What's The Big Deal About Rocky?

Last night my friend Tom came over to have dinner and watch the Sugar Bowl with us. I spent the first half of the game enjoying the vegetarian chili I'd made, offering up Hail Mary's and promising God that I'd be good for ever and ever if Notre Dame beat LSU.

Somewhere in the third quarter, it became apparent that my praying and bargaining with God was not making a difference. Notre Dame's quarterback, Brady Quinn, was too focused on showing us his skill in throwing the ball both into the ground and into the hands of the LSU players.

Since a Notre Dame win was clearly not going to happen, Tom and my husband pretty much stopped watching the game. Put the two of them together and they can debate for days about anything under the sun. Last night, they ended up yapping about all sorts of random topics, including whether Halle Berry and her scene with Billy Bob Thornton deserved an Oscar for Monster's Ball and whether it's wrong for a rapper to swear on a record if it's not gratuitous cussing but instead adds to the artistic merit of the song.

In the midst of the swearing on records debate, a commercial for "Rocky Balboa," the latest in the series of Rocky movie came on. They got to talking about the film series and about Sylvester Stallone. I couldn't really contribute much to the conversation since, as I shared with them, "I don't get the whole Rocky thing, but that's probably because I've never seen any of the movies."

I might as well have admitted that I drink bleach for fun.

"You've never seen a Rocky movie?" Much spluttering and falling off the couch ensued in reaction to my response, "No."

More confusion and then looks of pity as they repeated over and over, "Oh my God. You've never seen Rocky!!"

Maybe this is a guy thing, but honestly, I've never wanted to see Rocky. I hate boxing and I've never thought Stallone is particularly hot. I mean, I know a little about Rocky. I know his girlfriend was named Adrian and the "Eye of the Tiger" song came from the movie. I just didn't realize that not seeing the actual film was such a big deal.

They were so shocked that I figured it was probably the wrong time to also admit I've never seen Purple Rain.

Tell me I'm normal and they're blowing this Rocky thing out of proportion. Or, am I really the only person on earth who's never seen a Rocky movie?

Comments

Anonymous said…
you're normal. i've only seen rocky 4 and that was 'cause a guy i know really wanted to watch it. i've also never seen purple rain and i even come from minnesota. so... no big deal, liz. you have more important interests.

kari
I saw the first one, but am opposed on principle to sequels. Stallone is not remotely appealing to me, either.

I have a confession, too. I didn't care for Star Wars and declined to watch the second one, although my ex took the kids to it.

I KNOW that's weird.
Unknown said…
i've never seen rocky but i've seen flashdance which is rocky for girls.
the last noel said…
I reference Rocky in a lecture on "Ending a Story," assuming EVERYONE has seen Rocky. Oy!
Chas said…
I can forgive the Rocky thing but we need to rectify the Purple Rain situation. When Jerome holds up the mirror for Morris Day I finally knew what real cool looked like, and it had a perm.
I know I've seen a Rocky or two in my younger days. Never got very excited about them, though. Incidentally, you forgot to mention that the franchise also launched the career of Mr. T, for what it's worth.

Purple Rain...now that was a highlight of sixth-grade cinema for me. I hope you've at least heard the soundtrack...
Anonymous said…
Well I've never seen Purple Rain, but Rocky really is a classic. I'm sure it was one of those movies my parents rented and forced us kids to watch but really, it is great. Essential, even. Rent it some time -- I usually do not like these movies but like I said, it's a classic. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I liked Rocky Balboa too (like I said, the 'rents are huuuuuge fans!).
Liz Dwyer said…
Kari,
Hmm, maybe this is actually proof that Elarryo isn't that into it either since in the 17 years I've known him, I've never ever seen him rent Rocky. And, if you're from the Land of Prince and you haven't seen Purple Rain, then I don't feel so bad.

HISF,
The recent Star Wars movies or the old school ones? I was opposed to sequels until Pirates of the Carribean II. Too much eye candy there to be truly objectionable.

Not Star Jones,
Shh, I've never seen Flashdance either.

Noel,
And I bet everyone says they've seen it!

Chas,
I know, I know. I'm going to go sing "Oaktree" as a penance right this second.

MT,
Did Mr. T box with all the gold chains around his neck?

I've never owned a copy of the Purple Rain soundtrack but I've heard it. I think. Or maybe I've just heard When Doves Cry a thousand times.

Colleen,
Gosh, I don't even know if either of my parents have even seen the original Rocky. When I finally get a copy of Purple Rain, I'll have you over and you can watch it with me.
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I've never seen any Rocky (or, gasp, Rambo, or Godfather, or Taxi Driver)...none of these movies guys are supposed to have seen as a rite of passage. One of my friends actually wants to have a guys-night-out where our partners watch the kids and we go see Rocky. Ugh. :) (BTW, I followed your link from Our Kind of Parenting--I'm from LA but in exile in Bakersfield, so it's nice to read about "home." We even lived near--and loved--Skylight!)
Mamita Umita said…
I am laughing right now because I am going to see "Rocky Balboa" tomorrow. The boys that just moved here from Orlando (my boyfriends younger brothers) have watched Rocky I-V since they have been here over and over. I didn't help much by buying them a Rocky DVD set for Christmas. These boys (11 and 12) love Rocky. They think he is the coolest. And from what I have seen the story lines are not just about boxing, but more of a man working hard to accomplish his goals. So I'll tell you how the movie was . . .
velvet said…
My husband hasn't seen either of those films, so don't feel like you're missing out on a cultural phenomenon. If it takes seeing Rocky to be considered normal, then that would be sad. You're doing just fine, Liz!

I've seen both Rocky and Purple Rain, but have to say that it wouldn't have made much of a difference in my life if I hadn't.

-velvet
Junk Monkey said…
I've never seen any Rocky, Rambo, or Godfather movies either, (or Taxi Driver, or Purple Rain) and strangely (or the Karate Kid) enough there are (or Deep Throat) loads of other (or Goodfellas) movies I haven't seen (or any Mission Impossibles) which are higher on my 'Must Watch One Day' list.
Liz Dwyer said…
Liam,
I've never seen Taxi Driver or Karate Kid or Mission Impossibles.

The Godfather though...I've probably seen I and II at least a dozen times. I always cry when Marlon Brando dies in the garden in the second one.

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