Thursday, August 14, 2014

the world according to garp [1982]

the news of the death of robin williams on monday spread thru the office like wildfire.  i felt shock.  williams was a life giver, a person whose energy and presence makes everyone he touched feel keenly alive.  he was a man who was so keenly alive it just seemed like he'd be with us forever.  i think that is why i -- we -- were so surprised and hurt by williams' death.

i've been a fan of robin williams ever since he battled the fonz as mork from the planet ork on the sitcom happy days.  i have a confession.  when the tv show mork and mindy spun off happy days i was such a geek for mork i collected bubble gum cards of the TV show and i even -- gulp! -- a pair of rainbow suspenders, the kind that was mork's favorite piece of clothing.

but for all the manic energy that i found so lovable i preferred williams' serious side as an actor.  roles that were less manic.  i have a long list of robin williams movies that i love but this movie, the world according to garp, is my most favorite.

another confession: i haven't seen this movie in years.  and yet. . .and yet i know this movie like a know the freckles on my son's face.  based on john irving's novel garp's world is one of wonder, sadness and is profoundly sweet and goofy.  glen close plays his mother, jenny fields, an author of a feminist manifesto that becomes a womens' movement.  john lithgow plays roberta muldoon, a transgender former NFL football star who becomes garp's greatest friend.

this might be williams' first film role after mork and mindy.  it is one of his finest performances.  it was released in 1982.  i saw this movie via VHS when i was 16.  i was not much of a student.  i've always enjoyed reading but at the age of 16 that enjoyment turned into a fierce love.  i wanted to become a writer.  garp was also a crappy student who wanted to become a writer.  he does become a writer.  this is the first movie i saw that showed the life of a writer and the act of writing onscreen.  this movie was kind of like my virgil guiding me to a new reality.

na nu na nu!    


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