/rolls off bed to the left, instead of to the right.
The Jay: Damn, wrong side. Ugh. Another overcast, dreary August morning. Forgot to put a glass of water on my nightstand, so now I’m parched and scratchy like ScarJo monologuing in the Mojave. Hair’s all out of whack. Damn, my fav livestrong bracelet just snapped.
Sorry Ice, I gotta feeling today ain’t gonna be a good day.
Maybe there’ll be some good news to cheer me up. To the Interwebs!
/checks the net
The Jay: Hackers are waging war on Facebook? Somebody better tell Zero Cool to chill. More NBA players are ditching the US to go play ball in Europe? Fine. Let the damn Turks deal with Kobe’s diva bullshit for a while. Ben Affleck is rocking a Justin Beiber haircut. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman costume is from the Halle Berry reject pile. Nothing good so far…
/checks more of the web
The Jay: The extra season of Eureka was scrapped? FU SYFY! Rebecca Black was forced to leave her school, cause of excessive teasing. Don’t people know this is Her Moment? Arnold is wearing an “I Survived Maria” shirt. Well, that’s his second worst decision ever, after Mr. Freeze. Somebody send that grizzled douche of a muscle bag to da coolah. Cripes, a big ball of suck is going on right now.
/checks world news
The Jay: Let’s see what’s happening in the world. Dow dropped another billionty points? Fantastic. There goes my fictional future kid’s college fund. No worries, little Max can be a dropout, worked for Kanyeezy. What else… Michelle Bachman is crazy on the cover of Newsweek. NBD. Real Estate Market is still in the can. Gas prices are still crazy damn high. London is still rioting, which is odd cause I thought Harry killed Lord Voldemort. Has the world gone mad?
/skims Google News
The Jay: Piers Morgan is hacking phones. Mac is now fat on It’s Always Sunny. Someone has graphic photos of Bruce Willis doing mean things to puppies, and is using them to blackmail him into starring in GI Joe 2. Ryan Reynolds lost Charlize Theron and his A-List status in the span of a month. My Miami Dolphins just let Ricky Williams go to the Ravens!!!! J-Woww turned her face into a Leprechaun. Some a-hole is taking a Hungry Eyes dump on The Swayze’s grave by making a Dirty Dancing reboot. Thugs beat the chariot out of Gavin DeGraw. Sue Sylvester was cut from the Glee movie. Gerard Butler is still getting cast in movies. Netflix changed my plan!
Why does the world suck right now?
Seriously, there is no reason to get out of bed today. Screw work. Screw the gym. Screw it all. There is nothing, I mean literally NOTHING that can cheer me up right now.
This is a list of the 40 movies of the last ten years that affected me the most. They aren’t the “best” movies by any stretch of the imagination (Even the stubborn narcissist in me can’t call movies 22, 23 or 27 “good”), just the ones that moved me, entertained me, and enlightened me. They are the 40 movies I will remember, and care about, from the 2000’s.
The hope is that reading this list will help you to learn more about Jason Matthews (aka “The Jay’). It shouldn’t be an exercise in bashing my taste. Cause we all like some really bad pop culture (hey Keanu!), and no one should be judged by their guilty pleasures. The idea is not for me to tell you what to like or what you should think. I’m not making a case that my list is any better or valid than any of the other indulgent Best Of The Decade lists (which all suck) that are overloading the Internet right now. I didn’t pick these movies to make you think I’m some cool, with it know-it-all. Frankly, all that doesn’t matter to me.
I’m simply saying, for me, these were the ones that mattered. For whatever it’s worth.
40 – Mean Girls
Was the catalyst for the rise (and fall) of Lindsey Lohan: failed actress, successful tabloid whore, ginger person; introduced the world to Rachel McAdams; tried to make “fetch” happen. This movie had a lot going on.
39 – Collateral
Tom Cruise is more fun to watch as a villain. Consider: Magnolia, Interview with a Vampire, Tropic Thunder, Vanilla Sky. Wait, he wasn’t the villain in Vanilla Sky? But then why was he trying to eat my soul with his mis-aligned upper teeth, serial killer mask and frightening intensity?
38 – High Fidelity
Lloyd Dobler grew up, got way into music and became a manic-depressive. A happy ending? Not quite. But it did result in a smart, hyper-literal movie with Tim Robbins getting a long-deserved beat down, totes supes CZJ side boob, Lisa Bonet singfucking us some Peter Frampton, Jack Black being actually funny instead of the not funny he’s become, the obliges John Cusack standing forlornly in the rain shot and maybe the hottest sex scene of the 2000’s (starring, shocker, Tim Robbins).
