A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games

Big Fish (2003)

March 16, 2022 Steve Bennet-Martin, Stephen Martin-Bennet, Bridget McMullen Season 1 Episode 110
A Lifetime of Happiness: Movies, TV, and Video Games
Big Fish (2003)
Show Notes Transcript

The Steves welcome back Bridget to discuss the 2003 Tim Burton classic, Big Fish, along with what's making them happy in pop culture today

What's Making Us Happy?

  • Survivor Season 42 (CBS)
  • Love is Blind Season 2 (Netflix)
  • Somebody Somewhere (HBO)

Movie Discussion

  • Movie background and names
  • The art of storytelling
  • Storytellers we know and love
  • Would you want to know how you die?
  • Feeling like a big fish in a small pond/river
  • What would you do to find your true love?
  • Don Price- victim or villain?
  • Tears of happiness at the climax
  • The real story of the big fish

Ending- Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Support the show
Steve:

Hello, returning happys and new listeners. This is Steve Bennet-Martin,

Stephen:

and, and this is Stephen Martin-Bennet. And welcome to a

Steve:

lifetime of happy the podcast where we take you on our journey through some of the movies, TV shows, and other bits of pop culture that are helping to keep us happy while hopefully bring a smile to your face along the way. And

Stephen:

today we're continuing magical March with the Tim Burton, favorite big fish, and we're also welcoming back friend of the show and Tim Burton expert. Bridget McMullenh. Welcome back, Bridget. Hello.

Bridget:

Thank you for having

Stephen:

me. We're very happy to

Steve:

have you. Yeah. And what's been new in your life since you were last time. Oh

Bridget:

my goodness. Let's see. Well lots of fun opportunities with meditation has been going on teaching meditation. I've been watching lots of amazing new shows that are making me very happy as well. Like, so it's somewhere. Something, someone somewhere on HBO max with Bridget Everett. And this is a sleeper show that no one is talking about, but I highly recommend pretty minimalistic, but I feel like it's such a current, like anybody that's going through transitions, life changes. It's so amazing. And Bridget Everts steals the scene and every scene like she, so she brings comic relief and just, it's a very cathartic TVs. I highly recommend.

Stephen:

Okay. We will make sure to look that up. Yes. Yes. What about you darling?

Steve:

Well, I have not been watching anything as smarter intelligent. I've been unwinding. Watching love is blind seasoned to absolute train wreck of human beings. Love is blind. It's it's similar to married at first. Where they all, like, it's like 16 men and 16 women, all I date each other via like pods, like little rooms where there's like a small screen where they're talking through the screen, but never seeing each other. And they have to fall in love. And then the man, like a man proposes to the woman. And if they say yes, then they go through this process of actually getting to see each other, but they get engaged before they even know what each other looked like or see each other. And then from there, it's following the process afterwards of like, you know, they go on a vacation first to get to know each other, like more physically. And then they go back home and get to meet each other's family and be like, Hey mom, look what I did. And then it ends in like a month after like they meet, they get married. Wow. And I'm at the point where they're meeting each other's like parents and loved ones. And it's just, I mean, it's the, I mean, I can imagine getting to the point where if I was still single, I'd be like, what the hell am I going to do to get married? Like someone needs to put a ring on it. I'll try anything, but this is it's a lot, but it's very funny. I am

Bridget:

adding that to my artist.

Stephen:

Are they allowed to ask, like, are you white, Hispanic, black? Are they allowed to ask those

Steve:

questions? We didn't see that. But there was a womanizer at first who is like trying to figure out whether the women were. They enter, not by like asking questions. Like if we went to a concert, would I be able to pick you up and put you on my shoulders?

Stephen:

Oh, and cause I was going to say, if the guys were going to ask things like, do you work out a lot?

Steve:

And that he was doing that as well. He's like, do you work out a lot? Cause I typically like women who work out.

Stephen:

And so he was definitely shallow.

Steve:

Yes. Yes. So it's been interesting the way to unwind. What's been making you happy. For

Stephen:

me, survivor is back for season 4,200, not 4,200, just 42. Yeah. And it's interesting because I'm seasoned 41 and 42 are the first new season since the pandemic. And so their film and they filmed them back to back. So by the time they We're done filming 42 41 hadn't even been on the air yet, so they don't know how the audience reacted to them. So instead of survivor used to be 39 days, and I think now it's 26 days and they also aren't giving them the bag of rice anymore and they're making things definitely harder on them. And so it is less, oh, we're having a luxurious time out in the wilderness and like, you have to work to get a machete. And if you screw up in a challenge, Jeff can take your Flint away. So best of luck making a fire again. So it really like 41 and 42 seasons in, they found a way to reinvent the show and you're like, oh, all these people that think they're survivor experts, best of luck. Well,

Steve:

that's fun. I'm glad that after 4,200 seasons to keep it fresh for you

Stephen:

and I, and I do love the show and Jeff probes has done an amazing job. I just, I

Steve:

remember, is he 80 now?

Stephen:

No, he's not 80. Now. I would say like, he's probably 50 something now because it was summer of 2000 when they did the first season of it. And like,

Steve:

and they're just doing two or three seasons

Stephen:

a year. And well, then they started doing one in the fall, one in the spring. And the only season that didn't exist around water was the Africa season. And they actually had to build the shelters for them and a giant 15 foot wall. 'cause at night lions were coming and patrolling the wall, trying to find a way into the people. Okay.

Steve:

Well, I was gonna say that'd be taking survivor a little more, literally.

Stephen:

Okay. Well, yes.

Steve:

And why did we choose big fish for magical March

Stephen:

my left. Okay. So I love this movie. I think it's sweet. It's fun. It's magical. It's colorful. And for me it always hits all the fields. And, you know, I come from a family that loves to tell stories and the same stories more than once. And so this really identified with me now. Well, our stories are not exaggerated. We do tell the same ones and it just becomes part of a family tradition. Did I ever tell you about the time type of thing?

Steve:

I know. I mean, this far into our marriage, that gets excited when I haven't heard a story before he really loves my, my poor memory, because oftentimes they won't realize that I've heard the story before, until halfway through the story. And then I'm like, oh, the one with blah, blah, blah. He's like, yeah, but I'm going to finish it my way.

