Like most Americans, I learn all my life lessons through movies.
And I don’t think there have been many movies that have taught me more things than A Bronx Tale.
You’ve all seen this fine film, haven’t you? Of course you have. If not, go rent it now. Go ahead… I’ll wait.
All done? Splendid.
A Bronx Tale tells the story of a young man growing up in New York in the 60’s, and how his life and morals are shaped by the teachings of his father, and a local mafia boss who takes him under his wing.
I fucking LOVE this movie. It’s just so rich with talent, and Chazz Palminteri steals the show as mafia boss/surrogate father Sonny LoSpecchio.
One of the reasons this movie is such a gem for me is because of all the great pearls of wisdom Sonny imparts to young teen Calogero during the course of the film. He teaches him life lessons about all manner of things…. First loves, vengeance, redemption.
He also teaches us about the costs of losing unworthy people in your life.
In one scene, Sonny glimpses young Calogero chasing down some loser in the street. When asked why he was doing so, Calogero angrily says that the guy owes him $20 and the kid has been ducking him to avoid paying up. Sonny looks at Calogero and tells him to let the guy go. For the cheap cost of $20, Calagero has learned that the other kid is untrustworthy, and not a good friend. For 20 dollars, he has essentially bought that person off and ensured himself that the kid will never bother him or ask him for money again. Calogero begins to see the situation in a different light and agrees that he just cut an unwanted person from his life for the low cost of 20 bucks.
I’m always reminded of that scene whenever I lend a friend some money.
In May, I went to Jamaica and a co-worker here, who was born in Jamaica, asked me to pick him up an expensive bottle of rum that you can only get there.
I did as he asked, and when I returned I gave him the bottle and told him how much I paid for it. He thanked me and told me that he would pay me back at the end of the week, after pay day.
Two weeks went by and I never got a cent. Every time he passed me in the halls, he again apologized and said he would be paying me soon.
After a month, he stopped me in the cafeteria and handed me some money. It was half of what the bottle cost me. He told me that he would get me the other half at the end of the week……
…. That was in July. I still have received jack shit.
And as much as that might typically make my Sicilian blood boil, whenever I see him now and notice how he quickly turns the corner to avoid meeting my eyes, I am always pleasantly reminded of A Bronx Tale and that, for a relatively cheap cost, this fuckwad has been excised from my life.
I STILL want to donkey-punch him in the nuts, though……