Then and Now: The Sure Thing

Today is the the "Then and Now" blogfest, hosted by Armchair SquidSuze, Moi & Nancy Mock. Squid & Suze were the instigators, and I thank them for letting me tag along. The idea of this here hop is to reflect on a movie that meant something to us at an earlier stage in our lives and explain how we view it differently now.

Before I jump all the way into my post, I want to apologize to visitors of my Insecure Writers post last week. I appreciate all of your lovely comments for Carol, and I'm sorry that I haven't been able to repay your visits yet. Y'see, right after I got that post up, I had to pack my bags and make a road trip for my daughter's college orientation. I know! I can't beleive she's leaving me either. Anywho, it's crazy what just a few days away from everything can do to my good intentions. But I still have them, and I'll see ya very, very soon.

The time on a college campus was fun and totally gave me a hankerin' for my undergrad days (apparently writing Three Daves didn't quite get it out of me). It also helped me to finally land on which movie to focus on for this post...

I loved this movie in the 80s and I love it now. But I have come to see the male lead, Walter Gibson, a/k/a Gibb, in a different light. Back then he was perfect, the kind of guy who would keep his woman laughing and laughing and happy forever. As I said in my Grown Ass Man post last fall, I've learned that Fun Guys aren't always so fun. So while I'm glad the Gibster helped remove the giant stick that was stuck up the leading lady's arse, I no longer imagine that the two of them will make the perfect couple forever and ever. I imagine his jokes growing old and her moving on to someone more mature and more serious, someone more like herself.

Not that he won't mature over time, but I guess what I don't believe in anymore is that people can or should change for each other. I'm not saying that two people have to be exactly alike to be compatible---the differences can be what keeps a relationship interesting into old age, and every successful relationship requires compromise and learning from each other, but I don't know...too much of the growth in The Sure Thing relationship seemed to depend on her becoming more like him and him becoming more like her instead of them each being who they were and appreciating what the other was. It makes for a great movie and is an entirely realistic scenario, but I don't think it has potential for long-term happiness. Does that make any sense?


It makes sense to me. people can grow and change, but it should be for themselves.
Hope orientation went well!
Stephanie Faris said…
Yeah, I didn't think that relationship would work out long-term myself when I saw the movie. She was just too uptight...and I had a feeling that wouldn't change and it would drive him crazy.
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hey, Nicki,

Sounds like you and Mia had a blast! WOW... Times does fly, doesn't it?

I say this film YEARS ago, and I vaguely remember the dynamics, but if they are THAT opposite, I would have to agree, they relationship won't be long lasting.
Arlee Bird said…
I don't know this movie, but this sounds like a common theme with other films I've seen.

Tossing It Out
Hooray! Another Cusack movie! My teaching partner's a big fan of this one. I haven't seen it myself in many years. It's so easy to idealize first love before you've ever actually experienced it - at least, that was the case for me.
D.G. Hudson said…
Fun guys like bad boys aren't all they appear to be. Sometimes they mature and sometimes they don't. Didn't see this movie before.

Incompatibility is more evident as the flush of youth wears off. Our eyes clear and we realize we need a change. I could see that happening to this couple.
Stephsco said…
I haven't seen this movie. It's kind of sad to see old movies and think, that couple won't last. I think age and experience can definitely cloud some of the older movies.

This is such a fun blog hop!
I can see that Nicki. Maybe sometimes you have to find a happy medium. Everyone's relationship is different. A great addition to the blog hop!
Suze said…
Up close and personal comment time, you ready?

I would love to grow grey and withered and sucked like a little old prune with a guy who makes me laugh. That's all I will say about the Gibster.

As for your daughter, OMG!!!!!! (Enough exclamation points, for ya?) Babe, my heart is knit with yours. I can't *imagine* what I will feel like when I pack my daughter's bags and drive her to college. I may stay with her!
I really enjoyed my daughter's orientation since they had lots of cool things for parents to do. I agree with your insights. I really don't believe that opposites attract or will do well together.
F. Stone said…
Yep, being too much of anything is a disaster on hold. Sooner or later, the excess wears thin. But then, I think any relationship can be a shot in the dark. People change. Movies that show how a couple adapt and hold on to what brought them together make me cry - like The Notebook. Cry everytime. Thanks for the post, Nicki, and co-hosting this fun event. Your the best!
Jennifer Lane said…
I almost chose Say Anything for my movie--I'm a big John Cusack fan!

