Bring Back Mr. July
Everyone celebrates the 4th of July in their own way. Some bask in the tedium of a parade; others douse their neighbors with firework embers. Others simply discriminate against foreigners. However you choose to be a patriot, the whole point is you have a choice, and that freedom is what the whole day is about.
But not everyone has the luxury to observe this holiday as they deem fit. There is a group of us whose freedoms are under attack while our traditions face extinction. Of course, I am referring to the inalienable right of enjoying Will Smith in theaters during the 4th of July weekend.
I was five years old when Independence Day came out. I vividly remember my father driving me to the theater, buying me popcorn, and ignoring my pleas to see something more age appropriate. He was a proud American, and he’d be damned if we honored our country by watching some hunchbacked cartoon dance and sing around France.
Instead, Dad made me sit through all 145 minutes of America’s near demise at the hands of technologically advanced aliens. That experience stuck with me and made me into the person I am today:
A patriot, a Zoloft addict, and a Will Smith super-fan.
Since 1996, Big Willy unveiled some of his biggest summer blockbusters over subsequent July 4th weekends so True Americans could properly commemorate their nation. 1997 brought us Men In Black; 1999 , Wild Wild West; 2002, Men in Black II. We lived in a world where “freedom” became synonymous with “Will Smith.”
Yet, it has been five years since Will Smith’s last 4th of July movie. and that movie was Hancock. “Mr. July” is already fading from the public vernacular, and I’m afraid the term “Willie’s Weekend” will mean nothing to my children. And once America’s prominent patriot is out of the picture, who will fight off the aliens and the giant robotic spiders
So consider this my plea, my call, my prayer:
Will Smith: If you’re reading this, please release another movie next July 4th weekend. You’re not the hero America deserves, but you’re the hero it needs.
As for the rest of you: Go out and support Will Smith at the box office, no matter the time of year.
Remember, freedom isn’t free… but it’s cheaper if you catch the matinee showing.
Dan DeSalva is a writer and comedian living in Chicago. He holds degrees in Film and Creative Writing from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the iO Improv Program. Follow him on Twitter @DanDeSalva.