I can now say that I’ve seen “9 1/2 Weeks” (1986).
I can also say that if I had seen it in 1986 (or anytime shortly thereafter), it would’ve changed my teenage world and influenced my ability to pick up chicks. But I would not have had the maturity or the sensitivity to pick up on the subtle undertones, themes, and flaws of the characters. There’s a whole lot going on under everybody’s hairline to drive them to their ends, and that requires a lot of work reading the tea leaves in everybody’s cup. In reality, nothing plays out along scripted lines.
The sexy parts would’ve influenced my young life, but that’s all I would’ve picked up on. And to model myself after the male lead (which I would’ve internalized and tried to live out) would’ve turned me into a creeper of the highest order. In a small town, that would’ve been magnified to the wrongest extremes; a small-town fool doesn’t have the worldly tools or the broad vision to gauge motives or appearance. Really, a character as flawed as Rourk’s requires a big city, a compressed distance, and a sizable income to support The Lifestyle without being “that dirty guy”.
Good thing I’m a grown-up now and can tell the difference.