Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Movie, Part III: A complete lack of melodrama

If you’re new to The Movie, acquaint yourself with Parts I and II here and here.

I have to start off Part III of The Movie by telling you that the alter-egos of Kim, Kasey and Vicki have read my movie posts, and Kim informs me that, in fact, Johnny Depp was HER boyfriend. So she wins in the fake boyfriend department. Vicki comes in second with a still-cute Matt Dillon, and I bring up the rear. “But wait!” you are saying. “Aren’t you forgetting that Kasey’s fake boyfriend was C. Thomas Howell? How could yours be worse?”

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because my fake boyfriend was – wait for it – Huey Lewis. HUEY LEWIS. With almost the entire cast of The Outsiders from which to choose, I went with Huey Lewis. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking, I was thinking, “I’m only nine and know no famous people, but I really like ‘The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll*,’ so…”

All of our fake boyfriends were originally claimed in a game we called “Boarding School,” in which we pretended we were the teenaged children of famous parents and thus went to boarding school. Naturally, we also all had famous boyfriends. My parents were Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley. Since I have just been reminded that Huey Lewis was my boyfriend, I looked both him and Billy Joel up on IMDB. Billy Joel was born in 1949. Huey Lewis? 1950. It must have been awkward the first time I brought him home, huh?

But I digress.

When we last left off, all four main characters had had their top secret love scenes committed to paper and at least two of these scenes had been desecrated by prying sisters’ eyes. All that was left was to write part of the movie that had any relevance to moving the plot along. For example, we knew that Crayon’s and Dan’s father was a workaholic with essentially no personal relationship with his children. It was very “Cat’s in the Cradle.” There were no actual scenes with Dan’s father depicting his estrangement, but we the screenwriters knew about it, and that’s really all that mattered.

The major theme of The Movie, however, was Drunk Driving and how It Is Bad. The theme came into play in several parts of the movie. Kasey’s parents, for example, were killed by a drunk driver, and that’s why she had moved in with her grandmother at the beginning of the movie. And I am just now remembering a scene at a bowling alley with almost the entire cast, including Vicki’s three or four older brothers, one of whom was played by Patrick Swayze and who was written as a very intimidating guy prone to angry outbursts such as the one that happened at the bowling alley which I will now paraphrase from memory:

KIM’S BOYFRIEND PLAYED BY JOHHNY DEPP: (amidst general friendly hubbub) Oh, man! I know! I can’t believe how drunk those guys got!

PATRICK SWAYZE: (angrily) Oh, you think it’s funny do you? When people drink and drive?

JOHNNY DEPP: (nervously) Hey, man, calm down!

PATRICK SWAYZE: Calm down? CALM DOWN? You expect me to calm down when my best friend was just recently killed by a drunk driver? And yet here I am yukking it up at a bowling alley with my far younger sister and her friends? And you all seem unaware of my best friend’s recent tragic death?

(a hush falls over the crowd broken by Crayon, who had not been paying attention)

CRAYON: Seventy-five dollars for a sweater? Kim, that is absolutely ridic- (notices the silence, blushes, and starts rummaging in her purse, mumbling) Where IS that cheese?

Patrick’s and Johnny’s lines are not verbatim, but they do represent the spirit of The Movie. In particular, in this scene, Patrick’s character exhibits a habit typical of all the characters in the movie, that of suddenly bursting out with critical, emotionally charged information with absolutely no warning. Crayon’s line at the end IS verbatim. It came back to me while I was typing the scene and is the comedic relief to ease the tension.

OK. So are you with me? We have now introduced the primary theme of drunk driving and you have been made aware of the situation with Dan and Crayon’s father. I can now reveal to you the opening scene of the movie, which was Dan and Crayon’s father standing at an as-yet unidentified grave, holding a piece of paper, and giving a speech about how he wishes he had paid more attention and been around when he had the chance. We hadn’t quite gotten around to writing his speech, but it was definitely going to be very moving and touching. And as he turns to leave, he drops the paper, which wafts slowly down in a breeze while the title card appears. The title of the movie was S.A.D.D., and as the scene fades to black, the paper turns and we see it is a child’s drawing of a daisy which becomes part of the movie’s title art.


And… scene.

This brings us to the climax of the movie, which is Dan, Crayon, and Vicki in a car, singing along to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” when out of nowhere, a car plows into them and causes a terrible crash. And after the sounds of squealing brakes and crunching metal have faded, the camera zooms in on the pile of twisted metal that is all that remains of Dan’s car and you hear the faint sounds of the song's refrain:

The good ol’ boys are drinking whiskey and rye
Singing “This’ll be the day that I die.”


The next scene was a funeral, and as the camera pans across the mourners we see Kim, Kasey, Vicki (she’s not dead!)… and Crayon (also not dead!). This means that Dan, I’m sorry to tell you, is in the coffin. And… is that a bandage on Crayon’s right hand? HER DRAWING HAND?

Yes, Dan’s car was hit by a drunk driver, and he was killed instantly. Crayon was OK except for the severe injury in her right hand which means she can never draw again. Her SUPER COOL nickname is now fraught with painful irony! Vicki escaped entirely unscathed save for a scratch on her nose.

Don’t think about it too hard, you’ll get a headache.

All this means of course that in the opening scene, the dad was standing at Dan’s grave, and the drawing of the daisy was one that Dan had made for him back when he was little. When he still cared.

Like I said, no melodrama whatsoever.

So remember: Drunk Driving Is Bad.

And also: Don’t Spend Your Life At The Office And Miss Out On Your Children Because It May One Day Be Too Late.

And finally: If Your Best Friend Was Just Killed And You Are Still Angry About It, Perhaps The Bowling Alley With Your Younger Sister’s Friends Is Not The Best Place To Be.

*And I still do. UH. Heart of rock ‘n’ roll still beatin’. In Cleveland.**



Mary said...

This post is hysterical. Also, I never knew about the movie. All this time I thought you guys were in a band.

Swistle said...

Oh my dear.

Also, you could not have been dating Huey Lewis, because he was MY boyfriend. I imagined him looking like Michael J. Fox, because of that Power of Love song in the Back to the Future movie.

Dr. Maureen said...

Mary: We were in a band. In addition to "Boarding School" we also used to play "The Dreamers." Both of these games were pre-movie but Kasey was getting bored with the make pretend games, so they morphed.

Swistle: At least you imagined him as looking like someone cute. I had absolutely no idea what Huey Lewis looked like. None. I knew he was in BttF, but I didn't know who he was and had to be told afterwards, and then I couldn't remember what that guy looked like because he spends most of his on-screen time with a megaphone over his face.

Also, the power of love? It's a curious thing. It can make one man weep, and another man sing.