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Be Cool is a 2005 comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job). It stars John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and a host of other well known actors, singers, and celebrities. Be Cool is a sequel to the 1995 film Get Shorty, with Travolta reprising his role as former Shylock Chili Palmer. Both films are based on a series of novels by author Elmore Leonard.
Chili Palmer is a Hollywood producer who has grown jaded with the movie industry, and who wants to try his hand at the music business. He finds his chance when he meets Linda Moon, a gifted young singer whose talents are going to waste under her current manager. Certain that she can become a superstar, Chili takes Linda under his wing and introduces her to Edie Athens, the widow of an old friend (who Chili saw murdered just the day before) who now has full control of her former husband's record company.
In short order Chili learns that his new career path might not have been the safest choice. Seemingly everyone in the industry suddenly wants a piece of him: from Linda's former manager, to the Russian mafia, wannabe gangstas, actual gangstas under the employ of a celebrity producer, a flamboyantly gay bodyguard, and a pair of cops that have had their eye on Chili for quite some time. However, Chili has a shady past of his own, and those gunning for him quickly discover that he knows how to play the game better than anyone in the business.
Be Cool provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: These are peppered throughout, as the film has fun with its Ensemble Cast.
- A prime example is Dwayne Johnson, who plays gay bodyguard and wannabe-movie star Elliot Wilhelm, and who's perhaps best known as "The Rock" from his former pro-wrestling career.
Linda Moon: "He can raise just one eyebrow at a time... and that's all he thinks it takes to be an actor."
- Adorkable: Elliot, the sweet, sensitive and bumbling gay-bodyguard played by Dwayne Johnson.
- Adult Child: Elliot and his wigga-wannabe boss Raji.
- Armored Closet Gay: Elliot once threw a man off a building for calling him gay.
- Batter Up: Gangsta wanna-be Raji Lowenthal uses this method to get even with another character who insulted his manner of speech... only after said character was already incapacitated, of course.
- Gentle Giant: Elliot again.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Dabu exhibits a terrifyingly poor grasp of basic gun safety throughout the movie, always keeping his finger on the trigger and resulting in accidental discharge more than once and one actual fatality. Dabu is at least somewhat self-aware, lampshading his poor gun handling by telling his boss that if he doesn't want this sort of thing to happen, he shouldn't give Dabu a gun in the first place.
- I Never Got Any Letters: Raji has been deleting Elliot's answering machine when he finds out that Chili has been getting him acting auditions. Chili proves his treachery when he teaches Elliot to check the messages on his cell phone, where he finds duplicates of the deleted messages.
- Meaningful Name: This is seen with several of the characters in the film.
- A notable example is "Sin" LaSalle, who will go to any lengths, up to and including murder, to get what is owed him... or just to get even with those who disrespect him.
- Nice Guy: Elliot, too nice to be a bodyguard in the first place, much less for a jerk like Raji.
- Playing Against Type: Dwayne Johnson absolutely endears himself to audiences and finally showcases his acting versatility by playing a sweet, clumsy, sensitive and Adorkable gay bodyguard.
- Precision F-Strike: Used as a Take That to the MPAA ratings board, since Be Cool received a PG-13 rating.
Chili: "Did you know that you can only use the F-word once in a movie and still get a PG-13 rating? You know what I say to that? Fuck it... I'm done."
- Stop Being Stereotypical: Invoked by celebrity music producer Sin LaSalle, who chastises his cousin Dabu when the latter pulls up to Sin's house in a big black Hummer, with spinning rims and rap music blasting from the stero.
Sin: "Man, why you gotta reinforce the stereotype? I live here. I'm on the neighborhood watch."