Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too Young to Party: The Blog of an Over-enthuse Jaded Something Something

Hello Girls,
Dad and I are watching Two Weeks, wherein Sally Field is dying and her family has gathered around her. Neighbors and friends are bringing casseroles. At one point, one of the sons opens the refrigerator and says, "There is no food in this house that was invented after 1967." (There have been numerous casseroles involving cream of mushroom soup.) Despite the death theme of the movie, there are very funny portions!
[There is more but it's ommitted for relevance. I'm the editor and publisher I get to do that.]

Winifred's "vice," unabashed media anchor, are films and books wherein people are dying. Sally Field is also a big draw, living or dead: The Flying Nun, Brothers and Sisters, ER. She really brings the emotional pain with her viewing choices (still haven't forgiven you for Backstreet, Mom) and the irony, the irony is that she is watching this on her date night with The King after vowing to watch happy movies. Blood Diamond and The Last King of Scotland pushed her over the edge this summer and she dove headfirst into Cary Grant land. After she'd seen several romantic comedies I begged them to watch North by Northwest "because even if it's suspenseful and frustrating it has a good end!" (It bombed. Their interest in seeing it at The Charles this spring has waned. Baltimoreans, you can come with me instead.) Anyway, this woman. She hates blood lust but she loves the sadness. Bring it on, she subconsciously cheers as she settles into a TNT marathon of Beaches, Terms of Endearment and her all-time favorite Steel Magnolias. Even my cold heart can't handle that. Actually, I tried watching Beaches a few weeks ago and I couldn't do that because I knew how it was going to end, and despite 50 previous viewings, started to tear. I found comfort in Tim Gunn elsewhere. Yet...

This is Shanna. She won't wake up. Shanna, Shanna, wake up!

I am my mother's daughter (but with 50% more panache and a higher serving of flippancy!): I have this "problem" wherein I'll see any number of teen actresses on television and yell out the plot of a horribly depressing Lifetime movie the subject was in before hitting the bigtime. It's horrifying for anyone that is indirectly involved. Growing Pains on PAX? I'll conjure the scene where a skeletal Tracey Gold is giving a hoarse monologue on the family couch where she is almost-dying. (There is some respect here, given Tracy's personal history, and you know, eating disorders are not a laughing matter.) Sleepover airing on ABC Family while channel surfing? Not only will I repeat the entire plot of The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Teenage Binge Drinker (misleading: she's a college freshman, not a high school sophomore bummer) but I'll renact 56% of the movie, starting with one of the last scenes where Jesse Tanner desperately shakes the cold dead body of her freshman roommate, Shanna, and work my way back through the interesting parts of the middle. (I want to go on record that I did not make a character page for Jesse Tanner. But only because I don't have an IMDB account.) I gloss over some of the verbal content with the frat ladies and gentlemen, but only because I was so flabbergasted; I saw the last twenty minutes before I saw the beginning.
Except Winifred is more respectful. She thinks these movies are "touching portrayals" of people's lives. She won't play a role in a dramatic re-telling of Odd Girl Out and is probably ashamed at my lengthy diatribe sharing my intimate Lifetime secrets. (She has a point.)

There's a little of this plot ruinage in The Sisters. Emily loves a good one; Charlotte and Fitzwilliam suffering residual angst and suffering from She's Too Young. But the never rise their voices to falsetto. Yet they seem slightly less involved in the tears than Winifred. Charlotte will take a good noir any day but is less impressed with the Italian male weepies post WWII (I sobbed my way through the one about the suicidal man and his dog, leave me alone). Emily is neither embarassed or 'shamed. This is a part of life, a love for surface entertainment, and she does it with grace and poise. What, this is normal, she says, and then she flips to Martha for the monologue before making her own brown sugar from scratch. And there I am, playing the role of Shanna's dead body on my living room floor while her mixer whirs in my phone.

The thing about Winifred is that she doesn't cry. Death is a part of life. Beaches will easily ruin the rest of my sunny afternoon, but Winifred is probably in bed watching late night television right now still giggling about the mushroom soup based casseroles and their inevitable servingware of white ceramic bowls and colorful Tupperware.


Charlotte said...

The description of the brown sugar is priceless.

I really enjoy the Lifetime movies whose titles reveal the entire plotline. We caught most of Too Young To Be a Dad last night after seeing Paul Franklin Dano's most recent film and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Although where is the fifteen-year-old mother's reaction to the news that her child will now be living down the street?)

Captain said...

i LOVE that movie, though the ending (and the baby is named Genevieve!) is infuriating. i totally agree, she didn't want to see the baby, darnit. thanks for the sensitivity, overbearing parents.

i haven't seen There Will be Blood yet, because my friends wanted to see an "easy movie" (so we saw Cloverfield.) i'm going to hope to see it this weekend. (i saw Persepolis too!)