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Conveniently, every character in a Sorkin script is, in his or her own way, silver-tongued, ironic and accessorized with a Mensa-worthy stash of cultural allusions: Referring to MacKenzie in an approving aside, Will cracks, “I just offered her the most humiliating contract since Antonio got a loan from Shylock. She took it. I don’t know what that is, but I LIKE it!”

Sorkin describes his style as “aspirational writing. I’m less interested in the difference between good and bad, than in the difference between good and great. As with Tom Cruise in `A Few Good Men’ or Michael Douglas in `The American President,’” he goes on, pointing to a pair of his hit films, “I like taking good guys who are getting by with charm and high IQ and who then, for whatever reason, are forced to be better. And be great.”

And do it with all the right words.




EDITOR’S NOTE _ Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at) and at