Walter Mencken 11:31 a.m., Feb. 1
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At the Movies
There’s an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and George debate the percentage of good looking women. George thinks a high percentage of the female population is attractive. Jerry thinks it’s low, and his proof is when he asks George “Have you been to the DMV lately?”
It’s a great line.
I sometimes say that you can tell a lot about our society from movies.
Last night I saw the movie “It’s Complicated.” It’s from the same writer/director as “Something’s Gotta Give” which was okay, but not great. This movie stars Meryl Streep (who, as usual, is great), Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin.
A few of the scenes were entertaining, but most of this movie is crap. And you know what the weirdest thing was? The audience was laughing like they’ve never seen anything funnier. I guess having a roomful of interesting actresses (Rita Wilson, Mary Kay Place, etc), telling Streep if she doesn’t have sex her vagina will close – is what constitutes clever writing.
But hey…I argued with a group of people that loved “Death at a Funeral.” This is just the type of stuff people find entertaining. It’s beyond me to try and analyze why.
A funnier thing happened before the movie started. I’m sitting there with a large popcorn; my girlfriend with a large Coke. The two women next to us asked that we save their seats. One came back with a small popcorn and said “It was weird. The menu said ‘small popcorn – 450.’ I didn’t think they gave me the right change back. The kid said it was $6 for the popcorn. I asked why it said 450 up there and he told me that was the amount of calories it had.”
That conversation was funnier than a naked Alec Baldwin laying in front of a computer, not knowing Steve Martin was looking thru the screen, previously speaking with Streep (who had run to the bathroom).
And of course, what movie is complete without a 2-year-old kid. No…not a cute kid on screen like Macaulay Culkin trying to shave and stop bad guys; a kid that will ruin the movie for everyone. Of course, adults having affairs is so much better for children than the Princess and the Frog, which is playing at the next theatre over.
The first 10 minutes, the kid wouldn’t shut up. I finally turned around and said “Come on! Can we keep the kid quiet?” And after another five minutes of the child making weird noises and talking, I asked them to get the kid out of there.
The grandfather put the child on his knee and tried entertaining him, before he dozed off (the kid, not the grandfather).
After the movie, while my girlfriend was in the bathroom, I saw the family leaving. I was going to say something to them, but the old guy didn’t look like he was all there. And the man carrying the child, was military. I figured he might only be back in town a short time, and who knows the story. I figured I’d let it go.
Maybe I’m just burned out arguing with military folks. I had a huge fight with a military friend who loved the movie Brothers. I was disappointed with it, and told her The Hurt Locker and Messenger were both better military films. Her argument was that I couldn’t say Brothers was unrealistic, because I had never served a day in the military.
I guess all the time I’ve spent in Old Navy didn’t count for anything.
But seriously, when arguing about the realism of film, you don’t have to work in that profession.
Nicolas Cage did stuff in his latest, Bad Lieutenant, that no police officer would do (or be able to get away with doing). And, yes…I do realize that movies are fictional.
It’s the same reason I can enjoy a movie like Superman or Watchmen, no matter how many people are flying thru the air with merely a cloth cape around their neck. Or a white boxer like Rocky being the heavyweight champ (save your letters, Vladimir Klitschko fans).
I have a harder time when Michelle Pfeiffer becomes a teacher in some ghetto and quickly beats up a few thugs in the hallway, and becomes this inspirational person that changes the entire school. Kids immediately want to put down the spray paint and instead pick up a pen, and write beautiful poetry.
If the world only worked this way.