It’s hard for me to even believe, but up until this year, my girlfriend had somehow never seen a Tom Cruise movie. She’d never seen a Keanu Reeves movie either (but I’ll save that story for another blog later). How is that even possible? How has the girlfriend of 5 Minute Movie Guy, a Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves aficionado, never seen even just one of their movies? How have I failed her so?

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Knowing this, earlier this year about a week before Captain Marvel was released in theaters I insisted that she borrow my Blu-ray of Top Gun. Given that both movies feature Air Force pilots, as well as the fact that Captain Marvel’s cat Goose is even named after Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sidekick, it seemed like the perfect setup to introduce my girlfriend to the filmography of Tom Cruise. Making her into a fan became my mission, or “Operation TC” as I like to call it, and what better film to start with than Top Gun. Right?

Wrong! Mission: FAILED! I guess I hadn’t realized just how dated certain aspects of the film had become. She hated it! I can hardly even express just how much she detested this movie, and how much more it made her dislike Tom Cruise. My whole master plan to convert her into a Tom Cruise fan blew up right in my face! She thought his character was a totally selfish, whiny, and arrogant creep.

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In some sense, I suppose that’s fair. A lot of the stuff in that movie surely wouldn’t fly today. After all, at one point Tom Cruise’s character Maverick does literally follow a woman into the ladies room in an attempt to seduce her. Not to mention his technique to pick up women at a bar feels somewhat barbaric, despite all of its charm. Toxic masculinity is clearly in full force here. There’s also no denying that Maverick is incredibly arrogant, regardless of whether or not he can back it up. In the end maybe this wasn’t the best first movie choice on my part.

I have to admit, I haven’t seen Top Gun myself in probably almost ten years. Maybe I too would have more issues with it now that I’m older. Growing up in my house, however, the movie represented the pinnacle of coolness. I’ve even spent the better part of my adulthood keeping up a running joke with a friend that it’s the best movie ever! Truth be told, neither of us actually believe that, and frankly I never cared much for the film’s romance. What really ties the whole movie together for me though is that killer soundtrack. I guess you could say it really — wait for it — takes my breath away…

As far as Operation TC goes, it looks like I really crashed and burned on the first one. Oh well! Live and learn, I guess. I’ll still have plenty more chances to make a fan out of her. Maybe the Mission: Impossible movies will work, or perhaps a movie like Edge of Tomorrow that seems catered to pleasing Tom Cruise fans and haters alike (with him hilariously dying over and over again) would be a safer bet. Still, my darling, just you wait! Tom and I will win you yet!

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5 Minute Movie Guy
8.17.19

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