Two Thumbs Up!

On Christmas Eve, I was sitting on the couch with my five year old nephew watching A Christmas Story, which had been playing for 24 hours straight, when it came to the infamous swearing scene. The main character is helping his dad fix a flat tire when he suddenly drops all the lug nuts in the snow and screams, in slow motion, “Ohhhh fuuuuuddddgggge!” But he didn’t really say “fudge.”
“Aunt Jenny, why did that boy get in so much trouble for saying ‘fudge?’ Is that a bad word?”
“No… it’s not. But, I don’t think he really said ‘fudge.’ I think he said a swear word.”
“Oh. What one?”
“A really, really bad one.”
“What is it?”
“It’s too bad. I can’t even say it.”
“Just say it. I won’t tell anyone. I promise!”
“I can’t. Really – it’s just a bad, bad word.”
A few minutes later, Adam looked over at me and said, “Was it the ‘F’ word? I bet it was the ‘F’ word.”
I choked a bit on the cookie I was eating, and then asked, “How do you know about the ‘F’ word? Who told you that?”
“I don’t know. I think maybe it was daddy. It’s like oh, fuuu… right? But I can’t say the end part. But it’s like oh, fuuu… right Aunt Jenny?”
“Okay, that’s enough of that. Here. Eat some fudge.”
I got off pretty easy with this one, since I’ve accidentally flipped on some highly inappropriate TV shows in the presence of my nephews, like the Real World Marathon. (“Why are those people taking their clothes off in the hot tub? Is that her husband? Why are those two girls kissing?”)
For a moment or two, I worried about scarring the poor boy for life, but then I remembered that my mother took my brother and me to see Animal House when I was seven years old and he was nine. She then promptly paraded us back out of the theater as soon as one of the myriad sex scenes began, peppered with many an Oh, fuuu…. To this day she swears she didn’t know what the movie was about: “But John Belushi was always so funny as the Samurai guy on SNL! And they kept showing food fights in the previews.”
I started to ask some friends of mine about their most awkward movie experiences and we collectively compiled a list. A list which shall launch the first Opinion Poll!™ of 2006.
Question: What is your most awkward, squirm-inducing movie watching moment?

  1. Watching Blue Velvet with your parents because you just loved that Twin Peaks show. Yeah. Twin Peaks didn’t have Dennis Hopper sniffing nitrous oxide while having sex with Isabella Rossellini and screaming “Mommy!” [submitted by Jenny]
  2. Seeing your mother laugh a bit too enthusiastically at the When Harry Met Sally orgasm scene. Because really, do any of us want to know that our parents even know what an orgasm is? [submitted by Nat]
  3. Bringing a first date to see Kids. There’s nothing like a sweet tale of HIV positive teenagers having drunken, drugged out sex fests to make a good first impression on a girl. [submitted by Seamus]
  4. Watching The Brown Bunny alone and feeling so sick when you realize that the final sequence in the film is essentially full-on porn. [submitted by Dr. Greene]
  5. Recommending Body Heat to a client because of the amazing plot twists, forgetting that 75% of the movie involves Kathleen Turner in various sexual positions. [submitted by Jenny, as experienced by someone who might have been her mother]
  6. Other – please explain. [submitted by you]

36 Responses to “Two Thumbs Up!”

  1. nina Says:

    Going to see “Last Tango in Paris” with my dad. I mean, aging guy having sex with a younger woman right there on the screen, at the same time that I suspect my aging father is having sex with younger women and I myself am having sex with an older guy. There. Can I be more blunt?

  2. Last Girl On Earth Says:

    I REALLY can’t remember ever having a moment like that with my parents. Maybe I just erased it from my memory! I did go to a movie with my boss from my job when I was in high school. I didn’t realize until I got into the theater that he’d taken me to see an actual porn flick! I can’t imagine how the theater let me in. I was only 16! And I lasted around 30 minutes. I was staring at the wall feeling REALLY uncomfortable with MY BOSS! I finally asked him to take me home. VERY ODD INDEED! (I haven’t thought of that in years! Yikes!)
    Anyhow, Happy 2006!