37 – Juno
Is it obnoxious writing? Yes. (I considered writing ‘honest to blog there, but didn’t really want to throw up on my keyboard, so you know.) Is Ellen Page too precocious by half? Correct. Is what the movie has to say kinda offensive? Pretty much. But I can’t take away the amazing work done by Jason Bateman, Jen Garner (her scene in the mall is a killer) and Allison Janney. And any movie that makes its male lead a Cross Country and Track star is all right by me.
36 – Old School
“He’s gonna do one!” Nuff said.
35 – Unbreakable
The best comic book origin movie that you didn’t realize was actually a comic book origin movie ever. I miss M. Night’s fastball.
34 – Atonement
If only for the score, the library sex scene and BRIIIIOOOOONNNNYYY! Also? Everything else about this movie.
33 – Moulin Rouge!
I can sing both parts of Elephant Love Medley by heart, nine years later. That has to count for something.
32 – Sideways
I hated this movie for a long, long time. And I can’t forgive the movie for causing a fungal rash of sad bastard men movies to be made (mostly all starring Paul Giamatti or PSH, obvs). But the movie got people into wine, my favorite hobby, and shined a light on Santa Barbara Wine Country, my favorite place in the world. And despite my issues with the story, THIS is amazing writing:
“I like to think about the life of wine. How it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ’61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline. …And it tastes so fucking good.”
31 – The Queen
A stunning picture, credits to credits. Gets extra credit for making me want to do to horrifyingly sexual things to a septuagenarian. (What? Helen Mirren is HOT. #fact)
30 – The Bourne Ultimatum
For the Waterloo Station sequence alone.
29 – Mission Impossible 3
Secretly the best action movie of the decade. And easily one of the best action movie teasers of all-time.
28 – Pride and Prejudice
The film that made me turn the corner on Keira Knightley. It’s a beautiful adaptation, has the most sweeping camera work, and the ensemble brings it with powerful yet subtle acting. Loved this movie.
27 – The Perfect Score
A perfect 80’s teen movie, twenty years too late.
26 – The Blind Side
The best movie of 2009. And it’s not even close. Saw it in theaters twice, cried both times. The best work Sandy has ever done, and she’s done a lot of great work. Hollywood doesn’t make movies like this anymore, but they should.
25 – Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Shane Black at his sardonic, quippy, violent action best, RoDoJu bringing the funny, Val tapping into his Real Genius performance, AND Michelle Monaghan topless? How was this movie not a GIANT success?
24 – Zoolander
The movie I have quoted the most this decade. It isn’t a particularly good movie, but there’s not a person I know who doesn’t, every so often, cough lightly in public and say “I have the black lung, pop”.
23 – Taken
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”*
*Gets extra credit for being the only time I went to the Bridge Cinema and didn’t have the worst movie-going experience in my life. What is WRONG with those people? Take your idiot conversations, text messaging and general hooliganery OUT of the theater. There are people trying to watch Liam Neeson kill foreigners here!
22 – The Core
Quite possibly the dumbest disaster movie Hollywood has ever put out, and that includes the one where Dennis Quaid runs away from weather, but I can’t help but love something that knows how stupid it actually is. And I can’t help but be charmed by a movie that has its hero pitch a full-on temper tantrum AT his love interest. That takes balls.
21 – Iron Man
The most fun of any blockbuster in the last ten years. Gets props for casting RoDoJu right off of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, when no one thought he had a Franchise in him. Made Gwyneth Paltrow fun again (no easy feat). And the scene of Stark testing out the flying mechanism in his workshop is an underrated special effects stunner.
20 – Minority Report
If for this scene alone:
You may weep now.
19 – The Aviator
As someone who has fought (and occasionally won) the battle of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I can relate to this film on a molecular level. And I could watch Leonardo dress down Cate Blanchett every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
“Don’t you ever talk talk down to me! You’re a movie star, nothing more!”
18 – No Country For Old Men
Was the Best Picture in the best year for Best Pictures of the decade. And putting this here means I get to link to my Javier Bardem Oscar post, one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. Done!
17 – Ocean’s Eleven
A compulsively watchable flick, the best star cast of the decade, an instant TNT New Classic and just plain, good old-fashioned fun. Brad Pitt eating in every scene, the wink wink lame ‘happily ever after’ kiss at the end, Julia emailing in her performance, “Whisky and a whisky”, the all of the everything that is Topher Grace and Matt Damon FINALLY making me like him (if not so much his pig nose).
