Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm sorry, but I still love Tom Cruise

Say what you will about Tom Cruise: that he's a crazy freak, that he never deserved Nicole Kidman, that he champions the strangest religion in America (and that's including the polygamists), that he and Katie Holmes have some kind of arrangement that has nothing to do with falling in love, that "Cruise" was kind of a strange last name to pick for himself, that Suri might be an alien...And you'd be right. But there's still something about him that's strangely compelling. You want to watch him on TV appearances, because he's totally fake but he's playing "Charming Movie Star" better than he ever has.

At this point maybe I should confess that in high school, I had a bit of a thing for Tom. I was on a quest to watch every Tom Cruise movie possible, and am slightly embarrassed to admit that there are fewer Tom Cruise movies I HAVEN'T seen than ones I have. My friends and I rewound and watched the "volleyball scene" from Top Gun over and over, and sneaked into Jerry Maguire by buying tickets for a movie that wasn't rated R (I'm sorry to say it was one of the most rebellious acts of my high school years). My obsession hit its peak when I went through all four years' worth of back issues of Entertainment Weekly I had stashed in my closet and cut out every single picture of Tom and made them into a giant collage, which I hung on my bedroom wall over my bed.



But before you write me off entirely, keep in mind that there are a lot of good Tom Cruise movies, and don't tell me that when you're flipping through the channels and see A Few Good Men, The Color of Money, Mission Impossible, or Interview with a Vamprie you don't stop to watch them. In fact, I bet you'd even watch Cocktail or Losin' It. Tom Cruise brought us the Pervvy Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia; he's still what a lot of people think of when they think of amputee veterans; and he gave us all of the idea to use an autistic person to count cards in Vegas.

But Tom's real contribution to the landscape of American cinema is that he is the embodiment--if the not the very creator--of an American ideal we may not realize we have: being cocky is acceptable, even likable, as long as you are a handsome guy with heart. Whether it's a cocky fighter pilot, a cocky lawyer going up against Jack Nicholson, or a cocky, scrappy Irishman trying to fight his way into a enough cash to make it Out West, we find ourselves rooting for him over and over again. Cocky teenager who turns his parents' home into a whorehouse when they're on vacation? Awesome! Cocky sports agent who wins the heart of a single mom? I know I should be cringing but I'm tearing up instead. Cocky Upper East Side doctor who gets caught in a web of sexual desire? You know you want to stick around to see that orgy scene.

Maybe where Tom went wrong in his real life is trying too hard NOT to be cocky. Because it's the attempted earnestness that turns everyone off. If instead of jumping up and down on Oprah's couch proclaiming "I love her!" he simply said, "Katie Holmes is a hottie, my religion may be weird but so is Christianity, I'm an Oscar winner, and p.s., I'm rich, bitches, so shut the hell up," THEN flashed that movie star grin, we'd fall for him the same way Charlie does in Top Gun.

But even if that doesn't happen, I'm still with ya, Tom. If things don't work out with Katie you just give me a call and I'd be happy to live in your mansion and have your babies. Just as long as Nicole doesn't mind.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am with you totally! and what a carrer!
he is hot
fresh pic: http://buzznet-00.vo.llnwd.net/media/jj1/2007/07/tom-tempelhof/tom-cruise-tempelhof-airport-05.jpg

Jeff said...

Puhleeze.

Finally, when Tom got braces, at least one thing about him will be straight.

Actually, I know he’s really straight because when I fucked him, he was crying like a baby!

Anonymous said...

i think i got a hard on from that kissing scene in top gun. you know the one. the one where you can see some tongue slip. play, rewind, play, rewind, play, rewind, play.

Sarah said...

I was amongst that volleyball-scene, and sneaking-into-jerry-maguire group os friends! Good call, I had nearly forgotten about that. What did we buy tickets for... the crucible? I know we had to see that extra credit in Ms. Everett's class...