You know how sometimes you’ll be drifting off to sleep and a thought will just pop into your head, make itself comfortable, and refuse to leave? Like you’ll be nodding off slowly and peacefully when all of a sudden your brain springs into action and shouts “Why is the saying ‘People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’ instead of ‘Just don’t throw stones at all’?” and then you’re up for another hour thinking about kids winging rocks around in their brick house and their mom being all “This is fine.” Well, it happens to me. A lot. And it happened again recently, this time possibly as a result of my social media feeds filling up with posts about Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement. But here I am hours later and I’m still thinking about it, so I’m going to share it with you.
Do you think Beyoncé has seen The Fugitive?
It’s a fair question. Do you think Beyoncé Knowles, pop music megastar and former member of Destiny’s Child, has seen The Fugitive, the 1993 action thriller starring Harrison Ford as a doctor who was falsely accused of murder and Tommy Lee Jones as the U.S. Marshal tasked with hunting him down after he goes on the run to prove his innocence? Really take a few minutes to wrap your head around it. God knows I have, for some reason. I’ve been going back and forth on it all day, weighing the possibilities. Below, I’ve laid out the cases for and against, as well as my tentative verdict, but if you have something to add (or if you know Beyoncé personally and can just ask her), please feel free. I need to move on with my life. I’ll take all the help I can get.
Okay, here we go.
Beyoncé is a busy lady, man. And she has been for quite some time. Based on my extensive research (quick scan of her Wikipedia page), she’s been performing since she was a small child, first at talent shows in the Houston area, then on Star Search as a teenager, then with Destiny’s Child. You wanna know how you go from small Texas talent shows to the Super Bowl halftime show? Practice. Practice, practice, practice, until everything is perfect, until performing on a stage in front of an audience becomes second nature to you. You wanna know how else you do it? Not sitting around in your sweatpants watching 130-minute movies about a murderous pharmaceutical conspiracy that involves a one-armed hitman. That’s fine for schlubs like you and me, but Beyoncé had a mission. Still does. There’s no time for distractions.
Now, I hear you. You’re saying, “But what if her father and former manager took the group out to see a movie some Saturday, possibly on a break or as part of a celebration for winning a talent show?” Not an unreasonable question. I’m not saying I don’t think Beyoncé has ever seen a movie, like at all, ever. Of course she has. A quick Google search reveals that her favorite movie is A Star Is Born, which is a little on the nose and possibly a fake answer that a team of publicists created because A Star Is Born feels like a movie that would be Beyoncé’s favorite movie. (I choose to believe her favorite movie is Jurassic Park.) I’m just saying she might not have seen The Fugitive, specifically, because of the stuff about her being busy and also because she was 12 when it came out and I do not imagine many performing-obsessed pre-teen girls were clamoring to see two cranky old men chase each other around Chicago in 1993. It’s a strange movie to picture her watching, right?
Of course Beyoncé has seen The Fugitive. At least parts of it. It’s almost impossible to have been born in the early 1980s and not stumble across it on basic cable at least once. Hell, I’ve watched it two or three times by accident, where I’ll have something else on and look away for a few minutes and somehow The Fugitive is on TV now and whoooops next thing I know Harrison Ford charging into a ballroom and screaming about who may or may not have switched the samples. You know there was some Saturday afternoon where she was sick or resting — possibly in the weeks just before or after the birth of her first child — and glued to a very luxurious couch and she stumbled across it on AMC or TNT. Given how often The Fugitive runs on cable, it’s almost statistically impossible for that not to be the case. What if she did that once and loves it now? How strange would that be? What if some magazine interviews her and the reporter says “So I know your favorite movie is A Star Is Born…” and Beyoncé interrupts to say “Actually, it’s The Fugitive.” Think about what your reaction to that would be. It would make me so happy.
And even if she’s somehow avoided a “sick on the couch on a Saturday” viewing, there’s another factor at play here: She’s married to a 47-year-old man. Yes, Jay Z is very cool and important and busy, but he is, in the quiet moments at home when the baby is sleeping and the two of them are sitting around and flipping through the channels on their very large television, still a 47-year-old man, and if there’s one thing I know about 47-year-old men, it’s that they love The Fugitive. All of them, across the board. Jay Z has 100 percent seen The Fugitive. Multiple times. I would bet the entire balance of my savings account on it. I would bet the entire balance of Jay Z’s savings account on it. He’s probably watching it right now.
So even if Beyoncé has not seen The Fugitive by choice, she has almost definitely seen it passively, possibly while she is sitting up in bed doing a crossword puzzle and Jay Z is sprawled perpendicular across the foot of the bed in boxers and an old t-shirt, because it is really quite fun to picture them as that sort of older married couple. Like the kind of thing where she hears the gunshots when Harrison Ford is getting chased and asks “What are you watching?” without looking up from her puzzle and then replies “Again?” when Jay Z tells her he’s watching The Fugitive. (“Yes, Beyoncé. Again.”) I bet she hates it. Part of me hopes this is the subject of a savage track on her next album and she makes Jay Z appear in the video as himself, looking like a doof while watching Harrison Ford try to explain to Julianne Moore how a simple janitor could have the medical knowledge to save a boy’s life in an emergency room. A bigger part of me hopes the title of this track is “Switched the Samples.”
Beyoncé has probably seen parts of The Fugitive.