Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The John Cusack Effect



I had to bring it up eventually. It's actually surprising that it took this long. A long while ago I read, Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman, and was immediately excited about the very first chapter. At the time, I identified profoundly with the following:




But whenever I meet dynamic, non retarded Americans, I notice that they all seem
to share a single unifying characteristic: the inability to experience the kind
of mind-blowing, transcendent romantic relationship they perceive to be a normal
part of living. And someone needs to take the fall for this. So instead of
blaming no one for this (which is kind of cowardly) or blaming everyone (which
is kind of meaningless), I'm going to blame John Cusack.


Stories like Say Anything are fucking people up. We don't need to worry about people unconsciously "absorbing" archaic secret messages when they're six years old; we need to worry about all the entertaining messages people are consciously
accepting when they're twenty-six. They're the ones that get us, because they're
the ones we try to turn into life. I mean, Christ: I wish I could believe that
bozo in Coldplay when he tells me that stars are yellow. I miss that girl. I
wish I was Lloyd Dobler.







For me the love of Cusack happened much later than the 1989 release of Say Anything in which Cusack plays the infamous Lloyd Dobler, a lovable underachiever who wins the heart of the beautiful girl. While this is obviously the beginning of the Cusack identity we have fallen for, my own personal sickness didn't begin until I was introduced to Rob Gordon.


For years I have suffered from Cusack/Rob Gordon syndrome. In the 2000 release High Fidelity, Cusack portrays yet another underachiever in love with a woman. The film, adapted from the excellent Nick Hornby novel, has become a cult classic, as has Cusack himself. For years, I wandered, looking for my very own version of Rob Gordon. While I cannot go into detail as to what the appeal is, I can say that it has made my romantic life and the romantic lives of several other women in my generation difficult. Luckily, Mr. Pessimistic fits the bill. ( Watch High Fidelity and if you know D. you will see some similarities.. mostly music related) I'm not saying Rob Gordon is perfect, he clearly isn't, but I think that might just add to my love for him.


And, this isn't just me. http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/2006/06/40_reasons_why_.html Another woman, whom I can assume is close to my own age, wrote a blog about loving Cusack, and, if you scroll through the comments, most of them are from women suffering from the same sickness.



What has happened to us? Why has John Cusack become the beacon of hope for our romantic lives? And, more importantly, why are we all so attracted to underachievers, and/or music ( pop culture) elitists?


A.


* please note this is in no way a commentary on my relationship, or Mr. Pessimistic himself, but rather a look into the psyche of women in my generation*

3 comments:

The Critic said...

because it is obvious when you watch John Cusack that as he is acting he is thinking. whatever you can say for the high polish sheen of brad pitt, i don't know any woman who claims her crush on him is anything other beauty related. he might be an intelligent person under all that eye liner and foundation, but who will notice?

i think cusack also has the lisa simpson vote locked up for his "nonthreatening boy" magazine looks and demeanor. handsome but not purty, likable but not aggressively working to make you love him, witty but not flamboyantly striving to be the funniest-guy-in-the-room, a fairly consistent body of interesting films.

and as the article states, he's never been arrested for dui's or shoplifting or been spotted doing cocaine off britney spears thong. that in itself is enough to get you canonized in hollywood.

A. said...

Exactly.

Also, it is refreshing that men of my generation identify and are not threatened by Cusack.

Harpie said...

So, here's my problem with this. Rob Gordon is the complete OPPOSITE of a good guy. I cheated on his girlfriend, got self righteous about her abortion, and can't figure out how to commit for the life of him.

I LOVE Johnny, don't get me wrong, but Rob Gordon Syndrome is when you can't figure out how to stop falling in love with other people, when your whole life has been focused on obsessing over the opposite sex, how can you ever learn to be happy with just one? Who are you if you're not looking for the next exciting thing?

I have Rob Gordon Sydrome.

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