Category Archives: Movies

Midlife Isn’t Scary If You’re In An Abba Musical

Capture - Mamma Mia 2 VideoWhat better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to escape into a musical? Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is set in an idealized world of bright colors, music, choreography and kindness. And in this alternate universe young and old play nice, care about each other sing and dance in some over-the-top costumes, where the characters reminisce even as they move forward in their glossy lives.

In this sequel, we’re still on the Greek island of Kalokairi. Sophie is grown up, in love (with one guy) and she transformed her home into a high-end hotel. It’s time for the grand opening, with family and media invited. Continue reading Midlife Isn’t Scary If You’re In An Abba Musical

Adults vs Young Adults in Popular Movies

Movies are probably the best legal, temporary escape from reality…except when they’re not.

I enjoyed seeing Whiplash and 50 Shades of Grey, although for different reasons. What disturbed me was an almost parallel storyline that involved powerful adults taking advantage of college students.

In Whiplash Fletcher is a feared, highly regarded music teacher in a cutthroat music college. He recruits gifted drummer Andrew to his advanced jazz class where he mistreats all his students. But we see it from Andrew’s perspective. When Fletcher instigates a hallway conversation with Andrew, a little “getting to know you,” he asks about Andrew’s parents. I winced when Andrew said that his mother left the family when he was young. I know that such a revelation can go horribly wrong. And it does, during a tirade where Fletcher throws it at Andrew like a weapon. In 50 Shades of Grey, Christian Grey uses Ana’s naiveté to his advantage. It doesn’t hurt that he is wealthy and she appears to be your average middle class kid who could never afford the things and experiences he has to offer. He wants a dominant/submissive relationship from someone who has never had an intimate relationship before.

SlipperThe recurring imagery is telling: Ana nervously biting her lower lip which, by the way, turns Grey on. Andrew’s bloodied hands. (I didn’t know you could drum so long and so hard that you could injure yourself.) As a mother, an aunt and a former young person I found this idea hard to take. We all know there are people who prey on the vulnerable. I don’t fault the moviemakers; they are telling stories and we gladly see them.

I think it’s safe to say, though, that these kids turn out alright. (Different movies, different views of “alright.”)


Fifty Shades of Greyish

The 50 Shades of Grey TrilogyI fell for the hype; I saw Fifty Shades of Grey the day after it opened.

I tried to finish the first book but I do my best reading on the subway. I have yet to finesse reading soft porn in public. It wasn’t the sex so much as it was the urge to warn Ana: “Run. Run like your life depends on it!” Probably not a smart thing to do on a train.

During the movie I made a list of women Christian Grey would probably not be interested in:

  1. Ticklish women
  2. Very tall or very short women (Think logistics)
  3. West Coast air traffic controllers
  4. Elevator repair technicians
  5. Comedians
  6. Boxers
  7. Wrestlers
  8. Lawyers
  9. Bloggers

Did I miss one?

So, on to book two and hopefully, more snark.

The Giver and Boyhood are very different movies but both shocked and amused me in one little aspect: the serving of food.

The Giver is set in a pseudo-utopian future, the kind that scared me as an adolescent, where rigid, drugged “sameness” is the cure for humankind’s ills. Everything big and small is dictated and predetermined in the peaceful communities. And in our protagonist’s perfect family, I could have sworn I saw Mother (Katie Holmes) distributing the identical meals to her husband and children. Wow, I thought, even in a future run by Meryl Streep, Mama makes sure everyone eats.

Continue reading Women In The Kitchen, Regardless of Genre