Monday, January 5, 2009

Criminals at Twilight

For a special New Year's Day date, my husband and I ventured out to the movie theatre. Such an excursion is very rare for us. In all of 2008, I'm not sure I saw more than two movies on the big screen. Truthfully, I prefer watching movies at home. I can wear my jammies and slippers, cuddle up in a big blanket, and make my own delectable treats to enjoy. Paying eight times the price to see a movie in a crowded theatre in exchange for relinquishing those comforts of home is not very appealing. Having said that, sometimes it's nice to just do something--anything--which could be construed as a real live "date" with my Honey. Plus, we got a new Entertainment Book for Christmas, so decided to go all crazy and use the discounted movie coupons.

Since we never see movie trailers on television (bless you, TiVo), we selected one based on two criteria: 1) appealing online description, and 2) starts within a convenient window of time. The one that fit the bill was Yes Man. The movie was fun, with some great laugh-out-loud scenes. The comedic tone was quite similar to that of Jim Carrey's Liar Liar, with the notable plot exception being that in Yes Man, Jim Carrey's character makes a choice to improve his life by saying "yes," rather than fighting a spell requiring him to tell the truth, as in Liar Liar. Gary and I both thoroughly enjoyed this escape into unabashed mirth and frivolity. So much so, in fact, that when I mentioned that the other movie we had wanted to see started in four minutes, Gary actually called his mother to see if she wouldn't mind keeping our daughter a little longer.

Since I have quite possibly the most generous mother-in-law west of the Mississippi, we bounded out of those springy seats, then sauntered down the hall to the theatre showing a little movie called Twilight, which you might have heard of.

Although my husband has read the entire Twilight series, I of course have not. But I was actually very excited to see this movie. I feel pretty left out being one of the few remaining humans having yet to read the books. Fully realizing that watching the movie would pale in comparison to the experience of delving into the world of Twilight through Stephenie Meyer's writing, I still wanted to know the story. Then I could at least have a basic understanding when anyone or her grandma started talking about Edward's eyes or "the prom scene."

So we nonchalantly meandered down the hall to find the right theatre. Isn't one paid movie ticket like an "all-access pass" to the theatre as a whole? Gary left me at the door to go use the men's room. I walked up the ramp and found the surprisingly small theatre jammed full. I walked up and down the steps, scanning each row, and found only a few single seats. Our best option (well, besides just accepting the fact that all of the people who had purchased tickets for this movie had filled it) was a couple of seats in the front two rows, one diagonally behind the other. When Gary returned, I showed him, and he shrugged his approval. We were both too excited to see the movie to care that we wouldn't be able to hold hands. Oh wait, and we're not in eighth grade, either. I climbed over the back to get to my seat in the middle of the second row just as the lights went out and previews started to roll.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that folks laden with buckets of popcorn and over-sized Cokes kept trickling in the door, scrutinizing the theatre as I did in search of a seat. I tried not to stare, but couldn't help but do the math. I realized that one group came in, left baffled, and returned with an usher. My eyes focused on the screen, with visions of a junior-high assembly creeping to mind. One where a student shouts the F-word when the teachers' backs are turned, and we all have to stay in the gym until the culprit comes forward.

Would they do that? My conscience got the best of me for a minute, and I imagined the trailers on pause and the house lights brightening up. The teenaged usher, in all his pimply glory, stands in front of the crowd and authoritatively states that only as many tickets as there are plush seats in this room have been sold. "Who among you dares steal from a Hollywood Blockbuster? Mwa-ha-ha-ha!!!"

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my plan for explaining why I didn't have my ticket stub in my pocket, I peeked over at the usher. He seemed to be motioning one of them to a seat on the far side of the theatre, and I believe I deciphered his gestures to the other guest as an offer to set chairs in the wheelchair spaces.

My heart rate returned to normal just in time for Bella to start talking about death.

My assessment of the movie was very different from Gary's. While he insisted on critiquing many of the casting selections and director's choices (as one is wont to do when viewing the scenes in his imagination wrongly interpreted by another), I just kicked back and loved it. I can see how the story itself drew in readers with such force, and oddly, watching the movie piqued my interested in reading the books. Watching other big screen novel adaptations has not had the same effect on me. For example, after seeing the Harry Potter movies, I just feel pleased that I got to experience in a mere two hours what all you book-loving suckers spent several days absorbing. The same goes for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, I didn't really have any interest in reading those series' before watching the movie, but I would have expected any previously held interest in reading Twilight to likewise be satiated after watching the movie. Not so.

Twilight was not by any stretch of the imagination an Academy-Award winning film. It should not earn a place on a list of best movies of 2008, let alone of all time. I think it's interesting that I found myself forgiving some of the movie's faults based on the knowledge that it was adapted from a book. In places where I would have been frustrated with the lack of character development or critical of the choppy editing, I actually thought, "I'm sure that was explained much better in the book," or "I bet they had to cut out a lot of the important details here," and excused the filmmakers for it. I didn't feel the need to pardon Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings in such ways, but perhaps those glaring omissions added to my desire to get the full story from the book. I am usually not so quick to absolve a movie for such offenses, so perhaps I was just in the mood to be entertained. I'm glad I was, and am delighted to report that I plan to find a way to make time to read this year.


Annie said...

I thought that Yes Man looked amusing and am waiting for it to be released to Netfix (I prefer movies at home as well). As to Twilight...Son said, "Stoopid". That's good enough for me.

I had no idea you were such a movie junkie!

Bridget said...

I am so disoriented in your new blog 'do! But it's cute.

I, too, only saw 2 movies in the theater this year. Movies at home are so much better.

I'm glad you liked Twilight, albeit in an ill-gotten way. Didn't you think they did a great job of capturing the foggy charm of the Pacific NW?

KimberlyGanir said...

My opinion on Twilight.....HATED IT! I had to re read all the books just so that I liked them again, and it was painful! If you read the books you'll understand that they are soooooo different from the movie. I would love to hear your opinions after you have read them.

As for yes man, I was in tear crying during the Harry Potter party part, his costume and glasses.....I could not stop laughing!! Great movie!


Related Posts with Thumbnails