Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"She flew away. God's truth, she flew away!"

Everybody has at least one "cinematic chicken soup" film. It's the one film you turn to when you need cheering up, or when you need comfort. It doesn't have to be a fantastic film, it doesn't even have to be very good, it just has to make you feel better when you see it. You know every line, every scene, every piece of the musical score if it has one.

One of my all-time favorite cinematic chicken soup movies is Ladyhawke. It is total '80s cinema cheese. It has a synthesizer score written by Alan Parsons, he of Sirius and Eye in the Sky, it has Rutger Hauer in a gasp! heroic role that doesn't make him into a complete immoral bastard, a young and fresh Michelle Pfeiffer and it has that '80s "It" boy, little Matthew Broderick in a medieval tale of love, loss, magic and one hell of a sarcastic, drunken monk, played with sardonic abandon by He Who Must Obey, Leo McKern. Oh! And let's not forget John Wood playing the completely immoral bastard The Bishop of Aquilla, as only John Wood can play a complete immoral bastard - which is very well indeed.

Ladyhawke is cheesy. Ladyhawke is a contrived, anachronistic sword-and-sorcery fairy tale as only the '80s could give us. It was released the summer I was ten years old and my sister was sixteen. She was the one who introduced me and my mother to the wonders of Ladyhawke and I can't remember how many times she and her best friend Laura saw it in the theaters. I know none of us could tell you how many times we've seen it since then, but that number is pretty daggoned high. My mother even named my first car "Ladyhawke" when it was her car, and she had the soundtrack on cassette tape that played constantly. I would late rename the car to "Nigel", but that is another story for another day.

If The Princess Bride is my perfect cinematic chicken soup film (which it definitely IS), Ladyhawke is the flawed stepsister who I nontheless love just as much or maybe even a little more not in spite of its flaws, but because of them.


  1. Mine are Princess Bride (of course), Walking and Talking, and Threesome (featuring a non-skeletal Lara Flynn Boyle and a non-born-again Stephen Baldwin).

  2. My #1 is Sixteen Candles, but also love Dirty Dancing. However, The Bourne Identity is getting up there now too.

  3. Oh. My. God. I LOVE Ladyhawke! You're right - just the perfect blend of cheese and camp. I could watch it a million times and never get tired of it.

    It's a whole different side of Rutger Hauer. If you've ever seen The Hitcher, you know how truly freaking scary he could be.

  4. I saw The Hitcher first. I get my fangirling tendencies honestly, and my mother had a thing for Rutger Hauer in the mid '80s.

  5. My favorites are: the Color Purple, Flashdance, and Footloose.


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