R.I.P. James Gandolfini — the world lost a great one today.
When I heard the news, my first recollection was not of Tony Soprano, but of Gandolfini’s 2001 role as a gay hitman holding Julia Roberts hostage from her estranged beau, Brad Pitt: I probably watched “The Mexican” 20 times in college. (Even more tellingly/embarrassingly: One of Gandolfini’s lines from it* was in heavy rotation in my AIM profile & away message – and yes, it was a not-so-subtle message to my on-again, mostly-off-again boyfriend.)
Tonight I did a twitter search to see if anyone else thought this movie/Gandolfini’s performance in it was underrated, and I was far from alone:
Didn’t love Killing Them Softly but Gandolfini’s performance was electrifying. And his gay hit man was the highlight of The Mexican. #RIP
— Alonso Duralde (@ADuralde) June 19, 2013
James Gandolfini always will be known best as Tony Soprano but he was a hidden gem in The Mexican w/ Brad Pitt & Julia Roberts
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 19, 2013
James Gandolfini’s portrayal of a gay man in THE MEXICAN had a huge effect on me. I came out 3 months later. So sad right now.
— Chris Peckover (@peckover) June 20, 2013
So add it to your Netflix queue and let me know what you think. In the meantime, below are my favorite nuggets of love advice from “The Mexican.” [Some vague, oblique spoilers, but they won't really affect your future enjoyment of the movie.]
“Oh. Like I should be an interior decorator. That’s insulting.”
“The past doesn’t matter. It’s the future that counts.”
“There’s a seedy underbelly to the Postal Service.”
“When do you get to that point where enough is enough?”
Gandolfini’s character to Julia Roberts’ character:
(as seen in the clip above, and also my 2001 away messages): “Look, in my business you’re surrounded… by loneliness and finality. I don’t care what your take is on an afterlife, when people die, it’s scary, and they go alone.
Now, the people that I send off, that have experienced love… They’re a little less scared. They’re still scared, but there’s a calmness to ‘em. I think that comes from the knowledge that somebody somewhere loved ‘em and cared for ‘em and will miss ‘em. Now, I see that from time to time and I am awed by it. I don’t think I’d be telling you this if it wasn’t for Frank. Anyway, it’s a loaded question.
Look, when two people love each other, totally, truthfully, all the way love each other, the answer to that question is simple, especially in your case.
When do you get to that point where enough is enough?*