What makes a movie a “classic”? I did a little research on this and I could not find an exact answer. Roger Ebert said it depends on how you define the term “classic”. Are you looking at box office sales? It is a film that did something new or considered ahead of its time? Did it influence or change society? Has it endured the test of time? Technically speaking, a film needs to be at least 25 years old to be qualify for the National Film Registry. So what he’s saying is that the classic-ness of the film comes down to you.
This past summer when Rachael was home from college, we went on an 80’s movie binge. They included “Working Girl” (1988), “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), “When Harry Met Sally” (1989), “Baby Boom” (1987), and “Look Who’s Talking” (1989).
At one point, during our movie marathon, Rachael said that these “classic movies” were really good. I rebuffed, and argued that these movies were not “classics”, just older. We had a good debate about what constituted a “classic” movie. To her, a classic movie is something that happened before her time; older than her. It was a harsh reminder that these movies predated her by more than a decade! To me, a “classic” movie is something timeless. A film that that everyone must have seen, because … well, they just had to. It’s part of growing up, part of life. Aren’t we all embedded with some movie-code that makes us want to watch these movies? Some of these timeless films include “The Goonies” (1985), “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Gone with the Wind” (1939), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), and of course “Labyrinth” (1986).
Did you know that “Labyrinth” was considered a flop? It was also the last movie that Jim Henson directed before he passed away in 1990. This seems crazy to me, because this movie is something I vividly remember from childhood.
When I was a kid we had this movie recorded on a VHS tape (something we recorded from television most likely). My younger sister Katie and I had watched this movie so many times that the tape broke and we had to re-record it. My children both also had periods of watching this movie routinely and could often be heard singing along with David Bowie, “You remind me of the babe. What babe. The babe with the power. What power. The power of voodoo. Who do? You do. Do what. Remind me of the babe”
This movie a flop? What?! Didn’t everyone love this movie?
My best friend’s name is Sheri. We have been close friends for nearly twenty years and we have a lot in common. We both love musicals. We love to read and our bookshelves are filled with two decades of swapped favorites. We both enjoy wine, however she enjoys the sweeter variety and I prefer dry. We both enjoy eating out, and we never have a difficult time picking a restaurant; especially if sushi is an option. In fact, in pursuit of good food, we will drive long distances just to eat at a good restaurant. Her husband once said to her “So, you’re driving all the way to Albany just to go to Buca di Beppo for dinner?” “Yes. Why?”
In addition to having so much in common, we have children around the same age, we share many of the same ideals and we attend the same church. When we get together, we are never at a loss for things to talk about and laugh about.
Now, I must share some distressing news with you, about my bff:
We do not have the same love for movies. While we have spent countless hours at the movies together, she has a hard stop when it comes to fantasy, sci-fi and make believe. In addition, she really does not like any movie that has puppets. In fact, her daughter Molly had never even watched “Labyrinth” until she was at my house for a sleepover with Rachael, and the puppets in the movie scared her.
Not only has she not watched “Labyrinth”, but she will not watch “The Wizard of Oz’! Why? Munchkins. Unrealistic.
If you read back a few paragraphs, you will see that I consider both of these movies “classics”. Thankfully our friendship was saved because she also loves “Gone with the Wind” and yes, we have spent the 5+ hours watching this as well as the 2-hour “how it was made” special (which you can find at the end of the 50th Anniversary DVD)!
I recently began listening to a podcast called “The Office Ladies”, which is hosted by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer. They starred in the US version of “The Office” as Angela and Pam. This is a show that Sheri and I both really enjoyed and she is the one who turned me onto the podcast.
The other day I was listening to their breakdown of “Performance Review” and they started talking about sci-fi movies. Jenna made the statement that she does not like these movies; she doesn’t like make believe worlds, having to learn the rules, names of places that don’t exist, etc. She shared with Angela that she had never watched any of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, “Game of Thrones” series and during her one attempt to watch a “Star Wars” movie, she fell asleep. Angela, was so shocked that she took off her headphones and gasped in disbelief. “How have we been bff’s all this time and I did not know this about you?!” she exclaimed. It was hilarious and it immediately made me think of Sheri.
Thankfully, my husband enjoys these movies so I will be seeing the new Marvel movie with him.
I wonder if I found a sci-fi themed restaurant, with sweet wine, if I could get her to go with me?
Be well, Chenango.