Hold on to something! The When We Were Young podcast’s pilot episode glances back at everyone’s favorite cow-tossing summer blockbuster, Twister, to see if the windiest divorce drama of all time holds up 20 years later.
Budget: $92 million
Domestic Total Gross: $241.7 million
Worldwide: $494.5 million
Opening Weekend: $41 million
The New York Times, Elvis Mitchell: “Hurtling pace, by-the-numbers character development and exotic science. Tornado-chasing suddenly takes on a sex appeal not usually associated with horrendous storms.”
Washington Post, Rita Kempley: “Twister not only blows, it sucks, too.”
“I gotta go, Julia, we got cows!”
I was a hardcore Twister fan from the moment I saw it in theaters. Frankly, this is my kind of blockbuster. At one point, I had a countdown of how long I had to wait for its release on VHS in my journal. I was obsessed.
Looking back, it’s not terribly surprising — I didn’t know it at the time, but Joss Whedon wrote a lot of the dialogue that makes Twister so fun. The film takes its time to develop the characters, and yeah, okay, it’s not exactly the most nuanced of romantic dramas, but it works really well against the stormy backdrop. (It’s kind of like tornadoes are a metaphor for the romantic strife we all must survive to make a relationship work!)But one of my very favorite things about revisiting Twister was checking out the ominously cheesy voice over from the trailers:
Trailer #1: “There is a mystery. Elusive… unpredictable…. violent. It terrifies most scientists… but for a new breed, the challenge is saving lives. The research is deadly. The laboratory is nature itself.”
Trailer #2: “Even as the seasons change, nature moves within itself. Its colossal power and its delicate beauty in perfect harmony… perfectly, cosmically sane. Though, periodically, nature will… in a kind of psychotic fit… go completely, randomly mad.”
In the podcast, you can hear us debate whether this is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s worst-ever performance, sing the praises of bovine murderess Aunt Meg, call out numerous Wizard Of Oz references, and finally, come down on whether Twister belongs in “the suck zone” or if it still sends our spirits soaring like so many Pepsi-can-wearing weather sensors.