Movies are almost always better when there’s a Mets element to them, whether it’s outsized, as in the key 1969 scenes from the current release Men In Black 3, or subtle, as in 1987’s Moonstruck, which had nothing explicit to do with the Mets back in the day when it seemed everything had something to do with the Mets, but did offer a lingering shot of a Darryl Strawberry poster in the bar where Loretta Castorini (Cher) agrees to join Ronny Cammareri (Nicolas Cage) for a post-opera drink.
Though nobody mentions the Mets anywhere in Moonstruck, one of the eternal truths as regards the object of our ongoing affection was expressed in this exchange between Loretta and her mother Rose (Olympia Dukakis) when Rose learns Loretta and Ronny are engaged to be married:
“Do you love him, Loretta?”
“Aw ma, I love him awful.”
“Oh God, that’s too bad.”
Rose had earlier explained, when Loretta planned to settle and marry Ronny’s schlemiel of a brother, Johnny (Danny Aiello), “When you love them, they drive you crazy because they know they can.”
If you exulted with the 31-23 Mets last weekend, you know you love them. And if you’ve been tearing out what’s left of your hair for most of the past 1-6 week, culminating in the baldness-inducing sweep-capper in the Bronx Sunday afternoon, you know Rose Castorini must have had a Darryl Strawberry poster tacked up somewhere in that enormous house of theirs, because like she said, they drive us crazy seemingly because they know they can.
Even when we should know better; even when perhaps we shouldn’t hold them to major league standards when they’re fielding primarily Buffalo Bisons and Jason Bay; even when we heard a little voice last December telling us the alleged bullpen upgrade was a fraud because alleged bullpen upgrades announced in December are always a fraud; even when we understand they possess no killer instinct in innings in which many of them become runners but hardly any of them become runs; even when we’re in our sixteenth season of trying to succeed yet ultimately failing against the likes of Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones and Andy Pettitte…no, not the likes of them, but actually them; even when we mock the dimensions of an overblown Little League park yet can’t manage to hit anything out of it ourselves; even when the pitcher with the disturbing heartbeat has more heart than all the teammates allegedly supporting him; even when the Mets are the Mets are the Mets and they pick the freaking Subway Series to emphatically remind us of that fact.
We love them awful, anyway, which is exactly how they played in the Bronx.
Oh God, that’s too bad.