Because I was raised by education-promoting parents who, as it happened, were not overly wealthy when I was growing up, I have been ingrained with a sort of silent guilt every time I go to see a movie in a movie theatre.
Don’t get me wrong—my parents are all about having fun, and they want me to be happy, but they weren’t huge fans of movies or television in general. My sister and I had a very limited allotment of TV time, and if we ever tried to exceed our privileges, the consequences were not pretty. I distinctly remember the TV cord getting cut when I was eight or nine years old. (Come to think of it, we were kind of poor, so I can’t imagine that my dad literally cut the cord. He probably scrounged up some old phone cord and cut it for show, because, hello, why would they waste a perfectly good TV, but either way, the object lesson worked.)
So to say that my family did not place much value on television or movies…well, that would be putting it lightly.
We were allowed to watch movies, but going out to see them in the theatres was a rare treat, and buying food from the concession stands was not even a consideration. We brought in our own candy from the grocery store, and we were happy with that.
Now, I can’t say for certain, but I am fairly sure that my low/middle-middle class upbringing played a major role in the guilt I feel today when I go to movies. See, Poor Kyle, he is a concession stand kinda guy. He might cringe a bit at the prices, but overall, he’s fine with plunking down cash for the treats from the movie theatre—he maintains that it adds to the experience of the movies…the ambiance. Me? Well, I think it’s simply dastardly of the movie theatres to charge as much as they do (six bucks for a box of Junior Mints?! Those six dollars would deny my family this week’s gallon of skim milk!), so I generally try to shy away from getting snacks there, but I must confess, Poor Kyle has numbed my righteous indignation just a bit since we got married.
But he hasn’t numbed me enough to fully assuage the guilt I feel when I go. I really hate spending that much money on a couple of hours out, and moreover, I sort of have a really huge chip on my shoulder toward the movie theatre we usually use. (But that’s old news.)
Moreover, I kind of feel uncomfortable thinking about people who go see movies in theatres on a regular regular basis (i.e. once or more a week), because not only is it a colossal waste of money, but it also seems a bit…sad. Almost as if they don’t like their own lives enough to keep with reality, and instead they look for any sort of escapism they can find, and I know it’s a generalisation but it’s really how I feel, and I don’t want to escape my life like that no matter how bad things get, y’know? (No, of course you don’t know—I’m insane and completely incomprehensible.)
Needless to say, I try to make it a point not to go to the movies very often, except it seems like I haven’t been holding my ground very well lately. Once a week for the past month or so, I have gotten quirky little texts from Poor Kyle with links to trailers of movies he wants to see, and a request that I accompany him on a little post-work/school date. I have to confess, Poor Kyle is not usually the spontaneous type, so when he does stuff like that, I hate to turn him down. (I live in fear of breaking his spirit; I don’t think I could cope with the guilt of crushing his poor hopeful little movie-loving heart.) Plus, he doesn’t harbour such ill will toward movie theatres that I do, because he is not an English major and therefore he has not lost his faith in humanity like I have.
So we’ve been on a movie-going kick lately.
The point of all of this is to rationalise away the guilt I feel over the fact that I saw a movie recently that I liked. A lot.
Have you seen it yet? I’m guessing you probably haven’t, because I have heard surprisingly little on the internets about this movie—I had no idea what it was even about before Poor Kyle sent me the trailer and suggested we see it.
BEST CHICK FLICK SINCE YOU’VE GOT MAIL. No lie. It has been a really long time since I’ve seen a chick flick that has fully satisfied my need for sappy impossible-in-reality romance that has not made me cringe, not even once, for crudeness, sexiness, or out-of-control improbability.
If you harbor even the slightest little bit of chick flick DNA in your genes, this movie is a must-see. Here’s why:
Image (and interesting Ireland article) from here.
1. It’s set in Ireland, of all places. It is beautiful beautiful beautiful, and the characters’ accents are fantastic, and hello, sigh. I’ve been wanting to go to Ireland for years now, and this past year I’ve really been talking about it a lot (there seem to be amazing travel deals there lately), but Poor Kyle was never sold on the idea UNTIL HE SAW THIS MOVIE. If you, too, are involved in a romantic relationship with an unadventurous travel dud like I am, take him to see Leap Year. It will save your marriage, and for way cheaper than couple’s therapy.
Image from here.
2. No uncomfortable sex scenes! If this isn’t a selling point, I don’t know what is. Apparently it’s all the rage in chick flicks to throw in completely unnecessary and over-the-top sex scenes which add very little value to the story line at all, and I am pretty fed up with it all. Sex sells, supposedly, but not to me. I hate sex. Leap Year subscribed to no such sludge, despite the fact that there were ample opportunities for it.
Image from here.
3. The romantic tension was a perfect blend of “Oh no!” and “Squee!” I can honestly say that no chick flicks have perfected this combination since the good old days of You’ve Got Mail, A Walk to Remember, and A&E’s Pride and Prejudice (read: the mid-to-late ’90s and early ’00s). Seriously, I haven’t squeed like that in a movie theatre since I don’t know when. (Lord of the Rings II, maybe, but that was a midnight showing and I cannot be held accountable for any Legolas lust at 1:00 a.m.)
Image from here.
The only negative I can definitively pinpoint is Amy Adams’s wardrobe—it was cute, but it seemed sadly unflattering for her body type. Amy Adams is very pretty, and the outfits in the movie were classy, but they just looked weird on her. Also, in the very most pivotal of pivotal scenes, someone made the unfortunate decision to style her hair with one of those 1998 zig-zag stretchy plastic dollar store headbands that we all thought were so cool until we realised they made our fiveheads and widow’s peaks stand out, and we (wisely) donated them all to Goodwill, where apparently the Leap Year costume designer (who has a secret vendetta against Amy Adams, no doubt) picked one up for a dime and viciously clawed it into her hairline for all the world to see. (A side note: I have spent at least thirty minutes over the last week searching for an image of these atrocious fashion crimes anywhere on the internet, and still haven’t found one. I don’t even know what they’re called. I’m amazed that someone went to so much trouble to locate one and incorporate it into a legitimate film like this, when there are so many adorable accessories in the world right now.) It was tragic, and it would have ruined the entire movie for me, but really, at that point…
…not even an alien invasion could have ruined the movie for me.
And alien invasions have ruined many a good movie for me (Hitchcock? I Am Legend? Any and all otherwise-incredible Will Smith movies?)