May 21, 2008

We Are John Cusak

The night before last, I was over at Stacy's place and she asked an interesting question - who'd play you in the movie of your life? Damn fine question, dontcha think? So, completely ignoring the fact that countless people have told me I'm the spitting image of Duckie - the Pretty In Pink era Jon Cryer - I went with John Cusak. Stop laughing. Really, stop. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Because we're all John Cusak. Let me explain.

We all start out as bit players in life, like Cusak's Angry Messenger in Broadcast News. If we're good at what we do, we get bigger parts and opportunities. Some of those moments become cult favorites, laughed about during holidays and admired by associates at work. Think of Craig Schwartz and his bizarre quests in Being John Malkovich. Think of High Fidelity's Rob Gordon and his rules governing the construction of mix tapes. Think of Lloyd Dobler and his aversion to all things bought, sold and, especially, processed in Say Anything. If we're lucky, we're eventually given our shot at the big time, our names in lights with sexy co-stars, whispers of Oscar, or at least the promise of box-office gold. But, for most of us, unless you win American Idol or the lottery, these opportunities don't pan out the way we'd hoped. Like Serendipity or Runaway Jury. At some point - and not because you don't have motivation or the desire to succeed - you accept your lot in life, decide to be good at what you do, and go after good parts with great scripts. These are often overlooked but really constitute your best work - Grosse Pointe Blank, Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil, Identity and The Ice Harvest.

Like John Cusak, all we can really hope for is a strong body of work at the end of the day. Maybe we never found the obvious fame we were seeking but what we end up with is better and something we can be prouder of than box office glory. And, hopefully, we all have our one shining moment, boom-boxes hoisted over our heads. If we're lucky, we all get our Diane Court in the end too.

Posted by Chris at May 21, 2008 7:10 AM

Hopefully, my sister doesn't end up being in nearly every movie I'm in.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at May 21, 2008 7:57 AM

Kickboxing is the sport of the future.

Posted by: William at May 21, 2008 7:59 AM

That's a great analogy.

Posted by: claire at May 21, 2008 8:25 AM

See I always knew Beth was a lucky girl!! John Cusack ROCKS!!

My husband and I are often referred to as Duckie and Andie (due to our looks)... I always crushed on Duckie Dale so I think it worked out for me!!

Posted by: Stephanie at May 21, 2008 8:31 AM


Posted by: wn at May 21, 2008 8:59 AM

There's a girl in my town who has "Honk if you love John Cusack" in white letters on the rear window of her SUV. I always honk, of course.

Posted by: April at May 21, 2008 9:48 AM

Obviously I didn't pick Catherine Keener for her looks, because we really don't resemble each other at all. For sheer vulnerability, though, I think she fits the bill. I have to admit that Joan Cusack would be a better choice if we're talking about sarcasm skills...and less than glamorous faces. How I would love to have been Minnie Driver in Grosse Pointe Blank...minus the dad targeted for the hit, naturally. And while we're on the subject of Minnie Driver, I'd like to go on record as saying that I think her baby was fathered by Eddie Izzard...THE END.

Posted by: apathy lounge at May 21, 2008 10:07 AM

"Like John Cusak, all we can really hope for is a strong body of work at the end of the day." Great sentiment, Chris.

Posted by: GreenCanary at May 21, 2008 10:14 AM

i can't be john cusak cuz he's one of my future husbands to be. i can't marry myself, silly! even i'm not that self-centered. plus i'm betting that that's illegal in at least 46.5 states. i'm less concerned about who'd play me as i am in making sure my life is interesting enough to be played. wait, huh?

anyway. happy wednesday! :D <3

Posted by: patricia at May 21, 2008 10:39 AM

Deep. Very deep.

And all I ever want to be is Grosse Pointe Cusack. Assassin sounds like a good career for me. Who ever would expect a tiny, smiley Asian girl to stab you in the neck with a pen! Brilliant.

