Sagan could turn a phrase better than anyone; witness Cosmos. He had an economy of speech, no doubt honed by years of classroom lecture, that communicated, and endeared, and endures... and simply made you want more.
And yet there isn't a single memorable quote in the entirety of Contact... except for one.
'Seems like an awful waste of space.'
Someone, someone low, actually had to write this sentence down... on paper... and unfortunately for us, it did not spontaneously burst into flames.
Not only that... it smacks of being furiously written down on a post-it-note in a boardroom (bored room?) after some fucking disinterested suit with a brainstorm chimed in with an off the cuff remark before a committee of terrified underlings to the effect, 'We need a snappy catch-phrase in this flick. A zinger! Think deodorant commercial, people! Johnson, wake up!'
'Yessir,' Johnson yawped in agony!
'There's a catch-phrase here, damnit. Find it!'
And Johnson blurted, 'Blue-flake cocaine!'
Withering glower, followed by, 'You're fired! Johnson Two, wake up!'
Thirteen studio grunts, and almost five whole minutes later, someone shat out... you guessed it...
'...an awful waste of space.'
And then no one, and I mean no one, either read the damnable thing again, nor had guts enough to state the blatantly obvious.
'...awful ...waste ...of space.'
Isn't life just like a box of chocolates?