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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s your favorite birthday-related movie?

It’s my birthday today — 40! woo-hoo! — and so let’s celebrate by recalling the coolest, weirdest, funniest, or scariest birthday scenes/themes/plot points/whatever ever committed to film.

I’d have to go with Logan’s Run, the plot of which — get killed when you turn 30 — I have now handily put paid to by having survived a full ten years beyond my expiration date.

What’s your favorite birthday-related movie?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Brian

    Many happy returns!

    The first movie that comes to mind is Sleeping Beauty, with the dark portent of the fate that awaits Aurora/Briar Rose upon her 16th birthday, and the scene in which it actually happens, despite everyone’s best efforts to prevent it.

    It’s possible to get really deep really fast into all the mythological/psychosexual layers of meaning in all that . . . and it’s a lot of fun to think about . . . but it’s also just gorgeous and delightful to watch, especially any of the scenes involving Maleficent.

  • MaSch

    Happy birthday to you, MJ!

    And while I probably lose the privilege of being the first on this thread to congratulate you, let me think of a birthday movie …

    Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan just came to mind.

  • Happy birthday to ye!

    As for a birthday movie… all I got is Sixteen Candles.

    Randy: There’d be a big party, and a band and tons of people, and a pink Trans Am in the driveway with a ribbon around it, and some incredibly gorgeous guy that you meet, like in France, and you do it on a cloud without getting pregnant or herpes.

    Sam: I don’t need a cloud.

    Randy: Just a pink Trans Am and the guy!

    Sam: A black one.

    Randy: A *black guy?*

    Sam: A black Trans Am. A pink guy.

    So, uh, did David Tennant show up with the Trans Am yet?

  • Lisa

    The Game?

    Happy Birthday MaryAnn!

  • Happy birthday, MaryAnn.

    Of course, the first thing that came to mind as far as birthday movies are concerned is the scene in La Femme Nikita when she finds out she has to work on her birthday…

    However, your experience, I trust, will be different.

    Right, “Josephine”?

  • Jennie

    Happy Birthday, MaryAnn

    As I just finished watching ‘My Father’s Den’ 10 minutes before I read this post, my first thought was the candlelit picnic the young girl arranges for Michael MacFayden’s character Paul

    But, giving myself a minute or two to think back I’d have to say my favorite birthday related movie is ‘Harold and Maude’ The birthday scene is when Harold (Bud Cort) throws the surprise party for Maude’s 80th birthday. Ruth Gordon was tremendous in this scene.

  • hdj

    Happy birthday Mj , and to many more reviews

    I gunna go with the 80’s slasher “Happy Birthday to me”, its the first thing that strikes my mind as far as birthday movies, about a girl who no one came to her party so she kills’em. but I’m sure you dont got that problem

  • LaSargenta

    Quintessential birthday movie? Harold and Maude, but many of mine have felt more like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

    Hope yours is much, MUCH better! Happy Birthday!

    ;-)

  • misterb

    Sizteen candles and Happy Birthday, MaryAnn!

  • Mathias

    Congrats on the big 4-0, MaryAnn!

  • Jurgan

    The Game?

    Crap, I just lost.

    I honestly can’t think of any birthday-related movies right now… weird. Well, meanwhile, happy 40th, MaJ!

  • Lisa

    lol, Jurgen me too!

  • JT

    Can’t think of any movies, but Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a memorable one.

  • doa766

    good will hunting and motorcycle diaries

    (birthday play a big plays on the last act of both)

  • Dammit, Jurgan.

  • Leslie Carr

    Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

    Happy Birthday MAJ!

  • amanohyo

    Happy birthday! My favorite birthday movie is Dumbo, which opens with a literal birth-day scene that I’ve always loved (even though I understand the flaws inherent in Stork Theory). It’s still my favorite Disney movie, live action or otherwise.

  • MaryAnn

    So, uh, did David Tennant show up with the Trans Am yet?

    The Doctor in the TARDIS, you mean?

    No, no sign of him yet.

    And yes, I have been working all day, in un-air-conditioned sticky August NYC heat. Yuck.

    On the other hand, I am using my new laptop, finally. On the downside, I’m not gonna be able to magick its DVD drive into being region-free (no one has cracked the firmware yet, it seems), which is gonna seriously impede on my ability to do screencaps from British DVDs…

  • MaryAnn

    Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone

    Or The Filosopher’s Stone?

    I’ve never had a birthday as cool as Harry’s 11th, that’s for certain.

  • bats :[

    Heck, I got nothin’.

    Only a hap-hap-happy birthday to MJ on her 40th one! Yay, fellow Leo! And yay, since you share the same birthday as my dad!

  • LaSargenta

    On the downside, I’m not gonna be able to magick its DVD drive into being region-free (no one has cracked the firmware yet, it seems), which is gonna seriously impede on my ability to do screencaps from British DVDs…

    I’m about to experiment with having an external DVD drive that is permanently set to region 2. I’ll let you know how that works out.

  • JR

    Happy BDay…

    It’s mine too.

    And The Game is a good bithday flick.

  • Kate

    Happy Birthday!

    A few others picked my movies, so now I’m thinking….um, does Rosemary’s Baby count?

  • Mimi

    Got nothing movie-wise, but a happy birthday anyway!

  • Accounting Ninja

    gah! Late to the party! Happy birfday!

    Hmm, let’s see: …….nope, I got nothin. All I can think of is that Star Trek TNG where it’s Worf’s birthday and he starts jumping through alternate universes where he’s married to Troi and has invisible children!

  • MaSch

    All I can think of is that Star Trek TNG where it’s Worf’s birthday and he starts jumping through alternate universes where he’s married to Troi and has invisible children!

    This is either better than it sounds or What do you mean, it wasn’t made on drugs?

  • RogerBW

    Happy birthday, MA! (A month and a bit ahead of the same one for me.)

    Not much comes up in my mind for birthday films, so I’ll nominate the Firefly episode Out of Gas.

  • Barbara Tate

    Happy Birthday, Marianne. The best is yet to come.
    I can’t think of a great birthday scene, but I just saw “Julie and Julia” which has a lovely dinner party scene for Julie’s 30th birthday.

  • Katie Dvorak

    I’m a day late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here’s to many more years of wonderful film and social review/criticism. Hope you had a wonderful day full of friends and cake. :)

  • Kathy A

    Happy belated birthday, Maryann!!

    I’m another one who can’t think of a movie scene, but I do love the birthday-cake-fight from Spaced, where they toss Daisy’s cake at each other until the waiter breaks it up with the piano music from Bugsy Malone (a movie reference–yay!).

    Here’s hoping your day was better than Daisy’s was.

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