Monday, February 23, 2009

Fodder topic - My favorite movie

OK - here we go! Sandiegomomma has a crazy, mixed-up plan for testing our writers' talents! Participants are to write about a topic assigned to them by the person commenting AFTER them! It's like a writing game of Twister!

Amanda at The Mom Crowd gives me this assignment: "In the spirit of the Oscars this evening, write about your most favorite movie and why you love it. "

I have to confess, I'm not much of a movie-goer, and while I have seen "Slumdog Millionaire" and loved it, I haven't seen most of this year's contenders. When I try to think of my favorite movie, it's like trying to think of a favorite book - there are too many good ones to choose just one.

But there is one movie that I've seen over and over again that still draws me into the living room if I hear it playing on TV, and I always end up settling down to watch it all the way through. It's "Galaxy Quest" - not a masterpiece, not an epic, not a star-studded blockbuster - just a funny little movie, a spoof, a flash in the pan.

It's really kind of an entertainment-industry "in-joke" - a story about television actors who find themselves both trapped and redeemed by their show-business success.

The cast of the Star-Trek-like TV show "Galaxy Quest," unable to transcend their most famous roles, find themselves whisked away from the tedium of appearing at fan conventions by the strangest group of fans imaginable - beings from another planet. The alien Thermians, unable to comprehend the idea of fiction or lying, believe that the broadcasts they've intercepted are true documentation, and plead for the show's cast to help them battle an enemy. The spaceship has been re-created, modeled in every detail after the ship carefully observed onscreen.

The crew's real-life adventures are dictated by the conventions of show-biz, which include diabolical machinery inside the ship, useful only for creating suspense in a show episode; regurgitating cliched lines that become solutions to real problems; conventional TV trickery that actually works to fool the bad guys. One character's fate seems to be dictated by his type-cast role until he is saved by being re-concepted.

In one brilliantly funny twist, the actors seek technical advice from a group of teenage boys, nerdy fans of the show who are experts on the mechanics of the spaceship - interrupted only when one kid's mom insists he take out the recycling.

Along the way, bitter has-beens find internal heroism and resolve, an inter-species romance shows that love knows no boundaries, and - oh, yeah - our heroes save the universe.

I gave the video of this movie to my parents the Christmas before my Dad passed away. I remembered watching Star-Trek with him as a kid. He had a fine appreciation of parody, and I thought this would tickle him. I never got a chance to ask him if he enjoyed it, or even saw it - he came down with pneumonia and died about a month after Christmas.

There are a lot of things that make me feel sad about losing my Dad, but whenever I see "Galaxy Quest" I think of him without the slightest bit of sorrow - I just think of how much fun it would be to sit in the living room and watch it together, how funny he would have found it.


Unknown said...

Well, I have never seen that. It does sound interesting : ). I would love to see Slumdog Millionaire though. Kaish and I went to see Coraline on Sunday. It was very dark. I usually only go to movies if Kaishon is dying to see something : ). No more grown up movies for me. Did you see A Beautiful Life? I think that might be one of my all time favorites.

mo.stoneskin said...

That film really does sound crazy. You've described it well enough to make have to watch it ;)

cactus petunia said...

I love that one! And I love that that's the one you picked!

Shayla said...

The garbage scene is my fav. It can still make me laugh out loud.

Aha! You're a writer. I suspected all along.

katydidnot said...

you should do this for a living. movie reviews, because are you kidding me? that's the best review i've ever read.

and i did my day in the life as a animal that you assigned me for fodder. fun!

San Diego Momma said...

I love Galaxy Quest. That, and Mystery Men, are my two favorite comfort food comedies.

You gave a great review, too! I've got to agree with Kathdidnot. There's a career in there somewhere for you, no?

Anonymous said...

This was a great review! I am glad you were able to pick just one movie. I know that would be hard for me! Its been a while since I have watched Galaxy Quest. Funny enough my daughter picked it off the shelf at Half Price Bookstore last week.

Thanks for writing about my prompt. This blogging fodder thing is fun!

blognut said...

Great review - I may have to breakdown and watch the movie. I'm bad about that... really.