Play Misty for Me

“It was funny; I was calling you from that phone booth over there and he was telling me you’d left and I was staring at your car. Isn’t that funny?” 

Dave Garver (Clint Eastwood) is a late-night radio DJ who occasionally gets a call from a seductive woman who purrs, “Play Misty for me.” The DJ obliges the request, playing the silky smooth song, “Misty” over the radio waves. Pretty soon, Dave meets the mysterious Evelyn (Jessica Walter) in a bar and the two share a quick romp before Dave discovers that his old love, Tobie (Donna Mills) is back in town. Dave attempts to break off the fling, but Evelyn won’t give up so easily.

Evelyn’s Problem
She’s a little clingy. After she and Dave share a night of passion (and a very Hollywood kiss where they don’t disengage their mouths and just shimmy their heads a bunch, which is hysterical and puzzling and absolutely worth pointing out), Evelyn shows up unannounced to make him dinner. Dave handles it with Dirty Harry swagger and all is forgotten – or so it seems. Evelyn continues to defy Dave, sometimes coming off as a bit of a ditz, and sometimes coming off completely psychotic. 

Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Jessica Walters as Evelyn gazes intently in “Play Misty for Me”
    Fear of Abandonment
    Evelyn has a hard time letting go of her new boo. She does not have a lot of hobbies, and she could probably use one (thousand). The poor woman is actually quite sick; she imagines a relationship so fervently that she has a difficult time understanding why her fantasy life with Dave does not translate into reality.

  • Intense Relationships
    Borderline personality can be characterized by intense relationships in which the person with the personality disorder designates their lover as either the best, or the worst person in their life. It can be an exhausting ride.

  • Self-Injury as a Response to Rejection
    Note to Readers, self-injury is not a manipulation. Self-injury is a cry for help, always. Part of our problem culturally is that we see cutting like Evelyn’s as a manipulative technique to coerce someone to stay. That’s a little too easy; if someone is willing to physically hurt themselves to keep another person around, then they need psychiatric help. Period. They believe they are getting what they want if that person stays, but wants and needs are not always the same and placating to self-injury as a part of bigger mental health issue is not helpful for anyone involved.

Don’t Stand so Close to Me
One thing is movie brings to light is how naïve men can be about women who follow them. Evelyn’s behavior seems flattering for about one minute, but Dave quickly feels squeamish about it. While this was the 70’s, it is important to note to all Readers out there with a follower or a super fan, be careful about your surroundings and please be careful about who you have an open-door policy with; don’t be like Dave.

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