RORY: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
TRISTAN: Who’s Louis?
Rory is referencing the 1942 romantic drama film Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz and based on the unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.
Set in Casablanca, Morocco during World War II, it is about an American nightclub owner named Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who must choose between his lost love Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and helping her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), a Czech Resistance fugitive, escape from Vichy-controlled Casablanca so he can fight against the Nazis.
When the corrupt prefect of police Louis Renault (Claude Rains) tries to arrest Victor, Rick forces Renault to instead assist Victor and Ilsa to escape by holding him at gunpoint. At the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa leave with her husband. Louis suggests to Rick that they join the Free French in Brazzaville, in the Congo, and in the final scene Rick says, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
Rory seems to be suggesting that she and Tristan could form a friendship based on doing the right thing – that is, forgetting all about their kiss (which was apparently mutually enjoyable) and putting others’ needs before their own. Tristan doesn’t recognise the slight misquote, which dooms him as a potential love interest. Even Dean got Rory’s movie references.
Casablanca was the #9 film of 1942, received very good reviews, and won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Its reputation has only increased with time, and it continues to be well loved and popular with audiences. Casablanca is generally regarded as one of the best films ever made, and a shining example of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
This is another of Lorelai and Rory’s favourite films.