Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"Come to where the flavor is. Come to Debbie country."

This past weekend the GF and I rented the movie “Singles” because she had never seen it and I was offended by the notion that she had not experienced one of the defining movies of the 1990’s* for my generation. Of course, I say “we” rented it but since I’m the one with the car it’s more accurate to say that I rented it and then brought it over to her house in exchange for dinner. I was unsure whether my regular Blockbuster would even carry it, given their propensity to stock 37 copies of “Deuce Bigalow – European Gigalo” but zero copies of “Tao of Steve” or “Amelie”. Therefore, I did the smart thing and called ahead to the store to see if they had it. On my first call, the MOTOE** first said “Singles?” in that I’ve-never-heard-of-it-therefore-you-must-be-stupid-to-want-to-watch-it tone that video rental people sometimes get. When I confirmed that said he’d check and then promptly hung up on me – obviously the complexity of the “hold” button continues to confound some persons in the service industry. So I called back:

GB: Hi I’m calling to see if you have a copy of Singles in stock?
MOTOE: I told you hold on while I check!
GB: [sound of tongue-biting]
[time passes]
MOTOE: Nope, we don’ have it.
GB: Well, thanks anyway.
This little scene was repeated two more times, as I called the 2nd and 3rd closest Blockbusters. Each time, I died a little more inside as it became painfully obvious that nobody who wasn’t in high school when it was released has ever seen (or even heard of) this film. By the time I got to the fourth store, I was ready to give up all hope and just bring over my copy of Caddyshack, which she also hasn’t seen***. Mercifully, the fourth store did have it in stock, so I raced over to pick it up.

Upon my arrival, I told the GF that the first three stores I checked didn’t have it. She was very impressed that I had driven to all those stores, but kept going – determined to obtain her desire at any cost. For a moment, I considered whether or not to keep the points this had scored me all to myself, but I reasoned that her superior intellect would eventually lead her to realize there was no way I could drive to four Blockbusters (all at least 1 mile away from each other) in the 20 minutes that it had taken me to get to her house. So I fessed up.

When I watched the movie again, it struck me how ‘90s it was. Not just the setting, but the clothes (flannel, Mudhoney t-shirts), the music (grunge, grunge, grunge), the social issues (environmentalism, video dating). For the first time, a movie from the 90’s didn’t feel contemporary anymore. It was worse when I checked the back of the cover and affirmed that indeed, this movie was now 14 years old. Yes, Singles has been around for almost half of my entire life.

Now I feel old. Time to start researching hip replacements, I guess.

* Along with Reality Bites, Swingers, and Wayne’s World
** Moron On The Other End
*** Remember folks, I haven’t seen the Godfather or Goodfellas so I’m just as much a cultural rube. Besides, I was hesitant because I got burned by Three Amigos and wonder if perhaps Chevy Chase isn’t as funny to women.

5 comments:

towwas said...

I've never seen Singles. Or Wayne's World.

Spice said...

I re-saw Singles and Reality Bites at some point in the last year and had the exact same reaction. It's like they transport you back to the time when you just started becoming an adult, and you suddenly realize how long ago that was.

J.Po said...

Dude, at last weekend's Stitch'n'Bitch, my local gal pals and I decided to have a movie night for a group viewing of Singles because one of us is moving to Seattle. What a topical blog! Seems I'll have to do some availability research.

I Blog, You Blog said...

My first viewing of Singles brought me out of a post-breakup funk one Saturday night in that first year after college (oh...is my age showing?)... I think I went to a bar by myself to hear some live music instead of succombing to my usual huddled mass of sadness in the corner of my house. I was inspired...

And Edith sang, "Those were the days..."

KC said...

Don't throw things at me, but I remember seeing Singles when it came out on video and thinking that all these people whine too much. But then again, I am older than you so I guess it a generation-gap kinda thing.

After all, Elmo seems equally disinterested in both...

I have a hard time believing that Elmo was traumatized by Katy Perry's decollatage after discovering that he had already "been arou...