  3. Sarah Says:

    Going to see A Clockwork Orange at this arty movie house downtown with two girlfriends from high school. Realize that the whole time they are gang-raping that woman and tormenting her with the giant penis statue, the man 5 seats away from us (in our row) is jacking off while looking between the screen and us.
    Good times.

  4. communicatrix Says:

    Last Exit to Brooklyn with Dad was, um, interesting. Nothing like a little Jennifer Jason Leigh getting gang-raped with a Coke bottle whilst sitting next to the man who fathered you.

  5. jenny Says:

    Oh god, I’m so uncomfortable now, for all of us. I was pretty much going to call the contest over after reading Last Girl’s comment since I didn’t think anyone could top it, but they just keep getting worse. Now David Lynch is looking like a Disney movie to me!
    And as a rule of thumb, I don’t see anything w/ Jennifer Jason Leigh in it unless I’m fully prepared to feel sick. That chick is nuts!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    This is the most horrible survey. We all need therapy. The only movies I saw with my parents are: Benji, The Black Stallion, and Star Wars. I’m so glad. But then there was that time that you and I went to see “Female Perversions” because that film snob told us it was one of the best films he’d ever seen. Remember that? Still sorry.

  7. jenny Says:

    Viv: I know – I may be banned from ever doing another Opinion Poll! If nothing else, this is giving me a good list of movies to never watch.
    And honestly, I think I completely blocked out Female Perversions, because I don’t remember it at all. I probably deserved that, though, for bringing Dee-Dee to see Kika when I had only known her for a few months. It’s best not to bring someone you don’t know very well to an Almodovar film. Never a good idea.

  8. Cheryl Says:

    My top contenders: Dad walking in while my friend and I were watching Kids on video; renting a movie called ErotiKill with high school friends, thinking it would be more Kill than Eroti (“Is that girl who’s walking toward the camera wearing black bikini bottoms with her cape? No, wait, that’s not a bikini…”); and, finally, I can’t remember what the movie was, but at one point I did have to explain to my mom what a dildo was.

  9. teahouseblossom Says:

    Ok, I’ve got a bad one.
    Freshman year of college, I went on a first date with a guy. We went to the local independent movie theater. He said, “There’s a movie showing there that I heard was good. It won a bunch of awards. It’s called Deliverance.”
    An hour later, it was, “You sure got a pretty mouth boy! Squeal like a pig!!” And me cringing in my seat.

  10. The Scarlett Says:

    Mine, too, involved The Clockwork Orange. I was a pharmacy student at Purdue at the time and each week they had free movies in the Electrical Engineering building. (Seriously, I am already cringing from the sheer geekiness of that last sentence.) I was dating a pretty nice guy from my hometown and I guess one of us mentioned the free movies. So we went to the screening and I noticed that I was the only girl in the audience. Well, I was already uncomfortable with that but I thought that some other girls would eventually show up. They didn’t. Then the movie started with nun-raping and all. Well, I just stood up probably less than fifteen minutes in and said something like, “I’ve had enough.”

  11. sween Says:

    Going on a first date to see Total Eclipse because my date “liked Leonardo Dicaprio”.
    Watching Leonardo Dicaprio having sex with David Thewlis put a slight chill on the evening.
    However, we are married now, so it’s all good.

  12. Jessica Says:

    Hmmm…I was pretty embarrassed when my dad took me to see The Entity (after I had cried, pleaded and begged to see it). When the woman gets sexually assaulted by the thing/ghost/entity, I remember sitting in the movie theater and watching the invisible finger indentations attack her breasts with my cheeks heating up. On one hand, I wanted to watch ’cause it was pretty freaky and on the other, I was so ashamed to be sitting there with my dad after I had DEMANDED to be taken to this movie. Sigh.

