For a while now, Tom Cruise’s status as Hollywood’s golden boy has been as rocky as his dubious grasp on sanity. And the attendant media backlash (he's "one spoke behind Michael Jackson on the freak wheel", according to Village Voice) has been vicious and relentless.
And while I’m not naively asking why – a grown man who believes he’s actually an immortal alien has to expect some gentle piss-taking – I’m simply saying, my movie world would dissolve without him in it. And here’s why.
Parody would be lost without him
Where would laugh-out-loud, biting social satire be without the furious litigation skills and huge dearth of humour and risible antics of Tom Cruise? Works of genius, such as South Park Episode 12, Season 9’s Trapped In The Closet simply wouldn’t exist. The infamous episode, which saw Cruise reluctant to come out of a literal closet (do I really need to explain the subtext?), made little Tom so hopping mad, he made Paramount pull the episode – cue an Emmy award nomination for South Park. Thanks Tom. Couldn’t have done it without you, buddy.
If you’re confused about religion, Cruise will help you out
We live in troubled times, and if you are still hell bent looking for God, picking a religion to follow is tricky. A big thank you and a metaphorical pat on the back, then, to Tom Cruise, helping anyone with half a brain firmly cross at least one religion off their “Let’s make an informed decision” list. I’m sure the Scientology press office is equally grateful.
He can’t win an Oscar – but he helps those who can
Love him or loathe him, Cruise’s charisma is undeniable - and it nourishes anyone who step into its star-making force field. Paul Newman had been nominated six times before winning opposite Cruise in The Colour Of Money. Dustin Hoffman won his second playing autistic opposite Cruise in Rain Man, Jack Nicholson garnered another nomination for A Few Good Men, Cuba Gooding Jnr was Best Supporting Actor in Jerry Maguire, and Holly Hunter was nominated for barely ten minutes on screen in The Firm. They should all throw a party and present him with his very own statuette made of chocolate.
He does awesomely stupid things and just doesn’t care
There’s nothing quite as entertaining as watching a functional human car crash unfold in slow motion, and Cruise has given us pile up after pile up just by opening his mouth. Post-natal depression curable by vitamins? No such thing as a chemical imbalance? All criminals need is guidance? Plus, the couch jumping incident that spawned a thousand parodies. Come on Tom....here’s a couch. Jump on and say more stuff – we’re listening.
Admit it - you LOVE his movies
Can you handle the truth? It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you... Tom Cruise is actually a really good actor. Let’s put diminishing sanity aside for just a moment and have a look at his body of work. Top Gun, Cocktail, Risky Business, A Few Good Men, The Outsiders, Magnolia – Cruise is a iconic moviestar, and once upon a time, he really knew how to deliver a line. I actually miss him a little bit.
Tom Cruise’s cameo as overweight, foul mouthed bullying movie exec was the best thing about Tropic Thunder, and showed a lighter side of Cruise that we haven’t seen since he skidded across the landing in nothing more than a white shirt, socks and a pair of Ray Bans. Was it a manipulative media move to make us like him again? Maybe. But I, for one, can’t wait for the movie.
He’s a true inspiration to other actors
When nutter-in-training Christian Bale was picked to portray the most famous psychopath in literary history, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, he looked to none other than the perma-smiling Cruise for inspiration. In the book, Bateman stabs, tortures, rapes, mutilates and murders his way across Manhattan. Bale, after seeing Cruise interviewed on David Letterman, said he was inspired by Cruise’s “very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes”.
He went on to the Danger Zone... on Top Gear
Which is actually quite cool all by itself. Then he smashed the all time record for Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. See – he does do his own stunts!