It’s no surprise that Apple fans are hesitant to believe Ashton Kutcher can pull off the role of the company’s co-founder Steve Jobs. His boyish good looks and goofy personality lean more toward projects like his past roles in “That 70’s Show” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?”
But the Jobs biopic producer, Mark Hulme, told The Hollywood Reporter that Kutcher has the “psychological complexity” needed for the role, and it instantly struck a chord in my memory re: Kutcher’s psychological thriller, “The Butterfly Effect.” So, grab some Kleenex and a big glass of orange juice as we continually travel in time with Kutcher in today’s Sick Day Stash.
The film follows Evan Treborn (Kutcher) who discovers in college that when he reads his old journals, he has the ability to travel back in time to change his past. But he soon realizes even the slightest changes lead to major unforeseen consequences in the future. His need to change previous life events is led by his desire to protect his childhood friends, including his sweetheart Kayleigh, who was sexually abused by her father and harassed by her brother. But as he manipulates the past and awakes in a new future, he creates new memories that cause him further brain damage.
These alternate realities find Evan in unfavorable situations—including prison—and he’s yet again forced to travel back and change his actions. Each attempt, however, fails and he soon realizes that everyone is suffering because of him. In his last attempt to better his friends’ lives, he travels back and changes his past so that him and Kayleigh were never friends. The final scene shows the present Evan and Kayleigh passing by each other on the street. While she has a vague notion that he looks familiar, he remembers her fondly and continues on his separate way.
What most people don’t know is that there was an alternate ending on the DVD that I actually preferred. On Evan’s final journey back in time, he ends up at the very beginning of his life—in his mother’s womb. It sounds strange, but throughout the film we find out that during every other one of his mother’s pregnancies before him, the baby is strangled to death by its umbilical cord. When Evan goes back before his birth, he ties the umbilical cord around his neck causing his own death, and it finally clicks with audiences why every one of his mother’s children suffer the same fate. It’s not the usual happy ending a romantic like myself is supposed to love, but it left me with the feeling of a more complete film.
Most movies I keep in my Sick Day Stash don’t require me to use my brain—as I usually feel like chunks of it are flying out of my head when I blow my nose—but “Butterfly Effect” is an interesting film I like to keep on hand for those days when my mind needs a little stimulation. Check it out and see for yourself that Kutcher has the intellectual capacity to play a more dramatic part. I think he’ll do just fine playing Steve Jobs.
Call them “cult classics.” “Guilty pleasures.” “Comfort movies.” We all have a mental rolodex of flicks that may not be terribly popular but, for one reason or another, they resonate in a very special way. Maybe you saw it at the right moment. Maybe you just see gold where everyone else sees feces. Whatever the case, these are the special favorites that you keep stashed away for sick days. These are some of ours. Tell us about your Sick Day Stash picks in the comments or on Twitter!