Friday, October 9, 2015
One of my all-time favorite movies is the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots (2011), starring Antonio Banderas as Puss, Salma Hayek as his enemy/love interest Kitty Softpaws, and Zach Galifianakis as his treacherous stepbrother, Humpty Dumpty.
As far as I'm concerned, it is Banderas's role of a lifetime. If he were revealed tomorrow as a zany Hollywood type who believed in astral projection, 9/11 as an inside job, and "green" colonics, I would still consider him a great guy -- all is forgiven, Antonio, you nut! -- because of his fantastic work in Puss in Boots.
Eventually, my young children (both in preschool at the time) grew weary of the jokes in Puss in Boots, but I never did. At one point the camera pans to a bar sign that says "Dance Fight: Tuesday Night," and then Puss and Kitty (in disguise) fight a duel while doing a gravity-defying Latin dance.
For a while the kids and I would announce: "Dance Fight: Tuesday Night!" and cue up our favorite scene. I'm not sure they realized what was funny about a bar posting a "dance fight" sign, or even what a bar was, or that a dance fight was not a real thing that people did, on Tuesday nights. As a bit of visual humor, it worked for us on different levels.
Similarly, the complicated relationship between noble Puss and his conniving brother Humpty was mostly over the kids' heads. Meeting Humpty again after a long estrangement, Puss wants to believe his brother is reformed . . . but is he just "playing" Puss again?
"You look good, Puss," Humpty says awkwardly, trying to ingratiate himself. "New boots?"
"No," says Puss with barely-contained rage. "They are the same boots I wore when you betrayed me!"
Is there a medal I can award to the person who wrote these lines, draping it over his/her chest like Princess Leia in a distinguished public ceremony at the end of Star Wars? No?
Anyway, I got some new boots. They arrived today in the mail and are fabulous.
The only thing that would make them better is one person to whom I could say, in a withering Spanish accent:
"They are the same boots I wore when you betrayed me!"
Memo to self: Wear boots & learn Spanish & get betrayed.
(Image: Fierce cat dressed as a swashbuckler by Archibald Tuttle (own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)