Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween and "E.T." (but not really)

{Warning: This whole post was supposed to be about how "E.T." is such a great fall/Halloween movie and that I'd love it if it became a tradition for my little family to watch every year like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," but that goal quickly got away from me as this post became a childhood confession instead.}

When I was seven I was obsessed with the movie version of the musical "Annie." I could not get enough of it: the music, the dance numbers, the hard-knock life. I swore up and down that movies did not get better than "Annie." It was not possible. It could not be. One of my brothers, however, told me that "E.T." (which I had not seen) beat the pants off "Annie" and I swore to him that he could not be more wrong. 

You can guess where the story goes from here.

Wanting to prove myself to be a pint-sized cinephile (and my brother to be an idiot), I went to see "E.T." with a serious agenda. Watching the movie with the rest of my family and with the unique type of stubbornness that belongs to very cranky old men (or hardheaded devotees of movie musicals) - I refused to show that the story got to me on any level: I did not laugh at E.T.'s drunken behavior, I did not express fear about the mysterious "keys" man, and I did not cry at the end when, you know... everyone cries. I sat there in my theater seat and revealed nothing. But, of course, I loved the movie. How could I not? It took everything in me to not lose it at the end of the film. While the world was falling down around me and it seemed as if everyone in the audience, including my siblings, were utterly lost in their sobs - I chocked mine down because, goddamn it, "Annie" was better. I was locked into a rightous claim and I could not get out.

Anyway, it's been 30 years and so I'll say it here. Oh my god - how beautifully done and heartbreaking is "E.T."? I'm not necessarily saying it's better than "Annie" (hello? there is not a single dance number in that Spielberg flick), but it is a really, really good movie that breaks my heart in half every time I see it.

"E.T." screenshots via Halloween Addict

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