Nothing shaped my idea of what it means to be rich more than the movie Blank Check (which came out this month in 1994). This is the very plausible movie where a child, Preston Waters, receives a blank check from a felon and cashes it in for a million dollars. The movie is a celebration of gluttony, similar to The Wolf of Wall Street, but minus the chemical dependency. In fact, you could make a compelling argument that DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort is who Preston Waters grew up to be. Preston, a.k.a. “Macintosh,” blows one million dollars in six days like an absolute materialistic madman. But he makes it look so fun that I can’t help it if I still daydream about his charmed life, even as a 28-year-old grown-ass woman. Here’s everything Preston is able to buy that I covet:
A suburban castle.
This is not just any castle. This is an Indiana suburban castle that Preston happens to live down the street from. Owning a suburban castle gives you the best of both worlds. You have the drama of existing inside a Meatloaf music video combined with the comfort of living on a quiet, tree-lined street. You can brood inside or you can go out for a stroll to clear your head. And at Halloween, you can scare the crap out of the neighborhood kids when they come sniffing around for candy.
The ability to rollerblade through a department store.
In one particularly jerk-ish move, Preston and his limo driver rollerblade through a department store while a team of sales people chase after them. But they’re not chasing after them in anger—they are simply trailing behind to catch whatever items Preston wants to purchase. It’s unclear if the rollerblades were from another store or if he’s really pushing his luck on the “try before you buy” policy. Either way, how little he cares is enviable.
Buckets filled with ice cream.
We all saw Macaulay Culkin eat a disgustingly large ice cream sundae in Home Alone and were super jealous. But in Blank Check, Preston takes it an excessive step further, by exclusively eating ice cream from buckets. Like the kind you’d find at a construction site filled with cement or rubble. He’s literally eating his weight in ice cream. From the back of a limo. Like a boss.
An improbable romance.
Blank Check taught me that having money means you can get anyone to fall in love with you. Preston and FBI agent Shay Stanley engage in a wildly inappropriate relationship that would just never happen if you were poor (and, let’s be clear, should never happen ever, either way). Despite the fact that Preston is 12 and Shea is, what, 25? 30? They go on an incredibly romantic date where they get soaking wet dancing together in the middle of synchronized courtyard fountains. Then she lingers waaay too long in the limo at the end of the date, and ends the movie by giving Preston an actual kiss on the lips.
A private sumo wrestling ring.
This is the kind of inflatable entertainment my high school used for our all-night graduation party. It was fun, but I had to share it with my entire graduating class. If I had my own private sumo wrestling setup like Preston, I would spar with friends regularly. I could let out my aggression in a healthy way and would probably be a much more centered person.
A house-to-pool slide.
This is what everyone remembers about this movie. Preston uses some of his riches to install a water slide that attaches from his castle to the pool. This is obviously clutch in terms of efficiency, but it’s also a great getaway. Should any angry henchman show up unexpectedly you could slide away and then paddle to safety.
The attention of Tone Loc.
I don’t know what Tone Loc is up to these days, but in the ‘90s he was the edgy Sinbad that everyone wanted as their villain. If Tone Loc were in hot pursuit of me that would mean I was in demand and worthy of his bumbling kidnap attempts. (He was also majorly catcalling women extras in this movie. If he were following me I’d be able to stop him and we could have a dialogue about street harassment.)
An over-the-top birthday party soiree.
Blank Check culminates in an epic birthday party thrown for Preston’s made-up boss, Macintosh. The cartoonish party planner hands Preston a bill for $100,000, so you know the food on the buffet was top notch. But mostly, I like the idea of having a party with industrial-sized spotlights (if you’ve never seen this movie but have seen Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, this set is almost identical to the fashion show party). I just love the glamour and cinematic vibe of spotlights.
The level of excess in Blank Check is astounding, but it is also what dreams are made of. Whenever I start to think that money can’t buy happiness, I remember the smile on Preston’s face directing a Chips Ahoy truck to unload a truck’s worth of cookies to his front door. It doesn’t get much better than that.