'Angus' - The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul, vol. 18

Posted by Miserable Retail Slave on April 25, 2011 at 9:52 PM

by RFP

"The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul" is RFP's attempt to finally see all of the movies that he's wanted to see. Many of these are some of the most successful films in Hollywood. Chances are, you've seen most of these. Join in the discussion as RFP stops procrastinating and takes the time to experience these movies for the first time.

The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul, vol. 18 


starring Charlie Talbert, James Van Der Beek, Kathy Bates, George C. Scott

Angus is a perfect slice of mid-'90s pop culture, served up with a perfect mix of why-me angst and the sarcastic, hyper-intelligent musings and yearnings of a teenage outcast. 

Within the teen comedy genre, there are usually two different quests that the main teenage protagonist embarks on.

1. The quest to get laid.

2. The quest to win the heart of the most popular girl in school.

Angus, the titular character, is concerned with the latter option, in this case, the unobtainable cheerleader that he has loved his entire life, Melissa Lefever. The problem is that Angus has never worked up the courage to say a single word to Melissa, a plight that is subtly reflected in the film by Melissa's complete lack of lines until near the end of the film. For the most part, she remains the silent, unapproachable goddess of Angus' dreams. 

While Angus has the stereotypical qualities of the fictional high school underdog  - he's shy, fat, has a weird best friend, and is bullied by the jocks - he also possesses qualities that represent a refreshing change for a relatively stale movie genre.

Angus, while fat, has also been bigger and stronger than his peers for his entire life. He's a good football player and virtually immovable on the line. In an even better twist, Angus has never taken any crap from his main rival, Rick Sanford (Before James Van Der Beek was the star quarterback for the West Canaan Coyotes, he was the star quarterback for the Lake Michigan High Huskies). In fact, he's given Sanford a broken nose three times in his life.

Angus spends most of his time shaking his meaty fist at whatever cruel god has condemned to a sexless life filled with relentless sweating and a wiry ginger for a best friend who would one day become The Sherminator in American Pie.

Because Angus is a mid-'90s fictional construct, his futile lamentations about his non-existent social status are accompanied by the horrific riffs and strained, whiskey voices of generic alternative rock bands. The existential depression that one feels while taking stock of one's life can only be made worse by the song stylings of Goo Goo Dolls playing overhead.

Rick Sanford, whose grudge against Angus probably stems from the fact that the fat kid has given him a broken nose three time and, probably, a deviated septum, decides the best way to humiliate Angus is to have him voted the king to Melissa's queen at the upcoming school dance. 

It seems this devious bastard believes that Angus doesn't know how to dance and, thus, will make a fool out of himself during the king/queen dance. Oh, that evil son of a bitch.

What follows is a betrayal, a loss, a teary-eyed declaration of "you don't know how it feels", an impassioned speech that means everything in a movie, but would not even register in real life, and dreams coming true. 

This is also the film whose soundtrack the pretty great (and pretty popular) Green Day track, "J.A.R." So that's a thing.

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I feel I should also draw attention to the fact that the movie poster (and every single poster I've seen promoting Angus) boldly advertises that the film is "From the producers of Cool Runnings", Not sure how that would be a huge selling point for the general public to go see a movie, considering Cool Runnings is, you know, Cool Runnings, but I digress. I guess Cool Runnings was extremely popular for it's time considering I was forced to watch it around 12 times in elementary school whenever the teachers didn't feel like teaching.

Has Some Part of My Pop Cultural Soul Been Saved by Seeing This Movie?

I was a bit hard on the movie, but I actually liked it quite a bit. That's not surprising because I am a huge fan of the teen comedy genre. It's not actually required viewing, but it's a film that was obsessively watched by a number of my classmates in junior high and the ensuing high school years. 

As mentioned before, Angus isn't  a typical loser-outcast-pining-for-the-girl character. His sarcastic bantering with his grandfather is an entertaining part of the movie as is their shared creed: "Screw 'Em". 

The message to be yourself, no matter what other people think is a well tread theme in movies of this type. See also: beauty is skin deep, you can't judge a book by it's etc. There all represented here. 

Kathy Bates is also in this movie, portraying Angus' single mother. She stands around and doesn't do much. Or maybe she does.

Honestly, my brain dies a little and I see nothing but white whenever she came on the screen. My consciousness still hasn't recovered from seeing her completely naked in About Schmidt .

Saved or Failed? SAVED

Film Count: Well. It's been awhile. When last we met the count was 2,038. Instead of listing every flick I've seen in the ensuing downtime, let's just say that the count is at 2,074 films that I have seen in my lifetime.


Later this week, we get back to a flick that was supposed to be the next installment in this series: Avatar

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1 Comment

Reply beerwad
12:20 AM on May 21, 2011 
the shermanator!