It started with A Walk to Remember. A friend had gone to see the showing before mine with an actual date, two eleven-year-olds witnessing teen mortality and the strong suggestion of multiple instances of off-screen sex, in our local movie theater. I went to the movie with my father.
My initial intention was not to make my father — whose favorite movies include A Few Good Men and A Few Good Men AMC pop up trivia edition — sit through every movie marketed to teen girls released between 2002 and 2008. It just sort of happened. And it didn’t even strike me as odd until I returned from the bathroom before the start of Twilight to see him in the middle of a sea of tweens, without even a Team Edward button to reassure the mothers glancing at him warily.
There have been awkward moments in our father-daughter bonding montage (cue a soundtrack provided by Michelle Branch). There was the scene in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist where the shrieks of Kat Dennings are shown on the jumping orange and green bars of a piece of recording equipment. For the last five years I’ve tried to pretend recording equipment and Dennings don’t exist, so if I ever sat down to an episode of Two Broke Girls set in a record studio I would only see one broke girl in an empty room.
Big screen made way for small screen in the mid-2000s when we started watching Grey’s Anatomy. Eventually my dad started reminding me on Thursdays we had to watch the show with McDreamy. He had realized this was his life now.
We tried to branch out and watch other genres. We saw War of the Worlds, and I stayed awake for the whole summer, sure an alien race was coming to kill me before I could go see the next Nicholas Sparks movie. We saw the seventh Harry Potter film, which left my father, who had missed three through six, very confused as to how Hogwarts could have gone so far down hill so quickly.
In the end, for me and my dad, it will always be chick flicks. And when he tells me TNT is playing A Few Good Men for the second time this weekend, I know I have to join him. The poor man has recapped Grey’s Anatomy for me on nights I couldn’t watch.
Dad’s recap: “McDreamy was there. Everyone had sex. No one was married. What movie are we going to see next weekend?”