' ' Cinema Romantico: Wanna Feel Old?

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Wanna Feel Old?

Physically, I imagine, getting old is no picnic no matter the era and quality of medicine and medical technology; bodies and minds are always going to break down and deteriorate. But I do wonder if emotionally getting older used to be easier, even just a few decades ago, before everybody in the world knew that when “Cocoon” was released in movie theaters on June 21, 1985, Wilford Brimley, despite playing a senior citizen in a retirement home, was 50 years, 9 months, and 6 days old. Would getting older be easier if I did not know that tomorrow Kristen Wiig (!) was going to cross the so-called Brimley/Cocoon Line, becoming the same age as Brimley when he starred in “Cocoon,” and would getting older be easier if I did not also know that Tempestt Bledsoe, Vanessa freaking Huxtable, passed the Brimley/Cocoon Line a couple weeks ago (!!), both of which make me feel like Private James Francis Ryan morphing from young man to old man in an instant in “Saving Private Ryan,” or elderly Rose Dawson in “Titanic” saying It’s been 84 years,” two images remade into memes for people on social media to express themselves when life seems to have passed them by. So, I try not to think about my life passing me by, but its ever-encroaching impermanence always rears its head in the most unexpected ways.

Dermot Mulroney is an actor I don’t think about all that much. But, you know, I saw him in “Young Guns,” back when I was in fifth grade, and I saw him opposite Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” in 1997, right before I set off on my star-cross’d journey to college, and I saw him opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes in “The Family Stone” in 2005, not long after I moved to Chicago, the only movie I ever saw at The Esquire, which has now been closed for almost 20 years, and then, holy cow, there was Mulroney in “Anyone but You” (reviewed yesterday) as the dad of Sydney Sweeney, and M. Emmet Walsh, the guy who played Mulroney’s dad in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” died a couple months ago at the age of 88, and if I had been standing, I would have to sit down, and did you know Dermot Mulroney crossed the Brimley/Cocoon Line ten years ago when I had only known my future wife for five months?

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