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Desperate Working Mommas
Your one-stop site for fanatical television snarking, questionable political analysis, occasional attempts to address the parenting issues facing working mothers, and halfhearted promises to stop obsessing about the entertainment industry, already! Oh, not to mention the random bitching and moaning. There's always that.
Monday, January 03, 2005
Got Some Dancing to Do...

Recently, after viewing the movie Ella Enchanted, my children conned me into buying the soundtrack for their listening pleasure. Now, please note, my selection of music is usually much more highbrow, but I was all, "Okaaaaaay, if I must..."

Fine. That's a lie. I wanted it; God forgive me, I wanted it! I mean, Anne Hathaway covering Queen's "Somebody to Love"? Need I say more? (Oh. Really? Uh...) Hey. If you've ever been forced to drive in the city with three children-- between the ages of five and eight, mind you-- subjected to the earsplitting screams of "Tanner's touching me!" and the ever-popular "I need to go to the bathroom AND I'm hungry!"-- not to mention the flying spittle projected during the inevitable spit war between sisters fighting for wardrobe control of the lone Polly doll someone remembered to bring-- well, you'd want the stupid CD, too.

I honestly can't explain it. Something magical happens to my children when Anne Hathaway's tinny-- yet tonally correct and somewhat appealing-- voice timidly croons, "Can...any-bod-eey...find...me-he-he-he...some-bod-eey to-hoo... luuuuuuuuuv?" My children are magically transformed from little terrors into consummate performers and proceed to sing their little lungs out. And I just don't get it. This soundtrack is one painful remake after another. No song is safe, people. Not Katrina and the Waves' "Walking On Sunshine." Not Aretha's "Respect" (although Kelly Clarkson does a damn fine job with it-- she is the original American Idol, after all). And if I have to listen to Miss Hathaway butcher one of Queen's most cherished tunes, along with an admittedly catchy version of "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and a warbling duet with Jesse McCartney-- Jesse McCartney!-- covering the ever-popular "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," well, then, by golly, I'll do it. For the children.

But I digress. As I was saying, no song is safe. Not even Olivia Newton-John's "Magic" from the absolute best flippin' movie ever featuring Olivia Newton-John (who I so totally wanted to be)!

Aaah, Xanadu. Sweet Xanadu.

Fine. Another lie. Not the part about me wanting to be Olivia Newton-John. That part is true. There are too many incriminating pictures of me in roller skates and leg warmers, with matching headband to boot, arms hand-jiving away in some intricate roller-skating slash disco-dancing gesticulation only known to the hundreds, nay, several hundreds of faithful followers of the cult hit Xanadu, for me to deny it. In my defense, every young girl in my day (and several young boys, I'm afraid) wanted to be Olivia. It's true. Ask... someone. No, I was referring to Xanadu being the "absolute best movie featuring Olivia Newton-John ever." Total lie. Personally, I think she was just pushing her luck after Grease, but hey, you gotta ride the wave, eh? Honestly. I have to admit the movie is bad, bad, bad, from start to finish, plot-wise. Bad. Oh, it's bad. And the dialogue sucks. I can't bring myself to repeat any of it's suckiness here, although I can probably quote the movie verbatim. Somehow, they even ruined the word "glitz" for me.

Ew. Glitz. You see?

But, hello? Animation sequence? ELO? Gene Flippin' Kelley?! Not to mention that awesome fantasy scene where two separate musical numbers totally converge--40's swing (Olivia) meets 80's pseudo-disco-punk glam (the Tubes)-- both literally and musically. Brilliant! Remember the lady in the leopard print cat suit, all chained up, just gyrating away? Do ya? And how she totally danced up all over those swinging sisters' asses? Uh-huh. You know.

"Lover! I won't take a back seat tonight! Oooooooh!"

Oh, and what about the scene where Sonny, floundering in his inability to Express his Artistic Soul through Real Art, slips into his roller skates and red and white-striped silk short-shorts and pounds out his frustration on the Venice Beach boardwalk? I mean, wow. Powerful stuff. I remember watching that scene over and over again, enthralled. Because who in his right mind would roller skate right into a wall? Even if it had a cool mural of beautiful Greek muses tantalizingly you? Because it's a wall! A Big Hard Wall! But he does, and I was all, "OOOOOH!" every time. I mean, it looks like he's just going to SPLAT, you know? But the movie is all gel-backlighting, kick-ass dance sequences, and sweet tunes from here on out, baby.

Here's the kicker: Did you know my local Blockbuster doesn't carry this movie? And I live in the city! Where there's supposed to be culture! The twelve-year-old minding the register was all, "Xana-what?" and I'm totally reenacting the Xanadu grand finale roller skating scene-- hand gestures and all-- and he's like, "Does it have that guy from Pulp Fiction in it?" and I'm all, "That's Grease, loser!" and my daughter's all, "Mom, I want the Strawberry Shortcake one!" and I'm like, "Dude, get on the phone and CALL AROUND."

If you can believe it, not ONE of the Blockbusters that Junior called in the area had the movie. Nada. Zip. Now how's a sistah supposed to expose her children to new horizons and the fugliest fashion trends of the late 70's if the local Blockbuster ain't representing? Huh?

Got some dancing to do...

Someone get Baz Luhrmann on the phone. I think we have a potential hit remake on our hands. I'm so not lying.

Got some dancing to do...
Got some dancing to do...

link | posted by Cat at 1:13 PM

Blogger Andy commented:

Wow. You know I just watched Xanadu because it was in the video cabinet and thought it was some 80's mythic fantasy type movie but it wasn't. Then I bumped into your blog and - well I guess I just had to mention that.
Good luck with the kids eventhough as a single 20 something male I can't really relate.

» 1/03/2005 1:48 PM 
Blogger Cat commented:

Heh. That was a CRAZY coincidence! But you didn't mention totally LOVING Xanadu. Hmm. I'll let it go. Thanks for commenting. :)

» 1/03/2005 4:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous commented:

Yo big sistah says "I never really got into Xanadu all that much. But I did like the dance scenes and music."
Peace out.

» 1/03/2005 7:56 PM 
Blogger Cat commented:

Kimmie! Kimmie! Is that you, my sistah?

» 1/03/2005 8:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous commented:

Yeppers, it's me!

» 1/05/2005 10:21 PM 

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