I think this is a wonderful post. I totally agree that fun guy is awesome as a fling or boyfriend, but not awesome as a life partner. Maybe we want to keep that stick up our asses. ;-)
angryparsnip said…
I haven't seen this movie but I enjoyed reading your take on the relationship and where it might or might not go.
I have found one can mellow somewhat toward another but full change never works.

cheers, parsnip
Janie Junebug said…
I haven't seen this movie since it first came out on videocassette. I'm sure you're right about "the fun guy," but don't you think Gibb shows evidence of change? People may not change in major ways, but they can mature. Maybe he could have made her happy. Besides, he was John Cusack and I love that man. Great post.

Cherdo said…
Lovely post, Nikki!

Confession: The fun guy was my weakness (note - nothing to brag about in this camp).

I always thought this was the tale of the compromise/great merge you make to put traction on couplehood. Or is it what you give up to be in a relationship?

John Cusack surely got a lot of mileage back then, eh?
Ha, yep, that makes total sense. As we grow older we often become more discerning and, I dare say, wise.
Cygnus said…
(FYI, this blog hop has me feeling like I'm in one big cocktail party... I just came over from Squid's, and the conversation is still about Cusack!) :-)

I guess I'd be as skeptical as you if the characters were in their 30s or older, but teens can be pretty malleable. I knew a few people (one very similar to Daphne Zuniga's character) who initially thought they knew exactly who they were, but eventually came into a more well-rounded equilibrium.
Rumer Haven said…
Makes total sense. Especially when reading this in the wake of hosting my yuckster ex-boyfriend from college this week. He still makes me laugh, but I couldn't help thinking how much more compatible his current girlfriend is with him than I ever was. Not that I'm not silly and fun in my own way (so I think), but she's higher energy, supports the performer side of his nature (especially now that he's lead singer of a band), and his antics don't seem to get old for her. It only took watching him ask her to film him running around our floor wearing a rubber horse mask (and doing it over and over and over again--upping the ante each time--to achieve that elusive perfect take) for me to thank my husband for never asking the same of me. To be fair, though, the horse head was ours. We knew what we were getting into. :)
Unknown said…
I think I only saw this movie once back in the day so I don't remember it very well. That idea of two people changing to be more like the other and then they fall in love is definitely a common one in film. I agree with Stephsco that age and experience really expose all the flaws of that premise. Sadly. When I rewatch the old teen flicks I remind myself, "it's just a show, I should really just relax!"
Nancy at Hungry Enough To Eat Six
Tara Tyler said…
what a great movie! and I'm pretty surprised at your interpretation - but i get it. quite a fun and telling hop! i'm enjoying the entries =)
Lorena said…
Despite being a huge John Cusack fan in my teenage years, I hadn't watch The Sure Thing until last year when our friend Suze lent it to me. I LOVED it. I noticed with Cusack that he often played a similar role: the quirky kid with an impossible crush who ends up with someone else, but my favorite Cusack film of all times is Better Off Dead (which, interestingly, I read he doesn't like at all).

I have a friend who was married to someone like Gibb and ended up divorcing him after 7 years. :( (and she's pretty laid back and funny, too!) So yeah I agree with you that this could be a problem, though I personally like men with a good sense of humor. :)
Unknown said…
I saw this movie with my mother when I was thirteen. It was the first PG-13 movie I saw in the theater, and I remember being mortified at watching some of the scenes with my mom! I don't think I ever watched the movie again, but I do love John Cusack!
Edward Hall said…
Firstly, thanks for co-organising the blog hop. Apologies for only just getting around to visiting everyone.

I'm already disappointed, because you're the second one I've visited and I'm noticing a pattern of not having seen a film yet!

I think people will naturally change over time, but I agree that differences are entirely healthy!

Ed - Empire's 5-star 500
Cherie Reich said…
It makes perfect sense to me! I haven't seen that movie before.
cleemckenzie said…
I'm now making a movie list from this blogfest. That's one way to catch up on the movies I've either never seen or saw long ago.

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