And so, with no further ado….
The Film – Something Wild, dir. Jonathan Demme, 1986
The Set Up – Kooky Audrey (Melanie Griffith) has kidnapped uptight Charlie (Jeff Daniels) and taken him to her high school reunion. Charlie starts to relax and begins to have feelings for her. This moment starts during the dance, and the Feelies funky version of “Fame”. Charlie shows off his moves.
The walls are down. They kiss. The lights go down and the music changes to a slightly ominous guitar.
Note the black leather jacket on the left.
“Hi, baby. Surprised?”
This is our first glimpse of Ray Liotta as Audrey’s husband Ray, and it is without any doubt my favorite movie entrance. The guy says three words, and the whole tone of the movie changes in that instant. Up till then, it has just been a screwy little romantic comedy. When Ray arrives on the scene, we know as soon as he opens his mouth that he’s trouble.
How many times have you seen the movies give us the girl with the louse in her life? Do you always wonder why she was with the guy in the first place? I do. Here, though, I don’t because Liotta gives Ray a very strong sexual magnetism along with the menace. You have to begrudgingly admit that a girl could fall for him.