When I have a bad day and I don’t feel like talking to some alcohol about it, I like to pour myself a Mexican Coke on ice and watch Top Gun. There’s something about the simplicity of the story, the obviousness of the penis envy, Val Kilmer sweating on command, and Tom Skerritt being Tom Skerritt that’s all so…comforting. Even though it’s mostly Tom Cruise and at least one aspect of the movie is so completely stupid that it makes me feel enraged.
That aspect is the relationship between Maverick and Charlie. This romantic subplot is supposed to temper the jingoistic jetporn and make a human out of Maverick, who’s basically a five-year-old in a silly jumpsuit. Not just in stature, either. The man is short, but he also acts like a goddamn five-year-old. Maverick has no manners (following a woman into the ladies room?!), no sense of decency (throwing Goose’s tags into the ocean when he has a son who would probably want them someday?!), and no consideration of taxpayer dollars (buzzing the tower about a hundred times?!). He’s impulsive, brash, and petulant. He’s not as smart as he thinks he is. He wears jeans to play beach volleyball.
And Charlie, who is an astrophysicist with a cool car and probably the most lucrative government contract in all of defense spending history (at least at the time, before the Bush administration started paying civilian sociopaths to wear Affliction shirts in Iraq), likes Maverick despite all of this to the extent that she regularly apologizes for being an intelligent woman with the balls to speak her mind and be good at her job.
Charlie. Girl. You have a PhD in astrophysics and top secret clearance from the United States government. You know more about fighter jets than the egotistical assholes who fly them. Screw around with one of your students if you must, but this dumbing yourself down for the jerkiest, stubbiest one in the bunch is a real stupid bitch move. There are enough idiot women in the world who debase themselves for men; we don’t need the smart ones playing this game, too.
This is a weird thing to get mad about, I know, both because Top Gun never pretended to be an example of brilliant cinema and because if any romantic relationship in the movie matters at all, it’s the one between Maverick and Iceman.
via me, at least partially.