Stephen:

What about you bridge? What do you what do you love about big fish?

Bridget:

Well, so I have to be honest with you. I remember when the previews were coming out for this movie and you know, of course I'm a huge Tim Burton fan. I was like a little disappointed at first because although it looked amazing, I just was like, oh, this doesn't seem, you know, where's the dark Gothic weakness of this film, but I love Tim Burton for, but I, of course, I'm just such a fan of Tim Burton. That, of course I was gonna watch this film anyways and you know, oh my gosh. I mean, like. The whole experience again, with Tim Burton, Danny Elfman doing the music, it's just, it's already pulling you and the cinematography, but it was like such a fairy tale and it's so, I mean, it's so heartwarming, so cathartic and oh yeah, it was just easy to fall in love with this film.

Stephen:

And this was your first time seeing the film. Yeah.

Steve:

Yes it is. So for those unfamiliar, with it like myself previously, it's a 2003 American fantasy comedy drama film directed by Tim Burton. And it's based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. And if you haven't watched it yet, go watch it now because we're about to spoil the hell out of it. Yes.

Stephen:

And we've covered Tim Burton before, whenever we did the nightmare before Christmas, but he's also known for his first film. Pee-wee's big adventure Batman beetle juice, sleepy hollow, and so many more lovely, lovely movies that I'm sure we'll end up cutting. More of them as time goes on.

Steve:

Yes. And the film stars, you and McGregor Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, and Danny DeVito.

Stephen:

Ewan McGregor is most well-known for Moulin Rouge as well as the star wars. Prequel movies.

Steve:

Yes. Amber, do you have any favorites of those actors?

Bridget:

Yeah, I mean, OU and McGregor, I mean, is everything right? I loved him and Moulin Rouge. Of course star wars but Helen Helena, Bonham Carter. I mean, honestly, Tim Burton always is a master of casting. So this cast with Jessica Lange and I love Jessica Lange in here because she really, you know, she's always such a strong female presence on. This, she kind of went back and leaned into this gentleness, this compassion and her unconditional love, but she shows in this film is amazing, but yet we know her as the strong female presence. So she really holds that strength of the movie together.

Steve:

I agreed. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And I mean, after seeing her and American horror story, so many seasons, but she's the bad ass bitch. I'm seeing her here as the loving, supportive, yeah. Life was just really cool. And I didn't recognize Albert Finney on site, but he was daddy Warbucks in any

Stephen:

and he was also Julia Roberts boss in Erin Brockovich. Oh right. Ran the law firm. Billy Crudup is from known from one of my other favorite movies, almost famous.

Steve:

And what's your favorite Danny DeVito?

Stephen:

Batman returns. He was the penguin. I mean, it's so like Danny DeVito is very, very, very talented. But I, him as the pink one is just so God, yeah, he

Bridget:

totally embodied that. I mean, I'm a huge Danny DeVito fan. I mean, even going back to like when he was with twins with Arnold Schwartzenegger, but I'm a huge fan of, it's always sunny in Philadelphia and he is just hilarious in that series. So he'll always have my heart with that.

Steve:

Yeah. And the, the movie was a success. I mean, it was a soft success at first with a budget of $70 million in a box office of $123.2 million. But as it got more critical acclaim and was nominated for all the awards and won some of the awards and all of that, it earned more of a cult following over. Has even adapted into a stage musical in 2013, which,

Stephen:

You know, that it didn't light up Broadway or anything like that. But it existed, it existed and that is something in and of itself. There, so for warned, for anybody listening, there are a lot of stories and quotes in this movie that just glossing over them. Won't do them justice. So some of them are here in their entirety that we will read out to you. Like in the beginning because the movie starts and you're in a river and you hear the narration of, there are some fish that can not be caught. It's not that they're faster or stronger than other fish. They're just touched by something extra, which I think describes Edward blue.

Steve:

Oh, yeah, for sure. And we see at will Bloom's wedding reception in 2000, his father Edward recalls, the day will, was born and cleaning. He caught an enormous catfish using his wedding ring, his bait because you couldn't, you had to use a special kind of bait to catch a special kind of fish. Exactly. And I was supposedly the, it was like pirate soul who took him. So that's why he thought she used the gold on the ring on Edward's wife finds her husband in a story's terming. Sometimes the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding.

Stephen:

Right. And, and you can see whenever he's telling the story that Jessica Lange playing Sandra has heard it many times before. And she also knows that she's the punchline of the story that, you know, She's an uncatchable woman as well. And that, you know, you get those types of women by if you like it and you get better, put a ring on it. Yes.

Steve:

And as it's, as he's telling the story, you see a younger version of will like very interested at the Cub Scouts over the fire and like enthralled by it. But by the time we get to his wedding, not so much having heard these stories, all of his life, he now, as an adult believes that they're lies and he hates them. They find outside and fall out and they don't speak again for three years, which is interesting because the number of three, three years becomes a recurring theme. Everything in this movie is three,

Stephen:

three years later. Yeah. Because, and it wasn't until we were really watching it critically that it like, and w and it's in the script that we'll talk about, but everything is in terms of three years. And so it is three years later in 2000 and. We'll get to call and his father is dying of cancer and they are stopping chemotherapy treatment. So now it's just a matter of time and will, and his pregnant French wife, Josephine had been living in Paris where she's a photographer, he's a writer. And so they are going to return to the town of Ashton, Alabama to spend time with Edward and Sandra before Edward passes away. And during the plane ride we'll seize this child who is using the lights from above to make you know, shadow puppets on his console table there in front of him remembering how his father used to do that on his wall and then tell him stories. And so he starts in with a narration of, in telling the story of my father's life. It's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the. The best I can do is tell it the way he told me it doesn't always make sense. And most of it never happened, but that's what kind of story this is. And even right there, I'm already, like, I just want to hear it all. This sounds

Steve:

great. Yeah. I mean, do you, do you know anyone like that where they're, they're just like, known for telling these like somewhat unbelievable stories because they're just such big personalities. Yeah. And you

