Archives for posts with tag: Patrick Dempsey

“Coupe de Ville” was a mediocre snowflake in the avalanche of period, coming-of-age movies released around 1990. Like the others, it looks back wistfully at the late 1950s-early 1960s and tries to impart some kind of simplistic, baby-boomer value lesson. The lesson here seems to be that warts and all, it’s still important to stay connected to one’s family. My biggest takeaway from this road movie was the family that screams together stays together. Geez! The yelling!! Enough already!!! I thought uptight Daniel Stern (playing the oldest of three stereotypical, bickering brothers) was going to drop dead at any minute.

Patrick Galen Dempsey, born eight days before me in 1966, was once a nerd. I have visual evidence from 1987 vis-a-vis “Can’t Buy Me Love.” In it he plays a high school geek who has a crush on the cheerleading captain. Through the familiar formula in which a nobody makes a deal to become a somebody and loses his moral compass but regains it through implausible soliloquies (while learning a valuable lesson about himself), we briefly see the essence of what would someday become McDreamy. It’s a good time-killer on a lazy afternoon. You’ll wonder whatever became of the cheerleader, Amanda Peterson.

Modern cinema suffers from a disease known as blockbusteritis. Symptoms are cookie-cutter plots in which the hero saves the world and hooks back up with ex-wife/girlfriend, in no particular order. Oh, and helicopters. Lots of helicopters. Experts are trying to track down the host virus, but it dates back at least as far as a 1995 outbreak called… well, it’s called “Outbreak.” Dustin Hoffman saves everyone from a killer disease by making impassioned speeches. Ex-wife Rene Russo might have been better off dead. In an unusual twist, neither of the two black co-stars (Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr.), get killed.