I am sitting here in my Jack Skellington onesie thinking about The Greatest Showman and my father. It’s been sixteen years since my father passed away. And yet every movie I see I consider whether my father would have liked it or not.
I also watched Coco with my daughter last night, which is fitting since this is my family’s Dia de Los Muertos in a sense. On the anniversary of my father’s death, we celebrate his life. We have an annual lunch where we talk about him and keep our wonderful memories of him alive.
A quick list of things my father liked: bowling. Puns. The New York Yankees. My mother’s enchiladas, which he insisted were always “spicier than they were the last time.” Andes Mints. Handkerchiefs. Movies in the theater (my Dad loved the previews just as much as the features).
My Dad also had a knack for encapsulating his movie reviews in a few words, for example, he would have considered The Emoji Movie “a real stinker.” How he would have loved Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, though. I think I’m going to start incorporating my father’s views in my reviews, an Ed Slavin scale of movie quality if you will.
I am going to start posting reviews on here (I have several already posted on the review website Smashbomb). One of my dreams is to become a great film critic like Roger Ebert. Maybe not something I’ll achieve in this lifetime. But the dream lives on.
It is also fitting that it is the night of the Oscars tonight. My Dad loved watching awards shows. I’ve got that anthem from The Greatest Showman stuck in my head, “This Is Me.” I’m going to watch the Oscars tonight because I know the songs nominated will get a live performance. I can’t wait to see Keala Settle belt out the inspiring tune. That lady has some pipes!
And I’m going to celebrate the value of being unabashedly me from now on. Because it’s not only what my Dad would have wanted.
It is what I want.