Bridget:

know, and watching this movie, I mean, I feel like it's a generational thing, right? Like, cause I remember my grandparents or like my grandmother during the war and her making her way to the United States, like all this, these war stories kind of like seem so far, like you're like, did that really happen? You know, because,

Stephen:

so I worked with a lady her name was decos, the Kelly and she was hungry. And she was a child Countess. Wow. And so during the time period, you know, of Anastasia and the Russians taking over and everything, her family had to flee their large. She didn't want to call it a palace, but kind of that size. And they had to sneak out a secret passage in the house. And while her parents were carrying the smaller children, LD of his, like, and I had to be throwing grenades behind us to like distract the Russian S soldiers from following us. And, you know, we, you know, we stole a car and one night when we were sleeping, someone stole the engine out of the car and we had to end up eating a dead horse that we found on the side of the road. And you're hearing all these stories and Wow. And, but if you also look at history books like ill, these picture as a child is in some of these books from Hungary and stuff. And I'm like, it sounds too fantastical, but I I'm I'm I follow. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

Steve:

And speaking of fantastical, it starts off with a story of Edward's childhood encounter with a witch in 1932, legend says, if you look into our eye, it'll show you how you die. Oh. That rhymes the prince brothers, see how they die and run off because one was like having a heart attack on the toilet while reading a Playboy, which wasn't sexy. The other one fell from a ladder changing, a light bulb or something. And Edward decides to look because

Stephen:

I was thinking about death and all about seeing how you're going to die. I mean, on one hand, if Diane was all you thought about, it could kind of screw you with. But it could kind of help you couldn't it? Because you know that everything else you were going to survive. So in the end, would you both, if, if, if you could find out how you were going to go, would you want to know? Yes, sure.

Steve:

I would think so.

Stephen:

I absolutely would, but I could also

Steve:

see that if it was something really fucked up, I'd be traumatized.

Stephen:

Yeah. Like, because all those things where, you know, like what about those times somebody finds like, oh, I found a discolored mole. And, but if you're like, oh, well I know that I die in my sleep at 85, then you know that that's fine. And like, you're going to survive. That,

Steve:

but I mean, if all you see is like you at like a certain age getting into a car accident, like how could you like drive anywhere knowing that you're in that age range, where you might get into the car accident that kills you, what would you do then? Just like, not drive like Uber. Yeah.

Bridget:

Yeah. Oh, but then we're getting into a whole other area of changing our destiny, your destiny. But yeah, but I think it's, what's a great idea to point out is that and what I love about this is like living to the fullest, you know? Not, and not, and not allowing fear to change, like what you want to do or what you want to pursue in life.

Steve:

Yeah. And that, that's what he uses it as during the movie multiple times. He's like, and then I remember that's not how I died.

Stephen:

Yeah. Yeah. Like when he's on his way to specter and the trees are about to crush him and he's like, that's not how I die. And the trees were like, oh, okay. And let him go. Yeah.

Steve:

Yes. Now will goes to his father's bedside to spend time with him in the present day.

Stephen:

Yeah. And Edward, Edward, seniors, like people need and worry so much. It's not my time yet. This is not how I go. Really, truly. I saw it in the eye, the old lady by

Steve:

the swamp. She was a witch. No, she was all done. Probably senile.

Stephen:

I saw my death in that I, and this isn't how it happens. So how does it happen? Surprise, ending. I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. And it's that kind of like cheeky thing that you like, you know, will supposed to be like, w w w we're supposed to be thinking, oh, will did have a horrible childhood maybe and things, but then the father is so charming. You're like, Who am I supposed to be rooting for in this story? Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Steve:

Yeah. I mean, Edward, in spite of his illness continues to tell stories of his life to will and Josephine claiming that he had to be bedridden for three years due to his rapid growth spurts, which is again, which is funny because either you and McGregor or the older man are, are not tall. He then became a locally famous sportsman entrepreneur and all around hero. And the process, his classmate, Don price was always just, just second place or just behind them and not happy.

Stephen:

And they do a really interesting comparison on how a goldfish will only grow to the size of the bowl that it's in, you know, being a big fish in a small pond and how he was only going to be so big in Ashton. And if he was going to be growed as it to be the big fish that he needed to be, he was going to have to leave town. And I love that correlation with the goldfish, because I've actually seen it of when we were growing up, we had a small glass fishbowl and had a goldfish, and then we got a tank and we put the goldfish in there and it got bigger. And then it was getting too big because Goldie decided eat the other fish in the tank and we had to release it into the Creek. And I'm like, and I may be quoting this wrong. And if anybody's listening, but somebody said that like goldfish actually become carp. I don't know. But like the goldfish that we had gotten that was this big from the pet store was this big. By the time we put it into the Creek and for those listening, you can't see my hands, but just think it was this big.

Steve:

Yeah, that is very interesting. Now in 1944, a big stranger arrives in town and not just like a stranger with a big air of mystery, like literal giant, man livestock is killed and angry. Mob wants to kill the giant Edward volunteers to talk to him. And we learned that his name is Carl. He says he doesn't want to terrorize the town or eat anyone, but he's just so hungry and too big for the town. And Edward agrees that relates to the feeling saying that he would be Carl's escort out of town since the town was too small for him as well, giving him his out. And of course he gets the key to the city before he leaves, because they're all just going to miss him so much. And

Stephen:

then of course that pisses off Don price again now. Bridget, I'm not sure. I don't know if I know where you grew up. I grew up in a town of 2000 people smaller than Ashton. Did you get to a point where you were like, I have to grow beyond this town. I have to leave.

Bridget:

Absolutely. I mean, I grew up in Kent, Ohio. I didn't know that that was outside of Akron, Ohio, which, you know, and not far from Cleveland, Ohio, which is a big, you know, relatively big city. I have known since I was six years old. Well, first of all, when I was six years old, I always knew I wanted to live in Florida, but in my teens, I knew I needed to get out. You could ask my mom, like at 18 I was out and, you know, the first place I took off to was to New York city, then to Los Angeles, I actually lived out in California for, I just had the sense, like I needed to get out into the world. And like, I always just had this strong desire and by myself, like to get out, meet people, I just. Something else in my life. And I remained like that to this day. I always want adventures, but I definitely feel like I'm in the right size bowl here in Sarasota. I I'm good right now, but totally, totally. That resonates with me. What about

Stephen:

you, darling?

