As the final new Deb to post this week, I feel a little like the last kid in gym class to be tested on the rope climb. Everyone else is relaxing below, watching, while I pray I don’t fall and give myself a rope burn in a sensitive area. Oh well…on with the show!
Movies make me nostalgic.
The first movie I ever saw in a theater was Pete’s Dragon. My single mother took me when I was three. Is there anything better than a friendly invisible dragon when you’re three? Other than reaching the developmental milestones of “Bends over easily without falling” and “Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet?”
I can remember the first movies I saw at a drive-in theater: Young Frankenstein and The Rose. My Mom and new Dad took me to see the double feature at the Fond du Lac Drive-In, which is now a strip mall anchored by a Pick ‘N Save grocery store. I think my parents made out a little after they thought I fell asleep in the backseat. Or maybe I really was asleep, and just had a nightmare that they made out.
After my mother had my baby brother, Dad took me to see E.T. and on another occasion, Tootsie. I’d been feeling miffed at the loss of my position at the center of attention for seven years, and Dad must have known that a film about a cross-dressing soap star would really cheer me up. I managed to crack a smile a few times during the film, but what really put the jaunty hop back in my step was the mellow soundtrack featuring Stephen Bishop.
When movies first came to VHS, my family frequently rented a portable VCR, which came packed in gray foam in a plastic suitcase the size of a dinette set. We rented a VCR and two movies, Supergirl and Sixteen Candles, for a slumber party I hosted when I was ten. My friends and I went to church that same night, because I’m all about showing my guests a good time. Halfway through the service I looked over at my pal Jenny and saw dried ice cream in her eyebrows, the result of licking her bowl clean before we left.
The first movie I saw on an “official date” was Pretty Woman. I made out with my boyfriend during most of the film. In a crowded theater. On a double date. Before the lights were even turned down. While a kid was kicking the back of my seat.
Only some of that is true.
Movies I saw in the theater twice: Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, and Titanic. This was back when I was really trying to fit in yet still wrote dark, rambling poems about individuality.
(Okay, I need to pause to catch my breath. Did I really just admit that? Okay, I did. Whoa. Deep breath. Okay. I’m fine, really. Lots of people probably saw those movies twice. Really, they did! In the theater, even! I’m sure of it. It’s fine. Deep breaths. Moving on.)
The first movie I saw with my husband was Gladiator, which had it all: heartbreak, vengeance, murder, betrayal, the specter of incest, realistic gore including decapitations and several delimbings: that magical combination of elements that can only lead to years of marital bliss.
I don’t remember the first DVD I ever watched, but I do know the first one I purchased: George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead. Everyone should make room in their collection for such lighthearted romps, no? (I think that whenever I talk about zombie movies I’m going to append all statements with: no?)
Movies I watched as a kid that I sometimes re-watch as an adult, just for grins: the Star Wars trilogy, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Muppet Movie, The Black Stallion, Annie, Time Bandits, Big, Charlotte’s Web.
I always cry at the end of Charlotte’s Web.
I host a horror movie fest with the girls every Halloween. Movies with sequels are not invited.
Every December I watch It’s a Wonderful Life and the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol featuring the alternately dour and giddy (but always entertaining) Alastair Sim.
I always cry at the end of A Christmas Carol.
Nearly every Tuesday is movie night at our house, because the week’s new releases are available on DVD and it’s early enough in the week that our attention spans are still able to pass basic cognitive tests. Last week we watched 300, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Romance! It was in the air.
So there you have it, my little chickadees. My life condensed into a series of films.
Next Friday’s entry will feature the lovely Eileen, writing about the beautiful thing that brings us all together: books! (Yay, books!)