Formative normativity, or normative formativity?

Random trivia:  The first movie I remember making me cry as an adult was Midnight Run, of all things.  I don’t seem to get scratched by the dramas that are trying to do so, it’s always little scenes in otherwise lighthearted fare that get to me—like the little girl near the end of The Santa Clause telling Tim Allen’s character, “you said you were lactose intolerant.”  Waterworks, every damn time.

midnightrun6But anyway, Midnight Run was the first time it ever happened.  The movie’s a fun little romp, and it’s aged pretty well so it’s worth checking out if you haven’t seen it:  Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin are fantastic in it.

So anyway, for those who haven’t seen it, at one point DeNiro has to go to his ex-wife’s house and ask to borrow some money so he can get his prisoner to Los Angeles, after a series of mishaps.  Of course, they’re extremely divorced and DeNiro’s character is a reasonably unpleasant and bitter guy at the best of times, so it goes really badly, ending in a screaming match and DeNiro storms out.  But then, his 13-year old daughter runs after him and tries to give him a couple hundred dollars she’s saved from babysitting, and gaaaaaaah, it totally kills me.  In-story, it’s implied that he’s been gone from the family for at least five years, maybe more, and so he’s hardly seen his kid (if at all), and the first she’s seen of him is a loud, angry guy barging into the house and acting like a huge jerk–but she still runs out in the cold to try and give him her frickin’ life savings, because he’s her dad and he needs help.  Daaaang.  And on top of that, the position it puts DeNiro’s character in?  On one hand he can’t take the money, because what kind of a dick would he be to run off with everything his kid has saved up?  And on the other hand, if he doesn’t take it, he’s denying her a chance to feel good about helping him, and you can see by the look on her face when he tells her no that it breaks her heart.  It’s such an awesomely rock-and-a-hard-place choice that I can’t even remember if he ultimately takes the money or not.  Oh, man it’s an amazing little scene, and totally a throwaway moment in the course of the movie.  Love it.

I bring it up because I realized there’s a scene in Holly’s book that was probably indirectly inspired by it.  File it under “formative influences.”

Unrelated:  there was a quartet of fans who cosplayed the Rat Queens at MystiCon last weekend, and I neglected to get a photo.  Which makes me sad, because they nailed it.