Shake the Scene: Keanu


Keanu (2016)

keanu_posterThe Scene: Faith

Why We Love This Scene: Over the Christmas break, Christmas Day in fact, we lost the great singer/songwriter George Michael. Like Prince and David Bowie, George Michael was an androgynistic performer who had great talents and probably polarized a lot of people. I didn’t really like him growing up because of his boy-band Wham and his “sissy-like” love songs (“I Want Your Sex” doesn’t get much airplay for a 10-year old boy) but I’ve grown to truly appreciate his singing voice and his talents as a writer and performer. And every Christmas season, who doesn’t love to hear “Last Christmas” a 146 times? But sadly, he hasn’t done much to be in the spotlight or had any hits in the past decade or so and he fell into relative obscurity; for me anyway. I’m sure he still had legions of fans. 

One such fan was the unlikely character in the recent comedy, Keanu starring comedy-duo Key and Peele. It’s weird because this past week the universe must’ve been trying to tell me something, mainly about George Michael because he was mentioned not once, not twice but three times to me and my wife in the span of 2 days just a few days after his death. We saw the animated feature, Sing, (Reely Quick: It’s good for the kiddies, check it out!) which had “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” as one of the character’s ring tones. Then we saw La La Land (Reely Quick: It’s good, check it out!) which had Emma Stone call Ryan Gosling George Michael in jest and then we watched Keanu that same evening which is chock full of George Michael references and songs since Keegan-Michael Key’s character is obsessed with the late singer. To make a long synopsis short, Keanu is about two very well-to-do and mild-mannered suburbanite African-American friends who get caught up with drug dealers to retrieve Peele’s lost kitten, named Keanu. The main joke mainly hinges on the fact that Key and Peele are playing against stereotypical urban black guys and have to get out of character to play street-wise drug dealers to get their kitten back. So having one of them love and adore a very white George Michael is somewhat funny. It plays for a few laughs especially when the drug dealing gang finds out about his obsession and he gets them to like Michael’s songs too.   

But the scene that was funniest was when Key trips on some narcotics or something (I wasn’t really paying too close attention because, well frankly, the movie wasn’t holding my interest too well) and hallucinates that he’s inside George Michael’s infamous “Faith” music video. It was a reminder at how absurd the 1980s were fashionably but how great the pop hits were. Rest in Peace Mr. Michael.

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