Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Officer and a Gentleman

MUST-SEE: (Taylor Hackford) With a trip back to a classic in 1982, An Officer and A Gentleman takes care of a few things for me. First and foremost, this film completely explains why he was the heartthrob of an older generation. When Richard Gere makes his appearance as the freshly-shaven Zach Mayo, he is gorgeous. Dark eyes, chiseled features and a sultry attitude make him dreamy as an early 80's movie star. And in uniform... well it just doesn't get much better than that. Second to physical satisfaction, Officer sets the bar for many of the movies that followed, of which I saw prior. Top Gun was 4 years later, but basically the same. And each trainee film thereafter seems to obviously takes it cues from the fantastic bar set by Gere, Debra Winger and friends. You've got hardship, romance, tragedy and the inevitable journey to discover oneself amidst the drama. Now, you can't compare the cinematography in this '82 flick to the extreme graphic candy of later films, but the story is unique, heartfelt and raw. It is Gere at his best, writing at it's stereotypical best (before it would have even been stereotypical), and actors no longer mentioned reaching their potential. And good thing too, because this film won 2 Oscars for its success. So yes, I am way behind in only having seen this film yesterday, but for those of you in my shoes (and in my generation) I know you'll appreciate its classic tone and far from Hollywood-exploited movie genres. It's Top Gun before there was Top Gun, Gere before pepper hair and wrinkly eyes, and romance like they used to do it. Everything leaks into the audience, due to the absence of crowds like special effects, hard fought accents and high budget costumes. It's a treat for 2 hours and one no one should miss. Enjoy.