  13. number4of5 Says:

    In Junior High I went to see Madonna’s Truth or Dare with my best friend. Not the best movie for two preteens to be seeing, especially the scene where they “all demonstrate on a coke bottle.” This all may sound very tame, but a few rows in front of us was another young boy with a priest from our church. I did not know the boy, and at the time we just thought it was a little weird that our priest saw that movie. Looking back I only hope that it was that innocent.
    OK, maybe that was way more depressing than I intended my comment to be. Sorry.

  14. Erik Says:

    When I was ten, my mom and I went to see this movie called Whispers in the Dark starring Alan Alda. During the opening credits, the camera panned up and down a woman’s naked body. Then, in the first scene, a psychiatrist has violent sex with his patient in a closet and then kills her. It was awful, and I don’t know why on earth we made it through the first scene of the movie, but finally my mom and I walked out, mortified.

  15. nicole Says:

    Ha ha…we’re showing The Squid and the Whale right now at our theater, and there’s a scene where the dad (Jeff Daniels) takes his son and his girlfriend to see Blue Velvet (altough they wanted to see Short Circuit).
    And personally, I’ve been on quite a few uncomfortable first movie dates, but I don’t think it was the movie so much as the date…
    But my favorite (vicarious) experience is when a friend and her Mom walked out on Leaving Las Vegas, because they thought it was a sequel to Honeymoon in Vegas. Ahhh.

  16. shari Says:

    I shall never recover from the angst of reading this collection of recollections. Gaaaah! To think I was mortified taking my fundamentalist, conservative father to see Forest Gump when the prostitute, drinking, drugging, swearing scenes showed up on screen. I am obviously but a tender babe in the woods of such moments. I’ll come back later when I have something of interest to share with the class!

  17. Robert Says:

    You are ALL sick and twisted. Sick and twisted, I tell you. And after reading this I have to revise my memory of my “wild youth” into something pretty bloody tame.

  18. jenny Says:

    Oh, man. This has been one of the most emotionally draining Opinion Polls! of my life. I don’t even know what to say except I hope that all of us are getting the help we need to work through these terrible movie-watching experiences.
    It’s almost enough to make you want to start reading. [shudder]

  19. ashbloem Says:

    Actually, I just over the holidays almost died when watching 40 Year Old Virgin with my mom. The scene when the girl is giving herself an orgasm in the bathtub is a little cringeworthy when watching it with your mom. Yuck. I feel dirty even thinking about that moment.
    Yes, I am 31 and can’t deal with watching sex scenes with my mom even now. Sad.

  20. asia Says:

    My older brother once made me cry when I called him a ‘sucker’. He looked at me with big eyes, told me it was a bad, bad word and he was going to tell on me. I had to buy him off with tearful entreaties and comic books. He was a jerk.

  21. jenny Says:

    Asia – brothers are nothing but trouble. Once when I was about eight I called someone an a-hole (that’s exactly what I said), not really knowing what the “a” stood for. My brother told my mom. What a sucker.

  22. Fiorello La Guardia Says:

    Watching Blue Velvet with your parents [submitted by Jenny]
    ::::::::::::::::::::: thud ::::::::::::::::::

  23. atmikha Says:

    During Freshman year in college I was taken to see a double feature on a first date. Clockwork Orange and Liztomania. I made it all the way to the breast kissing metronome scene before I stood up and walked out.
    But, truthfully, the squirm award has to go to “The Cook, the Thief, The Wife, and her Lover.” Why is it that the French insist we are a bunch of repressed Puritans for not wanting to watch someone force-fed dog feces FOR 8 MINUTES?

  24. Bobby Says:

    I took this class in college, Feminist Issues in Film. It was a great class, and I learned a lot – it changed my whole way of thinking about gender and movies. There was just me and two other guys in this auditorium class full of about a hundred and fifty or so women. I mean – there wasn’t the slightest feeling of ill will palpable in the class at all, it was just academic – nobody was mean in there or anything. Maybe I shouldn’t have felt awkward at all. I think that maybe some of the students and the teachers were even glad that there some guys in there to study those issues, you know? But I did – I did feel a bit awkward.

