Anticipation, Perspiration & Prostitution


I missed the memo about anticipation, perspiration, and prostitution.

Scorchers” is probably the best movie you’ve never seen.  I credit my friend Elizabeth, who delivered many memos, with introducing me to this movie.  “It’s about everything,” she said as she urged me to watch it.  And indeed it is.  But mostly, it’s about anticipation, perspiration, and prostitution. 

The action takes place during one night, and oh what a night it is. Splendid (awesome name, right?) and Dolan have just gotten married, and Splendid is having some stage fright about finally consummating their marriage.  Splendid’s not frigid, but there’s a sad secret in her past that makes sex scary for her.  Enter Jumper, Splendid’s hilariously Cajun and long-suffering father.  Oddly, but sweetly, it’s Jumper who helps the newlyweds on their big night.  (And it doesn’t end up in some sort of freaky Electra Complex threesome, so get your minds out of the gutter.)

All the while, a parallel drama plays out in the neighborhood bar.  This is where Thais, the hooker with a heart of gold, holds court with the loveable bar tender, Bear, and the tragic town drunk, Howler.  And still in her bridesmaid’s dress, Splendid’s best friend, Talbot, is there, too, drowning her sorrows and venting her sexual frustrations.  As they all talk, the dialog is both hilarious and heartbreaking. 

And throughout the movie, every one is sweating.  It’s a sticky night down in the bayou and somehow all the glistening just makes everything  more compelling. 

If I haven’t enticed you enough already, consider the cast of “Scorchers” as there is a ridiculous amount of talent in this movie:

The smoldering Faye Dunaway as the town prostitute, James Earl Jones as the barkeep, and the incomparable Denholm Elliott as the town drunk

And there’s more…

 
The adorable Emily Lloyd as Splendid and the wonderful combination of sexy and silly that is Jennifer Tilly as Splendid's best friend, Talbot

The experience of watching “Scorchers” yielded a lot of memos for me:

1.   First, there is something kind of lovely about watching a movie you’ve never heard of before.  The only hype I’d heard about this movie came from a friend, so my head wasn’t full of movie marketing as a I sat down to watch it.  It made me more attentive and more open to everything about the movie.  Watch a random movie sometime and see what happens!

2.  Everything sounds wiser and wittier when said in a Cajun accent.  Little-known actor Leland Crooke played Jumper he pretty much steals the movie. 

3.  If you can watch a person eat, that’s how you know you’re in love with that person.  See No. 2, above.  This is just a tiny bit of “The Tao of Jumper” .  There is so much more.

So get thee to your Netflix queue and add “Scorchers” straight away.  And remember, anything you yourself done swum in, believe.   Memo received.

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