Though susceptible to emarketing, I still receive email from the Philadelphia outlet that hosts Broadway tours because if I ever set foot in New York City again, I’ll be the most surprised person out of anyone. In these emails, I expect to see notices of other upcoming shows. What I don’t expect is hyperbole to the point that I almost spit out my drink whilst reading the screen:
Rob Lowe: Hollywood actor and screen legend.
Oh, take a seat. This is going to take a few…
Rob Lowe: Yes, that’s his name. True.
Hollywood actor: also true.
Screen legend: … … … did his PR people write this? I quote John McEnroe: “You cannot be serious!”
SCREEN LEGEND? Like Clark Gable? Like Charlie Effing Chaplin? I’m sorry, did I miss the iconic legend-making Rob Lowe performance? (Is it the Atkins commercials? Like McConaughey’s Lincoln commericals?)
It surely wasn’t in The Outsiders (which he was barely in) or Class… Oh, wait. Are you thinking the b-movie so-awful-it’s-fun-to-watch St. Elmo’s Fire? How about Oxford Blues? Hotel New Hampshire? Super Troopers 2? His impersonation of Robert Wagner in one of the Austin Powers movies?
I think I’ve named most, if not all, of the movies people would know Rob Lowe was in. Which one of those screams legend to you? Wait, y’all aren’t counting his sex tape with underage girls, are you? That doesn’t count — it didn’t play on enough screens.
On another night at the same venue, John Cusack will screen his actually iconic 1980s film Say Anything, featuring the legendary Lloyd Dobler character, the guy who ruined dating for a generation of guys who couldn’t live up to his example. Wait, is Lowe a legend because his iconic 80s character — his St. Elmo‘s saxophone and play-the-field player Billy Hicks, who cheats on his wife and constantly ridiculed the girl he claimed to really love because she was a virgin — is so easy for guys to live up to because that bar is so low you can walk over it without lifting your feet? P.S. John’s blurb says: iconic actor, producer, and screenwriter. Fact check: ALL TRUE. Notice it doesn’t say legend. So, if their PR peeps did write these things, apparently not only Lloyd, but John could teach Rob a thing or two about being a guy.
There is a legend appearing at the same venue another night: Broadway’s Patti LuPone. Fact check: TRUE. The woman has won Tony awards, performed iconic roles like Evita, and appeared in great TV shows. AND she’s a diva — she grabbed someone’s cell phone out of their hands AS THEY WERE USING IT as she walked off stage to intermission because the person wouldn’t put the damn thing down through the entire first act.
The fact that Ms. LuPone is deemed a legend (true) makes the deeming of Mr. Lowe the same RIDICULOUS, even more so than if no other legends were present. If any of the actors of his generation would be called a legend, shouldn’t we start with the likes of Robert Downey, Jr. and his prolific career, featuring all kinds of characters and range, that simply don’t rely on his handsome face (and/or copious amounts of hair gel)?
St. Elmo’s Fire, scene between Billy and Alec (played by Judd Nelson). Alec just dunked Billy’s head in a toilet, soaking his precious 80s hair.
Billy: “The wet look is in, asshole.”
Alec: “That’s Mr. Asshole to you.”
And when Jules (played by Demi Moore) loses all her furniture because she can’t pay her debts, Billy comes to the rescue with words of wisdom.
Billy: “Jules, y’know, honey… this isn’t real. You know what it is? It’s St. Elmo’s Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them. There was no fire. There wasn’t even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you’re making up all of this….”
I don’t know who made up screen legend Rob Lowe, but that’s some imaginary St. Elmo’s Fire right there…
(But the movie did have a rockin’ yet equally as awful theme song… This video for St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr features some legendary walking, smoking, making a fake St. Elmo’s Fire with a lighter and some hairspray, and smiling by Mr. Lowe. Enjoy!)