The other day was mine, all mine, to do with what I pleased. Phil handed it to me, my chance to do anything. I needed it. I showed up at my nearest AMC theater, before noon, on a Saturday, and was charged $4.00 for a ticket. In New York, last I was there, movies near my apartment were charging $10.50. Score one, Austin. My Saturday was spent, quite honestly–even though it’s a horrible thing to do–movie hopping alone (just the hopping is horrid, not the alone bit).
Juno was up first. Followed by (parts of) The Bucket List, the last half of 27 Dresses, and the whole of Mad Money (because I see everything with Diane Keaton. I just can’t help myself).
The Bucket List seemed silly, and while I enjoy Morgan Freeman’s voice, and the way Jack never blinks, I still left the skydiving/tattoo scenes in favor of 27 Dresses, a total chick by way of flick that had me crying before the credits had a fighting chance. I wonder, though, if I missed out in leaving the boys behind. The film was, after all, directed by Rob Reiner–what’s not to love? Seriously–so I’m sure there was real heart to it beyond the expected "unexpected friends learn to heal each other" thing. Yet, I have no problem sitting through a film like 27 dresses, completely predictable in every way, totally formulaic, where you know exactly what will happen by the end in the first ten minutes of the film.
So why do I do it? With all the obvious manipulations, the swelling of the predictable music, falling for the wrong guy, the story of every woman (even though no one ever has as nice an apartment as those in the movies–and I wouldn’t want them to!) I can’t help but enjoy the ride because I love seeing love. I love witnessing "how we met"s, rooting for someone (despite knowing it will happen in the end). I like seeing what unexpected gestures and epiphanies happen along the way. What quirks will arise that he finds adorable. If it will be a film where he adores the quirks, then complains of those same quirks, and then once broken up, he declares that he cannot live without those quirks. Your typical boy meets girl, loses girl, and gets girl back. I fall for it every time. Then there’s the boy wants hot girl, ignoring could-be hottie tomboy friend who’s suddenly beautiful once her hair is tousled loose and her glasses are removed. Or that same sidelines girl finds out the guy who now really does like her, only dated her to begin with, over a bet.
Mostly, though, the richest of the "modern" chick flicks (ie, anything Jane Austen does not count) include incredibly quirky types who are somehow changed by the influence of an incredible other. Think Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie (we always route for the types who sabotage their own happiness), Something’s Gotta Give with curmudgeon Harry Sanborn and accomplished, and anal, Erica Barry (where they balance each other, once they sidestep the love triangle). Ah, the triangle… no shortage there, from Titanic to If Lucy Fell, Bridget Jones Diary, Chances Are (still love to love on that film from when Moonlighting was all the rage), French Kiss, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, which is almost like Four bucks for four movies, except it’s nothing at all like it.