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  • Writer's picturechristinemerle

It's Groundhog Day again . . .

Pardon me, do you know what day of the week it is? Thursday? Friday? I don't know if all of you are having the same problem that we are having, but we are struggling to remember what day of the week it is. We get up, eat, work, eat, work some more, eat, walk, eat, watch a movie, sleep - repeat. And so, as I was thinking about what my second blog should be about, I naturally thought of the movie, Groundhog Day. So you probably think this blog is going to be about the cycle that we are in, maybe some uplifting prose about how we should look at the bright side of this chance to live our day better each time as Bill Murray did, etc., etc. Nope. It's going to be about movies. Because my family has literally watched one movie every night since the quarantine began. We take turns every night and no one gets to veto the movie (except Avatar, I keep vetoing it. Don't know why. Just don't want to see it.) *Disclaimer: my kids are both teenagers and therefore some of these movies are too violent or inappropriate for all. To be honest, some of them are too violent and inappropriate for me! But we read parent reviews and make decisions on what we think is OK, skip some scenes when necessary, and cover eyes - mine, usually.

I am not a Siskel or Ebert by any stretch and my tastes for movies run pretty far in any direction (think Dodgeball, to Pride & Prejudice, to Braveheart, to documentaries), but I have learned some interesting things watching these movies with my family. So here is some of what I have noticed.

1 - Green Book & Dark Waters- wow! Love that both of these movies are based on actual events, leading us to great conversations about real life, and how there are superheroes all around us. I highly recommend both if you have teens that can make it through a movie that doesn't have a thumping soundtrack or kill count. (And how scary that the term "kill count" is a thing, and that I know it now.)

2 - In times of stress, return to the Classics - of course, the classics in MK may differ from your choices, and keep in mind that our kids have already been exposed to many of our favorites (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Blues Brothers & Blade Runner). This quarantine has shown them Top Gun, Pulp Fiction, Quiet Man, Wedding Singer, 10 Things I Hate About You & Chances Are. Some hold up really well, some do not - and that is OK. At least they will know why my husband says, "I would like a Royale with cheese" when we go to McDonald's.

3 - Also in times of stress it is nice to see some good old-fashioned butt-kicking, hence Bourne & John Wick. I do have to note here that movies have gotten increasingly violent and bloody and I wonder what that does to our kids. Should it bother me that I was more worried about the puppy in John Wick than the dozens of people he mowed down? Maybe I have become desensitized to it, as well? Refer to #1 - "kill count" up above. Really makes you think about those coronavirus numbers climbing and how it really doesn't "hit" us until it is someone we know directly, right? How do we change that? What can we do to put a face to the 10,000 people in NYS already taken by this virus? Something to think about for sure. (There had to be a little of that education-speak in this blog, after all.)

4 - BEST CHOICE - the one movie that wins so far - and by wins, I mean, everyone PUT DOWN THEIR PHONE for the entire thing, all the way into the credits was . . . . . Finding Nemo! Who would have thought the story of Nemo, Marlon & Dorrie would captivate us all . . . still. The simplicity of family love that transcends everything as it should, the "friend" who becomes family, the coming of age story, the parent letting go story - it has it all! Granted, it was my son's favorite movie when he was little so it definitely reminded us of a time gone by - a simpler time when "kill count" wasn't vocabulary that we knew and Laurie Berkner was the main singer on our CDs, not playlists.

Maybe we all needed that reminder. In this crazy quarantine world, where tragic death counts are rising, people cross the street when they see you walking toward them and we have to wave to our loved ones through a window, maybe we need a reminder of a simpler time where hugs were given freely and abundantly, bedtimes involved a happy story and simple prayers, and playing catch in the yard was a normal part of each day.

In case, you were wondering, we did watch Groundhog Day - the original. And now the kids understand why, on most mornings around here, when someone asks what day it is, we say, "It's Groundhog Day again!" *Disclaimer #2 - We also watched Edge of Tomorrow: Live, Die & Repeat, the more modern version with a "kill count". Insert my eye roll here please.

Have your Groundhog days led you to some good movies? Some good conversations? Some simpler times?

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