Classic Cheese

Had a few gloriously free hours to kill this weekend and I chose to spend them watching Mannequin. Now for those of you not familiar with this lovely piece of 80's nostalgia, this movie is about a down on his luck creative type (played by the always awkward Andrew McCarthy) who meets with and subsequently falls in love with a department store mannequin come to life (played by a way pre-Sex In the City Kim Cattrall). The high point of this little gem at the time was the goof ball love story, long fantasy sequences a-la Luke and Laura playing dress up in a tremendous Saks type store after hours, and the hilarious antics of one over the top stereotype called Hollywood played by a balls to the wall funny Meshack Taylor (remember him? Designing Women anyone…?).   

Now the things that didn't work then still don't work now: James Spader as the nebbishy bad guy with epically bad hair, some Fran Drescher wannabe annoyance of a shrew girlfriend, and the requisite really terrible 80's fashion choices. But the winners are still winners, one hundred percent. Hollywood is and always will be comedy gold. His lines are delivered with such 100% glee you can't help but laugh out loud. And there's this one scene where McCarthy has to try to stop him from jumping out a window… well, let's just say it… Pause. Rewind. Pause. Rewind. Pause. A Rewind. It's priceless. Andrew McCarthy, despite his limitations, seems to be enjoying himself fully. Kim Cattrall is the perfect sexy/wide eyed ingenue and the story is pretty nice as far as ridiculous, cheestacular love stories go. It all works somehow. But why? This has always been a curiosity to me -- what makes one cheese creamy Velveta goodness and another just bad, moldy cheese? Why are we willing to swallow some ridiculousness far more readily than others? Why was the original Grease so frikin' fantastic, while Grease 2 should be outlawed entirely? We watched John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John fly away at the end of the first movie and cheered our fool heads off! Yay! Flying car! That means they'll live happily ever after for all of eternity! But put a crystal alien skull in our Indiana Jones movie and we will turn on your movie-making asses so fast your Nazi faces will spin! Oh wait, that's right. In the one we love, Nazi's are defeated when they have their faces burnt off! Totally acceptable! Yay Indie! Go Indie! Aliens are total bullshit, but Nazi's conquered by the will of God is just great movie making. It's makes no logical sense. And it shouldn't really, I guess. Movies are entertainments. And one person's entertainment isn't universally accepted or loved, and it certainly doesn't have to make one damn lick of sense.

Years ago we used to do this Bad Movie Night that included, what we considered to be, the best bad movies of all time. We had a great time… for a few years. But then everyone started to have arguments about what was good/bad and what was just plain bad and we decided to let the tradition die. But, I'll be honest, it's been a few years and I think I might be jonesin' to get the band back together. There's an entire list waiting: Club Dread, Encino Man, Real Genius, any Kurt Russell movie every made… A veritable cornucopia of gorgeous, lovingly crafted cheese awaits!

I'll take the Gouda and you have the Muenster. It's all fine by me. It's all cheese. Delicious, delicious cheese... And you gotta love a good, creamy cheese. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch The Last Dragon. I encourage you to do the same. Sho-nuff!