From Dirty Dancing to Totoro

There’s this challenge circulating in Facebook, challenging people to post pictures from movies that have impacted them somehow, ten movies, one per day. I did – or rather am still in the middle of doing it – but thought I’d make a post about them too, explaining why exactly they’re important to me. Since that’s “forbidden” in all of these FB challenges for some odd reason.

There’s plenty of movies to choose from – so many good ones and even some bad ones that have left some sort of mark on me over the years. Still, instead of having to select from too many movies, I found myself struggling to fill the ten with truly important ones. Many movies were good and touching and whatnot, but did they leave a permanent mark? Mostly not.

This is the list I came up with. First four were a no-brainer, so huge were they to me. The rest were more difficult to pick.

  1. Dirty Dancing
    dirtydancing
    If you were a teen girl in the eighties, it was more likely for you to fall in love with this movie than not. I think I was only 12 when it came out and I needed to have a parent with me to watch it; for some reason it was my dad taking me, not my mom.The movie opened a whole new world to me!

    Somehow, even though it’s set in the fifties, it opened the teendom to me. Launched me into teenhood. I remember wanting to become a dancer/actress/singer/writer/animal caretaker combo after seeing the movie.

    Favorite quote
    Penny: “Oh, Come On, Ladies. God Wouldn’t Have Given You Maracas If He Didn’t Want You To Shake ’Em!” 

  2. The Sound of Music
    soundofmusic
    I mean, obviously. The movie that made me fall in love with musicals. My grandma had this on a VHS and I first saw it with her, after which I watched it over and over again at her place. This movie was also my first brush with Nazis and what they did.

    Favorite quote
    Maria: “Excuse me sir, I don’t know your signal.” Captain: “You may call me ‘Captain’.”
     

  3. Victor Victoria
    victorvictoria
    Man, this one was an instant hit with me! Absolutely wonderful musical with good humor and great music. I absolutely love the scene where they do the “You and me” with a bunch of good natured bickering that just gives the audience the feeling that they are totally at ease with themselves as well as each other.

    Favorite quote
    Toddy: “I taught him everything I know.” Victor: “That’s why he has so little left.”
     

  4. Mamma Mia!
    Mamma-Mia-1
    Mamma Mia! What’s there not to love? I mean, Greek island, Abba songs, love and humor and Meryl Streep. It always makes me think of Tinos, and it always makes me cry. With every watch I find new things that touch me one way or the other. Dot dot dot!

    Favorite quote
    Donna: “I used to have fun.” Lisa: “Oh, we know!”

  5. Top Gun
    topgun
    Great balls of fire! Not too many things that would be more iconic eighties than Top Gun. Take My Breath Away was played in every school disco, multiple times. Motorcycles, riding into the sunset, all that testosterone in the sky. Man, I was so in love with Tom Cruise.

    Favorite quote
    Maverick: “It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”

  6. Brother Bear
    koda
    I just cry every. single. time. There is something absolutely beautiful about the story, that touches me somewhere deep deep inside. I love the way the spirits fly in the northern lights, how Kenai learns to care and love, all of it. Of course, the moose bros make me chuckle through my tears.

    First time I saw this movie was in the theater with my kids who were maybe three and five years old. I was struggling to hold myself together so that especially the very empathetic younger one wouldn’t get scared or start to cry too.

    Favorite quote
    Sitka: “Bonehead, just because his totem is wisdom doesn’t mean he’s wise. I mean, look at him.” 

  7. Les Miserables
    lesmiserables
    One time my son was watching this in the living room while I was reading in the library. There’s no door so I could hear the movie prefectly. Despite trying to concentrate on my book, I cried. Just cried. Another one of those movies with so much feeling, so much human tragedy, so many aspects that touch my soul. not to forget the amazing music.

    Favorite quote
    Fantine: “I dreamed a dream in time gone by… when hope was high, and life worth living…” 

  8. Coctail
    coctail
    Another eighties movie, another Tom Cruise movie. Beach Boys Cocomo. Dreams of the sun and just life. The movie made me think anything was possible for me, too.

    Favorite quote
    Bonnie: Excuse me, do I have “fuck me” written on my forehead? 

  9. Pretty Woman
    prettywoman
    And another one from the eighties. It was a debate between this and My Fair Lady, but Pretty Woman won. Maybe because there’s more I can relate to, kind of. Champagne, strawberries, hot tub scene. More modern cinderella story.I love the scene where Vivien tears down the street in Edward’s car noting that it “corners like it’s on rails”, and the one where Edward thinks Vivien is doing drugs in the toilet, when she’s just flossing after eating strawberries. Oh, and the hot tub scene.

    Favorite quote
    Vivien: “Did I mention, my leg is 44 inches from hip to toe. So basically we are talking about 88 inches of therapy wrapped around you for the bargain price of three thousand dollars.”

  10. My Neighbor Totoro
    totoro
    The troubled kids whose mom is in the hospital. The friendly Totoro and cat bus and all, that help them cope in the new home while dad is working. Plus, those siblings always remind me of my own kids. The dynamics are so similar.

    Favorite quote
    Tatsuo Kusakabe: “That’s wonderful. Good for you! I’ve always wanted to have a haunted house. It’s been my lifelong dream!”

     

Some other movie trivia of my life:

  • First movie I ever saw in the theater was Bambi
  • I went to see it with my friend and her dad
  • At that time, there was no dubbing in Finland, so parents all over the theater were whispering the subtitles to the kids
  • Other important childhood movies were The Fox and the Hound, E.T. and this Finnish movie “Kuningas, jolla ei ollut sydäntä” (King who had no heart)
  • My strongest negative memory stamp is from the movie Electric Grandma; the scene where she poured milk from her finger icked me bad
  • When I was a kid, my dad was more likely to take me to the movies
  • He always bought a bag of popcorn (no fresh popcorn in Finnish movie theaters at the time), a Royal chocolate bar and a box of “Amerikan pastillit” (m&m type sugar coated chocolates, in the Featured Image pic)
  • At home I watched a whole lot of old Finnish movies from the Ansa Ikonen & Tauno Palo era with my dad
  • I have never been big on horror movies; they give me nightmares for a long time
  • I gave in to my sister once and watched Pet Sematary when I was maybe 20
  • Other negative impact movies are The Thing and Bladerunner
  • The first movie I went to see underage (K16 movie when I was 13) was Tequila Sunrise and I loved it
  • I went to see every single Tom Cruise movie in the theater
  • I love old MGM musicals and have a nice collection of them as DVDs
  • Some of my favorite MGM musicals are Summer Stock, Singing in the Rain, Top Hat, Swing Time
  • Other beloved musicals are e.g. Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins returns, Grease, Footloose, The Greatest Showman
  • I have a Holiday Time movie list I watch through almost every Christmas time: Borrowed Hearts, White Christmas, Holiday, and Love, Actually
  • I saw It’s a Wonderful Life so many times as a teen that I can’t stand the movie anymore
  • Some favorite contemporary movies contain Out of Sight, Avatar, Tron Legacy, Star Wars series, Marvel Avenger movies (Thor movies, especially), Kingsman movies
  • I usually prefer reading to watching movies and only watch movies when my daughter asks me to watch something with her
  • I go to the movies usually once of twice a year, generally with my offspring
  • The last movie I’ve seen is The Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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