Knight and Day and Mortal Coils
Recently, I was backed into a corner by a prospective girlfriend and forced to find a first-date-friendly movie. Honestly, I was hoping I would show up and just take her to a motel room, but she seemed to take offense to that.
Looking for something that could satiate my desire for action but still be lighthearted enough to not depress my date I came across Knight and Day. For the record, I had my heart set on “Predators” but my female friends advised against it, universally panning the idea as “fucking retarded” and a “sure-fire way to never get laid. Ever.”
So, still not understanding what part of “the most dangerous game” mythology was unromantic, I went on Fandango and purchased tickets to Knight and Day. While I have no quantifiable way to prove this, I think my balls shrunk a little bit when I did it.
I sucked it up though, got dressed real pretty, and pretended for 90 minutes that Tom Cruise isn’t completely insane. For those of you who have not read Kiren Valjee’s review on Knight and Day, I suggest you do it…now. But to sum it up, the movie was B- material, and aside from some formulaic plot points, slightly stale jokes, and Cameron Diaz’s character being unable to hold her shit together for like, two fucking seconds, it was pretty entertaining.
Truthfully, what bothered me most about the movie wasn’t the plot or the fact that Peter Saarsgard has stooped to a level below Bond Villain. What really got to me was a scene where Cameron Diaz wakes up in a bikini on a secluded island, and the camera pans to Tom Cruise cresting out of the water, each drop glowing brilliantly while he carries fish ashore for dinner. Normally I have no problem with Cameron Diaz in a bikini…I welcome the idea. Ever since I saw her in The Mask, I have been drooling over her in every movie she has ever been in.
However, as I looked at them in this scene that was supposed to be bubbling with sexual chemistry, I couldn’t help but notice that they both looked…well…kind of old. I know Cameron Diaz is only 37 years old, and Tom Cruise is 48, so they both have a few years before AARP comes knocking. Also I don’t know anyone on this planet who looks that good at 37 and 48, respectively. Should I manage to make it to middle age with half the physique Tom Cruise has, I’m sure I’ll be a colossal dick about it. But it doesn’t change the fact that they just aren’t the same sex symbols they were ten years ago, and the wear and tear of everyday life is clearly starting to show.
Maybe I don’t like having to acknowledge the fact that the two of them age and are, therefore, mortal. Maybe it bothers me that the two people who exemplified effortless sex appeal to me are moving away from There’s Something about Mary and Days of Thunder, and moving toward a retirement home in Malibu and grandkids who never visit (I would have made an age-based Scientology joke, but I really don’t know enough about the religion to properly mock it). Maybe it’s the fact that Cameron Diaz’s breasts just aren’t as perky as they once were. It’s probably that last one.
In any event, I came out of the movie theatre having received a stark reminder of my own mortality, and the fleeting fame and glory that comes with such transient beauty. As I walked out hand in hand with my date on the way back to the car, I found myself thinking about much more morbid topics then the action comedy I had devoted the last two hours to. I thought about life, love, and the fact that I had just spent 20 dollars to watch Tom Cruise age when I could have seen a Predator eviscerate Adrien Brody.