The PopWatch Confessional (Vol. 16)

Redriver_lWhat have you forced your friends to do in the name of entertainment — and does the use of "force" make you a bad person?

Here’s why I’m asking: Earlier this week, after receiving a press release from Encore Westerns announcing the channel’s upcoming 100-hour movie marathon of John Wayne flicks (to celebrate what would be the Duke’s 100th birthday on May 26), I was reminded of my dream evening. I would rent-out a drive-in theater and watch Red River, the 1948 Montgomery Clift/John Wayne classic. (If you think it’s sacrilegious that I list Clift (pictured, right, with Wayne) first, you need to rewatch the night scene in the rain with Monty and Joanne Dru. Sigh.) In my mind, seeing Monty a Western on that big of a screen, outdoors with mountains in the distance, would be a moment of entertainment perfection. (Kinda like the time I read The Perfect Storm, at night, alone on a balcony overlooking the Atlantic.)

So, what’s the problem? Besides the fact that I have no idea how topull off the rental of said drive-in theater and film, the knowledgethat most of my friends would rather be eaten alive by mosquitos thansubmit to watching a Western. As one of them told me two years ago,when I mentioned this as a possible plan for my 30th birthday — youshould apparently always pick an activity that all of your guests would enjoy. Is that true? Am I the only one who thinks the birthday girl gets what she wants?

To recap, then: This week we’re sharing the entertainment-themedactivities we’ve forced friends to take part in. It could’ve been for aspecial occasion (like my 30th birthday weekend in the Poconos), or itcould have been just because you needed to see Bootmen after the trailer had been so awesomely bad that the audience you first saw it with actually applauded.

Is there a limit to friendship?

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  • Tina

    I’ve forced my friends to watch “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. The embarassingly cheesy 80s movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannon Dougherty. Its one of my faves, but guys will only watch it if its a birthday thing and even then they whine though the whole thing.

  • Ceballos

    The fact that my girlfriend saw one episode of “Lost” after the pilot, which focused on Kate (my least favorite character on the show), hated it, and then promptly refused to watch any more episode irritates me to no end for some reason.
    What’s more, she randomly decided to sit down and watch the show on TV over the last three weeks. (Wha, wha?!)

  • April

    I’ve never forced anybody to stuff on my birthday, but *I* was forced, by my sister, to see The Ring and The Pink Panther (the new one) on her birthday. I have still not forgiven her.

  • Ceballos

    The fact that my girlfriend saw one episode of “Lost” after the pilot, which focused on Kate (my least favorite character on the show), hated it, and then promptly refused to watch any more episode irritates me to no end for some reason.
    What’s more, she randomly decided to sit down and watch the show on TV over the last three weeks. (Wha, wha?!)

  • Jill

    I am a huge Adam Sandler fan, and around my birthday I had discovered his little known first movie – Going Overboard. An Allan Covert cameo and costar Billy Zane could not really save this movie, although I did love seeing a basically teenage Adam Sandler and recognized some early jokes used later in his career. Since my friends do not share my love of all things Adam, they were pretty much complaining the whole time. I did give them cake though, and who doesn’t like free cake?

  • Mopsy

    If you want to be my friend(And, really, who doesn’t?), you will be subjected to viewing The X-Files and Gilmore Girls. At least 3 episodes of each.
    And if you happen to be my sister, I might actually lock you in a room and make you watch The X-Files movie. What? I let her out once she admitted that she liked it. Jeez.

  • Joe C

    How about if I require my friends to watch a Jessica Alba film festival, complete with the first season of Dark Angel thrown in? Then again, the guys wouldn’t mind, would they?Lol…

  • Tim

    Regarding Stevie’s Wonders. Good list, particularly the Stones’ Dead Flowers. Didn’t know anyone but me had ever heard or liked the song. Glad to see John Cafferty included as well. Seldom has music been so well wedded tp a picture. I would add Buddy Holly’s That’ll be the Day, or the later Foghat cover of same. Rock n roll in all it’s three chord glory.

  • Michael

    “Drop Dead Gourgeous” which is a hilarious beauty pagaent mockumentary with Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Brittany Murphy, and Kirstie Alley.
    “Rent” on DVD. Nuff said.

  • Caitling

    when i read about Edison Force, a movie staring Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, LL Cool J, Dillon Mcdermott and Justin Timberlake that was so bad it was going straight to video, i counted down the days until its release. i then tricked my friends into watching it, though they quickly lost interest.

  • Diana

    This is not something that I did but what my husband did to me. For his 2005 birthday his favorite comic hero Batman came out with a movie (Batman Begins)he then proceeded to make us watch the movie 8 times 3 times on it’s release date. This year his b-day movie is Fantastic 4. I know there will not be as many viewings but so far this is how my husband enjoys spending his birthdays….geeking out on comic movies.

  • Liz

    I constantly get ribbing from my friends over my love of all things B’Way. I watched the Tony nomination announcements online and made sure to “warn” (their words, not mine) that I will be planted in front of my TV June 10. Of course, after my constant nagging, they listened to “Avenue Q” (it helped that I was driving at the time and controlled the CD player). Puppet porn! Yearning for the self assuredness that only comes from being in college! Proposing that maybe world peace can be attained by being a little bit racist! Who knew musicals can be so gosh darn funny, poignant, irreverent and all-around wonderful? (For the record, I did).

  • empressoedt

    When I drive, my friends are forced to listen to Miss Molly and The Whips. If you’re from Houston, you’ll probably understand. Overdrawn at the Bank of Love, baby!

  • Stef

    When I was in high school, I got the “Buffy” board game for Christmas, and I forced my best friend and her mother to play it with me. The rules were so complicated and confusing, and they hated it so much that my friend’s mother made me leave before dinner.

  • Ep Sato

    My birthday’s 6 days before halloween, so I frequently submit my friends to cosplay style parties. One year, I forced my big friend to don a fake beard and go out as “Silent Bob” while I donned a blonde wig and went out as “Jay”. It was fun to live it up at his expense, but dood took it soo badly that he left early.
    Other birthday/halloween costumes of fame/shame: Bleach Blonde haired Flash Gordon, Super Barrio, one of the Warriors, Dr. Evil, Jayne Cobb, Kramer, and Wolverine from the X Men movies.

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