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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Movies that Made Me

I’m not sure if it was just the easy way out or a stroke of parental genius on my mom’s part, but either way, movies occupied a lot of my time when I was little. Certain ones can still evoke a shriek of joy and cause me to delve into a million stories about what important life lessons so-and-so movie taught me; how I would reenact certain scenes in my living room; how I didn’t understand that the people weren’t actually living inside the TV; and how I was positive that every time I watched it, the story would somehow turn out differently (why didn’t Dorothy ever follow the red brick road? Where did it lead? This still perplexes me). While some movies were blips on the radar, there were five that I worshipped like a cinematic Buddha. Let us all thank them for turning me into the woman I am today. My quirks are about to make a lot more sense.

Beauty and the Beast: I watched this literally every day between the ages three and four. I can openly admit that at first I was just taken with the fact that Belle and I shared the same hair color, but I soon realized that this movie had a lot of advice to offer my impressionable self. Belle demonstrated how attractive girls can still be perceived as freaks of nature, therefore finding companionship in inanimate objects – a lesson in humility. The way she handled Gaston and all of his arrogance still serves me to this day, such as when 35-year-old Puerto Ricans come up to me at the bar and start violently grinding on me without an invitation, saying, “I want you! ¡Esta noche eres mío! Oh yesss…” Oh nooo, motherfucker, take your two-sizes-too-small t-shirt and questionable body odor and get away from me. At the very least, this movie conveyed the whole “Never judge a book by its cover” idea, which has taught me that I’m very judgmental and that certain life lessons should be taken with a grain of salt.  

Return of Jafar: In many ways, I am a boy. Anatomically, everything’s in its place, but there are certain aspects of my personality which are straight dude, and try as I might to remedy this situation sometime’s it’s best just not to fight the inevitable. One of my more bro-like habits is quoting movies. I’ve witnessed groups of guys have conversations almost entirely in Step Brothers quotes, and I’d be lying if I claimed not to contribute a quip or two of my own. This movie started all that for me. When my brother started to yell at me for not cleaning out the dishwasher even though it was my turn, I responded with a “This with this bird, huh?” If I was at soccer practice and the strange girl that played goalie was taking forever to run two laps, I’d say, “Giddy-up, slowpoke, what’s keepin’ ya?” When I was building sand castles at the beach, I really enjoyed letting everyone know that “I’ve got sand in places I didn’t even know I had!” (which, looking back on it, was a really awkward thing for a 4-year-old to say…) Why I favored this movie over the original Aladdin is beyond me, but every summer I’m guaranteed to remind someone to “OOOH AHHH WATCH THE SUNBURRRRN!” so at least it’s doing something for my social life.

Dunston Checks In – Technically, I should not like this movie. It’s got everything I can’t stand: Jason Alexander as anything but George Costanza, light-wash 90’s jeans, and the incredibly obnoxious kid from The Santa Clause. Despite these obvious road blocks, I couldn’t get enough of the little monkey and how much fun it was to say “Lohhhd Rutledge” in my tiny little 5-year-old British accent. To be perfectly honest, off the top of my head I can’t recall the exact plot line of this movie, but I have vivid images of Pee-Wee Herman thrashing through a greenhouse with a rifle and the monkey being kept in a trunk so I’m sure everything pieced together in one way or another. Most importantly, I know that this led to a belief that all animals wanted to be my friend and could understand me – a conviction that was later solidified by Dr. Dolittle.

Casper – I am every psychic’s dream when it comes to gullibility and a willing suspension of disbelief. If there are weird occurrences afoot and the blame comes down to a supernatural force or a random coincidence, I’ll pick ghosts every time. Pair that with the fact that I just thought Christina Ricci was the coolest girl in the entire world (huge grunge sweaters and angsty long hair and scrunchies?? I wanted her as a big sister) and this movie offered countless hours of entertainment. I am the least biggest fan of scary movies out of anyone I know, and this was my first foray into anything even remotely close to a “ghost story.” Yes, thank you, I’m aware that technically it’s not scary at all, but it has its moments for sure. When the priest comes out with his head on backwards and puke down the front of his shirt? When Carrigan turns into a ghost and is flying around with her witch cackle? When Bill Pullman tries to be an actor? FUCKING TERRIFYING. It should also be noted that this was the first time I noticed how super attractive a young male actor was. I was five when it came out. Hellooooo early bloomer. 

1 comment:

  1. I read that last sentence as Helllloooo early boner the first time. Hahaha -S


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