Things started out not too bad and then kinda took a dip, rose to the occasion and dipped down again.
I’m doing the calculation in my head right now. I believe I have seen at least 9 of Robert Downey Jr’s movies. Well, maybe a little more than that if you count the first half hour of “The Pick-up Artist” and bits and pieces of “A Scanner Darkly.”
Technically its 10 and change because I have seen “Weird Science”… just didn’t really watch it for his character. I watched it for being a John Hughes movie and found myself completely confused and in utter disbelief about the circumstances. Plain and simple, the movie made absolutely no sense, i.e. it was unrealistic and to a scale I’m not used to. I believe very much in sci-fi and fantasy movies as genres. That’s why I’m so ticked off at Ebert for dismissing the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight and now #4 because they’re sci-fi fantasy movies that he doesn’t want to do the research for.
I try to find the explanation in the fantastical films. I was disillusioned by Eragon because I felt like it skipped a couple chapters in the book to get to the meat of the storyline. I had never read the book, so after a certain point where time skipped ahead, I was lost.
“Weird Science” was disillusioning because… I guess it seemed too good to be true on the one hand and on the other hand, what happens later on in the movie as far as the weirdo stuff going on outside of the house… I simply got lost.
Now I can officially cross “Only You” off my list of must-see RDJ movies. And I kinda realized I love the ring of “Robert Downey”… the junior thing makes it kinda hard to give the name a good ring so its fun/easy to say as frequently as I’d like, but on the other hand, I feel like its something that must be included. Because there is a senior Downey to consider despite the fact he’s been lying low in the industry since his son’s career rocketed off.
Speaking of rocketing (well, not quite, but it feels like it), I caught a clip on YouTube where Rolling Stone writer Peter Travers was talking about his overall career. Comments came about in the ways that you could see bits and pieces of him while he plays his roles. The look in his eyes in his early films indicates that he’s still searching for something. And how Iron-Man, again, resembles his inner struggles and comes off all the better because of it.
He recommended RDJ without a second thought and said to work through his movies starting with “Less than Zero.”
Ironically, that’s kinda how this whole facade started and its something I can’t get off because I simply don’t want to.
One thing I was meaning to do as far as the inspiration was going was writing that short story about a girl who moves to LA to get her teaching degree and also studies some teenage psychology along the way. Her parents agreed to let her go as long as she stays with a friend of theirs. I.E. out of the streets of LA where pretty much anything can happen.
Of course, I have to be a complete goof with this one because a) “RJ” is more or less a manifestion of Larry Paul minus the law degree but he writes music scores, occasionally songs… and b) it’s his fondest belief that you can learn anything about teenagers watching John Hughes movies
The very first movie I wanted to have him set the other character with was “Sixteen Candles.” It’s Molly Ringwald’s first movie with John Hughes, so why not start at the beginning?
That’s what I’ve been searching for it on TV the past few weeks, so I’ll have a little something more to go on if I ever get around to writing that chapter.
This is probably the third time I have seen the movie, maybe the fourth. But it’s been years and I figured, what the hell… why not?
Enough time has gone by and I’ve matured enough that I might appreciate it a tiny bit more.
So far today, its been the best movie experience (more on the rest later).
The movie starts with Sam’s house being a buzz about her sister’s wedding… which is ultimately the reason everyone forgets her birthday. She wakes up that morning with high hopes, but to her disappointment, she didn’t “develop” overnight. A scene follows where she and her girlfriend are watching a girl in the shower who she believes is a perfect 10.
I find the contents of the health/sex ed class a little hard to believe. Everyone has to fill out a questionaire anonymously, answering questions such as “have you done it?”… “if you said ‘i dont think so’, would you do it if you could?”… “who would you do it with (its okay, your name won’t be on this)?”
She answers and her paper ultimately says she’d like to do it with Jake Ryan. Who happens to be the cutest guy in school and he’s dating Caroline, the girl in the shower. He gets a hold of the paper and recalls that she’s done a lot of time staring at him… this leads him on his quest to find out who she is.
Now that I know the circumstances of his search, part of the storyline just got redeemed because I didn’t understand or figure out before why he was interested in her?
And also, I gotta say, he really is good looking. About as much so as the guys you’d see on the CW network, though a bit more wholesome than any of them ever will be… that sort of thing.
Enter the Geek otherwise known as Farmer Ted, whose otherwise known as Anthony Michael Hall. But I confess myself flabbergasted when I realized how much he made me miss Ducky (i.e. Jon Cryer in “Pretty in Pink”). I was getting the same kind of vibe and Ducky is kinda the sweeter, more compatible of the two. If not for Anthony’s fear for being typecast, he could have been Ducky.
All that aside with a dash of John Cusak, we see Farmer Ted going after Sam and she shirks off his advances. The clincher is that he’s a geek, but he’s one with a bit of authority. Otherwise, nerd #1 and 2 wouldn’t respect and look up to him. I just find it hilarious that Anthony is so short here compared to The Breakfast Club where he magically shot up 4 inches or so in about a year. The vibe he gives off, therefore, is completely different and his voice cracking is kinda cute.
