Last night I wandered into the family room to find Lee watching The Natural on TV. I sat down on the couch and watched Robert Redford swing the bat a few times, then turned to look at him.
Me: “So what’s going on here?”
Lee (eyes wide): “Have you never seen The Natural?”
Me: “Well, I’ve seen bits and pieces, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the whole thing from beginning to end.”
Lee: “I can’t even believe I married you.”
Me: “Is he about to get shot?”
Lee: “No. He gets shot at the beginning of the movie. This is the end.”
Me: “Oh. Then why is his side bleeding like that?”
Lee: “He…(sigh)he had surgery.”
Me: “Oh….well, I do know that it was Barbara Hershey who shot him.”
Lee (heaves a long, impatient sigh): “Yes. Barbara Hershey shot him.”
Me: “Who’s that blonde chick in the box up there?”
Lee: “That’s Kim Basinger.”
Me: “Well I know it’s Kim Basinger. But who is she in the movie. Why is she crying?”
Lee: “It would really be helpful if you watched the movie from the beginning.”
Me: “You know, I did see the whole thing once. One of my teachers in high school played it in class.”
Lee: “Were you sleeping or something?”
Me: “No. I was flirting with a cute senior. I can’t remember his name, but I remember he was on the baseball team.”
Lee: “A dude on the baseball team was more interested in flirting with you than watching The Natural? Weirdo.”
Me: “I was very beguiling back then. Man…I wish I could remember his name. He was really cute.”
Lee (muttering): “I guess.”
Me: “So why do you think this is such a great movie? I mean, it’s not even historically accurate, right? This isn’t a true story, is it?”
Lee: “No, it’s not a true story, but it’s just so awesome. I mean, it’s a great story. Great writing. Great acting. Great music.” He starts humming along to the music.
Me: “Huh. Well, why is Roy Hobbs so much older than everyone else?”
Lee: “Because he got shot and left the game for a long time. But he used to be a real up and comer. In fact, he once struck out the Great Bambino.”
Me: “Well, if he struck out Babe Ruth, then why doesn’t anyone know who he is?”
Lee: “Because…you know what, you just need to watch the movie. I can’t explain it all.”
Me: “Oh! Is this the part where he hits a Grand Slam to win the game?”
Lee: “He doesn’t hit a Grand Slam. There are only two runners on base.
Me: “He doesn’t hit a Grand Slam?! What’s so exciting about the ending then? This movie doesn’t make any sense. There are just too many holes in the plot. I don’t get why boys consider it the greatest movie ever.”
Lee: “I’m gonna need you to stop talking.”
Me: “Man, I really thought he hit a Grand Slam at the end. This is a let down.”
Lee: “I’m going to bed.”
He did go straight to bed, shocked and saddened and entirely baffled by my lack of knowledge. I, on the other hand, went to bed trying to remember the cute baseball player’s name who prevented me from seeing this movie the first time.
So I have now added, “Watch The Natural from beginning to end” on the Bucket List of things to do before I die. I kind of think I have to to save my marriage.
For those of you who would like to watch the last homerun (which according to my husband is “just so emotional and awesome and exciting and cool”), here you go. BUT BE WARNED: He does not hit a Grand Slam here. That knowledge has forever ruined my feelings about this movie.
The good news is that I am still beguiling and despite my lack of knowledge or love for the alleged “greatest movie of all time” I can still charm my husband. So…score one for me.