On September 17, 2002 by Eden M. Kennedy

Speaking of movies that I once hated but now really like because Jack made me watch them over and over again . . .

I don’t know if it’s one of those codependent relationship things where my tastes and beliefs are slowly being replaced by my partner’s, or if it’s healthy and normal and shows my flexibility and openmindedness, but there are quite a few movies that I used to think sucked but now I like them a lot because my bossy husband buys them and plays them whether I want him to or not. So I thought this might bear further examination in a public forum, where strangers can judge my inability to form a coherent, stable personality and/or world view.

So here we go!

Lawrence of Arabia
Used to hate it because: Dated style of filmmaking; too much scenery chewing; Anthony Quinn’s prosthetic nose
Now love it because: David Lean’s genius never goes out of style; overacting can be embraced for its campy hypermasculinity; Anthony Quinn flourishing his robes and shouting “I have nothing! Why? Because I am a river to my people!”

Blazing Saddles
Used to hate it because: It was stupid
Now love it because: Richard Pryor co-wrote the script with Mel Brooks; Madeleine Kahn doing Marlene Dietrich in a garter belt, stockings, and a feather boa, singing “I’m Tired” (“I’ve been with thousands of men / again and again / they promise the moon . . . / They’re always coming and going / and going and coming / and always too soon”) in front of a male chorus dressed as World War I German infantrymen; Cleavon Little dressed in a Klan robe saying, “Where the white women at?”

Out of Africa
Used to hate it because: Robert Redford can’t act his way out of a paper bag; Klaus Maria Brandauer plays twins
Now love it because: The story is magic; Meryl Streep is a brilliant bitch; Klaus Maria Brandauer is a sexy rogue times two; Jack and I both cry when the lions lie down on the hill at the end, every time

The Last Waltz
Used to hate it because: Who gives a shit about these hippies? Fell asleep in the theater when it came out
Now love it because: Robbie Robertson is a total babe; I’m now older than everyone in the film, so I can be amazed at the beauty of their talent and sacrifices and the drug habits that most of them overcame; The Band fucking invented that country rock thing; oh yeah, Martin Scorsese directed

Anything with Paul Newman or Steve McQueen
Used to hate them because: Newman = boring; McQueen = married Ali McGraw, then had her serve him and his girlfriend breakfast in bed
Now love them because: Newman = The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, The Sting, Slap Shot, The Verdict; Steve McQueen = she didn’t have to do it, did she? Plus: The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, Le Mans, Papillon

Still on the fence about: Burt Lancaster = Creepy genius, or big fat closeted fake? You make the call.

Movies I will never love, despite my husband’s clever brainwashing tactics:

1. The Unforgiven (despite Richard Harris’s clever turn as the Duck of Death, and my eternal love for Gene Hackman)
2. Bird (Charlie Parker played sax without moving anything but his fingers and his eyes; Forrest Whitaker plays Charlie Parker playing sax like a man with spiders in his hair)
3. The Professionals (yeah, yeah, cowboys having shootouts in echo-y canyons — what else is new)
4. There are more but I don’t have time to go digging through the tapes right now

Conclusion: Are you still reading? Guess what? There is no conclusion, I could go on all night about this, but if I don’t want to see my site stats plummet to one visitor per week I need to exercise a little restraint. You’re welcome.

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