Sunday, November 18, 2007

A weekend with Monty Python

Yesterday we felt like watching movies, so went down to the Laramie County Public Library to scan the shelves. Movie-renting is a challenge for us. My wife Chris prefers comedies such as "Galaxy Quest" and "Just Visiting," as well as endless screenings of "The Sound of Music." We rarely agree, although we share a taste for old Woody Allen movies ("Annie Hall" and before). My teen daughter Annie goes for dramas that feature dysfunctional families and psychiatrists. Some of her favorites (for now) include "Running with Scissors," "Junebug" and "The Squid and the Whale."

My tastes are all over the map. I like quirky comedies, indies, old gumshoe films with Bogie and William Powell, musicals, and documentaries. The other day I was happy as a clam to catch "After the Thin Man" on TMC during my lunch hour. The cast includes Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, and Ida Lupino. Stewart plays the smarmy bad guy, a murderer. Very cool.

Yesterday's library haul included "Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "Just Visiting," "Thirteen," "The Great Santini," and "Old School." Chris chose the first two; Annie the others. I couldn't decide on anything. That's how it is with me sometimes. I don't know what I want.

Chris and I had a great time watching "The Holy Grail" that night. I know that Monty Python movies and reruns of the TV show are now considered the province of smark-alecky college kids. But what's not to like about "the knights who say ni" and the killer rabbit? The word "shrubbery" never sounded so dang funny.

Meanwhile, Annie watched "The Great Santini" and "Thirteen" on the downstairs box, a 30-year-old TV encased in a heavy piece of furniture that I never want to move again. I had recommended "Santini" as a representative of the "dysfunctional family" school. Annie found it interesting, but a bit dated as it was set in the 1960s. "Thirteen" spoke to her as more contemporary, more twisted. It's a disturbing film, one that conjures up a contemporary parent's worst nightmares. I've seen it, and once was enough. We've been through that kind of torture already with one teenager and don't want another round. Cuts too close top the bone.

Bring on the knights who say ni!

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