In a recent Boston Globe, Meredith Goldstein described how, when she heard that her grandmother had less than three months to live, she started orchestrating Grandma Lorraine's Netflix queue--demoting some movies, adding others--so that her grandmother's final movie(s) would be meaningful and suited to her tastes. She says "When I got the phone call about my grandmother's fatal condition, I felt powerless. Her last movie was about the only thing I could control. I was like God. God of the Netflix queue."
What a beautiful thought, especially for a movie-loving family like mine. I've often wished I could wield an Rx pad to prescribe certain movies for loved ones. There would be the break-up prescription, the new parent prescription, the flu-ridden prescription, the life roadblock one. Books could be used in the same way but the beauty of a movie is that it can be enjoyed, simultaneously, by several people and it engages so many senses: the imagery, the music, the emotions, the story.
Grandma Lorraine's last full movie was Penelope, the quirky and delightful movie about a girl with a pig's nose. (She knew her grandma loved movies about women transcending some kind of obstacle: "women rising up." She tried to stock the queue with ones that would fit that description.) I think I would want a transcending kind of movie, too. I'd want to cry. I'd want to marvel about life and relationships and triumphs. I'd want to laugh. I'd want to look across the room and exchange a glance with a loved one at the right moment, squeeze a hand and telegraph my delight and love.
Short list: To Kill a Mockingbird. Pride and Prejudice. An Affair to Remember. Once. Out of Africa. It's a Wonderful Life. All seasons of Friday Night Lights. Cinema Paradiso. Room with a View. West Side Story. Hopefully something new that I hadn't seen that fits the bill.
What movie (or kind of movie) would you want to see if it were your last? Or show to others?