Posted by: oakley at May 21, 2008 10:46 AM

Or we'll get Diane Wiest telling us to "Don't Speak!"

Speaking of his bit parts, if you've never noticed him in "Class" w/ Robe Lowe & Andrew McCarthy, you're missing out. I fell in love w/ him in that movie. He was so fucking funny. My friend & I in HS used to rent the tape so we could fast forward to his parts & watch them over & over.

Posted by: kalisa at May 21, 2008 10:50 AM

I love John Cusak. He has this semi-deadpan humor, and a tendency toward being a normal person among wack-jobs (cases in point: "One Crazy Summer," "Better Off Dead"). He kicks booty. So awesome to think that he could play the Cactus

Posted by: MamaKaren at May 21, 2008 11:03 AM

I could definitely see John Cusack playing Chris Cactus! And MamaKaren beat me to the movie that first introduced me to his genius--Better off Dead. He is an amazing actor and would be lucky to portray the Cactus!

Posted by: Krush at May 21, 2008 11:08 AM

I love John Cusack. He'd make a good you. I have no idea who'd make a good me.

Posted by: Phoenix at May 21, 2008 11:36 AM

Okay, I'm thinking that I have no idea who would be good. Maybe Diane Lane. After all, doesn't she like dogs?

Posted by: Maribeth at May 21, 2008 11:45 AM

Okay, so that explains why you think John Cusak and his body of work is everyone, but why do you think he'd play a good you?

Posted by: ticknart at May 21, 2008 11:52 AM

now that's how you make a point.

Posted by: Holly at May 21, 2008 12:30 PM

If you are John Cusak, we need to meet in person.

Posted by: Mr Lady at May 21, 2008 12:43 PM

Every girl I know loved Duckie better . . .

John Cusack is, in my mind at least, a perfect man. If he's not, nobody tell me. I love him. Great summing up of why this is so. Great way to look at life. I can't imagine any actor as me. Food Network chef is easier to imagine. I'd love to think I'm just like Nigella Lawson, but I'm not that exotic and sexy. I'm Ina Garten in a far different tax bracket. Which is a very happy thought. Thanks for this post! : )

Posted by: OS at May 21, 2008 1:05 PM

OHMYGAWD! You DO look like Duckie!!! Amazing....

I've been told I look like Cher and the woman on Absolutely Fabulous. Hubby says I look like her too.

Posted by: been there, done that at May 21, 2008 1:12 PM

good solid choice.
and not just because he doen't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. :)

Posted by: ali at May 21, 2008 1:12 PM

I would have figured Rowan Atkinson to play you. I mean come on, you are Mr. Bean, aren't you?

Posted by: Jeff A at May 21, 2008 1:28 PM

I love John Cusak! In addition to being extremely talented, he seems like a nice, normal person. Good pick and great analogy.

Posted by: Kimberly at May 21, 2008 1:30 PM

I love John Cusak! In addition to being extremely talented, he seems like a nice, normal person. Good pick and great analogy.

Posted by: Kimberly at May 21, 2008 1:30 PM

I'm told that my celebrity twin is Naomi Watts. Not that I am so enamoured of her career path but she's pretty hot, so I don't mind.

Posted by: Tamara ModernGear TV at May 21, 2008 3:57 PM

forgive me for throwing around early 90's jargon, but Duckie was pretty much the bomb.

Posted by: Shamelessly Sassy at May 21, 2008 9:02 PM

Dude, that last sentence sounds like a Cusack quote. Does he actually say that in 'Say Anything'? Maybe he is the best actor to play you. Giggle. Snort.

Angelina Jolie would play me. She doesn't look a bit like me, but that's how I wanna be remembered. ;)

Posted by: krystyn at May 21, 2008 9:24 PM

Great choice. I absolutely adore John Cusack.

I still think he should remake Soylent Green!

Posted by: Lani at May 23, 2008 2:12 AM

Great choice. I absolutely adore John Cusack.

I still think he should remake Soylent Green!

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