Sunday, January 23, 2011

Make 'Em Laugh

One of my favorite things about the cold, dark evenings of winter is Movie Nights. We eat an earlier dinner, the kids pajama up while I clean up, and then we pop popcorn and watch a movie. We've hit just about all of the animated classics. A month or so ago Joel I were talking about musicals we watched as children and what we loved. And for some reason the song, "Oh the women were sobbin', sobbin', sobbin fit to be tied!" came to mind. And before you could blink, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was in our Netflix queue (not available streaming, yet). I wondered what it would be like to watch it after so many years (decades?). I remember LOVING it, even with the oppressive themes (kidnapping, kind of forcing women to marry them, etc.). I mean, some of it is just wrong. But most of it is so very right.

So it came, and we popped it in. And suddenly I was 9 years old again and sitting in my Grandma's basement media room. I don't think Ainsleigh barely breathed, except to giggle that one of the girl's names is Dorcas. Donovan remained engaged and when it came to the dance-fighting scenes, just about fell off the couch from laughing so hard. He was pretty impressed at their ability to run on logs and kick each other in the face. Super.

I had a newfound desire to share the great old musicals with my children. One of my all-time favorites is "Singin' In the Rain." I figured the kids would enjoy (most of) it and so we watched that last night. There were definitely parts that didn't interest Donovan as much. Ainsleigh later dubbed it "one of the best movies I've ever seen." But the part that just about killed them both from giggling was the "Make 'Em Laugh" number. If you haven't seen the movie, you need to rent it solely for that guy. As I stood in the kitchen, making popcorn, I got out my phone and started taking video of the kids. You'll have to crank your volume up all the way, but you can just make it out.

After that scene, Donovan skeptically asked me, "Can people really run up a wall like that?" I paused to consider my response, sensing that my reply could alter the state of my walls and perhaps my son's head. "Yes," I told him and watched his eyes get huge.

" is that even possible?" he asked. I could see the wheels turning in his head.
"Well. They run really fast. And jump really high. It takes...practice. But not in their homes. NEVER in their homes," I tried to teach him.

Gemma was quite taken with the dance numbers, running and kicking and twirling along with the music. Her rendition of "Good Morning" was quite endearing.

Later, as we were about to head up the stairs, Donovan ran hard (that's really the only way he runs) right into a wall.

"What are you doing?" I asked.
To his credit, he looked a little sheepish. "I was just...trying something."
"Did you think you could run up the wall?!"
"Uh...yeah," he replied.

Meanwhile Ainsleigh has vowed to become a better singer. So I suppose it all evens out in the end.

If anyone has other suggestions for good musicals (I don't think that "West Side Story," despite the dance-fighting, is really the direction I want to go), I'm taking notes.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget "Annie" and "Newsies"...

NancyO said...

Grandma loved 7BF7B, but I always hated it - the kidnapping part really bothered me and I didn't like the cheezy, fake set,either. I don't know if the kids would like these, but I loved "Oklahoma" and "The Music Man." "Singin in the Rain" was great. That's so neat that your kids enjoyed it. Thanks for posting the video.

wanda said...

I wondered how Donovan would react to "Make Em Laugh!" How about "Mary Poppins" or "My Fair Lady?"

That is so great that you are exposing them to those classics!

Angie said...

"The King and I" even though my kids didn't make it through it:)

Alice said...

Yes Singin' in the Rain is by far the best...I own the soundtrack. Plus Carousal, American in Paris and a little Judy Garland...Meet Me in St. Louis. Then you should introduce them to the Marx Brothers. I think "A Night at the Opera" is the best one. Many silly laughable moments.

The Johnson Family of Colorado said...

Sarah, a beautiful, warm post. You have a way of making even the everyday things seem so poetic...a real talent to be sure. If I ever write a biography, I am going to call you up to be my ghost writer..but the kind that does it all. :) I haven't done anything super amazing, but with your talent in writing my normal life can become a thing of art. Love ya!

Tennille said...

I love Sound of Music, and so does S, but the boys aren't huge fans.

I think I might get SBFSB on Netflix. Loved that one as a kid.

Margo said...

I loved your post. I found SBFSB on dvd years ago and it is a family classic. Jarren was a little nervous because he teases it might take away from our boys machoness, how silly. In fact the boys were sick last week and requested SBFSB. Mostly they were anxious for the fighting scene. So even though there is singing and dancing, there is some hilarious fight scenes. Another huge fav for us is Swiss Family Robinson. My kids love that. We need to get Singing in the Rain.

Annie said...

I have to muffle my laugh like 3 times from reading this post so I wouldn't wake up Mary. You crack me up! So my suggestions are: Babes in Toyland and The Pirate Movie. The latter is an 80's flick based on the Pirates of Penzance - and actually has some inappropriate humor in it. But I never noticed that as a kid. I have it if you'd like to borrow it (it's on vhs though - lame). I also love/d Sound of Music and Grease (too bad has such a crappy message - but I sure did love it as a kid).

Annie said...

OH I also have to agree with "anonymous" - I LOVE Newsies!

Jo said...

I loved The Music Man as a child: "...You've got trouble! Right here in River City! With a capital 'T' ..." I also enjoy The King and I and The Sound of Music, but the latter is a very long movie for kids.