Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

As summer winds down, I am happy for cooler nights.

I am so happy to be able to sleep at night. Even the heat does not seem as oppressive. And it seems like there are all sorts of reminders of movies that we should watch.

The other day I was in the grocery store when the overhead radio began to play the title song from the musical “Grease” with Frankie Valli singing lead. I began singing along under my breath and remembered how much we loved this movie back in the late 70s.

The story is about a new girl at Rydell High School who had a summer romance with a boy who turns out to be the biggest ‘bad’ boy at the school. They meet again and realize they still have feelings. But, of course, there are obstacles and the wonderful Stockard Channing keeps everything from being too sweet.

Olivia Newton John stars as the naïve Sandy while John Travolta stunned us as Danny. You can see a lot of people having fun and singing songs with a 1950s groove, except for the title song. That was written by Barry Gibbs of the BeeGees and is just plain fun.

As I walked the dog last night, my neighbor pointed out the beautiful moon to me. It was full and bright. I was trying to find the lady of the moon and had a hard time at it. But it reminded me of Moonstruck starring Cher as a widow with a tragic past who is recently engaged. She does not love Danny Aiello but thinks she can make a good life with him.

However, her fiancée has to go back to Italy to visit his dying mother. Before leaving, he asks Cher to contact his brother and invite him to the wedding. Nicholas Cage is the brother with a tragic past who owns a bakery and loves opera. Meanwhile, her parents are facing hurdles as Dad is in the throws of a new affair and Mom tries to be stoic about it until she is not.

The movie is set in the middle of a cold New York City winter when the moon seems to shimmer just a little bit more. I love this movie because every scene is a gem, perfection really. I find myself laughing and crying with these characters that are down-to-earth and larger-than-life all at the same time.  It might help that I enjoy a good opera every now and again.

Teens can watch both movies, kids can take in Grease. But if you are looking for something that is a little more ‘kid friendly’ there are two choices.

The first is The Pirates: Band of Misfits voiced by Hugh Grant and Salma Hayak as this band of no-gooders try for the ‘Pirate of the Year’ award. The other movie that shows potential is Chimpanzee which is a documentary narrated by Tim Allen that follows Oscar, a baby chimp who lives with his mother and other group members in Africa.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.