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That crazy Cruise

Chris McGrady | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tom Cruise scares me. I don’t mean the screaming, life-flashing before-my-eyes-type of scared. I mean scary in that uncomfortable, “oh-God-please-leave-me-alone”type of scared. If I saw him, I wouldn’t be in awe of his talent, or his wealth, or his gaudy movie-star lifestyle. I would literally be frightened.

It’s not that Cruise isn’t a good actor. I’ve enjoyed many of his flicks – some I would even place in my “Top 5″movie list (Jerry Maguire is one of my favorites). But lately, Tom, you’ve gotten a little out there.

It all seemed to start with that fateful Oprah show. We’ve all seen it or at least heard of it. Cruise, age 43, made like a hopped-up 5-year old – jumping on the couch, grabbing Oprah, and screaming, “I’m in love!”Some people praised Cruise’s outright disregard in self-dignity in claiming his love for Katie Holmes. To me, I found it just plain creepy.

Cruise appeared to me to be completely out of his mind. Yeah, love will make you do crazy things. But not literally! Crazy things are thinking about someone all the time or going out of your way for someone like you haven’t done before. Its not things that will make a strong case for your candidacy for hospitalization.

But, even with all that, I could deal with it. Cruise was overcome with joy at his newfound amour with his young (age 27) significant other. But it didn’t stop there. Cruise spent the next few months spastically rambling about his life with Holmes and Scientology and seemingly whatever came to his mind. Cruise increasingly made less and less sense to me until finally, his blathering monologues became too much to handle.

There was talk of his relationship with Holmes as a publicity stunt, that there was a contract signed between the two that included having a baby. How much of that is truth is really unknown, but of course, there was fuss between Cruise and the family of his now-fiancée. Everything was the absolute height of drama for the Hollywood pair. And why not? Cruise’s on-camera dramatics had been making him famous for years – why stop there?

As fate would have it, Holmes became pregnant and Cruise, in his typical fashion, freaked out. The spirituality of the whole thing was overwhelming, and Cruise yelled, and hopped, and threw his arms up in excitement. All the while, shrinking me further and further into my unhappy, depressive stage of fright.

Maybe I’m making a bigger deal of this than is necessary. But, I can’t help but look at Cruise in a completely different light. He joked about eating the placenta of his child. Eating the placenta?! Maybe Val Kilmer was right in the fighter-pilot flick “Top Gun”- Cruise “is dangerous.”Probably not dangerous in the literal sense – I don’t think Cruise would hurt anyone. But Cruise is definitely at least dangerous to my sanity. How would it look if every time I saw Cruise on screen I instinctively cowered into the fetal position? Probably not very good, and this is a problem.

Don’t’ get me wrong – I wish Cruise and his fiancée and their newborn daughter Suri the best of luck, I really do. But this new version of Cruise – the rambling, yelling, eccentric Cruise – is just a little too much “Vanilla Sky”and not quite enough “Mission Impossible”for me. And as much as it pains me to do so, I guess it’s just the time that I say goodbye to the Cruise that “had me at me hello.”

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Chris McGrady at cmcgrad1@nd.edu