I was paid thirty million dollars to make a thirty second commercial for Fed-Ex. But guess what. My check came a day late. And guess who delivered it! So I took their stupid pile of cash, wiped my ass with one half, and used the other to make a movie about the two things I hate most in this world: Fed-Ex, and everything else.
So there’s this guy who works for Fed-Ex. He’s pretty big shit in their company because he’s capable of making things arrive when they’re supposed to fucking arrive. It’s not necessarily because he’s an awesome employee as much as it’s his obsessive compulsive relationship with time. Kind of like time is the drug dealing neighbor downstairs he can never look in the eye and always wants approval from. As a result, he wears more watches then a used Rolex salesman. Retro Zing!
He’s real sweet on this fifty year old lady named Helen Hunt. This is the first of many ways that Cast Away is a brave film. Getting an audience to believe someone could love Helen Hunt is a risky thing to try. Most of us avoid people who are incapable of looking happy. Anyway, he loves her, and he’s eager to get married so the two can start having a house full of disappointed looking brats who rush around not being late for things.
BUT! He has to get back From Russia With his Love. And that shit’s not going to happen. See, while he really loves his Helen Hunt, he equally hates the rest of the world. Why? Because people are not watches and that pisses him off. God decides to give him a hand with this, and because He’s a big fan of Sartre, He knows just how to pull it off. He makes the plane fly a thousand miles off-course, then crashes it into the ocean. God knows no one will doubt this story because we’re talking about a Fed-Ex plane here, and Fed-Ex planes aren’t made of anything but dried shit and firecrackers.
The guy survives the crash only to wash up on an abandoned island about the size of a Sam’s Club. “What the fuck?” he asks.
“I thought you wanted to get away from it all!” God retorts. “You know, Hell is other people and all that?”
“But I miss my Helen Hunt.”
“What, really? Her? Really?! Ugh,” He rubs his brow. “Jesus Christ…”
“What’s up, Dad? Am I still grounded?”
“Oh, not this again. It’s an expression, boy. You know, people use it? Do you even know what a people is? Not everything is about you, hippie. Now get back to your room. Time out means TIME OUT!” He turns is attention back to the problem at hand. “And as for you, what a bunch of bullshit! You just waisted so much of my time! You of all people should know how much that sucks! From now on, you’re on your own!”
So he rummages around the island by himself for the next four hours. This was another risk I took. See, even people who complain about dialog want a little bit of dialog in their movies. It’s boring to watch just one guy do shit all day long (unless it’s David Blaine). To pull it off we needed the most well-liked, charismatic actor ever to grace the silver screen. Someone no one has ever found a reason in the world to dislike. Someone who transcended the dirt and grime of humanity. A pure, entertaining soul. So we got my best friend and AA sponsor, Tom Cruise.
With all this time on his hands, Tom Cruise learns how to invent all kinds of crazy shit. He invents fishing. He invents fire. He invents covering up poop with sand like a cat. He tries to hang himself and invents FAIL!. He invents drinking coconut milk (and he invents liking it). He invents long sun-bleached hair. He invents the beard. He invents dramatic skinnyness. He invents friendship by putting seaweed and pearl earrings on a beach ball. He even invents dentistry when he beats the shit out of his face with some ice skates. Oh yeah, he also invented ice skates. And rain.
Four years later, he’s pretty much got it made in the shade. No job, no bills, no traffic jams, no people. Just day after day on the beach. He’s not even scared of the four-toed statue anymore. Some other people wash ashore asking for help and fucking up his paradise, but he quickly beats them to death with a crab claw. Ah, this is the life!
But then shit gets fucked up. See, when his Fed-Ex plane crashed, all those Fed-Ex packages washed onto the shore with him. He opened about half of them before he realized they weren’t addressed to Tom Cruise. He should have opened them all though, because one of them contained a homing device. Fed-Ex locked onto that device and sent a ship out to follow its signal to Tom Cruise. Of course, it was Fed-Ex so it took four years. One week tops if it’d been UPS. Those cats know how to get shit done and STILL find time to nail lonely housewives!
They drag him kicking and screaming off the island. Before he’s boarded their boat, he witnesses them throw his Beach Ball into the air and shoot it with a flare gun like target practice. Tom Cruise cries like you’ve never heard a man cry in a movie before. Remember when you were a kid and you threw tantrums? It’s kind of like that but with the ability to vote.
Back home he goes for the only thing that might make him feel less like killing every person he sees: Helen Hunt. Uh-oh. Four years later, she’s gotten married to some other dude and had a baby with him. Here’s another place where we took a risk. TWO guys into Helen Hunt? I don’t know what to tell you on this one. When drama and logic throw down, never bet on logic: no ability to cheat.
Well, maybe you can see what happens next. Tom Cruise drives to a crossroads out in the country. He straps on his bulletproof vest, loads his shotgun, kisses a picture of a beach ball. There are three directions he can choose from: The White House, Fed-Ex headquarters, or Homing Devices Industries. Which one will he choose? Fade to black. I’ll let you decide.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey