That time Diana Ross stopped traffic to be a diva.
That time Diana Ross stopped traffic to be a diva.
I couldn’t tell you how many movies I’ve seen during my life, probably hundreds of them if not thousands. Sometimes though, I don’t remember much about the movies themselves, but I can recall everything else about that day. Take for instance the 2008 sports comedy “Leatherheads.”
For those who may not remember, “Leatherheads” was directed by George Clooney and the plot focused on the early years of professional American football. The film starred Clooney as Jimmy “Dodge” Connelly, and also featured Renée Zellweger, Jonathan Pryce, and John Krasinski.
Anywho, getting to see “Leatherheads” on the big scree was quite a day for me. You see, by the early days of April of 2008, I was already in the process of moving from Boston to South Carolina. With only a couple of months before the actual move, I spent the first week of April in South Carolina looking at apartments and town houses in the area.
My girlfriend (now wifey) found a couple of places we liked, and put an offer on one place close to everything. But I guess the stress of looking for a place to live got to me, because I suffered from insomnia that entire week. At one point I even said to her “When I get home Sunday morning, I’m sleeping until Tuesday.” Fate however, had other plans.
The night before I flew back to Boston, my good buddy Laneit texted me to let me know Wah Kee would pick me up at Logan. Sounded good to me, because now I wouldn’t have to worry about catching the Logan Express. Anyways, my first flight took off at 5:45 that Sunday morning headed for Detroit. When I landed in the Motor City, Laneit called to let me know plans had changed, and he’d be the one picking me up.
But plans changed again, because when I finally Landed in Boston, I had a text from him telling me he and our friend Ali were coming to get me. I thought Laneit was joking, because surely Ali had better things to do on a Sunday. But no, she really was coming to get me, and we were all going to the movies to see “Leatherheads.”
We had a couple of stops to make however, I dropped off my luggage at my place, then we picked up our friends Boosie and Eric, and then we all had lunch at the Tomato & Cheese Co. By the time we stood in line to buy our movie tickets, I was running on fumes.
By the time Laneit fought me to see who’d sit next to Ali, I was half asleep. By the time Renée Zellweger made out with John Krasinski, I was snoring away. Eric had to jab me in the ribs to wake me up. I was in a daze for the rest of the movie. The only other thing I remember is Jonathan pryce got banned from football for life.
That was the only time I saw this movie, as I didn’t go back to watch the stuff I slept through. At the end of the day, I had traveled a long way to see one crappy football movie called “Leatherheads.”
As I’ve mentioned countless times on this here blog, I am a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan ever since I can remember. I was fan even when the Sox found new and mysterious ways to break my heart each fall during the post season.
But ever since they won three World Series, things are a bit different. I actually go into every new season with some hope that maybe this is the year that the Red Sox do it again. This season is not different, and I’m excited the Sox have a nice little winning streak going on.
But just when I thought nothing else in baseball could shock me anymore, this happened yesterday afternoon during the Sox home opener…
Wifey: Dinner’s here!
Me: I can’t right now. The Sox are down by one in the bottom of the ninth.
15 or so minutes later…
Wifey: Is the game over yet?
Me: No, but the Sox tied it and they’re going to extra innings.
Wifey: So who’s winning?
Me: They’re about to start extra innings
Wifey: That doesn’t tell me who’s winning.
Now I know how the pizza guy in Ferris Bueller felt.
The summer of 1992 was a big one. Summer ’92 saw the presidential race heat up, and Barcelona hosting the Olympic games. This was also the summer Whoopi Goldberg became a nun, where there was no crying in baseball, and when Batman returned to the big screen.
But there’s also a little romantic comedy from this time that always gets forgotten: “Housesitter.”
“Housesitter” was directed by Frank Oz, and starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. Martin plays Newton Davis, a Boston architect who has designed his dream house and in the opening credits asks his childhood sweetheart Becky (Dana Delaney) to marry him. She says no, and monthes later the heartbroken Newt tells everything to a waitress named Gwen (Goldie Hawn).
Learning that the house Newton designed is sitting empty in a quaint little New England town, Gwen goes there and introduces herself around town as Newt’s wife. She also moves into the house and furnishes the place, on credit and in Newton’s name. Weeks go by before Newt returns to the town and discover Gwen’s deception. But by then, Gwen has succeeded in making friends of Newt’s parents and his former love, Becky.
However, Newton immediately goes with the flow to get what he wants: a promotion at work, and to win back the love of Dana Delaney’s Becky. Gwen agrees to help him, an in exchange she gets to stay in the house. The two pretend they are married, then stage a phony divorce in front of the entire town. But of course, things don’t go quite as planned.
A movie like this shouldn’t work because both of these characters are lying most of the time. It’s hard to root for characters who are deceiving so many other people deliberately. But watching “Housesitter” in the theater, I got it. Newt and Gwen both want something, and working together might be the only way the each achieve their goals.
But what made the film work, was the great work of Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. The two actors have great chemistry together and their one on one scenes are some of the film’s best. There are some great verbal fights between the two. Martin and Hawn also have one of the funniest scenes with the a reverend Newt’s parents bring by to help with their relationship “troubles.”
Goldie Hawn also delivers with some epic facial expressions throughout the film. Wheter its at the Budapest restaurant, or when she finds her fake parents, or when she tells Becky the story of how her and Newton “met.” Hawn’s meeting Newtons parents for the first time was also pretty epic, and sweet at the same time.
Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn are helped by an excellent supporting cast. Dana Delaney, Donald Moffat and Julie Harris as Newt’s parents, and by Richard B. Shull and Laurel Cronin (a homeless couple who are pressed into service as Gwen’s parents), all deliver wonderful performances.
what I also liked about the cast, was that each supporting character had something to do. By the time the film ends, each of them has played a part in some way shape or form in the main plot.
The final reason I enjoy “Housesitter” is because it was shot in my home state. The town scenes were shot in Cohasset and Concord, Massachusetts, two places I’ve been too mutltiple times over the years. Each summer I would go to multiple concerts and shows at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset.
The scenes in downtown Boston were shot near where I would eventually go to art school, including the scenes featuring the Budapest restaurant. The restaurant you see in the film, was an actual restaurant near the Prudential Center area. Although I don’t remember if the restaurant was named the Budapest or not, it was still there while as I going to school. I remember when it was announced it was closing, it was a big story because the restaurant had been around for quite some time.
“Housesitter” is just a sweet and funny movie, with a rather innovative premise. I wish more people would give this movie a shot because it really is a wonderful little comedy. The setting, and the town people, and the performances from Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, all combine to make this one of the few romantic comedies I can honestly say I love.
For people my age and anyone who was young in the 1980’s, “The Breakfast Club” is one of those movies everyone liked because we grew up in that era. Yeah, not for me though. Truth of the matter is I hate the movie, but it wasn’t always like that. But I have a good reason disliking this movie, and it all started my freshman year of college.
Between fall of 1997 and the spring of 1999, I attended school at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater Ma. My major at the time was media communications, with a minor in graphic design.
I was excited to go to school at BSC, but soon discovered the school made it almost impossible for freshmen to get into the classes we needed for our major. During my freshman year, I was only able to take two of the required courses, one of which was a speech class.
The required speech class was three days a week, but with two different professors. On Monday, we met in a large auditorium with one teacher, and on Wednesday and Friday we’d meet in a regular classroom with a different teacher. It was in the regular classroom where my problems with “The Breakfast Club.”
One Friday, we were assigned to watch the movie, and the professor told us to just enjoy it. No need to take notes or anything. Everyone in the class was probably thinking “watch a movie for homework? cool.” So I watched it, and I liked certain parts of it, and I did laugh here and there. But I wouldn’t say it became a favorite of mine or anything. As far as I was concerned, this would be the only time I had to watch “The Breakfast Club,” but boy was I wrong!
The following Wednesday, the professor that had assigned the movie, asked us our initial thoughts about it. Even then I thought it was an odd way for her to phrase the question, but I soon found out why she said “Initial thoughts.” At the end of class, she told us to watch the movie again, but this time focus only on Judd Nelson’s John Bender. Oh, and be sure to take notes this time.
That Friday in class, we discussed the character of Bender, and what we thought of him and his actions. As fas as I was concerned, that should have been the end of my relationship with “The Breakfast Club,” but the professor had other ideas. For the weekend, she told us to watch the movie again and to focus on Molly Ringwald’ss Claire Standish.
The next week, we did it all over again for Emilio Estevez as Andy Clark. And as if that weren’t enough, we rounded things out by watching the movie again, and only for Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian Johnson.
After a couple of weeks, I had watched “The Breakfast Club” a total of five times. That was over twenty years ago now, but even today I cannot bring myself to watch the movie. This is one case where a homework assignment completley ruined a movie for me. Ah well, at least I passed the class.
“Hitch” was the 2005 romantic comedy starring Will Smith as professional dating consultant, Alex “Hitch” Hitchens. Hitch runs a successful business helping average guys navigate the rough world of New York romance.
Hitch helps his clients land dates with their dream girls because he understands women: how to get their attention, how to seem heroic in their eyes, what to say and what definitely not to say to them.
Ya know, I really could have used a guy like Hitch in High School.
Anyways, Hitch’s latest client Albert (Kevin James), is in love with the rich, powerful and beautiful Allegra (Amber Valletta). But Albert doubts she would ever date a shy overweight accountant, but that’s where Hitch comes in.
But one love story wasn’t enough for this movie, so we also see Hitch falling in love with Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a gossip columnist who is doing a story about the famous dating consultant. Of course, Hitch doesn’t know she’s writing an expose about him, but that’s another story.
I think that about covers the plot of the film for the most part. But going to see this movie, turned out to be an adventure of its own. A few friends and I decided to make “Hitch” our Tuesday Movie Night, meaning we saw the movie on february 15. The date is important because it happens to be my friend Ali’s birthday. Back then, while most people made a big deal about February 14th, I was usually more focused on her birthday.
