Things My Father Has Said Grimly From the Doorway About Beloved Childhood Movies I Was Watching

You’ve Got Mail

“You know why everyone in Nora Ephron movies is divorced? Because she was divorced.”


“I would never make you watch something that hurt you this much.”

It Takes Two

(You know, the prince and pauper remake starring Mary Kate and Ashley. It was the scene where the butler comes to the rescue of the twins at the end, and says to the villain “Lady, if you touch that child, I’ll pop you one, so help me God”).

“That’s not OK.”

[Ed. note: I had remembered this line being way more blasphemous, perhaps including a benediction of sorts, the sign of the cross, a reference to the Holy Spirit. No! I trawled back through a very poorly rendered transcript of the movie online.  “So help me God” was the offending line.]

Sister Act:

(Very similar situation — the scene where Reverent Mother Maggie Smith outlines the the nun rules: “The vow of poverty.” “Mm-hm.” The vow of obedience.” “Mm-hm.” “And the vow of chastity.” “I am out here with that.”)

My dad, mournfully, pained, almost disbelieving: “That’s just so sad.”

Moulin Rouge

“Turn it off, now.”

(This was in front of my friend Krystyna, who I had over for the express purpose of watching Moulin Rouge; we had pooled our money to rent it and everything. It was incredibly embarrassing. Second only to the time I got food poisoning on a field trip to a performance of “Joan of Arc,” an interminable and punishing play, and my stomach burbled merrily along during the entire first half. I remember looking down at it crossly and imploring it to shush and stop blowing up my spot. A girl I liked was sitting mere seats away.)

My Best Friend’s Wedding

“She is a horrible person.”

This is indisputably true, and also entirely the point of the movie.


I’ve blocked this out. But I know there was An Incident.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Nothing! He liked this movie! He somehow found a Catholic reading of it! Ditto, inexplicably, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”

We agree on “A League of Their Own” and “Rear Window.” Classics, both of them.