Here I am going to attempt to tell a story that involves all of the titles of the Academy Award winners for Best Picture since 1960:
The story begins in “The Apartment.” “Tom Jones” was sitting quietly. “The Sound of Music” broke the silence as Tom’s cell phone blasted his newly downloaded Billy Joel ring tone. As the phone sang ‘”Lawrence of Arabia” British Beatle mania,’ Tom flipped open the phone and accepted the call emphatically, “Oliver!” he exclaimed. Oliver and Tom began discussing their favorite scenes from Seinfeld and it turned into a “Kramer vs. Kramer” debate. They then continued discussing sitcoms. They discussed “Patton” Oswalt’s performance in the King of Queens. Tom began telling Oliver about his date tonight, a date with one “Annie Hall.” In preparation for his upcoming date, Tom asked Oliver if he knew the weather forecast for the night. Oliver replied “Rain Man.” It was unseasonably warm that night and Tom expressed concern about sweating profusely “In the Heat of the Night.” When Tom expressed his disdain for spring because of its unpredictable weather Oliver told him that he was “A Man for all Seasons.”
Later that night, Tom knocked on Annie’s door and greeted her with a ‘good evening “My Fair Lady,” you are not only an “American Beauty,” but you also have “A Beautiful Mind.”‘ Annie responded with ‘I love all of these “Terms of Endearment.”‘Tom presented Annie with a bouquet of daisies and then opened the car door as he offered to begin “Driving Miss Daisy” to dinner. As Tom started the car and backed out of the driveway, Tom and Annie became “The Departed.” Annie began telling Tom about how she was planning to adopt a child from China, but the process was very expensive. Tom referred to Annie’s future adopted child as a “Million Dollar Baby.” As Tom was laughing hysterically at his own lame joke Annie grabbed the steering wheel and jerked the car around the stopped car in front of them avoiding a “Crash.” Relieved, Tom thanked Annie for being such a “Braveheart” for saving their lives.
Tom and Annie arrived at the restaurant founded by an African immigrant. The restaurant was named “Out of Africa.” Tom and Annie sat down at a table. They were surrounded by “Ordinary People.” Annie began telling Tom about her life growing up on the west side of “Chicago,” and her recent divorce. She went into detail about how her ex-husband had cheated on her; she had been deeply in love with him. She had written many poems about her husband; she was like “Shakespeare in Love.” He was still “Unforgiven” in Annie’s book. Tom was enthralled by her “West Side Story” and tales of infidelity. The waiter interrupted to introduce the specials. Tom asked the waiter for advice on picking a wine. The waiter directed Tom to “Schindler’s List” of fine red wines. Tom and Annie sampled a Merlot, and they immediately realized that they had “The French Connection” between them.
When the food arrived Tom was amazed by his “Titanic” rack of lamb. He took a bite of his sizzling lamb; it was much too hot and he felt “The Sting.” Tom decided to wait until the lamb quit sizzling. He was waiting for “The Silence of the Lambs.” Tom thought it would be interesting to discuss politics with Annie. He began to describe how he favored the welfare and medicare programs. Annie argued that the United States was “No Country for Old Men.”
As they were leaving dinner, Tom told Annie that he had planned a special horse drawn carriage ride for them from a company named “Chariots of Fire.” As the horses began to pull away, the driver introduced himself as “Amadeus” and told the couple about the wooded area they would be touring. He told them all about the “Forrest Gump.” As the carriage drew past a broken down neighborhood and further into the forest, the path became “Rocky.” Soon, one of the wheels broke off, leaving them stranded in the dark woods. As Amadeus tried to fix the carriage, Annie heard a sound from behind her. She turned around to see a man dressed like a “Gladiator,” who claimed he “Dances with Wolves” and was “The Last Emperor” of this forest. The crazy man proclaimed that he had escaped back to the forest and this was the “Return of the King*.”Annie nudged Tom and whispered to him that she had heard about a dangerous British man that had escaped from a nearby mental institution. Tom said he had indeed heard of “The English Patient.” The insane man approached the couple, wielding a gun, and introduced himself as “Ghandi” “The Deer Hunter.” He said he had been shooting quail. Suddenly, without notice, he spun around and fired three shots at a birds that flew overhead. Tom told the man that he thought one bird fell behind a tree and “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The next morning Oliver met Tom at the park to play football. Oliver was anxious to see how the date had gone.While the offense was on the field, Tom, Oliver and the rest of the defensive “Platoon” sat on the sidelines. Tom told Oliver that he had not returned until one in the morning. Oliver ribbed him, jokingly referring to him as a “Midnight Cowboy.” Tom kidded that when he and Annie had children that Oliver could be “The Godfather.”
After the game, Tom and Oliver walked into the William Hurt Locker Room and tossed their stuff in “The Hurt Locker.” Oliver once again brought up the chances of him becoming the godfather of Tom and Annie’s child. Tom said that he was not going to engage in “The Godfather Part Two.” Tom told Oliver that he had a great time with Annie, and when he was with her he felt like a million bucks. Thus, on their date the night before, as they had toured a broken down neighborhood, he felt like a “Slumdog Millionaire.”
*Lord of the Rings: Return of the King