July 27, 2006
I was at work the other day when I made a startling discovery. It wasn't intentional and I don't know how it happened but alas, it has.
I have seen every Keanu Reeves movie from 1986 to 2005.
Look, I'm not some crazed "Kiki"—his nickname, I heard somewhere—fan or anything. But I like movies. And by next year, Keanu Reeves will have made 36, possibly 37 films in the U.S. Okay so apparently—I've seen 31 of them.
That's every single film from River's Edge to Parenthood; I Love You to Death to Even Cowgirls Get the Blues; The Devil's Advocate to Constantine—and all that good stuff in between. You know, like The Prince of Pennsylvania, Feeling Minnesota and ah, yes… even Sweet November. All of it.
Aghast with this knowledge, I did what I always do with disturbing information about myself. First, I walked around the office and told my co-workers. Second, I called my friends.
"That's the scariest thing I've heard all day," said Anthony. "I don't think he's the Anti-Christ or anything, but I don't like him. Not even a little."
Brad agreed. "Ewww! Why would you do that?" asked Brad, disgusted. "My favorite is his British accent in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Awful. Pairing him with Gary Oldman is like putting a poodle up against a pitbull."
"But what about Dangerous Liaisons?" I asked. "That was an excellent tale of revenge and seduction in 18th century France with Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer and John Malkovich."
"Yeah, that is a good movie," said Brad. "But he isn't good in it. The problem is he gets good scripts but he's a terrible actor. But I do wanna see A Scanner Darkly—that Philip K. Dick novel film with the rotoscoping. Now that's a good gig."
Wendy disagreed somewhat. "He does seem to be in a lot of good movies that everyone likes," she said. "I think he's a better actor than when he started. He did a good job in Speed. But how did he get that role in Dracula anyway?"
"You're a dork," said Elan to me, by phone from Oakland. "Keanu Reeves is a dork and so are you. That's a lot of bad movies, aside from The Matrix and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. And that one cool sci-fi one—"
"Oh, you mean Johnny Mnemonic?" I said. "The one that co-stars Ice-T and takes place in the year 2021, where he carries 320 gigabytes of data in his head but he can only carry 160, and his head will explode in three days if it isn't downloaded? Yeah, that was a good one…"
"You've seen all of them?" asked Jen, incredulous. "But you don't even like him. Did you see Speed 2?"
"Yes," I said. "But he wasn't in that one."
"Oh," she said. "Well, you're just a sucker for self-mutilation is what that is. You've just seen all those movies for who else is in it. Like My Own Private Idaho with River Phoenix? Keanu's just the consolation prize. It's his voice—it's so monotone. And he's expressionless! He plays the same character in all the movies—he's always dumb. I just despise him."
"But what about A Walk in the Clouds?" I asked. "That was a Golden Globe-winning, cinematographically beautiful piece that co-starred a virtually unknown actress in a love story that took place in post-World War II California wine country."
"Oh yeah, I really liked that one," said Jen.
And then I got a disturbing email from my old high school pal Jaime who now lives in Santa Barbara.
"I think you might be a stalker," she wrote. "But on the plus side, he has said in recent interviews that he really wants to marry and have kids. So, you know, maybe you're actually doing some hardcore research."
Why must it always come to this?
Samantha Campos likes to keep her feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. MTW
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