“I used to be cool” an intro to film writer and mom, Gaaby Patterson

May 14, 2014

I used to be cool.  My life used to afford me opportunities to fall in love with movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Reservoir Dogs. I had time to languish in the beauty and vision of movies like Snow Falling on Cedars and Blade Runner.  (I actually got to see the director’s cut lying on the floor of the movie theater with all the cool kids.)  When someone asked me what my favorite movie was, I had any number of socially acceptable replies on hand.

Now. 13 years, a 15-year marriage and two children later, the best I can come up with is “Uh… derp… Princess Bride?” (An amazing movie I’m not at all ashamed to love.)

I live with nine-year-old Hannah. This means I watch Center Stage and Pitch Perfect 400 times a week. It means I get genuinely excited when I see previews for the remake of Annie (as I was writing that sentence she literally burst into “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”  I’m not even kidding.)  She’s trained me well.

I also live with almost-13-year-old Zach. I loved sports movies before he came into my life. The Natural, Hoosiers, Bull Durham. Totally dreamy. Having a son has magnified this tenfold because I get to hang out with him and watch Remember the Titans and Moneyball.  He holds my hand when the town rallies outside the board room window in We Are Marshall. (Honestly, though, what mom could ask for a better combo?)

This is what my movie-going has become. Because who has time for anything else?  If they’re all awake and moving, someone needs something from me. If they’re asleep and we have some quiet time, sitting down for a two-hour movie means we don’t get to sleep until midnight, and who stays up that late anymore?

So being asked to blog for the Audience Awards thrills me.  It gives me access to smart, compelling, funny, poignant (short) films – films that wake up that cool kid inside of me and say, “Hey! Remember when you didn’t spend your time battling horrible earworms like Party in the USA and Shine Bright like a Diamond, when you got to watch films and take in art that made your synapse fire?”  It is my official reentry into the world I have missed so much – where I am again afforded the opportunity to experience and appreciate real smart people and their artistry and vision.

The Audience Awards is an amazing and unique venue that invites us to participate, to give voice and vote, to speak up for what appeals to us, what we deem the most worthy of our precious time and attention. Watch and vote.  All the cool kids are doing it.

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