MORALE WAS LOW AT WORK, so I wanted to do something fun. The company encouraged us to be creative, which really meant cheap. I cleared my idea with HR. Our “interactive inning because this place is too cheap for an outing” was on. I booked the conference room and made an announcement.
“Everyone gets five minutes only, but what you do with your five minutes is entirely up to you. So you can bring in five minutes of your favorite movie scene, or you can use the studio and create a five minute short, clipping together your favorite movies based on a theme.”
“Awesome, so I can do a tribute to Ron Jeremy then?” Of course Chris had to go there.
“But don’t tell anyone what you’re doing because part of the activity is guessing whose movie clip goes with whom.”
Two weeks later, I’d gone to Price Club and loaded up on movie candy, popcorn, and hotdogs. The conference room was set up like a theatre. A guy in the studio assembled a dvd with everyone’s clips. I handed out ballots.
One of the most conservative women of the group, an oversized woman who has been described as a large fraggle with nine hairs sprouting from the top of her head, who regularly trashed her gravy-soaked chicken in the clearly-labeled recycling bin, brought in a sexual scene from the musical Pippin. The room became quiet. Eyes darted, looking for similar reactions. We began to fidget, as if we were forced to watch a love scene with our parents in the room. Men in tights thrust calves between legs, pointing feet, erect. There might have been a horse. In one even beat, the room flooded with laughter. Fraggle Lady laughed along with us thinking she’d hit it big, a real crowd pleaser. We weren’t laughing near her; we were laughing at her. She was a humorless woman and saw her selection as entertaining art instead of a really twisted choice. “What in the hell was that?” could be heard in cubicles in weeks to follow. “I guess that’s why there are 31 flavors.”
Gary did a montage of gore. Massacre scenes. Machine gun slaughters. Westerns. Dirty Harry.
David stripped sound from his selections and piped in his own background music to his travel and chase scenes. North by Northwest. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It was seamless and inspired.
Phil clipped together bathroom humor scenes. “Whew! You don’t want to go in there.” “Charlie, light a match!”
Among some of the other choices: Run Lola Run, Office Space, and Claymation.
Then it was my turn… The lamb fries scene with Chevy Chase in Funny Farm. He spits the testicle out. It lands in a bowl of spaghetti, prepared for Elizabeth by Diane Keaton (who sprays Fantastik on the baby) in Baby Boom. Then more spaghetti in Defending Your Life, with one of my favorite comedians, Albert Brooks. The scene turns sober when Sarah Jessica Parker answers Eric Schaffer’s probing questions about last night’s date in If Lucy Fell. “You mean to tell me that guy took you out for all that cappuccino, was a perfect gentleman, walks you home, then takes some stanky shit in our bathroom?” Before SJP has a chance to answer, Meg Ryan enters the scene, complaining of her lactose intolerance with, “I just ate that cow,” to one obnoxious yet delicious Kevin Kline in French Kiss. “Stop the rocking!” Her finicky nature is underscored with the When Harry Met Sally (no not the orgasm scene), “I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it. If not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream, but only if it’s real. If it’s out of the can, then nothing.” Not even the pie? “No, just the pie, but then not heated.” I told you; I know all the words. While I was then tempted to do the Caddyshack Baby Ruth pool scene, instead, I used The Goonies Baby Ruth scene coupled with Chunk’s truffle shuffle and freezer full of ice cream scene. It flowed better from the ice cream a la mode bit. Then I finished things off with two more Albert Brooks tributes. In The Muse, Andy McDownsyndrome is following her dream of being a baker. She has smears of dough on her face, flour on her collarbones; she just got to second base with Famous Amos. Her husband, Brooks, walks in and asks what’s for dinner. “Have a cookie,” she urges.
“I’m not three. I’d like a meal.” This leads me to the finale of my five-minute food tribute: Albert Brooks at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant in celebration of his wife’s success. It takes too long to explain. You need to rent this movie, The Muse. It’s damn funny.
Perhaps my choice in movies says as much about me as my life’s soundtrack, or bedside table. I’m going to throw another make your own movie night come time for the oscars. Hmmm. I wonder what my new theme will be. What would yours be?