Update: On May 22, 2011 Joe Brooks committed suicide while awaiting trial for something like 90 counts of sexual assault. This movie was reviewed prior this happening and I hope to revisit the movie in the near future.
“If Ever I See You Again” by Joe Brooks.
Interesting Dated References: Referring to yourself as “in the book” in regard to where another person can find your phone number.
Best Line: “I love you too.”
Social Context: This is the most contrived and delusional movie I’ve seen.
Summary: So once again, another late-70s romantic-comedy steeped in post-Annie Hall semiotics. In the drivers seat this time is Joe Brooks: Writer, Producer, Director, Actor, Singer, Composer (and later, a serial rapist). Those of you with a more shitty taste may remember when Joe Brooks-mania swept the nation in the late 70s. In 1977 Brooks wrote, directed, and composed the music for a film called You Light Up My Life. The movie wasn’t so great, but people were sucked in to the hit song of the same name. In fact, it became a wedding staple for a brief period and I have distinct recollections of my mom playing it on guitar all through the 80s.
Apparently Brooks was so encouraged by the success of the film/song combo he decided to try to repeat the formula. Only this time, it looks like he also decided it was his turn to sing the songs and star in the film. No more behind the scenes action for Joe Brooks. Considering the plot is just a subtext to the song, the story in the movie isn’t really all that in-depth. Brooks plays Bob Morrison, a jingle writer who is fed up with his job and feels like he is in an artistic rut. A chance meeting with an old fraternity brother stirs up feelings he has for an old flame. Then he has flashbacks about how much he loves this old flame. Oh, luckily for the plot, Bob’s wife is dead. As we watch Bob (played by Joe Brooks) go about his day pitching songs and flying to California, we are treated to shitty songs (written by Joe Brooks) expertly weaved into the story (by writer & director Joe Brooks).
So when Joe winds up in California, he looks up the old love, Jennifer, and they are both single and start to fall back in love. Oh isn’t this so special & perfect. The love even pulls him out of his musical/artistic doldrums. Yeah right. So when he gets home, he finds out he landed a big gig scoring a film in L.A. Once there, Jennifer watches him conduct an orchestra and immediately falls back in love with Bob. They then have a first date montage consisting of the following: Fucking, yachting, French-style kissing, eating ice cream, walking arm-in-arm, jogging, walking on a beach, horseback riding, and French-style kissing again, all to a song written by Joe Brooks.
Bob leaves for New York, and for another fucking musical montage we see him have Christmas celebrations with his family. All the while he’s having flashbacks about Jennifer. After approx. 75 flashbacks, she shows up at the door. Then they kiss and fall in love again.
Poster and Box Art Look at that fucking tag line! Can you believe the nerve Joe Brooks had to assume this slogan would work! “Call someone you loved and lost a long time ago and ask them to see a movie. Maybe it’s not too late.” Holy Christ. Like his shitty script had some miraculous healing powerI really can’t fathom the marketing meeting from which this brilliant idea took shape.
Availability: Used VHS on eBay. Considering that Joseph Brooks is now a deceased under miserable circumstances, I don’t foresee a huge revival of his work.