There are two shiv-shimmering lines in this scene from the underrated Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail”.
“I can’t see a thing without my contacts” is a fantastic neg, delivered with lighthearted insouciance and complete state control its teasing jab is quite subtle and therefore quite effective. It’s the kind of line you want to learn how to master when a woman gives you shit.
(Ask yourself as part of a self-improvement mental exercise: What would a beta male have done when so directly and acridly challenged by a hot broad?
Woman: “Excuse me, do I have ‘fuck me’ written on my forehead?”
Beta: *stammering* “Uh no, not at all, I was just…”)
But as good as that line is, the next game-savvy line Cruise’s character utters is better.
Woman: “You’re just full of compliments, aren’t you?”
Game-aware man: “Yeah… it kinda makes you curious, don’t it?”
What elevates that cocky riposte from great game to killer game? In a phrase: Script flipping. He has implied she is chasing him, not the other way around as it’s normally presumed to go in the realm of courtship. The man who co-opts a woman’s sexual prerogatives earns her curiosity.
You say a line like that, and you are ASSUMING THE SALE, which is a powerful game technique. It’s overconfidence on steroids. and chicks dig a man who’s full of himself. It’s also, in another sense, a nuanced disqualification of the woman as a potential lover. The subtext assaults her: “He risks my wrath and rejection. This guy can take or leave me. What’s he got going on?”