You would have to see John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank to truly appreciate his skills as an actor. The film itself is a work of art-Cusack was a co-writer-and mostly it was the label of “dark comedy” that limited its popularity. What drew me to Cusack in GPB (as it is lovingly referred to by its diehard fans-and yes, there are diehard fans) was his interesting facial expressions. The expressions brought his character to life and made him more personable, almost as if the viewer is watching a candid video of a real-life Martin Blank. It’s strange, but up to the point where I watched that movie, I never really remembered seeing Cusack in movies, besides Pushing Tin anyway.
After doing a little background research, I was surprised to learn that Cusack was in such box office hits as Con-Air and America’s Sweethearts. I had to rent the movies and watch them again to make myself believe he was in them, much less that he had starring roles! My older brother made the comment, “You idiot, how could you not know he was in America’sSweethearts? He was the sweetheart!” I then went back and watched his older movies: Better OffDead, One Crazy Summer, Say Anything, and High Fidelity (co-starring with Jack Black). The speaker box scene in Say Anything was a little over the top, but I will forever be a Peter Gabriel fan after that movie. He also had an appearance in Sixteen Candles, but it wasn’t worth watching again and having to tolerate Molly Ringwald for an hour and a half.
His latest hits include brilliant performances in Identity, Runaway Jury (based on a John Grisham novel of the same name), Must Love Dogs, and 1408. 1408 is based on a short story written by Stephen King, and it is a testimony to the versatility of Cusack as an actor. He can adeptly portray his characters in comedies, dramas, thrillers, and romances; now, he has added horror films. Additionally, Cusack got his start in teen cult flicks in his youth, and is still gaining popularity on screen. Yet, in his entire career, he has yet to win a prestigious award. Why is that?
Cusack manages to mostly stay under the radar in the press; this may be the reason for lack of widespread notoriety. People and fans tend to remember faces that they see often in a public setting-Cusack rarely makes his presence known even when promoting his films. To Cusack, perhaps it’s worth being known as an underrated actor who plays intense characters in brilliant movies. He doesn’t like the idea of starring in intellectually devoid big-ticket movies or calling any kind of attention to himself that would subject him to constant scrutiny from the public eye. More celebrities should be as modest and reserved as John Cusack. It would certainly reflect better on our society. (We’ll just pretend we never read his ranting against key members of the Republican Party in a blog in The Huffington Post-that was a long time ago, and his cinematic brilliance more than makes up for it.)