Tantrums aren’t cool. But don’t ask Joe Pesci.

17 Jun

Simone is in the kick and yell phase, and it sucks. She throws her food on the floor. She pulls hair, slaps. She runs into her room and slams the door. She shrieks for no reason. She cries like a pack of orphaned baby elephants. She’s a miniature little James Cagney, bullying us with her outsized personality and force of will. It’s a grueling gulag of a life, having a baby yell and scream at you and your only three weapons are ignoring, time outs, and distractions.

Her mother and I don’t know what to do, so I’m sending her message through the digital ether.

Simone, listen up. Trantrums aren’t cool. The Silver Surfer disapproves.

This afternoon, while watching her wail and scream and shriek and throw herself on the floor in a rage, I thought of famous movie tantrums (revealing a lot about how my mind works). These off the top of my head:

Orson Welles smashes up a hotel room and loses his soul: uncool. (Citizen Kane)

Alan Ruck kicks his father’s car into a ravine and grows up: lame. (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Adam Sandler breaks his sister’s window and sobs in anger: useless. (Punch Drunk Love)

Chazz Palminteri threatens to kill a man in a grocery store and learns nothing: boring. (Hurlyburly)

Johnny Depp savagely beats his dimwitted brother: ghastly. (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape)

I can only think of two actors who can pull of the on-screen tantrum and look cool.Jack Nicholson is the first. He’ll get his own entry eventually. Joe Pesci is the second. Pesci loses his temper a lot. For a while it was his stock and trade. Look at Casino, Goodfellas and Raging Bull. He’s small, diminutive really, but he’s also terrifying. He’s pathetic, a psychopathic bully, and the movies judge him for it, usually with premature death.

When Simone’s tantrum phase will end is a big question mark. For now, I’m left with the false memories of fiction to stay afloat.


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