He acts as the go-between for Sam and Jake throughout the movie and the two guys actually manage to help each other out. Though in one of their cases, you don’t see the benefits right away, nor do you expect them.
Farmer Ted comes off as his completely geeky self when he attempts to dance with Sam. Then his two friends bet him money on the grounds that he gets with her. And he needs the proof of girl’s underpants. During their cute little scene talking into the auto shop car (probably one of my favorites of the movie), Sam takes pity and lets the geek borrow her underpants to impress his friends.
Skip ahead: Jake Ryan has a party at his place after the dance and its overun with people. There’s toliet paper and underwear everywhere on the front lawn. He looks up Sam in his yearbook and attempts to call her… but her grandparents, who are staying in her room, keep picking up and ultimately tell him to knock it off.
Their little friend, Long Duk Dong, also gets into a little trouble, but he also gets really lucky with this really tall girl that is listed as “lumberjack” in the credits.
Jake also closes the door on Caroline’s hair, which her girlfriends then have to cut off with scissors to free her. One of them happened to be Jami Gertz, i.e. Blair from “Less than Zero”. Going into the movie, I knew there was one actress I had to keep an eye out for but I couldn’t remember which one until that particular scene.
Sometimes there’s no escaping things, I guess.
Once the party lets out, Jake finds Farmer Ted stuck under his coffee table (don’t know how he got stuck in the first place, lol), gets Sam’s underpants from him and Jake asks him to drive Caroline home in his dad’s Rolls Royce. She’s completely trashed so hilarity ensues on their drive and Farmer Ted breaks the 4th wall in one scene… He ultimately takes advantage of the situation to up his street cred with his friends when he brings the car to their place.
They had just gotten back from an ordeal that Ted had caused at the party… knocking over stacked beer cans set up by a couple of the football players, who had just taken them out of the trunk of their car.
Sam’s parents finally figure out later on that they had forgotten her birthday and everyone is off the wedding. The grandparents find Long Duk Dong passed out on their first lawn… completely trashed as well. When Jake arrives at the house, he said that Sam was getting married. When it was really her sister.
Who has a really crappy, but hilariously embarassing wedding. Firstly because “her monthly bill came early” but also because she had taken 4 muscle relaxers to deal with cramps, so she’s kinda high on medication throughout the ceremony.
Also happened to spot that she’s marrying Carl the Janitor from The Breakfast Club… and he has hair in this film
Farmer Ted wakes up in a parking lot across from Caroline’s church, but aside from a few branches, the car looks in good shape considering the night it had. She’s coherent and the two of them actually hit it off.
Jake picks up Sam after the wedding and the rest is teenage dream history. Such a great ending too.
There’s a lot of stuff I can go into if I actually write a chapter on this sucker. There’s Sam, an ordinary girl who feels like she doesn’t count in her school but is crushing on the most popular guy… who she ultimately gets with at the end. Then there’s the arc involving Farmer Ted and the hierarchy of geekdom… I’m sure I could run ahead with that and the movie was fun to return to.
The whole job search thing came to the surface today… ugh, I know I’ve been procrastinating, but I think I’m deftly afraid of being stuck in a dead end profession that I don’t enjoy. It’s more about making a buck and getting people of my back than anything.
I’m seriously considering another blog, but it’ll be one a little more in the public light. Meaning that everyone I know will have access to it and will actually know about it. I’ll also have to be a little more careful with what I put in it. The only thing missing in this blogging thing is making money of it. I love putting my thoughts on the Internet even though not many people know of it to listen and/or pay a speck of attention enough to send me comments. My readership has gone up considerably lately. Yesterday’s Purple Rain blog has gotten at least 25 hits so far despite how much of a downer it was and that I’m practically turning my back on the reason this blog exists at all.
I killed half an hour between movies watching the beginning of “Legally Blonde” which scores points in several categories, ones that I greatly adhere to as far as movie watching goes.
Ability to rewatch and quotability.
Unfortunately with this particular movie, I’ve found that now that I’m older, I don’t find it quite as much fun as I used to. Not because I’d watched enough to be completely sick of it, but more because, I don’t know. I’ve matured to the point where some of it does feel a little immature and not quite as special as it was. I mean, I could see part of myself in Elle Woods because a couple years ago, I was a college student. Now I’m kinda beyond that… doesn’t quite take away from the quotability, though.
What can I say about “Only You?”
There’re multiple reasons to stress out about watching a movie for the first time. One is fear of the unknown, which plays to multiple areas. An example would be the R-rated thing I ranted about sometime last week… I find myself a tad nervous with a couple movies that are R-rated because I don’t know why they might be R-rated… Due Date, Tropic Thunder and She’s out of your league are examples of false alarms… not nearly as bad as you might imagine.
Less than Zero… definitely a helluva lot more alarming than all three combined.
Another example is the action-packed movies or even horror movies where you don’t know if it’ll be too intense or you’ll get scared out of your mind… that’s part of the reason why I’m hesitant to see Gothika as a RDJ movie. The fact he’s in it doesn’t take away from the fact its psychologically spooky.
