You ever sit around on a Saturday afternoon watching A Few Good Men for the 50th time and find yourself thinking, “Hey, I wonder if Tom Cruise’s character is based on a real person and what that real person is up to today…” Well, if this video is to be believed, the answers to those questions are “yes, Virginia personal injury lawyer Don Marcari” and “making unbelievably shameless commercials that name-drop the film’s title and signature quote with all of the subtlety of a glowing zebra sprinting through a library.” So there’s that.
There’s also this: The New York Times actually looked into claims like this a few years ago and discovered that at least four different lawyers across the country claim to be the inspiration for the film, including Mr. Marcari. And the results were something that I’d feel very comfortable calling “less than conclusive.”
Simplification played out elsewhere as well. Mr. Marcari declared on his Virginia-North Carolina law firm’s Web site that “his exploits as a young defense attorney with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps became the basis for the motion picture ‘A Few Good Men.’ ”
“It’s been great for my career,” he said in an interview.
The four men recently described how they became convinced that the Lieutenant Kaffee character was based at least in part on them. None said he had ever spoken with Mr. Sorkin. Mr. Johnson mentioned that he used to wear mismatched socks and noted that the movie hints Lieutenant Kaffee did, too. Mr. Marcari said he noticed that Lieutenant Kaffee played softball and he did, too, when he was in the military.
What say you, writer of A Few Good Men, Aaron Sorkin?
“The character of Dan Kaffee in ‘A Few Good Men’ is entirely fictional and was not inspired by any particular individual.”
Well, this is awkward…