Super bowl Sunday–who really cares anyway? We all know it’s just about the food. For me, it’s about Lifetime Television for Women. I’ll tivo the bowl and fast forward to the commercials. Pass the artichoke dip and tissues. Super bowl Sunday is about the good channels who air the chick movies for all the football widows. Now before I even go there, and believe me, I’ll go there, baby, I’d like to address book nerds.
I once heard that books to some people become their home. The typed letters, stanzas, and paragraphs don’t evaporate off the page and get heavier somehow, like bricks or stones, but suddenly an unreturned favorite lent out book becomes a loss. Not a lost sock or the keys you can’t find, but almost something to mourn. Like a child who cries at his first haircut, the books become an instrumental part of the person’s identity. You are what you read. I am not one of these people.
I know people who pack up their favorite books with them as they travel. Unpacked, after slipping underwear into new drawers, the books are revealed and placed on the hotel bedside table. Comfort. I travel with paperbacks, but they’re always new—and if I finish it on the plane, I offer it to the passenger beside me—or I’ll leave it in the netted bag with the barf bag and stoic crash instructions.
I do understand that feeling of home, but it’s intangible. What makes “home” yours? Is it the smell, the people, your bed, your dog, the rent check you pay? Like the book junkies, I hold onto that sense of comfort and shelter through movies. Maybe it’s the familiar comfort of a bedtime story that allows my nerves to unfold. Certain movies enable me to feel at home no matter where I am. The movies are ones I’ve seen so many times, that with my eyes closed I know the gesture, the facial expression, the changes of scene that are happening. The voices and stories come to life, and the characters become as dear to me as the people in my life. I can finally stop thinking and rest peacefully.
When traveling, I pack the paperback, but I always leave room for a few sleeves of DVD favorites. Okay, relax; I’m getting to that. Before I reveal my list of favorite bedtime story movies (which any guy who ever wants to date me must be able to stomach), I will start with the more palatable films to the masses. You need to trust me with your time and Blockbuster late fees. I’ll earn it.
I don’t know what’s up with the male obsession with The Godfather, Star Wars, and Lord of The Rings series. Yawn. I’ve seen them all, and of these, I’d stick with the Lord of The Rings. Then there’s Red Dawn, Breaking Away, Fight Club, and (oh dear lord) Clint Eastwood. Obviously, I’m a chick. Then we reach the area where men and women usually agree… the Shawshank, American Beauty, Rain Man, Good Will Hunting, It’s a Wonderful Life arena. Those are just basics. Scoop of vanilla, scoop of chocolate, don’t waste my time. Obvious. If you’re a little artsy, add a Neil Simon to the list—Brighton Beach Memoirs or Lost in Yonkers… Yes and yes.
Something about Mary, Groundhog Day, Trading Places, Meet the Parents, Coming to America, Defending your Life (anything actually with Albert Brookes is hysterical), Big, A Night at the Roxbury, Funny Farm, and Nine Months ring as favorite comedies for many.
Okay, I’m diving in now, my sleeves have been pushed up. Bedtime movies masquerading as chick flicks to follow:
1. “Love in the Afternoon” because older men are seexy as hell.
2. “Philadelphia Story” with Katherine Hepburn because women like endearing nicknames like Red, ahem. And because women want a real man, who is whole, and who knows how to be a man.
3. “Sense & Sensibility” men just don’t get this movie, and every woman I know who has seen this film is suddenly sobbing and hoping for a better life.
4. “When Harry Met Sally” because I’m going to be forty, too… someday.
5. “French Kiss” because I want to plant some seeds and watch them grow. (Any green thumb thoughts should be extinguished.) I can quote this movie all day. And the soundtrack is like a rainy day with cashmere socks.
6. “Beautiful Girls” for lines like, “You’ve been eatin’ retard sandwiches again.”
7. “Meet Joe Black” because I believe that lightening can strike more than a woman walking her dog.
8. “Sabrina” because I named my dog after Linus Larabee.
9. “Little Women” because I am Josephine March. And because it teaches women to value themselves beyond how they look. This movie should charge you for years of therapy.
10. “If Lucy Fell” cause you can never discount that friend of yours.. the boy or girl next door who has seen you through it all.
11. “Love Affair” the one with Warren and Annette—because sometimes time apart is part of working it out. And he answers that question right… you know the one. The absurd questions we ask our partner… “Would you still love me if I lost my arm? What if I had to pump my penis for it to work?”
12. “The Mirror Has 2 Faces” because I might as well be forty cause I love Babs. A reminder movie telling us not to settle.
13. “Under the Tuscan Sun” because Diane Lane is hot. Um, and because life goes on.
14. “Thomas Crowne Affair” because Rene Russo is hot.
15. “Playing by Heart” for its duologue:
Dude at bar: Some girls like men to say things like that to them.
Joan: Some girls like men to take a dump on them. I’m not one of them.
16. “Baby Boom” Because I am also Diane Keaton.
17. “Hope Floats” because life goes on and when we give it a chance, hope really does float up.
18. “The Parent Trap” for that catchy song ‘Let’s get together’
19. "The Anne of Green Gables" Series. Cause redheads have feelings, too. And we’re all looking for bosom buddies and kindred spirits.
20. “Sliding Doors,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “Notting Hill,” “About a Boy,” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” because British accents are delicious.