There is a scene in the movie Untamed Heart where Christian Slater’s character “Adam” tells Marisa Tomei’s “Caroline” that, for some time now, he has been sneaking into her bedroom and watching her sleep.
Contemplate for a second the wild-haired, socially-retarded oddball Adam, sitting on the nightstand in a gape-mouthed gawk while the tiny, sweet, vulnerable Marisa Tomei slumbers, completely unaware. Now, see if you can keep your freaking skin from crawling off your entire skeletal structure.
As daft and demented as you and I might consider this ding-dong behavior, when Adam drops this sicko bombshell on Caroline, she takes it in with the unabashed awe of someone who has just been told she looks “mighty cute in them jeans.”
“You watch me sleep? Why?” she sheepishly asks, piano music tinkling in the background.
“You… have a peace. I don’t have peace,” Adam replies with a glazed-over stare.
Well, thank you, Mr Bundy, for actually admitting you are, in fact, an unzipped nutbag.
I wish I could say that Caroline instantly hoses the nocturnal peeping perv down with industrial-grade pepper spray but, no, that would be an unsentimental and way-too-obvious choice. Instead, she seems to be curiously fascinated and maybe even more than a little bit turned-on by the revelation.
Adam continues in his exposé, confessing that all of his dreams are filled with images of suffocation and despair and that Caroline is his only source of peace. This, of course brings Caroline to tender tears. She tenderly touches his tender, scarred chest and they immediately, and with great tenderness, make out on the porch swing.
Now, before I go on, let me get this out of the way. I like this movie. I own this movie. I’ve watched it more than once and I’ll watch it again. I wish I had Christian Slater’s hair and overcoat and, if I could figure out any possible way to make it happen, I sure as hell would sit for hours and watch Marisa Tomei sleep. I wouldn’t even care if she drools. Seriously. Marisa, if you are reading this, I just want you to know I’m really quiet, I won’t touch any of your stuff and I’ll let myself out around 3:30 or 4:00.
But that’s beside the point.
The thing that really skarks my skivvies is this Hollywood tradition of the scary, yet romantic, leading men who continually bag the hotties doing the very things we regular guys get a Birkenstock up the heiney for trying. Freaks with minimum wage jobs, living in cellars, driving 70s model cars, make gorgeous women love-loopy simply because they carry around a book of Pablo Neruda poems, know where to find Cassiopeia in the constellation and piss the girl’s name in the snow in a quaint Edwardian Script font, All supported by a John Mayer soundtrack.
Moronic dorks like Will Ferrell and Jack Black should need the special effects budget of a Peter Jackson film to make them appealing to women like Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kate Winslet but in Hollyworld they have no difficulty at all. John Cusak could play an out-of-work, halitosis suffering ex-con, show up at an antique shop slathered in hog bile and still get lucky with Rachel McAdams before sundown. Even Forrest Gump got laid by Robin Wright, for crap’s sake.
I guess I’m ranting about this because I really, really, REALLY wanted to be one of those sensitive, romantic, outsider-guys. I tried it. I left my hair unkempt for days, wore mismatched Chuck Taylor sneakers, rode a bicycle around, delivering roses to strangers, held radios up to bedroom windows and worked in menial jobs where I pretty much kept to myself except when I saw a friendly Golden Lab that I just seemed to understand on a level where language was unnecessary. Never once did I attract the interest of a leading lady, prom queen, socialite, debutante, cutie-pie or sweetheart. The closest I ever came was, once in a mall, the late Hollywood screen legend Patricia Neal looked up and smiled at me in JC Penney. But I’m pretty sure it was only because she thought I was the guy coming to take her to go pee pee.
So here I am and here I shall remain. Single-outcast-quirky-artist-geek living in a musty apartment with a closet full of thrift-store clothes and my too-friendly Golden Lab. Obviously I still don’t know what the hell women are looking for. Anyone wanna buy a book of poetry and a ’79 Chevy Malibu real cheap?