Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 75
Fri. April 12, 2013
“You’re Wondering Now”
I was re-watching one of my choice John Cusack films, Grosse Pointe Blank with my nineties crush, the very luscious, Minnie Driver and there’s one part that I cannot get out of my mind. One of my favorite scenes is when Martin, John Cusack, goes to, Minnie Driver’s, Debbie’s house. He knocks on the door and when she opens it, Debbie says, “You can’t come in.” And thinking she means that Martin ruined her life for standing Debbie up at the prom, ages ago; but when she says it again, “You Can’t Come In” in a very faux Jamaican accent, Martin knows that Debbie’s making a clever music joke about The Specials song she was playing in the background.
I love the music selected by director George Armitage, is integral for the scenes between Cusack and Driver. Watch as the way Cusack and Driver play this kind of conversational dance, flirting, while re-igniting and then extinguishing emotions with expressions, word play and song choices that reflect the unresolved tension of their sparkling reconnection.
I also, love the fact that “You’re Wondering Now” is the song spinning in Debbie’s room. It’s another layer of substance that plays off the dynamic electricity emanating from both Martin and Debbie. They both want to fall back into old ways but too much has happened. He left her to join the army and Debbie can’t forgive Martin for the pain she caused for standing her up for over twenty years. All of these emotions, the sexual tension, and the music as we’re waiting for Martin and Debbie to rip their clothes off each other and just to find out if there’s a happy ending in their convoluted future? Martin gives Debbie and airplane ride with her feet. It’s actually a very touching and obviously an odd way of sharing some physical contact but then again, Grosse Pointe Blank isn’t your normal romantic comedy. And that’s why we love these characters, they’re messed up, they’re real, they’re funny, their needy; Martin and Debbie are an extension of our imperfect selves. And that’s why Grosse Pointe Blank still shoots to the heart, these two star crossed characters brought to life by Cusack and Driver.
“You’re Wondering Now” by The Specials doesn’t usually set the mood but I can’t think of a more perfect song for that scene between Debbie and Martin, in her room. The tension between these two once lovers, now strangers, unsure of what move to make, the nervousness of Martin and Debbie is personified with the two step Ska flavor of The Specials “You’re Wondering Now. Sam Adams said it best selecting Grosse Pointe Blank as her favorite soundtrack, when she wrote, “The coup de grace? “You’re Wondering Now” is the song Driver is listening to when she answers the door. We don’t hear the beginning of the song in the movie, but if you know it, you understand that the intro was fresh in Driver’s mind, and popped out as soon as Cusack knocked. It’s one of the simplest but most profound illustrations of the way a song can work its way into your subconscious, just waiting for the right moment to pop back up.”
What better to soundtrack this moment with The Specials, as “You’re Wondering Now” as you relive what choices Martin and Debbie made in Grosse Pointe Blank, relive the two step revelry in this classic reggae staple given immortality on celluloid. Ska of The Specials and the silver screen never sounded this good.