Single page view By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Welcome back to "Curious Guy" with author Chuck Klosterman. In case you missed it Tuesday, here's Part I.

Simmons: My friends and I spend an inordinate amount of time arguing about movies, sports and TV ... so what's wrong with writing about this stuff? For instance, at a friend's house watching football last Sunday, my friend Dave Dameshek and I were trying to figure out the most ridiculous scene from "Face Off." Our friend Ace has a theory that they came up with the title before anyone wrote the script, like some movie exec told two writers, "Okay, the movie is called 'Face Off,' we start filming in two weeks, and Travolta and Cage are signed on ... I need a script by Monday." That really might have been what happened, so it's not like we're arguing about "The Godfather" here. But when you consider that it featured two huge stars (at the time), and it did pretty well at the box office, it's one of the most astounding cable movies to watch after the fact. Although 'Shek makes an excellent point: You can't argue about how ludicrous the premise is, only because we accept the premise simply by watching the movie. We knew going in that Travolta and Cage would eventually switch faces, we accepted it and that was that.

Want more Klosterman? Then head on over to Amazon and treat yourself to some Chuck.

"Killing Yourself to Live"

"Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs"

"Fargo Rock City"

With that said, I thought the most ridiculous scene was when Cage's character wakes up from a coma with his face missing, so he uses the hospital phone to call one of his buddies to help him get Travolta's face. I just don't think it's possible to make a phone call if there's no skin on your face and you don't have lips. Call me crazy. 'Shek argued that the most ridiculous scene was the ending, when Travolta foils Cage and nearly gets shot to death, and he goes into the hospital and they save him, and they give him his old face back, and then the movie ends with him heading home to see his wife ... and she's on the computer and seems totally surprised that he's home. As though she's like, "Oh, wait, THIS was the day you were coming home from the hospital with your new face after you saved the world? I thought it was tomorrow!" (It's much funnier when 'Shek does it with his Pittsburgh accent, but whatever.) And you know what? He might be right.

The point is, people DO discuss this stuff in real life, which is why it should be OK to write about it. Like you said, it's not mindless trivia, it's a goofy way that people from our generation relate to one another. For instance, 'Shek just moved into a new house, and I just had a baby, and I guarantee we spent more time talking about "Con Air" then either of those other two things. Why is that? I have no idea. But that's our generation. Which brings me to my next question: We had Generation X, and then the Internet generation ... how do you think the next generation will be defined, and how do you think your writing will change (if at all) to reflect that evolution? Along those same lines, where do you see your focus shifting over the next few years? Do you think you'll ever shift to scripted stuff, or do you like writing conventional stuff too much?


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