While substituting this week I filled in for a middle school P.E. teacher who left a movie for the kids to watch. The movie, Osmosis Jones, was one I had seen in middle school and I was surprised to see it was still being played in schools. It was released in 2001 and 15 years later here I am watching it with a bunch of 5th and 6th graders.
Even though it’s older, the movie is still very relevant. It’s not one of those movies that can become outdated quickly. There are a ton of references I never noticed the first time I watched it so rematching it was fun. Check out the 8 things I noticed below.
1. Our Founder Statue. By far the funniest reference in this film is the statue shown in the first half of the movie. When you see the mayor walking through “Cerebellum Hall” he passes a statue of sperm labeled “Our Founder.” Since the scene is quick I hadn’t caught this hilarious little detail when I was younger and I didn’t even realize until the third time I showed it to the students.
2. Million Membrane March. A play on Million Student March, the protest about high college tuition fees, this reference was cool to see. I only recently learned about Million Student March and what they represent so to see a reference to it in a movie that’s over 10 years old was interesting.
3. Sexual Innuendos. There’s quite a few throughout this film. For example, when Leah and Osmosis meet at the stomach to get Drix, Osmosis asks Leah when they are going to hook up. She replies “you look like the type of cell that mainly divides with himself.” Not many 5th and 6th graders put 2 and 2 together to realize this is a reference to sex but there were a few other more obvious scenes like this one pictured below.
4. Poor/Rich Dynamic. Maybe I don’t remember or I just didn’t notice at the time but the poor/rich dynamic is very present in this film. From how Osmosis talks, to him telling Drix about living in “the crack” (literally) it was cool to see how the creators of this movie slipped in this stark contrast between characters.
5. Ebola. After the Ebola scare a couple years ago everyone learned what it was. Back when I first saw Osmosis Jones I had no idea what Ebola was. Watching the movie now I was surprised to see the reference to it. Thrax, the virus, says, “Ebola looks like a case of dandruff compared to me.” This is just one of the reasons why this movie hasn’t lost relevance.
6. Cursing. Between “Holy spit!” and “What the Frank?” there are plenty of references to cursing in the film. It’s entertaining to see how the film slips them in while still maintaining a PG rating.
7. James Brown. I’ll be honest, I had to Google who James Brown was because I still don’t know who he is. For those of you like me who are like me and unaware, he’s an American singer and used to be called “The Grandfather of Soul.” Osmosis reference’s Brown’s song “The Boss” by saying, “Make like James Brown and get down!”
8. “No Cilla, No Cytoplasm, No Service.” This sign is shown early in the movie when Osmosis stops to grab some donuts. It’s a cute play on the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” signs you see in restaurants.
Overall, the film is still great and it was definitely a throwback for me to watch it again. Have you ever seen “Osmosis Jones?” Which of the references above did you notice when you first watched it?
*Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by @greentwin3