22 February 2012

0 Movies You Really Should've Seen By Now If You Want To Consider Yourself A Grown Person: Meet Me in St Louis



some background is needed... as a child i was obsessed with this movie. i remember watching it on the 10" black and white tv in our guest room perched atop a throne of moving boxes. i literally watched it every day. this scared the shit out of my mother as, at that time, our family was preparing to move to atlanta and she was afraid that our lives presented too close of a parallel to that of the fictional smith family- a family preparing for a move to new york city that ultimately doesn't take place. she was afraid that i would think our move wouldn't take place because theirs didn't. i, of course, thought nothing of that and was simply beguiled by the pretty clothes. 

two things you need to know about MMISL that are particular to my viewing of it and which go a long way in explaining why it is dear to my heart...


(1) back in the olden days we used to watch recorded programming on a little old machine called the VCR. the VCR featured a "counter", which tracked the position of the tape on a rotating scale of 100s. i don't know what the purpose of this was. maybe it was the primitive version of tracks on a dvd. what i do know was that our particular VCR would get hung up at a particular point, so when you went to rewind a tape, the tape would not rewind beyond that point. this is an important piece of technological trivia, because it meant that for the first 9,000 times i watched MMISL, i never saw the first 35 minutes of the film. 

the film, as i knew it thru the age of 10, began with the smith family's celebration of halloween. for me, for five years, the movie essentially began in media res. until one magical day when my father fixed that problem with our VCR and the tape wound all the way to the beginning and my ten-year-old self was like holy shit, what is this?! it was as though i'd discovered a prequel. 

(2) there was a blip in our copy of the film, some snafu on the channel, and so rose smith's scandalous long-distance phone call with warren sheffield was briefly interrupted by a 10 second clip of the commercial for the diamond brokers of memphis. it wasn't until i got to college and forked over $29.95 for my own VHS copy of MMISL that i heard the entirety of their conversation. holding the telephone up to the television, i played it so my mother could at long last hear the dialogue we'd been missing all these years. 


i wonder how different my life would be had i never seen this movie. or how different it would be had i seen it 1,000 fewer times. i might've kissed 11,000 more people and never dyed my hair red. because, due to rose's cautioning esther that women shouldn't kiss men before their married because men "don't want the bloom rubbed off", my lips remained chaste. and thanks to esther, i always wanted red hair.  


MMISL is the only movie to have ever made me want to have a sister. because if i had a sister, we would sing together...


and make snowmen...


and do this at every single party...


and eat cakes like this...


and do up each other's corsets...


MMISL teaches us so many important things about being a grown-up beyond the fact that "men don't want the bloom rubbed off." for instance, if you are pining for the boy next door, it helps to sing about it.


the best way to capture the boy next door's attention is by singing on public transit and wearing blue gloves. 


it is unwise for midwestern women to hatch plots against uppity new englanders. the uppity new englanders will win every time. 


teenage marriage is A-ok.


singing makes everything better. always. 


oh, and this is also the movie where "have yourself a merry little christmas" comes from. for reals. watch it. 





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