Steve:

Yeah, I grew up on long island in Huntington and it wasn't like between being close to the city and being a pretty big town itself. It is, I never really felt like too, too big for the town, but I did eventually feel like my options are limited because the cost of living in New York and especially long island was so high that I was like, I would never be able to, to thrive, like just living paycheck to paycheck and the seasonal depression I was having there. I mean, I felt the calling to get out of, you know, where I grew up and move south, but it wasn't really that I was too big for it. It just, it wasn't the right fit.

Stephen:

And with mine, it wasn't, it had less to do. Being a town of 2000 people, because all the people there are lovely. It was being gay in the Bible belt and of 2000 people. I needed to go to a city where that wasn't going to be the quality that everyone thought about, right?

Steve:

Yes. Now Edward and Carl find a fork in the road and one is the road that everyone uses and the other one is not traveled because only one person he knew has ever gone down and was never heard from again ever. So of course he decided to take that chance to follow that path. He follows it through a swamp and gets lost. He knows he should turn it off. But there comes a point when any reasonable man will swallow his pride and admits he made a mistake. The truth is I was never a reasonable man.

Stephen:

And in the end he discovers the secret town of specter. Yes.

Steve:

But before that, he passes a sign that says warning jumping spiders. And that's when I would have said, fuck, no hell out of that swamp jumping. But the way he was just like flicking them off. I'm like, like I would never, I would just, I would crawl into a ball and be like, Carl.

Stephen:

Well, if it's like in I know that they were running for their lives and the princess bride, but like the rodents have extraordinary size. No are unusual size. Yeah.

Bridget:

Harry Potter too.

Steve:

Oh,

Stephen:

no. Ma'am

Steve:

yes. But yes, he does find his way to specter

Stephen:

and the cheery locals claim that he was expected and they have him on a list, but he's there early. And there he befriends Ashton poet, Northern Winslow played by Steve Buscemi who is fabulous and everything that he does. Absolutely. And he was the poet Laureate of Ashton and inspector. He's trying to come up with his next big poem. It's not going well, grass. So green skies, so blue Spector's really great.

Steve:

Yeah. And that first night there, he sees a naked woman in the lake that Jenny says it's a fish that appears differently to each person. Edward tells the people that he's not ready to settle anywhere and must go, but promises Jenny, who will return. And what do you think of the ton of spectrum? Like would you, would you live there or was it a little too much for you? Like if you just stumbled upon it randomly, would you settle down at

Stephen:

this point in my life, this age? Yup. 100%. It seems like. The no drama varies, Zinn, like happy let's, let's share a meal, let's lay in the grass. Like it seems like the type of place where you could be content and happy. Earlier in my life in my teens, twenties, I would've said no, it's not where I need to be. I look at it now. And I'm like, that just seems so lovely. Yeah.

Bridget:

I agree with you. And I think that we're alike in that way. Like I think in my younger years I was like, I need excitement, city, city, city, lots of people, lots of people. And I agree with you. I think that specter would.

Steve:

Perfect. I would need to make sure that they have wifi and Netflix, as long as they do. I'm good to go.

Stephen:

Well, and so, and I know that I know it's silly, but like whenever he comes back from the lake where he saw the woman and there's all the lights strong over the middle of town, like I'm a sucker for good lighting like that. And that just added to the magicalness of the whole thing. So yeah, like specter A-plus.

Steve:

Yes. And we're at now present day family

Stephen:

dinner. I don't know if you were aware of this Josephine, but African parrots and their native home of Congo. They only speak French. Really, you're lucky to get four words out of them in English. But if you were to walk through the jungle, you'd hear them speaking the most, elaborate French, those parents talk about everything. Politics, movies, fashion, everything, but religion.

Steve:

Why not? Religion,

Stephen:

dad? It's rude to talk about religion. You never know who you're going to offend.

Steve:

Josephine actually went to the Congo last

Stephen:

year. Oh. So, you know,

Steve:

that was very funny the way he just says it. So casually, it was like, oh, say, you know,

Stephen:

that's the, it's another one of those things where you're like, he's so charming. Like I like him. And, and just like, and I, and you wonder has, will heard the story and he knows to feed his dad the why not religion, deadline, or was he trying to catch his dad off?

Bridget:

Yeah, I love Josephine's presence and her character even though there's not like lots of major scenes for her, but she's kind of like bringing you know, the father and son together. She's kind of being that peacemaker

Stephen:

role. Yeah. She's Marianne This is her first American film. And you can see that she absolutely sees in Edward what Sandra Sala and him, like, she finds him charming and like, and so she's trying to be able to be supportive to will, but she also sees this man that at this point in his life, Isn't really harming anyone and she's not going to be resentful towards a man that's dying. Yeah. And I'm sure

Steve:

she also sees the similarities between the father and the son more so than the son, especially want to admit. Cause the last thing any sun normally wants to do is grow up to be just like his father. But I mean, one point the dad is the one who said something along and that's like, I tell the stories, you write them down. Yeah. Cause he's the storyteller. Yeah, exactly.

Bridget:

So I came across something interesting about Marriott that when you said that she wanted this rule so bad, she slept with the script underneath her pillow. Like she was really manifesting that she wanted to work with Tim Burton's so badly and she got the role.

Stephen:

Yeah. Excellent. And she's so good. And yeah,

Bridget:

it was perfect. Perfectly

Stephen:

cast. So I also, as we were talking Edward and Josephine bond and she finds him very charming and he also tells another great story.

Bridget:

Hi, how are you feeling?

