A Maine Movie Rating System
Did you watch the Academy Awards last week? I just love seeing the stars all dressed up (even though they do seem to keep getting younger and younger). The last few years, they’ve looked kind of dull, haven’t they? With lots of neutral colors, beige and gray and “nude” lips. Hardly looked like they were wearing any makeup at all. But this year, the women came out sporting jewel tones, red lips. Love that glamor!
Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin did a good job hosting, kind of light and breezy. There’s something about Alec that reminds me of our little dog, Scamp: cute rascal, but probably untrainable.
We don’t have one of them mulit-plexes in Mahoosuc Mills. Heck, we don’t even have a movie theater. So I hadn’t seen most of the movies up for awards. (And actually, they didn’t look all that appealing, except for that one with George Clooney. I’ll give anything with George a try.) But I like seeing someone get real emotional when they win, and I cry along with them. By the time they get to “Sound Mixing” and best “Short Documentary,” though, I tend to nod off, and have to catch up on what happened next evening on Entertainment Tonight.
We may not see them when they first come out, but the Women Who Run With the Moose (me and my friends Celeste, Rita, Betty, Dot and Shirley) just love watching movies together. We belong to Netflix, and because Shirley has one of them big, flat-screen TV’s in her family room, us girls have a movie night once a month. We make an industrial-sized vat of popcorn with real butter and lots of salt, and bring along the movie-size boxes of Junior Mints, Raisenettes, and what not. Our husbands love movie night because it’s an excuse for them to play darts, down to the Brew-Ha-Ha.
Us girls love romantic comedies, of course, anything with Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, and we miss Meg Ryan something fierce. “The Proposal” was our favorite one this year. Wasn’t that wonderful? Sure it’s predictable, but that’s half the fun. It means you don’t have to worry about the outcome, you can just sit back and enjoy the journey. Oh, and we’re especially fond of romanitc comedies with older folks, like that one with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. And we can’t wait to see “It’s Complicated,” with that bad boy, Alec Baldwin.
Us girls have our own rating system for the movies. First off, how much did we cry? Like: “The Proposal”? Two Kleenexes. (It’s no “Sleepless in Seattle,” but that's pretty good.) Oh my God! "The Notebook”? I don’t know how many Klennexes! I cried so much I got a headache and forgot to count. “Pride and Prejudice”: one Kleenex. I confess, I dozed off and used it to wipe away a little drool when I woke up. Then, there’s “Beaches.” I may have told you, we watch that once a year and sob every time, start to finish. We don’t bother counting Kleenexes with that one any more. Hands down, “Beaches” is in the Boo Hoo Hall of Fame.
Then, of course, there's rating movies according to what we politely refer to as "Hunk Factor.” If a movie's a little light in the story department, but the actor is easy on the eyes, we'll cut it some slack. For instance, “Australia” was a little slow, but Hugh Jackman made up for it, plenty. Why? He's a hunk. We love George Clooney when he’s looking like George Clooney, not all scruffed up and acting crazy like he did in “Syriana.” We just couldn’t follow that one. Made it through about twenty minutes, then decided to play parcheesi. Generally, we’re not in favor of nice-looking stars porking out for a role. Seems kind of greedy. Why don’t they leave those roles for the naturally chunky actors? That Tony Soprano guy is unemployed now. Let him do it.
Then there’s the real clunker movies, the ones that frankly belong in the toilet. For them, we've developed the "Flusher System.” What's an example? "Quantum of Solace," the latest James Bond movie. Too many chase scenes, not enough sex. Even Daniel Craig, who's a hunk, couldn't save it. Double flusher for that one.
This week is Shirley’s birthday, and get this: for movie night we’re having a “Mama Mia” sing-a-long. You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but Shirley is actually a huge ABBA fan.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here.)