WEIRDLAND: The Fantasy Corner

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Fantasy Corner

Jake & Jen Aniston in "The Good Girl" (2002) by Miguel Arteta.Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat in "Arrested Development".John Cusack & Ione Skye in "Say anything" (1989) by C. Crowe.

O: What defines a Cameron Crowe hero?

CC: The battered idealist. It's just my favorite character. I write it no matter what I do. It sort of comes from my upbringing. My mom would always say, "Be positive, be positive. It's rough out there, but don't succumb. Don't succumb to the cynicism in the world." To me, a hero is somebody who's able to accept the environment of the world, deal with the stuff that's thrown in their path—or, in Fast Times, the coffee that's thrown in their face—and somehow keep their heart. And I think there's a way to write a movie like that and a character like that without it being sentimental or Capra-esque in the worst way. Or, as Billy [Wilder] would say, [affects German accent] "Bad sentimentality!" I think sometimes good sentimentality is fun when it's balanced. You can have a bunch of people on a bus singing "Tiny Dancer" if you also have the brutal truth of the world represented. Because the way you battle the brutal truth of the world is to find that corner of the universe where maybe you get lost in a song and you do sing "Tiny Dancer." Which is embarrassing, and you don't want to look to your right or left, but you have that private moment. And when you're allowed to make a movie where you celebrate those private moments, you can't ask for more.

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