Saturday, July 25, 2009
"One Question: Do you need someone... or do you need me?"
Well, New Orleans is working its way out of my system now. Despite having spent most of the evening last night on my feet at an ear-splitting rock show and drinking three whiskies in an hour before the long walk home (thanks for the escort, Phil!), I feel the most refreshed and energized I have been in weeks.
So is it weird to think you're being stalked by a movie? 'cos I think "Say Anything" is stalking me. It started innocently enough. Cable channel surfing. I notice that it's on The Fox Movie Channel (I know, but it doesn't feel like I"m patronizing the GOP when I'm watching "Porky's"), about an hour in, just as John Cusack (Lloyd Dobler) is teaching Ione Sky (Diane Court) how to drive a stick shift. (Insert John Cusack stick shift joke here). It's been a couple of years since I've watched it, and decide to hang out for a while. I turn it off half an hour later as Diane, mostly at the behest of her father (played by John Mahoney), tells Lloyd she needs to take a break and gives him a pen as a gesture of her friendship. I love this movie, but I know how the rest plays out. I had errands to run and had to beat the impending rain.
Not 10 minutes later, I'm in Trader Joes selecting house brand balsamic chicken cutlets, (which, like all of their independent brand offerings, might as well be marinated in Kool Aid), and "In You Eyes" starts playing. For those of you who haven't seen the film, this iconic song by Peter Gabriel is used first when Diane and Lloyd have sex in his car and he can't stop shaking, (he says because, "I think I'm just happy.") It means THAT much to him. Diane says something like, "It's OK. Let's just listen to the song. It's a GOOD song." Later, when Diane has stopped talking to him and hasn't answered the letter he writes with his Pen of Heartbreak, he stands in the rain outside her window, wearing 80's last gap baggy cargo pants and trench coat, his Joe Strummer hair making cute little wet streaks down his face and emphasizing his impossibly giraffe-like eyelashes, blasting the song on a gigantic boom box held over his head. Over the years, I have selected my best female friends over whether they have always had a crush on Lloyd Dobler after seeing this movie. If this doesn't get you, if you are not totally ass-over-tits in love with Lloyd Dobler, then, sorry ladies, you are not worthy of riding shot gun with me.
Anyway, I found this pretty remarkable to say the least, considering the movie is now 20 years old and the song even older! So random. Next day, Stephanie and I decided to see "500 Days of Summer," a title that instilled utter fear and horror in this heat-despising chick, (like, it might as well be called "500 Days of Water-Boarding"), until I found out that "Summer" is the name of the female lead and it's about the number of days of one man's relationship with an unappreciative bitch. I actually really liked the movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has well outgrown his "Third Rock From the Sun" adolescent goofiness and inhabits failed architect-turned-greeting card writer, Tom Hansen, a male character the likes of which I haven't seen since, well, Lloyd Dobler. This man truly appreciates women, worships them, and the way he discusses it with his friends and his precocious little sister, how he can find a way to talk to Summer, how he can find a way to get her attention, how he can get close to her and how he can ultimately win her back, or even if he should bother, definitely strikes a unique chord. Instead of the usual body-tits-belch-jealous-best-friend-played-by-bloated-actor-who-used-to-be-cute-high-five-fests that most male bonding conversations take the form of in recent movies, Tom's conversations with pals are meaningful and insightful, much like the way Lloyd discussed Diane with his two best friends in "Say Anything," Corey, played by Lilly Taylor and D.C., played by (whatever happened to?) Amy Brooks. The difference in "Summer" is that all of Tom's friends seem to be male, but the little sister, who seems to be his relationship therapist, takes on the thankfully not overly cute turn of his own Corey. I am also grateful that nowhere in the movie does Summer get together with her female friends, who all drink cosmos, and dance around the dining room wearing only baby doll nightgowns.
Incidentally, I can completely understand Tom's infatuation with Summer, played by the hypnotizing beauty, Zoey Deschanel. I've had a girl crush on her for years, especially now that I know she can sing. I can only imagine what she does to an intellectual straight guy like Tom.
Later in the week, I witnessed a couple in their late 30s breaking up on the F train. The woman got off the train in a fury, presumably well before her stop. Leaving the man to yell after her, "Don't think I'm going to come stand under your window blasting 'In Your Eyes' tonight, sweetheart." Unbelievable! Out of nowhere, right?
That said, can he come stand under mine?