I’m watching The Commitments on Netflix . It’s Halloween . Ada has gone to do aerobics at the gym . The street is almost completely dark . The days of kids in small groups walking up and down trick-or-treating are long gone , I guess .
I think parents are afraid to let their little darlings roam up and down the neighborhood these days . They bring them to secure locations these days on Halloween so they might have organized and safe fun .
My mother used to send us out on our own on Halloween and God help us . Neighborhoods were different in those days . After school we were expected to go out and play as long as we were home at six o’clock sharp for dinner . She didn’t know what the heck we were doing . On Halloween we were on our own , too .
Times have changed .
I took my mother to see The Commitments when the movie came out . If you don’t know the movie , it’s an Irish production based on a Roddy Doyle novel . I thought that my mother might like an Irish movie . It’s the story of a group of working class kids in Dublin who struggled to start a soul music band . It’s a good movie .
The trouble for me during the movie , as I remember , was that every other word in the script seemed to be a profanity , and I knew from a childhood of experience that my mother didn’t approve of profanity . Well , here we were and I was done for , and I thought : You win a few and you lose a few ! , but I was watching Mom out of the corner of my eye to gauge her reaction . Maybe she’d want to leave at any time when she’s heard her fill of the ‘shites’ and ‘fecking’s and the ‘ fuck-off’s , and I was ready .
My mother , however , wasn’t after all , ( as they say in Poland ) made of sugar , and she didn’t melt . On the way out of the theater she told me that she had enjoyed the movie . She would have said that in any case , I figured . I pointed out the obvious to her that the language in the movie was ‘ a bit rough ‘ , and she said : ” Well , if that’s the way they talk in Dublin , then it’s appropriate to the film ” . Indeed .
It’s a bit weird watching the film again after all these years . The movie came out in 1991 . My mother was up and around in those days . I drove her over to Santa Monica to the theater . I find myself tonight imagining the film through her eyes . She would have liked the Irishness of it , the window of Dublin life of working class folk . Roddy Doyle is good for that . I should say , perhaps more appropriately , that Roddy Doyle is an author grand for that . Brilliant .
And , so I am watching the movie again and waiting for any trick-or-treaters brave enough to approach the front door of the house . None have come so far , the feckin’ bloody gobshites !