Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sexy movie moments that now seem weird #6 : Tom and Kelly in Top Gun

I once dated a girl who had a mega crush on Tom Cruise in Top Gun. I forgave her. She was Canadian.

I seem to recall Cruise's character Maverick launched a million teenage crushes when Top Gun was made in 1986 with the clear remit of shoving as many cliches into a single movie - fast planes, powerful motorcycles, arrogant fighter pilots, high altitude tensions etc. In fact there are so many cliches in Top Gun that the movie becomes the source of many cliches. Ask yourself how many times you have seen a fighter pilot referred to as a "Top Gun Pilot?"



What a difference a quarter of a century makes. The motif of Tom Cruise that follows him circa 2012 is that of a vertically challenged control freak whose every utterance is from the mumbo jumbo book of the Church of Scientology.

And his love interest in Top Gun, Kelly McGillis is more likely to be cast in the role of someone's grandmother on Lifetime than as a love interest.



Still the Take my Breath Away soundtrack by Berlin and love scenes from Top Gun are still powerful in their own way a quarter of a century later even though the high power motorbike, testosterone driven fighter pilot stuff borders on the ridiculous. Still they twang at something inside me, the memory of those idealistic and anguished teenage years.

There's also a curious irony in that Top Gun's macho posturing has clear homosexual undertones according to some commentators. It makes me wonder if the writer was having the last laugh in spawning a million crushes in the hearts of teenage girls for pilots in bomber jackets whose only real love interest was for fellow pilots in bomber jackets.





When you see Quentin Tarantino's hilarious take on the issue you have to ask yourself the pertinent questions at the heart of an issue which will surely loom large in the marginal states during Tuesday's election. Those volley ball scenes and Tom in his tighty whities. What the heck do they have to do with the development of the movie's plot unless it's intended to be a gay flick?

Needless to say this never even occurred to me in 1986. Not many things did.


16 comments:

  1. I remember seeing Top Gun at Mann's Chinese Theatre in LA when I was out there on a trip following my college graduation. I didn't care for the movie at all; we only went b/c it was such a famous theatre. Never liked 'you take my breath away' either. I don't think I thought of it as a gay flick at the time at all.

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    1. well I think when I saw it I was struck by the shallowness of the movie, although maybe the gay subtext gives it more depth

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  2. Never saw this flick. Never regretted not seeing it, either. ;)
    Mina's Resurrection Blogfest!

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  3. My mouth dropped open when I saw what Kelly looks like now. I mean, she must be in her fifties now, right? That woman in the photos does look like a grandmother, who is much older. I think it's the gray hair.

    Well, rumors have been bountiful in the media over the past 25 years about Tom being gay. And I must admit that I wouldn't be surprised. If it's true, it would explain a lot of his incredibly odd behavoir (i.e. "shopping" for a wife six years ago). Any damning evidence outting him would destroy him, even in today's more liberal society, so I imagine he would go to extreme and expensive lengths to cover up the secret.

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    1. I know Jennifer - I saw her in a crappy Lifetime movie and didn't realize it was her until half way through - Tom is a gay icon, I'm really not sure it would harm him much if he did come out, assuming he is gay. Maybe he's just confused.

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  4. You might be right about the latent homosexuality, but what's funny is that Kelly McG really is a lesbian and has not been afraid to come out, but then maybe she had less to lose.

    Apparently she's 55 so no surprise about the grey hair, what is surprising is that she doesn't dye it like most of the rest of us do. Hasn't she changed, though?!

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    1. Oh yes I do recall reading that re Kelly Sarah - guess she eschewed plastic surgery

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  5. Never saw the movie. Never saw An Officer and a Gentleman, either, which I believe disqualifies me for all kinds of things, nostalgically speaking. :-)

    Pearl

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    1. another couple of fingers down the throat movie - talking of which how about Pretty Woman Pearl

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  6. Your paragraph below the Berlin snippet is priceless. You said it all.

    xoRobyn

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  7. I think Kelly McG looks al right for her age, and it is nice to see an actress who doesn't dye her hair. In a way, Tom Cruise has aged far worse.

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    1. Yes indeed Starla - at least Kelly seems to be comfortable with herself.

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  8. I haven't seen Top Gun since I was a kid and I honestly don't remember much about it.

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  9. I just can't believe Tom has been cast as the 6'5" Jack REacher in the first film of Lee Childs' magnificent series. I for one dedicated reader, shall boycott that one !!!!!!!!

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