My dad was amazing. Let’s just start with that.
Now, I know that everyone says that about their dad, but mine really was awesome. My parents split when I was little and when I started going over to my dad’s on weekends, watching movies was our thing. Sure, he was probably just luring me with the prospect of watching movies we both knew my mom would not approve of (while The Godfather is truly amazing, even I can attest to the fact it’s probably not appropriate for a five-year-old), so he could avoid watching The Little Mermaid for the umpteenth time. But my dad is really the reason that I love movies so much.
My dad was one of those guys, while totally adamant that I grow up to be a proper young lady, who believed that no man would ever properly respect and admire me if all I ever ate was salad, I didn’t appreciate sports and I didn’t know my movies — especially the classics. You can imagine my upbringing at my dad’s place completely consisted of learning how to eat (and cook, for that matter) steak and a proper Caesar salad, alternating between golf and football on Sundays, and watching movies for the rest of the weekend, only ever stopping to watch the Leafs game on Saturday nights. Even with all those sports, we still managed to get in a good five movies per weekend.
While we watched pretty much everything that came out on VHS (and then eventually DVD), appropriate or not, my dad held firm that I had to know the classics. I had to know them in and out and be able to recite certain passages verbatim (and you can bet your ass I can), because, well, how do people have conversations unless you throw in a line or two from The Godfather? (I can’t think of how anyone could carry out a conversation like that. But, I digress.) A few of classics I just had to know (in no particular order): The Godfather I-III (but I’m sure that’s clear by now), Scarface, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Tommy Boy (yes, that’s a classic — or at least it was in our house), Arthur and, of course, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which, incidentally, is a remake of another classic, Bedtime Stories, which I also had to watch).
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a 1988 hit (it also happened to come out the year I was born — they say good things come in pairs, don’t they?) with Steve Martin and Michael Caine. And talk about a dynamic duo. Caine and Martin play a hotshot and not-so-hotshot conman, respectively, who try to con 50 Gs out of a young woman, and, well, comedy ensues. This one, I know by heart. This one I watched over and over and over again with my dad. This one was one that even to this day when it’s on TV, you stop what you’re doing and you watch, even though you own it and have for years. This is the one that no matter how many times I’ve seen it, the jokes never get old, just like my dad’s (horrible) jokes never got old. This is the one that makes me miss my dad the most.
RIP Dad. May you always have a never-ending line-up of fantastic movies of every variety, right at your fingertips.
Freddy Benson: I didn’t steal any money! She just saw me with another woman! You’re French, you understand that!
Inspector Andre: To be with another woman, that is French. To be caught, that is American.