BY SARAH EVANS
I’ve always liked movies, much like the rest of us on here. Watching movies was a great way to keep my brother and I out of our mom’s hair, not to mention an amazing hour or so of hypnotizing visual entertainment. As a child, I seemed to be drawn to really campy, quirky and all around messed up movie plots — Garbage Pail Kids, Drop Dead Fred and Stay Tuned. These titles were only stepping stones towards the cinematic experience that blew my mind.
My dad lives in California, so when I was finally old enough to be entrusted to travel with my older brother, my dad took us to Hollywood. It was really different than what I thought it would be. I think part of me thought it was going to crawling with celebrities and glitter would be coating the buildings like stucco. However, it was pretty dirty and there were lots of scary homeless people either screeching on the sidewalk or completely catatonic. Also, I didn’t figure this out until later, but the women scattering the streets were not old celebrities like my dad had told me. Needless to say, this beautiful image of Hollywood I had created in my mind crumbled like a sandcastle under some asshole’s foot (in this case, a hobo’s).
Anyway, as we continued walking the soiled Hollywood streets, we stopped in front of this stunning Chinese temple. This “temple” turned out to be a movie theatre; Mann’s Chinese Theatre, to be exact. Up until that point, I’d only laid eyes on the boring exteriors of the Cineplex Odeon in town. But this … this was amazing. I think my dad picked up on how enthralled I was with whole thing and thought it would be neat to see a movie there. Any movie I wanted. That movie was Clueless. I don’t think my brother was too thrilled about it, but my dad was game (probably for Alicia Silverstone) and I was pumped to be seeing a PG-13 movie.
After we emerged from the theatre, I felt different. Almost as though I had matured from being a 9-year old to a PG-13-year-old. I know I didn’t understand some of the dialogue that was going on half the time (what’s an herbal refreshment?) and Coolio’s “Rolling With The Homies” had pnly secretly become my new favourite song, but I had just watched a movie in a crazy Chinese temple in downtown Hollywood and in some way, it felt like I had reached a milestone. Clueless introduced me to parody and themes I otherwise hadn’t really witnessed in any other movie I had watched, such as sex, drugs and homosexuality. I was so influenced by the film that I even went as a Valley Girl for Halloween. No one really understood what I was, which to me, was a small achievement.
Although Clueless wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece, it opened my eyes to a different culture I otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of. It was an experience that made me realize the different worlds you can be exposed to right on the comfort of a movie theater seat.
Sarah is coupon writer by day and a freelance photographer/writer by night in the Ottawa region. Her all time favourite movie is The Exorcist and she cries in almost every sad scene in a movie no matter how bad it is.