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Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Our love is God, let's go get a Slushie."

This morning, as Owen was screwing around instead of hopping in his car seat, I found myself saying, "Hurry up, Owen. We've got to motor if we're gonna make that funeral."

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?


21 comments:

LB said...

I don't remember much, but I do know every word to every song in "Grease."

I liked "Heathers," too. I'm glad there are no remakes planned in the near future, though. Our high school students are scary enough...

Tracie said...

I loved Heathers back in the day but I can't quote it like you can. I still like all John Hughes films, the John Travolta trilogy - Grease, Urban Cowboy, and Saturday Night Fever. (We won't talk about Stayin' Alive. *shudders*) Another one that I watch every time I stumble upon it is Coal Miner's Daughter. Weird. I know.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Loved Heathers.

Dirty Dancing was a formative movie for me and still pops in with regular reference.

Breakfast Club would be another that I can quote pretty randomly.

Cheeseboy said...

The Heathers? I don't believe I have ever seen it, but if it is about youthful angst and cynicism, I might have to put it on my must see list.

Cheeseboy said...

Oh, and the movie that has stayed with me is American History X. So powerful.

clearness said...

Clerks........

Erin said...

for me, it's Breakfast Club. I think I still know most of the words.

adrienzgirl said...

See this is right up my ally. But there are too many to count. I would totally get all your obscure references and we would bond. Even more! :D

I think the one that sticks with me most, that is WAY past it's time is The Goonies. I swear, I know all the words even today.

Marla said...

Great post, Nancy! For me it was definately The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. An old black and white that I first saw as a little kid. I fell in love with sailors and old houses because of that movie. That sounds bad! LOL

Oh and that line:
"of being far cooler inside than I appeared on the outside."

I tell my kids that all the time. What they see is not who I am inside. I'm actually totally bitchin on the inside!

Coby said...

I never actually saw Heathers, but I have a friend who was an extra in it.

Not sure which movie has really stayed with me. My parents let me see Poltergeist when I was six. Uhm, HELLO?! I was terrified of my walk-in closet for years after, and I still hate clowns. Yeah, that movie scarred me.

dek said...

I just read a synopsis of Heathers...that was dark in a serious way.

I'm not the biggest John Hughes fan, but enjoy his films, and I'm proud to be an alumnus of the same high school as he. Prior to incorporation as a village, Northbrook, Illinois, was known as "Shermerville." Hence, all the references to the Shermer, Illinois, in John Hughes movies are thinly veiled references to Northbrook, where I grew up.

My timeless quotable film is Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (alternate title: You Know, The One With Whales). My dad got a VHS copy on the film as a promotional gift from a business associate. My friends and I watched it so many times that the tape started to wear out. Fortunately, one of those friends gave me a DVD copy a few years ago. Cue the "colorful metaphors!"

Unknown Mami said...

I love that movie! It was so perfect at that moment in time.

The Blue Zoo said...

Oh I LOVED that movie. Heathers. Havent thought about it in forever.

The movie that I memorized was Dirty Dancing. I STILL know all the words!

Frau said...

omg you are giving me 80's flash backs. I don't have as good of recall as you but movies back in the 80-90's seem to have been the best. Happy Mother's Day weekend.

SPEAKING FROM THE PEW said...

for me it is THE BURBS but i also love HEATHERS. i've only seen it a few times and a LONG time ago, but it was a great one.

Mama Zen said...

Risky Business!

Mrs4444 said...

I enjoyed this post; it speaks to something I've been thinking about lately--how impressionable my students are. Kendall, too, is very impressionable. We only just started letting her watch Desperate Housewives this year, because of that, haha.

There is a tiny piece of an after school special that has stayed with me all these years. Unfortunately, it is only three words, and one of them I can't spell, so I doubt I will ever figure out how to find it!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I didn't see Heathers (I'm way older than you) but I do know just abut every word to "Top Gun".... how embarrassing is that ;-)

Happy Mother's Day!
jj

smArtee said...

Happy Mothers Day to you...!!..you're a Beautiful Lady....EnJoY Your DaY...!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Smoke Signals is my favorite. It is pretty old, but amazing. You should check it out sometime if you haven't already seen it. I think you would probably love it. And yes. Heathers is da bomb! XOXOX

Happy Mother's Day, Nancy. You know I adore you. Your kids are very lucky. Very very lucky.

Cat said...

Labyrinth. No explanation.