There’s something magical about a snow day. I’m not talking about a snowy day, but the mythical we’re-not-going-to-school-today snow day.
Tuesday night, I walked in to the kitchen to find my two young sons dancing in front of the refrigerator in only their pajama shorts which were inside-out and backwards, one with a pair of Lightning McQueen undies on his head. I smiled (and laughed) with fatherly pride as the two wriggled and twirled themselves into a frenzy with their bring-us-a-snow-day ritual (completed with the offering of an unblemished ice cube to the porcelain god). Alas, their sacramental rite went unheeded, and despite the six to twelve inches of hype from the Channel 13 Oracle, there would be no Snow-Day Matinee this week. I, too, was disappointed as a snow day is a great excuse to watch an old favorite movie, and with its 25th anniversary almost here, it’s time to break out The Princess Bride (thanks to Matthew Zoller-Seitz for pointing me to this link).
Now it’s quite likely that my boys are too young (just 5 and 6) for The Princess Bride, but it has long been my sick- and snow-day movie of choice. Like the snow day itself, The Princess Bride brings with it the hope of healing, respite, and revival. We watch, even participate with the Grandson (Fred Savage) as Peter Falk narrates Inigo’s quest for vengeance, purpose, and peace; we too, grow concerned and then elated as Westley and Buttercup’s despair is turned to joy. We hope for justice, we long for redemption, we rejoice in victory.
This website is ostensibly about finding religion in the movies, but I’ve been thinking all week about how the audience also has faith in the movies. We trust that something in the two-hour diversion will be fulfilling, satisfying, and restorative. And like my boys with their jammies on inside-out and backwards, I’m trusting that when the hoped-for snow day comes, the day (and the matinee) will bring with it peace.