April 14, 2004

40 Minutes of Familiarity

There's little that Cinecultist likes more than switching on a movie we've seen a million times before and watching forty odd minutes of it from the middle. No need for the premise or the build up, we know that already, and certainly CC has no use for resolutions in these instances. We want sequences, great moments, quotable dialogue, or a particularly delightful reaction from a well-liked actor. CC was thinking about this yesterday evening after we got home from dinner and turned on Grosse Pointe Blank (1997).

Man oh man, Cinecultist loves this movie. We've seen it loads of times, we own a copy even, but perhaps because we've watched it so often we can just focus on impressions that delight, rather than taking in the whole. It's a different kind of viewing experience, certainly not something one could write about in an initial theatrical review. It's all about a screening on TV, in between commercial breaks, or on DVD, if you're also distracted by something else while watching, like the laundry. It's not a focused watching, except for perhaps because you know a scene you really love is coming up and you have to sit down to actually watch it.

Some impressions or thoughts while watching forty odd minutes in the middle of Grosse Pointe Blank, in no particular order

Joan Cusack can deliver a comic line like nobody's business. She has a cadence and rhythm that's top notch. Her chemistry with her brother is just phenomenal too, CC could watch them on screen together all day long. Perhaps someday, CC will teach a class on the filmography of John Cusack. At Cooper Union maybe, a seminar? We'd include a little star theory, we'd talk about his influence on our perceptions of the ideal '80s masculinity. Possible paper topic: John Cusack and Jeremy Piven's collaboration, how have their personas evolved over their 10 films together? That waitress just offered John and Dan Ackroyd the Left My Heart In San Fran-cheesy omelet. Ha. Dan Ackroyd is also totally brilliant in this, as is Alan Arkin as the therapist to John's hit-man. Much funnier shades than Melfi/Tony Soprano and certainly more interesting than the Billy Crystal/Bobby DeNiro pairing. Minnie Driver is so freaking cute. When she slaps John in the nurses station before continuing to make out with him and that airplane flying scene in the bedroom, those get CC every time. This movie has a great soundtrack except that the CD is missing the "99 Luftballoons" song.

This is the part where CC turned the channel and finished brushing our teeth but continued to hum "99 Luftballoons" for the rest of the night.

Posted by karen at April 14, 2004 8:23 AM