Linda Holmes is one of my favorite writers, and has been since she wrote recaps for The Amazing Race on the now-defunct site Television Without Pity. She’s now one of the main hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour, a podcast I make a point to listen to each week. After the dismaying news that Carrie Fischer and Debbie Reynolds died in late December within a day of each other (December 27 and 28, respectively), Ms. Holmes tweeted this:
I have seen Singin’ In The Rain *conservatively* … 30 times.
— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) December 29, 2016
The reactions to this tweet included many people offering their devotion to the film, which delighted me to no end. My love for Singin’ In The Rain has been my delicious secret for years, part of a quirky adoration for movie musicals I’ve indulged since I was a child. I would guess I’ve seen it far more than 30 times (at least once a year for much of my life), and each time I love it more. Debbie Reynolds’ charming, energetic performance is a big part of the movie’s success, and it launched her decades-long career in entertainment.
I would tell people it was my favorite movie if asked, but never volunteered the information as I thought I was alone in my enthusiasm; when I saw this tweet and countless others proclaiming admiration for the film I pulled back a chair and joined others at the table of musical fans. One of the reasons I relish Ms. Holmes’ writing is her unabashed appetite for pop culture, for cheesiness and dancing and reality television and, yes, musicals. She never apologizes for her opinions, but shares the ways she discovers meaning and power in what the world often passes off as silly, unnecessary, or unimportant, and she’s built a successful career around it. She reminds me to be myself, do what I enjoy, and claim it with gusto, as does the legacy of Debbie Reynolds. (Carrie Fischer deserves an entire essay herself, as the best part of When Harry Met Sally, another of my favorite films.)