Friday, January 14, 2005

Great Movie Moments 4

Before I began to despise Joel Schumacher (I've since forgiven him and Val Kilmer for the travesty they unleashed, but I boycotted them both for years...It's geeky, I know) I fell in love with one of his movies. And by in love, I mean in love. It's one of a handful of movies I have memorized. And by memorized, I mean memorized, from beginning to end, dialogue, scenes, everything.

St. Elmo's Fire

It's a sentimental film, mushy, a bit over the top at times I suppose, but it's also one of the first films I remember seeing and loving. While Jurassic Park may be resposible for my infatuation and overall love of movies, this one set me on the path.

The moment

The camera pans down past a Woody allen poster over a fireplace. Brat Packer Andrew McCarthey lies on his bed, sunglasses on, cigarette in hand, goofy hat on his head. Aretha Franklin's Respect begins to play, always recognizable by that guitar intro. He sits up and begins to sing along with the song and after her voice kicks in he plays along on a pair of bongo's.

"Oooh Oooh What you want, baby I got it..."

I don't know why exactly, but it's one of my favorite scenes ever, maybe because it captures perfectly the kind of ludacris things we do when we're alone. Maybe it's just the way he sings the song, off key, and a slightly behind in the tempo so that his voice seems to echo Aretha's. The movie as a whole remains one of my all-time favorite films, and this scene is forever etched into my mind, so much so that whenever I hear the song I begin to mimick his voice and movements (and his question too his roomate when he gets walked in on, "Quick, What's the meaning of life?")

I know what I'll be watching tonight.


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