(or, “Flicks for when you’re not feelin’ so good”)
What movies can you recall watching while you were sick, injured, or otherwise temporarily incapacitated? Are there any favorites that you summon up on Netflix, or slide into the DVD player, when you start feeling lousy?
The title of this entry comes from an experience the Cinema Wonk had last August. My husband and I were trying a new Asian restaurant. The entree’ I chose included something called a “sea cucumber“. Less than 24 hours later, I was profoundly regretting my choice during several rather urgent trips to the bathroom. “The Revenge of the Sea Cucumber” enjoyed an exclusive run, shall we say, for about two days. About the only activity I could manage between pit stops was watching TV. And brother, I was not picky about what I viewed. I’m pretty sure I watched all of one of the “Police Academy” movies for the first time in my life. Don’t ask me which one. Even though that series of movies came out just as my cinematic diet was expanding beyond Disney and the oldies shown on TBS, somehow I’d missed seeing more than a few minutes of any of them. The one that saw me through the sea-cucumber siege included a guy being tricked into washing his hair while in the nude in view of several other people, and the guy who could imitate all kinds of sounds using only his mouth. Also Steve Guttenberg was in it. (Does this narrow it down?)
All of which made this movie a perfect fit for my gastrointestinal haze. Any critical faculties I have were not just dulled; they were reduced to the level of a kindergartener’s. And that kindergartener was not the brightest kid in her class, either.
While I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve been trying to recall any other movies that made the perfect accompaniments to infirmity. And for a cinema wonk, it’s surprising that only two movie-related experiences come to mind. One is deciding that the only advantage to getting a sore throat was that I could sound more like Lauren Bacall for a few days. The second came during a recent mild cold, which seemed to respond to black-and-white British comedies. Dozing off while Peter Sellers and friends outsmarted Lionel Jeffries in “Two-Way Stretch“, and later Terry-Thomas and his teeth and a flock of spinsters (including the marvelously-named Elspeth Duxbury) contrived to steal any furs not nailed down in “Make Mine Mink“, proved very soothing for body aches and sinus congestion.
I guess this lack of sick-flick memories is good, because it means I haven’t had to spend very many long, difficult periods in bed. My only two really long periods of recovering – chickenpox and after having my wisdom teeth pulled – happened before the VCR Fairy visited our house. And the movie offerings on cable that were age-appropriate were pretty limited at those times. (During the wisdom-tooth convalescence, I do recall waking up during the Pat Benatar video for “Love Is A Battlefield”, and panicking because I thought this meant I had somehow ended up in the afterlife.) More recent sick days have been eased with DVDs, Netflix and a bigger range of movie options (and the freedom to watch R-rated stuff, without a parent censoring). So all those sick days run together. Except for that ferocious sea cucumber.
So, fellow wonks, what do you prescribe for the next time Dame Stomachache or Good Sir Sinus Infection comes a-callin’?