August 13th, 2003
For years I have taken pride in the fact that I have not once ever walked out of a movie before. The last time I came close was when I saw Vanilla Sky, but I held on by some perverse thin thread of hope that the explanation provided at the end would be worth the two and half fucking hours of boredom I'd been through. (The explanation was good, but the film overall was terrible.)
I walked out of Gigli.
I just couldn't take it. For one, it was shrill and ugly. Nobody talks in the film. They all yell. For two, there's a normal actor playing a retard in a horrible way. It was very embarassing to watch. For three, I had to drive myself to the theater so I couldn't drink. And for four, there were more people in the theater than just us. I couldn't be loud and yell "THIS IS SHIT" at the screen as I'd hoped. I don't like being loud in a theater with other people who are not participating in the fun, mostly because I don't like it when people are loud in theaters when I'm not participating in the fun.
But I just couldn't handle all this shit and no outlet. I couldn't take it.
So fuck you Ben Affleck, fuck you Jennifer Lopez, fuck you producers, fuck you screenwriter, fuck you extra people who wasted your money, and fuck me for wasting my money.
It is perfectly OK, Lynn, I do not hold you responsible. You are still an Okay Cool Kid.
Ah, but was it worse than The Hulk?
Seriously, I'm sorry that you've been seeing so many turkeys lately. Go rent The Muppet Movie, it puts a cool salve on the rage.
I went home and put on Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.
Equilibrium, she has been restored.
See, that was my third choice, after The Princess Bride.
Well, put it this way.
Kid's got some Undefined Mental Disability. They never actually say what he has in the film, only that "he's not right in the head." That's pretty much a literal quote there.
Judging from what he says and does, it's as if the screenwriter vaguely knew about autism and about Tourette's Syndrome, or maybe he looked 'em up on the Internet, and mixed them both in with the "Hey, People With Downs Syndrome Are Simple Yet Noble" cliche ("Simple Yet Noble" is also reserved, you may recall, for very small children and the elderly, especially senile elderly people near death. Any word that comes out of their mouth is instantly deep, profound and philosophical, as if they have some kind of extra-special connection with the spiritual on the basis of their physical and mental state.)
This doesn't really mean much other than the character of the boy gets to say really stupid things when the script calls for it, to shut up when the script calls for it, to make cryptic references to "the Baywatch" (his favorite television show, a la 'Wapner') when the script calls for it, to blurt out nonsense cuss words at a rapid pace because hey, isn't that all that Tourette's does? ("I want my sunflower seeds YOU FUCKSHITPISSFART") to blurt out things like "she makes my penis sneeze! heeheeheeheehee!" (that's a high-pitched whiny laugh, of course) when talking about an attractive woman and to, when the script calls for it, break into gangsta rap for no reason at all. I'm sure that at some point between my walking out and the end of the film, he also opened his mouth at an opportune moment and provided the One Profound Comment That Puts Everything Into Perspective Between Affleck and Lopez.
Add to this Affleck's constant beratement of the boy ("Would you SHUT THE FUCK UP!" "Would you SPEAK FUCKING NORMAL FOR ONCE" "GO INTO THE OTHER ROOM AND FUCKING STAY THERE AND DON'T FUCKING COME OUT" "DON'T FUCKING DO THAT!") that made me cringe more times than I could count, and the fact that the actor's portrayal of the kid hovers between the Eighth Grader's Impression of "Corky" From Life Goes On and the Eighth Grader's Impression Of Rain Man, well, guess what? "Retard" is not only the closest description of what the screenwriter and actor clearly perceived the character to be, but it's also the most genteel thing that's been said about him, even as I wrote it in anger.
Nothing wrong with walking out of a movie, Count Spatula. There have been many films where I now wish I had possessed the good sense to flee. For instance, when NateDawg dragged me to Battlefield Earth (!!!), I know I shoulda ran. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda. Instead, I clutched my jacket like it was my blanky and cooed to myself while sucking my thumb and remembering how much I liked Legos growing up.