How often do you revisit movies that you loved in your younger years? It’s a hard idea to face, something that you held in such high esteem turning out to be a sticky turd pile. It’s so easy to hold this glossy veneer though, your views and expectations age as you do and hopefully your humour does too. Caveat: No longer finding farts funny seems less of a symptom of ageing and more because your humanity has slowly drained out of your tightly puckered hole.
All of that preamble to say that I just came out of a MUFF Society screening of Drop Dead Gorgeous. When I was in my mid teens, I had a massive crush on Kirsten Dunst. Cute as pie and she chose some pretty fun movies to star in too. They weren’t all gems. I’ll admit to watching Crazy Beautiful and whatever the one with Sisqo was (how awesome is it that my phone already had the word “Sisqo” in its autocorrect dictionary?). Drop Dead Gorgeous was my favourite though. A mockumentary based on teen pageants, the script was killer with humour that wasn’t afraid to delve into darker areas without being gratuitous or exploitative. I probably watched it 10 times or so, something which would be a mammoth feat in our time starved culture these days. Going into the screening I had no idea how it’d hold up.
It did though, I openly guffawed and clapped through the screening. Having not seen it for maybe 15 years, the whole script reeked of familiarity. The lines came back to be and held just as much promise as the first 10 times. The film has a fantastic cast. Aside from Dunst, there’s Allison Janey, Amy Adams, Denise Richards an Adam West cameo and tons more I didn’t even pick out. All those things I saw in it through my Dunst shaped rose tinted glasses held strong. Not only that, but lines I was too young for at the time suddenly made sense.
The experience was of course enriched by the work of The MUFF Society. I’ve tried in vain to attend previously, but some calamitous divine intervention has always gotten in the way. I was determined to move heaven and earth to get there tonight and I’m so stoked I did. There was a photo booth complete with props and cut out movie quotes, there was a trivia contest with legit great prizes (I wanted that teen princess sash, goddammit) and a crowd who was so enthusiastic they weren’t afraid to shout out their favorite lines. Maybe I need to defy the pantheon more often and hey to more screenings.
I still feel like revisiting old favorites is a coin flip. Things may have come up heads in this case, but am I really brave enough to revisit Mortal Kombat or The Mask (home of my first screen crush, Cameron Diaz)? Somebody stop me.