Thursday, November 26, 2009
Being that it's Thanksgiving, I was ready to post Pat Metheny's Last Train Home -- a gorgeous song from his 1987 album Still Life (Talking).
But while looking for it on YouTube, I came across something I hadn't seen in years. Something really wonderful.
There's a great little gem of a movie from 1985 called Fandango that starred Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson and Sam Robards. It's essentially a road picture set in the late 1960s; a group of college friends pile into a car and set out across Texas looking for one last adventure before they go their separate ways -- with at least two of them going to Vietnam.
I'd try to describe to you what makes the movie work, but to be honest it's something you have to see for yourself. Suffice it to say, I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie that truly captures what it feels like to simply be young and alive like Fandango. It's funny, touching, bittersweet, passionate and just plain magical.
The film's final scene involves a wedding that's been hastily put together through a little good-natured trickery (the set-up is some of Costner's best work and reminds you of the kind of charm he could wield so effortlessly on-screen during those first years of his career) in a tiny Texas town. The aim is to marry Sam Robards's character to someone who in the movie credits is known only as "The Girl." She's played by Suzy Amis. What's never described anywhere in the movie is what the history is between Costner's character and Amis -- you only know that there was something between them a long time ago, and that Costner considers Amis to be the love of his life. She slips through his dreams at various points in the movie like a ghost, without saying a word. When they finally meet face to face before the wedding, for what you know is the first time in years, he says with a wistful smile, "Don't I know you?" She smiles back sadly and says, "You used to."
In the end, the entire town comes out for the wedding -- and what happens next is honestly one of my favorite scenes I think in any movie. Fandango uses music in ways that don't just enhance the film -- they imbue it with, once again, magic, from Carole King's It's Too Late to Blind Faith's Can't Find My Way Home.
To this song from Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, originally from their album As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls.
Maybe I shouldn't share this, I barely know anymore. But before I even watched this -- the moment I discovered it -- from completely out of nowhere and with a lightning-fast speed that absolutely shocked me, I started crying uncontrollably. Just, a tidal wave of overwhelming sobs.
Here's the wedding scene from Fandango.
The song is It's For You.