Why Dr. Melissa Reeves is the real hero
There are many things that come to mind when considering the Jean de Bont classic, Tornado: the sight of a cow circling a violent tornado A chariot swept by winds from 300 miles and releasing hundreds of tiny globes carried by cans of cola. Line; “We have sisters! » Philip Seymour Hoffman in his most anti-Philip Seymour Hoffman role (nail it, of course). But at the heart of the tale (or the eye of the storm) are the relationships between the characters. Yes, a group of scientists ticking off tropes and united by passion and a death wish, while Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and Dr. William “Bill” Harding (Bill Paxton), realize that they are connected by more than the weather. But at what cost ?
The collateral damage of this revelation is in the form of Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz): A reproductive therapist, William’s fiancée and a feminist icon. The story of a middle-class professional trying to juggle work, a relationship, and her self-esteem is rarely told in the world of storm chasing, but her determination to get Jo to sign the divorce papers of Bill while doing his best to fit in is worthy of a spin-off. Few people would be brave enough to get their hands dirty, let alone such a gorgeous white suit, but Dr Reeves maintains class and dignity as she spends the better part of two hours being thrust into a world of ‘ex passive-aggressive, threatening winds. , and a barely road-worthy minibus driven by a slovenly, excitable Dustin “Dusty” Davis (Phillip Seymour Hoffman).
So why is the therapist with a busy professional life, an upcoming wedding, and seemingly no interest in Mother Nature’s chaos accompanying the journey? In her own words, she “finds it interesting.” And who wouldn’t? The opportunity to explore another side of life, to learn more about her future husband and his past, and to keep a close eye on her fiancé’s ex. Not only is Dr. Reeves going on what looks more and more like a suicide mission, but she does so despite being constantly pushed into allyless vans to ward off “intruder” stares, and regularly finding herself under the “guard” of Dusty and his excessive sound system.
And if being forced into thorny social circles between episodes of seeing your loved one nearly die repeatedly isn’t enough (the less said about his own close calls the better), Dr. Reeves is forced to chat with the other The woman’s aunt (Lois Smith). To be fair, Aunt Meg is hospitable and polite, but it’s impossible to watch the scene without noticing an accusatory streak of “so you’re the new one” in her eyes. To his credit again, Dr. Reeves does his best not to let these sticky situations get the better of him, and by the end of his allotted airtime, seems to have developed a connection with the scientists, including Chief aforementioned from Excited Woo-Hoos, Dusty Davis.
Another overlooked fact about Dr. Reeves is his multitasking prowess. Juggling a private practice while fleeing all the scales of a tornado in Oklahoma, she does her best to offer sage advice (“we’ve talked about that before – she didn’t marry your penis”) despite a increasingly untenable personal life. Our Girlboss (the good guy) even accepts the sacrifice of their brand new Dodge Ram so the ex-wife can continue to put everyone’s life in danger. And does she complain? No. Instead, the unsung hero begins to develop his telehealth skills again and adjust to a new way of life (“I gotta go, Julia. We’ve got cows”). Only once does she voice her suspicions about the sudden and dysfunctional road trip, but never let it turn into a fight, making sure high morals are her priority, even when Jo tries to derail her civility (“Is that Melinda?…Melissa? Wasn’t there a Melinda in there?”).
The greatest character test for our Princess-Leia-With-a-PhD unfolds in a particularly cinematic way: despite her personal and professional sacrifices, the attempts on her life (admittedly by Mother Nature rather than Helen Hunt), and the stamina of music and terrible personalities, Dr. Reeves is rewarded by being forced to stand in the rain and listen to his fiancee declare his devotion to his ex-wife over CB radio. Anyone would be forgiven for being angry and vengeful, but not this weighted icon! Refusing to be helpless or an object of pity, to resent a weekend of being bludgeoned and feeling inferior, Dr. Reeves acknowledges the ways in which she has misunderstood his fiancée (although she admits that she assumed her listed occupation of Tornado Chaser “was just a metaphor” seems a bit rich), maintains a diplomacy “it’s nobody’s fault” and declares that she is a big girl who can “find her own way”. Noble, strong and unresentful, Dr. Melissa Reeves may have lost the battle for Bill, but won the war for women.
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