Thursday, November 10, 2005

Life lessons with Charlize.

A couple of months ago, a friend happened upon an HBO showing of the Keanu/Charlize weepie Sweet November. In it, Keanu and Charlize meet cute and have an intense/quirky courtship, but she has a deep dark secret. This friend happened to catch the movie right at the moment where THE SECRET IS REVEALED.

(For all you who'd like the rich tapestry that is Sweet November unsullied, look away, I'm about to spoil the hell out of it.)

You see, Charlize is sick. She's got the cancer and she's been hiding this from Keanu, she's trying to live her life in a "dignified" manner, ignoring her illness. According to my friend--oh fuck the anonymity--according to Tim, the revelation goes like this: Keanu, sick of the lies, rips open the door to the "mystery closet" and finds a room of pills. Perplexed he asks (in full Ted Logan cadence), "Char-leeze... why do you have all these pills?"
Upon hearing this, I did what anyone would do... I put the movie on my Netflix queue. Obviously I was prepared for the fact that (a) Keanu probably wouldn't actually call Charlize by her real name and (b) he probably wouldn't be in full Ted mode. I'm sorry to say that it still let me down, Tim's impression/version is far better than the real thing. For one, it's not so much a closet full of pills, more like a cabinet. That said, it's one full cabinet. I counted eight different pill containers on the top shelf (I was too lazy to pause the DVD to get an exact pill count), and there were four shelves in the cabinet, so you figure that Charlize has at least 32 flavors to fight the C. Anyway, Keanu does not ask her what they're all about, Charlize just buckles and weeps and says "I'm sick" and he hugs her (next to a puddle of her vomit, I might add). That's love, folks.
What I wasn't prepared for is this big revelation happens in the final third of the film; I thought the whole was all about love in the face of cancer. Instead, it's about Charlize (in full Nellie McKay drag) teaching Keanu how to really live. Apparently, when one really lives, one abdicates all responsibility (who needs that job anyway?) and walks poodles on the beach, befriends the latch-key kid, and has heart-to-hearts with the colorful-but-unthreatening drag queen. Oh and Enya's "Only Time" should play in the background during all of these life lessons.
Repeat after me: "Who can say /where the road goes / where the day flows /only time..."


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