Stephen:

Oh, I was dreaming. What

Bridget:

were

Stephen:

you dreaming about? I don't usually remember unless they're especially tentious do you know what that word means? It means when you dream about something that's going to happen. Like one night I had a dream where this Crow came and said, your aunt is going to die. I was so scared. I woke up my parents, but they said it was just a dream and get back to bed. But the next morning, my aunt Stacy was dead. That's terrible, terrible for her. But think about me, young boy with that kind of power. Wasn't three weeks later, when that CRO came back to me in a dream and said, yo, daddy's going to die. I didn't know what to do. I finally told my father, but he said, oh, not to worry, but I could see he was rattled the next morning. He wasn't himself kept looking around, waiting for something to drop on his head. But the Crow didn't say how it was going to happen. Just those words, your dad is gonna die. Well, he left home early and he was gone along to. When he finally came back, he looked terrible. Like he was waiting for the ax to fall all day. He said to my mother, I've just had the worst day of my life. You think you've had a bad day? She said this morning, the milkman just dropped dead on the porch because see, my mama was banging the milkman.

Steve:

Yes. Different occupation. But this actually reminded me of my mom's. Big crush on our mailman growing up, she was so hot for, I believe his name was Warren. He kind of looked like a more buffer version of my dad, like with the mustache and everything. But like everyday she'd be like looking at the window, waiting for him to come with our mail and she'd be like going outside and like offering him like a cold diet Pepsi. She was like, so smitten with him. I was just like, you know, my brother and I knew we were adopted, but we were being like, she, she mom's hot for mailman.

Stephen:

Oh. And I love that story. And I also love, you know, like most people would have gotten the punchline, but then when he decides to explain it, it just makes it funnier.

Steve:

Oh yeah. Yeah. And back in the past, Edward and Carl reunite and visit the Callaway circus in 1948, where Edward falls in love with a beautiful young woman. My favorite

Bridget:

scene in the movie, my favorite quote, my favorite

Stephen:

scene, they say, when you meet the love of your life, time stops and that's true. What they don't tell you is that when it starts again and moves extra fast to catch up and

Steve:

then the cinematography and

Bridget:

it's, I'm getting chills, just thinking about it. Like it's just

Stephen:

perfect. Like when he goes through the hoop and then he moves the popcorn out of the way and it falls and she's just there and the light is perfect on her face and. It it's, it it's one of those things. So we were talking earlier the film was originally going to be done by Steven Spielberg and Jack Nicholson was originally going to be adult Edward bloom, and Steven had to back out of it and it went to Tim Burton, Jack Nicholson went out and it went to Albert Finney and then they found which funny story. Tim Burton found an article online where somebody was actually comparing Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney's acting personality and the way they do things. And he started looking at it and he's like, that would be perfect to do the casting. And, but with this scene, this is such a Burton scene. Like I don't think, I don't think it could have been captured the same way to the same. No, nothing. He gets Steven Spielberg, but I don't think he could've gotten the scene.

Steve:

Yeah. And because time moved extra fast to catch up, he loses track of her and is so despondent with no idea how to find her, that he decides to take a job at the circus. So along with Carl who signs up to be their new giants but Edward signs up for free because the ringmaster AEMO's Calloway agrees to reveal to Edward one detail about the woman at the end of every.

Stephen:

Now fun fact. The giant that was Colossus was seven foot two. Yes. And Carl replaces him and we see Carla's like 25 feet tall, roughly. And that's just the way he was shot. Carl was actually seven foot seven in real life.

Steve:

Yeah. And I would be terrified. I was like for listeners who don't know me in real life, because I've been like six to, since probably sixth or seventh grade, I'm not used to people being taller than me between that. And like my trauma from childhood, anyone who's taller than me. I get like physically intimidated and scared. Like I shut down. I won't talk. Like they could be the biggest softie in the world. Cause typically the taller you are like the gentle giant is like a real thing. I don't care. I am waiting for you just to like pick me up and break me in half. Like I don't, it's just terrifying when people are taller than me. Like I can deal with like 6, 3, 6, 4, but like the moment I have to like look up to talk to you, I'm like no bueno. I don't want to look up to, you know,

Stephen:

Monica's boyfriend in college. He was seven foot one and he had to bend over to come through the doors of the apartment. And he could eat, he honest to goodness, eight, eight hamburgers, one. And over a pound of pasta all by himself. Whenever we would have family dinners in

Steve:

college, back in my college days, I could probably do that too, but this was normal. Oh, it wasn't normal for me. That was, that was when I got the munchies

Stephen:

now about, you know, Carlin, especially Edward agreeing to work for nothing to potentially find out information about this woman that he loves. Would you go to those links to find out things about the person you love? Would you agree to do this? Just to get, you know, popcorn kernels of information over

Bridget:

time. Now we have Google.

Steve:

I was going to say, I mean, I would go to that length if there wasn't a better alternative, but I would've been like, he just left. Let me boot up grinder and see if he's within 5,500 feet or something.

Stephen:

Well, let's go check and see who bought tickets online and yeah.

Bridget:

All kidding aside. I mean, look, we've all been in that space where we meet somebody and our hearts and our bodies. We are just responding to that energy. And yeah. I mean, when you're into somebody, you would do just about anything. And I think that's how we know. Right. We know like, oh, this person, I got to find out more. I want to be near this person. And I am so all about that.

Steve:

Yeah. I had to work at a circus for you. My love,

Stephen:

I love that. Well, three years later because of the threes. Yup. Edward discovers that Amos Calloway is secretly a werewolf and he's attacked by him, but he avoids getting Amos shot with a silver bullet, Mr. Soggy bottom who, if you've seen. Willy Wonka or Charlie and the chocolate factory, the guy that plays Mr. Soggy bottom plays all of the that's right. And,

Bridget:

He brings such a unique presence and everything he does. And the Tim Burton films that he shows up in really does bring a unique presence.

