Musings on the Incredibly Important Revelation that Music of the Heart is Ostensibly One of Bill Clinton’s Favorite Movies

I’m not sure what made me click on the list of movies Bill Clinton watched during his presidency other than, you know, a loving God. But as my eyes traversed the page, I couldn’t help but gasp.

“What happened?” My coworker Beth asked.

“Bill Clinton watched Music of the Heart twice while he was president.”

For those of you who might not know me, I am likely the biggest fan of the movie Music of the Heart there is. I am not sure it is my favorite movie, as Remember the Titans exists, but I’d guess if you polled a million Americans about their knowledge of the film, I’d come out on top.

For instance, I know that Madonna was originally going to play Roberta. And I know that horror legendary Wes Craven had the idea to direct what was his only Academy Award nominated film after watching the documentary Small Wonders about Roberta’s violin program. I know that it’s the acting debut of Gloria Estefan (and I know that her four-or-so lines of dialogue probably don’t deserve the level of billing she got).

I also know the name of every kid in Roberta’s violin program and the issue they struggled with. For example,

Guadalupe — Leg braces for her physical handicap
Ramòn — Guilt over the death of his classmate
Rachel — An abusive father
Lucy — Snapping too much

I have practically no complaints about the near perfect movie (which wouldn’t have been hurt by an edit of the Aiden Quinn storyline).

I spent most of my life thinking that I’d be alone in this. Just recently I convinced my boyfriend to watch it and he didn’t cry once. For reference he cried six times during the Britney Murphy/Dakota Fanning film Uptown Girls.

But those days are long gone. I have a buddy! A buddy in Bubba. The future First Fella of the United States of America has been where I’ve been, cross-legged in bed eating Reeses and worried that they’re not going to find a venue for Fiddlefest. He has probably also brought his laptop into the bathroom rather than pause it when Nick throws down his violin in protest of his parent’s divorce. The same chill has likely gone up his spine as mine when Isaac Stern asks if he can play the benefit concert with Roberta and her students.

What do I do now? If I see him on the campaign trail with his lovely wife (who likely learned a thing or two about persistence from Principal William’s efforts to get the violin class reinstated after numerous financial cutbacks) how do I broach the subject? Do I tell him that if her speech goes poorly she’s going to make everyone sick to their stomach? Do I introduce myself as Dorothea von Haeften and wait for him to reply “What kind of a name is that?”

No, I know what I’ll do. When the going starts getting tough I’ll sit him down. And I’ll tell him

“You shouldn’t quit something just cause it’s hard. And standing strong doesn’t mean just using your legs. You can stand strong on the inside.”