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.