Thursday, December 13, 2007

When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Blogging

I'm sorry to dwell on Billy Ocean but I've got something to tell you – rather, I've got something to say -- about the song "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going," the single on the soundtrack to Jewel of the Nile.

If you haven't seen the movie, it's the sequel to the equally excellent Romancing the Stone. Jack (Michael Douglas) and Joan (Kathleen Turner) are living the easy life on a yacht bought with the proceeds from a gigantic emerald extracted from the gut of a precocious crocodile. Alligator. Whatever. It's worth seeing for the awesomely bad special effects when the croc bites off the hand of a militant drug lord who somehow manages to continue smoking his cigar.

Where was I? In Jewel, Joan decides to travel to the Middle East as the guest of a sheik to escape their marital doldrums, but winds up being abducted instead. Jack decides to rescue her with the begrudging assistance of Ralph, played by Danny DeVito. Mad adventuring and ethnic stereotyping abounds. (ie. At a Sufi celebration , Ralph says to Jack, "Look at these guys, Colton. No sheep is safe tonight!" Gotta love the 80s.)

Point is, I love the song and the movie so naturally when I realized that the music video is based on the movie, I had to live-blog the proceedings…

23 secs: Probably the greatest opening bass line of all time.

30 secs: Whatever happened to synthesizers, right?

56 secs: The female saxophone player's hair is outstanding, as is her leather miniskirt with a zipper running up one side and the blouse TUCKED IN.

1 min 11 secs: The part that always throws me about this song is the lyric "I'm gonna make you stand and deliver/And give me love in the old-fashion way." Is he talking about doing her from behind? What is love in the "old-fashion way"? Without birth control? In missionary position with the lights off while sexually repressed? Lots of loose ends here, Billy.

1 min 18 secs: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny Devito appear on backup clad in white tuxes and, yes, there are bowties for everyone. For once Billy is actually the best dressed person in the room, which is really saying something.

1 min 23 secs: I can't say enough great things about Kathleen Turner. Remember when movies had women in them instead of girls? Best legs in the business. I dunno what happened there, but THIS makes me worried for Diane Lane.

1 min 30 secs: Jesus, Danny Devito is tiny, isn't he? Google reveals that he's two inches shy of official midget status. There's also a cyber conspiracy theory that he wears lifts and is actually shorter than he claims based on photographic evidence of him standing next to 5’½” wife Rhea Perlman. This is exactly what Al Gore intended when he invented the Internets, by the way.

1 min 43 secs: Omg. Synchronized air punches for emphasis!

2 min 40 secs: I get the feeling Catherine Zeta-Jones just has this video on file and threatens to show it to the children whenever she wants something from Michael.

3 min 20 secs: Watching this makes you realize that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were totally derivative in addition to badly permed. Not to mention prone to starring in films centered around a man on mission to jump into a flaming volcano.

4 mins 7 secs: In an incredible succession of events, Kathleen and Michael start bouncing Danny between their bodies like that old SNL Night at the Roxbury skit and pretend to beat his ass before they all run offstage.

4 mins 8 secs: I know it's silly, but the viewing experience is a bit soured for me knowing how Douglas' real life marriage turned out. When his 23-year marriage to Diandra Douglas fell into the doldrums, he divorced her in June 2000 and had a baby with Zeta-Jones just two months later. So the real lesson is: When the going gets tough, divorce your wife for a woman 25 years your junior whose father is younger than you are. Then again, I guess that title is hard to fit on a cassette.


paigepop said...

Do you think that when Michael pisses off Catherine Zeta she goes and pops a VHS of this little performance in the VCR to which Michael then backs down and gives into her ludicrous demands just to make it go away?

BCA said...

Regarding your 1:30 comment, many by now know that Algore invented it, but few know that it's a "series of tubes" according to Sen. Ted Stevens. If you can stand the 2 mins of verbal confusion, it's worth the wait at the end.

ced said...

wow, thanks for this chestnut! makes me think of two things:
1) a notepad next to the kitchen phone (the wall-mounted one with the 30ft. cord) that said 'when the going gets tough the tough go shopping'
and 2) the beginning of the movie when michael slides down the muddy hill right into kathleen turner's crotch and he smiles up at her from her nethers. first blatant reference to third base that i can remember from my overprotected childhood.

Scarlet said...

I still love this video. GOD bless you tube. It's almost as good as the closing song in Overboard. I'm going to go die of shame now.

Bernard Edwards said...

I know I'm late to this post but I had to point out this sacrilege:

23 secs: Probably the greatest opening bass line of all time.

I take it you've never heard either "Good Times" (Chic) or "Rapper's Delight" (Sugarhill Gang)?

Repent, sinner!