Thursday, February 24, 2005

DB Film Squad: The Cusack-Piven Theory

Actors John Cusack and Jeremy Piven have been friends for many years. But an in-depth study of their film careers exposes an alarming trend:

They’ve appeared in at least seven films together.

Why hasn’t this fact been exposed and rooted out before now? I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide.


One Crazy Summer (1986)

Cusack’s in early career wacky romantic comedy lead mode. Piven plays a pissed off blue blood asshole, and friend to the blond haired dude who was the bad guy (Karate Kid I – VIII, Just One of the Guys) in every 80s comedy.

Say Anything (1989)

Quintessential tale of late 80s teens searching for love and the meaning of life. More importantly, Cusack and Piven make physical contact during the pivotal “key master” sequence. “You must chill! You must chill!” Cusack advices Piven. Indeed.

The Grifters (1990)

Dark noir crime drama. Cusack plays the lead and gets his throat (accidentally?) sliced open by moms, played by Anjelica Huston. I have no idea what Piven did in this film… was that the grift?

Bob Roberts (1992)

A classic dead-pan political comedy. Unfortunately, I can’t remember much about it except this: Cusack and Piven were both in it. Grift and intrigue afoot, no?

Gross Pointe Blank (1997)

Great black comedy featuring Cusack and a right smart looking Minnie Driver. More importantly: the intense reunion between long-time “friends” Cusack and Piven. “Ten years it’s been! Ten years!” Piven intones. What’s he really trying to tell Cusack here, and the rest of us?

Serendipity (2001)
More romantic comedy, this time 21st Century style. Cusack and Piven have perhaps the most screen time they’ve ever had. They rap about philosophy, love, and life. Piven is subdued, even whimsical throughout.

Is this where we can set our watch and warrant on the Cusack-Piven Theory? Is this the point where we get under our desks, interlace our fingers together, place them overhead, and rock slowly and gently back-and-forth, mumbling the tune from Bridge On the River Kwai (a Piven-Cusack-less film… or is it?).

No. We must press on.

Runaway Jury (2003)
John Grisham and dirty dealings. Runaway… but from what?

Is it madness, folly, or the search down the wormhole of meaninglessness, existence, and the power of finely written, deftly acted, modest box office fare in the lives of everyday souls wandering this Earth in search of the grains of filtered, finely ground sand to make it all worthwhile, tangible, terra firma?

In other words:

What is your take on the Cusack-Piven Theory?


The Sore Loser said...

Shit, the curtain has been lifted. I had no idea that Piven was in all of those movies (especially not Bob Roberts, Say Anything, or One Crazy Summer). And I don't remember Cusack being in Bob Roberts. What was his role? I will tell you this, though. I recently saw Piven in a play (Fat Pig), but Cusack was not on stage. Explain that!

Eric Berlin said...

I actually don't remember much about Bob Roberts, which I suspect (though I can't prove) may be part of The Piven-Cusack Theory.

About Fat Pig: I can speculate (and again, no proof here) that Cusack was "in the wings."

Wings. Pigs. If pigs could fly.

See what I'm getting at?