Before you get all excited, let me preface this by saying no, I haven’t had an actual love affair with Richard. Not for lack of hoping though!
It all started way back in the eighties. Imagine a young blonde girl, freckles, a bit chubby, round plastic glasses. (I was a sexy beast back then!) Now imagine said girl watching American Gigolo. To be honest, I don’t remember much about the plot, but I do know I LIVED for that scene where he’s hanging upside down by his ankles. Umm…hello? Wow! I couldn’t have been more than six or seven, but an obsession was born.
And then came An Officer and a Gentleman. I was old enough to actually pay attention to the story this time. It didn’t matter. All I saw was Richard, Richard, Richard. That teeny tiny glimpse of his bare ass at the beginning? Oh yeah, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And rewinding on a beta or VCR is a bitch lemme tell ya! Thank heaven for DVR, greatest invention since sliced bread.
A few movies were interspersed now and again until we hit the mother lode. Sommersby. Sigh. For a lover of historicals and Richard Gere, this movie is the schiznick. If you haven’t seen this movie, stop reading now. *Spoiler Alert* Richard is Jack Sommersby, a crotchety Civil War vet who everyone (even his wife) thinks has died. He returns home, but there are tiny differences which make you realize Jack isn’t really Jack at all.
He and movie wife, Jodie Foster, do the nasty. They make a baby, grow some tobacco, free some slaves. Then you find out Jack isn’t Jack but some random bad boy from another town. After a drawn out trial, Horace aka Jack is sentenced to be hanged. Sniff. I haven’t made it through the movie without bawling ever…and I’ve seen it probably two dozen times. When Jodie screams “I’m here, Jack. I’m here” and he smiles at her before they put the bag over his head… Ohhh, I’ve got shivers just thinking about it. You can ask my momma if you don’t believe me. The waterworks are turned on before the noose even tightens.
There are a few honorable mentions (First Knight, Primal Fear) but the three I spoke about are the movies I can never get out of my head. Was it sad that a pre-teen fantasized about a guy nearly fifty years old? Probably. Did she rejoice when he and Cindy Crawford divorced? Yep, she did. And was Buddhism truly considered at some point? Hmm, yeah but not very seriously. And whoever started that gerbil rumor is the devil. Better hope we don’t meet in a dark alley. Grrrr….
To this day, Richard is still the guy I measure all other onscreen (and off) heroes to. That wavy dark hair. It’s gray now, but still sexy. That slightly too-large nose. Everything about him is uber-sexy, no matter how old he gets. So I’m officially proclaiming May 3, 2013 as LLL’s Richard Gere Day.
The Future Mrs. Richard Gere (Yes, I went there.)