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La Mommie: A Film by Tony Scott

May 9, 2010

a film by Tony Scott

In the late fall of 2001 things were not going well for Snarky’s Machine. I was still nursing the sting of being asked to “reassess” my commitment to Warren Wilson when unlike Stella, I simply could not get my groove back. Then of course there was 9/11 and the rest of the terrible things going on in the world, which I had absolutely NO control over.

I think I’ve hinted on more than one occasion that my mom’s really freaking cool. Oh sure she might meet a good friend of yours and say in out loud, “Man, all kids should be Dutras.” and maybe if she was in a really good mood she might add an insincere, “Did I say that out loud.” sounding very much like Bob Barker giving his best, “Oh, I’m sorry.” before unleashing the sad trombones on some unsuspecting enthusiastic granny from Kenosha.

As a working mom, getting a degree in order to be aggravated at a higher pay scale, it was not uncommon to find three plates stacked on the kitchen table with $20 and directions to the Northridge Mall food court. Nor should one be surprised after making a Burbank Ikea run to find La Mommie locking herself in the master suite with a cheerful, “If you need any help… you can read Swedish, right?”

But she’s also the mom who doesn’t even bat a lash when her goth daughter decides her perfectly fantastic bedroom pales when compared to the ANTEROOM off the garage and subsequently decides to seek her fortunes down there. No judgment. Just a can of purple paint and a pragmatic, “At least I’ll see you every day before I leave for work.” She also transitioned nicely from a, “You’re not wearing that out of the house!” into a more supportive, “I see House of Fabrics has some new lace curtains in.” kind of mom.

And if you’re just not convinced at how much I adore this woman, I should mention this one damning fact:

She had to move away from us in order to activate our adulthood.

So in the late fall of 2001 we saw a lot of movies together. Ones that are personal classics to me: Bandits, Ocean’s 11 and of course Tony Scott’s P.S. to 3 Days of the Condor – SpyGame

We speak fluent Nathan Muir (Redford). We have incorporated his faux folksy wisdom in our daily lexicon letting such phrases as, “Chuck, you gonna dance with your hand on my ass all night or are you gonna make a move?” or, “Whenever I heard my coach say that I knew I was being benched.” be shoehorned into any conversation regardless of the context. And like Nathan Muir, La Mommie is a stellar example of chow chow free living we all would do well to adopt. Moreover, an excellent view of her parenting style can be observed in the film.

damn kids forgetting their lunch money again!

6 in the morning is the perfect time to piece together a dinosaur costume you’ve just been informed is needed.

  • Whether those emergency calls involve MI5 members from Hong Kong or the school nurse letting you know the damn kids done gone to school sans inhaler again, make sure you get all the details before debating which bunny slippers will best embarrass the kids enough to encourage them not to forget things at home anymore.

spies drink scotch not martinis. True story.

Put away some money so you can die some place warm…and other lessons

  • Teaching kids – whether it involves all the lyrics to Luther’s The Night I Fell in Love or how to properly recruit an asset – starts young. The younger the better. Like Muir, La Mommie struck the right balance between fishing for us and teaching us how to fish. Though she’d probably phrase it far more cleverly.

Don't tell me that! Don't tell me that!

A hard head demands a soft heart

  • Muir and La Mommie both know it does no good to react when someone who doesn’t pay rent nor have any kind of employment history questions your judgment. Let them rant all they want, while counting down the days until they’ll be either caught spying in China or – you know – moved out and sharing a hippie flophouse with several other brats who don’t realize until too late in order to have something yummy come out of the oven it has to start off yummy in the first place.

But in the end, Both Muir and La Mommie always have your back

It is a real poignant testament to Tony Scott’s childhood lessons learned well – the film is dedicated to his own mother, Ms. Elizabeth Jean Scott.

Happy Mothers Day, Ma! I love you.

Spy Game is now available for instant viewing on Netflix.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. La Mommie permalink
    May 9, 2010 7:16 am

    I am awed and touched by this tribute. Just like Mama Scott, Mama Baldwin, Mama Stallone, Mama Estavez, you kids are my retirement plan (esp because I cashed in my 401k to go back to school and buy the house in Canada. 🙂 I love you too, Kid.
    P.S. the graphics are outstanding!

  2. May 9, 2010 10:55 am

    Snarky, I think you’re a fabulous daughter. And you have a fabulous La Mommie (I can’t help singing “Para bailar La Mamma” whenever I see that) too.

  3. hsofia permalink
    May 9, 2010 10:58 pm

    This is sweet. I’m sure La Mommie is very proud of you! She must be all, “I’m so crafty, I made a Snarky’s Machine.”

  4. December 30, 2010 1:23 pm

    I see you, Michael Paul Chan

  5. May 13, 2012 9:12 pm

    Love this post and love the obvious love that exists between you and LaMommie.


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