OCTOBER 22, 2008
When I was little, Stealing Home made me think my high school life would be pretty awesome. Our hero nails two hot girls (one like 5 years older than him), spends all summer at the beach with one of the girls (with his mom’s permission!), kicks ass at baseball, and gets to chill with Jonathan Silverman. “All this is in store for me?” said 9 or 10 year old BC, “Awesome!” Sadly, besides frequenting the beach, there’s only been one other “Billy Wyatt” esque event in my life, and it’s the last one I would have wanted to occur. Stupid Stealing Home, giving me false hope.
That said, it’s still a cherished and enjoyable movie. For starters, I love how it’s set up; the movie is about Mark Harmon’s character daydreaming about the time he was reminiscing about his childhood. LEVELS. Also, for a movie in which our hero loses his dad way too early in life AND his true love commits suicide, it’s actually a lot of fun. His best friend (Silverman, and in the present day, Harold Ramis) is one of the best characters in a movie ever, IMO. He also has a summer that’s a lot more exciting than any I ever had, nailing the hot old broad that lives next door, and also gets to drink with Billy’s mom. I never had a friend with a hot mom, but if I did, and she wanted to give me a martini, I’d probably have a good time. Apparently, this movie is based on the actual childhoods of writer/directors Steven Kampmann and William Porter, and if that’s true.... man, I hate those guys. If I ever turned my childhood memories into a movie, it would be pretty dull. “And then, for the 2nd act climax, I watch Stealing Home again.”
I also love, love, LOVE the music in this movie. There’s a lot of great 50s/60s songs like “Poison Ivy” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream”, but there’s also one of the finest scores ever recorded, composed by David Foster. Back in 2000 I found the soundtrack CD at a Virgin record store in NY, and I must have listened to the main theme a dozen times on the drive back to Boston. There is also a wonderfully cheeso/awesome ballad called “And When She Danced”, which plays over the scene where Billy finally gets to fuck (and FUCK, they appear to go at it for like 8 hrs straight) his dream girl, played by Jodie Foster back when she was still hot. And for no real reason, I’d like to point out that this song used to bug me as a kid (and still kind of does), because it’s obviously a modern song that’s being played over a scene set in the 60s. The big finale of Dirty Dancing used to bug me too, for the same reason. Not quite sure how I was able to process this information at a young age (how did I know it was a new song? Was I checking the copyright dates?), but I think it’s amusing.
This movie is also pretty harsh for a PG-13. There are a couple of f-bombs, some brief nudity, and a pretty scary encounter between Billy and a guy his mom brings home. This guy is a total ass by the way; Billy’s like “hey man, go home!” and the dude barely hesitates in punching him, a 16 year old kid, right in the face. Plus, again, the movie’s themes are a bit depressing; the scene where they watch some home movies and Billy’s mom sees footage of her husband, shot only a day or two before he died, is among one of the more heartbreaking things I’ve seen in a movie. And the entire movie revolves around a guy trying to figure out how to spread someone’s ashes. Fun for the whole family!
There’s also some goofy stuff in the movie that tickles me. Like when Billy goes to his friend’s house and sneaks into the master bedroom, which lets us see that the guy’s parents sleep in separate (side by side) beds. Also, at the very end of the film, Billy and his friends walk home after a ball game, but they head to the outfield? Where the hell are they going?
I also never really realized it before, but Billy is kind of an asshole. He fucks two girls in the movie and never bothers with either of them again. The only reason he looks for the girl he lost his virginity to is because the other one (Foster, who he “never saw again” after their incredibly hot night of sex, despite the fact that she didn’t kill herself for another 15 years or so) wanted him to get back the pendant he gave her, a task he also takes like 15 years to get around to doing. And when he does, he reveals that he hasn’t seen HER since the night they fucked. Dude, harsh.
Also, and this goes out to all the folks who have seen the movie: “You! Had! Sex! With my prom date!”
When I first moved to LA, I worked one time as an extra on Navy NCIs. We were told not to bother the talent, so I was crushed to not have the opportunity to tell Mark Harmon (who I got to share the screen with! I guess that makes up for never fucking my friend’s prom date) how much I loved the film. And then last year, Beth Broderick (the hot neighbor broad) was at Screamfest (she was in Timber Falls), and I didn’t even realize it was her until I went home. Rest assured, if I ever come across Jonathan Silverman or Blair Brown, I won’t let them out of my sight until I discuss this movie with them.
(I assume Jodie Foster is a bit weary of fans obsessed with her early work, so if I ever see her I’ll probably just nod a hello.)
This was on HDNet last year, which suggests that a new DVD may finally be in the works (as the one released is a full frame, rather bland transfer, as almost all early Warner Bros “library title” DVDs were). If they need an audio commentary by a noted expert on the film, they know where to find one.
What say you?