Saturday, August 8, 2009
Falling Out of Love at the Movies
It was Say Anything that taught me that stalking a woman could be romantic, and it was Nine and 1/2 Weeks that taught me that the refrigerator is an erotic treasure chest and it was Jerry Maguire that taught me that you can get the pretty girl just by saying “Hello” (which is damn convenient when talking longer would only reveal that you’re a soulless prick who is so clueless about love that your attempts at sincerity require you to recycle lines you stole from a deaf guy in an elevator, but never mind). But when I tell you that every serious relationship I’ve ever had has been influenced by the movies, I’m not referring to those onscreen lessons in romance. Instead I’m talking about what happens offscreen, when by discussing a movie over dinner one falls in love with the person across the table. It’s happened to me a few times. Discussing movies has a wonderful way of revealing someone’s interests, passions and even morals. It’s a great way to figure out what someone is all about. Of course, what one finds behind the curtain isn’t always pleasant.
If one can fall in love talking about movies, one can certainly fall out of love that way, too. Just ask Craig from The Man From Porlock. This week in the comments section of the latest edition of The Conversations over at The House Next Door, Craig added this anecdote to some philosophizing on Michael Mann: “I wish I didn't have the memory of taking a date to see Last of the Mohicans upon its original release, and listening to her spend the rest of the evening complaining that Daniel Day-Lewis didn't look like a Mohican.” Indeed. Over the years, I’ve been in love with women who adored movies that I hated (and vice versa), and I’ve fallen for women who thought my affection for cinema is, you know, maybe a little excessive. But complaining that Day-Lewis isn’t Mohican enough (when the film makes it clear that his Hawkeye is English by birth)? Well, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
So, in honor of Craig, here’s a random list of 13 unlucky movie-related comments that would stop a relationship in its tracks*:
1) “When did Al Pacino become so understated?”
2) “I can’t believe The Lord of the Rings movies won only 17 Oscars!”
3) “When is someone going to remake Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with Nicolas Cage and Keanu Reeves?”
4) “M Night Shyamalan just keeps getting better.”
5) “It’s such bullshit that these Saw movies come out only once a year.”
6) “I might have liked The Man Who Wasn’t There … if it had been in color!”
7) “Tony Leung is okay, I guess. But he’ll never be as good of an actor as that Asian dude who played the landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
8) “I know who could have made No Country For Old Men interesting. Paul Greengrass!”
9) “I wish that Quidditch scene would have gone on longer.”
10) “I always wanted a Matrix-themed wedding.”
11) “Kevin Costner’s accent was sooooo gooooood!”
12) “Hitchcock sucks.”
13) “You know who you look like? John Merrick from … what was that movie called?”
*All these things would be perfectly acceptable, of course, if the woman uttering them was Diane Lane. Just saying.
OK, movie lovers and lovers at movies: now I want your list. Make your entries in the comments section, or you can consider this post an unofficial meme and give a link back to The Cooler. Bonus points if you can use any real lines from your dating history.