I lack the killer instinct. I am neither a cutthroat, nor a go-getter or a even a self-starter. I also suck with numbers. Four hundred and ninety on the math portion of the SAT. That’s Phoenix Online-status. If Jordan Belfort is The Wolf Of Wall Street, I am The Self-Conscious Koala Of Long Island.
Yeah, Long Island. I grew up in the same town where Jordan Cerebral Palsy Phased- it to his Lamborghini Countach. My parents used to hang out in that Bayside apartment complex where Donny first scoped out Jordan. I’ve even met “Donny”’s son ( If memory serves, he seemed bit more put-together). Most importantly, I know a disturbing amount of young men who will see this film and think “This is what I want.” I’ve seen that yellow hardcover on the shelf of many amoral fraternity brothers.
And I get it. Jordan Belfort is to the white middle-class of New York as what Scarface was to the hood, but even more so. His model seems attainable, his background closely mirrors so many of ours, be it the Semitic origins or the Hamptons aspirations. Plus, his speaking engagement denouement is far more agreeable to Tony Montana’s shotgun blast to the spine. While we all may initially scoff and think ourselves more evolved at the end of 2013, a sizeable amount of Gen-Y viewers will not be able to shake the allure of perfect tits and frat-boy camaraderie. If you do not think that Quaalude use will increase as a direct result of The Wolf Of Wall Street, you are painfully naive. In fact, a lude-dealing syndicate of fifty-something professionals was busted in my hometown a few years ago. A housewife was dragged out of an Italian restaurant in handcuffs as her kids watched. It wasn’t as funny as the Lambo scene.
Earlier, I mentioned the qualities I lack, not with disdain, but with insight. Many people I grew up with have tremendous drive which I envy and admire. Unfortunately, their goals were not to improve the world or channel a passion, but simply to make as much money as physically possible. I do not see this as uncommon. I believe the American Dream has been truncated to the pursuit of wealth as opposed to health and happiness. That was Tony Montana’s goal and Jordan Belfort’s. Tony was killed and Jordan punched his wife in the stomach. I know that bros are not going to run out of the theatre and begin setting up boiler rooms, but I do know that movie quotes and comparisons will ooze into i-banking and real estate firms. In other words, Belfort’s greed and debauchery live on today, just a bit more sanitized and confined. My only hope is that those who were entranced by the film will be able acknowledge its dark side before Belfort’s mythology takes full grasp. Because Tony Montana isn’t cool, and neither is Jordan Belfort.
Jonah Hill, however, is fucking hilarious.