I've been watching movies my whole life. That may seem like kind of a "duh" statement but you'd be surprised how many parents won't let their children watch audio/visual entertainment at all! How I worry about the future of this country...Anyway, I was given quite the opposite treatment. My parents would gladly slap me in front of the TV with a juice box and my blanky. In fact, my first memory of life is watching The Wizard of Oz. But that is not the childhood classic I'll be discussing today.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
A long, long time ago, before Netflix and Youtube and streaming media, there were these neat things called video stores. How it worked was, you picked a video from a shelf, paid a fee to the owner, and you got to take that movie home for a predetermined number of days. My family frequented video stores. My parents always picked a movie for themselves and then I got to pick one of my very own! Being an only child I never had to take turns or compromise with a sibling. It was always WHATEVER THE HELL I WANTED and it usually rotated between three choices: Disney's Cinderella, Disney's Sleeping Beauty or Edward Scissorhands.
One of these things is not like the other.
Don't ask me why, because I still don't know what my three year old self could have possibly enjoyed about Tim Burton's signature film. It is the story of Edward (Johnny Depp) the unfinished creation of the Inventor (Vincent Price) who died before he could replace the young man's scissors for hands. Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest) the local Avon lady, comes a-calling to Edward's gothic mansion and decides to bring the sensitive shut in down to her her suburban utopia. Despite his strangeness, he is accepted by most of the neighborhood and discovers a talent for hedge trimming, dog grooming, and hair styling. However, Edward falls in love with Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) and longs for a normal existence.
At age 23, I fully understand why I love this movie. It's quirky and original. It mocks suburbia and has amazing art direction. The score is fucking tear-inducingly beautiful. Plus, it's a "Beauty and the Beast" variation that takes the story a step further; you can love an "ugly monster", but can you love someone who will hurt you if he touches you?
As mature as I like to think I was in elementary school, I still know all the social satire and romantic philosophy was way above my head. Plus, it's kind of creepy. At first glance, Edward is a freaky looking dude, especially to a three year old. And even if said three year old can watch until the end, it gets a little intense and bloody. Through and through this is just not a kids movie, so I have to wonder, what the hell was wrong with me?
Even though I repeatedly watched Edward Scissorhands as a youngin', I did not grow into a goth kid. My favorite band is The Carpenters and frankly, Hot Topic makes me nervous. It's just one of those mysteries of life. Certainly, if I was baby-sitting it wouldn't be the first movie I'd pick for entertainment. (Although that would be incredibly amusing to me to watch a three year old's reaction to it...which is why I'm never having kids.)
So maybe it wasn't the smartest move for my parents to let me watch Edward Scissorhands. Ten minutes in, they could have had a weeping hysterical child on their hands. But since they didn't make a big deal about it --"Just close your eyes during the scary parts, honey!"-- I, therefore, didn't make a big deal about. And with a foundation like that, how could I not become the fucking awesome proficient film viewer that I am today? Thanks Mom and Dad!