I’ve recently realized my high school friends were very very nice. They spent a good chunk of time at my house on weekends, watching truly stupid movies that I chose, and made them watch, and I don’t remember anyone ever complaining. Of course, if they did, I probably just ignored them I am kind of a bitch that way. I knew that my friends were great back then (duh, they wouldn’t have been my friends if they weren’t!) but until last Friday night, I didn’t realize the extent.
That’s the night I watched ‘The Pirate Movie‘ for the first time since 1987.
‘The Pirate Movie‘, made in 1982,, stars Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins as a pair of star-struck young lovers who find each other in her pirate-themed dream. It is, of course a musical, which is one of the reasons I love it. An introverted girl who yearns for popularity (Kristy McNichol) attends a pirate festival in her seaside community, featuring a swordplay demo led by a curly haired hunk (Christopher Atkins). After selecting Mabel (McNichol) to participate in the act, the instructor invites her aboard his boat for a real ride on the high seas — at which point a gaggle of her catty acquaintances latches on for the trip. Sent to get hamburgers for the outing, Mabel is “accidentally” left behind when one of her “friends” pulls the anchor prematurely. Determined not only to fit in, but to track down her dream guy, Mabel steers a tiny sailboat into stormy waters in pursuit, and gets shipwrecked. Thus begins a fantasy in which the unconscious Mabel imagines herself in a real pirate adventure, complete with her dashing pirate hero, a legion of his crusty shipmates, and dozens of unwed sisters who must rise to the altar before she can. The fantasy mixes film parodies, love songs, animation, and the score of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, whose structure it roughly follows. It it over the top, campy, and totally goofy. Rotten Tomatoes gave it one star, and while it failed at the box office, it’s developed quite a cult following.
In my home town, I believe we were the only people who ever rented the lone VHS copy the little rental place near my house had. After about a year, the owner finally offered to just give it to me, since I’d rented it almost every week, and I was delighted. I lost that copy in a move several years ago, and have regretted it ever since. When I visited Michele that last time, we talked about this movie, and laughed about how many of the cheezy songs we still remembered; I wish I’d had a copy so we could have watched it together one last time.
Last Friday night, I wasn’t feeling well, coming down with a cold, and I was looking for a recipe on YouTube, which somehow led me to a bunch of full movies. Among them was my old friend, ‘The Pirate Movie’ and I watched the entire thing right then! I still know all the words, and it was still as cheezy. Christopher Atkins is still as cute, the pirates are still spouting double entendres, (Mabel: You’ll be hung! The Pirate King: Oh I am, I am, and very well thank you.), the cops are still silly, and I still miss my old friends.
Give me a happy ending.