I used to have a special gift for finding the biggest project in the room. The insufferable, destructive ass hat. The one that was equal parts narcissist, emotional trainwreck, unemployable, and leather pants.
Any time a guy would walk into a party backwards, still peeing on the front porch, zip up and drop a cigarette from his mouth onto the carpet, and grind it out with the heel of his boot while yelling, “It’s not my fault you were dumb enough to put white carpet in here!” my ass hat spidey-sense would go off and the little hairs on the back of my neck would stand at attention.
Then some random girl would walk up to him, throw her drink in his face for some unrelated reason and storm out the door, and I would think, “Well, this is obviously the guy for me.”
Had I known back then that I could cut out the middle-man known as “Misplaced Hope”, I would have just walked straight up to any of these types of guys and said, “So where do I fill out an application to worship you, pay all your bills, have you steal money from me and then cheat on me with one or more of my friends? I am accustomed to disappointment from every man I’ve ever known and, on a subconscious level that I won’t uncover for many years, your brand is as comfortable and familiar to me as a mother’s perfume is to her child. Maybe I can fix the past by fixing YOU!”
Like so many girls who sprang forth into adolescence headfirst down a hole of despair and emotional depravity, it all started with The Bad Corey.
This may come as a big surprise to you (except not at all because hello), but in the late 80s I was all the way into The Coreys.
That would be Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, in case you’re not familiar, and if you’re not familiar, I don’t even know where to start with you. Maybe somebody is offering Remedial Corey classes at your local night school. I highly suggest you bone up on this information, because it will be on the test.
Calculators are only permitted for the “Box Office” portion of The Coreys Test, where you will have to figure out how much money the “Meatballs” movie franchise lost when they cast Corey Feldman in “Meatballs 4″, a classic sequel to a sequel to a sequel, as the “hottest water-skiing instructor in town.”
I don’t know how that conversation went around the producers’ table, but I assume it started and ended with, “Let’s do this thing! Oh god kill me now please please kill me what has my life become.” <sound of Drano being chugged>
It’s not one of the better Corey movies. All Corey movies are graded on a curve, by the way. It’s not fair to grade them against “other movies”, or what some people refer to as “good movies”. It’s only fair to grade Corey movies against other Corey movies.
Were you your best Corey in this film today?
Could you have Corey-ed it up some more?
What did I learn about Corey in this movie that I didn’t already know?
I tell you what, though, and I seriously, seriously am not even remotely kidding here. Corey Feldman should have won the goddamned Oscar for his performance as “Teddy”, the abused kid with the burned-off ear in “Stand By Me”.
When he calmly informs the junk man, who’s insulting his father for being crazy, “My father stormed the beach at Normandy,” before eventually exploding into threats and tears as the boys drag him away from the junkyard, it GUTS me. Give it a re-watch and see if you can make it through the emotional complexity of that really terribly abused kid actually defending his abusive father without wanting to just die inside.
Yes, of course I read his autobiography, “Corey-ography”, so knowing how badly Corey Feldman was abused in real life as a kid, that scene makes me want to curl into a ball on his behalf. That may have just been a scene in a movie, but that abused kid in that scene was very, very real. That’s a hell of a big ask for a kid on a movie set, and I can only imagine how tapping into whatever he had to tap into to pull off that scene must have torn him to shreds. He was just a kid, for god’s sake. That would have hurled most adults into a 72-hour hold.
Hey dramatic departure! Let’s lighten it up a bit, huh?
You didn’t really have a choice in the matter when it came to loving Coreys in the 80s – they were everywhere. You would never ask a twelve year old girl if she was into The Coreys. You just asked her which one.
Now, you would think with all my gushing over Corey Feldman in “Stand By Me”, that would mean that my Corey of choice was Corey Feldman, but you’d be wrong. Despite being the long-haired Corey, the bad attitude Corey, and the damaged Corey, there was someone far, far, far more damaged.
Someone who seemed to be a shiny, jangly, pretty boy, who later turned out to be a bottomless pit of screaming, soul-ripping darkness.
Corey Haim, for his pretty boy face and the adorable smile that made America fall in love with him in movies like “Lucas” and “The Lost Boys”, would surprisingly end up becoming The Bad Corey.
I always liked cute Corey, sweet Corey, Corey who just wanted to take Heather Graham out on a nice date in “License to Drive”. I liked him just fine. But the moment The Bad Corey publicly emerged? Goodbye to Sandra Dee.
I remember the moment it went from a “like” of Corey Haim to a “love”. It was in the old movie theater down the street from my house, watching “Dream a Little Dream”, and my formerly sweet-faced, blonde highlighted Corey Haim, the one with the cute smile where his lip kinda curled up at the corner like Elvis (and don’t even get me started on Elvis), the Corey with the clean jeans and high-tops, appeared onscreen before me, looking like this:
Smoking cigarettes? Check. Hair dyed an unnatural color? Check. Ludicrous clothing and accesssories? Check. Foul-mouthed? Oh god. Check. The pasty, lifeless complexion of a person who is clearly on drugs? (angel harp music) Check.
My Corey had blossomed into The Bad Corey.
What was that? LET ME SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF?
You know that’s the one, right? That line? That’s the one that leads so many women down that road. “Fixing the broken guy” road. “Giving him a reason to live” road. “Being the one who makes him see that the love and devotion of a woman will make him stop destroying himself” road.
The alternate name for this road is, “You will spend a lot of time and money in therapy after this guy has ruined your life. You cannot fix a broken past by breaking your future.”
I don’t know if I can adequately express to you just how much I do not recommend this road, especially when “Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Snort Prescription Diet Pills Because His Coke Dealer is in Lock-Up” roads are also nearby, and won’t cause the kind of wear-and-tear on you that will leave you stranded on the side of life’s highway with an empty wallet and a vaguely itchy crotch.
I’m not going to tell you these roads are always easy to find, sometimes you just have to get lucky, but as my therapist told me in not so many words many years ago, they’re much easier to find if you stop driving your car in circles around Sodom and Gomorrah with a bullhorn out the window shouting, “Free girlfriend, money, psychiatrist, and laundry service here! Standards nonexistent!”
And I won’t even charge you a co-pay for that bit of counseling, sister.