A fantastic disturbing film starring Janeane Garofalo as a blind date for Mitch Rouse. Margaret Cho and Bobcat Goldthwait also star as employees for a coffee shop where the majority of the film's story takes place. Janeane Garofalo plays Jasmine, a woman suffering from manic depression and in cynical despair about the state of her life.

To say much more could ruin the experience of seeing the movie for the first time. Needless to say it has a thickly dry sardonic wit about it, and is one of the most curious love stories ever put to film.

Chuck's Mercenary Army of Extreme Sweethearts

That was what the sign over the door said. It was an old advertising slogan Chuck had developed early on in the competitive mercenary market. Anyone who would refer to themselves as "sweethearts" had to be tough. In battle they were known only as "the sweethearts" and anytime someone thought of getting into a tussle with one of them, a buddy would elbow them in the ribs and remind them.

"Watch yourself. He's a sweetheart."

The latest job call required Chuck to send fifteen of his men, under his own command, into an unstable political situation in a remote African country. There, Chuck and associates set up camp in a hut that was abandoned immediately after the sweethearts shot everyone that had lived there.

Rebel factions had united against the ruling government of this African country and the sweethearts were there to eliminate the rebels. Fifteen men against more than a hundred thousand rampaging soldiers on their home turf? It might have been extreme if these men had not been sweethearts.

The Extreme Sweetheart Creed:

Never am I beholdest unto you, sweet lord
Never am I closer to your bosom, sweet virgin
Never back down will I, before you my sweet lord
Never shall I run afoul of the virgin who layeth
For in these fields I set the fire
And in those houses I do purge the unforgiven
And for never again shall I stop fighting, sweet Jesu
And for eternal ruins I do aspire to lie in a pool of my own sick
And no stench of vomit or unadulterated death will I be convulsed by
Until that day the shiny dagger of my sweet lord does plunge,
Unto thee, sweet Jesu, unto thee

With this as their creed, following it to the letter, the sweethearts became an unstoppable force in battle. They knew no respect for human rights or dignity. Victory was all they sought, at any price. It was the sweethearts who had detonated nuclear devices in London and Tokyo when it seemed control of those cities would fall into the hands of gangsters. Victory at any price, a concept that reverberated through their creed.

The sweethearts were singing along to the rousing chorus of James Taylor's "Mexico" when a knock came upon the door of their thatched hut headquarters. Realizing they had forgotten to post a guard after being lured to the radio by known anti-war activist James Taylor's hypnotizing voice, the sweethearts grabbed their guns and began shooting in the direction of the door.

"Probably a motherfucking pig farmer. Let the fucker rot," screamed one of the sweethearts while the echo from the gunfire banged around in their heads.

The radio went to commercial, so the sweethearts took the opportunity to post guards. At the door they found the United States' Secretary of State with some important documents. His mission had apparently been very secret, since he had brought no Secret Service or military personnel with him.

"Stupid Secretary of State, traveling alone in the dark continent!"

"I didn't vote for him. Did you vote for him?"

"You don't vote for Secretary of State, dumbass. They get appointed."

"See what I'm saying, man. Democracy don't work."

"Democracy don't work. Guns work." The statement was a famous buzz phrase amongst mercenary groups so that they would know each other before firing.

The sweethearts buried the Secretary of State under the manure pile behind the hut and then took his briefcase inside for examination, as well as the papers he had been holding in his hand. Apparently, he had come with a substantial cash offer from the White House. The president of the United States of America wanted the sweethearts to switch sides and help overthrow the standing government of the remote African country.

"Do you think the check is still good? I mean, that is a hefty sum. We could use that kind of money."

"Shit, this will be easy. The dictator of this shit hole trusts us, so if we walk in there to give a report and just blow him away, we'll be able to finish the job."

"Yeah, but did you read the rest of this, shit for brains? The Army, Air Force and Marines are going to be fighting to protect the dictator. The president already committed to protecting him, but they want him out of there. It is a bait and switch trick and we're not going to be fighting against jungle savages. We're going to be fighting our homeboys."

No mission was ever refused by the sweethearts, and so they pulled together and resolved to win the new fight. Communicating via satellite to a connection in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, Chuck reported what had happened to the Secretary of State, prompting the Undersecretary of State to become the Acting Secretary of State.

"The mission is on," Chuck told the sweethearts. "We take out everyone guarding the dictator. Everyone."

"We'll cut through those doughboys like a hot knife through butter!"

"That's the spirit, sweethearts! Let's get 'em! Steaks and Scotch on me after the battle!"


The Extreme Sweetheart Creed
Is Copyright 1977, Chuck Abbott III Productions
It is reprinted here with permission from Chuck

A story told to me by a small box of conversation ♥s:

At first, flirtation. Telegraphic. She semaphores desire with the cilia of her gaze:

U R A QT
U R A STAR
U R KING

He decodes slowly, painfully. Every time is the first time. Every woman is like learning a new language. They might all have a common root, but it's like Urdic, or High Babylonian or something - remote and exotic and alien and familiar. He responds tentatively, exploring possession of her:

YOU & ME
ONE KISS

She, charmed halfway but not convinced, temporizes:

WHIZ KID
LOVER BOY

He, alarmed by her mercurial accolades:

GO GIRL

She flips her hair and walks away. She is too sexy and:

TRES CHIC

He, despondent, crushed by the enormity of his miscalculation:

ANGEL

She takes him back:

MY MAN

She makes the rules:

PAGE ME
WRITE ME
FAX ME
BE TRUE

He accepts this, though he will not always do these things. And so they develop a shared language:

MY LOVE
DEAR ONE

It is:

REAL LOVE

Maybe not:

FOR YOU

But it is for them. All the way up to their 60th wedding anniversary, where they murmur to each other:

HOW NICE
SMILE
THANK YOU
LET'S KISS

And they do. And do you really think that kiss isn't as sweet as the first?

I bet it's sweeter.






Footnote: I refuse to participate in whatever lunacy led to LET'S READ and BOOK CLUB being printed on two of the candy hearts (one yellow, one pink) in my box of Necco Sweetheats. Quelle ridicule.

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