Two Characters & Several Decades

It has come to my attention that at least two of my friends feel there is a recent movie out (on cable) in which the lead character reminds them of me. Before I reveal which contemporary film has led them to that comparison, I want to tell a much older but similar story.

Back in the late 80s I was at a party with my 'L.A. family,' all the usual suspects were there. I discussion of favorite movies came up and I guess I mentioned The Big Chill, to which someone responded: "Well, of course you like that movie, William Hurt played you." I remember objecting to that comparison while the chorus of agreement grew on the other side. I countered with the age disparity and someone suggested I was probably more like the character of Nick when I was younger.

Sure I could vindicate myself, I picked up a nearby phone and called my best friend from the 70s. We hadn't spoken in over ten years (well before The Big Chill was released), I was sure Lee would save me. Valerie got on the extension to verify I did not lobby for a favorable result. The conversation went like this:

"Lee! It's Tim.

"Tim, wow it's been a long time."

"Hey Lee, I'll call tomorrow and we can catch up, but I have a herd of people here who are disparaging my character. I need to ask you a question."

"Go for it, I'll save you buddy."

"OK, I assume you've seen The Big Chill."

"Oh, you mean the film where William Hurt played you..."

OK, let me admit it again as I did that day long ago. (Apparently) I had some similarities to the character of Nick in The Big Chill as played by William Hurt. By the way he followed up that role with his Academy Award winning portrayal of Luis Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman.

Now to the current film. Also apparently, I seem to share some lifestyle characteristics with the George Clooney character in Up In The Air. I saw the film again last night, I think I have distilled the similarities to this one scene. The Clooney character is discussing love and relationships or the lack thereof with his female protege. She is pro-love naturally and he not so much. The scene finishes with this dialog.

"Do you know that moment when you look into somebody's eyes and you can feel them staring into your soul and the whole world goes quiet?"


"Well, I don't."

I think this time I shall not argue with the cinematic homology.