You guys, I have a secret. And it’s not a scandalous, juicy one… actually, it’s sort of embarrassing, in that “look, you’ve got food in your teeth” sort of way. You see, I’m a serious lady. I’d consider myself a feminist, I read memoirs and watch documentaries on the melting of the polar ice caps. I listen to NPR.
But if you were to find me on a Saturday night, after the kids are tucked in to their beds, you’ll find me indulging in my guilty pleasure. The red glow of Netflix fills the room, and I scroll through to my favorites, hoping the husband won’t walk in the room and see the total ridiculousness on the screen. I make my selection, and settle in with a huge grin on my face.
You see, my friends, I am mildly obsessed with romantic comedies. And not in an ironic sort of way, where I watch them and make fun of how horrible they are, but in a way where I squeal with excitement when Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey dance in Central Park. Yes, I watch movies starring J-Lo and I LIKE THEM. Someone should probably revoke my NPR membership.
Sometimes when I confess my love of these silly love stories, people assume I just mean the greats, like Sleepless in Seattle or Annie Hall, but I am the first to admit I am no intellectual when it comes to “meet cutes” on screen. Of course, I’m a fan of the big ones, but I’ll just as soon cry during a Hallmark Family Channel Christmas movie. Have you noticed in the past few weeks that all of the awful/wonderful/cheesy holiday movies are all available on Netflix?! Last Saturday, I watched Dear Santa (directed by Jason Priestly from Beverly Hills: 90210…it doesn’t get nerdier than that!) and next up is the 12 Dates of Christmas (starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar because WHY NOT?). It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
But if you’re looking for the best, the granddaddy of amazinginess, there is only one movie you need to add to your rotation: You’ve Got Mail. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (pre-plastic surgery). New York. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. Christmastime. It’s got everything! You’ve Got Mail is probably my favorite movie of all time, and while some might find that embarrassing, I actually say it with pride. The world can be a scary place, and while we all must be engaged, for me, it’s important to be able to disconnect sometimes. And there is no better way to disconnect than to watch Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly navigate an online relationship using a dial up connection.
In addition, when I get overwhelmed with the weight of motherhood or just being a human in this sometimes broken world, it helps me to suspend reality for a while, and pretend I live in a world where all your problems can be solved by simply adding more twinkle lights. I mean, there are worse vices to have, you know?
So if you need me this holiday season, you can find me on the couch with some popcorn and tissues, embracing my guilty pleasure in all of it’s glorious silliness.