Sunday, April 27, 2014


Slightly too moralistic to be true


Curiosity may kill the cat but it does not kill nostalgia. To discover today this thirty year old film with a Tom Cruise who must have been hardly out of his teens at the time is funny but interesting to know what an important actor today was at the beginning of his career. You may recognize some of his facial and attitudinal ticks but he sure was young.

The film itself is nothing to brag about. A High School football film again. Stef is a promising football player who could easily get a football scholarship in any college or nearly, if he could finish his senior year on the football team and even take the team to a victory.

He does not because he makes a mistake he had been warned about several times on the last game he plays (the last but one of the season). In fact his team loses the game because he attacks a player who had the ball after he had passed the ball away. He was attacking the man instead of following the ball. Penalty and the game is lost.

The coach is furious of course after the game but Stef is aggressive and in fact attacks the coach and makes him responsible. From this point to the catastrophe there was only one step and Stef crossed it. He is dropped from the team. Then he has to walk home, quite a good distance. So he thumbs a lift and is picked by a band of loafers from his city who decide to go spoil and soil the home of the coach and his cars. They manage to get Stef along and he is considered as responsible for it.

He is dropped from all prospective colleges. Since he is from a steel industry city in Pennsylvania, he has no future except working at the mill.

The film is supposed to teach us a lesson, just the way it does to Stef: apologize and forgive, but that’s hard when you were wrong in the first place, though it is also hard when you get even with someone who is wrong by being wrong yourself, i.e. not forgiving and/or not apologizing. At the same time apologizing and forgiving may become a sort of encouragement to other people to go on being obnoxious.

Life at times cannot go without some strife and tension and people have to learn to step over it and just put it behind. But fear comes back into the picture. When you are afraid of life you tend to look back behind yourself and then you cannot put the past behind. If you try too hard it might backfire, at least in your dreams.

The myth in the film is that such strife and tension is typically masculine and it takes women to soften the situation: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and the medicine goes down. Really? I am sure I will trip my foot in the carpet if I tried that magic potion.


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