Sunday, March 4, 2012

Make Your Night a McConaughey

I don't even really know how it started.

It was probably one of the rare (at least, they're rare in my memory) quiet nights spent in apartment Sevin-Oh-Eight. I say that because I vaguely remember Mitch, Jackson and maybe Ben being present during the initial, fateful conversation which would yield the measuring stick and badge of victory for all epic nights that would come henceforth.

Could we have known the life it would take? I don't know. Could Shakespeare have known the extent to which things that came out of his brain would become part of day-to-day speak so many years after his death? I don't know. But I'm sure he had an inkling of when he was on to a good thing.

A good thing, for your night out.

Ever had a night out that was so epic, you woke up in the morning and thought about the you that existed in the afternoon before the night out and thought, "Wow, if only I knew the journey I was about to go on!" or "That was a completely different me, I have so much knowledge to impart on that person!" or "How many places did we go to and how many people did I insult?".

I bet you have. I'd wager that most people have. Most people have taken part in a night out that began unassumingly, but which began to live in infamy from the very next morning onwards. The type of night that is regularly reminisced about, with wild gestures and excited flailing.

That's a journey night. Excuse me, a Journey Night. The kind of night films are made of, films like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist or The Last Detail or 25th Hour or American Graffiti, After Hours, Superbad or Dazed and Confused. The kind of film with a tag line like, "ONE FATEFUL NIGHT..." or a voice over declaring "IT WAS A NIGHT THAT WOULD CHANGE THEM FOREVER." (maybe not that extreme, but you get the cut of my jib)

If your night felt like a journey, with multiple locations, one that spanned what felt like a lifetime, with a rollercoaster ride of emotions (failing emotions, then slightly episodic set pieces are fine), one that warranted a "PHEW!" upon getting into bed/couch/floor, then you've had a Journey Night. 

What if, though, what if your Journey Night suddenly reached some next-level Journey maneuvers? What if it achieves some higher plane of Epic?

Then you MAY have had yourself a McConaughey.

Like I said, I'm not sure how that conversation came about, what segue brought us to the topic, but we definitely ended up talking about certain elements commonly found within certain films starring Matthew McConaughey.

First off, I have to stress that the "certain films" I refer to are - in fact - films like Fool's Gold. Maybe not A Time to Kill. Let's be clear on that. Films that include the following:

  • An epic journey, preferably through a myriad of different exotic locations. 
  • A love interest. 
  • A hilarious side-kick. 
  • Treasure found at the end of the journey. 

The rules of McConaughey nights (as they've evolved) are thus. For your night to qualify as having been a McConaughey, your night must have contained all of those ingredients. However, the form that they take are not set in stone. For instance, the "treasure" can be anything from McDonalds at the close of festivities, to getting to bed, to finding twenty bucks on the bathroom floor of Revolver (I kid. Revolver is not conducive to treasure at all). A hilarious side-kick could be anyone (a friend spurting out theories on Henry Jenkins or Ronald Reagan is one example). "A myriad of different exotic locations" could be a journey over the length and breadth of the city, or an epic emotional journey.

The thing about McConaugheys though, is that they can't be planned. If you declare "THIS WILL BE A MCCONAUGHEY", then your night will be most likely be filled with bad music and mediocre vibes. The best nights are always the ones that start out in the most unassuming way possible, then somehow take a turn for the spectacular.

I find that when I try to explain what "A McConaughey" is to someone who isn't in my close circle of friends, I'm usually met with a) laughter and something along the lines of "Ooohhhh, I know what you mean", or b) a politely interested yet bemused look. Admittedly, it's fairly silly business. I'm sure there's more appropriate actors to name a Journey Night after. "McConaughey" has a better ring to it than a "Nicolas Cage" or a "Brendan Fraser". There's just something about Matthew McConaughey and that smug grin though, that seems very fitting for a victorious night out with the crew.

Hell, having had a quick peruse of Mr McConaughey on IMDB, I can't actually see that many tropical-adventure-journey-films. There's Fool's Gold, there's Sahara, there's some shitty romantic comedies in posters for which he can't seem to stand up with out assistance, and there's Dazed and Confused.

Anyway, I'm writing this because in the past few weeks I've had a few McConaugheys. Or rather, a few different types of McConaugheys. One a McConaughey-goes-to-South-East-Asia. One a McConaughey-stars-in-a-really-dark-comedy.

Stay tuned.

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