A 7-year-old me convinced my mom that she should take me to the new “Star Wars” sequel. It was called “Spaceballs.”
The next day at elementary school recess, I swore enough to match any sailor, trucker or fellow columnist Fantzy Pants. I think bad karma followed along my movie journeys with my mom.
Fast forward about a decade, when my mom and I saw “True Lies.” Lots of explosions and more explosions. Then, weirdness.
Jamie Lee Curtis does a pretty gosh darn erotic striptease — which was all fun and games except I was sitting right next to my mom in the theater. Have you ever been a 14-year-old boy bursting with more hormones than a Monsanto cornfield? It’s hard to pretend like you’re not enjoying something as you’re enjoying it, but feeling guilty about hiding your boner at the same time.
It’s probably the first and last time I’ve thought, “I wish there was less nudity and more of Arnold’s acting.”
Then I rented “American Beauty.” I thought Mom would like to see and discuss a nice character-driven flick. Why not? The first scene is Kevin Spacey jacking off in the shower. Yep. Kind of a weird conversation starter.
I tried to get her to watch “Silver Linings Playbook,” but she thought it was stupid. I wanted her to like “Casino Royale,” but she likes Sean Connery a lot more than Daniel Craig. I mean, everybody likes their own generation’s Bond, but still, Daniel Craig. C’mon, Mom. While she kind of enjoyed the new “Jungle Book,” she really preferred the cartoon version. Fair enough.
But she taught me that not everything you watch needs to be a film. When we toured London, she wanted to see some plays, performances and musicals. I prepped myself to be incredibly bored, so I drank a bit too much Earl Grey and charged my phone so I could catch up on Facebook.
We attended “Murder on the Orient Express,” which is the longest-running show in London and written by some lady named Agatha Christie, who’s famous or something. In order to make it interesting, we bet a pound on who the killer was. I lost, but the little gamble was a blast.
She picked “Riverdance 2” over “Lion King,” “War Horse” and some others. My mom loves Irish stuff, so this seemed logical. Well, let me tell you, the sequel is absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Spoiler alert: Darth Maul terrorizes a fairy until Daft Punk’s version of Thor defeats him in a riverdance off.
And then there was “Jersey Boys.” I knew nothing of it, but my mom led me to believe it’s a musical about gangsters. What I witnessed was my mom being happier than I’ve seen her in ages. She kept turning to me with joyful tears saying things like, “I remember watching that episode of the Ed Sullivan Show with the Four Seasons” and “That was one of my first records.”
Yeah, I lied so I could hear Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet cuss about everything Schwartz related, but ages later, my mom and I shared a perfect moment during a musical about her favorite band. I’d say that’s a good trade-off.