The Michigan Daily - c/ed-, e. - Thursday, February 8, 1996 - 3B
Hollywood sees year of Kevin Spacey
h, love. Makes you all verklempt,
Yes, folks it's that time of year
again. And although it's a few days be-
fore the egregious event, I know that there
are some of you out there (attn: North
Campus) who may not have a super-
honey to get all sappy over, may not have
an excuse to raid Decker's for that $1.99
box of chocolate-covered jalapeno nug-
ets, may just simply feel like a big-time
Well, never fear: The "Daily Guide to
Aquiring a Date For Valentine's Day
(Either Through Bribing, Borrowing or
Bullying)" is here. Yes! All your worries
are over. So sit back, put away that copy
of Hustler, those nudie pics of Susan
Powter(why don'tyoujust stopthe insan-
ity?) and get ready for some action.
Places to look for your super-honey:
All of the following locations are chock-
l' chicks and guys. Some of them are
but many of them will still be
happy to see you.
a) Angell Hall computing site: Always
a denizen of hot-date activity. Be sure to
check out the cleaning crew. Yowza!
b) The Diag construction site: There
are certainly a lot of people lurking there,
atleast late at night, as to whether or not
they are choice Valentine's Day dates is
for you to decide.
c) On line to crash the Chess Club
party: Checkmate, baby.
d) Mason Hall bathrooms: self-ex-
A key to knowing who's available:
a) People who are drooling: Not good
ot dinner parties, but OK for movies.
b) People who are speaking in tongues:
Exciting, challenging, different. So the
ommunication won't be great, unless
"ou speak in tongues, too.
c) People who are talking to imaginary
'Miends: An easy date. No pressure to
ome up with witty anecdotes or dismem-
d) People who are playing "Doom":
)generally, they have a little time on their
bands and will be able to dwell on you.
Planning your attack / things to look
a) Always seem nonchalant. Despera-
ikn is unsexy: Never show how pathetic
1ou really are.
b) Pretend that youj ust happened to see
he person on the way to somewhere else,
pven if the "somewhere else" is a corner
or a urinal:,You want to look like a man/
woman/hermaphrodite of action.
C) Do not bring your chia-Ram with
you: Youwill seem likeaderanged weirdo,
plus, little rammy might get injured.
; d) Don't drool: It's sexy when others
40 it, but not when you do.
Sure-fire ways to attractyoursuper-
You've selected him/her/it. You're
looking your foxiest. Now, what's next?
Introductions won't work. Forget flow-
ers. You need to be more direct.
a) Stand in front of the one you want
and moon him/her/it: Immediately, you
are signaling- "I am here. I am boister-
ous. I know how to party."
b) Throw small, inanimate objects in
his/her/its general direction. When he/
he/it looks at you in anger, smile broadly
and say: "I like the way you move." Yes,
this behaviorwouldbe confusing to most
.people, but that special last-minute some-
one will sense the wry humor behind it
and respond accordingly ... or call security.
c) Wave a porno tape in his/her/its
general direction and then raise your eye-
brows suggestively: Again, you are being
direct and direct is always good.
d) Drool: a known aphrodesiac.
Fail-proof pick up lines:
a) "I have trouble controlling my blad-
der. Now you tell me your deepest, dark-
est secret." Definitely a good conversa-
b) "Whoa. Are those real?" An expres-
sion of admiration.
c) "Hmm. You're a lot uglier than I
thought you were. Oh, well. Beggars can't
be choosers." An admittance of your own
shortcomings, always attractive.
9 d) "I see you're playing Doom and
drooling. Would you like to party with me
on Valentine's Day?" Shows great in-
sight and intuitive ability.j
Original gifts to give your date:
a) A stuffed, life-size rat: She/he/it will
admire your creativity.
By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Editor
"The Usual Suspects" is a film that
engulfs its viewer in a tightly knit web
of intrigue, lies and murder. It is a
movie that is at once startling and excit-
ing; a feast for the senses, a stimulant
for the mind.
Most of the story of "The Usual Sus-
pects" - new on home video this week
- is told through the testimony given to
police by Verbal Kint, a crippled street
hustler. His narration is the backbone of
this intricate and fascinating movie. While
this fact may be attributed to the crafty
screenwriting of Christopher McQuarrie
or to the innovative direction of young
auteur Bryan Singer, the real reason that
the-many pieces of this film fit together is
the outstanding performance of the man
who plays Verbal.
He is Kevin Spacey.
