I equal-parts enjoy Tom Cruise and fear Tom Cruise.
In his long and vast career that has spanned most of the time of my life since I discovered boys, I equate my attitude towards Tom Cruise to something like crushing on the cute neighborhood boy who was destined for good things, then went out in the world and put out lotsa stuff we're proud of, and lotsa other stuff we all think is weird.
And we will still talk about him and his life like it's our business.
Which brings me to the next episode in my series "Favorite Era of..."
Favorite Era of Cruise
Obviously, this is when we learned more about the cute boy who wasn't wearing pants in Risky Business and fell in love with men in uniform and guys who played beach volleyball with no shirts on.
He also made pool hustling seem cool, and acrobatic bartending into a viable sport.
The guy now wants to be taken seriously. Just because he got to be in a movie that informed the world that autistic people are good at memorizing numbers. He now tackles "meatier" roles. Like Vietnam vet, or an Irish accent. Or Nascar.
Mission Impossible Cruise
Quickly getting back to his mainstream roots, he goes toe to toe with Jack Nicholson screaming into his face, "You CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!", pairs up Brad Pitt and plastic fangs, then comes up with this idea of doing a remake of an old TV show.
People laugh and go, "Who would want to watch a remake of any old TV show or old movie?!" Oh, he'll show you them apples.
High on being Juggernaut Cruise, he attempts to relaunch Serious Cruise, and hits big screaming, "Show Me The Money!!", makes a star out of Zellweger (fortunately for us) and turns Cuba Gooding Jr into an A-list star (unfortunately for us).
He then begins to ruin it with Eyes Wide Shut and Magnolia. Nicole looks like some deranged Stepford Wife on his arm at red-carpet events, and we remember he's into this Scientology business.
Tom Cruz. Or Penelom. Or Tomelope.
Vanilla Sky, anyone? Ick. He ditches Nicole and takes up with Penelope Cruz. He looks like a scrubby wannabe who's channeling Liam Gallagher. Did he make any movies then? Oh yeah, Last Samurai. Right.
And Minority Report, which is a shame because I love that movie. Oh, and Collateral. He becomes BFF's with Jamie Foxx and suddenly thinks he has "street cred".
Tom Cruise KNOWS Psychology
Poor Brooke Shields. Admits she got the baby blues, and BAM - gets hit with a TomCruiseAttack.
He also takes on Matt Lauer on live TV with those fateful words, "You're glib, Matt. You don't know psychology. I do." Ruh-roh!
The Couch Jumper
The PR Machine gets kickstarted with some turbo fuel and suddenly we're inundated with a happy and in-love Tom Cruise who wins over Joey Potter. Take that, Dawson AND Pacey! And Chris Klein. Oops.
Except instead of just being happy he's in love, we're in fear, because he seems psychotic, like a continued level of psycho (see above).
Family Friendly Cruise
Four years past couch-jumping, and we've seen Happy Husband Cruise and Happy Daddy Cruise. And both Wife Cruise and Child Cruise seem to wear the exact same smile in every last picture. Eh, I'll take that as "happy".
Now this Cruise is going back to "fun summer action blockbusters" and does tongue-in-cheek things like do dance routines with Jenny from the Block.
This Cruise also willingly shows up at celebby events, smiles at cameras, and no longer dispenses unsolicited medical advice to others famous people.