August 10, 2009


The hobby about which I'm most passionate after cooking is classic movies, and I define classic as pre-1950. I love talking about classic movies and the actors who played in them. I've always been a fan. In junior high english class when we had to do book reports, I did mine on Cary Grant biographies. For my ninth birthday, I asked my mom to get me An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr on VHS. Some of the other titles I requested around that same age were Casablanca, Rebecca, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Roman Holiday. My other junior high obsession was The Beatles. I was as much a groupie as one could be in the 1990s, even waited in line at midnight at Best Buy for the Beatles Anthology albums. I had a watch that played "I Want to Hold Your Hand." This immersion in pop culture of previous decades had the effect of making me into a fuddy duddy at the age of puberty who went around saying, "The music and movies you young people favor today are rubbish."

Rob knows more about movies and pop culture than anyone else I know, so it's great to debate the merits of one film over another with him. He told me a few weeks ago that for his birthday party, he was going to show a movie at the Firehouse Theater in the Underwood Center, and so we hashed out some ideas for the film he should show.

Casablanca? No, too serious and would the audience tolerate a black and white film? Bringing up Baby? I said the dialogue was too fast; we need something more physically exciting. I suggested one of my favorite movies, Charade, and started naming its selling points. It stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. It's got comedy, suspense, romance, and mystery. It's set in Paris. Haute fashion from the 1960s. Score by Henry Mancini. I could go on. He agreed.

I made the party invitation, which I thought turned out well -

Rob's Birthday Party

Black Forest Browniesand offered to take a couple of treats. After Rob's input, I decided on Black Forest Brownies and White Chocolate Chip Blondies. The brownie recipe was a miss, but the blondies were alright. They're very sweet and akin to a White Chocolate Macadamia cookie. Rob also got popcorn and treats donated by Cinemark, quite a coup, since he does so much to promote film around here.

Rob's Birthday Party

It was one of the most fun parties I've been to. I started to feel completely selfish for recommending one of my favorite movies as the film we should watch. I hoped everyone else would enjoy it, too. I've seen that movie countless times since I was a child, but it was exhilarating to watch it in a theater. View the Charade trailer and stream the entire film online, because it's in the public domain.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Really, who wouldn't enjoy Charade? It really is a perfect "Classic movie" to show at a party, even though it doesn't fit your definition. I might be more lenient to include anything before 1961, and even into the later '60s if it stars someone who has been around for 20 years or more.

And I thought the brownies were good.