This thanksgiving I was on the verge of crying at least three different times. All three of those times were due to some form of death be it real or fictional people. All of these incidents were related to Television and movies which is sad. I almost feel like Peter Sellers in Being There. The first incident was during my breakfast with the family, we finished up and I was helping my mom clean the table. While I cleaned I told her all about the film Up. Without even watching the movie but simply reflecting on the first 15 minutes I got teary-eyed. When I spoke of the undying love that Carl had for Ellie, I couldn't help but wish for a similar love to enter my life. Someone whom I've described in a previous blog about Before Sunset. I know that I won't be alone forever, but with every passing day the patience to wait for someone to love gets harder and harder.
Shortly after cleaning the dishes my mother wanted to watch the Sesame Street: 40 years of Sunny Days DVD that I had recently purchased. I told her i consider it to be the greatest DVD in my DVD collection. (For those of you curious the rest of the top 10 goes: 2. Clerks X, 3. The Muppet Show: Season 1, 4. Kaiju Big Battle Volume 1, 5. Marx Brothers: Silver Screen Collection, 6. The State: The Complete Series, 7. Monster Squad, 8. Tenacious D: Complete Masterworks Volume 1, 9. Monty Python & the Holy Grail, 10. Undeclared: the Complete Series) There is a segment on the DVD that has made me cry every single time I've seen it, it's the infamous sequence in which Big Bird discovers that Sesame Street resident Mr. Hooper has died. What makes the scene all the more emotionally heart-wrenching is the fact that the actor who played Mr. Hooper really had died and the cast members who are speaking about him are clearly emotional over the lose of their very good and close friend/co-worker. This to me also shows the brilliance behind a man like Jim Henson. He gave us incredibly realistic characters out of nothing more than clothe. I think every person can relate to the Muppets in some way and in most cases everyone can be compared to at least one Muppet. That however is an essay for another day.
Finally I got my grandmother's house where I had some lunch, afterwards I went down in the basement where my family was watching television. As they flipped through the channels I realized something very strange. Almost every channel seemed to be playing a John Hughes movie. Uncle Buck was on one channel, Planes, Trains & Automobiles on another channel, a Home Alone Marathon on FX. This was all the more upsetting because John Hughes death this fall was the first time that I've gotten upset at the loss of a celebrity in years. There are three speeches or dialogue exchanges from the three movies that I named that truly showed the brilliance beauty behind John Hughes that will make his death all the more upsetting to me.
"I don't think I want to know a six-year-old who isn't a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don't want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don't have a college degree. I don't even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they're ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they're no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, and I'm coming looking for you!"
What's not to love about this comment. So many times in my life I've felt like teachers and other adults have looked down at me and my friends for still believing in ourselves. We allow ourselves to work terrible jobs just so we can spend the weekends writing, drawing and filming all hoping to one day be something important. John Hughes knew the importance of that and saw the way that some people see being a "day-dreamer" and "having an active imagination" as being a "bad kid".
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
"You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you... but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get"
I don't know if it's the dialogue, John Candy's delivery or a combination of the both but this is my all-time favorite moment in a movie. In my life (and I'm sure everyone else's) we've found people who are so unhappy and negative. As often as I get depressed or upset sometimes, I still try to be a caring and understanding individual. So many times I've thought this speech in my head when dealing with people who seem to hate everyone and everything. John Hughes always did love the types of outcasts that the rest of the world turned their shoulder on and nothing speaks that better than this monologue.
To write everything that is said in the scene I want to cover would take up fair too much space. It's close enough to christmas for you to pop your copy of Home Alone in (come on, you know you own it and if you don't what the hell are you doing!?) and watch it. The scene that touched me is the scene where Marley (Kevin's creepy neighbor) and Kevin are talking in the church. Marley opens up about not having seen his son in years and being afraid to call him and apologize and with the complete innocence of an 8-year old Kevin simply suggests that he try it anyway.
John Hughes loved children. It was clear in everything he wrote. Almost every movie was a love letter to kids from 8 to 18. Home Alone shows his understanding of childhood innocence better than any film before it or after it.
It's now 7PM on Thanksgiving night, I have to work Black Friday tomorrow but I don't care because I am now... officially in the Christmas Spirit.