|Alphabetical movie - D.O.A
||[Jun. 7th, 2011|03:47 pm]
D.O.A is not a particularly good film. I'm not talking about the noir classic, mind you. I'm talking about the 1980's remake with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. It isn't very good at all.
Yet, I've watched it a lot because it provided one of those touchstone moments in my life.
The year was 1988 and about two years prior, I'd dumped a very nice and pretty young girl for reasons that I quite honestly can't even remember. Pretty much I think I was young and I wasn't ready for a serious relationship. As one might imagine, the intervening time was not filled with positive interactions between the two of us and I pretty much deserved that.
Anyway, we ended up working together and began to get along and one night, we decided to go out and see a movie together. I don't believe either one of us defined it as a "date" but it certainly ended up being one. In fact it ended up being a date that culminated in an all night make out session.
The movie we saw was D.O.A and we've been together ever since.
It is not a particularly romantic movie to serve as the moment the two of us got together but the fact that it is that touchstone means that I watch it quite frequently. I will probably even buy a copy of it on Blu-ray.
Strangely, I can think of very few other films that have provided a cultural touch point for me. I don't connect movies I've watched with important moments in my life. Yet this one is important because there is a considerable gap between my life before the film and my life after.
The movie itself is rather badly dated. I'm not just talking about hair styles and clothing choices but rather the way it tells the story. Our hero is trying to solve a mystery before he dies but for a ticking clock movie, the clock doesn't seem to be ticking particularly quickly.
In fact, the whole thing seems rather languid. It lacks an urgency that feels important to the way the story is being told. More recent movies would truck right along to ensure we remember that our hero hasn't got a lot of time to get his work done. That kind of rapid pacing may be the incorrect choice for a lot of films but it would have served to improve D.O.A.
Also, outside of the good performances turned in by Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Daniel Stern, the majority of the cast seems to be sleepwalking through their roles. They seem almost bored with the whole thing.
Yet, I return to the movie again and again because it has an emotional impact that has nothing to do with what is on screen.
Interestingly, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid began dating while making this movie. I take some pride in the fact that almost twenty-five years later, they are no longer together but we are. Take that, Hollywood!
Next up, get out of the way for Dodgeball!