The Set-up: Aaron (Albert Brooks) and Jane (Holly Hunter) work for a DC news network--he as a reporter, she as a producer. They are young, driven, devoted, idealistic and neurotic as all hell. They are also the best of friends. Then Tom (William Hurt) is hired on a fast-track to an anchor position. Tom is practical, without much depth, preppy-handsome and shallowly earnest. Where Aaron and Jane use story to evoke emotion, Tom just uses emotion. Tom and Jane are attracted to each other, while Aaron thinks he's a big phony. Tonight is an important night for Jane. She and Tom are going on a Big Date, but she makes the mistake of visiting Aaron to console him after a disasterous try-out as a week-end anchor. When Aaron sees her dressed up for her date with Tom it is too much to take and he angrily kicks her out of his house. But as she reaches the door, he regrets it. Action!
Jane(really upset): This is important to me!
Aaron: Give me one minute, please. This is tough!
Aaron: You can't end up with Tom. Because it totally goes against everything that you're about.
Aaron: I know you care about him. I've never seen you this way with anybody, so don't get me wrong when I tell you that Tom...
...while being a very nice guy...
...is the devil.
Jane: (She's had it. She gets up to leave) This isn't friendship. You're crazy, you know that?
Aaron: What do ya think the devil's gonna look like if he's around?
Aaron: Come on, no one's gonna be taken in by a guy in a long, red pointy tail. Aaron: Come on, what's he going to sound like (Snarls and claws)
Jane: You're serious that--
Aaron: He will be attractive, he'll be nice and helpful.
Aaron: He'll get a job where he influences a great, God-fearing nation. Aaron: He'll never do an evil thing, he'll never deliberately hurt a living thing. He'll just, bit by little bit, lower our standards where they're important.
Aaron: Just a tiny bit. Just coax along flash over substance. Just a tiny little bit.
Aaron: And he'll talk about all of us "really being salesmen."
(She turns away) Aaron (sourly): And he'll get all the great women.
Jane(at the door): Hey, Aaron? I think you're the devil!
Aaron: You know I'm not!
Jane (Gets in his face): How?!
Aaron: Because I think we have the kind of friendship where if I were the devil, you'd be the only one I'd tell!
Jane: Well, you were awful quick to run after Tom's help when you--
Aaron: All right! Fine! Yes!
Aaron: And if things had gone well for me tonight then I probably wouldn't be saying any of this.
Aaron: I grant you everything!Aaron: But give me this: He personifies everything that you've been fighting against.
Aaron: And I'm in love with you. (Jane is taken aback)
Aaron: How do you like that? I buried the lead.
(He falls back on the couch exhausted)
Aaron: I've got to not say that out loud.Aaron: It takes too much out of me. Aaron: I never fought for anyone before. Aaron: Does anyone win one of these things?