So 9 ½ Weeks (or Nine ½ Weeks as it’s written in the credits) is about a steamy relationship between Kim Basinger (Blind Date, Cool World) and Mickey Rourke (Angel Heart, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man). But it’s not some regular kind of courtship that’s all sweet and romantic. It’s totally fucked up.
Mickey Rourke is a major league asshole in this. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be charming and/or intriguing but he keeps doing shit that’s stupid, creepy or both. Like during their second encounter Mickey takes Kim to some remote house where he points out to her that she’s in some stranger’s house all alone where no one can hear her scream. Naturally Kim doesn’t like it and tells him that she wants to go home. But all throughout the movie Mickey does weird shit like that: when they go to ride the Ferris wheel Mickey puts Kim on by herself and has the operator stop it at the top which freaks her out and pisses her off, Mickey leaves her alone in his apartment so Kim looks through some of his stuff and then he calls her up asking if she rummaged which she admits to but when Mickey gets home he wants to discipline her by issuing a spanking, during one scene Mickey wants Kim to crawl across the floor picking up money because he says that it’s the only way he can get excited, and on and on.
Their whole relationship is about dominance. Mickey’s in the driver’s seat. He says what to do, when to do it and for how long. Kim kinda likes it and finds it exciting because it’s totally new territory for her. She never knows what crazy shit Mickey is gonna cook up next. Is he gonna put a blind fold on her and have some other chick rub her body? Or is he gonna have her dress like a man (mustache ‘n all) and go out to dinner in public? It all bucks the idea of how a traditional boyfriend girlfriend fling should go. In fact the tag line for this sucker is “they broke every rule”. I don’t know if that’s entirely accurate though. First of all it’s not like there’s really a set of written rules laying out how a loving sexual relationship should go (oh shit, wait, is there?!). Secondly, like in the film not every relationship is equal with each partner giving 50/50. Often times one is more dominant than the other and when I say that I mean one will suggest Chinese food for dinner or what to do on weekends most of the time while the other just goes along with it. Third, I think a lot of couples do variations on some of the stuff that these two did like a striptease, feeding each other food or role playing to keep their sex lives fresh. So I don’t think it’s totally off the charts crazy what these two are doing.
But Mickey just can’t stop being an idiot. Let’s talk about the infamous food scene for a minute because it’s a great example. Mickey sits Kim down in front of the open fridge, tells her to close her eyes and open her mouth. He then proceeds to feed her all sorts of shit. Well not actual shit but you know what I mean. Mickey starts it off easy with a black olive and then onto some cherry pie filling (don’t think they’re maraschino cherries). He continues to give her some other items but then out of left field he feeds her a spoonful of cough syrup. Ok, it’s weird but I’ll admit it’s a little funny. So after he wins her trust back with some regular food he feeds her a jalapeno (even though he picked up what looks like an Anaheim chili, I’m not totally up on my chili’s so I could be wrong). That’s so fucking mean. Mickey even sticks the leftover bit with the stem in her mouth while she’s screaming from the burn. That’s not cool man. You’re just acting like a fucking jerk now. Stop doing that kinda shit. It gets a little out of control after that with Kim chugging a glass of milk spilling it all over herself and Mickey squeezing honey on Kim’s legs and hands and he rubs it in and ulgh! I understand different people are into different things but goddamn this scene is not what gets my motor running. I think what they did was gross and they made such a fucking mess. It’s gonna be a pain in the ass to clean all that up. Plus it looked like Kim just got washed up beforehand so now she’s all dirty again. If you find the whole making a sloppy fucking mess with food and rubbing it on your body thing a turn on that’s cool. I’m glad you’re into it. It makes me feel icky though. And fuck that Newbeats song that’s playing during the scene. If you want to hear some good Newbeats check out “Run Baby Run”, it’s way better than “Bread and Butter”.
The food scene is all in good fun but this fling that Mickey and Kim have is pretty terrible. Bottom line is Mickey’s abusive. There’s a scene where he buys Kim a new suit and as he’s paying for it Kim asks, “aren’t you going to ask me how I like this?” to which Mickey replies with a smug ass grin “no”. He wants a doll to take care of and pamper but at the same time he wants a slave to attend to all of his needs and to not question any of his actions or motives. At times Kim seems totally on board but at others she looks scared like she can’t believe what she got herself into. Either way she remains infatuated with him. And this brings me to the ending which I want to make a couple of points on.
Spoilers. Check the next bold print to see when it’s good to read again.
Even though I think these two do love each other it’s clear that Mickey’s the problem. If he would tone his shit the fuck down then Kim probably wouldn’t have left him in the end. He was just too domineering and distant. We know a bunch about Kim’s character, Elizabeth, but hardly anything about Mickey’s, John. We find out that he’s a stock broker and has a bunch of money but that’s it. Kim’s totally right in saying that it’s too late when Mickey starts to tell her about his family right as she’s about to walk out on him. He seriously thought that they could sustain a lasting loving relationship with him revealing almost nothing about himself, that Kim would be satisfied serving his every need on command and that she would love to be dependent on Mickey looking to him to provide overbearing parental-like affection. Fuck that guy. He deserves to be left.
Like the rest of the picture I’m not sure if it was supposed to be sad that they were breaking up or relieving. I don’t quite get John. Are we supposed to be on his side? I understand that we’re meant to be attracted to his mystique and that he’s gonna lead us down a road we never could’ve imagined or some bullshit like that. But I think it’s evident from the very beginning that he’s just some fuckin’ guy who gets off on telling other people what to do. He can’t stand not being in control and never does anything that makes me think “yeah, that John’s a good guy. Elizabeth deserves a fine man like that”. Instead he fucks up time and again and Kim just rolls with it for way too long.
Ok I’m through, it’s cool to read now.
|That's a cool looking poster.|
I don’t know if I recommend this one. It’s kind of an interesting take on abusive relationships because this film blurs the line. Kim was willing to put up with it even though she felt ambivalent about her situation sometimes. She brings up a good point too when she inquires if Mickey was as good to the “others” as he is with her. He just smiles and brushes her hair like an idiot and doesn’t give an answer. Most likely Mickey would have used these techniques with other women before but we never find out. The man’s a mystery, sort of. His idea of love is just a little too twisted. Some of the events by themselves can be considered loving or resemble a traditional relationship but when you put it all together and see it as a whole it’s disgusting what Mickey’s trying to do. I don’t think I liked it that much. It’s thrill-less so that doesn’t help at all. But I can’t deny that I was a little interested in seeing what Mickey was gonna do next, i.e. how far he was gonna push Kim’s boundaries. Sorry I’m not definitive on this one. If you liked Adrian Lyne’s other work (Flashdance, Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful) then it’s not a given that you’ll be into this so even that’s not reliable. I dunno. Flip a coin?
Sex Scenes: Three.
After Sex Scenes: Two.
Strange Cameos: Margaret Whitton plays one of Kim’s friends/colleagues. She was the evil team owner in Major League and the mom in Little Monsters.
David Margulies also plays one of Kim’s colleagues and he was the mayor of New York City in Ghostbusters I & II.