Love Story

LORELAI: You know what, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy fighting the whole Jess thing. Rory’s made her choice, I want her to be happy. I’m just hoping for the best at this point.

LUKE: Very romantic.

LORELAI: Says the man who yelled “Finally!” at the end of Love Story.

The film Love Story, previously discussed.

The ending of Love Story is that the female lead, a very young woman, dies of a terminal illness. So Luke was shouting out in relief that she was finally dead. A bit of sly black comedy.

Rory and Jess At the Bridge

JESS: Dean’s a jerk. Yelling at you like that, breaking up in front of everybody. . .the guy’s a total jerk.

RORY: No, he’s not. He’s right. Everything he said. All those things about you and me, all those things about me lying to him, and messing with his head. He was right. Well, wasn’t he? Fine, he was right about me, then. Now go away.

Jess and Rory meet at the bridge again, which is starting to seem like their special spot for emotional connection. It’s also a nod to They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, which ends with the main couple sitting on a pier together.

Blue Velvet

LANE: What are you doing here?

DAVE: Uh, well, you mentioned this thing last time we talked and it sounded very Blue Velvet so I figured I would come by and check it out.

Blue Velvet, 1986 neo-noir mystery thriller directed by David Lynch. Blending psychological horror with film noir, the film stars Kyle McLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern, and is named after the 1951 song of the same name. The film is about a college student who returns home to visit his ill father, and makes a grisly discovery in a field. This leads him to uncover a vast criminal conspiracy, and into a relationship with a troubled lounge singer.

The film initially received a divided response from critics, with many stating that its explicit content served little artistic purpose. However, David Lynch won Best Film and Best Director at that year’s National Society of Film Critics Awards. It came to achieve cult status, and is now widely regarded as one of Lynch’s major works, and one of the greatest films of the 1980s. It has been ranked as one of the best films of all time, and one of the greatest mystery films ever made.

Dave has come to see Lane just because he missed her, a clear sign to her that he returns her feelings. Strangely, he decides to arrive at the marathon around 5 am, when the marathon is just about to end! This episode doesn’t have a confusing timeline (it’s all made very clear), it’s simply an unbelievable one.

Music at the Dance Marathon

In the Mood

A popular big band era jazz standard recorded by Glenn Miller. It’s based on the 1930 composition “Tar Paper Stomp” by Wingy Manone, in a new arrangement by Joe Garland, with lyrics added by Andy Razaf. First released by Edgar Hayes and His Orchestra in 1938, the 1939 Glenn Miller version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983. It is considered one of the most important musical works of the 20th century.

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

A 1936 song by Louis Prima, who first recorded it with the New Orleans Gang. It’s been recorded many times, most notably by Benny Goodman. Part of the big band and swing eras, it’s a favourite for film and television soundtracks.

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home

A 1930 jazz song written by Fred E. Ahlert, with lyrics by Roy Turk. It charted in 1931, with highest-charting versions of that year by Nick Lucas, and Ted Weems, with both reaching #8. Nat King Cole’s 1951 version also went to #8, and it was most successful in 1952, when Johnnie Ray took it to #4.

I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby

Previously discussed.

By the Beautiful Sea

A 1914 popular song by Harry Carroll, with lyrics by Harold R. Atteridge. Originally recorded by the Heidelberg Quintet, it topped the charts for six weeks during the outbreak of World War I.

These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)

A 1935 song by English songwriters Eric Maschwitz (under the name Holt Marvell), lyricist and Jack Strachey, the composer. It is said to have been inspired by a youthful romance with cabaret singer Jean Ross. The song wasn’t an immediate success, even after featuring in the 1936 London revue Spread It Abroad, until famous West Indian pianist and singer Leslie Hutchinson found the music on top of Maschwitz’s piano, and liked it. He recorded it the same year, and after this it became a great success, recorded by musicians all over the world, including Benny Goodman, and Billie Holliday, whose version peaked at #5 in 1936.

A String of Pearls

A 1941 song composed by Jerry Gray, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange. It was recorded by Glenn Miller becoming a #1 hit. It is a big band and jazz standard.

