On Facebook, I list my favorite movies because that is just what one does, and of course, I list ones that make me sound exactly as charming and intellectual, yet fun as I am, because that is also what one does. I could not possibly be born in 1982 and live in an urban center without professing my love for Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or Wes Anderson moves in general. I even listed Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion because I just like it and there’s no shame in that game, really. But what I didn’t list is Parent Trap II, which is only my favorite movie in the world.

My mama was sure to raise me on the best of Hayley Mills, like Pollyanna and The Parent Trap, and I’m pretty sure I had some kind of crush on both Pollyanna and Sharon of Parent Trap fame. (Not Susan. Sharon’s hair was better.) So when the annual Disney Channel free preview came around, you better believe I caught the next generation’s wacky antics in the Parent Trap sequel. OF COURSE my mom taped it for me and I watched it repeatedly on VHS, and I wanted to BE Mary Grand. (I think I turned out to be more of a Nicki Ferris.) I even attempted to enlist my pre-school best friend, Mandy, to convince her dad to marry my mom so that we could be sisters, never mind the fact that our respective parents were happily married.

And friends, I am not ashamed to tell you that I can still do that obnoxious thing where I say all the lines along with the characters. The title of this post came entirely from memory. And I would be lying if I said that it hadn’t occurred to me to decorate my new apartment in the style of Tampa, Florida, ca. 1986–inflatable palm trees, faux-abstract “art,” and all. I seriously love this movie.

About two years ago, I ended up in Tampa for some reason, and I kind of made no secret of the fact that I didn’t want to be there. The details aren’t important. The thing that is important, though, is that as I quietly and maturely sulked, we drove by the Press Box sports bar. And I definitely made my boyfriend pull over the car and I got out and thanked my lucky stars for digital cameras as I shot at least 20 photos of the restaurant where Bill Grand and Sharon Ferris meet up. It’s a real place! And deserving of a historic monument. My boyfriend later commented, “I think that was the most excited I’ve seen you this whole week,” which I’m sure is true. After that, he ordered me the Parent Trap 2 DVD.

After each viewing of the movie, I’m compelled to Google lyrics to the background songs and cobble together a soundtrack on iTunes, but that project never quite works out. I think the producers also used a lot of songs with loose copyrights. But the other day, I was listening to Pandora radio, and I knew those opening notes. It was Heart’s 1985 hit, “Nothin’ at All,” which Nicki jams out to in her bedroom when she’s supposed to be doing her homework, and her mother forces her to turn it down. And somehow, all my life, that song eluded me. But now, I am 27 years old, I have a credit card, iTunes, and a place of my own, and at least once daily, I queue up that song and for a hot minute, I am Nicki Ferris.

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