Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frozen Corn

Yesterday evening, as I sat down to the delicious dinner K had made of lasagna, corn and warm bread, I asked him, "Is this frozen corn?"

"Canned," he replied. "So no, you may not start a wild rumpus." (In the movie Where the Wild Things Are, frustration over frozen corn is what pushes Max over the edge, sending him into a rowdy frenzy in which he yells at his mother, bites her, and then runs away from home. He eventually finds a little boat and sails off to a rocky shore where he finds the Wild Things, becomes their king and decrees, "Let the wild rumpus start!")

K is really good like that. He always gets my barely-there movie references. This time, granted, we had seen the film only three days earlier. But still - any other person would have assumed I was asking a simple meal-related question.

I'm afraid I cannot claim to be equally proficient in picking up on K's movie references. His memory for quotes, scenes and plot points far outstrips my own. Also, he seems to have watched every American movie made since 1975. I have literally watched him flip through a tv that had several dozen movie channels and call out the names of all the films. Alien! Over the Top! Black Sheep! Chasing Amy! (These are not the actual titles. I wouldn't be able to recall them now, but I do remember thinking, Who are you and when did you have time to watch all of these movies?)

So if you ever find yourself tortured by the need to know some obscure piece of movie trivia (and you have a phone but no internet access), or if you are in the Cash Cab and need the names of the children from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, I recommend you call K. Please do not call me, because you will be disappointed.

But I digress. We saw Where the Wild Things Are, and it was terrific. I went in expecting a movie that tried too hard to be profound in a kids-flick way. (Inside all of us is... hope. Inside all of us is... fear. Etc.) As it turned out, the sappiness was minimal and the script didn't even seem to have been written for a child audience. To me, one of the best things about the movie is that it is so unexpected. You definitely will not go see it and say, "Well, that's exactly what I had in mind, no surprises there."

Apparently Spike Jonze agrees with me - Tzippy/KW is a girl!

Even if you cannot get on board with the story, with all of its character background material (perhaps necessary to extend the 10-sentence book to a full length feature), there is no denying that this film is an arresting visual spectacle - it will knock your socks off. That being said, I don't really want to give anything away. I'll just leave you with one of Judith's snarky comments: "Happiness isn't always the best way to be happy." Does that go for humans too, or just Wild Things?

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