Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blasts from the past...

As I lay in bed eating my favourite weekend breakfast (good cheese, crackers, and fruit) and watching reruns of cooking shows , I was suddenly reminded of a former love of mine,  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a true-crime book that takes place in Savannah, GA.  This book was insanely popular when it came out…and for good reason.  I was obessed with it and read it over and over.  I loved the colourful characters, the southern charm, and most of all, fell in love with Savannah, GA.  Five years ago, 10 years after reading the book, I finally got to visit Savannah and it was as magical as I imagined.

But MITGOGAE wasn't the only blast from the past I thought of this week.  Yesterday, one of my 13-year-old students was telling me about how her and her friends bawled their way through a movie and I was reminded of the first movie I bawled my way through when I was 13: Running on Empty. I distinctly remember sitting in the back row of the movie theatre with my best friend, Marni, watching the movie for the SECOND time, the two of us anxiously waiting for the moment when those soul-cleansing tears would start to fall. And when they did, we looked at each other and laughed like crazy.  Even then, while our womanhood was still budding, we appreciated the cathartic crying in movies that all women love.

Being reminded of two of my old favorites made me reflect back on the other books and movies I've loved, laughed, cried, obsessed over, and ultimately forgot about:

The Movies:                                                                 The Books:
Beaches                                                                       The Sweet Valley High Series
Steel Magnolias                                                           Are you there God? Its me, Margaret.
E.T.                                                                             Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself
Terms of Endearment                                                   Forever (see a trend with those three?)
Dead Poet's Society                                                       Flowers in the Attic
Flashdance                                                                  Valley of the Dolls
Heathers                                                                      Jurassic Park
Clueless (you don't know how badly I wanted to be Cher)                      Needful things (see? I'm not a complete girly girl)
Coming to America                                                    Foxfire (Joyce Carol Oats book about a 1950's girl-gang)

I thinks its timely that I'm reminded of my former besties (when you're a meek kid like I was, books and movies really are your besties) on the weekend that the movie version of  Hunger Games is released.  Yesterday, I was at Yorkdale (the busiest shopping mall in Canada that is within a 20 min. walk of my house…not that that influence our decision to move here or anything) and was overcome with the hoards of tweenage girls cruising the mall while waiting for their movie to start.  At first I was confused, but when I saw the first few Kat costumes (you HG fans know who I'm talkin' about), I figured it out.

As adults, we may think these girls are out of control; that this whole Hunger Games phenomenon is out of control.  There are news stories about the books being too violent and "innapropriate", the movie even more so. But I beg to differ.  The books we read and the themes we were exposed to (and loved) when we were their age were just as crazy.  Like the violent and sadistic murders in Heathers.  And the suicide and gay themes in Dead Poets' Society.  Or the acceptable, and dare I say enviable, bullying (who didn't love Jessica Wakefield) in Sweet Valley High. Or the graphic sex scenes in Forever (which I read in grade 2…I was an avid reader and had read Judy Blume's other books and thought this one would be along the same lines as Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing).   And then there's Flowers in the Attic…can you imagine the backlash from the media if THAT was made into a movie?

Oh wait…it was. And it sucked.

The above list is just a sampling of what my 38-year-old brain can remember.  I am sure there are tons of others books and movie I lost myself in between the ages of 10 and 25 (1985-2000) that I forgot about.  

Care to remind me of a few more?

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