Sunday, November 1, 2009


here's how the conversation went in the middle of the Halloween afternoon:

WIFE: I want to watch a movie.

HAMSTER: Great. I'm in the mood for something Halloweeny.

W: No. I want something sweet.

H: (grimace). Something sweet? It's freaking Halloween. I want to watch somebody cut somebody.

W: Well, I don't like scary. I'm in the mood for something sweet, even if it is Halloween.

H: (a few minutes later, after some scheming) Okay, here's my votes: THE UNINVITED, HALLOWEEN H2O with Jamie Lee freaking Curtis, or the Michael J. Fox classic THE FRIGHTENERS. Look Peter Jackson made that Michael J. Fox one, and you like Peter Jackson.

W: (scanning the options) How about SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE or BENNY AND JOON? I like both of those.

H: It's Hallo-freaking-ween, Latonya. We can't watch SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE on Halloween. Let's try to meet in the middle.

W: (crunching in eyebrows and perking lips to the side in serious thought) Okay, then we can either watch ALIENS or PREDATOR. That's in the middle. 

(the hamster grimaces some more. pouts. grimaces. super pouts. wife goes down to get lunch. she comes back upstairs and the hamster has secured a vhs tape in the player. the wife doesn't know what it is. he's still grimacing, slightly pouting. she saddles up next to him and ignores his mood. "ignore the behavior" they say in special education. the movie starts and the opening theme song comes up. the wife is surprised.)

W: You put on BENNY AND JOON? I thought you would have put on ALIENS.

H: I'm not in the mood for ALIENS. Besides, there's a scene in this where Sam gives Benny and Joon a jack-n-the-box. And those things scared the poop sticks out of me when I was a kid. Jack-n-the-boxes and ventriloquist dummies. So, on some level, this is a scary movie. 

(and then they watched happily together, sipping the last of the riesling and the final bottle of flying dog's gonzo imperial porter. this, dear friends, is the way the still family celebrated halloween this year.)

*   *   *   *   *

and, by the way, if you've never seen BENNY AND JOON, it's absolutely delightful. i remember this being the film that convinced me of johnny depp's supernatural acting powers. also, mary stuart masterson is cute enough to put on a shelf. i do love this film, and i recommend it uber-highly when given the chance. 

without hesitation, i give BENNY AND JOON 5 dangling window wash stands of 5. an instant classic. a heartwarming triumph. a story of love superseding sanity. there is nothing lacking in BENNY AND JOON. 


tito said...


the hamster said...

okay, i take it back. there is some stuff lacking in BENNY AND JOON. it's a bit cheesy at times. in fact, it's very cheesy at times. but, in the right context and with the right people, i am sucker for cheese.

the one scene in this film that i can barely abide is the one with benny walking down the railroad tracks. don't do that! walking lonely down railroad tracks is distractingly cliche. it's hard for me to recover much sympathy for benny after that moment in the film.

okay, there. i had my little spill. it's till a 5 out of 5 film. still touching, fun, and mesmerizing.

myleswerntz said...

yeah, good call. I do love that little flick.

rebstar said...

probably not a surprise, but one of my all-time favourite movies.

one of my fav. quotes (that sarah and i say to each other allll the time): "so, when you say he can't read, whaddya mean, like words?"

Tiffani R said...

Ironically, Sleepless in Seattle was on this weekend on Bravo.

Just saying.

Also, I have a minor protest that ABC Family did not broadcast any of their "family friendly" (read: Disney produced)Halloweeny flicks - like Hocus Pocus or that one with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman (Practical Magic?). Those would have been good compromises for you and L-to-the-T, Also, it would have made me happy.

the hamster said...

myles - i think it's funny that i ever grimaced about watching this in the first place. i've seen this film nearly 50 times, and i love it every time i see it. my vhs is even getting a bit worn from the attention and affection i give it. yes, good choice.

rebstar - i LOVE when you show up around here! i also like when joon says, "she was given to fits of hyperprecious similes." so good.

tiff - i feel like i could do without ever seeing SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE again in my life. although, give me one chance to see it again, and i'll probably come professing my love for the young hanks and ryan combo.

myleswerntz said...

Meg Ryan, before she got hyper-obsessed with being taken seriously, was really adorable and endearing. Her performance in SLEEPLESS is really good, and what's not to love about Tom Hanks? The man can almost do no wrong, minus whatever that film was where he dressed up with a fake mustache and played a Southern dude.

Parkerchica said...

I believe that movie was called "The Ladykillers," and I've never heard anyone say they liked it.

I haven't thought of Benny and Joon in years. Now I have that Thousand Miles song in my head. But it's okay, because I like Johnny Depp in a sweet, non-scary role. His turn as Sweeny Todd was so evil, I felt a little sick.

John Barber said...

I kinda liked THE LADYKILLERS. I also liked JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO. In fact, I'm not sure there's a Hanks movie that I don't like. Gimme some TURNER AND HOOCH!