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Romancing the Stone

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Image Credit Twentieth Century Fox, Romancing the Stone, 1984

Image Credit Twentieth Century Fox, Romancing the Stone, 1984

 

I’m pleased to be responding to a recent movie request from an avid Cinema Sips reader this week. (side note- keep them coming! I love having to make one less decision in my life).  Romancing the Stone (DVD/Download) is a film I had always just associated with bored afternoons watching bad 80’s movies with my mom. Murphy’s Romance was another gem in her collection. When you’re under the age of 7, it’s hard to protest. But, ever the diplomat, I said I’d watch it and try to come up with a drink. Now that I’ve watched it again as an adult, I gotta admit- it’s pretty fun! I think as a child I was turned off by the fact that all of the actors were filthy and sweaty for much of the film. This is the reason it’s hard for me to like Westerns. When the characters look uncomfortable, I get uncomfortable. But, muddy, ripped wardrobe aside, this turned out to be a fabulous romp featuring campy villains and a heroine who travels to the jungles of Colombia with tiny liquor bottles in her purse- a gal after my own heart!

Romancing the Stone tells the story of romance novelist Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner), who journeys to Colombia to save her kidnapped sister. She’s a writer who drinks alone and hangs out with her cat, living vicariously through the characters she creates. So when Wilder is thrust into a foreign land, she’s a disaster. Luckily, she meets Jack T. Colton (played by Michael Douglas), the charming knave who rescues her from the bad guys trying to steal her treasure map. Of course in the midst of running from the Colombian secret police, running from Danny DeVito, seeking out the treasure, AND trying to get to Cartagena to save the sister, they fall for one another. It’s a story right out of one of Joan Wilder’s romance novels- totally ludicrous, but totally fun. This is a really great movie to pair with a cocktail because although Joan looks pretty uptight and clueless on the surface, the lady can certainly hold her liquor. At one point she’s camped out with Michael Douglas in front of a fire made entirely of burning marijuana, drinking what looks to be a bottle of tequila, and she doesn’t even look that phased! I’d be passed out cold. Although, with a young, sexy Michael Douglas next to me, maybe not. Yes his hair is a little long, but he’s still got that incredible American President charm.

My drink this week was inspired by one that Kathleen Turner enjoys early on in the movie. While meeting with her publisher, she drinks this creamy green concoction that I felt was an odd choice. Whatever happened to the martini lunch? However, after seeing the “treasure” at the end of the map, which looks like a bright green plastic emerald lit by a follow-spot, I understand the green drink a little more. Foreshadowing with a cocktail- brilliant! While watching Romancing the Stone, I recommend drinking a Grasshopper.

Grasshopper

1 oz green crème de menthe

1 oz white crème de cacao

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream for garnish

Blend all ingredients in a blender until thick and creamy, then pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with whipped cream.

Grasshopper

I had to laugh while watching this movie because of the connection I felt to Joan Wilder. I too am a romance novelist (see first novel Design District on Amazon) and while I don’t exactly sit at my keyboard wearing giant headphones and sobbing, I do often get wrapped up in the storytelling. It’s incredibly fun to write characters who do wild things that I would never do in real life, saying things I would never have the guts to say. I love that Joan finds the adventure that she had previously only imagined, and I also love that her success as a writer gets her out of a jam multiple times. Who knows- maybe my next book will be a hit in the jungles of Colombia too, saving me from death by firing squad. Hey, it could happen. Cheers!

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