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.

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Comments

KarenBP Dec. 16, 2009 @ 11:35 a.m.

"I guess all the time I’ve spent in Old Navy didn’t count for anything."

That is just so awesome. So funny!!

Michelle P. was not exactly believable in that movie, but i did love the "Gangsta's Paradise" song that was on the soundtrack.

Just took in (insert double entendre cliche here) "A Serious Man" over the weekend at the Hillcrest Landmark. Good flick. You should see it...

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Josh Board Dec. 16, 2009 @ 3:36 p.m.

Wait a second, Miles. Which "Death at a Funeral" are we talking about? The one from a few years ago. The only funny scene was when the small person showed up, trying to extort money from the grieving family.

Karen, I saw A Serious Man. It was good. Nice ending. Lots of interesting scenes and fun scenarios. I think I liked at least 4 other Coen Brothers films more.

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rickeysays Dec. 17, 2009 @ 1:34 a.m.

I agree with you about unrealistic movies, but your logic is tough to follow. You talk about not needing to be a cop or in the military to know something is unrealistic about how they're portrayed, but then you say "it's the same reason you can enjoy Superman". It is? So you don't have to be Superman to know it's realistic? I assume you mean that it's fantasy, so you judge it differently. But then you cite Rocky. So is Rocky supposed to be a fantasy like Superman too? Either this wasn't well written, or it wasn't well thought out.

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redsoxfan Dec. 17, 2009 @ 9:26 a.m.

I guess I am one of those movie goers who thinks that movies are there for my entertainment. As far as reality, or what is supposed to be portrayed as reality, I really just don't give a crap. I paid money to be entertained....

Just like last night I saw "Avatar" at the theater. Before you say how the hell did I see that movie, it was released on 16 Dec here in Brussels. It was an okay movie...not the best, but I appreciated the CG and the movie itself. Now, would I have needed to serve in the military to understand the tactics that were employed? I don't think so since I just don't give a crap...wait...I just said that...

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Josh Board Dec. 17, 2009 @ 9:55 a.m.

rickey...the Rocky comment was just made as a joke. The movie seemed realistic enough for me (aside from punches that miss opponents heads by about a mile).

redsox...for a movie like Avatar, I don't mind whether it's realistic or not. But when you do a movie, like say -- JFK. I don't want Oliver Stone putting his nutty politics in there, and then creating fictional characters, which is what he did.

If a movie is out that isn't some fantasy...something like It's Complicated, Brothers, The Messenger...where they are showing "real" people, with "real" professions...I just don't want to see a bunch of wacky stuff that those characters wouldn't normally be doing in that profession.

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Josh Board Dec. 17, 2009 @ 5:49 p.m.

I like Raising Arizona a tad more than Lebowski. Fargo is in the top three. I thought the big indian in Fargo was so much more intimidating than Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men (which was a highly overrated film).

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redsoxfan Dec. 18, 2009 @ 12:28 a.m.

As I know that you're a believer in the Lone Gunman theory for JFK, I don't think I can even have an argument about that movie with you. I'm sure that's fodder for another day...I'm not saying the movie was entirely accurate, but a lot was taken or based on books written at the time and by Jim Garrison himself. Obviously the thousands of studies that have been done since 1963 have made the subject well known. But I always watch that movie and think "what if"?

As a fellow "Seinfeld" fan, remember the episode of why Kramer and Newman hated then Met Keith Hernandez? Because they thought he spat at them when it turned out it was Roger McDowell who did the spitting from the gravely road? What clue gave that away? The spatter from Kramer's head...back...and to the left...and how weird was it that Newman was in JFK too?

What I'm trying to say it real or not, movies are for entertainment. Take them for face value and don't read too much into it. Why did so many people see "Titanic"? Everyone knew the boat sank at the end, but people went for the fictional love story interspersed with real history. Ring any bells?

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Josh Board Dec. 18, 2009 @ 1:47 a.m.

I'm not sure people went to see Titanic for the fictional love story.

To me, if you make a movie about "real people" you can't make stuff up, the way JFK did.

If you believe there was a conspiracy, get the book CASE CLOSED. It's a very interesting (but long) read. And it answers EVERY QUESTION you could possibly have on the matter.

Yeah, that Seinfeld episode was great.

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