Discover more from IPAs and Cupcakes: Alisa's Pop Culture Lair
The Dirtiest Movie I Ever Saw
And can't find ANYWHERE.
See, I’m about to head off any judgment here by virtue of the fact that you can’t check my work. Ha!
When I was in Israel for my gap year – AKA after high school, when nice Jewish girls go to seminary for the year and study God’s texts and run rampant without parental supervision – I saw the raunchiest, most profane movie in my life: It’s A Boy Girl Thing.
Now, at the time, Israel kind of treated all imported movies the same way. Hollywood blockbusters were shown next to British indie movies that made a big enough splash. So while I doubt many people in America saw this movie, I’ve randomly met several of my peers, in Israel at the same time as me, who have seen it.
The very hot guy from Air Bud plays the underestimated sexy jock, and Samaire Armstrong plays the ambitious friendless prude. They magically switch bodies. They broker peace until they can switch back, but then get mad at each other and try to ruin each other’s lives, until ultimately they fall in love and live happily ever after. Shenanigans ensue.
Me vs. The Plot
I guess when my sister and I chose this movie, the differences between a mother/daughter body-switch comedy and a teenage gender body-switch comedy just … didn’t occur to us? This wasn’t a Freaky Friday situation, where the mom wants the daughter to be prim and proper and the daughter wants to do her own thing.
This was a lot of sexual situations happening, sometimes FOR REVENGE, and a lot of slut shaming.
It was the first time I saw (an indication of) “morning wood.”
It was the first time I saw (evidence of) a Brazilian on screen.
It was the first time I heard the reverse of being turned on by someone and understood how that was an insult.
It was the first time I heard that Eminem song that we turned into a niggun for color war and realized that hey, yeah, there kinda IS a niggun in the middle of this rap song! Also the song where a half naked guy sings “sprung” and the music isn’t bleeped out.
What can I say? I was a Very Religious Person, and my “understanding” of things frankly sexual came later in life. It’s A Boy Girl Thing was a lot of that in a short amount of time.
It made me feel dirty.
And Now, #1, The Larch
Back when I was in college and obsessed with my own historicity, curious to see just how young I was when I saw it, I bought it on DVD.
But it wasn’t the same movie! The version that’s currently available is as bowlderized as an Orthoprax writer in a frum magazine! The movie that I saw in theaters, replete with triumphant F-bombs and sexual imagery, isn’t available to consumers.
Instead we get a whole lot of “hecks”, no waxing paper with hair in the shape of a triangle, and certainly no use of the word “sprung”.
Along with everything else I don’t remember.
AND WHY NOT, I ASK YOU!
How? Why?? did this censorship occur after its theater run?? Someone explain it to me!
And Why Do I Care? (You Should Ask)
Like a playlist of specific personal eras, the culture I consume at different parts of my life call to mind who I was at the time. The movies I watch, the books I read – my reaction to them is part of the experience. When I revisit them years later, I remember how I felt about them, and that makes me remember the person I used to be. It’s both cathartic and scary. Sometimes I’ll do it once and then never again.
It’s not that I’m yearning to return to my teenage body. I was overcome with angst. I didn’t know how to dress, do my hair, or charm people with my winning personality.
But who I was informed the culture I consumed, and vice versa.
Mr. Brightside by The Killers is high school, along with adolescent Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, House and Project Runway. College is Glee, Across the Universe and the supreme suite of Michael Cera movies. Grad school is Bachelorette (2012), Spring Breakers and Netflix’s explosive heyday.
And I’m still a little obsessed with my own historicity.
I had such a mindset of innocence and experience during my seminary year. The shock I felt watching this move, as well as the release of seeing it again, is lying in wait for me – if I can ever find the “unrated” version of this very specific movie.
Got any clues?