Smooth Talk on DVD. I didn't remember that I had seen it before. I don't know when. It could have been as far back as 1985, when it came out. I only remembered two scenes. First, when the mother, played by Mary Kay Place, tells the daughter (Laura Dern) that when she looks into the daughter's eyes she sees nothing but "trashy daydreams." I'd misremembered that as "shallow daydreams." Second, a little later, when the mother tries to hug the daughter and she says she doesn't like to be hugged, to which the mother replies that maybe that depends on who's doing the hugging. Perhaps oddly, I didn't remember the Treat Williams character at all. Conceived by Joyce Carol Oates pre-Manson, put on film post-Manson, he reads as both an eerie foretelling and a distant echo of old Charlie.
In re the seductive powers of Manson and men like him--I've thought for a long time, and still do, that they serve as proof that the question of a man's character is not a consideration in most women's sexual decisions. I remember discussing this with a colleague when Manson died. She didn't think Manson's example was a good one to follow, but she did not and could not refute what I said about the disconnect between character--not to mention intellect--and a man's success, or possibility of success, with women.
Interesting...I'll try to remember that.