By: Emily Kellas
So this week’s top ten list has a bit of personal significance, because this past Friday the 22nd just happens to be my 21st birthday! So that got me thinking about some of my favorite birthday moments in film history. Nothing is more important in the history of an individual than the day of their birth, making it a moment of great expectations, and subsequently the occasional disappointment. But for today let’s take a look at some of the funniest, creepiest, scariest, and most adorable birthday moments in film!
So perhaps its a little naïve, but watching baby Dumbo get delivered by stork to his mother is just plain adorable! After all this is his birthday, but poor baby Dumbo has to endure some light ridicule from the other elephants about his ears, only to have Mama step right up to his rescue. It shows the wonders of a baby’s very first birthday and the love that should surround that child as they enter into the world.
9. The Birds
When you think of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, The Birds, you may not remember this bloody birthday moment. As little Cathy Brenner tries to celebrate her birthday, the party suddenly disrupts into chaos when seagulls, seemingly mad, attack the young children. As a Hitchcock fan I couldn’t resist adding this to the list. I think the scene can be attributed to Hitchcock’s dark sense of humor, and his love of contrast. The moment is both eerie, and a little funny but it’s certainly not something you want to happen at your next celebration.
8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s very brief, but very funny. In The Rocky Horror Picture Show the cast celebrates the first birthday of Dr. Frankenfurter’s hunky male creation, Rocky. The moment is so odd, and twisted, that the very idea of someone’s first birthday seems to be thrown upside down. The scene feels like the tea party from Alice in Wonderland, but with transvestites… what every birthday seems to miss, right? But I can’t help to believe that I would be ok with Tim Curry singing “Happy Birthday” to me in drag.
7. Old School
Old School is not necessarily known for its birthday moments but there is just one scene that makes me laugh every time. Its little Max’s birthday party, his dad, Vince Vaughn is dressed up from head to toe in a frightening clown costume when Frank the tank, dressed in his robe hand delivers his present to Max. The present isn’t a toy, or even clothes, but a toaster… “It’s got 3 speeds!” It just reminds me of my own family members who have a hard time getting an appropriate birthday gift for me and all of my siblings in the past, but I have yet to receive a toaster. And I hope I never do, at least not for my birthday (Note to friends and family!)!
This is probably the scariest birthday moment on the list. This poor little boy’s 7th birthday party is ruined when an uninvited guest makes an appearance sending the world into hysteria. That little boy will never be able to stomach another birthday party ever again because of the haunting memory of that fatefully frightening day. And when you finally get a peak at the guest you can’t help but laugh just a little bit only after you recoil in fear. I wonder if the alien just wanted a swing at the piñata?
5. Uncle Buck
As a kid who doesn’t want to wake up on their birthday to a stack of giant pancakes?! In the John Candy classic, Uncle Buck, this well meaning uncle gives little Miles the best birthday he can pull off. The celebration includes giant pancakes, lack luster guests, and a hysterical confrontation with a boozed up clown. This scene just reminds me of how funny John Candy was and what a great birthday moment he has provided movie goers with!
4. Liar, Liar
Perhaps there is more power in a birthday wish than we give them credit for. In Liar, Liar Jim Carrey plays Fletcher Reid, a lawyer whose affinity for telling lies eventually leads his fed up son to wish his father could never tell a lie again. This moment shows the power behind birthdays and that sometimes the best present isn’t something tangible. As the movie follows Fletcher in his attempts to restrain his lies hilarity ensues all from a simple, common, yet special birthday wish.
3. 13 Going on 30
Every one of us said it at some point in our childhood, “I wish I was older!” But in the chick flick 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner shows us what would happen if that wish were to come true. The film plays a bit on the Tom Hanks classic Big, but once again the film shows the power of a birthday, and reminds us all what it means to be a kid at heart, and to take every day as it comes remembering that perhaps growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
2. Sleeping Beauty
It’s the classic tale of a young girl, Princess Aurora, who on her first birthday is cursed by the wicked Maleficent that she will die by her 16th birthday by pricking her finger on a poisoned spinning wheel. To protect her she is sent to live deep in the woods with her fairy godmothers until her 16th birthday not knowing her true identity. The whole film surrounds this young woman and her birthday. Not only making it a memorable birthday moment, fully of adorable fairies, a failed attempt at a birthday party but most importantly one that also helps love to conquer all.
1. Sixteen Candles
We all knew what would be number one, but it wouldn’t be a birthday list without it! The John Hughes classic, Sixteen Candles, centers on Sam, an under appreciated high school girl, whose hopeless crush on local hottie Jake Ryan is over shadowed by the realization that her family has completely forgotten a young woman’s most important day, her 16th birthday. The film itself is hilarious, but the scene that most take away from it is the iconic last moments when the world seems to come together for Sam, under the flickering glow of birthday cake candle light. And secretly every girl, including yours truly, hopes to find their own Jake Ryan for their own romantic birthday moment.