Sunday, May 13, 2012

No. 753 – Look What You’ve Done to Me

Performer: Boz Scaggs
Songwriters: Boz Scaggs, David Foster
Original Release: single
Year: 1980
Definitive Version: The one that has The Eagles on backing vocals, not the one from Urban Cowboy.

Laurie and I were talking the other day about a play she saw that involved an infidelity and how it didn’t work for her for various reasons, and it reminded me of my criticism with the movie Fatal Attraction.

You know what the fatal flaw is, right? No, not the hackneyed Jason-Is-Still-Not-Dead finale. To me, it was inconceivable that Michael Douglas would cheat on Anne Archer with Glenn Close. That’s a trade down in my opinion. Yeah, I know, it’s about opportunity and desire. Anne Archer’s character was withdrawn. Glenn Close’s character was available. So what? The basic premise didn’t work.

I recall voicing this same opinion one Saturday in the Journal sports department and being met with an overwhelming wave of agreement: No way if you’re married to someone who looks like Anne Archer do you have any interest in someone who looks like Glenn Close.

I’m not old-fashioned: It’s simply bad casting. If you want me to buy in and tell me a story about infidelity, then cast, say, Virginia Madsen. Yes, I would potentially throw away Anne Archer for a chance with Virginia Madsen. I’m on board; now tell me whatever it is you want to tell me.

Exhibit A: Urban Cowboy, which made this song unforgettable because of its inclusion in the slow-burn scene when Travolta’s character goes back to the high-rise apartment of the woman he picks up at the bar. The woman was Madolyn Smith, who was stone-cold stunning.

No one could convince me that Madolyn Smith wasn’t the hottest woman on the planet in 1980 when this movie came out. Those eyes? That hair? That smile? Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Of course, Urban Cowboy’s fatal flaw was that Travolta’s character really wants Debra Winger and goes back to her at the end. (Spoiler alert!) I guess the heart wants but the heart wants, but as an audience-member, I’m not making that purchase.

Anyway, do you detect a theme here? When it comes to celebrity crushes, mine typically tend to the more obscure—always have. When Farrah’s omnipresent red bikini and Pepsodent smile reigned supreme over the fantasies of millions of teenagers, I was ogling the awesome curves of Lynda Carter. Wonder Woman, any day of the week!

Lynda Carter, Madolyn Smith, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly (The Rocketeer!!), even Salma Hayek, at first. These all were women who flew a bit below the radar of public opinion but at one time were the tops of the pops on my babe list. Pamela Anderson? Yeah, she’s all right, but give me Natascha McElhone. Rent The Truman Show. Nuff Said. Yes, I would sail to the ends of the earth—or into the wall of the set I lived on (another spoiler alert!)—for her.

She still might be No. 1 for me. I’ve never seen Californication, the current Showtime series in which the ravishing Ms. McElhone plays the sometimes girlfriend of the philandering David Duchovny. Yes, it’s a whole series—or at least the first few seasons were—about him cheating on her.

Any guesses as to the probability of me pulling out my wallet regarding that particular plot premise?

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