Friday, June 30, 2006

No Bones About It: The Suck House

My dad and I have a long standing joke. He once made a sarcastic comment to me about how the two most awesome actors in the world were Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. A discussion ensued that detailed our mutual perplexion (I don't care if that's not a real word, I'm MAKING it a real word for my own purposes) over how Keanu Reeves continues to be cast in roles other than in action films. The now-commonly-used phrase around my house was born: "What director is reading a script and says, 'You know what this movie really needs? Keanu. Reeves.' "

We use this phrase very loosely now, but the all-encompassing nature of The Reeves is still captured. Case in point: our cluttered museum of a living room. What started out as a blank canvas less than a year ago has become a boneyard (no pun intended) of quirky inside jokes that bring joy to my heart and are great conversation starters. It all started with the Viking Ship, and spread from there: the Tasty signs, the Blaze foam finger, the mechanical battery operated Rocky, the mannequin heads, the grappling hook, the framed picture of the Geico caveman, etc. I thought our house couldn't be more perfect, until one day I came across a dusty back issue of Entertainment Weekly: the Photo Issue. I was flipping through the pages of celebrities, and I couldn't help but think, 'You know what this magazine really needs?' But before I could finish my internal monologue.... Jackpot. There he was, in all his Vaya Con Dios-ness, The Reeves himself. Well, I think you know what happened after that. Suffice it to say that after a quick comment to my roommate ("You know what our house really needs?"), our house is now complete, glossy frame and all.

But I digress. The point of this post is to express my extreme disappointment at the performance given by The Reeves in The Suck House. I mean, The Lake House. Now, don't get me wrong. I think Keanu is an amazing action film addition - my favorite roles (after Bill & Ted, of course) are in The Matrix and Speed. I even watched Speed on the Spanish channel just to see Keanu in all his glory. He's even good in Something's Gotta Give, but I can't understand why he keeps getting cast in these B-rate mushy love stories. He's a looker, that's a given, but his over-acting is more distracting than anything else. If you need to be convinced of this point, just watch Constantine - his awesome fake-smoking will literally blow you away, and his coughing fits are just a thing of beauty.

Despite these low points, the disasterously sappy films, I keep going back for more Keanu. No matter how badly he lets me down, I can't help but love him. I feel like a battered girlfriend: I always have such high hopes for him, like maybe this time it will be different. And good old Keanu, he never fails to deliver. If he wasn't so good looking, I'd have pretty much zero incentive to see any new film of his. Except maybe to see what delicious bodily functions will be blown out of proportion this time (sneezing, coughing, crying, etc. Those seem to be his strong points).

At the end of The Lake House (SPOILER ALERT: which ends on one of the most awkward movie kisses I have EVER seen. We're talking face-smashing at it's best here, folks.) Janay and I literally were hysterical through the entire reel of credits. To the point of tears streaming down and wheezing old-man laughing. I think Janay said it best when she said, "What did we expect? We have only ourselves to blame."

This isn't to say that the premise of the movie sucks, it just didn't do anything for me. Sandra Bullock is so cute and oddly hip that she makes up for the lack of personality behind Keanu. And it has to be said: he's a naturally handsome guy, so why do they insist on dressing him in such bad turtlenecks?? Maybe we'll never truly understand.

The bottom line: wait for video on this one, but it's worth it just to see Keanu sneeze.

Sidenote: I hope this doesn't give the impression that I think Keanu sucks, in fact, I read an article that really changed my view of him for the better. Check it out:


Sara said...

You forgot his deliciously evil--and, uh, convincing--perfomance as an embittered younger brother to Denzel Washington in Kenneth Branaugh's "Much Ado About Nothing." Apparently, he had an apprentice in Robert Sean Leonard (but who has since left that acting school and does quite well as an oncologist in the serier House).

Andi Mae said...

You hit the nail on the head. I don't think I have seen ANYTHING with the Reevester in it where he was actually convincing as a character. One of my favorite movies is Much Ado (but luckily his performance was overshadowed by Denzel, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branaugh, and Robert Sean Leonard.)

I think the one think he WAS superb in was Saturday Night Live, when he was played by someone else! My favorite is Jeopardy when he wagers eleventy-billion dollars and claims that he knows kung fu.

Bone Junior said...

I know exactly which SNL skit you're talking about, and I can't believe that I'd forgotten about his awesome appearances on Celebrity Jeopardy. I think it's Jimmy Fallon that plays him, but I'm not sure. I may stand corrected on my Keanu stance, with this new SNL evidence brought to light. Eleventy billion... bwah ha ha.

barb said...

all i can say is... a walk in the clouds... barf barf barf.

Stupidramblings said...

I read the same line three times before I caught on. The message:

(and I quote) [ahem] finger, the mechanical battery operated Rocky, the mannequin heads, the finger, the mechanical battery operated Rocky, the mannequin heads, the finger,

It was really wierd. I hardly ever do that, but when i do, it's usually funny.

Bone Junior said...

I think you picked the right line to read three times over, it makes me sound like I have an awesomely bad collection of fingers, heads and battery-operated toys. Sounds like a creepy place...

The Jay said...

Tobey Maguire played Keanu in the SNL skit. Glad my Keanu piece helped change your outlook on him (even if the change was miniscule).

- The Jay