Incomplete Me

There is much I miss about my ex-girlfriend, but one of the greatest things was the way she opened me up to movies I would never, ever see on my own. There is no way I ever consciously would have made the decision to see or rent The English Patient, The Van or La Vita é Bella on my own, but with her I did and, to my surprise, enjoyed them. There were no Ninja Turtles in Jerry Maguire, nor were there giant robots at the Trees Lounge. But there we were, all the same. She even exposed me to films that I SHOULD have seen already, such as Blade Runner, THX 1138, and a theatrical presentation of The Rocky Horror Picture Show which I was reluctant to see when she said we should wear raincoats and bring toilet paper rolls, with no other explanation beyond, “you'll see.” We used to talk for hours on the phone about all the movies we had never seen and an evening at the theater usually ended with us curled up on a couch with two or three more movies from Blockbuster.

I'm not sure why there were and still are so many gaps in my viewing experience. In a few days I will have been on this planet for three decades, and much of my passivity still confounds me. I remember in high school a lot of the “cool” kids used to test my woefully inadequate musical knowledge by asking me to complete phrases like, ”Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to gooo, I wanna be _________” or ”I got something to say, I ________ your baby today!” For better or worse, I've since listened to a lot more music and would probably fare better on such a(n occasionally macabre) quiz, were I still in contact with any of those guys.

Netflix has proven a welcome ally these last few months in filling in my movie blanks. It will probably take me years to see everything, but already I'd be a much more formidable opponent in a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I try to switch up the order of movies in my queue, alternating between older things I should have seen long ago, newer movies, and the sort of thing I probably wouldn't pick up in a video store. Tonight for example I saw Everyone Says I Love You, a genius musical parody with an amazing cast, classic tunes, and clever unexpected lines. It's just the sort of thing she would have recommended. Come to think of it, there may have been times in the video store that she picked it up and I shook my head. Shows what I know. When a good buddy of mine was first married, I used to tease him about all the Lifetime movies he used to rave about. Truth be told though, had I ever gotten married I probably would have done the same thing. A good woman can expose a man to things he'd be too stupid or embarrassed to discover on his own. Otherwise he's just a guy without a rib. We would often mock the ”You complete me” and “You had me at Hello” portion of Jerry Maguire, each of us embellishing our respective lines with extra sap. But I think in the archetypal sense, there really is a lot of truth to it. A good woman can complete a man.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, the Lifetime movies were good but depressing! Not for nothing, there's only so many times that I can see the heroic tale of an anorexic abused wife whose sister was just killed by her husband.


11/02/2004 10:32 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Everyone Says I Love You is one of my all time favorite films. Darrell doesn't much care for it, actually he despises it, but I love it to death. I noticed it said in your profile that you were from NY? Are you from NYC, or somewhere else? I am originally from Long Island until about 3 or 4 years ago I guess it was when I moved to VA.

2/20/2005 10:11 PM  

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