Tuesday, January 20, 2009
A Part-Time Job In A Grocery Store
Much has been said about Mickey Rourke's comeback in The Wrestler, and I don't disagree. Sometimes you meet your material -- hell, I've been waiting for Hollywood to stop putting out bullshit happy endings that any dullard can feel good about or on the other side, movies so strange and slow that you feel obligated to tell everyone how great they are because you endured two or more hours of hell. Not so with The Wrestler. The world of professional wrestling is portrayed with excruciating detail, a world I remember very well from my childhood when my great grandmother used to wake me up in the middle of the night to watch fights warning me not to tell my mother. I loved sitting on the couch with her, the bad guys, the good guys, the really tight tights, the crazy stage make-up. What wasn't to love?
The Wrestler is about pretense, about how your fake name and fake life(whether it be for wrestling or stripping -- a part played by the always excellent Marissa Tomei) becomes a deep part of you. In Rourke's case, he loathes his real name (Robin) and finds it on his name-tag at his part-time job in a grocery store much to his horror; in Tomei's case, she desperately tries to escape her stripper name and cling to her identity as Pam, a mother of a young son. Both are slaves to the trappings of their professions; both have sold parts of their soul to endure in a harsh world. I enjoy fantasy as much as the next person -- truth be told, reading Playboy (don't ask), opiates, and doing the rosary got me through my first two nights out of the hospital where I couldn't sleep or stave off the pain. But underneath every fantasy, there's the marks where the costumes once were. In this movie, they have been in place so long that there are scars of all sorts, the marking of better days. Things don't get easier, just harder to deny.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I always knew I'd accomplish something very special - like robbing a bank perhaps." Mickey Rourke
Drinking story suggestion: Check out Jim's latest short story win, a 2nd place finish for a short story called "If You'd Only Pay Attention." You can access the following link for a visual representation of the story: http://jrthumbprints.blogspot.com/2009/01/if-youd-only-pay-attention.html. Congratulations, Jim!
Benedictions and Maledictions