If you recognise the combination of those names, you’re just as happy as I am today. Because you love Reality Bites. Those of us who love and lived Reality Bites know that it’s not the best movie, with not the best acting, and we will tell that to the hater who huffs about how they don’t understand why Reality Bites came to mean what it means that they’re not illuminating for us anything new. Because you can’t rationalise what you connect to when you’re 23 and why it stays with you even when you’re 43. So skip to the next if Troy & Lelaina aren’t you jam. We’re going to spend some time with our jam.
Ethan Hawke was honoured last night at the Gotham Awards. Winona Ryder presented. She gave him a meandering, awkward introduction. So, basically, it was perfect. Perfectly her. You can see it here at 3:36. At times she is clearly overcome with emotion, steadying herself with deep breaths and closing her eyes. At times she seems almost choked by her discomfort. Always she is so…tangible. Like after all this time, there’s never any artifice in Winona Ryder.
She says at one point in her speech that “the older we get the lonelier we become”. For some reason it reminds me of the line in the movie when Troy says to Lelaina, “Honey, all you have to be by the time you’re 23 is yourself”. It’s a corny line but the thread between the two now isn’t a lie. And Ethan talks about this during his acceptance – and he’s in pure showman form here – when he talks about all the times he’s been washed up in his career and about “planting a forest” with art. I don’t want to know who Troy and Lelaina are now, I really don’t. And I hope they never tell me. But I do like wondering.
As for this kiss they shared at the end of his remarks, “suck the marrow” is how Winona describes Ethan’s passion for his work. When’s the last time you watched the kitchen scene? Lelaina comes home after the screening, dejected, and Troy is there to comfort her. Which is when they hook up, starting against the fridge. That kiss? Do you remember how he went WIDE mouth right off the top of that kiss, like tried to swallow her? In my memories, there’s not so much “marrow” in that kiss. But he f-cking goes for it.