Nothing says “November” like turning on the TV and watching The History Channel. Peter Weller fans, Hitler completists, and aficionados of UFO claptrap will have to get their programming fix with a lower dosage this month. It is November, and November means Kennedy.
JFK, of course, usually gets star billing. He was after all the only one to get elected president, was the only war hero, and had the hottest wife. So what exactly was his legacy?
- 1961: Gives the go ahead on the Bay of Pigs fiasco, ruining any chance of a normalized relationship with Cuba for decades to come.
- 1962: Decides to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis by engaging the Soviets in a game of chicken, a strategy that served him so well aboard PT109. He got lucky this time. So did the rest of the planet.
- 1963: Travels to Berlin and announces to the world that he is a jelly donut (well, he didn’t really but I’m not one to let the truth get in the way of a good story.)
In other words, mixed results. To be fair though, no presidency is perfect and his was better than most. His position on civil rights was admirable, he possessed a sense of humor not often seen in politicians, and he certainly had a way with the ladies. Still, I think if he had it to do all over again, there would have been some changes along the way. The decision to make that trip to Dallas immediately comes to mind.
Jack’s brother Bobby seems to be getting some play this year as well, with a movie about him coming out this Thursday. I still haven’t decided whether I’m going to go see it though. On the one hand, it is only fitting that a film about the brother of the legendary John F. Kennedy should be written and directed by the brother of the legendary Charlie Sheen. On the other hand, Jack Black does not play Ted. This is an egregious omission and I fear what others may follow.
Perhaps it’s all for the best. Jack Black is born to play Ted Kennedy and it would be unjust to limit him to a supporting role. Also, Ted’s defining moment didn’t happen until a year after Bobby’s death. I think the perfect vehicle (pardon the pun) for Black’s performance will be “I’ll Drive: the Chappaquiddick Story.”
Ted Kennedy, if you recall, claimed to have tried to dive down and save Mary Jo Kopechne before sobering up enough to go get help. Well, it doesn’t take an accomplished director like Emilio Estevez to see what a great scene it would be to have Jack Black doing multiple slo-mo belly flops off the bridge while some catchy tune from the musical “Camelot” played in the background.
That’s what I call movie magic.