26 November 2005

A "Cue the Deer" Moment

Occasionally, I see something in everyday life so amazingly picturesque that I can hardly believe it isn't a scene from a movie. They aren't major life events - say, a beautiful bride walking down the aisle - but rather just little things that happen at the perfect moment in the course of a normal day. Trying to describe these moments to other people is a waste of time, since you have to be in that exact place at that exact time for everything to align just right. I often refer to these as "cue the deer" moments, after a line in the 1988 Chevy Chase movie called Funny Farm.

If you haven't seen this movie, don't. It's not worth paying the rental fee to watch. (IMDb.com viewers rated it 5.5 out of 10, which is probably a bit generous.) I've seen it about 100 thousand times on TV, and as such, have the movie memorized. Unfortunately, this means that I often make references to lines from the movie, which no one else understands. Since I don't recommend actually paying to see the movie, I'll just explain the reference so that you know it if I make it again down the road.

Don't worry: if you decide to ignore my advice and add Funny Farm to your Netflix queue, I won't spoil the ending in my description. The plot is: a married couple decides to move from the city to the country, and finds that it's not as picture perfect as they expected it to be. Yep, that's the whole plot. Not very creative, huh?

The line I'm referring to comes late in the movie, when the no-longer-happy couple is trying to sell their house. The potential home buyers, a young husband and wife, have just arrived and looking around excitedly at the woods, the pond, the cute farmhouse, and so forth. The scene cuts to Chevy Chase's character, who uses a walkie-talkie to say, "Cue the deer." Now, you cut to two guys who release a young doe from a cage. Shortly thereafter, the potential buyers see Bambi cross their path as the music builds to a cheesy crescendo and flourishes with a cymbal crash. Voila! You have your "cue the deer" moment. It seems totally natural and perfect to the buyers, but we all know it's scripted. (Side note: at this point in the movie, it's almost Christmas in Vermont. Why on earth would you see a *young* deer running wild in the dead of winter? Not exactly the smartest home buyers, are they?)

As you might imagine, there have been TONS of "cue the deer" moments for me here in France. For example, there was the afternoon when I was walking Didge through Parc Montsourris, and a woman was playing a barrel organ while children played nearby. The combination of "French" music and happy children literally seemed to come straight out of a movie.

To my point: while I was picking up the apartment on Friday (post Thanksgiving dinner), I opened the window so that I could shake out a sheet. Guess what? It was snowing! I couldn't believe it. It was as if the director of my own personal movie had said, "OK, Thanksgiving is over. Cue Christmas!"

We ended up with a couple of inches by the middle of the day on Saturday, though it's all gone now. But, it completely put me in the Christmas spirit, which has never been achieved so quickly. So, nice job, invisible movie director!

See, I told you that explaining "cue the deer" moments is a waste of time. You're probably thinking, "Great, Amy, it snowed. Good for you. Does this really require a blog posting of its own?" All I can say is: hey, you read this far.

Speaking of Christmas, I'll take pictures of the Parisian decorations in the next week or so, since a lot of businesses are still setting things up. (The jewelry store downstairs did a particularly nice job, I must say.)

In the meantime, you'll have to settle for the picture that I took today outside of Gare Montparnasse. These morbidly obese pigeons are sitting on top of a vent over the métro. Can you tell that it's venting warm air? I guess pigeons aren't quite as dumb as I thought they were. (Though I still maintain that they would get a lot more done if they didn't insist on bobbing their heads with every single step that they take.)


At 27/11/05 00:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny Farm was actually on a couple of nights ago and I started watching it, since I too watched it millions of times on cable as a child....back in the day HBO might've also been called "The Chevy Chase Channel" since Vacation, Fletch, and Caddyshack were on constant rotation.

I hope you've had a wonderful Thanksgiving. -Coops

At 23/12/05 20:17, Anonymous Tammy said...

I found "Funny Farm" to be a cautionary tale of unrealistic expectations. I think it's a pretty good movie myself.

That said, I've had quite a few "Cue the deer" moments since moving to Santa Monica.

Since the move, I've taken to long distance running with the LA Leggers. They meet at the crack of dawn on Saturdays at the Santa Monica Pier -- which is nice, until it starts getting cold, and you're running in the pitch black darkness along the beach. Then it's a bit spooky.

But since it's a long distance run, the sun starts peeking its head out somewhere around the six mile mark. Then, if you're traveling south, you turn the corner east into the Palos Verdes wetlands.

And there you see the most beautiful sunrise known to man.

The sunlight is bouncing off of the creek ahead of you, but the sun isn't high enough to be blinding. The ocean is off to your right, close enough to smell and taste the salt in the air.

It almost makes you ignore the fact that you now have to run six miles back... at least there are goodies at the water station...


At 25/9/10 16:39, Anonymous Dee said...

After all the time since you posted, it gave me the best explanation of 'que the deer'. plus I enjoyed the rest. thanks!

At 12/1/11 16:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed this movie. It was quirky and silly.

You don't care for it but have watched it so often you remember obscure references? Hmm.

The plot isn't only about moving to the country and the couple's adjustment to the new lifestyle. One of the big motivations for Chevy's character was to write the next great American novel. Not only does that not happen, but his wife eventually becomes a successful writer of children's books.


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