Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend Report

You know you are scraping the bottom of the blogging barrel and living a low-wattage life when you think that going out to dinner and a movie warrants mention.

Nonetheless! Guess what Jeff and I did on Saturday? We went to dinner and a movie! My nephew Ryan babysat, much to the kids' delight. ("Mommy, Mommy!" Sean told me Saturday morning. "I have THREE best friends! John [friend from preschool], Daddy, and RYAN!" Notice who did not make the cut.)

The last time we went out, in October, I had chosen The Constant Gardener. Beautifully acted, thought-provoking, and so depressing I wanted to just shoot myself. When the movie ended, Jeff and sat in the theater for a few moments, blinking slowly, not saying anything. Finally, I turned to him and said, "Guess that wasn't the best choice for a first movie out in 6 months."

This time around, I took one look at the movie listings and gave the newspaper to Jeff. "You pick," I said. The only movie I really wanted to see was Capote, and I knew that there would be no chance of us seeing that (have I mentioned that Jeff's and my tastes in movies are quite disparate?).

He chose Firewall, with Harrison Ford. This I could live with given the other options out there. Well, until the movie started.

It's a completely run-of-the-mill thriller with a plot that's been recycled approximately 8000 times, 7997 of them with Harrison Ford: principled everyman is thrust into life and death situation by European psycho, must save his family and salvage his credibility, blah, blah, blah.

Why, then, did I find myself absolutely shaking throughout the entire movie and crying when it was over? I'm a jaded moviegoer, for heaven's sake; it's not as if a Harrison Ford movie would end with the hero and his family actually, you know, dead. But something about the scenario -- home invasion and kidnapping of the wife and two kids -- completely unnerved me. Especially when hero's little boy was terrorized.

Which brings me to another observation: Why are child actors subjected to material like this? Are they really such professionals (this boy was probably about 8) that they can walk away from playing the victim unscathed? If kids have a hard time separating fantasy from reality, how does movie making like this affect young actors?

Anyway. I guess we're 0 for 2 now when it comes to going to the movies. We should have seen Capote.