A Completely Arbitrary List Of Movies Guys Can Argue Over.
By Tom Danehy
I RECEIVED IN the mail the other day a copy of a free magazine. This, of course, made me very happy, not just because it was free, but because I love magazines.
This magazine had a semi-clad young woman on the cover, no doubt to boost newsstand sales. I noticed she had brown eyes (which are always the best color), but thank God, before I saw enough of her to formulate an opinion on her appearance, my eyes caught the words announcing that the cover girl was Alyssa Milano.
Those of you who watch Melrose Place might think she's some hot babe, but I remember her from Who's The Boss, so it would have been real creepy to have thought the former child star was even the slightest bit attractive. I would've had to rent space in the confessional. She's frozen in time, the cute little kid who would say things like, "Hey Dad, I hate Connecticut. They don't have a pool hall in the entire neighborhood."
And yes, I used to watch Who's The Boss. There was great chemistry between Judith Light and Tony Danza. Plus, who but Danza could say those immortal words, "Ay oh! Oh ay!"?
This particular magazine is called Maxim. Kind of a dumb title, but I plunged ahead. Across the top of the cover, they announce that the magazine is about "Sex*Sports*Beer*Gadgets* Clothes*Fitness." Hmm, I like sports and I wear clothes, sorta. But I don't drink, I hate gadgets and I don't wanna read about sex and/or fitness. It also says they have a how-to section, including how to scam a free gym workout and how to beat a lie detector. Yeah, those are two things I really want to know how to do.
I was about to toss it, when I noticed one other thing on the cover. The guys who run this magazine for guys had compiled a list of the "100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever." Well, why didn't you say so in the first place? Now that's something worth reading: a completely arbitrary list of movies that guys can argue over.
They were even slick enough to leave the definition thereof quite nebulous. All it says is: "Guy movies are hard to define, but you know 'em when you see 'em. They're packed with sophomoric humor, cartoon violence, mean-spirited putdowns and gratuitous nudity...and that's just during the opening credits."
Though they didn't say so, it also helps if there's a really cool trademark line that some character utters at a key point in the movie, and it's extra cool if there was some violent scene that caused a visceral reaction the first 37 times you saw it. This almost always involves getting kicked, punched, shot, stabbed, stomped or (gulp!) bitten in the groin area.
I read through their list, smiled a few times, nodded a lot, but then got angry at the two movies which served as the bookends for the list. At No. 100 is Sirens. This was probably the choice of the office gofer who got refreshments for everybody for a month in exchange for being able to add one movie to the list.
I can see this guy now. Looks like Wallace Shawn and still lives with Mom. Rented Sirens four times, and the only way he was able to get it past Mom and up to his room was to tell her it was about the Fire Department.
For those who aren't familiar with Sirens, it was an artsy film starring Hugh Grant and a briefly-nude (but, alas, still talking) Elle MacPherson. That ain't a guy movie. That's 10 seconds of Porno Lite and two hours of fingernails on a chalkboard.
My definition of a guy movie pretty much agrees with theirs, but it would also have the added feature of being able to make most women run from the room. I really like women and I like being around them. But guys, if women's brains are functioning properly, they're not going to want to spend 10 seconds watching a movie they've seen even once before, a movie you've seen 8,000 times, or just about anything that's going to make you laugh out loud. Call it the Three Stooges Factor.
Now, if a woman tells you that she loves Guy Movies, be wary. First ask her if she used to swim for the East German team. Remember, women don't like Guy Movies. At the very most, they tolerate them.
Most react like my beloved wife, Ana. If I'm flipping through the channels and the remote locks on a late-night showing of The Longest Yard, she manages to defy the laws of physics by somehow making it to the other room before the image of Burt Reynolds in a Mean Machine football uniform can burn into her retinas.
The other day, just such an image was on the screen. She teleported to the dining room and I said, "No Ana, come back! That's not The Longest Yard. It's Semi-Tough." Like I really thought that would make a difference.
Their Nos. 2-15 were well-chosen. Not a bum in the lot. They include: 2. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; 3. Animal House; 4. Terminator/T2; 5. Die Hard; 6. Stripes; 7. Caddyshack; 8. Goodfellas; 9. Dirty Harry; 10. The Godfather, Pts. I and II; 11. Pulp Fiction; 12. The Blues Brothers; 13. The Longest Yard; 14. Rocky; and 15. Diner.
Loved every one them. But then they go and spoil it by naming as their No. 1 Guy Movie of all time Slap Shot. Puh-leez! Hey, I enjoy looking at those three Kurt Rambis lookalikes with the bad glasses, and Paul Newman is always a treat, but a movie about hockey? Most guys don't even like hockey.
Most guys figure if you're going to play a game, play by the rules and see who's best. They don't want to see who can cheat the most or fight the dirtiest. That's sissy stuff, not worthy of Guy Movie status.
Perhaps even more amazing is that the obvious No. 1 choice, Blazing Saddles, is all the way down at No. 44. What were they thinking? This movie had it all: racism, sexism, flatulence, and Gene Wilder as The Waco Kid.
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