Upon first glance at "The Usual Sus-
pects," we may easily recognize the
sinister babyface of Spacey, who has
acted in more than 15 films in nine
Coming to video
years. We may recall him as a suburban
husband in "Consenting Adults" (1992),
or as a strict real estate speculations
manager in "Glengarry Glen Ross"
(1992), or, more recently, as an obnox-
ious man held hostage with the rest of
his family by con Denis Leary in "The
Ref" (1993). These films introduced us
to this skilled and eerily lovable actor.
And in 1995, he broke out.
So it was appropriate that our first
majorexposureto Spacey this year came
in the film "Outbreak," which was re-
leased last March. Here, Spacey plays a
member of a special team of govern-
ment doctors sent to combat a horrify-
ing outbreak of a contagious virus in a
small California town.
Playing opposite such Hollywood
powerhouses as Dustin Hoffman, Mor-
gan Freeman, Donald Sutherland and
Rene Russo, Spacey stood out as an
independent and somewhat free-wheel-
ing bounty hunter of sorts who ulti-
mately succumbs to the invisible killer
he hunts. It is not a glamorous role, and
we should not have expected that
Spacey, a relative unknown in the
shadow of his costars, would emerge
from this movie with the most success-
ful year of all. But he did.
Earlier in the year, Spacey landed a
lead role in the satire of an aspiring
screenwriter's (Frank Whalley) ven-
ture into Hollywood, "Swimming with
Sharks." As an insulting and material-
istic producer, Spacey showed that his
best abilities probably lay with his por-
trayals of cruel or unfriendly men.
But, while acting with his "Suspects"
co-star, Benicio Del Toro, he was not
able to convince us that he could csarry
a film to box office success. The movie
failed and Spacey returned to the sup-
porting roles that he had been
accustiomed to for so long. This, how-
ever, may have been the best turn-of-
events the actor could have wanted.
After all, the parts in "Outbreak" and
"The Usual Suspects" (for which he is
predicted to receive a Best Supporting
Actor Academy Award nomination)
followed quickly on the tail of his
"Sharks" glitch. Both of these films
established Spacey as someone who
could be more than just a powerless
supporting character to greater stars
like Al Pacino in "Glengarry" or Kevin
Kline in"Consenting Adults." He could
easily tackle more important, complex
parts, as he did in "Suspects" opposite
more established talents like Chazz
Palminteri and Gabriel Byrne.
Thus, we have "Seven," the
penultimate film in what, for character
actors, may as well be "The Year of
Kevin Spacey." 1995 closed with this
popular and memorable tale of a de-
ranged killer who murders his victims
according to the Seven Deadly Sins.
Directed by David Fincher, "Seven"
is a shocking movie, ifforno other reason
Kevin Spacey and Gabriel Byrne in 1995's "The Usual Suspects"
than its unrelenting ability to present hor-
rifying and gruesome events in the truest,
most realistic manner possible. Bloody
bodies look appropriately bloody; terri-
fied people look appropriately afraid. The
lead characters (Freeman and Brad Pitt)
- two cops on the trail of the enigmatic
killer - behave properly. They act how
we might expect men in such a situation
really would, not how standard Holly-
wood conventions dictate.
This idea is further expressed when
Spacey emerges as the killer. His "John
Doe" is an intelligent, relatively nor-
mal-looking man who has brought great
pain to a city. Not only is the actor
entirely convincing in this part, but he
is quite capable of supporting the entire
film, despite the limited glimpses we
have of him. Absent for most of the
film's duration, Spacey suddenly ap-
pears and immediately becomes the
psychotic killer whose handiwork has
been terrifying us. Yet, as with his other
roles this year, Kevin Spacey does this
with apparently little struggle.
Such is the exciting culmination of a
remarkable year in the career of this
rising star. Like the empty feeling we
have after seeing "The Usual Suspects"
or "Seven," we are left hoping and
wishing for so much more. Luckily,
Spacey shows no signs of letting us
down. He certainly hasn't yet.
Ross, Rachel now more than 'Friends'
Viewers celebrate the kiss heard 'round the world
By Elan A. Stavros
Daily Arts Writer
It finally happened.
Viewers of what is probably the most
popular TV show in the country have
been waiting nearly halfa year to see their
favorite "Friends" Rachel and Ross get
up to the front of the gate, only to see him
with anotherwoman hehad brought home.
