That Bobby Creep Ruined It 

Monday, January 16, 2006

"What shall we do tonight?"

"Banish your crush on Willem Dafoe."

Wild at Heart will do that. Willem Dafoe's Bobby Peru with a row of teeth like corncobs with a dash of fungus - I could smell his bad breath from sixteen years away, that's how bad it was.

For some reason, Dafoe as Nosferatu's Max Schreck didn't creep me out as much as it should have.

F.W. Murnau: Why him, you monster? Why not the... script girl?
Max Schreck: Oh. The script girl. I'll eat her later.

Loveable, really. And, as a vampire, he is practically family. How can I not like family?

The Willem Dafoe crush was based on one film, during a lonely teenage year I spent in the Chinese countryside.

In south China, it was easy to equate the landscape with the Vietnamese one portrayed in Platoon. I adored him so much I dressed up as him for a miserable Halloween. I even named my pet rat for his character, Elias, and, when my rat was outed as a female, refused to change her name from Elias.

Don't worry, during that one year, I also had crushes on his other co-stars: Kevin Dillon and Johnny Depp. Yes, Johnny. We go way back.

Now that Bobby Peru has squelched my teen crush, someone needs to fill the void. A retroactive teen crush.

His mother refused to let him film Platoon. The set was too gruelling. I missed that potential crush back then. His mother came between us.

It started with Sixteen Candles. I finally watched it a week ago, now that my parents don't control my video-viewing privileges. He was kind of nerdy, not the type I would have gone for in 1984, when my tastes already leaned to baby-faced moody pretty boys.

Better Off Dead was next in line. Yes, I could slot myself into the French girl role. I'm European. I can fake French. He was vulnerable and thus charming. A little clueless. The hot French chick awaits you. I can make it all better, sweetie boy.

At the beginning of Say Anything, I noted out loud what a nice guy he seemed to be. I remarked that his character was very intelligent. How he was too good for that brainy girl.

My boyfriend turned to me. "You're allowed to secretly crush on John Cusack. As long as it isn't Willem Dafoe."

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