There was a sense of strange foreboding. My wife had control of the remote. Boldly and apparently to no one in particular she announced, “I’m going to pretend that I’m home alone and watch whatever I want.”
Wow. So assertive.
The TV came on and the Netflix logo loomed large.
It was a cozy Saturday afternoon. The kind of day for which I live. Outside were blue skies. Inside the sunlight streamed in windows. It was quiet. We were basking in the luxuriousness of nothing to do. My wife snuggled up in her TV blanket. I did the same. Cats were lounging around and purring.
These are the moments of which dreams are made. I believe it is times like these that make life worth living. No work. No responsibilities. Safely ensconced in your castle. Nothing to do except stretch out under your blanket. The rest of the world can wait.
Where the hell is my damn cup coffee with International Delights creamer? I want to celebrate this, one of the moments of my life!
And it was all going so good, too. Perhaps a little too good.
Then she pointed that thing at the TV and pushed PLAY.
This shit just got serious.
Note: I just visited the Netflix website and asked for a list of “Recently Watched.” Luckily they are having “technical difficulties” and I don’t have to see that crap. I remember when I signed up for Netflix. They promised to be a service that would always be down and never provide anything I ever wanted. They have certainly lived up to that promise.
I guess I’ll have to do this by memory. Stand back. This could be ugly.
Entertainment #1 – Take Me Home
A movie with a character named “Thom.” On behalf of all Tom’s out there I’m already offended. So Thom’s been having a bad day. He’s a photographer, actually quite good, and trying to get a commercial photography job, but the guy doing the hiring makes my boss look civilized. So he goes back home to find his stuff has been tossed by the landlord into the stairwell. Oops. We get it. He packs his stuff into his thrashed NYC yellow cab which is now his new digs. Thom is having a bad day.
Meanwhile in another part of the New York City, Claire is having a bad day of her own. Her crisis has to do with husband fidelity. She doesn’t know what to do but she does know she has to get the hell out of dodge. And that means she needs to catch a cab on her way to, of course, San Diego. No, not that suburb of NYC located within the triangle of Greenwich Village, the Bronx and Manhattan. The other San Diego. The one across the country in California.
In case you haven’t seen it coming yet, this is when their paths intersect. Viola! Some sort of quirky romantic comedy is born. Although it’s not quite that simple. Either way, it’s chick flick time! Hooah!
This movie has that small time independent feel. I didn’t recognize any of the actors. But it all works and is well done. Some of the plot twists might be a little implausible, but overall this was a moving story that gave me and the Mrs. a mild case of the sniffles.
Abyss Rating: 2.5 out of 4 hankies – Solid entertainment that doesn’t go for the full nelson on heartstrings
Entertainment #2 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “The Visitor”
Ah, now we’re talking. The only Star Trek series I’ve never seen and I’m trying to get caught up. This scifi interlude was supposed to be a bone tossed to the husband forced to watch too much girlie stuff. Except…
We’re in the future. There’s an old man. Long story short it’s that young kid, Jake Sisko, and all grown up, too. We learn that his dad died when he was only 19. Apparently Benjamin Sisko only got to wear his captain’s pips for one solar day. Sad stuff!
Thus begins the tedious process of Jake weaving his sad tale of woe as slowly as possible, like he’s got all the time in the world. Of course this is yet another Star Trek time travel episode. Those are practically guaranteed to make you cry.
About the only negative was my wife peering intently at me and saying, over and over again, “Are those tears in your eyes? From Star Trek? Jesus Christ!” In my own defense I was in a weakened from the previous entertainment!
Abyss Rating: 3.0 out of 4 hankies – Star Trek tears are probably the worst feeling of all time
Entertainment #3 – Take This Waltz
And now we come to the piece de resistance. Michelle Williams who first caught my eye in Brokeback Mountain. In this movie she plays, well, I’m not quite sure. A crazy person? The official line is that she’s married to a good decent man (played by Seth Rogen) but she longs for another. Some dude she met while on a trip and then, quirky fate, had the seat next to her on the airplane home. And then, quirky fate, ends of sharing a cab with her. And then, quirky fate on steroids, lives just across the street.
Michelle plays a married woman who is supposed to be 28 but she looks more like 14. I feel vaguely uneasy and guilty about the fact that she’s so adorable albiet a total bonking weirdo. (The character she plays, I mean.)
For reasons never fully explained, the dude across the street has captivated her in a way I don’t quite understand. But the fact that he wants her too is totally understandable. Meanwhile, her husband gives her all sorts of reasons to think the grass must be greener and soon she’s hanging out with the neighbor and the go together like peas and carrots.
This is a well made and well acted, but it doesn’t all make sense to me. The underlying theme of tension is successful, though.
This is another movie I’d probably thin slice as romantic comedy which it really isn’t. More like a cheater’s drama.
A word of warning: If you loved Sideways but found the surprise nudity and sexual scene a bit shocking, with this movie your world will get rocked as well. You get full on nudity from Michelle Williams, surprisingly the same thing from Sarah Silverman, and some sex scenes so oddly placed you won’t even have time to enjoy them.
Other than that, though, this movie mildly held my interest, although mostly out of a sense of morbid curiosity. It felt a bit like dirty gossip.
Abyss Rating: 1.5 out of 4 hankies – Entertaining but the full on tears, at least for me, never came; I remained strangely detached
Bonus: If you can explain the ending scene use the comments section below. I have my own interpretation which I think startled my wife. 🙂
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel the need to call in sick to work. I’m suddenly in the mood to go to the forest and chainsaw some lumber. I also need the YouTube equivalent of a cleansing shower.
Note to husband: When wife boldly takes control of the remote thingy to watch chick flicks, she is hoping the messages in said flicks get through to said husbands thick head. Best line of Take this Waltz: When Rogen character finds out wife is in love with another he says “I thought there was something wrong, I just hoped it would go away on it’s own”.
Also, Tom didn’t cry during Star Trek…he bawled.
Here’s how it works:
Wife watches entertainments. Wife sees parallels in entertainments to her own life. But the parallels are always the worst parts. Never is it, “Look at how thoughtful that guy is. Why, he’s just like you, Tom!”
Somehow it doesn’t quite work out that way.
Exploring your feminine side…I can see how you’d enjoy that.
It’s time for another viewing of The Notebook!