Sunday, June 04, 2006

Love Means Never Having To Take Your Right Foot And Whop You On That Side Of Your Face.

My freshman year in college, a bunch of us went to see "Love Story."  I had never seen a movie that had people close to my age cussing and having sex.  Oh, I'd seen all the James Bond movies, but he was old so it didn't count.
(I thought Sean Connery was old then.  Hahahahaha, he's really old now, and still pretty hot.  At least, his voice is.  When I can separate it from Darryl Hammond's parody, that is.)  (Which is, by the way, one of the best parodies, ever.)  (Celebrity Jeopardy rocks.)
I loved "Love Story," but even then I didn't think Ali McGraw was a good actress.  And maybe it was just me, but did Jenny and Oliver really go together?  I was rooting for them throughout the whole thing, but in the back of my mind, what did they see in each other?  It had nothing to do with the social position thing, either. 
I found "Love Story" in a three-buck bargain bin at the grocery store the other day, and splurged.
In some ways, it's better than I remembered, and in other ways, it's even worse.
I love the hair, and the clothes.  That's how I remember the campus, if you add a lot of hippies and tie-dye.  But then, this was Harvard and Radcliffe, so I don't suppose there were many hippie-types.
I loved the banter, at least, some of it.  I think it might have been better with a little less banter and a little more actual conversation.
I'm not even going to touch the absurdity of that "Love means never having to say you're sorry" line.  It was ridiculous even at the time.  That line made a poignant movie moment into something that parodied itself.
Both fathers were good.  It was Ray Milland's first gig without his hairpiece.  John Marley was great as Jenny's father; two years later he was in "The Godfather," which features heavily into another important college memory but that's for another time.) (Hobby-horses kind of creep me out now.)
And of course Tommy Lee Jones was nobody back then. 
Watching that movie now conjured up all kinds of emotions in me.  For the first time, I focused in on how incredibly hard those two kids had to work to make ends meet.  All those odd jobs, and hassles about salary, and being treated like a dog by the pompous dean of the law school. . . . They spent themselves completely day after day just to survive, when Oliver's father had the power in his hands to help them.  I'm a firm believer in people working hard; they're the only ones who deserve things, after all.  But I'm also a firm believer in lending a helping hand if I can, and he could and didn't so I hate him.  Oliver, however, treated his father badly; most of that relationship business was NOT his father's fault.  The refusal to help when you KNOW he knew how badly they needed it, however, WAS his father's fault.
The adult (or, rather, the oldest adult) should be the one to back down in cases like that, eat some crow, and help.
Mostly, though, I saw, for the first time, that even though neither of these then-kids was a very good actor, the rawness was just what the film needed. 
Everybody was kind of a cariacature of something, and it worked.  And of course I cried.  Not just at the end, either.
"I want you to be merry. You'll be merry, okay?"  
A year later we all went to see "Billy Jack."  We left wondering if we were on Candid Camera or something, because it was the stupidest movie I'd ever seen.
However, we still quote it.
"You know what I think I'm gonna do then? Just for the hell of it?  I'm gonna take this right foot, and I'm gonna whop you on that side of your face....and you wanna know something? There's not a damn thing you're gonna be able to do about it."

"Her brain has been damaged by the heathen devil weed, marijuana!"
"Now you drop that gun or I'll shoot her!  I'm not gonna ask you again."
"You won't have to." 
"I said shoot her". 
"You'd kill her? Just like that?" 
"No. You'll kill her. And then I'll kill you. Just like that."
. . . and my own personal favorite:
Bernard: Howdy! My name is Bernard Posner.
Cindy: Oh, really?
Bernard: Really.
Cindy: Is that supposed to mean something?
Bernard: Around these parts, you hear the name Posner quite a bit.
Cindy: That's very interesting. You know, you hear my name quite a bit, and not just around here either.
Bernard: No foolin'? What's your name?
Cindy: Up.
Bernard: Up? Huh-huh, that's an odd name. What's your last name?
Cindy: Yours. Up yours!
I was really, really young, and a girl who said "up yours" to a boy was something quite new and out of my experience. 
What a stupid movie.
I saw it four times but I had dates.  It was stupid all four times, but by the third time I could quote the good stuff.  :)

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