Technically, Monday Movies Shouldn’t Be Getting Laid, But We Do
Monday Movies apologizes for the late, scant post.
We rented The Tao of Steve because I fell in love with Donal Logue in Terriers last year, and I wanted to see his breakthrough role, which I’d remembered as a well-received mellow indie romance. (He actually showed up in Sneakers, which was a fun surprise.) Holding an impressive tire on his waist, Logue plays Dex, a happy, flabby burnout philosophy student–his bookshelf suggests time at St. John’s in Santa Fe, though the school scenes were shot at The College of Santa Fe. He’s a confident seducer who lives by three rules which, together, constitute the Tao of Steve:
- Eliminate desire
- Be excellent in her presence
- After demonstrating excellence, retreat (we pursue that which retreats from us)
“Steve” in this case is the archetypal American masculine male: Steve McQueen, Steve McGarrett of Hawaii 5-0, and Six Million Dollar Man Steve Austin.
The first half of the film is charming, as Dex unfolds his philosophy for an acolyte while reacquainting himself with Syd, a girl he didn’t quite remember from his college days. But the predictable falls of the romantic comedy wear off the charm; soon, Syd and Dex are squabbling, their mutual friends are, like, “Stop flirting!” and we’re like, right?
It’s also hard to watch this in 2011, having endured Ross Jeffries and Neil Strauss and Mystery flaunting his feathers. Like The Tao of Steve, Strauss’s The Game ends with the seducer putting down his toolbox for a singular love. Despite the final reversal, pickup artists valorize the movie; one even notes that in the lovely exchange about Kierkegaard and Don Giovanni, Syd employs better “game” than Taoist Dex. The movie was written by the real-life Steve, Duncan North, who doesn’t seem to have repented. I wish his movie’s conclusion had also been a little less pat.
So have you seen anything recently? You know, you look kind of like Emma Stone, just a little older and more round-faced. (See what I did there?)
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