Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ass to Ass!

*Even though it's been about eight years since it came out, I guess I should technically throw out a spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't seen the film "Requiem for a Dream." Although with a title like that you sort of suspect how things may end.

My roommates were watching said film a few nights ago and I caught it with them. However, having seen the movie a few times prior; after the first third of the film, just a little after the ominous start of the "Fall" section of the film, I peaced out and when to bed. This was now the point where I usually left any airing of "Requiem" (however infrequent they may be).

The reason I do this is to avoid the inevitable disturbing decline and dark, crushingly depressing conclusion of the film. Leaving at the end of the initial "Summer" section of the film leaves me with a feel good short about four characters who are making it out the their once tragic existences. Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans have made themselves a tidy profit from successfully selling drugs. In turn, Leto can finally accomplish many of his life goals like trying to reconcile with his mother and helping in financing his girlfriend Jennifer Connelly's clothing store. On top of that his mother, who once lived in desperate loneliness; thanks to her diet pills, is losing weight, feeling great, and is set to be on her favorite game show. Yes sir, things are certainly looking bright in Brighton Beach! Nothing can go wrong...and nothing will go wrong.

There won't be any blown drug deals or mental breakdowns or amputations or incarcerations or hellish descents into humiliation and degradation; all cumulating in the most the most heartbreaking and uniformly disappointing endings for a movie's cast of characters since "On the Beach." It's just a feel good story about the wacky and unexpected benefits of selling and consuming drugs...like "Weeds" or "Breaking Bad."

However this means that I'll most likely be missing out on my favorite character in the movie, the old man screaming "ASS TO ASS!!" at Jeniffer Connelly at the end of the film.

I know I'm suppose to be horrified by the humiliation and the depths of depravity that Connelly's character has fallen because of her addictions. She is in a ongoing personal hell that may actually be worse than the situations of the other characters. In a way it's probably the hardest scene in the film for most watchers. However, with that being said, for some reason I find that guy's (apparently his character was named "Uncle Hank") enthusiastic proclamation just too amusing.

Just look at the way his face lights up with such pure joy like a kid asking for candy. There's a twinkle in the eyes of the old man. Not only does he say it once, but he keeps repeating it like some absurd ass related mantra. Of all the things they want these drug enslaved girls to do, the number one request is "ass to ass." This combined with the absolutely ridiculous set up of the sex party that apparently is attended by a bunch of drunken business men ("Hey you wanna come over to my penthouse after work? Me and some of the guys from accounting are going to bribe to women with drugs to do crazy shit for us." "There'll be pizza and ass to ass.") and my feelings toward the whole thing is more comically shocked than disturbingly shocked.

As for you, character actor Stanley Herman, having your long career of playing doctors and lawyers be summed up by an eight second scene of you screaming "ass to ass" may be a little embarrassing in the eyes of some people; but take heart. You have accomplished more notoriety in one eight second scene than most of your fellow generic white collar old guy character actors. And if this "lawyer" thing ever leads me anywhere I hope I'll one day find myself in a such a similar situation; a dark seedy penthouse, surrounded by rabid men in suits, humiliating young girls with crippling heroin addictions, screaming "ass to ass."


  1. Thanks for keeping the dream alive.


  2. Hi. I found this thru Google blogsearch. FYI, I met Stanley at Starbucks in Santa Monica a few months ago and he's a real down-to-earth guy I wrote about it on my blog: http://scoobiedavis.blogspot.com/2008/05/brushes-with-greatness-im-not.html