17 September 2009

So, there's this great Hannah Montana song, the chorus of which goes...

If we were a movie
you'd be the right guy
and I'd be the best friend
you'd fall in love with;
in the end, we'd be laughing
watching the sun set
fade to black
show the names
play the happy song

Now, Frank Sinatra made a career, it's been quite well argued by Phil Furia and others, by exploiting the inherent vulnerability of singing Broadway songs originally written for women. While he changed all the obvious pronouns (for the heterosexual world that is the "Great American Songbook"), the basic longing and suffering that was meant for the female characters in these Porter/Gershwin/Kern/etc. musicals, remained in the songs -- which allowed Frank to mine a level of hurt previously unheard of in the popular singing performances by men.

I call this to mind because, as much as I love to join in on the Hannah Montana song quoted above, I can't just change "guy" to "gal" and sing along. Why? Because the best "guy" friend NEVER gets the "right girl" in the movies.

Frank doesn't end up with Kathryn Grayson in Anchors Aweigh (lost to Gene Kelly) or It Happened in Brooklyn (lost to Peter Lawford). (He might get her at the end of The Kissing Bandit, but, since I've never been able to make it to the end of that movie, it doesn't count...and I don't think he's anyone's best friend in it anyway.)

To be slightly more contemporary...let's face it, the Duckies (Jon Cryer) of the world NEVER get Andie (Molly Ringwald).

So, what to do?

I sing:

If we were a movie
you'd be the right girl
I'd be the best friend
who loses out to Andrew McCarthy
(or some such bland, waspish, rich kid who,
admittedly, is not as bad as James Spader,
the blander, waspier, richer kid,
who, since then, has really put on a lot of weight,
so now he's just kinda creepy)
fade to black
show the names
play the happy song


1 comment:

  1. Just watched "Pretty in Pink" for the first time since seeing it when it was first released back in the 80s, and the DVD's "Extras" included the original ending -- which had Andie and Duckie together at the end!

    The filmmakers changed it because the earliest audiences HATED the fact that Andie and Blane ("That's not a name; it's a major appliance!") weren't together. So they reshot the prom scene 6 months later, and "voila!" all is well with the world.

    Duckie ends up with some cute blonde who appears, dea-ex-machina, at the end, so all really is well with the world. (Can't for the life of me figure out where she came from...Did she dump her date? Did she come to the prom alone? Hadn't she seen this guy around school the past four years? What's wrong with her?)