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Tuesday, February 13, 2007


A while back, when Marge-in-Law wanted to go to "Little Miss Sunshine" after seeing little Abigail Breslin on Jay Leno, we all figured the movie was going to be a sweet, Dakota Fanning-ish bit of fluff. We were surprised -- pleasantly so -- when all that dark humor started pouring from the screen. The proof is in the pudding in the form of a Best Picture nomination.

The title fakeout reminded me of two or three times when a movie title has misled people I know -- WITH HILARIOUS RESULTS.

Like that time in 1968. I believe the story goes like this: My parents and two other couples would get together once a month on a Saturday night to see a movie. It was my parents' turn to pick the film. My mom saw a newspaper ad for a new movie titled "Rosemary's Baby" starring Mia Farrow. This sounded something like a Doris Day movie to her -- the kind of movie with a madcap scene in which Mia's hapless hubby runs around like a maniac, yanking the telephone out of the wall and knocking over lamps, when Mia says, "I'm having the baby!" And then he's getting a faceful of baby powder or sticking himself with a safety pin the first time he tries to diaper the baby.

I can't even imagine my father's reaction when Mia was impregnated by Satan as the cult members watched.

Then there was the time in 1972 when my family was visiting my aunt in Long Island. I guess our folks wanted to get us kids out of their hair for a couple of hours, so they picked out a movie for us. My cousins, sister, brother and myself -- ranging in age from 9 to 14 -- were unceremoniously dropped off at the mall to see "Pete 'n' Tillie" starring Walter Mattau and Carol Burnett. Sounds like a zany comedy, right? "Pete 'n' Tillie" with those clowns Walter Mattau and Carol Burnett! Surely a movie with a climactic pie fight!

It was a deadly dull film about adultery and divorce. We little kids could only sit there scratching our heads.

I also heard that my niece's Girl Scout troop went to see "Riding in Cars With Boys." But that title would have set off my red flag. YOU know what happens when you ride in cars with boys.


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