Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Flu Review(s)

I spent a week in bed with the flu this month. Although it was my first flu experience in 15 years, I keep a collection of DVDs for just this purpose. I normally require at least a month to watch an entire movie (who wants to sit quietly for two hours?), but being sick is another story entirely. I went through several, little bits at a time. Unless you've been quite sick recently, you'd be surprised how much energy it takes to watch a movie, even a fluffy one.

I tried to watch The X Files Movie, but it stimulated my already overstimulated adrenals and I gave up after 10 or 15 minutes. Here's what I did watch:

To Catch a Thief. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. God, they were gorgeous. Cary had such enormous appeal, and to think he did it without abs. That is, he probably had abs somewhere, but they were secondary to his voice, his manner, and that wonderful face. Who needs biceps when you have a chin like that? I saw this movie for the first time as a teenager, and understood it a lot better this time around. I also noticed Cary's butt this time. Nice.

Shall We Dance? This is the American version, starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez. I'd forgotten that Lopez was a dancer before she became ThePhenomenonKnownAsJLo, but this movie reminded me. I'd like to see the Japanese original, too, which I heard was very good. I'd also like to look like that other Susan, Sarandon, once in a while. And to dance. To dance.

Maid in Manhattan. Another JLo movie. Cute, as was the kid who played her little boy. But it made me think, in a way the creators of the movie probably didn't have in mind. Two characters were attracted to the male star, whose name escapes me. (I wasn't attracted, can you tell?) One was a rich and jaded Brit; the other was JLo, a hotel maid living in humble, hard-working circumstances. In one scene, Lopez accompanies Male Star to the zoo, where they are entranced with the antics of the seals. It's clear that the rich and jaded bitch Brit could never be delighted with such simple entertainment. Watching it, I thought about people and money and stimulation and overstimulation, how quickly some people lose their ability to be delighted. Can't wear the $20 t-shirt anymore (not to mention the $7 one); gotta pay at least $300. Nice quality, plain leather purse? Hell, no! Gotta have the $6,000 designer model, the bigger the better. Everything big, everything fancy. Simple pleasures are for the simple-minded. That mindset is soooo repugnant to me. So as I watched the movie I hoped "Jennie from the block" was still able to enjoy the small things in life and find joy in nature. And then I remembered what I'd read a week or so earlier, about JLo's incredibly expensive nursery for her new twins, and the fact that the cost of their delivery (when you factor in her designer hospital gowns) broke all records. Ugh.

Prelude to a Kiss. This was the original version with Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin. Boy, does Baldwin look young in this film! Meg never seems to change. She's always adorable, always wonderfully coiffed and dressed, and always seems like she has the potential to be a real pain in the ass. At least that's how she comes across to me. I liked this movie, which addresses fear—a constant in my life. Apparently (according to the movie) the way to rid yourself of fear is to have your body taken over by an elderly, terminally ill man. I don't think I'd attempt this cure without some sort of guarantee.

In Good Company. I loved this movie, despite the fact that Scarlett Johannsen's charactor showed all the personality of an eraser. It's about meaningful work. And thinking you know what you want, and trying to fit that mold. And ethics and morals. And overcoming hurt. If you don't think you could possibly care what happens to a Carrera 911 and its driver, give this movie a try. (I myself care what happens to all cars.)

Now I'm watching Season One of Hill Street Blues. My crush on Captain Furillo is alive and well. And I'm feeling a little better every day.


crystal said...

So you used to be a hooker - that explains why the movie didn't shock you :-)

I love the X-Files ... it helps to start from the beginning and to find David Duchovny sexy.

I do like Jennifer Lopez as an actress. Have you seen her in Angel Eyes? I thought that was a really good movie.

Alec Baldwin did look young - like he was in the movie Beetlejuice, another old favorite.

I had thought In Good Company was a spy movie? Maybe I'll put it on my Netflix list.

Hope you're feeling better!

Susan said...

Yes, give In Good Company a try. Not a spy in the bunch. I'm feeling better, thanks, although still not great. The dogs got me up at 5:30 this morning; I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until almost 10:00. That's unheard of! I think the sound of cold rain was a contributing factor.

Indigo Bunting said...

What a fabulous idea: flu reviews!

I have only seen the Japanese Shall We Dance?, although I've heard the American one ain't bad. I liked it...

So glad you are feeling better.

Susan said...

Hi, IB! I'm glad I found your newest blog. Crystal, I want you to know I just ordered Angel Eyes. Got it new for $4 (including shipping) on eBay. I wonder if it has the great jazz standard, "Angel Eyes" on the soundtrack. I'll have it running through my head all day. Thanks for the recommendation!

crystal said...

It does have the main character play a musical instrument, but I know so little about Jazz, I wouldn't recognize that song. I'll have to be careful when I recommend movies to yoiu - usually no one ever listens to me :-)

Kermit wakes me up a couple of times during the night to make her microwave-warmed food. It's hard to go back to sleep sometimes. What we do for pets.

Helen said...

Meg Ryan does in fact change. A friend of mine, Dave, is (or was) infatuated with her. Some time ago we went to see Fracture. We were a bit confused because for the first hour there was no sign of Anthony Hopkins or any sort of scariness whatsoever. I kept asking Dave if the main character was being played by Meg Ryan. "No, that's not her" he would emphatically declare. When the credits finally started rolling (and still no sign of Hopkins or any sort of thriller aspect) we realized we were in the wrong movie, and it was in fact Meg Ryan. The love of her life hadn't recognized her. It wasn't like she was playing something other than a 40-year-old, she just looked so different from how he remembered her in When Harry Met Sally.

Susan said...

Interesting. I wonder if any of us have changed that much. Based on my most recent (quick) glimpses into mirrors, I'd say I have. Dammit.

Indigo Bunting said...

Hi Susan! Glad you found my new blog too, and glad you've been starting to blog again yourself! I've just felt so behind...