Saturday, April 09, 2005
Bad Thoughts at the Movies
"Khaaaaaaan!" (laborously scribbled by the author)
It all started with "Gone With the Wind". I thought Prissy should have slapped Scarlett back and told her to deliver Melanie's baby herself. Because I was in a room full of older female relatives, all of whom were weeping copiously, it just seemed like a good idea to leave well enough alone and indulge in pubescent fantasies about being carried off into the woods by a big, strappin' Yankee.
I had honestly hoped that it was a phase and once I'd passed from wretched adolescence, the more delicate nuances of American Popular Cinema would be less of a cypher. This was not to be. "Moment by Moment" and "Making Love" got me and my friend, Donna W., kicked out of the theater for excessive giggling.
Our Spielberg-worshipping friend, Anthony, stopped speaking to us for a month over five -yes, five!- minutes of me offering my own translation of what Francois Truffaut was saying to Richard Dreyfus in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".
Dreyfus: (twitch twitch) There are ah, uh (twitch) aliens, at Devil's (twitch) Rock!
Truffaut: Voulez vous coucher avec moi, ce soir.
Me: (thoughtfully translating) I hate you, for I am Fronch!
Anthony: Shut up! This is art!
Dreyfus: (twitchtwitchtwitch) So, uh (twitch) Do you think they use probes?
Truffaut: Voulez vous coucher avec moi!
Me: (just trying to help...) Shut up you hack bastard! They promised me a scene with Jerry Lewis! Where is Jerry?
Anthony: I hate you!
and so on...
It hasn't gotten better over time, although I have noticed a few spectacular nadirs. For example:
Steel Magnolias. When I found out that Robert Harling got his knickers in a twist because Memphis-based actor Marc Chambers wanted to play Truvy, it was all I could do not to send him a come-to-Jesus letter explaining that Chambers not only adores women, but more than likely had taken Truvy to heart and would do a bang-up job bringing her to life. Harling should a.) get over himself and b.) be glad somebody loves Truvy as much as Marc probably does.
I tried to be good while watching the movie. I really did. The only reason I was there was as a gift to my mother, who loves movies where people die, cry and talk like they live two streets over. But all I could think of was how every scene would have been improved by cutting to William Shatner screaming "Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!" after any line that was supposed to act as a meaningful hangtag explaining the purpose of Mister Harling's Opus.
Shelby: Mama, Ah'd rather hayuv a lil' bit of sumpthin' special than nothin' special fer a long tahm. Innt that right, Dylan McDermot or Dermot Mulrooney or whichever one you are?
Shatner: (relieving the pain of my frontal lobe trying to rip itself free and crawl from the multiplex on its own) KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!
Weezer: Bitch! Gripe! Bitchbitchbitchbitch! Gripe! Gripe! Bitch! Gimme a kiss!
Truvy: An' Ah allus say, iffin the rooster sits awn a duck egg, then mah ole jackass of a husband can make his own dayum waffles!
See? Now wasn't that better? I know it got me through a very painful two hours.
Here are a few more dark moments in my movie watching history:
Driving Miss Daisy
Daisy Werthan: Hoke, this isn't a Christmas present. Its a book. I want you to learn to read.
Me: And then I'm going to give you a copy of Mandingo...
The Matrix Reloaded
While Keanu Reeves flies through the air like a Super-Bhodisattva...
Me: What would be the last thing to go through Neo's mind if he hit one of those buildings? His ass.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Bill Pullman as Wade Davis: Don't bury me, I'm not dead!
Me: Somewhere in the ether, Carlos Casteneda is saying, "See? This is why you sit in the library and make shit up. I've got a PhD from Berkeley Anth and no one ever tried to nail my balls to a chair."
And finally, during a movie that shall remain un-named because at some point I do have to maintain at least a modicum of shame:
Me: Okay. Yeah, I'd do a Hanson brother.
copyright 2005 Jas Faulkner