LOVE IS ALWAYS
WORTH REPEATING

    My 18 year old son and I were astonished. His girlfriend had never seen "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
   "Itís the greatest movie of all time," I cried. "How could you have missed it?"
   We were sitting in our kitchen, and the conversation had turned to movies. He was going off to college in a few days, and this was one of their last nights together. I donít know what they had planned, but it was about to change.
   "Get the DVD, big boy," I said to my son. "This girl is in for a treat."
   He looked at me and Iím sure he was thinking about all the other things he could be doing on one of his last nights at home. But whatever it was, it could wait. If he was serious about this girl, and he is, sheíd have to like Butch and Sundance.
   The movie opened in 1969, when I was a Sophomore in high school. Since then, Iíve probably seen Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid 20 times. Iím clearly in love with its stars, Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and I donít care what people think.
   Maybe I got addicted when I was in college, backpacking for a semester through Europe. I was in Copenhagen and noticed Butch was playing in some movie theater with Danish subtitles. So I bought a ticket and, by myself, sat through the movie---twice.
   I donít do this with other movies, only this one. (Well, maybe with The Sound of Music, but thatís another story). And last time I checked, Iíve always been heterosexual. But thereís something about Butch and Sundance that just makes my little heart quiver.
   Itís the ultimate male bonding movie. Newman, who plays the chatty, fun-loving Butch Cassidy and Redford, who plays the sullen, brooding Sundance Kid, have a chemistry that is unequalled in movie history. Theyíre outlaws, but gentle, caring outlaws.
   And damn, theyíre handsome. Katharine Ross, who plays Sundanceís girlfriend, isnít bad herself. And I did have a crush on her after seeing the movie for the first time. But after the 8th or 9th viewing, my interest went wholly to the guys. Theyíve got staying power.
   Now it was time to see them again. It had been a few years since my last viewing, and my new big-screen high definition television was eager to bring Butch and Sundance back to life. I sent my son, who has only seen it four or five times, to get the DVD from Blockbuster.
   They returned a couple of hours later (I didnít ask), and we got down to business. Within moments, Butch and Sundance filled the screen, in magnificent high-def.
   This was better than I had imagined. Every curl of their hair, every wrinkle of their smiles, every twinkle of Newmanís bright blue eyes dominated the room. My love was growing with every scene.
   I continually glanced over at my sonís girlfriend, who was snuggled up to him on the couch. Was she reacting in the way we expected? Was she falling in love, as we had?
   It was looking good. She was laughing at the right times, and her eyes were riveted to the screen. All was going well. This could be a keeper.
   Then her cell phone rang, and, unbelievably, she answered it.
   I had to pause the movie, just when the song "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" was beginning. Butch and Katharine Ross were on the bicycle, frozen.
   "That was my Mom," she said meekly as I glared at her. "Iíve got to be home in ten minutes. Iíll have to watch the rest another time."
   "How do you like it so far?" I asked, perhaps with a little too much irritation.
   "Itís great," she replied. "I love it." 
    I wasnít so sure anymore. The cell phone interruption wasnít sitting well. You just donít do that to Butch and Sundance, even if it is your mother calling.
   My son took her home, and I wondered if their relationship was over. Heís a pretty big fan of the movie, but on the other hand, sheís pretty cute and sweet.
   I shrugged. Not my problem. Butch was waiting for me. I pushed "play" and lovingly watched alone as Butch and Katharine Ross frolicked on the bicycle, with nary a raindrop in sight.
   It was very late, but I stayed up and watched to the legendary ending. Love will do that to you.
 

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