May Day: Five of our favorite 'May' pop culture references
How best to celebrate the arrival of the fifth month, PopWatchers? Lacking a May pole in EW’s office, I decided to turn to pop culture. Though I considered expanding the net to include non-traditional picks like bunkin’ cousin Maeby Fünke from Arrested Development and Ghost‘s Oda Mae Brown (“Molly, you in danger, girl!”), there was plenty of May love to go around without getting Fünke with it. Below, five of my favorite May touchstones.
“The Lusty Month of May,” Camelot
If this number from Lerner and Loewe’s hit 1960 musical doesn’t, ahem, get you in the mood for a new month, I’m not sure what will. Check out the version performed by Vanessa Redgrave in the 1967 film. Redgrave met long-time love Franco Nero on set. Lusty indeed.
Speaking of love and lust, the young woman-older man trope has been a pop culture go-to since it first appeared in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey’s Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, the fellows keep getting older, and their love interests stay the same age. A few of our favorites: Debonair Cary Grant and bright-eyed Audrey Hepburn in Charade, the Fred Astaire-Cyd Charisse double whammy of The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings, conflicted Keith Carradine and eyebrow-tastic Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby, any movie featuring James Bond (particularly the Sean Connery years), and Modern Family‘s Gloria and Jay Pritchett.
May Day birthdays
When there’s something strange, ’round the May pole way, who ya gonna call? May babies! This pun brought you by way of Ray Parker, Jr., one of several celebrities born on May 1. He’s joined by AbFab‘s Patsy Joanna Lumley, indie helmer Wes Anderson, handsome country crooner Tim McGraw, explosive auteur John Woo, Glen Ballard, a.k.a. the man who confused an entire generation as to the meaning of irony, and now Jessica Simpson’s bouncing baby girl, Maxwell Drew Johnson (finally!).
Mother May I Sleep With Danger?
If you’re a PopWatcher of a certain ilk (read: you have terrible taste), Danger is the gold standard. The 1996 Lifetime classic stars Tori Spelling, one of the lady network’s ’90s trifecta (along with Kellie Martin and Candace Cameron Bure). Let’s just say things get real when Spelling’s character Laurel finds out her boyfriend is a serial killer and has to execute a truly insane twilight escape — by canoe! Take a look for yourself and note how Spelling channels Shelley Duvall in The Shining. Epic.
“May the force be with you”
Though the formal celebration of this iconic Star Wars line isn’t for another three days, how could we not include it? It’s inspirational, encouraging, and straightforward. Likewise, the increasingly popular Hunger Games catchphrase “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Either way, go for it this month, PopWatchers!
What are your favorite May moments in pop culture?