Heather Graham is cute, and you all know it. Years and years ago, I sat with a group of people and watched the movie, "How to Get Ahead in Advertising". I didn't pick the movie. I didn't know the people there, too well. This took place in a house I was living in temporarily, a short term rental. The movie was rented by a room mate and the living-room full of people were friends of his. None of which matters much- except to say, being not extraordinarily comfortable in social situations anyhow, it made the following all that more awkward- and that was the fact that I laughed so hard at this movie tears ran down my cheeks. I snorted. I snarked. I covered my mouth trying to contain the embarrassing noises (wheezy type noises when I couldn't catch my breath, bursts of inappropriate giggling even after the funny scenes were over- cause the words or idea would echo in my head), that type thing.
I wasn't drunk or high that evening. Which was in and of it's self was a bit unusual for back then. But the thing about this, what makes it memorable, is the fact no one else there was laughing. Maybe a few dry chuckles- but when they were chuckling, I was gasping. And where they sat there blandly viewing, I was . . . gone.
I'm thankful for the fact the lights were off- just the glow of the TV. and my weird animal noises from the end of the couch.
And actually- the trade wasn't too bad- I was surprisingly transported and only had to pay a tiny bit of public embarrassment for it- in the end, the evening would be completely unmemorable to everyone else but me.
I haven't watched that movie since then. I don't know if I'd still find it so funny. But the point is, I think sometimes, many times, I'm out of step with the reactions and tastes of other people. Even people I like and respect. And that makes me wonder: (1) Why? (2) Is it permanent? (3) Do I mind- overly so?
The opposite has happened too. People roaring with laughter around me, and I'm going, "What? Did I miss something?" – Mostly in my head, Cause my need to be accepted and included in a clan of my peers, wouldn't allow me to ask the question out loud. Occasionally, I've whispered an inquiry to a trusted friend- the explanation does not often help.
But then SOMETIMES, I'm ahead of the game. I don't make a habit of pointing it out, or getting credit for it, but it has happened more than once.
You all might remember a little movie called "Reservoir Dogs"? Or another little movie called "Raising Arizona"? - I introduced those movies to at least a dozen people who'd never heard of them before. Yes, I did. Cool people. People "in the know". – Who went on to tell their friends, who told their friends, etc...
But then there was that time I did say, "There's this band called ‘Pearl Jam'- you've GOT to hear!"
It gets worse than that . . . Irish Folk Music; you just don't want to know.
Several months ago, an old friend of mine dropped by for a short visit on his way through the area. I said something, and I can't remember what it was, nothing too clever, but I used a funny voice- an old voice (not the voice of an old person) - but a voice that came from years before- where. And he laughed in automatic recognition of a time where things were funny in a certain way, but also sad in that same way- and ridiculous, and it was odd and nice to recognize that connection. I was really thankful and pleased he'd stopped by.
I'm not known for my sense of humor. I don't get the crowd cackling. Occasionally, when I'm not trying I can make a comment that hits a cord. This has only happened when I spoke honestly and without thought. Mostly, I'm considered a good listener and a not bad audience- except when I'm snarking at stuff and no one else is. Then, I have no idea what I'm considered- but it's o.k.
The thing that was so nice about seeing and hearing my friend laugh, is that I'd always loved to see him laugh. That didn't happen that often, back when I knew him. But when this guy laughs, everything changes, the room shifts and it doesn't matter if you get it or not you're just really happy you were there to see it. Back then, if I'd thought myself more capable of it, I would have tried harder- it's lovely to see.
I'm getting closer to that point where I can think honestly and openly and what's come of that is I laugh a hell of a lot more. I laugh often now and I'm not sure why. Occasionally, I also get to cry- that's not bad either. Anger doesn't scare or take me over so much anymore.
I think and say and write things, sometimes- just for my own personal amusement. I rely on the good manners and generosity of people around me just to let it pass. I don't push too hard, mind you. I'm making noises and voicing opinions that could be hit or miss with others, but it is generally allowed and absorbed without too many repercussions- which is lucky, cause sometimes I'm recklessly not too worried. Although, of course I'm worried! Who isn't? Just not so much. Not all of the time. And even as I wonder, I'm happy for it. You can't buy this with cash.
So, anyhow- I watched this movie the other afternoon, it came on TV. If you've seen it or do see it tell me what you think, would you? I cackled out loud. It was not great- but it had potential for greatness. It's called "Committed" with Heather Graham and my all-time favorite pretty-boy Croatian sex-pot Goran Visnjic (plays dark, moody tragic dr. on E.R.) I goggled it and the critics HATED it. For all the reasons they hated it, I could countere with hard-core reasons why they shouldn't have.
People say Heather Graham is not much of an actress, meaning she plays herself in every role. Do people give Robert Deniro shit for playing himself? I think not! She's a goofy, sweet, six foot blond goddess, who know how to kick-box. You don't like that? You lie like a rug!
Casey Affleck is in this movie, too. I'd never focused on him before, I've watched several movies he was in and only later heard he was in them- who the hell is this guy? So, I've figured out who he is and now I get to like Casey Affleck.
Here's the thing, I think the critics didn't get- it was quirky but without irony ( nonirony- irony, you had to be looking for). The message was there was no message. The many sight and dialogue gags- and ongoing non-theme, themes- the movie didn't pause to lead the audience to them. They skipped that "waaa- waaa-waa!" trombone, "here's a joke! Time to get it!" thing.
I wouldn't rest my reputation as one who knows how connect with hilarity and the company of man on this movie- but if you see it, let me know what you think- even if you think it's bad- I'll tell you why it isn't.