Sarah Terez Rosenblum (@SarahTerez) is an MFA-holding writer, teacher and Spinning instructor. She's also the Theater Listings Editor for Centerstage Chicago. Look for her posts twice a week.
Asked to name key life experiences, many cite a first kiss (mine had just gulped chocolate cake and Doritos … next), a wedding day (please, what’s the divorce rate now, 100%?), or the birth of a child (new life, big deal, let’s talk about that time I made the ultimate BLT).
All of the above is well and good (no it isn’t), but pales in comparison to my plans for Friday. At exactly 8:30 p.m. I will be reclining in Chase Park watching The Never Ending Story outdoors on the big screen. I challenge you to conjure a more profoundly perfect experience.
Growing up, I enjoyed a strict diet of public television and Hollywood musicals; my exposure to anything pop culture was almost nonexistent, so the movies I did see may have been unduly influential. However, I’d venture that even a kid whose mother didn’t play the autoharp and make her own yogurt could name one special movie that resonated, made a sweet home inside her, influencing her childhood games, and even her later life choices. For me, Flight of the Navigator came close, and I am still terrified of Disney’s Watcher in the Woods, but The Never Ending Story is mine.
Let me break it down:
The Rock Eater EATS ROCKS and RIDES A BIG WHEEL. Screw “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” The most bittersweet, romantic line in cinematic history: “They look like big, strong hands.”
Bastian boasts the best boy’s name ever, draws Unicorns in his math book (Yeah, I capitalized it), sneaks into his school at night, stays up PAST HIS BEDTIME eating SNACKS, and reads a book that comes true.(!!!) I really hope the kid who played him didn’t become a meth addict and lose his teeth, because no one ever made a granny smith apple look as satisfying.
The hero, Atreyu, although a boy, is androgynous enough to let a girl relate. Plus his horse is depressive. I relate to that too.
Twilight’s werewolves may be more astounding, but The Nothing’s Emissary started it all.
Falkor is the gold standard by which I compare all potential dogs. If other people have daddy issues, I have Luck Dragon issues.
The movie’s theme song practically wears leg warmers and drinks Shasta, that’s how quintessentially 1980s it is.
Last I heard, the City of Chicago had cancelled its beloved outdoor movie program, but Falkor must have tossed the right city official in a dumpster. See you Friday, and remember, the more outdoor movies you attend, the more magnificent Fantasia will be.