I've been using lockdown as an excuse to subject my young cousins to all of my favourite movies.
I know some people have picked up new skills, baked banana bread and cleaned the house, but I've just written several lists of must-see films for the girls to watch.
We'll call them K (she's 13) and M (11), lest they spontaneously combust with embarrassment at being mentioned in one of their nerdy cousin's stories.
This whole thing started when M told me she didn't know who Tom Hanks was.
My 28-year-old brain could not comprehend such a statement. We're talking about Tom Hanks here. TOM HANKS!
Nicest guy in Hollywood! Two-time Oscar-winner. The voice of Woody!
Then I had to figure out what else these two hadn't seen, and it was mighty frightening.
As a movie buff and film reviewer, I'd failed them.
So a list was written, firstly of my childhood favourites, but then of a bunch of other films I thought they should experience.
And, most excitingly, I've been getting them to write little reviews of each film.
The first hit to my soul came early. M declared her disdain for Practical Magic. She proceeded to tell me she was traumatised by Jimmy Angelov's reanimation and rated the movie less than 5.
K liked it more, but the damage was done.
This past weekend alone we got through eight movies from the list, and the biggest hit (much to the surprise and concern of our grandparents) was the 1990 classic thriller Misery. Both girls gave the film a 9/10 and declared it was one of the best films we've watched yet.
K and M have now seen Jaws ("the marine biologist was so stupid to drop the poison thingy"), The Shawshank Redemption, Remember the Titans, Speed ("this movie was hilarious when the bus made that ridiculous jump with zero injuries"), Jurassic Park, The Mummy and so many more.
Roughly every second movie, usually 15-20 minutes in, K says "hey, I've seen this". Neither M nor I can believe she's failed to remember so many movies.
Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet was an interesting experience (not just for them).
Firstly, I learned that neither of them had heard of Shakespeare. I questioned what their private school was teaching them.
Secondly, I learned that they did not understand the dialogue at all. So we paused every couple of minutes for me to translate - and surprisingly, they still both enjoyed it. They think Juliet could've tried harder to let Romeo know that she wasn't dead though.
While on the surface the girls are getting a bit of a film education and learning to think critically about what they're viewing, when you look a bit deeper there's more going on.
We're bonding like never before. We've got inside jokes, war stories from that time K made us watch He's All That as a palate cleanser, and even a cute group name for our trio: the Midnight Meringues (the origin of this name is a mystery - no actual meringues were involved).
I genuinely can't wait to load up the next movie - even if they hate it and crush my soul.
Raiders of the Lost Ark here we come.
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