Stephen:

And so Edward ends up playing fetch with the werewolf until Dawn, when he turns back into a human and Amos upon returning to normal and realizing that Edward saved his life. He reveals that the woman's name is Sandra Templeton and she attends Auburn university. And you know, all this time has passed for Edward. He's still in that same timeframe. This woman has never met him and he's just fallen more in love with her over three. And she still has zero idea who he is

Bridget:

now, but when he does show up, it's almost like she expected him to be there. The look on

Stephen:

her face. She wasn't surprised. No,

Bridget:

she's like, okay, tell

Stephen:

me again, because he goes to Auburn and he meets Sandra. You don't know me, but my name is Edward boom. And I love you. And she says, I'm very sorry, but you know, I do know you by reputation because I'm also engaged as someone from Ashton Don price. And

Steve:

it goes back to the montage of him becoming super big in his hometown and Don price, always being

Stephen:

second. Yeah. And and he, it's interesting here because you know, he says he doesn't care. He's gonna, he even plants thousands of daffodils when Edward finds him, he beats Edward up brutally prompting, Sandra to break off the engagement. With the whole, I will never marry you. He's almost a stranger. And I prefer him to you. And like, because of the physical activity of that day, aggravated a congenital heart defect. And that's when Don dies on the toilet as was prophesized. Now, should we feel bad for Don price at all? Like in the beginning, you kind of thought, oh, this poor guy being overlooked because of our star and Edward getting all the glory and now his girl stolen or in Edwards and aeration, he says that Dawn was the biggest jerk to come out of that. Which are we to believe that we should feel sorry for him or that he had it coming?

Steve:

Well, if he didn't beat the hell out of our main character, I would have said like, you know, feel bad for him. But when you resort to that kind of violence immediately, immediately when it comes to fighting over a girl, like any girl, that's like, oh, that made me wet. Like it needs to get therapy. Like, cause that's not, that's not like true love when a guy will beat the hell out of someone else for you. That's just

Bridget:

problems. I am on bothered by his. Okay.

Stephen:

Well, shortly after that and right after the marriage, Edward is drafted into the army in 19 52, 4, 8, 3 years term. Yup. And he sent to fight in the Korean war and he started signing up for all these hazardous assignments so that it will shorten his time. And he's trying to get it down to less than a year. He parachutes into. A north Korean military show kind of like our USO shows. He steals the important documents he meets and convinces the twins, ping, and DJing to help him get home in exchange for them. Making them big celebrities with the Callaway circus. I love that. He's like, I can get you in with the biggest name and show business. They're like Bob hope. And he says bigger,

Bridget:

but I also love that he did all this, you know secret military stuff, but again, he knew he was going to be okay. Cause he already saw his death. So he's doing all this stuff, knowing he's going to get through it. Yeah.

Stephen:

And you could tell he wasn't worried at all. When he landed back there and he starts beating up the Korean military people on the catwalk and everything, like it was like a superhero type of thing. It was like double oh

Steve:

seven for a moment then. Yeah. And while he's traveling home the army, cause cause he gets lost the army tell Sandra that Edward died four months later, which I was expecting to be three months later with the way they do threes. But four months later he shows up and they begin making a life together. And I

Stephen:

love that later in the movie, when they're looking through Edwards belongings out in the shed office that they come across the death note and Will's like, you mean, that was true. And Sandra's like, not everything you'll father says the complete fabrication. And that's the first hint that you have that maybe Will's off base with a lot of what he's thinking.

Steve:

Yeah. Yeah. And Josephine likes Edward stories as we've mentioned, but well says that she has the luxury of not having grown up in the family and that Edward has never told bill a single truth. Well, as resentful for all the time, his dad was gone while he was growing up and he always imagined his father had a second family that he preferred over his real family. They argue well saying that he only knows 10% of his father, like the part of the ice Berg that's above the surface. And I love how, oh Edward play semantics with the iceberg. He's like, don't pose it as a question. If you don't want the answer

Stephen:

and you should have said, the thing about icebergs is, and I love that. Edward said, can you help your mother with the pool? She really can't take care of it. And so he's out there and the pools kind of greened over like a pond at this point. And he's kind of scoping things out of the pool and out of the corner of his eye, he sees a giant fish break, the surface of the pool. And that's another one of those magical things where it's totally left up to our interpretation will.

Steve:

Yep. And Edward, in the past, we learn how he became a traveling salesman, selling those mechanical hand things that I wouldn't spend money on. Oh,

Stephen:

pause real quick. So when the crew were building them and they were putting all the things on them, People on the set, starting making comparison to Edward Scissorhands. So they consciously made sure that none of the fingers had a pair of scissors. Wow. Well, that's sort of,

Steve:

yeah. Yeah. And while he's traveling, he crosses paths with Winslow in 1963 unwittingly helping him Rob a bank, but it has no money that banks can bankrupt, which inspires the poet to work on wall street when it becomes a wealthy broker and repays Edward with $10,000, which has enough to obtain his dream house.

Stephen:

And I do love that house, the architecture sitting on the hill, the different stories and how it's shaped. It's beautiful. Yes.

Steve:

It must have been the sixties because $10,000 for that house, what do you think the house would go for now at the way the market

Stephen:

is that's at least 3.4. I would think that was the thing. I used to watch mad men and like the price of cars and houses on mad men. You're kidding me when they're like, oh yeah, we bought this house for $10,000 and I'm like, oh my

Steve:

God. I know if only we can like go back in time, like 30 years. But like, without all like the badness for us being gay, but like just take our money, travel back in time, keep our rights. But like be living back then with the goal, our money with us, we'd be living like

Stephen:

Kings. You would want to also take wifi and Netflix back with you.

Yeah.

Steve:

Yes. I would get that. Or I'd learn like, I'd go back to reading books or whatever. So now in the present, we'll investigate the truth behind his father's tails and travels to specter, where he meets an older Jennie who explains that in 1968, he arrived back inspector. But this time it was too late.

Stephen:

And I love that because, you know, we was too early and this time. The town was bankrupt and run down. And Edward decided to rescue the town from bankruptcy by buying it in an auction, and then also buying all the homes and he rebuilt it with the help of his friends, Norther and Calloway. And we'll suggest when he's talking to Jenny and he goes, did you have an affair with my father? And she reveals that though. He stayed in town for months helping renovate her house. And that, although she loved Edward, he remained faithful to Saundra. And Jenny says that to Edward, there were only ever two women in Edward's life, his wife, Sandra, and everyone else, which also goes into play. How how long Helena Bonham Carter is also the, which plays so many different roles and that Jessica Lange is also the woman in the lake. Yes.

