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Which movie affected you but otherwise has little merit? Check out the latest Ask the Critic question and post your own

KILLING ME SOFTLY Streisand puts the she in Yeshiva
Image credit: Yentl: Everett Collection
KILLING ME SOFTLY Streisand puts the she in Yeshiva

Which movie affected you but otherwise has little merit?

I have found that the reason I treasure certain movies has little to do with their quality, and more to do with the time in my life I first saw them. What movie has greatly affected you but otherwise has little merit? — Diane Bradley
If I tell you this, promise to keep it a secret: I sobbed my eyeballs out through Yentl back in 1983, and I still can't sit through the schmaltz aria ''Papa, Can You Hear Me?'' without blubbering. With all due respect to the magic of Barbra Streisand, I suspect that the movie's rather debatable merits are overshadowed by intense, unresolved emotions left over from when I was beaten out for a speed-reading medal in Hebrew school by a boy whose prayer recitation clocked in a half second faster than mine. (Also — again, this is between you and me — I think I had a crush on Mandy Patinkin at the time.) Other movies that undo me, for reasons too personal to reveal: anything starring Glenda Jackson from the 1970s, and Joseph Losey's The Boy With Green Hair.

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Originally posted Apr 18, 2005 Published in issue #816 Apr 22, 2005 Order article reprints
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