Last week we started our November film series A Dash of Awkward, a Splash of Charming, a series devoted to cinematic dinners that include both uncomfortable and sweet elements. The first film of the series, Rushmore, dealt with a love triangle and the rant of someone completely consumed by the situation. This week, we transition to another dinner inspired by love--motherly love--but which is equally awkward.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
In Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, Edward (Johnny Depp) has a lot to learn about the world outside of his home. When Peg (Dianne Wiest) brings him into her home, her family is not cruel or mean (unlike others in the story). They are, however, intrigued and fascinated by the strange man with scissors for hands. This is demonstrated aptly in a dinner scene.
Edward is trying to eat, first attempting to use the utensils, then picking up pieces of food with his scissors. All the while, Peg's son Kevin (Robert Oliveri) stares with wide eyes at Edward, ignoring his mother's pleas to stop. He comments on the hands and even goes so far to ask about bringing him to show and tell. All the while, Peg's husband Bill (Alan Arkin) makes "small talk."
Kevin and Bill all play into stereotypical roles: the father falling into patterns where you expect him to ask about the weather and a young boy who doesn't censor his thoughts or actions. Peg, on the other hand, wants the meal to go perfectly and tries to keep the balance. This a typical and common family dinner scene, which is made awkward by the fact there is not only a strange man in their midst, but he seems unaware of the undercurrent, and the awkward is elevated by the fact that, while the rest of the family chows down on the food, he is only able to pathetically balance single peas on the ends of his blades. The family's disregard for his trouble is a mix of blind politeness, sideshow voyeurism, and in an odd way, love, which in this series equals A Dash of Awkward, a Splash of Charming. Check out the video below and see for yourself. Plus, remember to come back next week for the third installment of the series.