“This is what happens, Larry!”

movie meltdowns

It’s happened to the best of us. We all have moments of weakness. However, here are nine of the most memorable movie meltdowns that have etched their way into our lives. Some of which are justified, others stemming from unpremeditated frustration.

Andrew Garfield | The Social Network (2010)

Poor Eduardo Saverin. Not only has his best mate and business partner Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) become best mates with his adversary Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), but they managed to significantly diminish his ownership in the company just as Facebook hits its stride. And how does he react? By walking up to Mark, snatches the laptop he’s wired in to, slams it on the desk and warns his friend to “lawyer up, asshole.”

Paul Dano | Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Dwayne has taken a vow of silence until he reaches his goal of becoming a pilot. But on one of the days that the dysfunctional Hoover family piles into the van on their way to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, Dwayne comes to the realisation that he is colourblind. His rage and frustration culminates in his dramatic exit from the almost moving van, and proceeds to make up for lost words by telling his family exactly what he thinks of them.

Kristen Wiig | Bridesmaids (2011)

The trouble begins when Annie’s best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged, and she and the bridal party must endure all the formalities that go with getting hitched. To make matters worse, Helen (Rose Byrne) is muscling in on Annie and Lillian’s longstanding friendship. After inadvertently giving everyone food poisoning, getting kicked off a plane bound for Vegas for the bachelorette party, and letting Helen get the better of her, Annie breaks. And so does a giant cookie.

Steve Martin | Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

It’s Thanksgiving. It’s snowing. It’s busy. And Neal just can’t catch a break. After being stuck with the overly enthusiastic and optimistic Del Griffith (John Candy) as he tries to make it home to Chicago to see his family, Neal manages to procure a hire car to conquer the last leg of his trip. When the car isn’t in its allocated space, Neal has a word with the assistant at the company’s service desk. The finest example of passive-aggressiveness ensues.

John Goodman | The Big Lebowski (1998)

When the homework of little Larry Summers is found in The Dude’s (Jeff Bridges) stolen car, he and Walter (Goodman) decide to pay the kid a visit to ascertain his involvement in the whole Bunny Lebowski saga. When Larry gives them the silent treatment, Vietnam veteran Walter becomes a golf club-wielding maniac and takes to Larry’s shiny red sports car parked out the front of his house. Well, what he thought was Larry’s car.

Will Ferrell: Anchorman | The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

Ron Burgundy’s love for his dog Baxter is palpable from the beginning of the film. They wear matching pajamas; they share conversations about their lives. So when Baxter is kicked over the edge of a bridge by a bikie (Jack Black) after an unfortunate incident involving a burrito, Ron is destined for anguish. He calls Brian (Paul Rudd) from his “glass case of emotion”, and is hilariously hysterical as Brian tries to interpret Ron’s indecipherable words of sorrow.

Christian Bale | American Psycho (2000)

Patrick Bateman always appears to be well put-together. He works out regularly, he eats well, and he commits the occasional homicide to keep his inner serial killer in shape. But after he kills an unsuspecting Paul Allen (Jared Leto), people start noticing. Particularly Detective Donald Kimble (Willem Dafoe). After the chase becomes too much, and Patrick can’t keep up with his self-spun web of lies, he hides behind his desk, and divulges his killings to his lawyer’s answering machine.

Robert De Niro | Goodfellas (1990)

The importance of a ‘made man’ is stressed throughout Scorsese’s classic gangster film, so much so that when Tommy (Joe Pesci) is due to be made, but is killed because of his recklessness, close friend Jimmy (De Niro) doesn’t take it lightly. As Henry (Ray Liotta) watches on, Jimmy hears the news on the end of a telephone, and proceeds to kick down the phone booth. This is the first time we see Jimmy dismayed, and his impenetrable wall of power is torn down for this brief moment.

Michael Douglas | Falling Down (1993)

Okay, so you could say that this entire film is one big meltdown. So let’s isolate one moment in particular – and it involves breakfast. When a fast-food restaurant refuses to serve William breakfast after 11.30am, he becomes irritated. Rather than accepting defeat and ordering from the lunch menu, as is suggested multiple times to him by the staff, he retaliates with pulling a gun out of his sports bag. Can we interpret this behaviour as being completely justified? That’s up to you.

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