Saturday, September 16, 2006 

I Want a Girl Like You

This is for Ava, who was bursting at the seams with excitement, waiting for a new blog entry. That's adorable, by the way.

I was up late one night (I should say early morning rather, it was nearly 4am) watching Flirting with Disaster on HBO and for some reason I got to thinking: which women have portrayed significant others so well that you almost wished your S.O. was like them?

I'll name five:

5. Danielle, (Elisha Cuthbert), The Girl Next Door --

This seemed as if it tried really hard to be this generation's Risky Business. There are plenty of similarities and parallels. Risky Business, however, was a drama about an extraordinary situation whereas The Girl Next Door was a comedy about a boyhood fantasy. Either way, just like Rebecca DeMornay's Lana, despite being a prositute, provided the uber-experienced sexual minx in a coming-of-age story twenty-two years ago, Cuthbert's 'Danielle' took it a step even further by being yet another type of sex worker (a more socially acceptable one in 2005?) very proficient in her chosen profession. When she catches her next door neighbor, a young high school senior, Matthew, spying on her through her window as she undresses, she doesn't ring his doorbell to rat him out to his parents, oh no. She INTRODUCES herself. AGGRESSION, ASSERTIVENESS: traits to be admired and once again, every little boy's fantasy.

4. Lena Leonard, (Emily Watson), Punch-Drunk Love --

There was just something very "off" yet completely sweet that I liked about Lena. The first time she meets Barry (Adam Sandler) she's very take charge and understanding about his shortcomings, specifically his overbearing and obnoxious clan of sisters. She has his sister introduce the two of them, waits until she leaves and then heads back in and basically arranges her own date with Barry, seemingly not giving him much of an opportunity to turn her down: "Would you like to go out and eat with me? Would you like to pick me up? I'll write down my address and phone number." All in their first meeting. She also isn't shy about her intentions: "I saw your picture. I wanted to meet you." How do you not love a woman that forward yet still manages to not be slutty about it and maintains the air and class of a total lady? Emily rocked in this despite the fact that she's not one of those actresses with a banging body or that is immediately mentioned when people talk about "sexy" or "hot" celebrities. Another aggressive honey who was also CLASSY and QUIRKY.

3. Alabama Whitman/Worely (Patricia Arquette), True Romance --

Watching Flirting with Disaster, I thought Alabama would end up being my number one. I find Arquette really cute in her own way and good lord, her rack! If you ever get the opportunity to see Flirting... her goods are prominently on display throughout (though never topless). Nearly everything about Alabama at the start of True Romance is a sham; falsehoods made up so that she could better pretend to get along with her mark, Clarence (Christian Slater). But after a night out that ends in sex, the two end up really falling for each other and Alabama turns out to be just as, if not more, cool than the person she was pretending to be. I think one of the first things that caught my eye about her when I first saw this movie way back when is that when Clarence goes to get her things from her former employer, Alabama stays behind watching A Better Tomorrow II. That's gangsta (not to mention her totally unexpected reaction to what Clarence did for her: "I think that is think that what you did was so...ROMANTIC!"). Alabama's most commendable trait? LOYALTY. 'Bama was down for Clarence no matter what he did, no matter how illegal or bone-headed it was and she would ride with him to the death, if need be, to protect him. The major ass kicking she takes at the hands of James Gandolfini's character is proof of that. I loved that about Alabama. She supported Clarence no matter what and it didn't take them YEARS to develop that bond; it took hours.

2. Evelyn Ann Thompson/Eve, (Rachel Weisz), The Shape of Things --

The first time I saw this movie, I only saw the second half (and it's shocking conclusion) and I fell immediately in love with Eve. Even after the movie was over, I couldn't bring myself to dislike her. Eve was SMART, for one, and she had HER OWN MIND, her own opinions about things and liked to debate them intelligently with whomever. She didn't wait for a man to show her new things or to bring something to the table, she was her own woman so she introduced HIM to new ideas and challenged HIM mentally. There was so much to like about Eve. From her free-spirit spontaneity to her style of dress, Eve was basically perfect from top to bottom, so you know it all had to be too good to be true. And it was. But she still owns.

1. Sam (Natalie Portman), Garden State --

I never thought Portman playing a pathological liar would top my list but here she sits for her portrayal of Sam in Garden State. Sam best encompasses every thing I liked in every woman I listed before (except for Arquette's gorgeous natural rack, of course, but I'm talking intangibles). Sam is cute and witty like Eve. She exudes innocence while still coming off as a mature woman like Lena. She came with a host of idiosyncrasies that, while strange, only made her more endearing and human. And she didn't mind making the first move when she meets Large for the first time in the doctor's office. She's the whole package. It was sweet that she didn't want Largeman to leave and head back home at the end. I think we all can relate to those flings that are intended to be short but you end up having more in common and falling harder for the person than you wanted to. In the end, I think Large makes the right choice. It's the one I would've made.