Rediscovering the Movie "Only You" on Netflix
I’m willing to bet (figuratively, of course, lest you get the wrong idea… cheeky, I know) that at one point, at the very least, in your life, you’ve sat in front of your television set and watched reruns of old TV shows or movies you’ve seen when you were, let’s say, 10 years old. Now, you’re 40 and you’re seated at your favorite couch in front of the TV. It’s probably around the Christmas season and you’re back home for the holidays, and “Home Alone,” featuring Macaulay Culkin, is on. You’ve probably watched it last year around the same time and even the year before that, and of course, you’ve seen it when you were around the same age as the kid in the movie. And every time, it seems as though, you’re seeing it for the first time.
Of course, you may be younger or older, and it may be another movie favorite – Star Wars? Harry Potter? Lord of the Rings? Sleepless in Seattle? The Breakfast Club? Iron Man? - and it may be an entirely different experience for you, but you get the idea. Watching these old movies again after time has passed, after you’ve experienced what you’ve experienced, after you’re no longer the gullible kid or the doe-eyed innocent that you once were, gives you a different movie experience – be it positive or negative.
Watching these old movies again after time has passed, after you’ve experienced what you’ve experienced, after you’re no longer the gullible kid or the doe-eyed innocent that you once were, gives you a different movie experience – be it positive or negative.
For the uninitiated, “Only You” is your typical romantic 90’s movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. (yes, ironman) and Marisa Tomei (Spiderman’s aunt). Ironman's and Aunt May’s flirtatious banter in the new Marvel movies are most probably in reference to this film, but I digress.
I was browsing Netflix content the other day and stumbled upon one of my all-time favorite movies as a young and impressionable teen. The movie, “Only You,” with the tandem of Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, was my go-to romantic movie when I was a kid, along with Harrison Ford’s “Sabrina,” although the first one moreso than the other. I think I’ve watched it for dozens of times when I was younger, and now that I’m much older, it’s such a treat to see it available on Netflix.
For the uninitiated, “Only You” is your typical romantic 90’s movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. (yes, ironman) and Marisa Tomei (Spiderman’s aunt). Ironman and Aunt May’s flirtatious banter in the new Spiderman movies are most probably in reference to this film, but I digress.
This movie is a cult classic, a fan favorite. It’s about believing (or not) in finding one’s soulmate and destiny. 11- year old Faith (as she was aptly named), pranked by her brother with the help of a rigged Ouija board and a “fake” fortune teller from the carnival, was made to believe that her soulmate’s name is “Damon Bradley.” Fast forward a few years later, she’s engaged to a podiatrist, seems happy although not so keen on wearing her fiance’s mother’s old wedding dress.
Always believing that her soulmate is still out there somewhere, her life is turned upside down when she receives a call, in behalf of her fiancé, from a guy named Damon Bradley who’s about to go on a trip to Venice. It’s 10 days before her wedding, but she must, at all cost, follow her destiny. She just has to meet him and know. And so, she leaves for Venice with her sister-in-law, who readily jumps to the opportunity of supporting her friend and sister and getting away temporarily from her neglectful husband.
Spoilers ahead. So, in case you haven't watched it yet and still planning to, you may proceed at your own risk.
She eventually meets “Damon Bradley”, falls in love and sleeps with him on the same night they met. It is a whirlwind romance, except there’s a catch. “Damon Bradley” isn’t really Damon Bradley; His name is actually Peter. He confesses the truth in the middle of an intense liplock the morning after. She, naturally, doesn’t take it well and leaves. He doesn’t let up and pursues her despite the former’s objections or denial, even going the lengths of hiring some handsome gigolo to pose as Damon Bradley, and eventually finding the real one, all for his “love” for Faith.
Of course, building up to a happy ending, she eventually gives in, realizing that she was just in love with the idea of Damon Bradley being her soulmate, of the idea of soulmate and destiny, and that she loves Peter despite and in spite of the lies and all. She parts with the fiancé and, just like most of the romantic movies ever made, pursues Peter – at the last minute - at the airport, complete with a long speech of her admission of love. Love wins. The end.
The plot, arguably, is a bit problematic, but then, love is illogical and it’s a romantic comedy in the 90s.
My summary may be a little bit tainted with sarcasm, but despite and in spite of how I may now feel about the whole plot, it still remains to be one of my favorite movies. However, I have to say, seeing it again after a decade or so has put things in an entirely different perspective for me.
I used to look at Robert Downey, Jr.’s “Peter” with starry eyes. I had been so infuriated with Marisa Tomei’s “Faith” because how could she be so stubborn and vehemently deny her feelings for Peter. I used to think, “You’re in love with him, girl. Don’t deny it.”
But then, watching it again, Peter has definitely “stalker” and “creepy” etched in his forehead. If it were a different guy, say, someone less charming than the actor who played him, and if the tone and perspective of the movie shifted, Peter would be in the league of the likes of Netflix You’s Joe. The same night they met, he lured her into bed by making her think he’s someone he’s really not. Point for him though, for at least, telling her the next day. I know Faith’s also at fault because she was also clearly out of sorts for agreeing to sleep with him just because he says his name is Damon Bradley. She was engaged to be married and that alone makes everything all wrong. My past 12-year-old self would be crying out of disappointment knowing what I know now, but the present something-something old me would just frown and move on. The plot, arguably, is a bit problematic, but then, love is illogical and it’s a romantic comedy in the 90s.
Regardless of how I perceive the whole movie now, rewatching old movies is still a great cinematic experience. When you watch films again that you’ve seen in your youth, you yourself bring something new to the whole couch experience. It makes you discover new things, not only about the movie but also about yourself.
I’ve always enjoyed rewatching old films I’ve seen as a child. My mother has always found it odd that I love watching movies and even tv shows again and again, even though I’ve seen them enough times to last me a lifetime. I always tell her that each and every time of rewatching these movies has given me a totally different movie experience. Obviously, I’m a movie fan and maybe, a little more “obsessed” and definitely “biased” with movies than most people. But it’s true, at least for me. Rewatching old favorites is like watching them with fresh new eyes each time because … I am also different each time.
© 2019 Larinna