27. Playing Mona Lisa
One day after coming home from school I turned on the TV and there was this weird movie on. It was about 10 minute into the film so I decided to watch it. The film turned out to be Playing Mona Lisa. It intended to leave it on as a background noise and instead I got sucked into the film. I immediately purchased a VHS of that movie that week.
Unlike many of the films on this list, I didn’t show this movie to friends. I kept it to myself as a secret. Mostly because every time I mentioned the film people assumed I meant Mona Lisa Smile and would call me gay.
The movie opens with Claire Goldstein frantically trying to smoke out of a bong in a bridesmaids dress. She stumbles out of the closet in front of all of her family to which hear aunt yells ‘What happened to her? She used to be such a nice girl’.
The film jumps to three months earlier. Claire has just graduated music school and is playing a recital that could lead to bigger and better auditions. However her entire class is rejected. Claire begins hanging out with her party animal friends Sabrina, Arthur and Barry.
Instead of focusing on her music she begins partying, dating a weird guy named Eddie and starting to indulge in drugs like Acid. She remains friends with her music teacher Bennett (played brilliantly by Harvey Fierstein).
The film is a great story of an artist struggling with rejection. Furthermore it’s packed with plenty of great inspirational quotes. My favorite being ‘Great Things Happened After Splat”. I will not explain this one however, you have to just watch the movie to hear it.