You know it, you love it. Right? Rocky is my favorite. My parents tell me I say that about every movie, every song, every thing. But this time I mean it. I don't trust people who don't love Rocky. My favorite (See? Ha.) of all is Rocky IV.
I went out with a guy who, at age 30+ had never seen a single Rocky movie. Not one. Now, I'm not saying that's the reason we didn't make it past date four but … stage whisper: That's the reason we didn't make it past date four.
If, for some unfathomable reason, you've never watched beyond Rocky II, then quit reading now. I'm about to lay a spoiler on you.
Last fall I met Amy and her kiddos at Railroad Park for Sunset Cinema. Featured picture: Rocky III. As usually happens when Amy and I get together, there was a little dancing ("old people dancing," Jacob, Amy's 15-year-old son, says), a lot of laughing, and a few tears. We'd both somehow blocked Mickey's death from memory. It makes me so sad, I can't even type about it without crying. The kids (Jacob plus four preteen girls) spent a great deal of time making fun of us and running back and forth to get food and hot chocolate (this was the one cold night we had all season) while Amy and I gave Rocky III the reverence it deserves, complete with fist pumps during "Eye of the Tiger." That's just American right there.
Now Rocky IV? Solid movie-making. There was nothing scarier in 1985 than Ivan the Russian boxer.
Rocky: I see three of him out there.
Paulie: Hit the one in the middle.
Duke: Right! Hit the one in the middle.
I should've stopped after this one, because Rocky V was terrible. Awful. Who wants to see a bankrupt and beleaguered hero? Which is why I was thrilled—we're talking jumping up and down—when Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky Balboa (VI) for the fans. I needed closure, Sty! I saw this one the day it hit theaters. I sleep a little better at night now. Long live the Italian Stallion!
Admit it: You're singing right now!