Sunday, July 25, 2004

Singles, Weighed, Measured and Found Lacking(Still)

We hate to love it and love to hate it or mostly just forgot this 90's era pre-cellphone movie set in a Southern Californian's conception of a oddly sunny Seattle populated by squeaky clean Gen X 30something actors playing 20something characters until it replays on cable late at night where we can sit half-drunk and groan once again at the mostly awfulness and sometimes greatness of this flick.

Yes, I'm talking about the Cameron Crowe movie Singles in which our most-unfavorite Boomer-cusper once again mines Gen X for a paycheck to mostly cringeworthy results and occasional flashes of comedic something (it's not genius, perhaps its just random hits from Cameron's bong).

And so, with apologies to Nick Hornby, I submit Vinyl Mine's Singles List of Lists:

The 5 Best Moments in the movie Singles

1. The slow pan over Campbell Scott's albums and the fact that he still has albums and only a few CDs in 1992

2. Matt Dillion (Cliff) being interviewed by Cameron Crowe (as a rock writer) about Citizen Dick's song "Touch Me... I'm Dick" & the Seattle scene

3. Campbell Scott getting laid while a) "My Three Sons" plays on TV, b) the subway or something rumbles the apartment, c) a phone message from Kyra's former boyfriend plays, d) Sedgewick in a fisheye POV asking "what are you thinking?" and e) his flash to an interview with Xavier McDaniel (ex-Sonics player)

4. Cameos (in order of coolness) by Tad Doyle, Bruce Pavitt, Jeremy Piven, Paul Giamatti, Gus van Zant, Mark Arm, Tim Burton, Peter "30something" Horton as the Bicycle Guy, and (drum roll) Victor Garber.

5. The Debbie Hunt personals video

The 5 Worst Moments

1. Any of the scenes with Bridget Fonda (Janet) (including the "breast augmentation" "subplot" with Bill Pullman) that don't include Matt Dillion
Mitigating factor: Her atrocious acting and lack of chemistry with anyone else on the set makes casting of Kyra Sedgewick and Campbell Scott tolerable

2. Pearl Jam mugging and "acting" as Matt Dillion's band.

3. Cameron Crowe, that Rolling Stone-writing Heart-coozesniffing, 70's rawk-loving maggot, getting to make a movie with a late 80's-90's soundtrack and getting it mostly wrong by picking the most mawkish, 70's like crap & pap he could find by bands formed after 1983

4. Eric Stolz cameo. As a bad mime. Who speaks loud while he's pretending to smoke and delivers the film's counter-argument. Ha. Haha.

5. The fact that Sheila Kelley (Debbie Hunt) never got a good part again.
Mitigating factor: Neither did Jim True-Frost (David Bailey, the forgettable maitre-di neighbor)

BONUS WORST MOMENT: The whole lost phone machine message with the "You. Belong. With. Me" as precursor to worst Jerry McGuire moment: "You. Complete. Me."

Best Quotes:

1. Cliff: "This negative energy just makes me stronger. We will not retreat. We are unstoppable. Tonight this band will rock Portland"

2. Debbie (on video): "Come to where the flavor is. Come to Debbie country"
Cliff: "Debbie country. It's funny."

3. Girl at video dating place referring to Tim Burton as the auteur singles video director: "He is only like the next Martin Scorseeze"

4. Cliff: "The bicycle guy. He's like your soulmate"

5. Cliff: "That's a very nice hat you're wearing I don't mean that in any hostile way"

Best songs from soundtrack
1. "My Three Sons" theme song
2. Screaming Trees "Nearly Lost You"
3. R.E.M. "Radio Song" (shut up)
4. John Coltrane "Blue Train"
5. The 'mats (credited as Paul Westerberg) "Bastards of Young"

1. Paul Westerberg, "Dyslexic Heart"
2. Pearl Jam "Breath"
3. Mother Love Bone "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"
4. Smashing Pumpkins "Drown"
5. The Cult "She Sells Sanctuary"


Anonymous said...

"That's a very nice hat you're wearing, and I don't mean that in an 'Eddie Haskell' kind of way."

Reagan's youth said...

My friend's ( husband named his band Debbie Country due to the "Come to Debbie Country" line in the movie!

John said...

You had me at "We hate to love it".