I got back to my room late last night and flicked on the TV. On screen appeared one of my favourite movies – one of everybody’s favourite movies – Groundhog Day. I’d missed most of it, but I watched the last half hour of it very happily.
I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it – maybe a dozen times. Perhaps it was the unusual environment, plus the proximity to Christmas, that made me recall the very first time I saw it.
I saw it at the cinema when it was released – about 1992? I can’t recall the circumstances, but for some reason I was staying with mum and Fred at the time in their home in Lower Templestowe. Perhaps I was in between homes – I bought my first apartment soon after. Or perhaps it was the time I was recovering from a very bad virus. I can’t recall. What I recall was that Fred was away at the time and so mum and I chose to go to the pictures for a change. It was midweek, and so off we went to the nearby multiplex at Doncaster Shoppingtown.
I recall that mum was reluctant to see Groundhog Day. She was sceptical that she would enjoy it. I was mad to see it though, and convinced her to watch it with me. The movie exceeded even my expectations, and went far beyond mum’s. Coming out I remember her telling me how much she enjoyed it.
With Christmas tomorrow this seems an apt memory. Mum is gone now and this will be the third Christmas without her since she died. I’m glad to remember her. Like it or not, this is a sentimental time of year.
It’s a unusual memory in a way also, in the sense that it was a rare occurrence. I’m sure when I was a kid that mum took me to many movies. Everything changes when you grow up. I can recall only one other occasion I saw a movie with her as an adult, about 10 years after this – Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. She didn’t enjoy that so much.