A Movie (not) to Die For
This is the missing segment of a post I wrote for Mmm Mondays about movie stars — including Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette — who I’ve crushed on. This piece didn’t fit in that post, but it was a story that wanted to be told.
There is one film that will always make me say, “Mmm.”
Spoiler alert: it isn’t any of Sonny Chiba’s Street Fighter movies. I haven’t seen them, and I wouldn’t watch them if you paid me to, unless you were paying me to fuck a lonely nerd who works in a comic store.
Depression has had me in its jaws for more than thirty years, and sometimes it bites down hard. During one of the longest, darkest, most desperate periods of my life, when all I could feel was the black dog’s canines tearing my flesh, and nothing, not even love — especially not love — could help me, I would watch one film three, four, five… sometime a dozen times a day.
For a few months, a few years ago, Christian Slater kept me alive. I could put the DVD of True Romance on knowing it would help me say, “Mmm, maybe it’s worth living for another two hours.”
Two hours later, I’d say, “Mmm, I should watch that again. Right now.”
I can’t say for certain why that film worked the way it did. Certainly, Christian Slater’s squinting intensity has always had a powerful attraction, and as for Patricia Arquette’s whore—
“I’m a call-girl. There’s a difference, you know?”
—sorry, Patricia Arquette’s call-girl — her confidence and courage were everything I lacked. I wanted to love as intensely and completely as her, to bask in sunshine and coolness like her, to scream like her while I clubbed the monster to death with a shotgun.
But I think it was Clarence — Christian Slater’s character — who kept me alive. Christian was three years older than Happy Harry Hard-on (Pump Up the Volume), five years older than JD (Heathers), and playing a man rather than an angsty teenager.
Clarence was still young, still trying to find his purpose in the world, but still, undeniably, a man. Granted, that man was obviously Tarantino’s self-insert hero fantasy — movie nerd beats the…