Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Another example. In Sleepless in Seattle, one of the main plot points is that the female characters are romantically obsessed with the film An Affair to Remember. Meg Ryan and her friends can't even discuss this movie without bursting into tears. Of course, the funniest moment in Sleepless comes when Tom Hanks, imitating Rita Wilson's teary summary of the Cary Grant classic, breaks down crying as he and his buddy discuss The Dirty Dozen.
Anyway, the reason I bring all that up is because just the other night I was watching The Dark Knight on cable. There's a scene when Batman is interrogating the Joker (played brilliantly by Heath Ledger) that goes something like this:
The Joker: I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No. No. You . . . you complete me.
So my question is this:
When the hell did the frigging Joker have the time or inclination to go see Jerry Maguire? It just seems a little, I don't know, anachronistic to me. Did the Joker, in full makeup and neurosis, drive over to the Gotham City AMC, purchase a large buttered popcorn and a box of Raisinets, then sit down and enjoy the romantic entanglements of a sports agent and his love-struck assistant? Doesn't really seem like his type of movie, to say the least. Nightmare on Elm Street, sure, I'll buy that. Maybe even some underground Nazi war movie. Hard core porn wouldn't surprise me at all.
But Jerry Maguire?
Batman: Why do you want to kill me?
Joker: I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? I love doing battle with you. I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
This would be funnier if you could hear me talking and if I could do a passable Joker impression, but I think you get the idea.
Kind of makes me want to see a Dark Knight prequel, so we get a better look into the Joker's backstory. Maybe he used to be a sappy sort of guy, you know, pre-dementia. Maybe he took his wife out to quiet restaurants, ordered the finest champagne, and then took her out on the town. Maybe on the weekends they'd make muffins together, take long walks on the beach, and then go home and watch Casablanca on their DVD player. Until one day, EL SNAPPO! He becomes the Joker, goes on a homicidal rampage, and quotes Tom Cruise.
Weirder things have happened, I suppose.