Alan Arkin

R.I.P. to the man who complained about “the f***king chicken.”

Alan Arkin has passed away at the age of 89, but still left his trademark on the world. I knew who he was when I begged my mom to take me to see “Little Miss Sunshine” when I was 13-years-old. There was something in this dependent film that made me want to see it, and when I finally saw it, the movie changed my life and was one of the stepping stones to making me a film critic.

He won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Little Miss Sunshine,” in which he played a heroin-addict grandfather, who was able to connect with his granddaughter Olive (Abigail Breslin), while they were training for the beauty pageant in Redondo Beach, California. He was very funny with how he was cursing and making so many insults, but he also had his vulnerabilities, like how he wished his son Richard (Greg Kinnear) luck when he doesn’t get the business deal of selling his 12-step program, and when he has all his confident in his granddaughter.

But the more I grew up, the more I knew who he also was. I went back to check out some of his memorable films, like “The In-Laws,” when he played a mild-mannered family man named Sheldon Kornpett, who finds out his co-father-in-law Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk) is in the CIA. And “Glengarry Glen Ross,” in which he, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, and Ed Harris were real estate salesmen with Al Pacino as the company’s closer Richard Roma.

It was often entertaining to see Arkin’s “Little Miss Sunshine” reunion with Steve Carell in “Get Smart,” “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” Even though I didn’t care for the last film, I still think these reunions remind me of that classic 2006 film. It’s usually exciting for me. I know it sounds a bit much to you, but you should see the 2006 film, the way I did.

Arkin was able to survive the 2000s and 2010s with roles in “Rendition,” “Argo,” “The Muppets,” and “City Island,” among others. And in his early years, the 1960s, he was able to appear on Broadway and television shows like his Tony-award winning role in “Enter Laughing,” and was a member of the comedy troupe “The Second City.” And also began his movie career, including his breakout role in “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.”

I refuse to insult this great actor, by complaining about his bad films “North” and “Love the Cooper.” So, I should stick to the good things, and it’s a shame he couldn’t live to 100 or, at least, 90.

But he will always be remembered as an actor, and never be forgotten the roles he redefined. I may not have seen every film or show he’s been apart of, but I know a great actor when I see one, and he sure as Hell was one. “I have no reason to lie to you,” as he said in his Oscar-winning role.



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