Monday, August 17, 2009

Choose Me

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About those movies that I like in spite of myself (see August 10th below: "Monday: Pop Quiz"). Here's why:

Talladega Nights (2006): because of the hilarious table grace & the cougar named Karen.

Zoolander (2001): because of the School for Ants.

The Terminator (1984): because, unlike the follow-ups, this one resembles real science fiction (Harlan Ellison &Philip K. Dick), not just special effects.

Another movie that I'm crazy about, not so much in spite of myself, but rather unaccountably, is Choose Me (1984). The setting is dreamy and offbeat, like One From the Heart (1982), which I mentioned on my Fortnightly blog not too long ago (see "Child Beheads Mannequin," Monday, June 15, 2009). Both movies are accompanied perfectly by sultry signature songs: "One From the Heart" by Tom Waits and Crystal Gale; and "You're My Choice Tonight (Choose Me)" by Teddy Pendergrass.

Choose Me is the kind of movie that I recommend to my friends and they say, "Why did you tell me to watch that? What do you like about that odd movie?" Well, first, I have just adored Lesley Anne Warren ever since she portrayed Cinderella on television in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (1965); and, second, Keith Carradine ever since he sang "I'm Easy," in Nashville (1975); and, third, Genevieve Bujold ever since Coma (1978), not to mention King of Hearts / Le roi de couer (1966) and her portrayal of Cassandra in The Trojan Women (1971).

In Choose Me, Lesley Anne Warren is named Eve (Everywoman) and her bar is called "Eve's" (named not for her but for the previous owner, another Everywoman). I've always been intrigued by the poster you can see on the wall (in the apartment not the bar) that says, if you look really close: "She often thought of killing him." Whoa!

But what I like most about this movie and always have liked is the imperative title -- CHOOSE ME! That's what has stayed in my mind. Isn't that what we all really want? And the people who can't or won't do that -- well, to heck with them. The only people in whom it's worth investing time & emotion are those who are into us, those who choose us. I love lots of movies (everything Christmas, everything Meryl Streep, everything Kristin Scott Thomas), but if I have to choose just one, I always choose Choose Me.

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