I fucking love Donnie Darko.
The character and the film.
You know what? I love that everyone hated it when it came out. Because that makes it easier to pick cool people out of a crowd. If Donnie Darko gets you all jacked up, and frantically seeking out a white board that you can commandeer, so you can diagram the physics of time in the Darko universe?
I’d like to shake your hand, get some coffee, and contribute to your whiteboard debate on what caused the tangent universe to come into existence, and why a second jet engine got copied in the moment of split making Donnie the living receiver tasked with delivering all of mankind from certain disintegration, at all.
And if you hated Donnie Darko?
I guess we just saved ourselves a whole bunch of time on useless, awkward, gettin’-to-know-you chit chat. (Hope I never, ever, ever) see ya around.
Darko is the reason I have such a hard on for philosophy. Darko is the first time I got really mentally jazzed off a movie. From there it was just one crazy cult classic after another. Darko introduced me to the hardcore brain porn that is the thinker flick genre.
Requiem For a Dream.
A Clockwork Orange.
If I have to watch it once, do a week’s worth of research, fill a notebook with notes on peer-reviewed scientific literature, use my own self-assigned research to formulate a personal philosophical manifesto on the film itself, and then watch it again, even though it physically makes me ache because it’s so poignant and satisfying, and then revisit my notes, and write an essay/paper/short story/explanatory essay on it?
That’s my kind of movie y’all.
Donnie Darko is the first non-documentary that ever blew my noodle right to smithereens.
And the soundtrack was badass too.
I love his therapy scenes, not because they in any way depict therapy done well, but actually because they don’t. I love the dynamic between Donnie and Dr. Feelgood over there. I love how uncomfortable he makes her.
How uncomfortable he makes everyone.
Like, just, every single solitary time one of the Darkos ruins this dumb bitch’s day.
Or this one, which has spawned one of my all-time favorite things to say when I need a reference for a time when someone isn’t buying my bullshit and doing what I want them to do and it’s stressing me the hell out.
If I ever, ever tell you that “sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion,” you know you just really let me down, homie. Bad.
And then, of course, we can never forget Donnie telling the pedovational speaker exactly where to shove his balogne pony happy ass nonsense.
What really gets me jazzed is how Donnie just, after he becomes the Living Receiver, just, he has no more time for anyone’s bullshit. And he’s done handling everyone with kid gloves. That’s kind of a trope in a lot of fiction…that slippery slope that is the descent into flagrant and unapologetic authenticity. Even if you don’t like the character’s authentic self you have to give him a little softclap for going straight there, full steam ahead, no questions asked. Because who’s ever not wanted to tell the Jim Cunninghams of.the world to go right to hell?
If you haven’t, there is something significantly wrong with you. It’s just a blatant example of how sympathetic characters are created. Whether we agree that Cunningham is the Antichrist (I for one do, but that’s just because he is representative of my personal schema regarding the aesthetic an Antichrist might convey),or not, we have to feel the satisfaction of seeing Donnie to call his blonde ass out.
And then, of course, the thing that brought me to Darko in the first place, on this blessed night of our Lord, we have Frank.
I have this really sadistic little daydream where I just put on a Frank suit one Easter morning, and just sit motionless in my living room, and whenever my kids wake up and come down for their basket hunt, I just stare dead ahead and say, into my voice-changing rabbit mask, “28 days, six hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds. That… is when the world will end.”
Give their future therapists something fun to chew on, anyhow.
Remember how I successfully argued that Die Hard is a Christmas movie in every way, shape, and form?
Well, Donnie Darko is an Easter movie.
And it always, always will be.
So. There you go.
Happy Manipulated Dead Zombie Jesus day, tomorrow.