Monday, August 11, 2014

How Literal Descriptions of Movies Might Save My Marriage

I love movies. Which is to say, I love going to them when I have a babysitter. Which is to say I would go watch paint dry as long as I had a babysitter.

I could probably get a kind of contact high sniffing the paint, if nothing else.

When we do manage to get the babysitter settled, we hit the movies. This means that Tim and I are up on the newest releases, so long as you don't count the ones we missed.

The hardest part about movie date night is deciding what to see.

First, Tim has crap taste in movies. Usually. Not because he actually has crap taste, but because he's totally swayed by the movie marketing machine. "Wow! That looks awesome!" he might say about a futuristic film set in a subterranean village in which an Amazonian tribe of women have taken over and only one man still survives. It's the kind of film that only the Wanapuchee Star-Gazette has reviewed, "Better than soft porn! But with more talking!" Tim can't help it, he's just highly suggestible in terms of advertising. He is the target audience.

Second, I have a feeling that anything I suggest is immediately met with suspicion. It's not totally unwarranted. I tend to present the movies I want to see with only the attributes I think will appeal to Tim. "It's got Jennifer Lawrence in it! You know, from The Hunger Games movies? You loved her in those." This, I'll tell him. But I won't mention that she is playing a woman who lost half of her face in a terrible accident and that the entire movie takes place as a series of hallucinations she has while on high-dose pain meds.

So, here's where our tastes intersect.



It occurs to me that a literal description of movies might save our date night, if not our marriage. I don't want to someday break up my family because we can't decide which movie to see in 3D IMAX. If we took away the fluff—the marketing language and the Facebook likes—would we even go see movies at all? OR would we watch the paint dry somewhere, enjoying a shared buzz from Valspar eggshell in Bisque-It?

  • Godzilla: Angry lizard on growth hormones inspires people to band together to not die.
  • Noah: The Old Testament gets a 3D IMAX makeover.
  • 22 Jump Street: Grown men pose as teen boys but are really narcs and the audience suspends disbelief in order to enjoy TV nostalgia.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: A crew of humanoids, a vocabulary-limited tree, and a criminal raccoon save the galaxy while listening to hits from the 1970s.
  • Dawn of Planet of the Apes: Hyper-evolved apes fight humans decimated by a pandemic viral illness. Does not include sunrises.
  • Lego Movie: A commercial vehicle for children’s building blocks, Krazy Glue, and Will Ferrell. Plus a real toe-tapper that promotes happiness at all costs, despite an increasingly dark reality.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: A movie about mutants whose subtitle is so uninformative it may well have been created by a random arrangement of poetry word magnets. 
Until such time as movie synopses take this brutally honest approach, I'll just have to keep lying to my husband. "Love Is Strange? A critically lauded love story about two gay men finally becoming a family and then being forced apart? No, I'm sure it's a sci-fi popcorn movie, babe. It has Marisa Tomei in it. You loved her in My Cousin Vinny!"