a million lights are dancing, and there you are, a shooting star

Last night I was looking for something to watch on TV that didn’t involve either Caillou or Dora. Catie was still awake and I was trying to get her to eat a pre-bedtime snack since she’d hardly eaten any dinner. It’s our typical Nightly Bedtime Struggle.

I happened to see on the cable guide that over on HBO, Xanadu was on. This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Between Xanadu and Grease, I wanted to be Olivia Newton-John. All of my toys were named either Sandy or Kira. Because of Xanadu, I roller-skated in a dress while wearing leg warmers, and I had my mom braid ribbons into my barrettes. (If you haven’t seen the movie, that probably makes no sense to you.)

And yeah, I’ve seen Xanadu again as an adult, and I’m fully aware that it is not exactly a high-quality film. In fact, I’m pretty sure the people involved in the production were doing massive amounts of cocaine. (It was the 70s, after all.) It’s cheesy as hell. The acting is terrible, the storyline is convoluted and bizarre, and the weird “dissolves” between scenes look SO corny now. But whatever, I still love the music. In fact, I still have the whole soundtrack in iTunes.

Catie is just getting to the age where she likes musicals. The kid-oriented ones, of course, like the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and the Wizard of Oz. And she’s seen a couple of (not risque) songs in Moulin Rouge and really liked them. So I thought I’d click it over to see what she thought of Xanadu. We missed the first half of the movie, and came in right around the beginning of the “All Over the World” song.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you might want to watch that to get an idea. It’s supposed to be a simple, “Let’s take Gene Kelly shopping to find him a snazzy outfit for his nightclub opening” montage, and instead it turns into… that. I don’t even know WTF that is, 30 years later.

(Also? Poor Gene Kelly. The guy is probably one of the most talented dancers of his generation – he did freaking “Singing in the Rain,” for God’s sake – and to get a gig in his old age, they put him on roller skates. Did your investments really turn out that badly, Gene?)

Catie was absolutely riveted, because… well, probably because it looks completely surreal and bizarre.

And then, there’s the finale. Oh, the finale.

(Apparently if you want the full 8-minute finale and not a chopped 3-minute version, you have to deal with poor video quality. Oh well.)

Y’all, I couldn’t get Catie to sit down and eat her snack because she was too busy dancing around the living room (while keeping her eyes glued to the TV the whole time). As soon as it was over, she kept saying, “Again! Again!!” I had to search for the videos on YouTube for her to watch a couple more times.

This morning, as soon as she woke up, she asked, “We watch Xanadu again?” I said, sorry baby, it’s not on-demand and I don’t have the DVD, so we can’t watch it now. She said, “We can buy the DVD?” I told her I’d look to see if I can find it.

Since we couldn’t watch the movie, I turned the soundtrack on my iPod in the car when we drove to daycare. I had to explain to her daycare teacher why Catie might be singing, “Xaaaa-na-duuuuu” all day today. (Her teacher is in her mid-20s, has never heard of the movie, and likely thinks I’m completely insane based on my explanation.)

But you know I’m totally ordering the DVD on Amazon today, right? The only problem is that I’m not sure if Dave will ever forgive me for turning our daughter into an Olivia Newton-John fan.

12 thoughts on “a million lights are dancing, and there you are, a shooting star

  1. Ok, so yeah, we are usually pretty right on in most things, you know, except for sports. I’ve never seen Xanadu. I may have to search for it and watch it next time it’s on just to see what you’re talking about.

    I still stand behind my observance that Dave should be ok with her Xanadu obsession, at least it’s not Beiber Fever!
    AmazingGreis´s last blog post ..New York State of Mind…My Profile

    • @AmazingGreis, I think that if you didn’t grow up with it, it’ll probably just look really weird. But it’s funny because it’s so ridiculous that it’s almost campy, if that makes sense.

  2. HAHAHA. I just came here from Wendi’s blog and LOVED your comment. “Being “famous” in blogging circles is sort of like being the world’s most famous accordion player. It’s really only relevant to a very small subset of people; nobody else gives a crap.” SO TRUE. My coworkers tease me relentlessly about being a nerdy blogger.

  3. I was Kira for Halloween one year. I trick or treated on roller skates.

    Oh yeah. And my favorite song was “Suspended in Time” and I would sing it on the playground at school like I was being filmed in one of the movie’s weird sequences.


    I was a very creative kid.

    • @sarah, OMG it’s like we’re long-lost twins! That was my favorite song too! (I think it’s one of the only non-ELO songs on the soundtrack.) I mostly sang it in my room, not on the playground, but still.

      Funny, when I showed that part to Catie, she kept saying, “What’s that yellow thing?” (Meaning the ridiculous neon glow around ONJ.) I was like, “Oh, she’s magic, so she glows!” I don’t know if she bought it or not.

  4. OMG, I didn’t know that Gene Kelly was in it. Will have to find a copy to watch it now.

    Wish I could watch it with you can Catie … I am sure it would be an awesome time.

  5. OK, you can NEVER, EVER make fun of me again for wanting to be a member of the Fresh Beat Band. Just the pelvic thrusting is enough that those dancers are cringing under their couches to this day for what they did for a paycheck!!!

    (and yes, poor Gene Kelly!)

    Somehow, the idea of Catie jamming to it, though, is very cute.

  6. Being a complete Sound of Music nut, I introduced my kids to the movie when they were really young, and they just loved it too. My daughter sang along to the songs, while my son kept asking when the Nazis were coming to chase the family!
    Linda Olive´s last blog post ..Aug 3- Sound of Music ShowMy Profile

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