Tuesday, December 08, 2009

They’re Like Potato Chips

In case you hadn’t noticed, my family has a slight obsession with movies. If you define slight obsession as carrying on entire conversations using lines from different movies and even giving each other gifts that were given in movies. And movies as gifts. On Christmas, it’s like Blockbuster threw up in the living room.

Yep. We’re weird like that. But we own it.

It all started when my siblings were younger, and inevitably, someone would have their favorite video that would get watched over and over. And over and over. Yeah, we watched VHS tapes back then – and even had to rewind them when we were done. Oh, the humanity!

(We eventually bought a rewinder. I thought that was one of the best inventions ever. No more taking up valuable VCR time rewinding a video. Thankfully, it wasn’t the best invention ever, and someone went ahead and came up with DVDs. My child’s generation will be all, “You mean you had tapes? That you had to rewind? What’s rewind?”)

You know you’ve watched a VHS tape too much when it’s literally worn out. That happened to a few along the way.

Some of the videos we watched a zillion times? The Brave Little Toaster. (Probably the most annoying movie ever made.) The Rescuers Down Under. (Coolest opening scene of a cartoon, ever.) Fantasia (I know. Strangely enough, this was one of HLB’s favorites.) The Little Mermaid. (Sing it with me, “Ah-ah-ah!”) And too many others to list.

My family members seem to have something like a photographic memory, but for movie quotes. It only takes seeing a movie once for its quotes to be added to the vocabulary. It’s like a constant quiz bowl, trying to identify the movie your conversation stemmed from.

Sometimes it gets to be a little bit much, I admit. But it’s part of our family culture.

So it was no surprise to me, when last Sunday as we sat at Mom & Dad’s playing cards after our belated Thanksgiving lunch, more than one of my siblings quoted lines along with Toy Story while Caedmon watched. Actually, I think we watched more of it than he did.

We sat around the table,fussing at each other over who had what card, all periodically twisting and contorting ourselves to see the television screen and laugh at not only what was going on during the movie, but the memories of watching it together as kids.

And it brought back a flood of memories. Memories of NLB watching Toy Story over and over, quoting Buzz Lightyear and having imaginary battles with Syd Phillips. Memories of the time Husband came over to my house and we watched our first movie together – Toy Story. And memories we created just a few weeks ago, as Caedmon watched Toy Story for the first time on mine and Husband’s 11th wedding anniversary. That’s definitely one move that has stood the test of time.

So I guess it’s not just the movies, it’s the memories that surround them that make them special to our family. And sometimes it’s because they are just an outward expression of what we’re all thinking. Because we all know we have a Cousin Eddie, we just don’t want to say out loud who it is.

So when I’m asked what my favorite movie is (like I get asked that all the time or something), I have a really hard time deciding my all-time favorite. I have so many different favorites, and I don’t think a girl (or a boy) should be required to choose just one.

Now that I’ve admitted I can’t choose a favorite and just given you an excuse not to, I’d love to hear some of your favorite movies, and why. Come on! Let’s hear them!

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  1. I know that sociologists say movie time is not "quality" time spent together - but that just hasn't proven to be the case at our house. I love it when every seat is full - packed house, if you will - and I have to drag out the folding chair to get a seat. The more familiar the movie - the more commentary and side conversations you'll hear. Thinking through the list of movies we've watched - doesn't invoke favorite movie titles...it invokes the "feelings" I have from having watched them with my kids and then how I am ALWAYS defeated at the movie line quote game.

  2. hmmm, favorite movies, not sure about that one. However, I can list a few that are meaningful.
    Patch Adams - the movie we saw on our first date.
    Star Wars 1-3 - Aaron and I stood in lines to see those movies together (I was a great girl friend) and at midnight too.
    Sleepless in Seattle - first 'adult' movie I saw in the theaters.
    Pretty Woman and Aliens - I had to stay home and watch Aliens with the guys while my Mom and sister saw Pretty Woman with the girls. I was too young to see Pretty Woman.
    Toy Story - Charles watched this a lot last year and has ruined my DVD. Now he is on to wearing out Toy Story 2.
    A Christmas Story - I hated this movie because my sister made me watch it with her every year.
    Tremors - yeah my sister and Dad watch this anytime it's on TV.

    I'll stop here, I could write my own post about this topic.

  3. Angela! How could you not like A Christmas Story?! That's one of my favorites, and yet another one we quote all year long.

    But I'm glad we're not the only family who has a weird love of movies.

  4. Sorry I do like the movie now, but I didn't when I was younger.

  5. Well... we all know I am obsessed with movies. :O)
    My all-time quotable favorite is definitely Princess Bride because my brother and I literally memorized it when it came out. We would actually "do" the whole movie for people (fight scenes and all).

    I also have too many cartoons for someone who has no children!

    My recent obsessions are TV related (Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis).