Spudlets

February 09, 2004

Movie Meanderings

- We watched Secondhand Lions on Saturday, since the boys seemed to be playing well Friday night. As I suspected, my youngster enjoyed the action scenes but was not interested in the talking scenes. The review at the Focus on the Family site Plugged In had an interesting review on it, including this:

It’s that need to cling to noble values apart from their pragmatism that, to this day, leads parents to teach their children that honesty is the best policy, even when a quick scan of the culture might suggest otherwise. Duvall boils Hub’s sermonizing down to this: “Don’t mimic the actions of others, but hold yourself to a higher standard.” That’s exactly what these filmmakers have done by creating a movie that eschews gaudy special effects, wild action and gratuitous eroticism in favor of character and virtue. Secondhand Lions may not have a deafening roar at the box-office, but it is without a doubt the pride of the fall movie season.

So don't take just my word for it, but go see it or buy it. The article also has "questions to jump-start family dialogue" at the end.

- Two other films that I can watch more than once (not too many I can say that about) are Groundhog Day and You've Got Mail. Both are pretty good Valentine's Day movies to see with your "honey", because they both touch on the concept of finding that one special person you can love for the rest of your life. The movies go about it in different ways, though. This weekend I saw only the first half for both, yet for both I'd rather see the second halves. Maybe some other time.

You've Got Mail is the movie that comes closest to the blog experience. We write posts and after awhile get to know folks and even consider some friends, yet we usually don't physically meet. I'm fascinated to hear when bloggers walk away from their keyboards and decide to actually meet. I might even consider it myself someday if I wasn't so painfully shy.
YGM is the third Tom Hanks - Meg Ryan movie, and better than the first two. Joe and the Volcano was OK but a little strange (intentionally), with Ryan overacting in some scenes. Many people think that YGM is just a rehash of Sleepless in Seattle, but Sleepless is more of a self-discovery film, while YGM turns the table on a typical courtship (as well as Hanks-Ryan gea lotg alot more scenes together in YGM, where in Sleepless they don't share the screen until the end). Typically, girl-boy relationships start with a physical attraction, followed by a slow getting-to-know-each-other phase before emotional intimacy.
I suppose with the popularity of chat rooms more people are meeting and getting to know other on-line, but it still seems strange to me (someone who dated before the computer boom). What I like most about YGM is that Hanks knows the real person behind Ryan's anger on the surface. She finds herself falling in love with him yet torn between her on-line "love". The film moves at the right pace so that you can appreciate her happiness at the end. The IMDb comments ran hot and cold: either folks really liked the film or they though it was boring sentimental pap. I chose the former.

Bill Murray found the right script and right director and made a great performance in Groundhog Day. It takes a question, "What would you do differently if you had the day to live over again", that most people wrestle with on a regular basis. How many of us relive "battles", or wish that we had said or done something differently after the fact? Once Murray finds out that he is "stuck" reliving Groundhog Day, he goes through what many other people would try knowing that there were no consequences: robbing a bank, stuffing yourself with pastry (mmmm donuts), chased by police, having indiscriminate sex. I'd like to think that I would pursue "nobler" interests and deepen my faith, but I wonder.
Finally Murray decides to pursue love when he sets his sights on Andie McDowell (not a bad choice!). He finds that by making himself a better person and being interested in other people rather than himself, he can finally win the fair maiden. I can still remember the self-doubt I would have, lo those many years ago before Lady Spud, when I met someone I was interested in but things would not work. As a Dad I hope I can communicate to my son about true love waiting, that when you do find the right woman that you will know it and things just work out. And not to look back at your shadow but look ahead and make each day special for that special someone.

Posted by MarcV, 4:14 PM link

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