Saturday, August 08, 2009

you're gonna send me, right back to the start

Allow me to apologize for the manic nature of these posts. And let me write up front that this post is mostly silly. I think some silliness is warranted right now, because the serious things can't be written about at the moment.

First, I've thought about writing about this post since the first time I saw this video some weeks back- I think I first got the link from A N N A. I'm sorry it's not embeddable, but I suspect that most people have seen this wedding entrance dance by now anyway. A couple of my classmates have since sent the link to me as well, with the requisite ZOMG! and squee!'s required of their generation.

Do I sound grouchy? I suppose I am a bit. I do think the video and the idea is super-cute. I think all weddings would probably be improved by such ceremonial flourishes. Only, I wonder- have all the viewers of this video never been to any Indian weddings? Have they never seen any Bollywood movies? Yeah, these guys danced down an aisle, sure. Indians dance all the way down the street on their way to the wedding.

I don't know, but I was just thinking that it's sort of funny that the West seems to have just discovered that dancing is not a crime, and may actually demonstrate an appropriate amount of joy at an event that is supposed to be celebratory.

I just realized I totally sound like Indian Uncle on Goodness Gracious Me who yelps out "INDIAN!" at everything.


Though I know it's rather unfortunate to celebrate a person's body of work after they've passed away, rather than while they were still alive, I think John Hughes is so imprinted on most children of the 80s that we very nearly take him for granted. What I think makes Hughes' movies so Hughes is not that they were so quoteable- though they often were- but that they have such personal significance. I know that probably seems stupid, given how light in substance some of the movies appear. But they meant something to me as a kid, and even now. I was having these thoughts when I heard about his passing away:

  • Even though the premise of Pretty in Pink is ridiculous on so many levels (and I'm not sure I'll ever understand how we're supposed to believe that Molly Ringwald ruining two perfectly decent dresses to create one of the ugliest dresses in film history is an indication of her character's talent), I've always been fond of it for a few reasons. First, the music, my goodness, the music. Second, I had a Duckie in college (he bore an uncanny resemblance as well). And even though Pretty in Pink never fully delved into it, I know how sweet and also how painful that can be.
  • Sometimes I think I was permanently scarred by Hughes' movies. For example, I think Some Kind of Wonderful might have destroyed me on par with Say Anything. The latter movie is destructive in that it leads people to believe that there might be a Lloyd Dobler out there (although some of my friends have met and married him, so keep hope alive!). The former is destructive because it leads people to believe that Watts' martyr-style devotion can lead to a happy ending. I don't care though. I love Watts. How many characters can get away with saying "you break his heart, I break your face"? Even if Watts hadn't strolled out into the fade to black wearing her best friend's future, she'd still be the person I'd rather be.
  • Probably my weirdest reaction to a Hughes movie was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. While so many of my friends were cuckoo for Ferris Bueller, when I saw the movie, my first instinct was to sympathize with his sister. I think this is because my brother was something of a Ferris Bueller. He wasn't really that popular in high school, but he was always the one getting away with all sorts of misbehavior. He could and can quite effortlessly charm people, and things just always come easier to him. So me, I could understand Jeanie's rage. And of course, I could relate to Cameron. My entire adolescence centered around worrying about getting in trouble, but then ultimately being dragged into doing something irresponsible.
  • Even though a part of me begrudgingly has to admit that I like Sixteen Candles, it was also the first movie that I saw and thought this is some effed up sh*t regarding racial stereotypes. I've had entire hourlong conversations with RR about Gedde Watanabe, and whether he feels a sense of self-loathing about that role or whether he just found it funny.
  • I came to realize that I was officially an adult/old due to a Hughes movie. While I still find the movie entertaining, The Breakfast Club now just seems like a bunch of overdramatic teenagers feeling sorry for themselves (with the exception of Bender- I now wonder why protective services never intervened on his behalf). But I'm not too old to remember that I did once think that it captured a lot of what it felt like to be in high school. I suppose it's a bit of a relief to find that high school really doesn't hold the same weight it once did. (on a side note, Don't You Forget About Me was my high school graduation song, which is sort of funny to me now because, um, I have forgotten. A lot.)

Anyway, as a tribute, I am also posting a song from Sixteen Candles that I've always liked, just to finish off the nostalgia overload.

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