Then for the next couple months we
had to watch painfully as Rachel was
depressed and Ross was oh-so-happy with
his new girlfriend, Julie. (Can I just say
one thing? Who brings a woman home
from a trip across the
together. And last
week's episode wasjust
I would bet a lot of
watch "Friends" on
NBC at 8 p.m. every
Thursday, and stay
tuned for a blockbuster
lineup which also in-
globe after knowing
herfor one week?)
Monica said. "I
wanted you and Ross
to be together, but
he's with her now,
eludes "Seinfeld" and "ER." And if they
reacted like the girls I was watching with,
viewersjumpedup, screamed and hugged
each other when Rachel crossed the room
and embraced Ross.
It's easy to see why this show is well
loved. These fun-loving, hip
twentysomethings are as captivating as
their danceable, overplayed title song,
the Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For
You." We want to be like them some-
day, surrounded by a (good-looking)
caring and funny group of people. They
just hang out together all day long talk-
ing, whether it's at the Central Perk
coffee shop or at Rachel and Monica's
Some of us have planned our lives
around the show all season, praying that
Rachel and Ross would realize their feel-
ings, that they are "like lobsters, paired
for life" as the spacey Phoebe put it. And
anyone who's been watching since Sep-
tember knows what a strange season it's
been, plagued by reruns.
The show's writers admitted late last
summer that it would be a long road until
Rachel and Ross ultimately found each
other- nearly five months. After a few
weeks of pre-emption, I was tempted to
call the TV station and complain; I know
I'm not the only one.
If you remember what happened last
year, Ross had a crush on Rachel forever.
Everyone else knew, and Ross triedto tell
her a million times but couldn't: "Uh,
Rachel, uh, I've got to tell you something,
um, okay, 1, ah, I ... I like your hat!"
He finally became determined to tell
her, leaving her an expensive birthday
gift when he left on a business trip. When
she opened the it, surprised, someone (I
think it was ditzy Joey orbigmouth Chan-
dler) let the news slip. Hallelujah, I say.
Rachel was touched and rushed to the
airport to welcome him home. Everyone
knows what happened next on that ter-
rible episode, which ran twice. She pushed
2050 Commerce . Ann Arbor, MI 48103
and you just have to
get over it."
"Oh!" Rachel exclaimed sarcastically.
"Silly me, that's what I have to do. I just
have to get over it. Why didn't I think of
Later Rachel pretty much gave up,
went on a date, got drunk, and ... rambled
on Ross's answering machine that she
was over him. This was the next monu-
mental episode, in which Ross listenedto
the message while Rachel tried to stop
him. Thank goodness it didn't work. But
it didn't solve everything for them, as
Ross' current girlfriend made things even
One of the most romantic scenes was
when Ross walked away from Rachel
after a fight and then slowly reappeared
at the window in the rain. In the semi-
darkness Rachel ran to open the locks
on the door, and at first couldn't get it
open (now that's real life). But when
she did, he grabbed and kissed her.
What happened next was frustrating.
Joey and Chandler forced Ross to make a
pro and con list for Rachel and Julie to see
which one he should choose. Ross broke
up with his old girlfriend.
Unfortunately, Rachel found the list,
misunderstood and was furious. (Joey
had made Ross type "chubby ankles" as
one of Rachel's "cons"). Then the two
were both miserable again.
Rachel wouldn't listen to his apolo-
gies, so Ross dedicated a song to her on
the radio. As the best love song of all time
- "With or Without You" by U2 -
filled the TV (and I, a diehard U2 fan,
nearly fainted), Rachel called the station.
"Ross, Rachel just called to tell us what
you did," the DJ said as the song stopped.
"And we don't think she should forgive
So the last two months' episodes have
tiptoed around the relationship, except
for Rachel going out with a guy named
Russ, who looked (surprise!) a lot like
Ross. Rachel claimed it was over be-
tween them, much to our hearts' dismay.
Until last week.
The gang watchedtheoldprom video
of Rachel and an overweight Monica.
Big brother Ross, with an early-'80s
'do was there also, gazing longingly at
Rachel, donning a tux when her date did
not show up. Only she never knew
about it, and left when her date finally
arrived. Rachel watched how Ross felt
about her even way back then, and it
finally hit her. Then, the monumental
Perhaps the fun's over now that it
looks like they're really together. What
makes them so perfect is that Ross is
such a good, innocent person (not in a
bad way) and Rachel has always gone
after egotistical jerks. The two are op-
posites, but this is what has made-people
root for them, because deep down, we
want it to happen to us and our"Friends."
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