Therein lies a third reason why the unknown kinda has me nervous during some movies…
I’m watching it solely because of RDJ’s involvement… and because its him doing a romantic comedy, something I don’t see him doing all that much. Why not get more to the big picture?
Okay, so the movie begins as a flashback. A girl and a guy are at a Ouija board and they end up spelling the name of her soulmate “Damon Bradley.”
Flashforward 14 years, she’s a teacher talking about Plato’s imagining of the soulmate. I believe I remember hearing that in my mythology class. She’s just been engaged to a pediotrist (foot doctor). Then she answers a call from a friend of his, who happens to be named Damon Bradley, who is on his way to Venice. She’s trying on her wedding dress at this point and literally takes a cab straight to the airport to find him.
She and her brother’s wife (Bonnie Hunt) head to Venice where they find he had already left. She eventually end up in Rome and find that he’s meeting someone at a restaurant.
At this point, we’re nearly an hour into the movie (with commercials, mind you) and I’m starting to freak out a little bit. I look up on my Word.doc and find RDJ is playing a guy named Peter Wright. I wonder if that’s the foot doctor, which of course it isn’t. I keep looking for him and I’m already freaking that he might not have a big part in this movie…
Finally, my fears are put to rest. She goes to see him in the restaruant and finds that he’d already left. She runs down the street, bustles past RDJ (who speaks after her in Italian). She catches her heel between cobblestones and leaves it behind (there’re a lot of Cinderella and South Pacific references in this movie). He finally catches up to her, switches to English and confesses to being Damon Bradley.
The two spend a romantic evening together and clearly Marisa Tomei has fallen for him. And he forgives the fact that she’s engaged (unlike her in Seinfeld after George Constanza tells her the same thing)… then he confesses that he wasn’t Damon Bradley at all. Which of course sets her off and she doesn’t want to see him again.
RDJ truly is a romantic because he starts to believe they’re destined to be together. He starts with giving her flowers and then the day she’s about to leave, he says that he had found Damon Bradley for her… so the two meet and I’m screaming at the TV that Peter is still better looking. (My mom murmered something like “he’s a god”)
Gotta pause for two seconds for this little explanation.
Being a god means perfection… I sure as hell know that RDJ isn’t perfect, never was, never will be. That’s not the thing that keeps me coming back and also thinking he can do no wrong (well, almost never)… as far as he goes as being a specimen of the opposite sex… OMG, he’s amazing in that category.
Marisa and Damon have dinner and of course, it turns out that he wasn’t the real Damon Bradley either.
Gosh, it feels like this whole movie is a scene out of Princess Bride:
“And then he said, ‘I am not the real Dread Pirate Roberts. My name is Ryan. And the Dread Pirate Roberts I inherited from wasn’t the real Dread Pirate Roberts either…. the real Roberts had been retired for 20 years”…
Again, she flips out on Peter, but he keeps confessing that he’s in love with her. Despite the fact they’d only known each other for so long.
FINALLY… at the airport towards the end of the movie, the two are getting on separate planes from Italy to Pittsburgh and Boston (he was there for business… he was a shoe salesman and in one scene he was at a foot fashion show, but wasn’t really taking notes)… an annoucement comes over the system saying there’s a message for Damon Bradley. Both of them get out of line and find him at the information desk… he happens to be a much older guy (also Kirk’s dad in She’s out of your league). Peter leaves the two of them alone to get on his plane… now Marisa realizes she’s in love with him too.
The scene at the airport mirrors one from earlier. She goes all the way to the terminal without a ticket but insists she must get on the plane because the love of her life is on it… unlike the American airport, the Italians let her on because of the romance.
So at long last, RDJ and Marisa Tomei get together… end of movie.
One more thing: she doesn’t find this out, but her friend finds from her husband that the Ouija board and fortune teller were completely his doing… Damon Bradley was someone he went to school with, but he rigged the things she had believed this entire movie.
Man… that’s exhausting. I don’t know what was wrong. Waiting for RDJ to actually come into the story or waiting for him and Marisa Tomei to get together in the end. As far as romantic comedies go, it wasn’t one of the better ones I’ve seen. It’s nowhere near the excellence of Pretty Woman or even Sixteen Candles… it felt like a bloody soap opera.
Like last night, it took me a while to start to get into RDJ’s performance. One scene he did in the movie had me foaming at the mouth, but I can’t even remember which scene it was. Maybe when he was speaking Italian (I was more than relieved to find he spoke fluent English in this movie)… but there was one scene that had me totally checking him out.
I guess its safe to say I won’t be needing to see that one again, but I will definitely be crossing it off my list of his movies that I gotta see.
Perhaps more later in another entry when I watch Iron-Man. I honest to god hope that I get as much enjoyment out of it that I wanted to. I’ve waited a whole week for this thing… not that I expect Tony Stark to disappoint. By far, he has to be my favorite character to watch RDJ play as Robert Downey Jr. rather than for a character (which is what Tropic Thunder ultimately is, but that’s just one part of that delicous pizza pie)