Those who know me well know that Casablanca may just be my favorite movie of all time. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched it on video and I can quote chunks of the dialogue from memory. Great stories and memorable characters never grow old – and Casablanca is one of the best screenplays ever penned with some of the most memorable characters in film history. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, the movie still moves, provokes, and entertains me.
So, when my eldest texted me last week that Casablanca was playing at the Varsity Theater in Des Moines and wondered if I’d like to go I knew it was a “Taylor-made” father-daughter outing for the two of us. I’ve been having daddy-daughter dates with my girls since they were babies and I still enjoy them now that they are adults. I look forward to enjoying them for the rest of my life, even if that means that Taylor and Madison wheel me out on surprise donut runs from the nursing home
As for last night’s date, I picked up Taylor who was dressed to the nines and we dined on some cajun barbecue at the Flying Mango prior to the movie. Then it was off to the Varsity (which hasn’t changed since I saw films there as a kid) to enjoy Casablanca on the big screen for the first time. Yes, I still laughed at jokes, held my breath when the patrons of Rick’s sing down the Nazi’s with their rendition of La Marseillaise, and sighed as Rick stands on the foggy tarmac and tells Ilsa that they’ll “always have Paris.”
Of course, Taylor and I had the requisite and never ending conversation regarding whether Ilsa really wanted to get on the plane or stay with Rick. Which is the point anyway. Daddy-daughter dates are about connecting and conversation. The conversations have changed over the years, but my appreciation and joy for the time and connection with my girls only grows deeper.