Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mission improbable

Paramount's move to drop Tom Cruise for jumping too much on Oprah's couch had me thinking.

Should actors' off-screen antics affect our movie-going decisions?

Mel Gibson, of course, is a perfect example.

I really want to see his next movie, "Apocalypto," about the Mayans. Do I let his drunken anti-semitic rant stop me?

It's a tough one. It recalls the whole Jane Fonda thing. I remember people who wouldn't see "On Golden Pond" because they were still bitter about Fonda's anti-war stunts.

At some point, it gets silly, doesn't it? Several of the stars I've met have been jerks in person. So what? Are we going to study People magazine to see if all our favorite actors have the right moral fiber to represent our values on screen?

I'm not crazy about funding Gibson's rehab, but if he makes a movie I want to see, I'll still go see it.

Tom Cruise's case is easier. So, he's a bit of an eccentric. He wants everybody to be a pharmaceutical-free Scientologist. That's easier for me to forgive than his awful performance in "Legend."

What do you think?


At 10:22 PM, Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Yeah, I find this issue all a bit too silly. Especially Paramount's comments about being repulsed by Cruise's behavior.

Now, don't get me wrong, Cruise isn't making any friends by passing himself off as a total loon, but is that really something for which we cut ties now?

A few weeks ago Gibson was caught driving drunk and made horribly racist remarks. Robin Williams just checked himself into rehab for alcoholism. Every other week it seems some star is caught in an act of lewdness or some form of misbehaving.

Where is the official party line on these and any number of others? Nowhere to be seen. And why? Because it's all about the purse. Feign righteous indignation when you lose a few million dollars but defend depravity when it makes you the bucks.


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Rhonda said...

Hi guys -
Of course we have to be mature enough to separate the person from the performance, and to understand that we shouldn't judge people for being "loons" or racists. But that's not always easy to do. I recently read a biography of Alec Guinness and now I can't feel the same about his movies. I can see the man behind the mask.
Anybody who's studied film history knows that there wouldn't have been many movies made if anyone who didn't live up to society's standards was barred from the lot. Just two examples: Charlie Chaplin and Errol Flynn.
I don't like Tom Cruise any more because he cheats on his wives - but I no longer go to his movies because he isn't a particularly good actor.
So I don't know what the answer is. All I know is, my money isn't going to help support someone I find repulsive.
And, hey, at least Robin Williams is trying to straighten himself out.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger filmschooldropout said...

I thought that my personal feelings about filmmakers would effect whether or not I chose to see their movies until I found out Woody Allen married his daughter. Damn him for robbing me of my movie morals! No matter how hard I try to hate him, I still love his films. Now Mel Gibson is whole other story...let's just say he's lucky he made Braveheart, but even with that classic under his belt, he's still an insane person who I refuse to support with my $7 ticket price.


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