them up]
Benjamin Mee: How could this even happen, man? I don’t even know how you did this.
Dylan Mee: Dad, there’s nothing you could say to me that’s more harsh than what I’m saying to myself.
Benjamin Mee: Oh, I disagree! I just want you to be happy, man. Unless you don’t want to be happy!
Dylan Mee: What is so great about being happy?!
Benjamin Mee: That’s your happy.
Dylan Mee: I’m sorry I messed up the box of snakes! Whatever!
[he kicks a bucket and one of the snakes]
Rosie Mee: You’re not supposed to say that in this century.
Dylan Mee: He’s so patronizing to me!
Benjamin Mee: Nice word, hot shot!
Dylan Mee: Yeah. Whatever!
[Dylan goes back into the house and slams the door shut, then snake crawls across Rosie’s foot and she screams]
[as Kelly is showing Benjamin how to do several zoo-type things]
Kelly Foster: Hey, I’m pretty sure this is none of my business. But I, uh, I noticed that your kid really pushes your buttons and you give him a lot of rope. I did not appreciate the way he kicked that Garter snake.
[referring to Kelly carrying a heavy carcass]
Benjamin Mee: I feel like I should be, uh, helping you here.
Kelly Foster: It’s all good.
Benjamin Mee: Yeah, look, he’s fourteen and he went through something that no kid should ever have to go through, so giving him a little bit of a leeway. Look, honestly I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out. There’s no manual for what happened. I mean, a minute ago he was into paper airplane and now he’s into portraits of decapitations, and they’re really good.
Kelly Foster: Yeah, well, what do I know? I still live with my mother and I’m not good with people.
Kelly Foster: You’re doing very well. You know, I expected you to be heading for the hills by now.
Benjamin Mee: Well, we got through today.
Kelly Foster: Yeah, we got through today.
[when the zoo inspector gives then a surprise visit]
Benjamin Mee: Our inspection happens, uh, a week before we open, uh, according to my information. So I’ve asked for June 30th, which would get us open by July 7th, seven-seven.
Walter Ferris: I’m here for a pop by, Mr. Mee.
Benjamin Mee: Great. Let’s, uh, schedule a pop by. We’ve only just really arrived here, Mr. Ferris.
Walter Ferris: A pop by, Mr. Mee, by its very definition, a surprise. I’ll be taking notes in preparation for the actual inspection.
Benjamin Mee: As will I.
[they both get their notebooks out at the same time]
Walter Ferris: Now we’re responsible for the upkeep, not just the granting of licenses. Welcome to the business of live animal maintenance, Mr. Mee. It’s a real fun party.
Total Quotes: 100