Steve:

Yeah. And Jenny says she couldn't compete with well, because she was make believable in the Sandra were real. And this was the opposite of what well felt like growing up.

Stephen:

Yeah. That was a total, like you could see on the drive, back to his house, that this shook him to his core, that someone else saw the life he had as the ideal and the real and that she was make believe. And he had always felt that it was so will return home. Nobody's there and finds out that Edward had a stroke. And so he decides to stay at the hospital with him, but there's this really great scene where Jessica Lang is saying goodnight to him before she goes. And there was also the scene with the bathtub where Edward was like, you know, I felt like I was drying out and she gets in the bath tub with him and she's laying on him and she starts to break down because he's dying and. I don't feel like I'll ever dry out from the tears there, chemistry between the two of them and just the subtle way that Jessica Lange plays us. As you mentioned, it sells their relationship and it also endears you more to Edward, right?

Bridget:

Oh, totally. And you know, it's like, it's the beginning of his end and she knows it and you know, they're just holding each other sh you know, and, and he's comforting her and he's the one that's dying, but he's giving her that strength that, you know, and it's just so beautiful and that shot the cinematography of that shot is amazing.

Steve:

The man, I wish we had a bathtub big enough for us to do

Stephen:

yes. Dr. Bennett well Edward is asleep because they're not sure if he is going to wake up and doctor minutes talking to will. And so he tells us the real story of the day he was born and, you know, there were no complications, everything went fine, even though we'll came a week early, his dad was out of town and Wichita on business. And you know, it was a very normal birth because of the fish involved, no big fish and a wedding ring involved. And we'll being the party pooper that he is prefers the real version, which versus do you guys, like, I prefer

Steve:

the one with the big fish. Of course. It's just sounds nicer than I missed. But like, and then, but they also, Dr. Brennan makes, makes it go so far as to also explain like, back then they didn't let the father in the room. So he wouldn't have been able to be there for the birth anyway. Yeah.

Bridget:

Yeah. But that scene where he like, kind of goes flying down the hospital floors when he's being, I mean, that's really, you know, that, I mean, that's of course, and we're doing his storytelling.

Stephen:

It's and then that's where we get to the big scene in the movie for me, Edward wakes up and he's not able to speak much. Any kind of rasp really says, tell me how it happened, how I go and will says, I don't know that story. And Edward starts to get kind of afraid and frantic and we'll just have to calm him down. And so we start to narrating. What he always guessed Edward had seen in the eye, and though he's struggling with it. You know, he tells the story of their daring escape from the hospital, with Sandra and Josephine helping, and then a high speed car ride to the nearby river with Carl clearing the church traffic, and then everybody's there. And I mean, everybody in the strange thing is there's not a sad face to be found. Everyone's just so happy to see you and will carries Edward through the joyful crowd, to the river and a final kiss to Sandra where he calls her his girl in the water. And Edward transforms into a giant catfish and swims away. And through telling the story will kind of learns to forgive us. Father and Edward dies satisfied with his life and

Steve:

you become what you always were. A very big fish.

Stephen:

So I've never been able to watch the scene and not cry uncontrollably to the point of like shaking with sobs.

Bridget:

Nope. Same, same, because you know, what's so magical about all that is that scene where, you know, it's showing every single person that, you know, you've seen in the film that has been part of the story. And then what's so amazing is like, you know, will, is acknowledging that, okay, this is real. These people are real. And he's just kind of like surrendering and just making peace with all that and kind of embracing, I guess, like what he was kind of fighting and he's not angry about it anymore, but kind of more like

Stephen:

embracing it. And he became a storyteller when he needed to, to help his father pass peacefully. And whenever this first came out one of my best friends, Brady, and I went to go see it in the. And we both just started balling during the scene and we cried through the end of it and through the credits. And finally the credits ended, the lights came on and we were like, we have to go. And we turned around and we weren't the only ones that had sat there through the end, just crying. There were like eight other people still in the theater crying. And I don't know what it is. It's the culmination of the story, because I don't think if I just watched that scene by itself, it would hit me. But that being the culmination of this movie and it hitting all the right notes along the way, still hits me every time. Well, yeah,

Bridget:

cause you formed like this attachment with these characters. You're, you're starting there. They're all the characters are so easy to love and you can kind of. You feel empathy towards a lot of things there too, but I wanted to tell you one of the biggest things, when I first saw this movie, I wasn't expecting for that to be so emotional. Like, you know, from like, I remember watching the previous, like, okay, it's a Tim Burton movie. I'm gonna watch it. You just had no idea that this story and I had not read the book. So you know, you just didn't realize like it was going to be that emotional. And I'm like, oh my goodness.

Stephen:

Because you know, Tim Burton hits a lot of great emotional points in his films, but never like this. Right.

Steve:

Yeah. And I mean, I feel like I was able to get through without crying, but I was also watching a critically for the movie as well for, for this discussion. But I also, like when I saw you crying. Very much. I could also see though, like th there are differences in the way that, like, we have that relationship to the storyteller and I could see you seeing a lot of your dad and Edward while my dad was very much, like, we don't talk about the past, the past is in the past. Like, I don't, he didn't grow up telling stories about like my grandparents or about his childhood or about like that, that whole act of storytelling. Like my family didn't tell stories. I don't remember what they talked about, but it certainly was never like good old stories. My Grammy was the only one who would like, whatever, even talk about anything with the past. So I, you know, I didn't have that connection, but I can see like you having that connection because that dad in a very real way is real life version of Edward

Stephen:

bloom. Yeah. And so, and then I also loved that Edward gets a win at the end because at the. We'll and Josephine are both surprised when all the people from Edward stories come to the service. And though each one is slightly less fantastical than described because

Steve:

Siamese twins aren't Siamese, but they are identical twins. Yes. Carl's not 55. He was tall, but he's still seven, seven,

Stephen:

and Calloway is there. And Mr. Soggy bottom is there and Jenny is there, but we've already seen Jenny and like these in her dad, the mayor is still alive and slightly older though. And, but it's all those things where they're like, well, shit like it wasn't that your dad told you no truths. It's dad, that your dad told you mostly truths. And so, you know, he starts asking for their accounts on Edward street. And they confirm the credibility, but also there as that you get, and we don't hear any of that, but as you can see them walking around and they're just stimulating and they're smiling and they're telling the stories and that's like to them, Edward is just as much of a story as they were his stories. Yeah.

