Soapdish

Soapdish. Paramount Pictures 1991.
Soapdish. Paramount Pictures 1991.

Before watching the movie:

There is so much star power in this movie I hadn’t heard of. I know Robert Downey Jr. was popular when he was young before he had to take a break to get clean and rebuild his reputation, but I think he’s still a bigger hit now than he ever was before. I always enjoy Kevin Kline, but while he’s gotten a lot of great comedy leads and supporting roles, I don’t think he ever got the comedy superstar status he may deserve. And of course, the movie is led by Sally Field and has Whoopi Goldberg in a role that might have 30 seconds of screen time for all I can tell with how prominent her name is versus how big she was in the 90s.

It occurs to me that I really enjoy spoofs of soap operas, though I don’t really seek them out. I saw several episodes of Soap some years ago but never continued after we finished the first disc or two, maybe because it was too much actual soapiness vs. mocking soapiness. Or perhaps I like the spoofs in concentrated bursts. Even Saturday Night Live’s “The Californians” was funny the first time. But what really draws me to this is that the story is about the drama going on off-camera, which makes me expect something like if Noises Off collided with Days of Our Lives.

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Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump. Paramount Pictures 1994

Before watching the movie:

Why did I chose this movie? Because it’s definitely in the top ten of the Canon of Movies You Should See In This Era. At the same time, I really don’t know why it’s there.

Sure, I know a bunch of stuff about it already, like the early computer effects used to have the character interact with famous dead people, and he’s supposed to have a low IQ.

There’s also the memes that spread before we knew memes were memes, like “Run Forrest Run,” “Life is like a box of chocolates,” and the way Forrest says “Lieutenant Dan.”

But then, how can I avoid knowing about a movie that’s been parodied by The Simpsons and Weird Al? I even read a MAD Magazine parody of it… not that I got much of it at the time. I’ve even sat on what King’s Island claimed was the actual bench from the film.

I watch this movie because I want to know why everyone knows about this one and not Being There.

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