I guess it cannot be said that I’m on a John Cusack kick since the last film I watched of his was High Fidelity three months ago. Or maybe two movies in three months is a kick. Regardless, we mentioned Grosse Pointe, or something, at Nogglestead which prompted me to watch this film last weekend. Not this last weekend. The weekend before. Maybe a lost weekend, or maybe that’s all the weekends in the past.
Regardless, my oldest had a friend over for the night, and when they came downstairs at one point, my oldest said, “Is that Elvis?”
“No, get out of here,” I tenderly responded. Although maybe in his defense Cusack had a curl in the middle of his forehead in the scene, and also in his defense the variety of the qualities of transfers his father watches might have made Technicolor look like modern DVDs (or more likely, modernish movies on VHS looked worse than Technicolor).
At any rate, in this film, Cusack plays a hitman who might be losing his edge who is working with a therapist who feels threatened into keeping Cusack’s Martin Blank who has revealed that he knows where the doctor lives after he, Blank, has shared his profession. He’s trying to work something out, find some meaning to his life, and so he decides to return to his home town of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, for his 10th class reunion since he has a job in the area. Meanwhile, Dan Ackroyd is another hitman trying to put together a guild–and when Blank won’t join, he launches a plot to eliminate him. While in Grosse Pointe, Blank reconnects with an old flame played by Minnie Driver and an old friend, now a real estate agent, played by Jeremy Piven. As Blank tries to work things out, a variety of unsavory types including a hit man whom Blank humiliated show up seeking revenge, justice, or whatnot.
So it’s a bit of a black comedy/actionish film targeted right at the heart of Generation X as they were getting old in their mid-to-late twenties. Blank’s home has been replaced by a convenience store. His father died and his mother is in an asylum. He has been away for ten years when he’s been in the military, the CIA, and then a contract killer. So detached from home. I understand as I never really had anything I considered a home and not much of a family. So, yeah, when I first saw it when I was almost ten year reunion age, it rang bells. It still does, but more of a that’s what it felt like to be almost thirty twenty-five years ago thing.
Remember, gentle reader, I watched High Fidelity earlier this year. As Cusack is but a couple years older than I am, I’ve found his films from the middle 1990s to the early 2000s to track better with my personal zeitgeist (a concept for which the Germans have an adequate word without having to make a compound phrase out of an English and a German word) than things like Reality Bites or, certainly, the Brat Pack movies of the 1980s.
So it was good for a rewatch, but I’m not sure how younger audiences would like it as they did not live through that time, and I’m note sure how timeless the themes really and their presentation really are.
Also, this was the second film short succession that I saw which had Alan Arkin in it shortly after his passing (Glengarry Glen Ross being the other).
Enough about Alan Arkin. More about Minnie Driver, the local radio personality love interest.