I will admit, a big reason I love this film is my lifelong movie crush on John Cusack. This is, in my opinion, his best role. Minus the relationship drama, Rob Gordon is basically my ideal guy. Really passionate about some aspect of pop culture (be it film or music, etc) and a little cranky but not mean about it. See my husband ; )
I think this film is fairly honest about relationships. It shows relationships that aren’t perfect but aren’t completely awful. You don’t get to see that in film as much, but that’s the majority of relationships. I’m sure most people know a couple that are in a relationship like the one Rob has with Lili Taylor’s Sarah. People that stay with someone out of fear of dying alone. Or a couple that are like Rob & Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Charlie, where one person is waiting for the other to realize they are dating someone below them, and move on to someone that’s more their speed. When Rob is tortured by fantasies of the crazy sex his ex must be having with her new boyfriend, everyone has done this to themselves. Rob is the every man at his neurotic best.
There’s a line where Rob says that relationships are not about what you’re like,but about what you like. You,as a person, are define by your favorite films, bands, television shows, etc. I am behind this theory. I think you can learn a lot about a person by looking at what they are passionate about. I, for one, couldn’t be with someone who didn’t share my passion for film, or someone who couldn’t talk to me about music, or who had different political beliefs. You can be a wonderful person, with a heart of gold but if your favorite show is Two & a Half Men, I could not date you.
I first saw this movie when I was in high school, right around when I was starting to write screenplays over novels. The dialogue in the in this films was like delicious candy to me. Love the device of Rob talking to the camera. He really draws you in, like he is having a conversation with you. So much of the script could have gone horribly wrong in less capable hands. I’ve wanted to rewrite this movie and have tried to every time I’ve started a new script.
Rob is saved from being a Nice Guy TM by realizing what part he played in the end of his relationship with Laura and what he needs to do to be a good boyfriend to her. He spends much of the movie looking for excuses but he can only move forward when he finally takes responsibility. It’s kind of a coming of age story for a generation who takes a little longer to grow up.
Favorite Quote: Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?