I was just explaining to Kristin that I was trying to decide on a topic for Day 19 of 30 Days of Blogging, so after I decided that there's no way to answer "Why do you always sound annoyed when you answer the phone?" without sounding like a horrible person I consulted the short list of remaining topics, and this one jumped out at me:
What movies have messed you up for life?
This is a great question, because I've seen hundreds (if not thousands) of movies, and some of them have left a lasting dent in my psyche. In no particular order, here are the ones that spring to mind other than "Erin Brockovich", which ruined my love life forever:
Serial Mom: I love this movie, but I cannot look at a woman in white shoes after Labor Day without thinking, just for a moment, of murder.
Stand By Me: This is a great movie, rendered slightly tragic by the excellent acting work of River Phoenix. However, I cannot watch the leeches scene (every male I know who has seen this movie knows the exact scene that I mean) without squinting my eyes and turning my head away as my body curls into an involuntarily protective fetal position. The dead kid on the tracks? I'm fine. The leeches? NO. NO NO NO NO NO.
Trainspotting: I've only seen this movie one time, because of the baby crawling across the ceiling. I can never watch that again.
The Iron Giant: The only movie in the world guaranteed to make me cry every time I watch it. Even though I know what's coming and I know what happens, when the Iron Giant closes his eyes and whispers, "Suuuuuuuuuperman..." it's like somebody reaches into my brain and turns on a lawn sprinkler inside my eyes. It's not a couple tears, or just some welling up. It's epic. I refuse to watch it with other people, because of the crying.
Heathers: I learned how to play croquet because I saw this movie so many times. I've never played strip croquet, as they do once in the movie, but that's probably for the best at this point.
And that's it. There are other movies I like, and movies I dislike, but these are the only ones I can think of that had a real, lasting impact.