The things Garry Marshall has taught me, over the years.

This is not a post about anything that makes me “go hmmm.” No, it is a post to honour a man I never knew, yet one who impacted my life a ton. When talking about the great Garry Marshall where does one begin? I wanted to talk about A film of his that had made the most impact on me. But I found myself struggling to pick only one, so here I’ve narrowed it down to my top four.

In a world gone mad, and overflowing with Republican Convention hatred, and by this I mean the hatred that they’re spewing about any leader that isn’t a Republican. No wonder there is never any change in America, the Republicans have no intention of working in unity with anybody, but themselves, and barely at that. But that’s a post for another day, like tomorrow.

Instead I’ve decided that today’s musing will be a walk down a happier path. I will list my favourite Garry Marshall work, specifically the work he directed. Not projects he had a hand in writing/producing, if I did that it would literally, become, another novel. No, today I’m going to just stick to his films that touched me deeply, and why.

BEACHES–Ok so everybody on the planet has seen this film, and if you haven’t, well why not? Not to be judgy, but honestly, why not?? I’ll let it slide, but you must go watch it on Netflix, or Apple TV NOW. Bring your tissues. This movie gutted me. JUST GUTTED ME. I mean how could it not, two best friends, one dying of cancer, a child who will be orphaned if the friend doesn’t take the kid. So many feels from this movie. Then you add to the premise, the performances, and it is a home run for me. To go one step further in making a classic, there are all the messages: true love never dies, no matter how many years may pass, or what hurts there have been between two people. Where there is true love, there is deep forgiveness. Where there is true love there, is absolute, unwavering support. What struck me the most about this film was; you can always count on a person who loves you deeply, even if for whatever reason your paths may lead you in separate directions for a time, love will always bring you back to one another, even in friendship. And the soundtrack? Don’t even get me started, all I’ll say about it, is that I still drunk perform the theme song if/when I go to karaoke.

THE OTHER SISTER–Juliette Lewis is in my opinion, one of the most underrated, phenomenally talented actresses out there. And the subject matter of sister rivalry, even if the one sister has a disability, still exists was handled in such a delicate and smart manner, that I think I may have cried through pretty much, the entire film. The supporting cast, Diane Keaton, Tom Skerritt, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Paulson…all can do no wrong. The message that we’re capable of anything we set our minds to, is seriously one that even those of us without disabilities often forget. This film inspired me to push through my own limitations, and to be bold, and believe that I could make anything I want happen, if I just didn’t give up. Love. Love. Love it.

GEORGIA RULE–Jane Fonda. Anything she is in, for me, is a must see. Felicity Huffman, never disappoints, and has the ability to just disappear in a role. I’ve yet to catch her “acting.” Love her. And then there is little Lilo. Lindsay Lohan, at the height of her life still being handed to her on a silver platter, in fact I do think it was one of her very last acting roles?? She nails the role of the bitter, bitchy, fucked up daughter/granddaughter. She holds her with these acting icons during the entire movie. Lindsay Lohan has GOT IT. I wonder if she, like Robert Downey, will ever be given the chance to reclaim it??? This movie meant so much to me, because as I watched it, enjoying all their performances the thing I remember thinking more than anything, was “wow, Garry Marshall’s work has a common theme running through it. Everybody is capable of anything, and everybody deserves a second chance.” He proved it by hiring Lindsay when nobody else would, and he was right in doing so, because she hit it out of the park. This is a beautiful tale of the relationships of women passed on from generation to generation, and how it takes a village to raise a child. The rest of the cast is pretty fantastic too, a must see film, you won’t be disappointed.

Now for the granddaddy film, of all his films. The one. The only. The unforgettable…PRETTY WOMAN. This was such an important movie for me. As I mentioned yesterday, I was bullied quite a bit in high school, and only had one good friend. This movie resonated with me because I saw somebody being judged for what they were on the outside, instead of who she was on the inside, and it gave me hope that in the end everything would all work out. That no matter how cruel others were to her, in the end she got her happily ever after. It was corny. It was highly unlikely. But it was inspiring, it gave me faith. And now, all these years later I too have my happily ever after, but mine is in real life, not on a movie screen.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Garry Marshall for showing me through film, that love is deeper than anything, that anything is possible if I just believe, that I’ll never be so far off track that I can’t come back around to be the best me I can be. And mostly, for teaching me that I’m not responsible for what people think of me, and that everybody is worthy of their “happily ever after”, whatever that looks like to them.

RIP xo a fan