Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Understanding McCarthyism (AM)
I realised something about myself this weekend. A few things in fact. First, even though Mannequin is a classic, important film for my generation, I’ve never seen the whole thing. Oh maybe I did once years ago, but it hasn't stuck with me. I’ve seen bits of it on TV a bunch of times, but maybe never the start, always the end. And for a girl like me, that’s a strange, confronting thing to admit. The second thing I realised was that even though Andrew McCarthy has never played a character I’ve loved I can’t help but feel something for him when he is on the screen.
I want to make it clear that I am not now, nor have I ever been, in love with Andrew McCarthy. Certainly not as Blane McDonnagh in Pretty in Pink. I mean his best friend is that d-bag Steff. I know that people love a young James Spader, and in many ways, although a right a-hole, Steff is kind of more appealing than the wet Blane. Ugh, with his sensitivity and his affection for Molly Ringwald despite the fact he is rich and she is poor. You can’t love Blane. Also, did I mention his name is Blane? But he is the romantic lead, so, if I'm being honest with myself, you can't entirely ignore him either.
I did not love Andrew McCarthy as Kevin in St Elmo’s fire. How could I when he was playing next to a young, reckless Rob Lowe? And yet, I guess all that pathetic pining for Ally Sheedy makes you feel a little something. Pity, becomes affection becomes some subconscious attraction.
Probably the same thing is happening in Pretty in Pink on some level too. Though it happens on no level at all in Weekend at Bernie's. That I know for sure.
But as I watched the end of Mannequin on Saturday night (only the end – I still haven’t seen the whole thing), watched Andrew McCarthy scramble up a conveyor belt to save his inanimate mannequin love before she is eaten by the giant mannequin disposal unit that no doubt exists in the basement of all department stores, I was struck by a little shimmer of affection. Even though in my actual brain all I was thinking was “What? I’m meant to care about the romance between a man and a mannequin.”
I know that the mannequin is not always inanimate and their love is based on the times when she becomes Kim Cattrall, still I was having trouble buying it. Or I thought I was, until, inexplicably I felt something when Andrew McCarthy saved the mannequin before she was ground into so much polystyrene. She becomes Kim Cattrall, they kiss, I micro-swooned.
I thought that maybe this is to do with my age. That I am unable to resist the McCarth because in my youth he was everywhere and I guess he was something of a heartthrob. Or something. In fact he was a heartthrob before heartthrobs were really on my radar (yes, I realise that it is hard to believe there was a time when heartthrobs weren’t on my radar but it’s true!) His prime had passed by the time I was interested in hunks. (No seriously, there was a time before I was interested in hunks.) But it’s like I am so attuned to the films of the eighties I have to find him attractive. Or that's what I thought. K sent me a text on Sunday which indicated I was the only Crab to have these feelings about McCarthy. So while I think that age is a factor, that I have to find the hunks of the films of my youth somewhat attractive (or something - I use the term very loosely). I think it is also just me. I think I am just a sucker for a romantic hero. Idiot.