He denies none of this. And even freely admits to Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but questions my use of the words “over and over” on the others. (Yes, I fact-checked this list with my brother.)
For years, my brother and I shared a room; as did my sisters, but this is not about them. In the years before that, our humbler, younger selves even shared a bed—that poor kid. He’s fine; he’s got a freaking PhD. Don’t worry about him.
Living with a younger brother was fine and fun enough—even if he was “the baby.” We certainly heard enough of THAT when we were kids. I do give him credit for actually getting out alive. Youngest of four! The poor kid.
Of the many memories I have of my lil’ bro, I recall often his tendency to watch and re-watch a movie ad nauseam. We’re talking the VHS tapes (from whenever he recorded them on HBO) would start warping. Stopping only when he found another movie to watch on loop like he was studying it for a dissertation. (His dissertation for his PhD, by the way, made no mention of these cinematic gems.)
In any case, his proclivity for films were not the typical masterpieces you’d find on any “Greatest Works on Celluloid” lists. I’d be surprised if you find a version of some of them that’s not still on VHS. (I’d almost pay for a laserdisc of any of them. No. No I won’t.)
• Girls Just Want to Have Fun—The Sarah Jessica Parker-Helen Hunt romp featuring the titular Cyndi Lauper hit. (If I heard the “Dancing in Heaven” lyric “Slow. Slow. Quick-quick slow.” again, I could very well die.)
• Fast Forward—Continuing the dance theme, a group of dancers who try to “make it” in New York. (Lyric worm: “Forward! Forward! Moving fast-forward!”)
• The Legend of Billie Jean—Okay, I’ll admit, this was a pretty badass movie. Helen and Christian Slater (who are not brother and sister play brother and sister) while Pat Benatar rocks on the theme song “Invincible.”
• My Chauffeur—I am fairly certain NO ONE knows this movie about a young woman who (dare I say it?) becomes a limo driver. (::Gasp::)
• Mannequin—“Roxie, you look foxy!” You know this Andrew McCarthy-Kim Cattrall crazily-plotted comedy also featuring Meshach Taylor as “Hollywood!”
• Who’s That Girl—Madonna. Madonna is that girl. “What’s your husband’s name? Louden. And his last name? Clear.”
• Can’t Buy Me Love—Patrick Dempsey in that old nerd-pays-popular girl-to-act-like-his-girlfriend shtick you know too well.
• Teen Witch (*brother himself offered up this entry—which I can’t believe I forgot)—“Top That!” I think I’ve said it all.
• Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead—I certainly did not mind him watching this Christina Applegate movie?&emdash;?“The dishes are done, man.”
• The Cutting Edge—The hockey player-turned-ice skater movie with D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly (she’s also in another fave of his: With Honors).
• Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry starred in the movie that would later spawn the TV series. Paul Reubens’ death scene always got me.
• Hackers—By this point, I was already out of the house most of the time, but I do recall this Angelina Jolie-Jonny Lee Miller flick. As you should.
Freeze frame: My “little” brother went on to grow into quite a man whom I’m proud to share a name with and occasional meal. If these above had any lasting effect on making him who he is today, so be it. We all have our Weird Sciences. And… I may have mentioned his PhD, right? Okay.
Cue: “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Roll credits.