Rewind Girl

15 Oct

I’ve always had an obsessive relationship with certain films. At the age of 9 my parents gave me The First Wives Club on VHS as a present. First of all, lets talk about what a weird gift that is for a 9 year old. It’s weird. Though, thank you, Mom and Dad, for empowering me early on with beautiful, 90s era feminism.

You-Dont-Own-Me-2

I loved the movie so much and felt so overwhelmingly pleased with it all that I would watch it every single night before bed for roughly… two years. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. For…TWO FREAKING YEARS. I shit you not, that is a thing that happened. For god’s sake, I even wrote my college essay about that movie. Anyway, twenty-four months after I received my gift, I was FINALLY starting to get bored with it. I then switched to Superstar, staring Molly Shannon.

"Sometimes when I get nervous, I stick my hands under my armpits and I smell them like this!"

“Sometimes when I get nervous, I stick my hands under my armpits and I smell them like this!”

For those of you not blessed enough to know this movie, it’s about Mary Catherine Gallagher, a Catholic school girl who wants nothing more than to be famous and to be kissed like someone in the movies. These movie choices should really give you some insight into my personality. I may not be a Catholic school girl who nearly wears her underwear outside of her skirt or a middle-aged (sorry, hate the word) divorcee with an extreme sense of justice, but…there are some major clues here.

I suppose I just felt comforted by these films and wanted to lull myself to sleep every night with my favorite snapshots from film. Mary Catherine Gallagher would watch classic movies in reverse over and over again for her job as the “Rewind Girl” at her local movie rental store so that they would rub off on her. So maybe that’s what I do. I just want my favorite shows to be a part of my life as much as possible.

Perhaps my most perplexing obsession was Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Broadway musical written by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler.

Sweeney-Original-Cast1

Though most people might know the story through the film starring Johnny Depp, I have been a Sweeney Todd fan long before that. When my high school announced that they would be putting the show up during my senior year, I became OBSESSED. I purchased the recorded Broadway show, that starred Angela Lansbury, and the in concert version starring Patti LuPone. I would watch each version (EACH VERSION) every day. That means I watched the 2.5 hour musical TWICE A DAY. That is 5 hours of Sweeney Todd a day. Do I need to be any more clear on how much of a loser I am?! I don’t think so!! And this lasted a whole summer break. My family was perplexed, but probably a little pleased. I was going into my senior year of high school, and instead of going to parties and getting into black tar heroin, like most of the kids at my school, I was fully leaning into the whole drama nerd thing.

While I may have left my hardcore theatrical/film obsessions behind after Sweeney, I still cannot resist the urge to re-watch my favorites once in a while. I’ve watched both Bridget Jone’s movies more times than I can count and certainly more than I’d wish to share. I also routinely make my way through every episode of 30 Rock. I’d say I’ve made it though…at least five times. But there is no favorite more FAVORITE than my first wives, Annie, Brenda, and Elise. In what I’m sure is an exact, word-for-word excerpt from my personal statement: you ladies have shaped who I am and I am forever grateful. This movie told my 9-year old brain that women are awesome, plain and simple, and someone fucks with you, it is totally within your power to spy on them and blackmail them until they pay you back in full.  I may not have learned that if I just watched the movie once like a normal.

 

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