Friday, February 2, 2007

Needy Film #1 Fandango

There are films out there.

Films that for one reason or another never hit mainstream. They lay there on a rental shelf or on, un-rented and un-purchased. Not because they are not great films, but because no one knows about them. I call these Needy Films. They need a hug from you but first you need to know these Needy Films so I'm going to introduce them to you periodically.

Maybe you've seen them, maybe you haven't. If you've seen them, then tell me I'm right or wrong for loving these movies. And if you haven't seen them, give them a shot. You might be surprised.

So here's my first Needy Film. It's called Fandango. Heard of it?

Long before Kevin Reynolds and Kevin Costner had a major falling out due to the floater known as Waterworld, they made movie magic with a little film called Fandango.

It's a story about five Texas fellas known as The Groovers who have graduated from college and are set out to have one last fling before they are sent off to the Vietnam War. They are headed to the Mexican border to "dig up Dom" a phrase which doesn't make much sense until the end of the movie.

As a road trip movie, they encounter many adventures i.e. jumping out of planes, having a fireworks battle in the middle of a graveyard and my personal favorite, an attempt to hook their car up to a moving train because they have run out of gas. But it's not so much the adventures that got me, it's the study of male friendship. I think this is only really true of guys, but a lot of friendships whether they be childhood, College or whatnot are friendships of convenience. This movie is a study of when all the drinking is done and all the stories are told, are you really friends with these people? And as the car barrels down the road towards Mexico, The Groovers discover what kind of true friendship they have.

The movie stars Sam Robards and a young Judd Nelson, but it is Kevin Costner that shines in the Peter Pan role, a theme hinted throughout the movie. At first you can't help but love his carefree attitude, but as the movie goes on you accept the responsibility of growing up as the characters do. It's unavoidable. Costner's character knows that the road doesn't end in Mexico, it keeps going onto bigger things like adulthood.

And that takes us to the ending, a 15 minute montage of scenes beautifully set to music by Pat Metheny, a jazz musician from Missouri. The montage takes you through Sam Robards' character reuniting with the fiance he almost deserted and how a small town prepares for their last-minute wedding. There is a history between Costner's character and the girl Sam is marrying and you see that unfold and the hurt the two share in a matter of seconds as the montage ends.

No matter how many times I see this, I can't help but get all Niagara Falls when it's over. Like The Groovers, you've been on an adventure down a back road at 100 mph with Elton John on the radio, a case and a half of beer in the cooler and not a care in the world and just like Costner's character you wish the Fandango never had to end.


Anonymous said...

I love this flick! I still get a little veclemped whenever I hear Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faith.

PIPER said...

They have never released the soundtrack because of licensing disputes, but you can pick up Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays' album As Fall Wichita, so Falls Wichita Falls. It has a couple of the songs from the ending of the film.

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love it at the end when Dorman tells Phillip (Nelson) to have a nice life.

How aparapos.

PIPER said...


That's the line that gets me every fricking time.

garrett said...

You've done it again Pat. Discussed a movie I've never heard of and prompted me to add it to my "must see" list. From the description it sounds like its similar to Beautiful Girls or Diner, but maybe even better.

My "must see" list looks like this: