August of 1984 was a great time to be a kid who loved movies. I stumbled on a list of the top movies for August 3rd thru the 9th while researching this post. All I can say is holy crap. This list contains every film from that year I either saw and loved (Muppets Take Manhattan, Ghostbusters, Last Starfighter, a re-issue of the Jungle Book and Karate Kid), wanted to see but didn’t until later (Neverending Story, Gremlins Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) or movie I was too young to see (Revenge of the Nerds, Bachelor Party) and today’s inspiration Purple Rain. Purple Rain was the badass movie with the incredible soundtrack that every teen or preteen in my life got to see. Everybody but me. R rated movies were a no-no and for a kid who broke every other rule in the book this was one I obeyed.
When I finally saw the film on VHS (three letters to confirm your suspicions that I am in fact a gentlemen of a certain age), I was blown away. Yes, it’s sexual content was scandalous for sort-of-good Catholic boy like myself. And yeah even I could tell the acting was wooden and the plot was kind of silly. But what sold the whole deal was Prince. Tiny with giant hair and shiny superhero-ish costumes, Prince had swagger before we even knew what swagger was. His extraordinary talent made us believe he was a sex symbol and even made the world like this goofy-melodramatic movie. Prince thoroughly owns his whole self in that film especially in the mind-blowing musical performances. In the end, we leave Purple Rain thinking it’s fucking fantastic because of him and because he believes in the Prince package as much as we do.
Talk about an inspiration. In fact don’t hate if Prince shows up in these pages again. The guy is that brilliant. In the meantime, I’m going to incorporate a little of that Prince swagger in myself today. Maybe I don’t have the balls (or other body parts) needed to wear his assless pants but I can try to embrace my whole self and believe in my own talents too.