Monday, January 31, 2011

The Gorilla Touches The Glass Again

Since our old-- and, in it's time, rather successful-- home on the Aussie site The Podcast Network is now 403'd (forbidden to be displayed), I thought I'd replay an article which, I felt, is one of those evergreen movie topics worth repeating. It also underscores what the name of our current blogsite means, a metaphor that can always benefit from another explanation.   --S

Several years ago, my wife and Mysti-- a friend of ours and a talented writer-- were having a movie marathon at the house. I wasn't there when they went to Blockbuster and I did not get to pick some of the DVDs, so one of the movies they grabbed was Return To Me (d. Bonnie Hunt, 2000).

Yeah, that Bonnie Hunt. It was the first theatrical film she directed-- and her last. Here's the summary,  by Stephen Hughes via the IMDb:

Bob Rueland (David Duchovny), a Chicago building contractor, cherishes life with his veterinarian wife (Joely Richardson) until she is tragically killed in an automobile accident. Meanwhile the family and friends of Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), a waitress at a local Italian restaurant, are overjoyed when they learn that Grace will finally get a replacement heart (the heart of Bob's wife). Both Bob and Grace struggle to maintain normal lives after these traumatic events, until fate intervenes and brings them together.

(an aside: The phrase “tragically killed in an automobile accident” is seen quite commonly, but doesn't  it strike you as a strange qualification? “Joe Smith was hilariously killed in an automobile accident, after losing control of his car, apparently furiously pleasuring himself while listening to Katy Perry's “I Kissed A Girl.”)

So the girls got themselves a bona-fide chick flick to watch. I joined in for the beginning. Joely Richardson's doomed veterinarian character specialized in primate research at the zoo. One gorilla in particular was taken by her joyous spirit and, whenever she came close to his cage, he would put his hand up to the glass. Having read the snap-case and knowing what was in store for her, I thought: “No. You are friggin' kidding me! Are they really gonna hang a lantern on that?”

Minutes later, Joely is “tragically” killed, David Duchovny cries his eyes out (the weirdest part of the movie, like “X-Files” weird), and Minnie Driver gets Joely's heart. A year passes. Minnie is on an outing at the zoo with her friend's kids and her swell new ticker. She takes them to see the gorillas...

...I said, “If that gorilla touches that f***ing glass, I'm outta here!”

Mysti said, “Won't happen. They wouldn't--”

--as if on cue, as Minnie came close the gorilla touched the f***ing glass.

I went back downstairs.

And a new in-joke was born. To this day, during the horribly predictable bit of a movie any of the three of us will lean over and whisper “The gorilla is gonna touch the glass!” Always good for a laugh.

ADDENDA: The original posting may have been commented by Bonnie Hunt herself. But evidence of this went down the same Australian memory hole as the old site.


  1. What did Bonnie Hunt say? I don't remember that!

  2. Something like "Personally, I really, really liked that movie. --Bonnie H." But icier. We were getting like 10K hits a month back then, so it's a distinct possibility.