Thanks For The Movies
A Thankgiving rerun from a few years ago….
Just skimming through the New York Times, and I saw a review for the new movie, “La La Land.”
From the review and the trailer – I really want to see it.
Not that I see a lot of movies anymore. But, when I was a kid, and up through my twenties, I saw just EVERYTHING.
So here, for Thanksgiving, I’d like to say thank you to all my movie-going friends:
My sister Christine, who often had to take me when I was really little, and I know she didn’t want to, but always did, and showed me how to pay attention in the theater.
My sister Claudia. It was with her, when we were in our twenties,that we saw EVERYTHING. Every movie released, I think, between 1969 and 1975. She would drive anywhere to see a movie. I remember going to see “The Sting” with Claudia and my little brother Tommy, and Claudia drove all the way to Canton, and when we got there it was sold out. We were walking back to the car, all disappointed, when the theater manager called out to us and said he would set up a couple of folding chairs in the back if we were willing. We loved our special seats and the manager even gave us free popcorn to make up for the uncomfortable chairs.
My mother, who loved the movies just as much as we did. She saw all the dreamy musicals back in the 30s and 40s, and thought that all of Life should be that romantic. She scoured the sofa cushion for dimes so that we could go to the Saturday afternoon matinee.
My father too – who liked to go to the drive-in and see John Wayne movies.
My brother Tom. Not only did we sit on the folding chairs for “The Sting,” he gave me one of the best laughs I had ever had at the movies besides “And don’t call me Shirley.” He was about nine when we went to see “The Sound of Music.” Back in 1965, movies like “Sound of Music” were Events, with a capital E. You dressed up and took the whole family, and afterwards you would eat at Howard Johnson’s. So we got all gussied up and went to the “Sound of Music.” During the garden scene where the Captain and Maria realize they love each other… oh, it was so romantic… and Tommy said (not in his inside voice) “Boy, they have really big hedges!”
And one more memory with my brother Tom – Claudia and I took our young teenage brother to see his first R-rated film. My mother was hesitant at first, but decided it was okay. She jokingly told me not to let him watch the “risque” parts. So during a very steamy scene, I leaned over to Tom and said (not in my inside voice) “Mom says ‘Don’t look!”
My friend Doris. Doris and I were inseparable as kids. We would go to the movies together and often stay in the theater and watch through a second time. Then we would act out the movies in Doris’ backyard: “Tammy and The Bachelor,” “Pollyanna,” “Gidget.” And she often let me play the starring role.
My friend Barbe. Sometimes with Claudia too, we saw more movies in the 70s than probably anyone in the universe. We liked Jane Fonda especially – “Coming Home” and OMG, Donald Sutherland (swoon) and Fonda in “Klute.” And Barbe liked coffee afterwards – you can’t get much better than that.
My friend Chris. Good for foreign films and obscure weird stuff – which you always need once in a while.
My college roommate Lisa. She took a film course our senior year. And if they were going to see something really great, she would run back to the dorm and get me. This was pre-cell-phone, pre-text days… she’d literally run back and all out of breath, she’d gasp, “Come NOW! ‘Jules and Jim’!” And she’d sneak me in.
My friend Tim. He liked horror movies. I have forgiven him.
So it’s Thanksgiving, and I’m saying thanks to Hollywood and thanks to my movie-going companions. We saw a lot of good (and some awful) movies together.
And by the way, I don’t just want to see “La La Land” because of the good review, or because it looks like my mother’s beloved romantic musicals.
I want to see it because my husband has always said that’s where I live.