That is the power of a movie I watched in eighth grade. It was 1988. Winona Ryder was still incredibly cool and bad-ass. The movie was Heathers.
It's surprising how often I find myself thinking about or directly quoting this film. Whenever the color red is mentioned, I think to myself, "I'm always red," just like the uber-bitchy Heather Chandler.
I can't play croquet without dropping references to the film. This results in blank stares and raised eyebrows. Luckily, I rarely play croquet.
This film was so subversive for its time. Lines like, "Grow up, Heather. Bulima is so '87" or prayers such as, "I prayed for the death of Heather Chandler many times and I felt bad everytime I did it but I kept doing it anyway. Now I know you understood everything. Praise Jesus, Hallelujah." were so over-the-top and shocking to my eighth grade mind.
Yet, I understood the feelings. The cynicism. The feeling that adults didn't get it, and that there was so much meanness in the world. The feeling of being misunderstood, of being far cooler inside than I appeared on the outside. I got it. I licked it up, baby. Licked. It. Up.
I doubt the movie would be made today. It's a post-Columbine world, and movies involving plots to blow up high schools and the blatant murders of peers by misunderstood, unpopular peers....it just isn't done.
And while I've outgrown the teenage angst, I can still appreciate the film for being smart, wicked satire.
After all, if I am thirty-five years old and still underlining the word "Eskimo" in my copy of Moby Dick, you know that this film has staying power.
What movie has stayed with you far beyond its natural shelf life?