Hi, son. Yeah, I know it’s late. What time is it there? No, everything is okay. Nothing’s wrong. Your mom went to bed a while ago, and I just wanted you to know how much I love Field of Dreams.
Did I wake you? Sorry, son. I know we don’t talk that often these days. You seem really busy and sometimes it feels like we haven’t really talked much at all since your high school graduation, when I got tipsy and talked for hours about how fantastic Burt Lancaster was in his final role as Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham in Field of Dreams. At least, that’s what your mom told me.
That man was a screen legend, son.
Life just has a way of slipping away from you. You need to remember to pause and think about how fantastic Kevin Costner is in Field of Dreams. When I think of him as a farmer Ray Kinsella, approaching middle age and feeling lost in the world, I just need to tell you about it.
I don’t want to end up like James Earl Jones, as reclusive author Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams. Bitter. Sad. I want to end up like James Earl Jones in real life, as the voice of CNN.
Yeah, I had a few beers. What about it?
Anyway, when I think about the fraught relationship Ray has with his own dad in that movie, it really affects me more every time. I think about all the opportunities not taken, all the things I wished I said out loud. I think about how many times I dismissed Costner as a movie star. I said he was shallow. I said he was one-note. I even said he couldn’t even do an English accent in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
I think about that with shame every day. That I was that kind of distant, cold man to Costner. Even after he broke out as a leading man following Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables.
Son, he was amazing in that too. Did you know Al Capone was convicted of tax fraud, even though everyone knew he was a gangster?
I’m sorry, I’m getting all teared up. I just get worried that there’s only so many more times I’ll get to see Field of Dreams, and it’s important for you to know how much this movie means to me. Maybe someday I’ll even get around to reading Shoeless Joe, the magic realist novel it’s based on. Probably not, though. The movie’s probably better. Books don’t have Ray Liotta giving the performance of a lifetime.
How old is your boy now? Wow. He’s getting big. Promise me something, son. Never forget to tell your son how much you care about the fourteenth highest-grossing film of 1989.
Tell him every day. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Hang on, I have to go. Waterworld just started on TBS. God, I love this movie.