Guilty Pleasures: Sophie Littlefield

Editor’s Note: Today’s scheduled participant was unavoidably detained, but Sophie Littlefield, the rockstar that she is, sent her essay in a month early. So today is SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD Day!!!!

I like my tales dark, with redemption thin on the ground and endings bleaker than square one. My favorite movie in recent years is “There Will Be Blood” and when I was forced to take a carful of teenagers to “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” I simmered with irritation and wished the werewolves would all kill each other. Savagely, bleeding from the throat if possible.

Also, I can’t stand musicals. Hate them with a passion. When the family gathers for “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I” – an unfortunate holiday tradition – I retreat to my office and listen to Seether turned up extra loud.

So it may come as something of a surprise that the movie that got the most play in my house in the last decade of my life was “Prince Of Egypt.”

See…there’s this baby. Little animated baby Moses! He’s super adorable, way cuter than a real actual baby actor. And his mom, who fears for his life, takes a terrible risk and puts him in a basket and sends him floating down the river. Oh, the pathos. It’s kinda like in AFTERTIME when – but no, this isn’t about me!

So, there’s brother pitted against brother, the impotent rage of an ailing ruler, an enslaved and tormented underclass, blistering attraction, wisdom in the desert – oh, that burning bush scene, stunning, beats the heck out of the version we had in catechism. (Film strip. Seventies.)

The voices are by Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, and Michelle Pfeiffer, but honestly I didn’t know that until a second ago when I looked it up. The soundtrack includes “I Will Get There”, which was performed by Boyz II Men and won an Academy Award. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey pitched in. But the track that makes me swoon – swoon, I tell you! I sang it to my babies! – is “All I Ever Wanted,” performed by Amick Byram. When I listen to it, I can believe that I, too, am a sovereign prince of Egypt! A son of the proud history etched on ev’ry wall!

In an utterly insane twist of fate, I also discovered this evening that the screenplay was by Robbie (Philip) LaZebnick. I went to school with Robbie. I played in the orchestra with him. He was first chair violin; I was first chair cello. (There was, ah, not a lot of competition in our small Missouri town.) I knew Robbie had gone to Hollywood and wrote for TV, but this – my friends – this coincidence blows me away.

Hey, do you think maybe I was the inspiration for beautiful Miriam?

Sophie Littlefield grew up in central Missouri, daughter of a history professor father and an artist mother. She earned a degree in computer science and made very little use of it. After living in Chicago for ten years, she and her husband packed up the kids and moved to Northern California in 1998. You can learn more about her on her website and on twitter.