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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.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Got Some Dancing to Do... Revisited

William, DUDE, in response to the comment you made yesterday, allow me to say that in my personal opinion there can never be too many bad 80's references... or allusions to that classic cult roller skating-cum-disco dancing hit Xanadu starring one Olivia Newton John and... um, you know, that other guy.

If you will forgive my effrontery, allow me to take all y'all back to some thoughts I shared on this topic back in January of '05...

(cue the Wayne's World flashback effect... doodle-ooh, doodle-ooh, doodle-ooh...)

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? Totally sucks. I can't bring myself to repeat any of its 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 in which 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 and over again, enthralled. Because who in his right mind would roller skate right into a wall? Even if it has a cool mural of beautiful Greek muses tantalizingly you to "come hither" and whatnot? Because it's a wall! A huge, solid, crack-your-head-like-a-melon wall! But he does, and I'm all, "OOOOOH!" every time. Honestly... that is cinema. 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.

But 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 boogie scene-- hand gestures and all (slap, slap, clap-clap-clap, arm-cross, arm-cross, arms thrown wide, yell: "Xanadu!")-- and he's like, "Does it have that guy from Pulp Fiction in it?" and I'm all, "No, 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 5:43 AM

Blogger WILLIAM commented:

Whew....for a second there I thought you did not know about the movie.

Was Anne Hatahway ....ummm say..."Pitchy" when she sings queen?

» 2/21/2006 7:14 AM 
Blogger Odd Mix commented:

Cat, you are nuts! But I love your blog.

And just so your kids can never claim cultural deprivation, Click here for Xanadu courtesy of blockbuster.

» 2/21/2006 8:23 AM 
Blogger Cat commented:

William, man, I would have to say that she was a little pitchy, but she did her thing, dawg, and she is definitely in my Dawg Pound, a'ight?

And thanks Odd Mix, that is so thoughtful! But, really, you have to know that after this fiasco I went right out and bought the DVD! I mean, naturally!

» 2/21/2006 8:33 AM 
Anonymous Pinky commented:

Your post must be a sign! On Saturday, Olivia's "Magic" came on XM Radio's 80's station. Of course my husband was driving and changed the station. I said, "What are you doing? That's from Xanadu; put it back." He looked at me like I was nuts. He's also six years younger than me, so he has no clue about the good stuff. Watch it again for me, would ya?!

Pinky the Lurker

» 2/21/2006 9:10 AM 
Blogger Vajana commented:

oh Cat I'm a pretty, well, fairly big Queen fan (insert joke here) and her singing that song was the only reason I could sit through that movie more than once. Fantastic. I bet my kids would love the soundtrack.

Have you heard the Sky High soundtrack? Lots of 80s covers.

Xanaduuuuuuuuuuu. I do believe only girls of our age have a true appreciation for said film, only because it was played ad nauseum on HBO and Cinemax in the early 80s when we were at our prime teen idol hood.

» 2/21/2006 10:49 AM 
Blogger not-so-normal mom commented:

My dad LOVED Olivia Newton John, and even had Xanadu on eight track. I know the movie as well, and I LOVE Grease. I'm right along with you. That movie rocked. Not because of the plot or dialogue, but becuase of all the things you mentioned. It was just awesome. I can't hear any ELO song without thinking of Xanadu. I'm off to find the soundtrack...

» 2/21/2006 11:33 AM 
Anonymous kalki commented:

::whispering:: I've never seen this movie. Don't tell William.

» 2/21/2006 1:48 PM 
Blogger Circus Kelli commented:

::whispering:: Kalki, same here

» 2/21/2006 2:19 PM 
Blogger Amy commented:

The mental picture of your kids singing somebody to love makes me happy.

Xanadu! Love it! I still have an ad for the movie that I ripped out of my sister's Seventeen magazine when it was coming out. Totally going now to check and see if I can get it on ebay.

» 2/21/2006 4:45 PM 
Blogger Ern commented:

Blockbuster is the killer of all that is unique and classic, replacing it with mass-media hits and only the popular new releases. Remember when the little privately owned video stores were all that could be found? They were the best. People had actually heard of classic movies like Xanadu.

::whispering:: Kalki, you must endeavor to find this classic at your Redneck Valley Video Heaven (or some such store)

» 2/21/2006 7:30 PM 
Blogger Bente commented:

::whispering:: I've also never seen this movie. This is the first time I've ever heard of it.

» 2/21/2006 11:21 PM 
Anonymous kalki commented:

::whispering:: CK and Bente, we shall get together and watch this movie. Somehow..you know, despite geography.

Ern, I had no idea you had such an anti-Blockbuster soapbox! Love it.

» 2/21/2006 11:38 PM 
Blogger WILLIAM commented:

-whispering-Why is everyone whispering?

» 2/22/2006 7:45 AM 
Anonymous Di commented:

Is something up with the comment thing? I'm sure I comment here, but it is posted on the one before. Maybe it's just me.

» 2/22/2006 12:29 PM 
Blogger Cat commented:

::whispering:: I don't know... but it's FUN! (oops)

» 2/22/2006 1:09 PM 

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