16 – Catch Me If You Can
Some of the best work Spielberg has done in two decades, and it all feels tossed off, making me love it all the more. Haunting, genuine work by Christopher Walken (not easy at this point, if you think about it), the best knock knock joke ever, a game Tom Hanks, my favorite opening credits of the decade and Leo being Leo. There’s something about D-Cap’s work in the 2000’s that hit me hard. He played guys missing answers and trying desperately to find them, which I heart. You’ll notice that starts to be a recurring theme from here on out.
15 – Punch Drunk Love
A mesmerizing movie, if only for the pillow talk.
14 – Mr. & Mrs. Smith
The schadenfreude alone qualifies the movie for Best Ever status. Smith has no business being good, considering its troubled production, and the fact that the movie could have just put a close up on Brangelina’s faces for two hours and called it a day and we would have ate it up, and yet it is. Very good, in fact. The Brad on Angelina fight was fantastic, the freeway gunfight with Truths Revealed sequence was electrifying (“Art?” “History! It’s reputable.”), Vince Vaughn was stellar, Adam Brody got beat up (counts for a LOT), and I can’t get enough of Brad telling Angelina she “looked like Christmas morning”. I’m on Team Aniston, for the real, but this movie almost makes up for her trauma.
13 – Bring It On
The Citizen Kane of cheerleader movies. Also, the only movie Kirsten Dunst has EVER been likable in. And, um, hello, Eliza Dushku in a bikini, washing cars. My work here is done.
12 – Kill Bill ½
Part 1 is ultra-badass, Part 2 is exhilarating filmmaking. Would rank higher if QT had taken out the anime sequence (not interested, thanks), reduced the time Uma was trapped in a coffin (my greatest fear), and eased back on the foot fetish. We get it, Uma has great toes! Can we get back to the swords and exploitation now?
11 – The Notebook
I get that I’m a guy and therefore shouldn’t have this on my list. But you can’t tell me this wasn’t a seminal movie of the decade. That it didn’t change things. You can’t. Gosling and McAdams were the most watchable lovers in any movie of the last ten years. Period. I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and when I rewatched it again for this list, you know what I found out about my love for it? It wasn’t over. It’s still not over!
/makes out with this movie in the rain
10 – X-Men
I saw this movie in theaters five times, maybe the most I have ever seen any movie in the theaters. The movie is not without issues: the ending is small, Halle Berry is atrocious, Anna Paquin makes me Ralph and the pace is like an injured turtle. But man alive, Hugh Jackman’s arms. Hugh freaking Jackman’s. Arms.
Please excuse me while I go do 150 push-ups.
9 – Garden State
I make no apologies for this movie. It’s trendy to bash Garden State because of the weak, cliché writing, but you know what all you people? Go fuck yourself. This movie is GREAT. The Coldplay, the slow motion zooms, the WIDE establishing shots, the Natalie Portman, what’s not to like? Guys ding this movie unfairly because they are jealous Zach Braff got to make out with Natalie Portman in the rain, which is (not so) secretly our greatest wish in life. But we need to get over ourselves. And wannabe filmmakers hate this movie because they believe they could do it better. But if they could, they would, and they haven’t. Braff may be a King Douche, but he gets credit for doing it. And the doing is the whole point.
8 – The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson, irritating storytelling warts and all, is a singular voice in American filmmaking. This is his best work, and it’s not even close.
“The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. “Vámonos, amigos,” he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.”
7 – Wedding Crashers
Any film that opens with a ten minute montage of partying, bare boobs, cake and great dialogue, and then gives us Walken being an oddball, McAdams being luminous, Jane Seymour MILF-ing it up, Bradley Cooper playing a character named Sack Lodge, and the everything of the all that is the stage-5 clinger Isla Fisher, with a truly hilarious Will Ferrell cameo to boot, automatically makes me Top Movies of the Decade list. Hey, I don’t make the rules, I just obey them. So no excuses, play like a champion.
6 – Anchorman
I submit to you the following:
It could be the dialogue. It could be the style. It could be the camera work. It could be the score. But really, it’s about the journey. Of a guy looking for answers. A guy who refuses to just leave it be. A guy who needs to know. And who pays the price for that information.
