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June 30, 2004

Going to the Movies (At Home of Course)

I don't know if this is true for everyone, but my ability to see movies in the theater was greatly reduced when my first child, The Bug, was born. It is no fault of her own, but having a child certainly increases the cost of such a venture (when you factor in the price of a babysitter), and it can be a logistical nightmare to work that into the schedule. In fact, it was so bad for a while that I went 3 and 1/2 years between visits to the theater at one point. My wife and I went to see U-571 in the spring of 2000, and did not return until the Fall of 2003 when my wife chose for us to see Seabiscuit. It was a good movie, but I am much more likely to pick a comedy, something along the lines of Dodgeball, where I can laugh for a couple of hours (more like 90 minutes with a comedy).

Still, we try to see movies, but mostly do so in the privacy of our own homes by renting them. You would think that picking out a movie would be an easy thing to do, but apparently it is not when you get the different genders involved in the process. I like comedies the most...........they would typically not be her first choice. So, in order to solve this dilemma, we play games to decide who gets to pick out the movie. We may play Yahtzee or Scrabble, and these games get heated with so much on the line. My wife went on a winning streek lately, and it seems as if all of her picks have been a disappointment. She got a few movies in a row that had "won some awards", which to me means, "This movie is really going to blow." One day she picked In America, which was a depressing tale of an Irish family which had lost a child and was poor as dirt. It sucked and was quite a downer. A while back she chose In the Bedroom, another tale of a family losing a child, with nothing, and I mean NOTHING positive happening anywhere in the movie. I hated it, but supposedly it too had won some awards. Finally, she rented some French film that I can't even describe. It was about a really poor kid who was beaten and it too sucked. I really wanted to cut it off about 10 minutes into it, but realized that if I did, she was likely to do the same to one of the movies I picked in the future.

Last night she was victorious again, and her choice this time was Mystic River. I had heard good things about the movie and wasn't entirely disappointed that this was her choice, but it turns out I was not such a big fan of it either. Perhaps I have a noticed a theme in the movies my wife is picking out, and that is that some child has to die in it. Maybe since becoming a parent I just don't have the stomach for it anymore, I'm not sure, but I am tired of watching films where people's lives are completely F#$!& up, they lose a child, and no good comes out of the situation. In Mystic River, people just continue on a downward spiral until almost every character's life is messed up. Don't get me wrong, the acting was good, but there were a couple of problems with it besides just the way people ruined themselves. First, there was a scene in which Sean Penn's character tells his wife that he killed the wrong person..........and she doesn't seem to have any problem with it. Instead she starts babbling some crap about him being king of the world or something. She seemed so normal before this, but apparently isn't bothered by her husband killing someone........THE WRONG SOMEONE!!! Also, it was as if the director didn't know how to end the movie. It ends with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon exchanging some strange look at each other, and without Bacon (who is a cop and knows of Penn's murdering the guy) arresting him. It was weird.

I don't think my wife intentionally rents movies that suck, or movies that contain the death of a child somewhere in it, but it has become a recent theme. I'm sure she is trying to make sure that I get some culture in my life (which most likely wouldn't happen without her), but I would like to find this culture somewhere besides child snuff films. I realize that this doesn't say much for my choice in movies, but it just means that I have to improve on my Yahtzee and Scrabble skills.

Posted by Woundwort at June 30, 2004 08:45 AM | TrackBack
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> Finally, she rented some French film that I can't even describe.

A French movie without boobies?

Posted by: Andy Freeman at June 30, 2004 10:39 AM

Yep, wasn't a boobie in the whole thing, and I should know. I was damn sure looking for them.

Posted by: Woundwort at June 30, 2004 11:11 AM

What she need's is a "movie mate". My wife has one and it works out great for us. We have a rather eccentric friend who is retired, quite wealthy and of the "high brow" intellectual type. Travels around the world, big opera fan, etc. When at home here in Raleigh, they will usually go to lunch and then a movie. The best part is he pay's and she get's to go to the movies while I do nothing!! Not once have they gone to a movie that I would pick. Always one of the award winners and in many cases something I have never heard about or heaven forbid w/subtitles. He refers to my type of movies as "pedestrian". I always ask her: Why the hell do you go to these depressing movies? Let me pick one and I would choose "Old School" or something of that nature. Give me some laughs and leave the dead children out of things. I don't need to try and go down the "what if" road since becoming a father of one & almost 2. Although, one could argue that Saving Private Ryan (a favorite of mine) is also rather disturbing. To each his own I guess...

Posted by: Mason at June 30, 2004 11:46 AM

Mason, I agree completely......."Old School" is a classic. Yes, leave the dying children out of the mix, or at least lessen the showing of the death and the parents' anguish over their loss. I realize this might take away from the impact of some of the movies, but it would possibly cause me to watch more of them.........although I doubt it.

Posted by: Woundwort at June 30, 2004 11:56 AM

First off, Woundwort, don't worry about it. I think women like to be unhappy. That's why they marry men, and why they like to rent movies that make them cry, thinking about how fucked up it would be, if all the fucked up things in the movie happened to them in real life.

Second, Mason, pal, I hope that your old rich eccentric male friend is also obese, with a prostate gland the size of a pumpkin, and/or seems to have the hots for his poolboy. Maybe it's just a reflection on some of my dog-like friends, but I have a very short list of dudes I'd trust to take my wife to the movies all the time. In my neck of the woods, when you are a rich old dude and you take the same woman out to all sorts of weepers and French art films, we call that "dating".

Posted by: Blackavar at June 30, 2004 02:47 PM

One word and no worries: GAY

Posted by: Mason at June 30, 2004 02:51 PM

Ahhhhh, that explains the artsy stuff.

Posted by: Woundwort at June 30, 2004 02:54 PM

Plus he went to UNC and Yale! Emphasis here being time @ UNC.

Posted by: Mason at June 30, 2004 03:01 PM

That explains even more. Probably more of a wine-and-cheese guy rather than sipping on a cold one. Gotcha.

Posted by: Woundwort at June 30, 2004 03:05 PM
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