Monday, March 06, 2006

Unless It Stars Julia Roberts, And Then I'm All Over It

Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

I don't enjoy going to the movies anymore.

There. I said it.

Most of you remember that when I was in college, I would oftentimes drive to Jackson and literally spend the entire weekend seeing movies. It was not unusual for David and me (in our pre-dating days), along with Todd, to see four or five movies in a weekend. We would plan the whole excursion around what was being shown at Northpark, and I had this movie journal thing-y where I would chronicle everything we saw. Every December, when Entertainment Weekly printed the list of all the movies its critics had reviewed over the previous year, I'd usually seen 80% of them. Movie crazy, that's what I was.

Todd left State to go to film school in California, but David and I continued the movie-going tradition. Then, when Todd was back in Mississippi for holidays, we would have huge Film Fest weekends and take in as many movies - both at the theatre and on video - as humans could possibly manage within a two day time span.

After David and I got married, we went to the movies almost every Saturday morning for that first year. We'd get together with friends, head to the Tinseltown in Baton Rouge, and see whatever suited our fancy. We'd usually go around 10 in the morning so that we still had a chunk of Saturday left when the movie was over. It was a pretty good system, because if the movie was bad, we wouldn't feel like we had wasted our day.

Then we bought a house. And that, my friends, was the beginning of the movie end for me.

I realized after we bought the house that I wanted to clean it. And decorate it. And buy things for it. And work in the yard. With a full-time job, there just weren't enough hours in the day for me to be able to do all my house stuff and go to the movies, too. So David started going to the movies with his buddies, not me, and oddly enough, I didn't miss it much. I still tried to be a good sport every now and again because David loves loves loves going to the picture show, so once every couple of months I'd forsake my cleaning / project time and go along for the ride.

Eventually Tinseltown dropped their 10AM showings, and movie-going had to be done with the masses. I am not a fan of the masses. I cannot tell you how many times, in the last two years we were in Baton Rouge, that I went to the box office after spending mere minutes in a movie and kindly requested a refund. Either people wouldn't stop talking, or their cell phones rang, or we were surrounded by merry bands of teenagers, or all the speakers weren't on, or SOMETHING happened to ruin the experience for me. I'd gotten used to those Tinseltown shows at 10 in the morning, so seeing a movie with a room full of 14 year olds armed with cell phones was hardly a relaxing, enjoyable movie-going adventure. As a general rule, I do not enjoy spending $7.00 to listen to other people predict what's going to happen next or explain why girlfriend needs to get on up out of that house or announce to the person on the other end of the line that yes, they're in the movie, but it's okay, they can still talk. No really. They can!

Once we moved here, I pretty much gave up altogether. At the time we had two theatre options on our end of town: The Summit, which is always always always packed, and Brook Highland, which is very, very small. Neither option appealed to me. So trips to the movies? Few and far between. Don't believe me?

I give you evidence. Here is what I have seen at the theatre over the last five years. I'm not kidding. Hollow Man, X-Men, Unfaithful, Insomnia, SpiderMan, Vanilla Sky, Anchorman, SpiderMan 2, Spanglish, and Syriana.

Thank you. Thank you so much.

And if you notice a comic book theme, that's because I usually go to the movies with my husband, who will see anything - ANYTHING - based on a comic book, which means that ten minutes into the movie, I'm fidgeting like a small child in an auto supply store. MISERABLE.

Of the ten movies I've seen in the last five years, I have liked approximately two: Anchorman, which is hysterical, and Syriana, which is not, but excellent nonetheless. 2 out of 10. 20%. Are you picking up on my movie issues?

If you factor in the toddler and all that he entails, I think I'm pretty much done with movies in the theatre until at least 2016. And for several years, yes, I did try to stay culturally caught up by watching DVD's, but after awhile it just got to be too much trouble, and I was too tired, and half of what I would try to watch was so bad that it made me sort of angry. If I'm going to dedicate two to three hours of my weekend to "entertainment," I would prefer not to be angry when I'm finished. Happy would be good.

But that's just me and my crazy talk.

All that being said, I give you my list of five movies I cannot live without, and you can add your own list in the comments:

1. Waiting for Guffman
2. Erin Brockovich
3. Terms of Endearment
4. Coal Miner's Daughter
5. Notting Hill

And by the way, we now have a lovely, large Rave theatre on this end of town, and the three times I've been, it's been a most pleasant experience.

So there's hope for me yet.


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