Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP Patrick Swayze

Sad news today: Patrick finally lost his battle with cancer. He was 57. I'd prefer to remember him the way he was, than the way he was in the end. It's funny how a person you don't know can have such influence on you and those around you. I think Patrick was one of those people.

I guess it all started out because my Mum was mad about Patrick - when Dirty Dancing came out, I thought she might leave Dad and run off to become a psycho stalker (somehow I wish she did). Dirty Dancing was released in 1987 - so I probably saw it for the first time in about 1988/89 (I would have been about 8 or 9). And it grossed me out. Why? Boys came from Jupiter, because they're stupider. Duh.
I couldn't really understand what the fuss was about. Why would you need to sneak around to learn to dance? My Mum let me go to dance classes all the time, AND I secretly hated it. Then there was the soundtrack, which Mum just about killed me with (along with the Beaches soundtrack). Listening to that soundtrack on repeat over and over in the car could be the reason I started listening to techno. But I have to admit, after a while (as I got older), I started to like the soundtrack. To this day I still know all the words of all the songs. And for all the times Mum made me watch the movie on rainy days - now I think it's a great movie. Not only because of the story and dancing, but because it reminds me of spending time with my Mum.

Fast forward a few years to when I was in high school. Probably year 8 or 9, making me about 13 or 14. We had to read the book the Outsiders for English, which also meant writing some essay about it too. Of course, I wanted to do as little work as possible at school, and I never bothered to read the book - which was a bit of a problem when the paper was suddenly due. Video to the rescue - just watch the movie instead, you'll be fine.
The 1983 Frances Ford Coppola directed film the Outsiders featured a fledgling cast of someday-superstars. Swayze, Cruise, Dillion, Estevez, Lowe, Macchio... and the rest is history.Then came the 1991 film Point Break. I was never into surfing, but I really liked Keanu Reeves, thanks to movies like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Parenthood (still one of my favourite movies to this day). I went to see Point Break at the cinema, which was a pretty big deal at the time. What wasn't to like about Bohdi, the cool surfer dude who just happened to rob banks part-time. Even Keanu liked him, despite being a cop. And who could forget the final scene where Bodhi goes off into the surf at Bells, never to be heard of again...
RIP Patrick Swayze.

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