I’ve read a few good books and seen a few good movies this summer that I’ve been meaning to write about. Now that my summer class is over and I have 3 weeks to get caught up on everything I’ve missed out on the last 2 months, I finally have some time to decompress about it. First up? Away We Go
Sum up – two 30-somethings find out they’re expecting a kid and suddenly start questioning everything. Once they realize they have nothing holding them to their current home, they go off exploring in an attempt to find the kind of life they envision themselves having. Suddenly everyone they seek out becomes a template for a possible life and their confidence plummets as they realize their once-close friends haven’t grown up to the be the best parents, sometimes the people you love don’t always make the decisions you want them to make, and sometimes life isn’t fair to those who deserve it most. They navigate the meaning of their relationship through their friends’ relationships. When they find out that they can’t define who they are through other people, they are forced into a life of their own. Through their self doubts and misconceptions about what it means to be a family, they find the confidence they need to start a family.
Why do I like this movie? Maya Rudolph was awesome. I am so used to her sarcastic voice that has a slight lift at the end everything she says on Saturday Night Live I kept listening for it so I could say “Aha, there it is, I knew she couldn’t be that normal…” It never happened, her character was relatable, likable, level-headed, and she didn’t make pregnancy come across as an experience essential to declaring yourself a woman.
But mostly I like it because of one line in particular. At one point along their journey, Maya’s character turns to Jim Krasinki’s character and wonders out loud “It’s like we’re the only people in love” (but don’t quote me on that, I couldn’t find the exact line). I would argue that if you haven’t felt that at some point in your life, you have never been in love. There’s nothing over the top, there’s no need for a dramatic break up to rediscover why you fell in love in the first place, there’s no need to doubt why you love the person you’re with. You just do the best you can.
I think I like it because I believe that these 2 characters really are in love and I want them to know how much I believe in them throughout the movie. But even if I were able tell them, they would still have to figure it out on their own. And they do.
so why would I ever want to go to India after seeing that?
What the new Bond theme song should be.
I know, 2 movies in a row!
I went to see this Sunday night. And I left completely pissed off, but I’ll get to that later… I really like how the movie brought my attention to the subtleties of affection that I take for granted. Without words the actions are amplified and it brought me back to the time where you really really really want to hold someone’s hand but aren’t quite sure how to go about it. That was nice. I have a new respect for the small motions of falling in love.
The chubbies were funny. But seriously, obese people are one of those PC topics that you aren’t really supposed to make fun of… but now that Pixar/Disney did it, does that mean it’s okay now? Believe me, I’m not that PC, like at all. I happily poke fun at anyone any day, but it seems to me that making fun of overweight/obese people hasn’t crossed-over into that territory yet. It’s still lingering in the shadow of only self-deprecating humor is acceptable, but no one else can poke fun. And now Disney did it. Good for Disney.
Okay, here’s what totally pissed me off. This movie has a great message about consumption. And Americans are so obsessed with consumption. (I actually catch myself getting anxious and wanting to go buy something to soothe my anxiety – bad, bad.) So I love that so many people will see this movie and enjoy it. But when we got up to leave after confirming that the closing credits song was indeed Peter Gabriel, I looked over to see all the effing wrappers, drink cups, and bottles scattered down the row. I was PISSED. Here was this message about people buying over-sized everything and the trash accumulating and that’s exactly what people did when the movie was over. I left that theater with a plastic bottle that I insisted on carrying all the way home just so I could make sure it got put into the recycle bin and all these people just left their trash. I know, boy said it too, someone will come along behind us to clean it up – but seriously? Did they just watch the robots on the screen and nothing else? Okay, i’ll stop now. Just know, if you see someone glaring at you with squinty eyes and a thin line frown after you leave your trash behind, that’s me… that’s right, changing the world through passive aggression one person at a time.
I meant to write about this movie when I first saw it several months ago. It’s a really good movie, but it left me emotionally stirred and I couldn’t figure out why. The whole time boy and I were watching it I fluctuated between really wanting to turn it off and really liking everything about it. B/c I’m a girl like that.
But I think there were 2 things that caused this: the love story and the family aspect.
The love story – Steve Carell’s wife died and left him raising 3 teenage girls that hate him in only the way teenage girls can. He’s a funny-tragic character and is too hung up on his dead wife to date. (I know, I’m not good at movie reviews.) But anyway, he meets a girl and decides she’s his 100% perfect girl only to find out it’s his brother gal. Hysterical temper tantrums of self-pity ensue (I so relate to temper tantrums of self-pity.) It’s all about mixed up timing when you meet the one you want to be with, but trying to go after it anyway. I like this idea, because I think timing is an important element to love, but no one goes without getting hurt in real life. And in the movie it seemed too simple. That was my first frustration.
The family story – I don’t know where it took place. Over Thanksgiving in a big wooden house somewhere in upstate New York. Big family, all together, playing games like crossword puzzle competitions, talent shows pulled together in the living room and casual dinners around a big table. Kids, grand-kids, brothers and sisters and cousins. I don’t have any cousins. And my family is scattered all over the place. And our holidays went from formal dining to a split between having to choose between real family and step family. I turned to boy during the movie and asked if he could imagine having a family reunion like that where everyone gets together to play board games. No, he couldn’t imagine it either. But, it looked really nice. It looked like fun. And this frustrated me because I think I’ve convinced myself that families like that don’t exist. All families are highly dysfunctional and you can’t convince me that there wasn’t some cousin Johnny cut out from the scenes because he was drunk at the other end of the table shouting obscenities at someone. The more I watched the more I wanted to turn it off but the more I couldn’t turn away.
I expect there to be a big divide between friends who know exactly what I’m talking about and those that don’t have a clue. Scenes like that in a movie make me want to not have kids because I don’t want to have them if I don’t have a big family to surround them with. Of course the family scenes were a bit idealized in the movie, but I’ve seen families make it work. Anyway, it’s something to think about.
If you’ve seen Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang you’ll know why. Gay Val Kilmer and Robert Downey, Jr. Cracks me up every time!
Least favorite word: catechism
it’s like a religious curse word.
Saw Knocked Up this weekend. I really like Katherine Heigl b/c her character on Grey’s said that she nests when she gets anxious and what an enlightening little moment I had there. It certainly explained the baked goods every weekend for the first 2 yrs after moving to California. So I was really happy for her that she got her own movie.
I thought it was well-written and well-cast (despite the fact that a pretty girl always ends up with the chubby guy, never the other way around.) Paul Rudd is awesome and pulls a De Niro impression out of his ass that had me raise my eyebrows at boy as if to say where the eff did that come from? I’d marry him.
Here’s my issue with the movie, though. As realistic as it is, and I applaud realism, that doesn’t mean it has to be so cynnical about relationships and marriage and kids. Realism does not equal pessimistic. And not being cynnical doesn’t mean it has to have a Hollywood ending. I just thought an example of a relationship that sorta worked where neither person was psycho would have been nice.
In any case, be prepared for the birthing Va-jay-jay shot that sneaks up on you. That’s realism.