Transplanted Life
Sunday, June 17, 2007
One for her, one for me.
For someone who always thinks in terms of winning and losing, enjoying both the movie you picked and the one your girlfriend picked to see on a Saturday afternoon can seem better that both enjoying both. I like to think I'm not that girl and wasn't that guy. Hopefully the worst I can be accused of is not feeling bad enough when that happens in my favor and grumbling a little when it doesn't.

It was pretty much almost guaranteed to work out that way yesterday afternoon, given the movie choices. Kate's been wanting to see Paris, je t'aime for a while, and I've pretty much been on board, just trying to find the time. That was first choice going into the weekend, and, heck, might have gone down as my choice - although I had an irrational interest in seeing the new Fantastic Four movie despite the aggressive mediocrity of the previous one - until the Weinstein Company decided to do stupid booking tricks with DOA: Dead or Alive.

I know, I should probably turn in my membership card for the local independent film club for having the slightest interest in that - it's not like I ever even played the game. But, damn it, I figured that something with Corey Yuen directing and doing the fight scenes has to be worth something, and TWC handled it in a way that got my contrarian streak going. Most people, when they see a film delayed for almost a year and then only released in a few theaters just outside the city, get the message that it sucks and should be ignored; I get pissed off that it's being kept from me.

That's what happened here; the closest that the movie was playing was Revere, which requires taking two MBTA buses end to end. So, yeah, not a film I can easily see after work during the week, which means either ditching Kate during the weekend or dragging her along. She agreed to the latter.

It helped that Paris, je t'aime put her in a good mood. We wound up liking different segments; I got a real kick out of the Vincenzo Natali bit with the vampires and Christopher Doyle's nigh-incomprehensible (but pretty) short; she liked Wes Craven's visit to Oscar Wilde's grave and Gerard Depardieu's piece with Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara (so, basically, she liked the talky ones and I liked the eye candy). We were both really glad the film ended with Alexander Payne's piece, narrated in halting, American-accented French which she says does the best job of conveying the effect Paris has on a visitor. I told her I had to take her word for it, as I'd never been, and she said I absolutely had to... Although we (her pronoun) might be better off waiting until the dollar isn't in such bad shape relative to the Euro and politics change so that France falls back in love with America again.

(The love-hate thing between our two nations is pretty fascinating; Kate spent the entire bus ride between Central Square, Cambridge and Linden Square, Revere going off on how astonishing it was that we managed to get them to hate us post-9/11)

Kate put up with DOA like a trouper. Part of it was the theater; as much as any of us Lovers Of Film will tell you that the great theaters are the old-school single screen places whose lobbies display photographs of the marquee from when Casablanca played there, it's also nice to go to a place with 19 screens, all with digital sound and stadium seating. (A mixed blessing - it means you're never looking at the back of someone's head, but ask Kate about how the audience is supposed to look up at the screen rather than see it head-on sometime.) Oh, and where the concession stand also has satellites dedicated to Ben & Jerry's, Nathan's Hamburgers, Sbarro pizza, pretzels... I was kind of surprised not to find a Dunkin Donuts, but then I always am; I believe that donuts and donut holes are the ideal movie food - minimum noisy packaging, no crunching noise, generally filling - and can't understand why theater owners haven't twigged to that yet.

Anyway, theater nice, movie dumb. Dumb fun, if you ask me, though Kate will say just dumb. She doesn't love the martial arts genre as I do - even down to the people who are amusingly miscast in it (Eric Roberts? What the hell?). I apologized to her a lot. I have a feeling I may be dragged to Once to atone.

We went out to dinner afterward, and she was rather amused by my putting my hands on my ears whenever someone nearby was talking about the ballgame. I was recording it, after all, because it looked to be a good one.

We watched it at my place later that evening, after breaking out the Scrabble set. She grumbled a bit about that, just because she wanted to make sure that the trouncing I war receiving was the result of me not having her vocabulary and ability to spot good positions, as opposed to me being distracted by Matsuzaka's gem. Still, she said it was cute - that when I loved something, I wanted all of it - the tension, the little details, the stuff that doesn't really look exciting to an outsider. After all, I could just check the score on the web, but that's just going through the motions, and sublimating passion to convenience, and who wants that?

She may not have been talking about baseball, there.

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