California Dreamin’

I just finished watching “My Date With Drew.”  I on-demanded it from Showtime mainly because it was between that, a Hilary Duff movie, or watching the movie “Heathers” for the up-teenth time.  And while I love a little high school satire sprinkled with the screechy-pitched whine of a murderous Christian Slater most any day, I wanted something different.  Plus, I’ve been trying to watch more documentaries to, you know, make me smarter and stuff. 

Why I would pick this seemingly fluffy, borderline MTV reality series reject to heighten my intellectual awareness only proves how far deep into the dopey American abyss I truly am.  And while I was highly critical of the film in the opening half hour, I found myself with tears of inspiration streaming down my face by the end. 

The premise is an average L.A. guy and his dream to get a date with Drew Barrymore.  Do you feel yourself getting stupider?  Yet the movie develops into a raw, desperate glimpse into the savage beast that is the big, wanting human heart.  And no matter how hokey all the “dreams do come true,” “you can do anything you put your mind to,” “follow the yellow brick road” cliches may be, it is just extremely reassuring to see somebody actually achieve a goal.  And yes, all the guy did is get a date with Drew Barrymore.  But that’s pretty huge, and completely relatable, since who wouldn’t want a date with Drew?  Remember “Poison Ivy”?  I thought so.

Dream realization is a reoccurring theme in my latest movie ventures, because I just watched “Hustle and Flow” a few nights ago.  Again, I completely expected to hate it – even with all of the Oscar buzz.  But that flick cracked me too, left me crying and smiling at the same time.  I’ve never wanted a wanna-be rap star and his posse of tricks to succeed so badly.  

So I’ve been newly inspired by an unemployed dude with a loaned camcorder and a vulgar, violent, pimping rapper.

Hey, I’ve gotta suck up the hope wherever I can get it.

[Originally posted on MySpace April 22, 2006]

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