AND YOU DON'T PAY ME
we know this is a perfect and not a sidenote but....
so, we went on our typical five mile walk with our dog, but, when you live in texas, you tend to underestimate the heat. and unfortunately only one of us returned from the walk "alive". go figure, that was not katie. annie was perfectly fine. same with our dog, ruby. but it was katie who returned a sweaty, heat-stricken baby. needless to say, she wasn't feeling well - at all!! she had her butt kicked by the sun and was down a good three days after that. tended with chicken noodle soup and lots of water, annie still wanted to make her feel extra better. therefore, like the angelic sweetheart that she is, annie had them watch the only thing fitting....keanu movies!! hence, my own private idaho.
many probably aren't familiar with this hidden gem, but, of course, we were going to watch my own private idaho on a random monday, because the love for keanu and cult, indie films is too strong here at twinsAF. one of keanu's younger films, this movie released in 1991 but was easily underlooked with the release of point break and bill and ted's bogus journey that same year. although those films are equally excellent and entertaining, we couldn't help but be more emotionally attached to my own private idaho's richer relationship dynamic. and this was especially prevalent when it came to the PERFECT campfire scene!!
our parents would probably be rolling their eyes at how easily we fall in love with the cute, lil' gay love stories, but, at first glance, it is undoubtedly the script and dialogue that has our hearts. this campfire 🔥 scene between scotty and mike effortlessly revolves around their unwavering friendship, employing translucent, simple, and authentic dialogue instead of coded, over worked, forced banter that you see in today's cinema. we additionally have to give credit to keanu reeves and river phoenix for their sincere chemistry that's so prevalently felt through the screen. likewise, you don't see this type of genuine teamwork in today's films or tv. today character dynamics are almost always blocked by either the script's demanded labels and showy cinematography or the actors/actresses subtly trying to improve their own resumé with every single line in hopes of establishing themselves as the next 'breakout star'. in other words, they choreograph a scene to be sincere that, in doing so, it ends up losing all chance of any sincerity in the first place.
in contrast, the my own private idaho campfire 🔥 scene is stripped like a good ol' etham song. the shots are simply lit by the fire, and the performance is composed of just keanu and river playing off of each other. to explain, here's a excerpt from the scene:
SCOTTY What do you mean to me? Mike, you’re my best friend. MIKE I know, man - and I - I’m not - I know your my friend. We’re good friends, and it’s good to be, you know, good friends. That’s a good thing. SCOTTY So? MIKE So I just…………that’s okay……we can be friends……………… SCOTTY I only have sex with a guy for money MIKE Yeah. I know. SCOTTY And two guys can’t love each other MIKE Yeah. well, I-I don’t know. I mean - I mean for me……I could love someone even if I……,you know, wasn’t paid for it………and I love you, and…………………………you don’t pay me………… SCOTTY Mike - MIKE I really want to kiss you, man……… well goodnight, now…………
as you can see, this scene is brutally back and forth and in the most candid way ever. the lines aren't dramatic. they're honest. they're realistic. they're truthful (well, sorta. two guys can ALWAYS love each other even if in 1991 it was just not socially excepted in idaho). what makes this scene even more tender is the unspoken comfortability to be vulnerable between the characters. especially as scotty sits patiently and respectfully through mike's stumbling speech. this really goes to show river's amazing acting and how much keanu can say with just his eyes. it's so sad that river was taken too soon, but we are glad that he was casted and able to shine in this role. the magic within this scene is just undeniable (not to mention the rest of the film.)
altogether the campfire 🔥 scene in my own private idaho is sweet and uncomplicated. and the dialogue, directing, and acting qualities that are woven into the beautiful scenescape just makes this moment in the film absolutely perfect.
have a nice day :)