4 – Harry Potter 3 and 5
Parts one and two are kids movies. Four is easy to digest mainstream snore. Six is too insular for its own good. But 3 and 5, Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix? They’re about something. They have something to say. They are filmmaking of the highest order. Two harsh, magnificent, brutal chapters in the life of a tragic boy, who wants nothing more than to be normal, happy and loved, and continues to suffer for wanting those things and having the gall to ask for them.
It’s easy to write this franchise off because of its popularity, but never forget that this is a story of a boy whose parents were murdered, a boy being hunted down every moment of his life, a boy with the literal world on his shoulders, a boy who can relate to no one, but who never backs down for a fight and will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about, even if it means dying. Let’s see Team Bella do that.
3 – Spartan
I’m a doer. I see a job that needs to get done, I do it. No complaints, no questions. I will go to the ends of the Earth to make it happen. Spartan is a movie made for people like me. Gripping, intense, honorable and the best Mamet dialogue an aspiring playwright could ask for.
And if you ever wanted to pull life advice from a movie, this is the movie to do it.
“You had your whole life to prepare for this moment. Why aren’t you ready?”
“The hardest thing, y’know what it is? It isn’t going in the door, it’s coming out.”
“Why would I want to know? I ain’t a planner, I ain’t a thinker. I never wanted to be. You got to set your motherfucker to receive. Listen to me. They don’t go through the door, we don’t ask why. That’s not a cost, it’s benefit. Because we get to travel light. They tell me where to go. Tell me what to do when I get there.”
2 – The 25th Hour
I tend to respond the most to movies about conflicted characters reflecting on their past, trying to figure out where things went wrong, and considering how to fix it going forward. This is the finest version of that story.
I dream of writing something as beautiful as the last ten minutes:
1 – Before Sunset
I look at my Top Ten and I see a pattern. And the pattern is me. We love movies for all sorts of reasons, but the ones that matter to us, tend to matter for one specific reason. Their story, in a fashion, is our story.
I started this decade as a freshman in College. All optimism, energy and naïveté. I was a hopeless romantic, with not an ounce of practicality. I had done nothing, but believed I felt everything. I end this decade a professional. I am hardened, realistic, unlike that 18 year-old boy in every way. I spent ten years searching for answers. Trying to discover the right path to happiness. And I haven’t found it yet. But I can look back, see the course of my life and understand how things fit. Why they went the way they did. Why I am here, in this place, in this moment, today. Which is good.
But that doesn’t mean I like it. And it doesn’t mean I accept it.
Before Sunset is that story. Tracking your life across a long span, deciphering the choices made, from love to career to everything else. Seeing so clearly how it all went down, but being powerless to alter things for the better. And then, in the most perfect cinematic way, two people are given a second chance. They are given an opportunity to get it right, this time, knowing now what they wish they knew then. And it’s on them to make it happen.
Before Sunset is an escape in the best way possible. It’s fun imagining I’m Neo or Riggs or John McClane or the guys from Wedding Crashers, shooting guns, being a hero, getting laid, etc. But it’s better, and more fulfilling, to imagine getting that second chance. To imagine saying all the right things in all the right ways to the right person. And hearing them say all the right things back to you.
It’s a movie about hope, the one thing I take with me the most into the new decade. The hope that I will figure it out. The hope that I won’t need that second chance, because when it counts, I will get it right the first time.
Movies are and always have been my education. I learn who I am from what I watch. These 40 movies, more than any others, taught me the most about myself this decade. And I will take the knowledge I have gained into the next decade and try to better myself, little by little, every day.
I am smarter, stronger, kinder, and more able to survive and thrive. What’s the job? Find me. I’ve had my whole life to prepare for this moment.
Today is one of those very special days that only come once, maybe twice a year (if he happens to do a cameo in some middling Indie dreck, cough Thumbsucker cough): the day a new Keanu Reeves movie opens! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, critics are sharpening their swords and devotees like myself are smiling wide, ear-to-ear, as their favorite cinema star offers his latest piece of cinematic perfection.
So many fantastic questions to consider on this day of days:
- Will he say “whoa” in the movie? And if so, will it be non-ironic?
- Will his co-stars have that douchebaggy “I can’t believe I’m acting opposite Keanu Reeves, what has come of my career” look in their eyes (P.S.: Get fucked, John Corbett. At least Keanu never debased himself with Sarah Jessica Parkhorse.)?
- Will the film be an unparalleled triumph at the box office, thereby reinforcing my argument that the popular success of Keanu Reeves is a clear indication of his talent and staying power?
