Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Film Geek's Advice To Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise may have his career back on track, thanks in large part to his latest role in Tropic Thunder. But he's still not enjoying the can-do-no-wrong artistic mojo he weilded in the early 90s.

As I reflect on his career, I think I know why: Cruise's movies are better accepted and better reviewed when he dances, but doesn't take himself -- or his dancing --too seriously.

In Risky Business: Cruise's character lived by the motto "Sometimes you gotta say 'What the fuck." And his loosey-goosey, what the fuck attitude helped endear him to the audience. As a result, Risky Business was a hit, and Cruise became a major star.

In The Color Of Money, Cruise combined his dancing around the pool table with a smarmy, arrogant grin that let the audience in on Cruise's belief that he'd made the big-time. The goofy dance with the pool cue, combined with that way-too-thick hair made me want to hit him in the face with a broken Bud bottle.

(Plus, he ruined a perfectly good Clapton song.)


Man, Cruise really believed his stuff was gold in this flick. I mean, the sneer, the weird laugh, the perfect hair -- it's all there. Along with the pansy-ass dancing, of course.

Really. Bad. Dancing.

After the couch jump on Oprah, the whole Scientology thing, dumping a talented (and hot) Nicole Kidman to marry that chick from Dawson's Creek and that strange Today Show interview with Matt Lauer, Cruise saw his career headed south. He had to get back to basics.

So, he danced again in Tropic Thunder.

But this time he did it with humility, and humor. And he did it with style.

And it worked. Welcome back, Tommy. Dance more, my friend. Dance in your underwear or dance in strange prosthetics, but don't stop dancin'! Your career depends on it.

UPDATE: Well, YouTube dropped video of Cruise dancing in Tropic Thunder. Go see the flick, you'll see what I mean.


nico said...

the only way tom cruise will get his career back on track is to 1.) stop thinking he's special and 2.) stop with the crazy and 3.) stop eating alien placenta omlettes for breakfast. none of the three will ever happen, so he might as well just retire early before he turns into fat elvis.

spinster girl said...

I grew up in the 80's and 90's -- the era of Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, John Hughes and Tom Cruise. These were the films that shaped my adolescense. I think part of the problem with Tom Cruise is that Tom Cruise the person came to overshadow Tom Cruise the actor. Jerry Maguire was the last Tom Cruise movie I could watch and just enjoy. As I think about most of the movies and actors I enjoy, I realize that I don't know much about them at all. I think I prefer it that way.