There’s a movie element that’s been around for decades, and why I don’t know, because it’s nothing any moviegoer wants to experience. Yes, I’m talking about Bambi’s Mother Anxiety Syndrome. You sense that something really bad is going to happen to some creature that either has no defense or — even worse — has no idea what the rules are. And you know that if this bad thing does happen, it’s going to ruin your night. We’re fine with bad stuff happening to the humans: an alien coming through John Hurt’s chest while he’s trying to enjoy a forkful of sprouts is gross, yes, but upsetting? Eh. Not so much. But Babe the Talking Pig whimpers, “I miss my mom!” and we fall completely apart.
Or Bambi’s mother gets killed. I was devastated by this, which is not a terribly rational reaction even for a child given that (a) she was only pretending to be dead because she’s an actress in a movie and (b) she never existed in the first place because she’s a cartoon. But I’m sure you had the same sense of terrible sadness, because most probably, just like me, you’re stupid.
I mean sensitive. Anyway,
We were watching a contemporary gangster movie recently. I don’t remember the name of it, but the female lead was one of the Girls With The Dragon Tattoo. I don’t remember if it was Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara, but I’m pretty sure they’re the same person anyway (seriously. You know if you rearrange the letters in “Noomi Rapace” it spells “A Roonie camp.” And if you rearrange the letters in “Rooney Mara” it spells “A rare Noomy.” Pretty creepy huh? Not only that, but if you put all the letters in both their names together and rearrange them it spells “A poor cinema year ran. Moo.” Think about it.)
So we were at home watching this new gangster movie starring Noomi Rooney and there was a puppy in it. Usually when there’s a cute animal in a crime drama it’s got a sign on its forehead that says “Expendable Plot Device.” So after about thirty minutes of extreme puppy cuteness, I paused with the remote and turned to Carra and said, “You know, I’ve got a bad feeling about this dog.” Truly I was prepared to stop watching the movie and instead turn on the fourth quarter of Sunday Night Football, which I suggested to Carra, to which she didn’t respond. I recall she laughed a little bit. But nimbly she pulled over her i-Pad and found the best website since Wikipedia: doesthedogdie.com. And it tells you if the dog in the movie is going to live or not! This is great! And it covers all four-legged species, too. I wish I had this when I was a child, I could have avoided Old Yeller. And The Yearling, another children’s book written by a sadist.
So we found out that our puppy in this movie was going to be just fine. And the rest of the movie was smooth sailing. Everybody gets killed but the dog ends up okay. Four stars.