CASPER AND KAT: CAN I KEEP YOU?
THE MOVIE: Casper (1995)
THE PAIRING: Casper and Kat. Devon Sawa and Christina Ricci in the “Can I Keep You” scene.
THE MOMENT: Casper has one night in human form and dances with the girl he loves. Casper asks Kat, “Can I keep you?”
I still remember the preteen thrill of watching Devon Sawa appear on the staircase for the first time. My heart raced and swooned as the human Casper danced with Kat at her Halloween bash.
While I can’t pinpoint the exact moment my interest in supernatural romances began, I was hooked by the end of this family movie (which became a pop culture preteen phenomenon thanks to this sequence).
The romantic moment was special. Memorable. Epic, even in my young eyes.
Recently, I’ve started feeling nostalgic for all my preteen and teen favorites. Could and would these films live up to the scrutiny of a more discerning adult?
While I doubt Ladybugs would hold up well (did anyone else love Jonathan Brandis back then??), I had higher hopes for Casper.
And yes, it was almost as good as I remembered. It’s ever so much darker (the dark comedy with the adult characters – Cathy Moriarty as Carrigan Crittenden, Eric Idle as Dibs – can be pretty funny).
And fun fact: the movie uses the same mansion as the Backstreet Boys in their “Everybody” music video!)
RELATED: Paranormal Romance Watchlist: 12 Korean Dramas To Binge – From Grim Reapers, Ghosts, to Vampires and Even Mermaids
Sure, I don’t swoon over preteens dancing anymore, but the feeling brought me back to the past in a good way. Maybe it will for you, too, as I look back at this classic romantic moment between Casper and Kat.
And since it is the month of October, what better time than now to look back at one of the sweetest paranormal romances from all Halloween movies to hit the big screen?
For more romantic monsters, see A Passionate Halloween: 50 Awesome Romantic Monsters in Love.
CASPER AND KAT – THE LEAD-IN
Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson), our favorite friendly ghost, was lonely. He only had his horrid ghost uncles (a ghostly trio played by Brad Garrett, Joe Alaskey, and Joe Nipote) to keep him company.
All four of them remain ghosts because they have unfinished business.
So, he maneuvers the teen girl, Kat, and her father, Dr. Harvey (Bill Pullman), a ghost therapist, to come and move to his haunted mansion in Maine. Meanwhile, villains (new arrivals in town) plan to use the ghosts to find the manor’s hidden treasure.
Soon after Kat and Dr. Harvey move in, Casper quickly befriends Kat, who’s the same age as when he died. He finally has a friend. And so does she, as she’s never stayed in one place for long before.
They talk late into the night. He even takes her flying into the dark sky. These two lonely kids don’t need to be alone anymore. Here, she can finally find roots and a real friend in Casper.
“Can I keep you?” he whispers, kissing her on the cheek, a kiss that feels like a chill in the room.
It’s a sweet moment. But for Casper, it just reminds him that he’s no longer alive. He wants to be human again.
Thankfully, Casper’s dad, his scientist father from long ago, created a Lazarus machine to bring one person back to life. Casper has a second chance at life again!
But when Kat’s father dies, Casper does the noble thing. He gives Kat back her father. She had already lost her Mom, after all. It’s a selfless sacrifice leading to our classic romantic moment.
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT
Because of Casper’s sacrifice for Kat, an angel appears to him. It’s Kat’s Mom – and she comes to reward his goodness with a gift.
He has one night, a moment in time, to be human again. Casper has the chance to go to Kat’s Halloween party. But like Cinderella, there’s a time limit. He has only until the clock hits ten.
The song (“Remember Me This Way” by Jordan Hill) begins, and our human Casper enters the scene. We can’t see his face as he walks down the stairs, through the crowd, and up to Kat to ask for a dance.
She agrees, awed by the cute boy who asked her. Slowly, he leads her to the dance floor, and they start dancing, the film taking a closer look at his face.
Casper and Kat gaze at one other in an adorable first-love kind of way, Kat still wondering about the identity of the mystery boy. There’s just something so familiar…
Casper puts her arms around his neck, and before she realizes it, the two float sweetly in the air!
Casper – Can I Keep You Meaning
Kat looks down and realizes she’s not on solid ground anymore. So, she hangs on to Casper, and he whispers, “I told you I was a good dancer.” And then that famous line again that stayed with me and other tween and teen girls over the years: “Can I keep you?”
By this question, Casper reveals his hope that she will always be in his life because he’s lonely.
It’s at that moment Kat recognizes Casper in his human body. She hugs him happily as the crowd backs away from the frightful scene of them dancing on air.
Everything is magical, beautiful, and enchanting, but then the clock strikes ten. The moment is almost over, like so many good fairy tales.
So, Casper takes his one last chance as a human boy and kisses the girl he loves. It’s almost sad, in a way.
Thankfully, this being a family movie, the comedy returns instantaneously. When Kat opens her eyes, the human Casper is gone, and our friendly ghost returns.
He turns to the horrified group of young teens, smiles, and sheepishly says, “Boo.” It’s a great way to end the scene and our Halloween romantic moment.
Years later, I like to think that Kat and Casper would have found a way back to each other. After all, his father was the famous scientist who created the Lazarus machine. It probably ran in the blood…
Does anyone else have fond memories of Casper? Do you love Casper and Kat and the “Can I Keep You” moment? Wouldn’t it be awesome if Christina Ricci and Devon Sawa starred in a new paranormal romance series together? I would SO tune in for that.
Photos: Universal Pictures
Looking for more Halloween-related posts? Check out these articles:
- The Master’s Sun Review – The Most Romantic Show of All Time?
- 200 of the Best Gothic Romance Movies and TV Shows – Period Drama Style
- A Literary Halloween: 50 Fun Female Book Characters To Dress Up As
- 31 Haunting Love Stories for Halloween
- 15 of the Best Jane Eyre Movies and Adaptations, Ranked