Monday, August 22, 2005

Here's an entry for the "Why Didn't We Think Of This Sooner?" list:

My friends know that it takes something close to an act of Congress to get me to go to the movies. Most Hollywood films bore the crap out of me, I don't like to sit still that long for someone else's fantasy, and (no kidding) I dislike the smell of concession-stand popcorn. (I don't mind the homemade stuff, but whatever they put on the movie-theater variety makes it smell like a camp latrine to me. If I hold my nose and eat a little, I actually become desensitized and become fine with it, but getting myself to that point is a queasy and difficult job.)

Also, while there are numerous movies that Rick and I both actually like, the Venn diagram has a considerable area outside the intersection. For example, Rick likes dark, cyberpunky, action-filled movies; I think he's seen The Matrix more times than I've been bitten by mound ants. I tend to prefer films that make me believe that the plots could be transplanted to my own neighborhood without blinking. (The appeal of the Harry Potter series, to me, has less to do with witchcraft and wizardry than in the otherwise realistic depiction of childhood angst.) In fact, since life doesn't tend to have a plot, I don't demand plots in my films at all.

A few weeks ago, we went to see War of the Worlds, which Rick really wanted to see but which is absolutely not a 'Pede movie. I found it mostly boring and occasionally funny, but lacking in sufficient camp value to be really hilarious. Rick, on the other hand, became a bit embarrassed to be sitting with a woman who roared with laughter when the killer alien vessels showed up. First of all, any alien species with the brains to surreptitiously invade another planet wouldn't do it with objects that were so spindly and topheavy that they looked like a little kid could knock them down by blowing out birthday candles in their general direction. Second, the whole plot reminded me entirely too much of a long-ago joke between Rick and me of what would happen if malevolent aliens invaded the streets and highways of Boston. We figured that the local drivers would just honk at them, and would continue to honk obliviously even as the aliens started vaporizing their cars. (The fact that we often wished to vaporize our fellow Boston drivers in those days may have had something to do with this.) And, third, I've ceased to think of Tom Cruise as being either a cute or compelling presence on screen. (Of course, to understand the full depths of my contrarian crankishness, it helps to know that a college friend and I once decided that Apocalypse Now would have been a much better film if they'd cast Bruce Dern in place of Marlon Brando. And when I was a kid, I had a mild crush on Carl Betz.)

I would rather have seen The Wedding Crashers, which was playing at the same time at the same complex, but which would have driven Rick insane because the behavior of the protagonists would make him cringe with embarrassment. I haven't seen that film yet, and will probably remember to rent it on DVD somewhere between two and fifteen years from now. So, yesterday, we started kicking around the idea of going to a movie, and we tried something we should have done many times before: Quick dinner out, then to the same theater complex, thence to different movies. I saw Broken Flowers; Rick saw Kontroll. We enjoyed our respective films immensely, met up and talked about them excitedly afterwards, and both went home in a joint good mood.

I'm sure we'll do this again. The cafe at the Little Theatre in Rochester has a decent espresso bar. Now, if we can actually get them to serve food that can be consumed by someone with an allergy to dairy and vinegar, we'd really be on to something.