Sunday, June 8, 2014
The best laid plans. My Friday night plan was to be the third wheel. A role I am quite familiar with, having played it on and off at different times and with different people. The people I was joining this time were one of my best friends and his wife to go to the movies. The movie was supposed to be Godzilla. Despite it's fairly poor ratings, I, like my friend, are suckers for a monster movie, even a not so great one. I so love a good, or not so good, monster flick, I even enjoyed the 1998 version with Matthew Broderick. As we pulled up to the theatre, a quick scan of theatre's listing told me I would not be chomping on popcorn watching Godzilla chomping on New Yorkers. It's run had ended the previous night and before I could get 'How about The Grand Seduction?' from my lips, one half of the couple announced we were seeing Edge Of Tomorrow.
I had zero interest in Edge Of Tomorrow, I have had little to no interest in fact, in any Tom Cruise movie really since The War Of The Worlds. I don't think I have actively boycotted his blockbusters, it is more that I seem sort of naturally repelled by them. Summer blockbusters are meant to take us away, relax and escape from our everyday problems. Between the Scientology, the relationships, and his penchant for odd behaviour, it became more and more difficult to achieve that escape, and to separate character from actor while watching his movies. Edge Of Tomorrow was not a bad film really, it went by quickly and I was never bored. Seeing Cruise on screen however, filled me with a strange sense of melancholy, even sadness. The feeling sort of hung there and stuck for the rest of the evening.
I was 10 or 11 when I saw Top Gun, and went 3 times to see it that summer. Over the next ten years or so, during my formative years moving through puberty to adulthood, I spent many summer nights, in a dark theatre with Tom Cruise. The Color Of Money, The Firm, Cocktail, Days Of Thunder, Rainman and A Few Good Men. When not enjoying Cruise on the big screen, I wore out my VHS copy of All The Right Moves trying to freeze frame is very brief frontal. I am thinking, that between 14 and 19, Cruise was probably the actor who took the starring role in my fantasy's, dreams and masturbatory stimulants. Most often, I imagined Cruise as he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1990. Coming from ocean, soaking wet, jeans and white shirt clinging to his body. During a few brief seconds, for just a moment while watching Edge Of Tomorrow, I was reminded of those early memories of Cruise. The superstar with the huge smile that I lusted after so. The melancholy feeling rose when remembering what was and again realizing that early love, so sweet and innocent, has been gone for a long long time.
All The Right Moves (1983)