Remember how great that old movie was?

Janet's World

August 10, 2008|By Janet Gilbert

Please tell me I am not the only one who has had this experience.

You watch a movie, and you really enjoy it. You think it's a great movie. And then some years pass and you see that it's available free, streaming through your computer. So you recommend it to your family. But suddenly, this very same film has become inconceivably, egregiously bad.

What happened? I'll tell you what happened. Some evil film editor hacked into Netflix and took a razor to that film you liked, cutting out the hilarious parts you remembered so fondly, or altering them so they've become unrecognizable as well as unfunny. Also, this same evil film editor managed - digitally no doubt - to transform the leading man into a less handsome version of himself. I still can't figure out how the film editor watered down the performances of the supporting cast members and slowed the entire pace of the film.

The result is that the movie you thought you really, really liked is reduced to a shell of its original self - an alternately inane, boring and eminently walk-outable film. Worst of all, now no one in your family will ever take your film suggestions again.

If I even say Crossing Delancey, my family members become apoplectic with laughter, bordering on incontinent with laughter.

To be fair, it is difficult to find a film the whole Janet's World family can enjoy. I hope you can follow this detailed, scientific, entertainment-industry analysis. First, we have both males and females in the family. Next, we have a broad range of ages.

It's no wonder we used to spend more time in the video store picking out a movie than we would in the Safeway picking out a week's worth of groceries. Now, of course, we simply log on independently and reorder the family's Netflix queue. Which results in at least one surprise per week.

"What is this?" my son exclaims. "Who put The Other Boleyn Girl ahead of Hotel Rwanda?"

"Oh no!" my daughter cries. "How did we get Blood Diamond instead of Step Up 2: The Streets?"

Somehow, I persuaded them to watch Crossing Delancey. I read the synopsis - a Manhattan career girl is set up by her grandmother's friend with the owner of a pickle store. I remembered it as a charming, uncomplicated love story. It came out in the late 1980s.

Ordinarily, the family would not have gone for it, but this time, my husband agreed with me. He also remembered Crossing Delancey fondly. We saw it together. I'm thinking we must have been holding each other's electric hands in the movie theater. And we must have been so moved, so jolted by those sparks, we naturally attributed them to the film. We both emerged thinking Crossing Delancey was outstanding.

So fast-forward to last week. The whole family is sitting together watching the movie, and I keep looking over at my husband, and we're both raising our eyebrows, which is marriage-speak for "When does this movie start getting as fantastic as we remember it being?"

Soon, one child says something like, "Are you sure this is the movie you were thinking of?" Another says, "Maybe it just starts off slow." The third child is conspicuously silent, perhaps unconscious.

But the best was at the end, when my daughter stood up and said with a stunned, incredulous look, "Wait a minute, that's the end? That's it?"

I started laughing, until tears rolled down my face.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I just can't believe it."

"Me either," my husband said. "It's bad. Definitely bad. I don't think I'd sit through it again."

"No kidding," my youngest son said.

"Why did we like it so much?" I asked my husband, embarrassed.

He smiled and took my hand. And I swear I felt a jolt of electricity.

To contact Janet or hear podcasts, visit http://www.janet

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.