Since Tuesday Movie Night coincided with Ali’s big day, we decided to grab an early dinner before the movie. Ali, her sister Caitlin, Barbara, Hedie, Wah Kee, and I, would meet at the Friendly’s inside the Hanover Mall. Now that I think about it, we really should have taken Ali to a nicer place for her birthday. But in my defense, we did do that the following year.
Anywho, I drove by myself to the mall, but for some reason I decided to take the highway that afternoon. This was rare for me, because at that time of the day, Route 3 south is basically a parking lot, so I usually took back roads to the movies.
As I was driving on the highway, I suddenly heard a loud pop, but the car didn’t feel any different, so I kept going. When I finally arrived at the mall, I realized I’d been driving on a flat tire for about 15 minutes.
Too be honest, I was more concerned about possibly missing “Hitch” than I was about the damn tire. So I frantically searched for my AAA card, only to realize it had expired at the beginning of the year. Luckily, my friend Wah Kee had his card, and he called AAA for me. They said it would take about an hour, so we joined the others at Friendly’s.
I was just about to take a bite of my chicken parm melt when my cell phone rang, it was AAA letting me know they were there. I gave Ali one of her gifts. and rushed outside. By the time the tow truck guy was fixing my tire, Ali and the others were headed for the movie theater across the street. Wah Kee and I waited for the AAA guy to finish, then jumped into his car and raced to the theater.
Kee and I didn’t quite make it though. By the time we arrived inside, Hitch was already meeting with Albert on the steps of a building. We had missed the entire opening of the film, but I have to give the movie credit. The plot was structured in a way that made it easy for us to catch up, and by the time the movie was over, we didn’t feel like we missed anything.
“Hitch” turned out to be a surprisingly good movie. I laughed my head off in several spots, like when Will Smith drop kicks Eva Mendes in the face. I also found myself relating to Albert more than I would have liked. The cast was terrific, and I really bought that Will Smith was falling for Eva Mendes. Even the Albert and Allegra story was funny and sweet in a way.
Whether the movie was that funny, or it was just the right movie at the right time, I don’t know. All I do know, I liked “Hitch” enough to buy it on dvd when it came out. But even if I hadn’t liked the movie, February 15, 2005 was one heck of a memorable night.
For more years than I care to remember, I was a huge fan of professional wrestling. From the heyday of Hulkamania in the 1980’s, through the dark days of the New Generation and the Monday Night Wars, and the incredible Attitude Era, I witnessed it all either on television, or in person.
I was mostly a WWF fan, but eventually I started following WCW as well. During this time, I spent every Saturday morning or afternoon watching “WWF Superstars” and “Wrestling Challenge” back to back. Then at 6:05, I’d flip over to Superstation TBS to see what “WCW Saturday Night” had in store for me.
By 1996 I started attending WWF house shows at the Fleetcenter in Boston, and the company’s annual visit to the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset. The Music Circus shows were great because they game me a chance to meet a few wrestlers before the event.
But without a doubt, out of the dozens, and dozens, of live wrestling events I ever went to, my all time favorite was “Wrestlemania XIV,” which took place exactly twenty years ago today.
“WrestleMania XIV” took place on March 29, 1998 at the Fleetcenter in Boston, Massachusetts. The event was headlined by the Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels match, with special guest Mike Tyson. The event also features appearances by Pete Rose and Gennifer Flowers. And since this Wrestlemania was in Red Sox country, Pete Rose did not get a warm reception.
Anyways, I went to the show with two friends, both named Dan, oddly enough. One of the Dan’s was better known as “Meathead,” I remember it was his idea we buy our tickets months in advance. We did it, but it didn’t matter, we still ended up in the nose bleed seats. However, if you look close enough, you can see us a few times during the show.
We decided to head into the city early so that we could grab dinner at Hooters, and then check out the WWF souvenir shop. As we waited in line at the souvenier stand, a few spots ahead of us was a dad carrying his son on his shoulders.
The kid couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8, and when the crowd started chanting “Austin! Austin!” the young kid started flipping people off. This made people start cheering even louder, and the kid started shouting “Hell Yeah!” as he continued to flip off the crowd.
I looked around at shirts and other stuff, but only bought a Wrestlemania program. Meathead on the other hand, bought a championship belt, a hoodie, and the bought a unnoficial t-shirt from some guy outside the Fleetcenter for $24. A couple of weeks later Meathead informed me that the $24 shirt fell apart after the first wash.
“Wrestlemania XIV” didn’t disappoint. We thought all of the matches were awesome from start to finish, and the crown was hot all night. All three of us lost our voice after “Wrestlemania XIV,” from all the shouting we did.
After the show, all three of us fell asleep on the T on the way home and missed our Quincy stop. This meant we had to take the train back a couple of stations. Oh well, it was still a fun night.
The fourteenth WrestleMania was an important one for the WWF, for several reasons. The company was still recovering from some rough years, that saw the steroid scandal, and several big name talents jump ship to rival WCW. But by 1998 business was picking up again, and the Attitude Era was in full swing.
I’m just glad I was there to witness a small part of this amazing era, but it’s still hard to believe its been twenty years.