My library is an unending source of cool movies, documentaries and PBS series. Once in a while I pick up a season of something like Boston Legal and have a personal marathon. But the library pickings have gotten a bit slim. So last night, I rented Season of the Witch with Nicholas Cage, honestly for lack of anything better in the Red Box machine.
Cage plays a medieval knight in an okay medieval tale of witchery. It wasn’t horrible. But here’s the deal – Nicholas Cage is at his best when he’s playing a good-hearted average Joe. He wasn’t exactly knightly, in the traditional sense – rather an irate good-hearted average former Crusader.
The thing is: I love to watch him on the screen – in the right role for him. My absolute favorite film of his is an old one he did with Bridget Fonda, It Could Happen To You. It’s the schmaltzy true tale of a cop who promises a waitress he’ll share the lottery winnings if his numbers come in, as a tip.
He does win and he keeps his word. Cage and Fonda are kind souls who have fun giving away some of the money and treating the neighborhood kids to a day at the ballpark. Havoc ensues with his wife, played wonderfully by Rosie Perez, who divorces him and gets every penny of the remaining money, leaving Cage and Fonda broke and broken.
The world hears of their story and cash is mailed to them in small bills until they have enough to re-open her restaurant and begin a life together; a very happy ending.
Throughout this movie you are pulling for Cage… and Fonda. He makes you love him, even if you don’t wanna. That’s when Cage is at his best. He’s surprisingly a little like Fonda’s own dad, Henry. There is an innocence and goodness that shines through his eyes that makes you believe.
I know actors want to stretch, but as a viewer I beg you, Movieland, let us root for our guy Cage in a relatable role. It ain’t too much to ask, Toots.