Cinematic randomness a.k.a. I really just want to talk about the retard from Pumpkin
Two Saturdays ago I saw Margot at the Wedding, which was neither here nor there. I totally forgot Jack Black was in it. He got busted making out with a teenager and started doing this crazy crying that I thought was a joke but was meant to be real and I felt even less compassion for the man than I normally do. I hesitate to put him into No Fat Dudes for being engaged to Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character and for inexplicably winning over a youngster or else my on again off again category will be overwhelmingly dominated by Jack Black.
James said I remind him of Margot and her son, which is just nuts because I’m neither an attractive, self-serving, Barnard-educated, New Yorker-published Jewish Manhattanite nor a beleaguered, precocious and inappropriate preteen boy with B.O. who likes to cook popovers.
I’m more moved by trailers for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Even though I have no first-hand experience with ‘80s art scene (though I would like to see Richard Prince’s Guggenheim retrospective before it closes) or any particular loathing of it, I want to not be drawn to Julian Schnabel’s film. But every time I see the damn preview (twice now) I feel like bawling. I don’t know if it’s the music, imagery or what, (maybe it’s the thought of blogging through blinks of an eyelid that brings tears to my eyes) but something weasels into my psyche every time. I also get choked up at that horrible tugging-at-your-heartstrings ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan so maybe I’m just a sap.
It was this past Saturday that I became mesmerized by Pumpkin, a film I wasn’t terribly moved by when it came out five years ago. It’s still pretty middling, though I’ve become dumber with age because parts were funnier than I remembered. Maybe my chemistry is out of whack, but the main reason I couldn’t turn the channel was because I was blindsided by the hotness of Hank Harris, the retarded title character who gets laid by pre-scrawny Christina Ricci (though I do apprecaite the IMDB commenter who thought she was fat and disgusting in this movie). I didn’t find him hot in the least during my original viewing. And now there’s something about the way his hair flops, his slack mouth, the gym shorts, how love encouraged him out of his wheelchair…
It’s very wrong. It bums me out that I can’t speak as freely of my non-ironic tard-love as I used to. I don’t know if the climate had become less accepting or if I’m just more mature and sensitive to insulting the disabled. I do think it’s must that I see Billy the Kid, though.
The strangest part of my Hank Harris fascination is that I declared him unstalkable nearly a decade ago for his obnoxious portrayal of Chef Boyardee’s Beefy Boy. A most improved award is definitely in order. Though I can’t find any current photos of him and scary things happen to E-list youngsters as they age. I’ll just pretend I didn’t see this newsboy cap bedecked shot with Kumar. What’s more frightening is that he’s wearing the same freaking hat a week later with Eddie McClurg.
Because I’m frequently unable to move off of the couch evenings and weekends, I also watched the movie after Pumpkin, George Washington (I managed to get up when Bread and Roses followed that) and was kind of blown away by its goodness. I don’t know why I never saw it originally. It’s kind of everything that Pumpkin isn’t: compelling, natural, real, gritty and beautiful to look at the same time. The dead opposite of campy, sad in a way that’s resigned but not tragic. I read the New York Times review and they almost painted it as a children’s movie, or at least a movie that would be appropriate for children. I definitely didn’t see any films like this as a kid, and still feel tormented by Oliver! and the time my dad rented European Vacation (which I watched last night for the first time) and my mom made him turn it off at the first sign of nudity.