Project Valentine, Day 23: 9½ Weeks


This is the movie that every guy my age lied about seeing when I was in junior high school.  And now, 20+ years later, I've seen it, too!

9 ½ Weeks is about Elizabeth (Kim Basinger), an art gallery assistant who meets John (Mickey Rourke) while shopping one day.  After they run into each other again, they begin seeing each other, and he begins making her explore her sexual and submissive side.  As the acts he initiates become more and more envelope-pushing, she must decide whether the excitement of their relationship is worth the growing discomfort she feels.

All in all, I did like this movie, although it wasn't perfect.  While Courtney and I watched it, about the only thing that I actually said to her was, "Man, this is one '80s movie."  The sex scenes play like early music videos, right down to the lighting.

Mickey Rourke, in my mind, is now the roided up hulk of The Wrestler, so it was especially strange seeing him young and svelte again.  Although he was definitely good-looking back in the day, the guy he's playing is an absolute creeper.  That was one bit that seemed unlikely to me - I just couldn't believe she'd have stuck around as long as she did.

Of course, this movie's most famous scene is the one where Rourke has Basinger keep her eyes closed while he feeds her all different kinds of foods.  It's really a hot scene, but here's the difference ten years makes...  When I was 25, I would have been all, "Shit yeah, I'm trying that."  Now that I'm 35, I'm all, "I wonder who gets to clean all that up."  Yes, I've been married for nearly 9 years, why do you ask?

RATING - I give this movie 4 Before and After Rourkes out of 5.

LESSON - Mix it up, keep it fun.


Will Meekin said...

Your experience here reminds me a feeling I got when the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition arrived in the mail recently. When I was a teenager, it was the kind of thing I'd secret under my mattress (genius!). Now that I'm 41 my reaction is an overwhelming "meh." I guess you can chalk that up to our desensitization to titillating material in the age of internet porn as much as growing up, though.

Also, re: dated material. It's an interesting exercise to consider how few movies stand up as timeless. I suppose it's the same way for most art, but it puts the lie to the immortality claim of the creator (little c, not big): "I scribble, therefore I shall live on forever!" Yeah, me and Ozymandias.



Andrea G. said...

I tried the book at some point in college. It's an interesting read, as far as understanding WHY she stays around.

And I have just two words for you and Courtney: Saran Wrap

Danny said...

Will, I know what you mean. Another friend once wrote an article that I thought was really good, talking about how he wished he'd never seen porn. Not for any moral reasons, but because now, in his late 30s, his gauge has been set so high that it really takes a lot to get him to the point that the SI swimsuit issue once would have.

Andrea, I probably won't end up reading the book, but does it get any deeper into HIS side of things? The way Rourke plays it, he's just kind of a smirking enigma who stays happy as long as she complies with what he wants. Only at the end, as she walks out, does he say that he loves her. Does he love her? Does the book go into it?

Anonymous said...

Will, was that a Watchmen reference? Beautiful!

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