Until this morning I never saw this 2000 Charles Schwab ad in which Sally Field parodied her “you really, really like me!” Oscar speech. (Or I don’t recall having seen it…whatever.) But what Field actually said is “You like me…right now, you like me!” Intolerably sappy as her basic sentiment is and always will be, the quote did not include “really, really.” Repeating “really” is what makes the line legendary, but Field didn’t say it even once. Think about that.
On top of which the words “right now” mitigates somewhat. If you want to be generous about it Field wasn’t just making tens of millions of people gag en masse and say “good God, put a lid on it!” She was also acknowledging, a bit sadly, the cosmic impermanence of absolutely everything.
Field was saying that all glory is fleeting, that life is a constantly moving and shape-shifting thing and that the “like” she was feeling was good, really, only for that precise moment, and that the next morning the mood would change along with everything else. And indeed it did. Field soon became a joke, a punch line, a poster girl for Hollywood egoism and self-indulgent sentimentality. She spoke these words on Oscar night in 1985 — a little less than 28 years ago. The actual quote is on the Places in the Heart Wiki page. But it might be time to cut her a break because of the “right now.” I’m just trying to be fair.
I should also acknowledge that Robert Duvall has aged only slightly since that night.