The opening of The Day The Earth Stood Still is especially delicious, as it marks Keanu’s return to Sci-Fi, a genre he practically owns (Matrix Revolutions gets better every time I force myself to sit through it). After schmooping with Sandy Bullock and trying to be a stiffer Kurt Russell in Street Kings, Keanu finally gives us the him we LIKE to watch: reciting portentous dialogue to high-caliber actors whilst CGI effects envelop the screen and a pretty bruny unexpectedly falls in love with him.
Also: Jon Hamm and Kyle Chandler co-star! Don Draper, Coach Taylor AND Keanu in the SAME movie? They’re gonna put up a clinic on manliness, and their skills are $12 ($10 for matinee).
After taking under advisement Beyo-err… Sasha Fierce’s sage advice that “if you like than you should have put a ring on it”, and worried that I might possibly have offended that which I hold quite dear by NOT putting a ring on it yet, even though I love it so, I would like to take this opportunity to claim full-on ring placement on the following people, places and things.
The Jay OFFICIALLY puts a ring on:
- “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon
- The cold, Nordic disenchantment of Betty Draper.
- The triumphant, MILF-tastic return of Britney Spears.
- Beyonce wagging her vagina at me (seconds :51 – :57).
- My friend Audiebird, currently rising the BFF charts, who not only introduced me to the Beyonce song and video in question, but carefully and patiently explained to me WHY the song and video are so great, as such is my ignorance of the language of pop music. And also for giving me 15% of all my material. And 8% of all my recent vocal mannerisms.
- The poem “Mayakovsy” by Frank O’Hara.
- Keanu Reeves (natch)
- Random text messages from friends you haven’t seen in forever that lead to spontaneous, fun plans.
- Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale
- Chicago hot dogs with everything on it.
- My secret belief that Twilight will NOT be the megahit everyone claims it will be. Who REALLY cares about the story of a passive teen girl who falls for a vampire? Seriously, that’s a movie I need to see? Call me when someone gets attacked by a Dementor or plays some Quidditch.
- Old Barney
- Les Grossman on the phone, telling the bad guys to “take a step back… and literally fuck your face.”
- Andy Samberg as Mark Wahlberg talking to animals, resulting in Mark throwing a hissy fit in the press about being parodied, even though it’s a compliment on par with Don Draper holding the door open for you, and then mysteriously showing up on SNL days later to satirize himself, most likely at the behest of his Agent who told him: “you get your ass ON THAT SHOW and say hi to the mother of ANY animal they put in front of you. Even Fred Armisen! How DARE you get your git up about a skit about YOU when you’re BARELY an A-list star? Take a page from Alec Baldwin and go be a mensch. You got it? Good! Now take a step back and literally fuck your face!”
- The realization that if I’m white, I’m Ben Affleck.
- The 2006 Late Harvest Viognier from Zaca Mesa.
- Anything KT Tunstall has sung in her entire life.
- Mad Men (super natch), and related: Don Draper’s Guide To Picking Up Women.
- Nicole Ritchie on Chuck. There, I said it.
- Gmail’s new ability to block e-mails sent late at night as a precaution against your own poor judgment, a feature I wish T-Mobile would look into (it would save Drunk The Jay from having to write so many apology texts).
- The Miami Dolphins Wildcat Formation
- Facebook status updates that are written in the correct tense.
- The trailer for Australia.
- The trailer for Bride Wars.
- All you guys being cool about me taking a small break from blogging. Recess is over, I promise.
- And of course, OF COURSE, Eddie Murphy’s Giant Head.
So LA shook from it’s 2% body fat hinges this morning. After checking on the things that matter most to me in this world: my family, my friends, my 52″ Samsung LCD HDTV, I did what any clear-headed post-quake Angeleno does when our fair city performs it’s occasional Tommy Lee Jones failed disaster flick homage, I went straight to Facebook to read all the status changes.
Within minutes of the first squinch of tremor, the statuses arrived. My favorite came from my younger brother, who, as a native of LA and survivor of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake is nonplussed by anything less than a solid 6.0. His status post-quake read: “[The Jay's Little Brother] was just woken up from the world’s most boring Earthquake.” Let it never be said that the snark gene was isolated solely to my branch of the family tree.
Once I had gone through my group and gained assurance that all concerned were safe and sound, my mind turned to the other important group of people in my life: celebrities. How are they doing post-Chino Hills 5.4? Did their faces shake, too, or did the Botox do its job? Did half the A-list immediately book flights to Cabo for a quickie “relaxation/cheap whores and blow” vacay? I had to know.