All the music at the dance marathon is provided by the band, The Swingin’ Deacons, a band from Lynchburg, Virginia. They have a 1999 album, House of the Blues Swings!

Winona Ryder

JACKSON: Does anyone here understand that a man has a right not to have his personal life debated in a public forum? I am not Winona Ryder.

Winona Ryder, professional name of Winona Horowitz (born 1971), actress. Her first role was in Lucas (1986), and she came to attention in Beetlejuice (1988). She rose to prominence with major roles in quirky films such as Heathers (1989), Mermaids (1990), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Reality Bites (1994), and Girl, Interrupted (1999). She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.

After a performance in the critically panned Mr Deeds (2002), he career went into a decline for a while; at this time, her most recent film was the minor hit Simone, which had come out the preceding summer. Her career recovered in 2009, and since 2016 she has starred in the Netflix series, Stranger Things.

Ryder’s high-profile relationship with actor Johnny Depp from 1989 to 1993 made her easy tabloid fodder, as did her 2001 arrest for shoplifting, accused of stealing more than $5000 worth of designer clothing from Saks. Ryder explained she was clinically depressed and using painkilling drugs at the time. Sentenced in December 2002, she had to serve 480 hours of community service, and pay $3700 in fines, as well as paying Saks $6355 in restitution. This what Jackson is referring to – as it’s only a month before the verdict, the media would have been in a frenzy by this stage.

[Picture shows Ryder during her court case in 2002]

Tony Manero

LANE: Go away, Jess. No one asked for a Tony Manero wannabe to drop by.

Tony Manero, the lead character in the film Saturday Night Fever, previously discussed.

Lane really doesn’t like Jess at all, which may be another reason why it’s been hard for Rory to admit her feelings for him. It’s a shame, because Lane and Jess both love music and punk rock in particular, so you’d think they’d have at least one thing in common as a basis for friendship.

Apart from not being impressed by Jess’ behaviour in school, I think Lane has always romanticised Rory’s relationship with Dean, and she can’t imagine Rory with anyone else.

The Runaround

RORY: How much longer?

LORELAI: I don’t know. I just know that every year I block this part out.

After already dancing for more than fourteen hours, the dancers are then forced to race each other around the gym for an undetermined period, with the last five couples to complete the lap when the music stops being eliminated from the competition. The “runaround”, as it is known, is taken directly from the film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, in which “elimination derbies” are held to maintain the spectators flagging interest. The consequences are fatal for one of the characters in the film.

Lorelai says she blocks this part out every year. Apparently Rory has blocked it out too, even though she’s only ever watched, as she has no knowledge of it. It seems they’ve only ever had a runaround after Rory has either gone home or fallen asleep in the bleachers.

Liam Neeson

ANDREW: [in background] You went out with Liam Neeson! Are you kidding me?

William “Liam” Neeson (born 1952), actor from Northern Ireland. He began his career in the Belfast theatre scene, and his first film role was in Excalibur (1981). He rose to prominence playing the title role in Schindler’s List (1993), starred in dramas such as Nell (1994) and provided the narration for Everest (1998). In November 2002, his most recent films were Stars Wars: Attack of the Clones and K-19: The Widowmaker, although Gangs of New York was just about to come out. He has received numerous honours, including an OBE in 2000.

Liam Neeson was married to actress Natasha Richardson in 1994, a marriage which lasted until her death in 2009. Presumably, Andrew’s dance partner went out with Liam Neeson prior to his marriage (or prior to him meeting Richardson, which took place in 1993).

“We have time-warped with the best of them”

LORELAI: I have to say, for a couple of modern girls, we have time-warped with the best of them.

“Time Warp”, a song from the musical The Rocky Horror Show and its film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, previously discussed. It’s also the name for the dance which accompanies the song, and the song lyrics provide dance instructions. It was most popular in Australia, reaching #3 in 1980, but has remained a popular song ever since. It’s already been demonstrated that Lorelai and Rory are fans of the film.