I’m surprised there’s been little media reaction to the casual comment President Obama made the other day about Where the Wild Things Are: The president was visiting a local public school, he’s known to be a big fan of Maurice Sendak’s book, he’s screened the movie, and, as reported in The Washington Post, he told his kid constituency, “it’s worth seeing.” Given the dust stirred up by adults when Obama made a speech to schoolchildren last month on the apolitical subject of studying hard and doing one’s homework, it’s easy to imagine a grown-up anti-Wild Things faction criticizing this Presidential film review as a partisan attack on moviegoers who don’t like stories about furry monsters.
You know what other movie President Obama really likes? This one:
Shocking, right? One of his favorite movies is Casablanca, about a woman married to a war hero, only she’s in love with a saloon keeper. Of course, the picture is one of the greats of all times, and it would be awesome to watch it again with the President and First Lady in the White House screening room, all of us sobbing happily together when Victor Laszlo, played by Paul Henreid, starts singing “La Marseillaise” in Rick’s cafe. But given enough free time, I’m sure some faction, somewhere, can come up with a reason why Obama’s taste in movies (he also loves One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Godfather I and II, and Lawrence of Arabia) reflects a dangerous tolerance for…mobsters, deserts, and sadistic nurses.
Oh, and furry monsters, too.
Photo credit: Everett Collection