Sep 18, 2009

I imagine being named Tex in Oklahoma would be a hardship.

Tex
(1982)

I never knew this before, but Matt Dillon is in three movie adaptations of S.E. Hinton novels: The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and Tex. From this I assume that Matt Dillon was the perfect portrayal of all poor, white males everywhere in the eighties. I've only read one S.E. Hinton novel, Taming the Star Runner, and from the info I gleaned from that book, a young Matt Dillon would have been perfect for the role.

Also, from Taming the Star Runner and this adaptation of Tex, I think S.E. Hinton novels are hilarious. In that the plot's going along true to normal YA conventions, and then suddenly there are drug dealers! And guns! And serious injuries! And seriousness! Oh my god!

So I find seriousness amusing. I can't help it.

That said, I'm reviewing Tex because the main character loves his horse, and his brother sells his horse because they are poor. And their father is a rodeo clown, or something, and refuses to come home and be an adult. And Tex doesn't know how far to go with a girl, only to be helpfully told by his brother that the girl will tell him when to stop. Yes, all responsibility thrown onto the girl. As always. Nicely played, Tex's brother.

The deal here is this. Mason is the responsible brother, and Tex is the brother who is slightly ditsy and loves his horse. To feed them, Mason sells the horses and Tex goes ballistic. They get into a groping fight on the kitchen floor. Two-liter sodas are thrown at walls, Mason lands a punch, and Tex runs off to search the Oklahoma country for his horse. This doesn't work out for him, because hiking around on foot in search of a horse that has been sold is clearly a waste of time.

Things happen that I don't really care about because I didn't. Only at one point Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez make eyes at each other across a patch of Oklahoma dust used for dirt biking. The music swells. Will they ever be friends again? Will that boy with the flowing long hair and the pink comb get between them? Will Emilio crash his bike after taking off on a dare? (Yes.) Will Matt be awesome on the same bike afterward? (Yes.) Will they get back to being friends again, despite Emilio's father's disapproval? (Yes!) Sweet, sweet teenage love.

Oh, um. Tex is supposed to be in love with Emilio's sister, Jaime? I guess? Anyway. Things are going along fairly normally, to YA standards. A fortune teller even tells Tex that he isn't going to get his horse back, much to his chagrin. And then they, in true S.E. Hinton fashion, pick up a hitchhiker. And he pulls a gun on them. Shocker. I was so shocked.

Tex saves the day, and the hitchhiker is shot dead by the police. After this, more drama ensues with the return of rodeo clown dad, which means that Tex has to discover that he is not the biological son of rodeo clown dad. (Honestly, he should be thrilled with this.) Dad decides to buy back Tex's horse, which has been sold to a Christina character. The Christina character tells him that the horse is hers. Fair and square, damn it! Who the hell is he to just walk into her residential backyard and stare at her as she jumps fences? Christina informs him that she has renamed the horse Gentleman, and Tex is disgusted, as most would be in the face of such snobbery. So he gets together with this drug dealer friend, which naturally ends in Tex getting shot in the stomach.

So he wanders around a little bit, bleeding all over his shoes. Unexpected, maybe. Or maybe this is what all Oklahoma kids do? Having been raised in northwest Arkansas, I surprisingly don't know the answer to this. Sadly.

Anyway, Tex survives. And everything is okay. He gets a job at a horse farm. And his brother goes to college in Indiana. And, um, it was uplifting or something?

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