One evening during the holidays my wife, our two daughters and I went out for dinner and a movie. The picture was rated three and a half stars, and we looked forward to an evening of entertainment.
What we got, instead, was the better part of three hours in the company of a bunch of garbage-mouthed slatterns and their oafish consorts.
Any movie reviewer who’d give three stars to trash like that must be pulling down big bucks from the producers!
It’s a pity what motion pictures have come to. Not all of them, of course, but a good many. I’ve endured some stinkers over the years, but the price of admission being what it is, I’ve only walked out on one. A month or so ago I sat through what would have been my second, if my seat hadn’t been in the middle of the row, with about 20 people to crawl over.
That one had four stars — all four undeserved.
I don’t make unreasonable demands of a movie. All I ask — whether it’s a love story, an adventure or pure fantasy — is a narrative that’s coherent, a setting that is believable, and characters appealing enough that I care about their fates.
Surely those are fair expectations.
When I go out to the movies again, it will only be to a picture that I’ve heard glowingly recommended by someone whose judgment and taste I trust. Mostly I’ll be content watching the ones in the DVD library we’ve assembled over the years.
Included in our collection:
• “Lawrence of Arabia”
• “Midnight in Paris”
• “La Vie en Rose”
• “Pretty Woman”
• “Dr. Zhivago”
• “A River Runs Through It”
• “Flight of the Phoenix”
• “Erin Brockovich”
• “Billy Elliot”
• “The Hedgehog”
• “Scent of a Woman”
• “March of the Penguins”
• “Mrs Henderson Presents”
• “A Place in the Sun”
• “The Old Man and the Sea”
There are a great many others, of course — some that we own, others I only wish we owned. But just these few, however many times they’re played, never grow old.
I don’t like surprises. If I put one of those in the DVD player and press the “Start” button, I know exactly what I’ll be getting. If I want popcorn, I can pop it in the microwave.
And though I’m a shortish fellow, I’m assured of an unobstructed view. There’ll be no NBA-size giant in the seat in front of me. No lady with a bouffant hairdo big as a pumpkin. No teens texting on their cellphones.
Now, with the holidays behind, our Brooklyn daughter back in New York and her sister, the lawyer, neck deep again in litigation, the house seems empty and distressingly quiet.
The days I’ll devote to grappling with a new computer — one I was obliged to get when, after seven years or so, the old one crashed.
The evenings we’ll fill with friends, of whom we’re blessed with an abundance.
This bitter weather will pass. It always has. The days will warm. Flowers will bloom. Ice will leave the lake. Robins will appear on the lawn. And I’ll have something better to do than watch an eternity of football.
Though what that might be I can’t say just now.