Gould: Look, we all go way back, and I owe you from the thing with the guy in the place, and I’ll never forget it.
Clooney: That was our pleasure.
Pitt: I’d never been to Belize.
This is dialogue from my favorite scene in the film Oceans Eleven, one of the movies that I’ll stop and watch in it’s entirety if I just happen across it when channel surfing, a film I’ve seen at least a dozen times.
Gould’s line is so absurdly funny and Clooney and Pitt respond in lines that mean absolutely nothing to the audience. We really have no idea what they are talking about. The capper is Gould’s comment that “I’ll never forget it” even though he cannot remember any of the details of this previous encounter. I wish I could write like that.
The thing is, I can watch films like this over and over again and not feel like I’m “wasting time” or that I should be doing something more significant. Because essentially, who is to say what actually has meaning?
Even with this proclivity, I stay active. I’m not a couch potato. I’m just entranced by certain actors, certain films, even critical moments in some films.
I can put on the film Once just to watch the first 12 minutes up to the point when Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova make their way to a quiet music store and perform the lovely duet of “Falling Slowly” which earned the pair an Academy Award. On some days, I’ll put in my disc of that film, just to see that scene—once or twice or three times. Then I’ll pull out my guitar and try to master the intro to that wonderful song.
And then there is Tom Cruise. That’s right—I’ll admit it. I’m a fan. I don’t care if he’s a freak personally; he has made a bunch of films that I like. Top Gun has a place in my heart that I’ll talk about later, but lately I find I can’t resist watching Jack Reacher or the futuristic Edge of Tomorrow and reveling in the writing and execution of the films. I hope the guy never ages—and it makes me happy to know that at 5’8”, I’m apparently taller than he is according to my sources at Universal Studios.
And then there is Denzel. He’s done important films like The Hurricane and Training Day but seeing those once was enough. While I’m writing this I’m watching Man on Fire for probably the 20th time, and I just ordered my own copy of The Equalizer only because I recently subscribed to Amazon Prime and can get stuff shipped to me for free. Both are stories of both revenge and redemption, themes I find irresistible. And then there is the very underrated film, Déjà Vu, where Washington excels as both an action hero and romantic lead.
In a pinch, I can plug in any of the three Bourne movies with Matt Damon and escape happily into a world of action and intrigue.
Most of my day is filled with hiking, yoga, gardening, home maintenance, and marriage maintenance. However, I have no problem taking a break to watch something on TV—over and over again.