Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Bodyguard

Year 2, Day 13 - 1/13/10 - Movie #378

BEFORE: With American Idol starting up again this week, let's call this "Pop Idol" week on the Movie Year, and move from Neil Diamond to Whitney Houston. This is another one of those films that it seems like everyone has seen, and assumes that I've seen, but I haven't, until now.


THE PLOT: A former Secret Service agent takes on the job of bodyguard to a pop singer.

AFTER: Very clever, wrapping a love-story in an action movie, in an attempt to create the ultimate "date movie". The men in the audience can enjoy Frank Farmer's (Kevin Costner) battle against crazy fans and stalkers, while the women in the audience can just enjoy Kevin Costner, I guess.

Though it's largely a vehicle to showcase Whitney Houston's singing talent, it's also a fine addition to my examination of fame, since it's about the dangers of being famous and interacting with their fans. "Fan", of course, is short for "fanatic", a point that celebrities would be well-advised to keep in mind.

Rachel Marron (Houston) is a singer and Oscar-nominated actress who is receiving death threats and explosive packages, and her staff calls in Farmer to beef up her security. However, she resists, refusing to alter her routines or admit that there's a problem with her visibility. The two egos clash, and that leads to a tumultuous affair. I won't say any more about the outcome, in case you're another one of the 5 people like myself who hasn't seen this before.

But for a technical definition of "character actor", check out the resum├ęs of two of this movie's bit players - Bill Cobbs (last seen by me as Del Paxton in "That Thing You Do") and Mike Starr. Starr plays Tony, the security goon - it seems he's always playing a thug or a bartender or a not-so-bright guy - but the man WORKS, a lot. I know him best as "Kenny" the bowling-alley attendant from the TV show "Ed", but just peruse some of the movies that he's appeared in: "The Ice Harvest", "Jersey Girl", "Ed Wood", "Dumb & Dumber", "Blown Away", "Goodfellas", "Born on the Fourth of July", "Uncle Buck", "Lean On Me", "Radio Days", and "The Natural", plus many others. I envy a guy with that many credits to his name, who still remains relatively anonymous. Here's to you, Mike Starr...

Also cameos from Richard Schiff (last seen by me in "Ray"), Debbie Reynolds, and Robert Wuhl (hosting the Oscars? In his dreams...)

RATING: 6 out of 10 security cameras (again, I think I'm deducting for the presence of a really unbearable song, in this case it's "I Will Always Love You")

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