In honor of release of 2012, here are the top 5 John Cusack leading roles, with some (but definitely not all) favorite lines from the movie.
* Note: In true Rob Gordon (#5) fashion, the list is character age chronological.
- Lane Myer (Better Off Dead): This, to me, is the template movie for many teen movies to follow (and, even though it wasn’t his first movie, was the first movie to really draw attention to him.) Line: “Man, it’s a real shame when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that.”
- Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything): The iconic 1980s movie. Peter Gabriel certainly benefited, as did the trench coat industry. Line: “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.” (Alternate: “I’m looking for a dare-to-be-great situation.”)
- Walter “Gib” Gibson (The Sure Thing): While Better Off Dead may have made people take serious notice, it’s his role in this Rob Reiner film that’s one of my favorites. Line: “How’s this for an opening line: Did you know that Nietzsche died of syphilis?”
- Martin Blank (Grosse Point Blank): Let’s face it, how many of us avoided / tried to avoid the dreaded high school reunion? And, who among us hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be an assassin? Line: “You can never go home again … but I guess you can shop there.”
- Rob Gordon (High Fidelity): This movie let me know it was OK to get married. That’s all I’ll say. Line: “John Dillenger was shot dead behind that theater in a hail of FBI gunfire. You know who tipped them off? His f***ing girlfriend. He just wanted to go to the movies.”
It could be (successfully, I think) argued that each of these characters are just one character: the typical X-generation male growing up, from awkward high schooler to self-realization to marriage crackup. It’s the circle of life, Simba, in five movies. If that is the case, that’s why I’ll add this bonus:
Craig Schwartz (Being John Malkevich): Puppeteer and entrepreneur. And pretty quirky. Line: “This is something I call Craig’s Dance of Despair and Disillusionment.”
Including the bonus, you have pretty much the life cycle of millions of men: high school achiever, college slacker, career questioner, husband, leading to the downward spiral. Kind of depressing, isn’t it? But, I guess that’s where Serendipity comes in.
What are your top five John Cusack leading roles? What order would you put these in? What lines would you use?