Steve:

Meanwhile, you hear him saying, have you ever heard a joke so many times you've forgotten why it's funny and then you hear it again and suddenly it's new. You remember why you loved it in the first place?

Stephen:

Years later, we'll pass this on Edward stories to his own son. And that was my father's final joke. I guess a man tells his story so many times that he becomes the stories they live on after him. And in that way he becomes immortal. Yes.

Steve:

So are your final thoughts or favorite parts in the movie?

Bridget:

Oh, I mean, well, of course. You know

Stephen:

the ending is always,

Bridget:

the ending is just so powerful and emotional. I just love this story. I mean, to me it's like a modern fairy tale. It is. Yeah. And again, it's just, it takes you, I just love, it has a little bit of everything, you know, I think it pulls you in it's intriguing. It's colorful. It's a great human experience story, for sure. The music, again, Tim Burton, everything, the music, the art direction, the details to the costumes. Just everything is like perfection

Stephen:

to me. And like almost 20 years later it holds up. So well, it definitely does. And you're right. It is a modern day fairy tale. And I saw this around the same time I saw Penelope, have you ever seen, which is another modern day fairytale that just, oh, gets amazed. Ricci. What about you have a final thoughts on your first time seeing it, it

Steve:

was really good. And it's always fun watching you cry when they're tears of happiness, but yes, and I mean talking about how well an age, I mean, nowadays the big fish that has the title and it would have been done by CGI, but you actually have a story about the animatronic big fish don't use. So

Stephen:

the animatronic big fish was transported to the river in Alabama, where Tim Burton planned to shoot a closing scene in which the fish swims around Billy Crudup character. And to move the fish through the water, the crew mounted it to a track that had to be laid in the river, which wound through a rural cotton field. And it was really challenging to Mount this five foot long, heavy puppet on a track in a real river says Shane Mahann, that was one of the. Production people. And Tim wanted to shoot it at seven o'clock in the morning, because that's when the story, like it was mornings, they wanted morning light and, and that's when Billy credit was going to be there standing in that river, meaning they had to be out there at about three o'clock in the morning to set it up, make sure everything was ready by seven and test it. And they had to get into dry suits and scuba gear hoist the puppet into the water, set it on the track, take all the stops out, make sure the tail and the rudder were working and they're setting all this up in the water in the middle of the night, in the winter, freezing cold, working in the dark. And the old farmer who owned the cotton field came out and said, now you boys be careful in mind that alligator. And we're thinking great, there's an alligator too. That's one of those things you wish you would have been told ahead of time, or like, would you have felt better? Like if nothing had happened in later, the guy's like, Hey, and you know, there was an alligator in. Like back to the seeing in the eye. Would you have wanted to know there was an alligator in there in advance or would you have wanted to know later on?

Steve:

I was going to say, I mean, if I saw in the eye that I would get dyed by an alligator, maybe I would want to know before going in the water, but otherwise, yeah, no, just tell me afterwards. Don't tell me while I'm in there. Cause I would not have been able to finish the job.

Bridget:

I read somewhere that the town, where the film was filmed at where it took place. They still, that, that first they tore everything down, but then they kind of put every like the houses and everything back to the other. And it's a tourist

Stephen:

attraction. Yeah. Because specter was built on an island out there. And so it exactly. As his

Steve:

trip. Yeah. I was going to say an for any Marine biologists out there, goldfish are a domesticated form of carb, but they also are known to become like horribly invasive predators when put into bigger, like bodies of water that

Stephen:

maybe we shouldn't have put it in the Creek.

Steve:

And now you shouldn't have, it probably ate like all the fish in there and became a big fish.

Stephen:

And the Creek's name was spring Creek and we put it in there behind my old elementary

Steve:

school. And it's the only thing in there now powering all the

Stephen:

other fish. Oh God, that was 37 years ago. Oh, it's probably

Steve:

dead. Yeah. Yes. And there was also another fun animal fact you found during the movie that, about the circus, right?

Stephen:

Yeah. So there's the part where Edward is daydreaming while he's working for Calloway. And every time Calloway would tell him one of the factors. She loves daffodils and he'd be like daffodils or she likes music. And there's one scene where he's leaning on the elephant and they were just supposed to get Edward leaning on the back of the elephant saying one of those words, like music, daffodils college, one of the things and their film crew noticed that the elephant started dedicating. So they panned out to have this shot of you and McGregor dreamily saying daffodils while the elephants pooping. And it just adds so much to the scene. Perfect

Steve:

timing. Yeah. Oh yeah. What a great movie. It is a good

Stephen:

choice. What's next. So next week is actually another one you've not seen. It's called Stardust with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Steve:

I know. And I, I, I learned that I do know who Michelle Pfeiffer is after all. I bet her the name. It just sounded a little bit confusing

Stephen:

at first. And it's got Robert DeNiro in it. It's got Claire Danes and it has Daredevil new MCU, Daredevil, not Ben Affleck. Daredevil. Yes. Better dare to. Yes. And that means it's also the return of Ronald Wilson diamond. The second yeah.

Steve:

Horse he's coming back.

Stephen:

But you know who else we love besides these movies?

Steve:

Bridget, for coming back on the Levine. I love

Bridget:

you guys. This is always so fun, but also your podcast on all the films. Like I loved your practical magic. You guys just make movies fun to watch and then to listen to you guys is just so much fun. So I love being here. I love when. I love you both.

Steve:

Well, we love you. And we also love our listeners. We'd love to hear what you think of the movie, big fish, as well as what you're hoping to hear us talk about next week when it comes to star dust. Yes. So you can do that by emailing us@happylifepodatgmail.com.

Stephen:

You can also get on touch in touch with us on all the socials, whether that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tik TOK at happy life

Steve:

pod. And until next time everyone stay happy.