March 12, 2005
Keanu Reeves never meant anything to me. Sometimes, I’ve had brief flare-ups of Anti-Keanu, which would quickly sputter back down to apathy. Such it was, until:
Something’s Gotta Give.
It was a High Hormonal Alert the minute he appeared on screen, and by the end of his story line, it was – quick, bring the smelling salts – High Matrimonial Alert. Hubba hubba Keanu, and how did this happen? Was it a change in him, or a change in me?
River’s Edge and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure were my intro to Keanu. He played stoner characters not much different than my stoner friends, thus left no impression. After My Own Private Idaho, I didn’t buy into him as a heartthrob (geez, just shower now and again!), and after disastrous accents in Dangerous Liaisons and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I couldn’t buy him as an actor. I’ve never seen any of his enormously popular action flicks, and would only run into him when he happened to be appearing in a movie I wanted to see (Feeling Minnesota, The Devil’s Advocate).
I never found him conventionally - or unconventionally - attractive, and though he came across as quite the decent fellow and earnest craftsman in interviews, I never understood his vast appeal to the movie masses. Keanu Immune was I, la dee dah…
A high-quality, post-menopausal chick flick featuring Keaton’s 50-something playwright to Keanu’s 30-something doctor. He’s coming straight on for you, but you choose Jack Nicholson?! Informal surveys found women over 45 siding with Keaton’s choice, while us firmly 30-something ladies were still mopping up flop sweat from the sight of Keanu. And I was still shocked to be a part of that group.
Absolutely True Story:
The other night, I dreamed of necking like frantic teenagers with Keanu. The very next morning, a customer adds a pre-viewed DVD copy of Something’s Gotta Give to the purchase. When I commented, “I love that movie,” my 30-something female customer went off on an enthusiastic rant something like this:
I have never been a fan of Keanu Reeves, ever. Never cared for him. I’ve maybe seen 3 of his movie, total. But in this movie? Oh! My! God! He’s so hot! He had me drooling all over myself. And I can’t believe Diane Keaton picked Jack Nicholson over Keanu. And I can’t believe, after all this time, that I now LOVE Keanu!
I squeal, “Sister, you’re tellin’ my story!” and we tried to figure out why this is happening, for it does perplex us so. My final analysis is: Age has finally brought character to a face that was once nearly immobile in its vaguely Asiatic innocence. But even greater is that Keanu finally played a character of his own age, country and time period.
No accents, no centuries past or years in the future. Not an oddball, dummy, victim or man plagued by bombs, diseases and evil enemies. He portrayed a perfectly believable, normal human being, which is a surprising change of pace. Maybe because he wasn’t saddled with the extra pressure of extra business, he didn’t have to concentrate on “acting” and could just be. He had only to portray an idealized version of the real Keanu, and suddenly, the effervescence of his true soul was allowed to shine through!
OK, I spun out for a second. But seriously, when he kept it low key and real, out poured this magnetism so intense that even apathetic non-believers were swimming laps in his dreamy testosterone pool. We’re talking authentic, high-caliber Movie Star wattage here. And during a time when publicists and studios are so desperate for Real Movie Stars that they foist Jude Laws and Collin Farrells upon us, it’s a pleasant surprise to find the Real Thing can come out to play any time he so chooses.
Posted by tobyweiss.com at 4:53 PM