So I went around Facebook and checked to see how everyone was holding up. This is what I found:
Michael Bay just found his Act 3 reason for more ‘splosions!!!!
Simon Cowell 5.4? How pathetic.
Shannen Doherty wants to take a pen to the Earthquake’s larynx. How FUCKING DARE it make Shannen FUCKING Doherty walk out of step!
Colin Farell in a doorway. Getting head. Tuesdays!
Mel Gibson thinks fucking Jews were responsible for all the quakes on Earth.
Katherine Heigl is blaming the quake on the writers. The Earth wasn’t given enough… material to stay still.
Paris Hilton I had to use the stairs (for the first time EVAR!1!). That’s poor person hot!
Katie Holmes is SECURITY IS DOWN FOR FIVE MORE MINUTES. Get here quick!!!
Keanu Reeves is whoa’ed
Shia LaBeaouf hopes the world stops spinning soon. It’s been 3 dayz alreadys!!1
Matthew McConaughey was stoked and wowd he was riding a wave during the righteous planet rumble. gave him a wicked kick to his barrel role. god bless geology.
Heidi Montag is putting on make-up. Totally candid Earthquake Victims Recovery photoshoot in 13 mins…
Sarah Jessica Parker is all shook up in the saddle. Neeeigh.
Brad Pitt knows Angie will think this is a sign to move to Cambodia and buy more brown kids.
Jessica Simpson feels no one told me the Earth could, like, MOVE!
The door opens and the American Idol producers enter. Simon Cowell sits down across from David. A thick file folder slaps down on the table between them.
David glances at the name on the file: “Archuleta, David.”
SIMON COWELL: As you can see, we’ve had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Archuleta.
He opens the file. Paper rattle marks the silence as he flips several pages.
SIMON COWELL: It seems that you have been living two lives. In one life, you are David Archuleta, awkward fifteen year-old throat surgery survivor and son to a control freak stage father. You have an Xbox, you get good grades and you help your Mom… carry out the garbage. The other life is lived on TV where you go by the stage alias DAVID! ARCHULETA!, and are guilty of virtually every tween pop star crime we have a law for.
David licks his lips. Smiles vacantly.
SIMON COWELL: One of these lives has a future. One of them does not.
He closes the file. Rubs his nipples.
SIMON COWELL: I’m going to be as forthcoming as I can be, David. You are here because we need your help. We know that you have been competing against a certain individual. A man who calls himself “David Cook”. Whatever you think you know about this man is irrelevant to the fact that he is wanted for acts of musical awesomeness by more record labels than any other musician in the world. He is considered by many A&R reps to be the most marketable male solo act alive.
Simon leans closer…
SIMON COWELL: My colleagues believe that I am wasting my time with you but I believe you want to win the competition. And that Randy is an idiot. It is obvious that you are a talented singer, Mr. Archuleta, and that you are interested in not getting beat with a switch by your lunatic stage father. That is why I believe you are ready to put your past mistakes behind you, like forgetting the words in Top 12 week and the entire Beatles fiasco, and get on with the season.
David licks his lips. Tries to keep his eyes open. Fails.
SIMON COWELL: We are willing to wipe the slate clean, to keep Ryan away from you backstage and to give you a free pass to the Finals and all we are asking in return is your cooperation in bombing the finale so that we can bring the most talented male Idol to our record label.
David nods to himself. Licks his lips.
DAVID ARCHULETA: Yeah. Uh. Wow. Hehehe. Aw, that sounds like a good deal. Thanks! Thank you! (licks lips) But I think I have a better one, ooooh ohhh yeeeaaah! How about I, uh, perform “Imagine” on the finale and the viewers give me the crown whether you want to or not. Whoa oh oh oh!
Simon gives David moose ears.
SIMON COWELL: You disappoint me, Mr. Archuleta.
DAVID ARCHULETA: You can’t scare me with your English person crap. I know my rights. I want to tape the next Ford commercial now!
SIMON COWELL: And tell me, Mr. Archuleta, what good is shooting the Ford commercial if you are unable to lick your lips?
David looks worried. Strangely he begins to feel the muscles in his jaw tighten. He feels his lips grow soft and sticky as they slowly seal shut, melding into each other until all traces of his mouth are gone.
SIMON COWELL: You are going to help us, David, whether you want to or not.
David’s eyes go wide with fear. How will he lick his lips now?