Romanticizer and Geek-in-Residence

by Lauren

I don’t know how you did it, Tom.  Somehow, my feelings for you have gone a complete, yes complete 360 rotation as the years have flown by, and I don’t even know how you did it.

When we first met, I was a young and naive girl. You flashed that blinding white smile at me (and Nicole Kidman) in Far and Away, showed off that barely passable Irish accent, and, well…I was yours for the taking.

You were cocky and sexy as hell riding that sweet-ass motorcycle in Top Gun, and yes, you DID take my breath away, along with Kelly McGillis‘s (which…oh my God…when did she become a grandma??  This makes me so sad.  Tom is still a sex symbol and Kelly looks like she is only getting old-lady roles. Fucking Hollywood.)

You were a total badass in the Mission Impossible re-make, and while those movies weren’t so much my thing, you were still cooler than the other side of the pillow while acting in them.  And also, you participated, and enabled this peerless piece of comedic gold  which will live forever in my mind as one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  (Ben Stiller has that Tom laugh on LOCK).

I even loved you in that weird-ass movie Vanilla Sky–which, I think I weirdly loved and still love despite it being just plain bizarre.  I think the cinematography and soundtrack basically helped to gloss over a lot of really odd plot holes and nonsensical writing.

But you had to go jump on that couch.  You had to go and marry Joey Fucking Potter, a pairing that felt wrong both for the age difference and for the fact that she has NEGATIVE charisma.  As I grew from naive girl to a cynical woman, I became disenchanted. The Scientology stuff was off-putting. You continued making box-office tent-pole movies, but they felt forced on me, your acting and face became ubiquitous and tired.  I didn’t want to see Mission Impossible III.  No one did.  I definitely didn’t want to see you pretend to be a German superhero in Valkyrie.  And I was so off-put by your turn as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder I literally fast-forwarded through those parts of the movie. (Seriously, watch that clip of him I hyperlinked to and tell me if you can sit through it.  I can’t.)


And then…something happened.  I had stayed away from you for so long. Ignored your attempts to win me back, dismissed you as a religious crazy…that I think I forgot how charming you actually could be.  You made a little flick called Knight and Day, which I most certainly did not go see in the theaters, but caught on TV years later…and was blind-sided by how hilarious and adorable you were, still. After all these years.  You salty dog.

And then, suddenly, here was Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol–a sequel we never asked for or needed, but that somehow managed to revive and redeem the entire franchise with its humor and your leading-man skillz.

I even liked Oblivion.  Yes, the sci-fi movie no one saw and that isn’t actually that great except for the KILLER M83 soundtrack.  I liked it, okay?  I went in with zero expectations (again, caught it on TV randomly–this is a surefire way to ensure you will enjoy a movie) and came out swept away by the epic grandeur and surprised by the plot twist.


And so here we are.  I’m a grown-ass woman of 32, and I’m in love again.  I just watched the Edge of Tomorrow…a movie that is now consistently getting a lot of after-the-fact love from people after being thoroughly ignored when it was released this summer.  And guess what?  That movie rocks.  It delivers the right mix of action, sci-fi, humor and co-star charisma.  Think Matrix meets Groundhogs day with a helping of Emily Blunt (and Emily Blunt makes everything better).  But guess who also makes it better?  Yeah, that’s right.  Tommy Cruise.  He delivers. He’s got the twinkle in his eye, that cocky-as-ever-smile, that undeniable charm that nabbed my heart in the first place.

Dammit Tom, I can’t help but take you back. Don’t make me regret it.