Friday Favorites – Dani’s Favorite Movie Escapes

Old fashioned movie theater
Photo courtesy of Peter Lewicki on
Old fashioned movie theater

Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.

Screen time wasn’t really a consideration when I was growing up. Cartoons were not available 24/7 like they are now, Sunday nights were for Wonderful World of Disney when they aired their weekly family-friendly movie, I remember before TVs had remotes or VCRs were sold, and we didn’t have cable TV until I was in junior high school. I love getting caught up in the lives of other people, places, and sometimes other realities. So read on and maybe get some ideas for your next movie night in!

Dirty Dancing movie poster

Childhood Favorites

Once cable was available where we lived (small town country girl) I spent my summer evenings staying up way too late watching the old Nick at Night shows like the Patty Duke Show and Disney movies like Candleshoe. Some of my favorite childhood movies were The Parent Trap (1961) with Hayley Mills, The Goonies (1985), Dirty Dancing (1987), Adventures In Babysitting (1987), and Baby Boom (1987). 

I spent summers camping with my grandfather down the road from Lake Lure, NC, where parts of Dirty Dancing was filmed and I owned multiple colors of the Dirty Dancing t-shirts sold at the tourist shops in Chimney Rock, NC, so this movie has extra memories for me. Something about each of these movies appealed to me when I was younger for one reason or another and are now part of our video collection. 

The Chick Flick

While Reese Witherspoon was acting long before Legally Blonde (2001), I think it is pretty safe to say that this movie sent her straight from merely known to popular girl status. This is one of my favorite movies because not only did it send cute little Chihuahuas into popularity, but my grandfather decided I needed one and showed up one evening with a small black and brown Deer Head Chihuahua puppy I named Colby, who by the way was not carried in my purse (at least not for long). I liked the idea of Reese’s character, Elle Woods, breaking out of what was expected of her, demanding more of herself, and not giving up even when others told her no. Who doesn’t love a story of boys, fashion, and girl empowerment?

Legally Blonde movie
Sweet Home Alabama movie

The Rom Com

Sweet Home Alabama (2002) is the story of a small-town girl who leaves for the big city, reinvents herself, becomes successful, and falls in love. I loved Reese Witherspoon in this movie because I seriously had a case of small-town-itus and completely related to wanting to move away from everyone who knew me. Plus, it really is a funny movie – there are memes to prove it!

I also have an emotional attachment to this movie because I remember sitting in bed with my Mama and her Chihuahua, Missy, (yes, my grandfather came home with two puppies that evening) and watching it. Movies, TV shows, and books shared between us were our love language. I cherish those memories. Sometimes I come across a book or movie and think to myself, “Mama would have liked that.” 

The Tear Jerker

I have yet to come across a Nicholas Sparks book that has not made me cry. A Walk To Remember (2002) made me long for a love story like Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan’s, minus the dying of course. I read the book, watched the movie, bought the soundtrack, bought the DVD when it came out, and searched to find the exact version of the Bible that quoted 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 the way it was written in Jamie and Landon’s wedding. In my opinion, I was pretty laid back about my wedding, but Preacher Kirby reading any other version of “Love is patient, love is kind” was not up for debate. 

A Walk To Remember movie
Little Women movie poster

The Book Based Choice

A lot of movies are based on books, but I don’t always read a book and just have to watch the movie. My love affair with Little Women began one Christmas in junior high when Aunt Kay gifted me the unabridged hardback version of this book; I devoured it before winter break was over. I was in heaven when in 1994 a movie version was made. This past year after Christmas, my best friend and I had a girls’ day and went to see the newest remake of this classic book. I don’t think it’s any surprise that I identify with the character of Jo March who was self-sufficient, impatient, and longed to be a writer. 

The Classic Choice

After watching the movie, Sabrina, starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormand, I found out that it was a remake. I found a copy of the 1954 Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn, and a love affair began. I went through a phase watching anything I could get my hands on that had the famous actress in it. Audrey Hepburn…just the name and you think classic beauty, talent, and an American Sweetheart. My Fair Lady, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and Roman Holiday are just a few of her movies that I’ve added to my collection.

Sabrina movie staring Audrey Hepburn

It’s not lost on me that a major theme in many of my favorite movies is the main character reinventing herself. I think movies have been an outlet for me to imagine myself as someone else and to escape reality.

Don’t worry though! This mom doesn’t always want to be some girly-girl falling for the leading man. I’m a #BoyMom and have definitely been schooled in the ways of the force with Star Wars, some major world-saving with the superheroes from both DC and Marvel comics, and some Harry Potter magic. After escaping with my movies I’m ready for anything!

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