Double Feature: So I Married an Axe Murderer & Grosse Pointe Blank

For this week’s foray into “Jenny, Y’know I Don’t See How That’s Going to Work But I Trust You,” I present to you the pairing that first sparked my fascination with crafting these back-to-back movie viewing experiences.

This Week:

Double Feature: Alan Arkin Being Supportive -- So I Married an Axe Murder / Grosse Pointe Blank

So I Married an Axe Murderer — Grosse Pointe Blank

The connecting thread this week is, simply: Alan Arkin Being Supportive.

So I Married an Axe Murderer

In So I Married an Axe Murderer, we (the audience) get the unique experience of watching an almost bearable Mike Myers fumble his way through a romantic comedy. If that trainwreck isn’t enough of a draw, just know that Alan Arkin is there for like three scenes and he is Completely Delightful. Alan Arkin plays the police chief / Mike Myers’s best friend’s boss, and he is pretty much the only interesting character, from a structural perspective.

His sole purpose as a character is to subvert the hardass police chief trope (so popular in the buddy cop genre) by being literally the sweetest man on the planet. It’s also worth noting that (according to IMDB), Alan Arkin’s role is uncredited — I mean, he really has maybe fifteen lines in the whole thing — but I like to think that he just doesn’t want to be associated with this truly useless movie. That said, go watch So I Married an Axe Murderer and friendship-pine after Alan Arkin’s brilliance.

 

Double Feature: Alan Arkin Being Supportive -- endlessly patient

Grosse Pointe Blank

Grosse Pointe Blank, on the other hand, is A Genuine Delight. It features a solid John Cusack, a surprising and wonderful Dan Aykroyd, but mostly (and this is the important part) some PRIME Minnie Driver. We’re talking, like, 1997, Good Will Hunting Minnie Driver; we’re talking An Ideal Husband Minnie Driver; we’re talking late-nineties Minnie Driver Renaissance. You should really watch this movie for her, if for nothing else.

But also, you should watch for Alan Arkin. He plays the put-upon and unwilling therapist of John Cusack, Assassin. Oh! Because, right – the plot of the movie: John Cusack, Assassin, attends his high school reunion. Hijinks ensue.

Double Feature: Alan Arkin Being Supportive -- PRIME Minnie Driver

I admit it sounds very silly, but that’s just because it IS very silly. Dan Aykroyd spends the whole movie trying to convince John Cusack to join his union for assassins; Joan Cusack is there as John Cusack’s secretary and that sibling dynamic is just The Best. Honestly, this movie pairs so well with so many things — you’ve got Supportive Alan Arkin, you’ve got Prime Minnie Driver, you’ve got Real Siblings Playing Fake Siblings (essentially).

Grosse Pointe Blank is like the most versatile of fine wines — it goes with this shitty Mike Myers movie, and An Ideal Husband, and Donnie Darko; it goes with anything. Any reason is a good reason to watch this movie. And Alan Arkin Being Supportive is a Very Good reason.

Honestly, Alan Arkin is a master of tenderly subverting expectations, and this particular role subversion (the unwilling, but ultimately still concerned therapist) compliments the sensitive police chief SO Well. I mean, this double feature is all about movies where Alan Arkin reminds everyone how much you can do with three scenes and some well-placed sighing.

He is a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament, and he has made great strides towards expanding some of the patriarchy’s expectations of masculinity. For real. His unrepentantly kind and understanding police chief is a gift from on high, and his reluctant therapist’s unwavering emotional support for John Cussack, Assassin, defines both characters in a way that is so rare for Hollywood portrayals of men. Alan Arkin, in these roles, is such a powerful force for Good, and everyone deserves some of that in their lives.

 

Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
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