You know Slapshot, right? The 1977 Paul Newman hockey film with the glasses-wearing Hanson Brothers and Michael Ontkean winning the league championship by doing a striptease? Practically my entire life people have been telling me I needed to see this movie. And I meant to. I just never quite got around to it until yesterday. It came on Star Channel, one of three movie channels we get with our cable package. Star Channel does theme weeks and lately they've been on a Paul Newman kick. The result is Slapshot airing on a Sunday afternoon in Japan. My wife and I had nothing better to do, and while we missed the first ten minutes or so, we decided to settle in on the sofa and watch the rest.
I enjoyed it, but the funny thing is, my wife got a lot more out of it than I did. She usually hates violence in films when it involves guns, but when there are wooden sticks and louts in padded jerseys, she's all for it. Lots of laughter on her part this time around, and it was fun to hear. She's lived in Canada and picked up something of a Canadian's love for hockey. She knows a lot more about the game than I do, too. My excuse is I'm from a place where skating means wearing wheeled boots on your feet. There's rarely snow there and only occasionally do lakes freeze, and never deeply enough for ice skating. We don't even have an indoor rink. Hockey is as alien to me as mountain climbing is to a fish. I am, however, a fan of underdog sports films, especially if they're raunchy and vigorous.
Both of which describe Slapshot. We like it. It's nice to find another movie my wife and I can agree about and enjoy together.