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Friday, August 22, 2008


My sophomore year of college was an exquisitely terrible time in my life. I had a break-up that lasted for almost an entire year. An entire year of being in a state of breaking up with someone I loved and had thought would be in my life forever. Because I was tortured by this (in that way that only a Scandinavian studies major who is 19-years-old and studying Par Lagerkvist and August Strindberg day in and day out can be tortured), my friends were invited along for the ride and equally tortured by the break-up-that-took-an-entire-year.

Which is why we started Bad Movie Night.

Once a month, a group of us went to the video store in the afternoon and rented three or four movies--the worst we could find. This is why I have seen every movie in the Children of the Corn franchise. The rule was that everyone got one time to call "pause" during the evening and a short pee-break was given between each film. We sat through some of the worst films of all time and in the wee hours of the morning (because movie night did not even begin usually until we were good and drunk at 10 p.m.), we put it to a vote as to who chose the worst film (since everyone brought one to the table) and the winner received a prize, which was usually alcohol related.

One afternoon, the day of movie night, we were wandering through the store, debating whether a slasher film or cheap porn was the worse option (since, you know, choosing the worst film was the point) when we passed through the foreign film section and I took Toto Le Hero off the shelf.

I remember standing in the store while Mike tossed the video around in hands saying, "you are neeeeeeeeever going to win with that one."

I threw the match. I wanted to watch it because the person-of-the-year-long-break-up had watched it with me back in high school and we always sang the Charles Trenet song from it together. Somehow I knew that it was better not to tell everyone that I had seen it before. Why I wanted to see it again. I pretended that I thought it would suck. It was like putting on a sweatshirt from the back of the closet that I had forgotten I owned.

This afternoon, the ChickieNob and I were watching Littlest Pet Shop movies on YouTube (what, you didn't know there is an entire genre of LPS films, as they are called? Grown-ups, making odes to wide-eyed plastic toys) and I typed in Charles Trenet's name, not really expecting to find anything. But here he is, singing my favourite song from the film.

Can you imagine anything more tortuous than a pining 19-year-old Scandinavian studies major listening to a song about love in the middle of a year-long-break-up?

Added: As Jess points out, if you don't speak or read French, this isn't perhaps as amusing (maybe it's not that funny to find Charles Trenet on YouTube even if you do know French) BUT imagine a 19-year-old Melissa, in angst...actually, in ANGST. In all black. Watching this film to torture herself during the year-long-break-up. The misery of all of it. But if you want a translation in English of the song, I found one online. With guitar chords!


Jess said...

I confess, I don't get it.

But I like your story. :) It's HILARIOUS that you guys did a bad movie night!! WITH PRIZES!

Jess said...

Oh my goh, PS...I youtubed Littlest pet shop. I HAD THOSE. LOTS OF THEM. It was like a trip down memory lane. I'm delighted to say I think I STILL HAVE THEM and can give them to Ava when she's done eating everything in a few months.

Dude, did I just admit how young I really am?

Cassandra said...

I love it!!! It is so whimsical. This is exactly the kind of music that children should be listening to, not the insidious saccharine that they get.

It probably does help that I speak French, but that just enables me to know that much of the song is near-nonsense.

Zut alors, c'est merveilleux! Merci beaucoup, Madame Sucette!

bleu said...

The song sounds so happy and wistful. Like a great old Hollywood film where the guy and the girl are walking through a beautiful Parisian park in the spring singing about how there hearts go boom with each other.

M de P said...

I'm so sorry to be laughing at this painful period in your life, but this post is too funny. I am laughing out loud!! :)

Anonymous said...

I get it! I hate angst, but love what it turns into (you know wisdom, understanding, compassion for others)
here from ICLW- but you know that already:)
Au Revoir,

MrsSpock said...

Wow, Children of the Corn. My hippie cousin named her son Malachi, and that movie is all I can think of when I hear his name.

Bea said...

Bad Movie Night! Genius!


barrenisthenewblack said...

I had that relationship in college....but I didn't get a bad movie night prize for it. Genius!

Kristin said...

Oh my husband would win bad movie night. He actually sat through Leprechaun in the Hood with Warwick Davis, Ice-T, and Coolio.

Blissfully Teal said...

Oh, bless you girl, that was funny stuff. I too, have pushed the knife in just a bit deeper into the painful-breakup-wound...why do we do this??? Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from a Dr. Who episode, "I like this makes me sad", "Why on earth would sad be good???", "Sad is like happy for deep people." :-)

Tara said...

Blissfully Teal - LOVE that Dr. Who quote!

Jaymee said...

I miss bad movie night. Thinking I am going to bring that tradition back. Mine started in the summer between HS and college. My husband, then my best friend, and his girlfriend, would stay in his room all Saturday and watch horrible B movies. His mother would knock on the door from time to time and say, "I hope you are being careful in there." Not that we were doing anything, except laying on the floor watching movies. It is my favorite memory.

kccat said...

I like the idea of a bad movie nights. Sounds like a good drunk evening with friends. ICLW

seriously? said...

Here from ICLW. Bad movie night sounds like a lot of fun. I know the pain of the year long break up. I look back now and marvel at it, what a waste of energy.

I wonder if there is a bad movie night e-vite...