MovieChat Forums > Christine (1983) Discussion > Could you really blame Arnie?

Could you really blame Arnie?


His friends' and family's reaction to the car was more irrational than Arnie's. How would you feel if you bought a car and everyone around you was discussing their hatred for a thing? That car wasn't that bad when it was first seen. Like he said, he could easily fix it, and I get that was why it appealed to him. It was an old, vintage car he knew he could restore to its original condition. Maybe it was the sense of the spirit of the car turning people off from it, but if I were Arnie, I would think everyone else was tripping too. If someone called my car haunted, I would be looking at them like what's wrong with them too. Also, I understood why Arnie was so determined to keep his car. His parents were controlling and wouldn't listen to him. It seems he came from a controlling family and just once wanted to make his own decision without his mother's influence. Up until he became a violent *beep* I really felt for Arnie.

I get high on hydroponic weed

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His friends' and family's reaction to the car was more irrational than Arnie's.


Never had a problem with that. He had a set of overly protective parents (probably the main reason why he was the kind of person he is at the start of the movie). To me, the parents' initial reaction isn't so much about Christine herself, but rather about Arnie daring to buy a car (any car) without first consulting with them.

Dennis views the car as a money-pit, which, let's face it, a 1950s car would've been, even back in 1978.

And Leigh is jealous of the car, because she (rightly) sees it as competition. Wouldn't be the first time a car-obsessed guy spends more time with his wheels than with his girl.
Plus you can always make the assumption that people around Arnie sensed the car's "evilness" from the get-go. Since Christine is supposed to have been "born evil" this thought isn't that far-fetched.



Also, I understood why Arnie was so determined to keep his car. His parents were controlling and wouldn't listen to him.


Exactly. Especially since he's supposed to be 17 years old and that's the perfect age to start rebelling against your parents over seemingly silly stuff.

From personal experience, I can totally get behind the whole thing. My parents have an irrational fear of anything with two wheels and an engine and at one point my dad threatened he would take an ax to it if I ever dared putting a motorcycle into their driveway. Which I then did a couple of years later, but he never made good on his promise, I might add... :)


S.

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From Arnie's perspective, however, Dennis and Leigh's reactions would have been odd and irrational to him. He couldn't sense the car was evil so he just thought they were simply "picking on" some inanimate object that had special power.

I get high on hydroponic weed

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Never had a problem with that. He had a set of overly protective parents (probably the main reason why he was the kind of person he is at the start of the movie). To me, the parents' initial reaction isn't so much about Christine herself, but rather about Arnie daring to buy a car (any car) without first consulting with them.


Exactly.

In addition, everyone saw the car for what it was which was downright creepy. In the book they all felt a vile presence coming from the car. Something just wasn't right about it and it went beyond more than it looking like a clunker. Just as Arnie saw something beautiful and amazing in Christine, his friends and family saw something truly horrific.

The car also turned in him into a completely obnoxious a-hole.

-Di

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Old post, but this is a subject that resonates with me. I really don't think your parent's were all that irrational.

My father was a claims adjuster for an insurance company. He once commented to me that for car/motorcycle accidents the car was at fault 95% of the time. And that the motorcyclist was dead 95% of the time.

He hated them and, I admit, so do I. (and no, I'm not the kind of guy that agreed with my father all, or even most, of the time.) I saw the records he had on the claims.

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Well.. he only pays $250 for the car. Which was quite a bit more in '78 than it is today, but it wasn't a *huge* sum, either. Around $900 in today's money, IIRC.

IMO he just fell in love with the car and knew that if he had done what his parents expected him to do (talk it through with them before making a purchase), they would've either talked him out of it or flat-out forbidden him to buy her. Probably wouldn't have been the first time this sort of thing happened - he does confirm that a bit later when he says "when I want something, you just overrule me 2 to 1". So IMO at this point, he simply is rebelling against his over-protective parents. Which is kinda normal and healthy for a 17-year old. Plus he really likes that car. Something which I can also sympathize with. It's a pretty awesome set of wheels, albeit in terrible condition.

And re. the college savings: From what I understood, that money was his anyway. Didn't he say that he worked for it during the summer or somethig like that?


S.

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[deleted]

But the car was 'haunted', that's what the movie is about. Christine was able to keep looking good because she regenerated herself, not because of Arnie. How would everyone know she could do that?

You knew it because you knew what the movie is about, thus you're sympathetic to the star. Welcome to Hollywood.

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I think his parent's reaction is pretty realistic. My parents (and my friends' parents) would have gone ballistic as (1) you typically did not purchase a car in high-school without your parent's knowledge, (2) they would have viewed it as a bad investment and unsafe for their child due to the condition of the car, (3) they would be all over how the kid would be paying for insurance, registration fees, etc.

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As already mentioned, he bought a car without discussing it with his parents. Not to mention that Arnie technically was still a minor, I've always wondered why (in both the film and the novel) his parents didn't mention this and try to stop the deal from going through.

(SPOILER ALERT) though mind you, in the book, Dennis believed that LeBay wanted Arnie to have Christine all along so I wondered how LeBay would have handled the situation had Arnie's folks told LeBay they were not going to let Arnie buy Christine no matter how low he dropped the price.

Also the more time Arnie spends with Christine, the more he does change drastically, and not for the better. This is better demonstrated in the book. In fact he becomes downright unlikable, even more so after LeBay dies, though that is explained by LeBay's spirit taking possession of Arnie.

So when all is said and done, his parents and Dennis and Leigh were right in their disdain for Christine.


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I certainly understand and sympathize with his parent's concern over the car. However, the situation was partially their fault. As a child grows parents have to start letting go. That doesn't mean they let a minors make major mistakes. But if they had let him have his way on some, not all, minor things, he might not have been so rebellious as to buy the car.

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I agree that the parents, particularly the mother Regina (at least in the novel) were used to having their own way too much that it was inevitable that there would come a day there would be something they and Arnie would have parted ways on....if it hadn't been Christine, it probably would have been over something else like college, or who he was involved with, what kind of career he was interested in, etc.

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