' ' Cinema Romantico: Preexisting Movies as Elvis Movies Starring Madonna

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Preexisting Movies as Elvis Movies Starring Madonna

Normally I try to avoid so much as even half-glancing at those links at the bottom of web articles, the obvious clickbait ones decreeing faux-alluring schadenfreude malarkey like Why Jennie Garth Isn’t Welcome In Hollywood Anymore, because just to see them, even for a split-second, makes me feel scuzzy. But. The other day, at the end of some article I can’t remember, as I tried to avert my eyes while clicking away, my eyes could not help but scan the words Madonna and the phrase Elvis Movie at the bottom of the screen. Like Pimento Cheese and Arugula trigger me on food menus, so do the words Madonna and Elvis Movies. So, Lauren Bacall help me, I clicked. Turns out it was about Debra Winger explaining she turned down Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” because Madonna’s presence rendered it a would-be Elvis movie rather than a thoughtful examination of a worthy topic. Whether “A League of Their Own” really wasn’t at least partially thoughtful, however, is not the point of this post. Because, while I respect Winger and admire her for having principles in an industry where there are few, when I read what she had to say, my mind could not help but drift...drift to other movies that might have benefited from Elvis-ish Madonna star vehicles. 

The Flamingo Kid. I mean, “The Flamingo Kid” should have been a musical in the first place. So, exchange Janet Jones for Madonna, write some 1960s pop songs with an 80s bent, and you’re not looking at me, kids, all like “there was a movie called ‘The Flamingo Kid?’”

Quicksilver. The epic bicycle messenger movie could have become the “Footloose” for the streets of San Francisco, or something. Alas. 

The Secret of My Success. You switch out Helen Slater for Madonna and you reimagine this as a go-go Reagan Era “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” Can we replay the 80s?

Reindeer Games. Come on, the name of the movie is culled from a song. Who wants a crime thriller when you can have a comic musical caper? Replace Charlize with Madonna, Ben Affleck with Hugh Jackman, Gary Sinise with Enrique Iglesias, Rob Marshall for John Frankenheimer, and boom! You’ve got “Bad Santa” for theatre kids. 

Waterworld. Dryland is so predictable. Ditch that plot device and instead center the action on a Thunderdome-like floating tiki bar lorded over by Madonna. And though everyone probably still remembers it as a flop, it costs a lot less and becomes a cult classic among the “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” crowd.

Out to Sea. It just sounds like a dumb, wonderful Elvis movie: two friends posing as dance instructors on a cruise ship. It could have been the nominal sequel to “Viva Las Vegas” with Elvis and Cesare Danova as the dance instructors and Ann-Margret as the woman who comes between them. So, in our time machine back to 1997, we will ditch Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and Dyan Cannon (no disrespect) for Kevin Kline and Val Kilmer and Madge. Who says no? [20th Century Fox hangs up.]

Keeping the Faith. This forgotten comedy, in which a woman comes between a Priest and a Rabbi, sounds like a dumb, wonderful Elvis movie too, but with the added bonus that it would have allowed for Madonna to simultaneously defame some Catholic iconography. We’ll bump it up from PG-13 to NC-17.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am catching up on my internet reading today, and am DELIGHTED to find this post. A wonderful alternate universe idea.