David McCall (Mark Wahlberg) gets a bad rap. Viewed as an obsessive psychopath in James Foley’s Fear, he does whatever it takes to keep the object of his affection, Nicole (Reese Witherspoon), close to him. While, at first, he keeps a tight lid on his brand of crazy, the signs start spilling out the moment he takes Nicole’s virginity, after which he steals a bracelet that says “Daddy’s Girl” and amends it to say “David’s Girl.” But hey, that’s sort of sweet, right?
And, of course, let’s not forget those magic moments before David went full-fledged psychotic (in the eyes of people who don’t understand passionate love). He rescued her from the clutches of the law while at an underground rave, he took her to the woods and told her sweet nothings like, “So far what I know about you is you’re beautiful…and incredibly perceptive. I just need to know like one flaw so I can believe the rest” and then turned her watch back in a romantic gesture that proved they still had more time together before her curfew. Though a turnoff for some, David is also able to ingratiate himself into the good graces of Nicole’s family, putting on airs of normalcy that soothe everyone except Nicole’s father, Steven (William Petersen). Yet, rather than being an unsexy quality, this is the deviant maneuver of a rebellious mastermind–to dupe the parents, thereby allowing him even more freedom to do what he wants with Nicole, like give her an orgasm while riding a roller coaster together.
As the soundtrack pumps Bush’s “Comedown” and The Sundays’ “Wild Horses”–two tracks that epitomized 90s romance–we, too, feel just as taken in by David as Nicole. So what if he lied about his background and his probable borderline personality disorder? The only man I want to be with shouldn’t have parents to bog him down with other concerns besides me and, truth be told, everyone I know has a mental disorder, so I might as well at least be getting fucked out of it.
But Nicole, dainty dame that she is, just doesn’t appreciate David’s enslaving, all-consuming form of love. While some like to say that jealousy is a sign of insecurity, in truth, it shows a level of ardor necessary to prove giving a damn. Sure, Robert A. Heinlein might have written, “Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy–in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other”–but what the hell does he know? He’s never had David McCall’s abs pressed up against him.
Then, because Steven has his Greek play designs on Nicole, he becomes overly protective; no dad wants to know about their daughter’s so-called whoredom. But maybe if he had left Nicole to her affairs, David wouldn’t have gone quite so objectively batshit. And sure, he kills Nicole’s best friend, Gary (Todd Caldecott), but frankly, I don’t believe in male-female friendships either so it would work out quite perfectly between us.
So if you know of anyone who fits the fanatical, burning with desire bill like David McCall, send him my way. Just make sure he doesn’t have a taste for crop top-wearing crystal meth (or crack, or whatever people in the 90s were smoking in Seattle–and most likely still are) dabblers like Margo (Alyssa Milano). That would really flip the script and make me the David in the scenario. DAVID 4EVA.