Probably Alex Cox’s most underrated movie. From the Chicago Reader (December 4, 1987). — J.R.
*** (A must-see)
Directed by Alex Cox
Written by Rudy Wurlitzer
With Ed Harris, Richard Masur, Rene Auberjonois, Marlee Matlin, Peter Boyle, Blanca Guerra, and Miguel Sandoval.
What is it about the American mind that insists on regarding itself as apolitical? It would be easier to understand such an attitude in a country with less political freedom than this one; here it seems willfully self-denying, like ordering a hamburger in a Chinese restaurant. From a Marxist and existential standpoint, being “apolitical” means accepting, hence supporting, the status quo — a political position like any other, acknowledged or not. Yet there is something in the national consciousness that resists such acknowledgment.
Reagan’s appeal has always rested in part on this form of self-deception, which can be traced back to most of his movie roles — the assumption that anyone as bland and as familiar as a favorite uncle can’t be sullied by anything as dirty as politics or ideology. The belated discovery that Reagan’s “apoliticism,” so closely linked with his triumph as Pure Image, chiefly consists of his capacity to do nothing at all, hasn’t eliminated the desire to fill the void with another static, charismatic presence — another movie, in short, to tide us over the many crises to come.… Read more »