Next Time Consult Me
By Joe Florance:
That Star Wars article in April got stuck in my craw.
And do you know why?
It's because I don't have any say in the matter.
No one is consulting me on any of these decisions!
If they did, then so many things would have never happened.
Unrung bells are everywhere, and it is all I hear.
DING DONG all day long.
That's why movies bother me.
Good, bad, does it matter?
Want an example?
"You can't have a problem with Fight Club!"
It's a sacred cow, for sure, and I get it. It's a cool film.
"First rule of fight club is . . . you do not talk about fight club."
"Second rule of fight club is . . . you do not talk about fight club."
I absolutely love that.
The anti-corporation stuff, the fighting, the name Tyler Durden, how dark it is, the late-great Meatloaf, all that Fincher does—really a cool feel in the movie, and I would love it, but I can't let go of one thing.
When Edward Norton starts fighting with Tyler and people gather around and decide they want to fight as well, our heroes quickly realize they've caught lightning in a bottle. Fight clubs spring up everywhere, and the next stop is REVOLUTION!
Uh, hold the phone, Zapata.
This would never have happened, and here's why:
When we find out that Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt's character, exists only in Edward Norton's head, that sort of changes the entire movie!!!!
Norton and Pitt were never fighting!
Norton was fighting himself, and we even see him writhing on the ground punching himself like a freaking lunatic.
That is going to start a revolution?
No, it is not.
That is going to get Norton arrested, because eventually someone is going to call the cops.
Revolution and movie over.
It makes no sense at all.
Cannot get past it.
One other thing: at the end, Norton shoots himself in the head to kill Tyler, who is a made-up personality created by Norton's brain.
And it works! Tyler is no more.
And Norton lives! After shooting himself in the head.
So anyone with multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia should just shoot themselves in the head?
A tough pill to swallow!
Conceptually, I can't abide. The Flo can't abide.
But the movie is still killer to watch—Project Mayhem, et al.—it really is killer!
Unlike Ed Norton's head, the movie itself dodged a bullet and is considered by most a fantastic film.
My main example is another film.
Very different is tone and also pretty much universally liked.
I remember liking it when I saw it in the theater.
The movie I'm referring to is Dave.
Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver—Kline looks a lot like the president, and when the actual pres has a stroke or something, Kline is recruited to step in just for a few photo shoots so that the country doesn't go berserk.
Remember Dave now?
It's a fun film. It honestly is.
I think you will like it for sure.
Kevin Kline is just so awesome.
Love me some Kline.
Frank Langella is also great, and so is Charles Grodin.
Just don't think at all.
You can't in this one.
You can think and dismiss the issues in Fight Club, but not in Dave.
If you love Dave and you consider Dave as one of your all times, then stop reading right now and forget I ever mentioned this.
If you are wanting to live in the light no matter the cost, then continue reading.
Okay, you want it, you got it, Toyota.
Here's the IMDB logline for the movie Dave:
An uncanny presidential lookalike named Dave is recruited by the Secret Service to become a momentary stand-in for the president of the United States.
Conceptually, we have a problem.
Right off the bat!
I'm to believe that there is a man who looks and sounds so much like the president that he can pass as the president and no one would know. So he is his identical twin? Because even identical twins look different from each other; so how could Dave, not the identical twin of the president, look and sound (don't forget sound) so much like the president to fool everyone?!? He couldn't. That is impossible.
It stops at the beginning.
Now, to be fair, I did not think that going in.
I love Kevin Kline! Let's see it!
These thoughts came after watching the movie because of the movie.
You did this, movie.
I didn't do it. I'm just along for the ride.
You took us this way, movie.
Shame on you, movie.
The Prez needs a stand-in because he is going on a secret date with Laura Linney.
Kline shows up and does it but adds a line cuz he was caught up in the moment.
Fun. All fun.
The Prez has a heart attack while having sex or something, and now the country needs Dave!
His handlers teach Dave what to do, and Dave accepts this mission, and it is really fun!
Throwing the first pitch at the baseball game, playing with the dogs on the White House lawn, you name it.
Dave gets bold and adjusts the national budget! Love it, and it is a great scene because what can his handlers do?! Nothing, that's what.
Please understand all of this is great. It's a fun movie . . . but . . . I started thinking.
I have a memory that I don't think is apocryphal, but it could be.
My thought while watching this for the first time was, how is this going to end?
And then, how could it end?
Dave has to fake his own death as the president because the real president, who he is standing in for, died.
Okay, this is neat and tidy.
Put a bow on it. Hell, put a bird on it.
What a fun movie; but wait, it is just getting started.
Dave doesn't go back to his boring job finding other people jobs. As the fake Prez, Dave created a program to get everyone in the country a job. That's funny because real Dave does this in his real Dave life. Huh? And real Dave looks AND SOUNDS exactly like the president. Huh?
Do you feel the thinking?
I would think when President Dave did the job program, people from real Dave's town were probably like, "Wait a sec, doesn't real Dave (they call him Our Dave), doesn't Our Dave do that? And doesn't Our Dave look AND SOUND just like the president? And where has Our Dave been? We haven't seen Our Dave for some time." Huh?
But I can ignore that, it's a movie, right? It's not like real Dave would get back to his real Dave life and become a politician or something (haha), he couldn't do that, right?!?
That is exactly what he does! Dave—Our Dave, spitting image of President Dave—leaves the White House after he was fake president and decides to run for office as real Dave?
Look, a lot of people run for office.
This all went in the memory hole.
No one would ever connect Our Dave to some sort of crazy doppelgänger conspiracy theory (haha), don't be silly.
It's not like the First Lady would show up at Our Dave's town to continue a relationship with him. You know her husband, the president of the United States, just died, and now she is going out with a man who looks AND SOUNDS exactly like her dead president husband.
That would be completely ridiculous and could not happen: OH, BUT IT DID!!!!!!