June 12, 2004

Like Him? I Love Him!

One of the good things about being a man of leisure over the summer is that I get to catch up on my cultural education. Today, for instance, I was lucky enough to see one of the central plot-advancing scenes in Like Mike, in which Li'l Bow Wow discovers that he can, indeed, play like Mike.

Now, although I'm sure this is somewhat in contravention of copyright laws, this scene was so masterfully produced I felt I had to share it with you; so here's a transcript...

[Scene: a basketball arena. The home team are filing off the court for halftime; a sycophantic Eugene Levy greets each player as they pass]

Levy: Hi. How ya doin'? What? Why, yes, I did use to have standards! Hey there. Great game, etc., etc..

Star Player: Hey man, what's the deal? You can't just say 'etc., etc.'

Levy: Blow me, hotstuff. Now look here, I'm a stereotypical money-crazed manager who's in trouble because this team sucks. To fill some seats, you need to get out there and play some one-on-one with a fan during halftime.

SP: Naw, come on, man! I won't do it! For some reason I'm completely unwilling to play an extra five minutes of the game that I spend my life playing.

Levy: Too bad. Now we have a conflict about which we can make quasi-humorous banter later on.

[Cut to: seats in the crowd. Li'l Bow Wow sits next to a Chinese girl and a white boy]

Li'l Bow Wow: Man, racial diversity is pretty cool, huh?

Chinese Girl: You're damn right. If we play our cards right we can get a spot on a Benetton commercial!

White Boy: Ssshhh! He already used that joke in the Harry Potter post!

[Cut to: the basketball court. Eugene Levy stands with the Star Player, both of them flanking a barrel full of ticket stubs]

Levy: Now, to draw Li'l Bow Wow's ticket... The winner is... Section 4, Row 13, Seat 2!

[Cut to: Li'l Bow Wow]

LBW: Oh my God! That's me! Oh, this is so unexpected. I'd like to thank my family, the producers...

White bully [grabbing at the ticket]: It's my ticket now.

LBW: Hey, look over there!

White bully [Releasing ticket]: Wha...?

LBW: Psyche! White people are so dumb.

Chinese Girl: Wow, that little exchange really moved the plot forward.

[Cut to: the basketball court]

Levy: Hey, look! It's just some "dumb kid"! Ha! You'd better "let" him "score a few times"!

Star Player: Yo, man-- what's up with all the quotation marks?

Levy: I think it's fairly obvious that he has magic shoes and is going to thoroughly embarass you in a moment-- I'm just setting up some subtle irony for the viewers.

SP: Oh. Right on.

LBW: Oh my god! It's this team's star player! Swoon!

SP: Whatever, man. Let's get this over with.

LBW [interior monologue, with a glimmer of disillusionment in his eyes]: That's strange. I never imagined my hero being a jerk.

Anonymous off-screen voice: Hey, kid! Don't forget to tie your shoelaces!

LBW [bends down to tie shoelaces, whispering]: Make me like Mike. [Then, in normal voice:] Was that good? Was that-- Can we use that in the previews? Yeah?

[LBW and the Star Player begin to play; cut to external shot, where George McFly is playing chess against a computerized board]

George McFly: Curses! The wrong move! If only I could go back in time.

[Cut back to basketball court]

SP: Jesus, man, what the hell is George McFly doing here? I really need to fire my agent.

LBW: Don't worry, he's just my vaguely sleazy geek of a legal guardian. He's really good at seeming intangibly creepy.

SP: I'll say. Hey, was this movie made before or after Charlie's Angels?

[LBW runs past the star player to score]

Levy: Hey, that unlikely-to-be-good-at-basketball character is surprisingly good at basketball! If only he was an animal of some sort, we'd have a Disney movie on our hands.

[LBW scores again]

SP: Hey, Levy! Now I see what you were doing with that ironic dialogue before! Good call, man!

Levy: This is why you're the nondescript black actor and I'm the washed up comedian.

[LBW scores again]

SP: Shit, I just lost!

[Cut to the stands, and Chinese girl cheering with White boy; White bully is not in shot, but undoubtedly looks sullen]

[Cut to external shot and George McFly again]


George McFly: I'm so absorbed in my chess game with this computerized board, I am comically unaware of what is going on!

[Cut back to basketball court]

Levy: Say, I have an idea so Hollywood, it just might work!

[The End]

Zing!

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