Home Movie: That’s Entertainment
By Suzy Spang
When I was initially asked to pick a film that reminded me of home, That’s Entertainment was not my first choice. It was not even my second choice, but as a result, came to be the ONLY choice for me and the one that absolutely brings me to a sense, a place, and a feeling that is HOME.
Growing up in my house, there was music and laughter and a lot of activity. The films we saw always contained an element that reflected that. My childhood activities included swimming, dancing, and—yes—even the short lived attempt at professional ventriloquism.
There wasn’t a road trip or car ride that typically did not involve some sort of sing-along, usually to temper a brewing fight between my sister and me in the back seat, or just to end the monotony of us asking if we were “almost there” 10 seconds out of our driveway. It was either a tune from The Sound of Music or Singing in the Rain or any number of musicals we had seen or just a song on the radio that thankfully we all knew the words to. Singing together, no matter what we sounded like, always brought smiles, peace, and usually made the trip go by much faster.
Swimming as a hobby and then as a sport grew out of my mother’s water ballet and competitive swimming background. Esther Williams was seen not as just a beautiful mermaid in Million Dollar Mermaid, but a woman with a really cool career jumping in and out of pools for a living! Usually with huge fountains and hundreds of her closest friends! This seemed like a lovely idea of how to spend your time. While water ballet become the stuff of home shows for my friends and sister to entertain ourselves with, my swimming took my family and me to Central and South America to compete and taught me the lessons of being a gracious winner, a good team member, and to try like hell not to come in second!
Dancing was the constant in my life since I can remember. Every year another ballet recital, a new routine to learn, a new pair of tap shoes (every year hoping for a higher heel), a new pair of sweet pink ballet slippers, and the aspirations to glide across dance floors like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or jump from light posts like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. The movies we saw as a family were inspirations for the dancer I would want to become!
Films, like the laughter and music of my childhood, have also been ever present in my life. That’s Entertainment captures the spirit of it all.
I hope you enjoy it and find a piece of your HOME in it as well.