Friends, due to Bill and Ted 3 ramping up, and Kayleigh’s tweet last week about young Keanu in Parenthood, I’ve made a point of revisiting some of his earlier work in the past few days. And holy cats, I wish I hadn’t. Sometimes what’s in the past needs to stay there (except for Parenthood, which holds up pretty well.)
I feel like we under-appreciate Parenthood era Keanu in terms of prime Keanu hotness. pic.twitter.com/GJWdTybter— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) March 21, 2019
See, friends, there I was minding my own business last night, looking for something to watch, and I stumbled upon a 1988 movie called The Night Before starring Lori Laughlin and Keanu Reeves. That’s a perfect ’80s pairing if I ever saw one, and because I really love Back to the Beach, which will cover all manner of sins (you know the one I’m talking about) … except for this hot garbage pile. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to make a movie so racist, sexist, boring, and unforgivably dumb.
What is this movie about? Well, it’s told in a series of flashbacks, but Keanu is the science nerd of his Suburban LA high school (side note: yeah, right) and Aunt Becky is one of the most popular girls in school. She loses a bet with her friend, and as a result, is forced to go to prom with Keanu. Oh, no, say it ain’t so! You’re forced to go to prom with an objectively attractive man!
This is where it starts to go off the rails. After taking a wrong turn and getting off at a bad exit in LA, shenanigans happen and Keanu sells Aunt Becky to a pimp! Ha ha ha! Oh, wait. No, that’s really gross.
See, Keanu and Aunt Becky go to a seedy club (you know it’s seedy because the only white people there are dressed as New Wave punks, and everyone else is a person of color and for some reason Parliament-Funkadelic is playing a set so it clearly can’t be that seedy of a club. The ’80s were great, right?!) and after getting their credit card stolen by the big guy in Friday (Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister) who also drugs Keanu’s drink, because that’s definitely a thing that happens when suburban kids venture into the city—Keanu, incapacitated, hits on a lady, dances with Aunt Becky, insults the local gang lord/pimp Tito, and ultimately sells Aunt Becky to the local pimp.
Aunt Becky, whose father is a cop, lets the pimp know that, so he sells her to a white slave trader, who I’m pretty sure was Wolfman Jack, but IMDB will not confirm that. Yup.
Anyway, you’re probably asking yourself a few questions right now, which I will attempt to address.
I didn’t stop watching this horrible nightmare because I was morbidly fascinated with how much deeper this movie would dig itself into a hole while thinking it was being high-larious. Also, I was doing other things while this was on, and I kept having to rewind it to make sure that yes, that really just happened, and they are playing it with a totally straight face. Additionally, living in LA, there was a part of me that enjoyed looking at what LA and Skid Row looked like in the ’80s. LA is fairly antiseptic right now, and it was mildly interesting to see what it looked like then. Finally, and this was the big one, I’ve been rewatching Ghost Whisperer and I’m at the end of the first season with the plane crashing on Andrea, and that takes like four episodes to resolve, and I didn’t have that much time last night.
There’s my truth; I’m not proud of it. So, this whole movie is played for laughs, and the grand culmination of which is that Keanu saves Aunt Becky (who is only in a white underwear set) from a seedy motel, handcuffed to the bed frame. They are able to get her some trashy clothes and have to take the bed frame with them as they try to escape, only to be confronted by Tito, who hits them both because why not? The teens escape, in a stupid car chase, from the gang and ultimately arrive back in the safe suburbs. Lori, fully knowing that Keanu sold her, lets him know that he’s a cool dude because he came back for her (side note: dudes, not selling your date in the first place is a better approach to dating) thus the movie ends.
What. The Ever. Loving. F*ck. Did. I. Just. Watch?!?!!!?!
Keanu, baby, what were you thinking?! WHY!?
So, friends, the ultimate point of this post is a warning: If you go looking into Keanu’s past filmography, you may not like what you find. Let’s just look toward the future and John Wick 3.
Aunt Becky gets what she gets, unfortunately. You cannot save every starfish, especially those married to Trump supporters.
Header Image Source: Kings Road Entertainment