Play it Again, Sam

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As anyone who has a 2 or 3 year old toddler can attest, little ones can get hooked on videos like nobody’s business. I’m talking, watching the same YouTube video of an Australian chef making playdough from scratch at least a hundred times and never tiring of it. Or wanting to see the same home video from a certain birthday party or family trip for the zillionth time, and always acting as though it’s the first time they’re laying eyes on the footage. My little 2 1/2 year old daughter is no exception. In fact, the super specific reference to the Australian chef applies to her. She is obsessed – and the video is comprised of nothing more than a closeup of the chef’s hands at work, and his voice-over, yet she is still riveted by it. Especially the part where he adds the food coloring to the balls of dough. (It’s actually pretty cool!) She is also addicted to a home video of a dance performance we went to see back in March that, to this day, she requests to watch every single morning as soon as she wakes up, without fail. And calls out to me before each of her favorite parts to make sure I don’t miss them. It’s actually quite adorable. And this morning, after our little dance session (she requires that we also dance while we watch) I began to think about her seemingly undying love for certain pieces of content. And then it struck me. This is not a toddler thing. This is just a thing. We all do it – it may seem like a silly kid thing because of all the whining that’s often associated to the request (“Mommy, can I pleeeeaaaaaassse watch it again??”) or by the subject matter of the content (maybe you and I wouldn’t necessarily get hooked on the commercial for the Playdough Magic Swirl Ice Cream Shoppe) but besides that, we are all guilty of the same behavior. I know it sounds odd, but hear me out.

How many times have you been channel surfing, stumbled upon one of your favorite movies and couldn’t get yourself to change the channel even though you’ve seen said movie at least ten times before? Or, how many times have we all watched the classic “Ouch Charlie” video on YouTube? (I myself have seen it at least 30 times, and enjoy it immensely every single time). And don’t even get me started on music and TV – I mean, it goes without saying that our favorite songs are the ones we listen to endlessly on our iDevices / Androids / Spotify / etc. We may listen to others in between, but we do always come back to our favorites. And how about our favorite radio stations, spinning the same playlist of about twenty songs until we have no choice but to get hooked on what the industry is pushing as the latest hits? And TV? Fuggeddaboutit. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen episodes of your favorite sitcom more times than you can count. Need I say more?

So, now that I’ve established we are all toddlers at heart, here are some of my can’t-change-the-channel-no-matter-what movies.

1. It will be no shock to my colleagues, but Remember the Titans is my biggest weakness. I cannot, I mean cannot not watch that film anytime, anywhere. Denzel Washington at his best, and the uplifting story of these young athletes learning how to rise above the racial divide in a desegregated high school in the early 70s is truly inspirational. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your list and you will not be disappointed.

2. Terms of Endearment: Unfortunately, Debra Winger’s character Emma does, in fact, die every time. Yet, I still cannot look away, and have never gotten through without balling like a school girl. And I genuinely enjoy every minute – it’s one of the finest movies I’ve ever seen. The relationship between Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, coupled with Emma’s inexplicable love for Flap (Jeff Daniels), the pathetic husband/son-in-law; and the added twist of the carefree drunken neighbor Garrett (Jack Nicholson) is some of the best on-screen family dynamics I have ever seen, especially as things unfold in the wake of the family tragedy. And don’t get me started on the kids. The scene in the hospital when Emma is saying goodbye to them?? Or at the end when Aurora is sitting on the bench in the backyard at the funeral and gestures for the baby girl to come sit closer to her, even closer, then closer? I can’t even… Just go grab a box of tissues and watch this film. Again.

3. Though it may seem so, I’m not all about the tearjerkers. I do also love a good comedy just like the next person. Which is why third on my list is the always hilarious Wedding Crashers. I don’t think I need to say much about this comedic gem. It simply never disappoints. I can watch that opening montage of crashed weddings on an infinite loop and never tire of it. And what’s not to love about the courtship between Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson amidst the otherwise off-the-wall antics of the rest of her cooky family? Always entertaining and never abandoned once discovered on my cable guide.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. And I’m sure you’ve been nodding along, coming up with your own lists of favorites as you’ve been reading. So go ahead and share some of them in the comments below, and then voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these current chart toppers in heavy radio rotation do you most enjoy listening to?

Boyfriend (Justin Bieber)
Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye)
We Are Young (Fun.)
What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)

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