  25. romy Says:

    first date : CAPE FEAR. last date.
    ’nuff said.

  26. Pauly D Says:

    I think the worst movie sequence is in PULP FICTION where Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames see them opening that case behind them with the gimp inside…and I just started freaking out with no knowledge as to what was about to happen.

  27. jenny Says:

    Fio: Out of this disturbing bunch of comments, that’s the one that made you hit the floor?
    atmikha: Je ne sais pas. Me, I can only stand about 4 minutes of poo eating, tops.
    Bobby: Thank you for taking this discussion up a level. And making me feel depraved in the process. My guess is that those 150 women thought you were pretty cool for taking the class.
    romy: [revealing knuckle tattoos] L-O-V-E H-A-T-E
    Pauly D: Oh god… it was only a matter of time before someone had to go and mention zipper mouth leather mask gimp. I went to see a friend’s band play earlier this year, and the lead singer of the opening act was wearing a gimp mask. Freaked the sh*t out of me.

  28. Sarah Says:

    I just want to give you yo’ props for not giving in before Adam guessed the real word. Five-year-olds are mad smart these days, I think he was calling your bluff. Making his aunt squirm a bit.
    My parents basically walked in on every questionable scene in every movie I have ever watched, ever since birth.
    We once had this really, really, really sweet, innocent, shy, lovely little Muslim exchange student from Indonesia, a country where their dictator at the time basically banned all but the blandest of the bland media. She could listen to some Richard Marx but re-runs of Family Ties were too subversive. She was as naive as you might expect.
    For some reason my dad and I took her along with us when we went to see Pulp Fiction. She pretty much spent the week sobbing.

  29. Mateo Says:

    1. What a coincidence… I just blogged last week about a queasy movie experience. Trust me, for this very sheltered religious Iowa farm boy, it was quite the shock for one of my first movies to be Indiana Jones and the temple of doom. A beating heart ripped out of chest = queasy Mateo.
    2. Actually, the most uncomfortable movie experience was renting “Revenge of the Nerds” to show at work during our “nerd theme” employee appreciation days. It was being shown in the cafeteria on a 20 foot screen for a couple hundred of my coworkers over lunch, including the CEO who had flown in from the Netherlands. Well, we forgot about that little scene where they film a nubile young co-ed showering, and the camera heads… uh… “south”. Oh well, I never got fired. Come to think of it, I got a lot of thank you notes from my male coworkers. Hmmmm…
    3. I saw Blue Velvet too, because Twin Peaks was cool. What a mistake. I’m just thanking god I didn’t watch it with my parents!
    4. I’m signed up to run the marathon this fall. Yahoo! Rob is running it with me this year! See you then if not before! Perhaps you should run it with us?

  30. Rich Says:

    Why are those two women kissing? Because more men will watch the next show if they think its going to happen again.

  31. allison Says:

    My 5-year old nephew is famous for beginning every sentence with “Guess what?” So, I responded “chicken butt.” A response to which I got his little head cocked to the side, raised eyebrows, and a wagging finger. “Tia…you can’t say dat. Das a bad word.”

  32. trisha Says:

    I am unable to write in complete sentences. Except for that one.
    Anyway, I heart you and thought you should know.

  33. kevin Says:

    with the help of some older cousins, we convinced our grandfather to take us to see national lampoon’s european vacation. we told him the PG13 rating was merely a suggestion, as i was “mature for my age” (7 years old). seeing your first set of bare breasts… with your grandfather. more than a little awkward.

  34. teahouseblossom Says:

    I have to go shower now…

  35. sandra Says:

    Oh, god – easy. It would have to be when my dad, who doesn’t keep up with movies so well, rented 9-1/2 Weeks “because I like that Kim Basinger”, and the family sat down to watch it. I remember sitting and pretending that they weren’thaving sex the first time, and then pretending I was really tired and needed to go to bed after that. I don’t think we ever talked about it.

  36. kilax Says:

    Watching the vibrator scene on “Not another teen movie” with my parents. No one wants to see a vibrator and their parents in the same room.