Hey, Hey, Hey … It Gets Me Every Time
July 16, 2008
I call it the 3-headed monster: diced onions, a crashing stock market and the waning minutes of the movie “Rudy” ” the only things scientifically proven to reduce grown men to tears. In this regard, I fit the bill: typical guy, not leaving much of a carbon footprint when it comes to Kleenex consumption. But I have my own “outer-body experiences” ” when what others call “tear-jerkers” give me pause.
Case in point: A Monday morning exchange between two mothers, back when Granby still had a movie theater.
“Best movie I’ve seen in a long time,” one said.
“Me too! I bawled my eyes out at the end,” said the other.
“I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD.”
I tried to ignore them, but could no longer. There’s nothing worse than throwing away good money on a soap opera. I had been victimized before ” tricked into thinking I was going to the box office for action, drama or humor. I can’t even enjoy my popcorn when the “Aha” moment strikes ” the second I realize that my movie is a chick flick in disguise. Discovering the name of the film was suddenly paramount ” my ounce of prevention. I recklessly barged in on the conversation.
“What movie?” I demanded.
Nothing could have prepared me for the answer.
“Fat Albert,” they replied in unison.
“Fat Albert? Are you insane? There’s no crying over Fat Albert?”
Caught off-guard, both women tried unsuccessfully to mount a defense. The only thing that I could surmise is that somewhere along the way, Fat Albert hit rock bottom.
“But my husband liked it,” one said, avoiding eye contact.
“My son did too,” the other added.
Looking for answers, I conducted a survey of local men. Though none had been burned by “Fat Albert,” they identified six of the most offensive chick flicks (and the reasons why):
Titanic: The tale of the Titanic (the actual boat) was a lesson from God. The arrogance of the ‘unsinkable’ tag proved to be its downfall – that’s the story. But instead, Hollywood converted history’s primer into a sappy romance … unforgivable.
The added torture of canonizing the movie with a Celine Dion rendition ” she falls in love within the first five seconds of every song ” is nauseating. Furthermore, weak-stomached survey respondents warned against the dangers of watching Leonardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp films.
Lost in Translation: Although close, this title isn’t perfect. They should have named it “Hollywood Burned You Again, Sucker.” Best picture nominee? How can the climax of any film involve whispering?
Steel Magnolias: No explanation needed.
The Notebook: Survey respondents were most offended by what happened off-screen ” when the girlfriend or wife asked why guys aren’t more like the Romeo in this ridiculous fairy tale.
Under the Tuscan Sun: Apparently some wives milked this film into a European vacation, threatening their husbands with, ‘Either take me to Italy or you have to watch this film with me.’ The husbands’ advice: Take the European vacation.
The Bridges of Madison County: The most egregious film of all. Survey respondents were led like sheep to slaughter, sold on Clint Eastwood’s reputation (Dirty Harry, Josey Wales, etc.). Thirteen years after the near-death experience, survivors are still trying to purge themselves of the horrific image of the softer side of Clint. If John Wayne were alive today, he would blacklist Clint from making any more westerns.
Despite my chick flick beef, Monday morning office chatter continues ” including occasional movie reviews, though less frequently than before since Granby lost its movie theater.
Although $4 a gallon gas always weighs heavily on my decision to go or not to go, I don’t mind making the commuting to Winter Park’s Silver Screen Cinema for the latest movie. Great theater, quaint, cozy, tucked underground like most buried treasures worth finding. The first time I stepped foot in the place, I almost cried.
Almost. Fat Albert would have fared no better: The concession stand pricing is gut-wrenching. So affordable. Such a bargain. Cheap popcorn gets me every time … sniff, sniff.
” Everyone has a story. What’s yours? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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