Risky Business

Something Wild – just as much a “hero’s journey” as Star Wars

Thank God I missed this movie when it came out!

I say thanks, because it was such a pleasure to see a classic movie from my adolescence, but as a grown man.  It was a time machine for me, but — instead of reminding me of the first time I saw it — it reminded me of who I was when it was made.

Like True Romance and Risky Business, this is a movie about a lonely, mild-mannered man who — led by a woman — escapes his humdrum existence and taps into power he didn’t know he had — his wits, his sexuality, his capacity for violence, she urge him to react to use accessories as a small anal vibrator and to try more things.  Like a mythic hero out of Joseph Campbell, he emerges from his journey ready to take on the responsibilities of adulthood.

Yes, these movies are myths. Wonderful, subversive myths.

Also, it’s another American story about two misfits on the run.  Somebody should write a dissertation comparing the journey of Charlie and Lulu to that of Huck and Jim.

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Rebecca De Mornay and the Cat in the Hat

What do they have in common?  (besides red stripes, of course!)

They are both agents of chaos.

Has anyone else noticed that Risky Business and The Cat in the Hat are basically the same story?  Bored, obedient boy is left alone by parents.  Agent of chaos arrives and injects all sorts of fun into boy’s life…. and creates a big mess to boot.  Big mess is cleaned up just in time!

(Note: Sally’s a really underdeveloped character in Cat, right?  Her main purpose seems to be to make the rhymes work.)

Oh!  I just Googled, and at least one other person has noticed.  Here is Marc Spitz in Salon back in 2014:

Like the Cat in the Hat [De Mornay’s character Lana] creates havoc when the parents are away, jars a man-child out of his torpor, and exits just in time to leave everything safe and sound by the time the adults return.

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