Tonight I saw Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.
Sometimes the 25th anniversary of a film can spark nostalgia; other times it can reveal to your older self how cheesy a movie really is, and tonight I experienced both.
When Tom Cruise's Maverick struts into flight school, his smirk is so smug he owns the room. Everyone forgets that he's just over 5 feet tall and has crooked teeth because his eyes sparkle and his dimples glow. He even comes with his own sidekick, a when-he-had-hair Anthony Edwards (Goose).
Yet I did then (and I do now) still find Val Kilmer's Iceman a hell of a lot sexier. Never mind that both actors would grow up to be kooks in their own right, but in 1986 they were the stuff naughty dreams were made of.
All the posing and the smart remarks aside, this is an action film. With Bruckheimer's stamp all over it, the flight scenes hold up, and if you follow the camera faithfully enough, you can probably still get dizzy.
It's a romance too—the hot older woman, Charlie (Kelly McGillis) falling for the young pilot after just one public song. The steamy sex and tongue hockey to the famous song by Berlin. It's almost all too much in retrospect.
But I still got teary when Goose had his accident, and I clapped along with everyone else when the "wingman" quotes were exchanged at the end.
So I guess if you're into cheesy 80s movies, this one deserves its spot in heartthrob history.