Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monday Movie Meme -- Show Me the Money

Share movies that focus on making money, finding money, losing money, stealing money or spending money. Then link back here at The Bumbles.

Glengary Glen Ross.
"A. B. C. Always Be Closing." These are the words the salesmen at the Chicago real estate office live by. Times are tough, the competition is cut throat, and the David Mamet dialog is brilliant. Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and Jack Lemmon are especially desperate in their pursuit of the almighty buck. Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino are filled with macho swagger. And Kevin Spacey plays the office toady that everyone hates.

Quiz Show. Charles Van Doren comes from a family of erudite overachievers. He may not be as smart as the rest of his brilliant clan, but he is bright enough and good looking. That combination makes him a natural for a new phenomenon, the TV quiz show. Once he starts making money -- a lot of it for very little work -- he discovers he enjoys it. And he is seduced into doing what he knows is wrong just to keep it rolling in.

Wall Street. "The point is that greed, for lack of a better word, is good." Part of what makes Gordon Gekko such a destructive and powerful villain is that he doesn't think he's wrong, or even bad. He's simply indulging in the pursuit of power and money that he believes makes us humans superior to the rest of the food chain.

She's going to die

My friend Ed's daughter. She is just 24 years old.

Her leukemia is in remission right now, but the doctors are guarded about her ability to make it to 30. So she got married in hurry -- forgoing the big Chicago wedding they were planning and settling for a judge's chambers in New York, where she now lives and is undergoing treatment.

Before this last round of chemo, she had her eggs harvested. The doctors warned her that the chemicals might destroy her eggs and she desperately wants to have a baby with her new husband.

And now she wants a bone marrow transplant. She's been warned that it could very well shorten her life even more, but it would enhance her ability to carry her own fertilized egg, and that's what she wants. She wants to have a healthy baby as normally as possible with her new groom. As she told her dad, my friend Ed, she's less interested in "quantity of years than quality."

Ed is one of the world's biggest movie fans. He keeps likening his daughter to Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias. I wish that movie had a happier ending. I really do.

This is terrible for Ed. This daughter of his was an accident. He and his wife never wanted children. When his wife found she was pregnant, they discussed abortion seriously but finally decided against it. And so my friend was shocked and delighted by how much he loved this little person who he never anticipated having in his life.

He adores her. Over the years I've heard it all: how beautifully she performed as Maria in The Sound of Music, how she agonized about her ears and insisted on always wearing her hair long to cover them, how lost she first felt when she first went away to college in New York, how she met and fell in love with Brian ... and now this horror.

I don't know his wife as well as I know him, but she is in my thoughts and prayers, too. For this is not her first time, hanging around in waiting rooms, waiting for news about a loved one. Ed himself battled prostate cancer and almost lost his life in 2008. He lost his job not long after that, and she has been supporting her little family by herself since then.

I hate my new haircut. My condo is a mess. And then I think of them and my priorities quickly reshuffle.