Category Archives: Movies

When Ignorance is Bliss

Watch it on Netflix

Here’s a blog post I wrote during my first attempt at a blog a few years ago. You can still catch the film on Netflix.:

I just finished watching an indie film called TiMER a little while ago that made me think. For those of you who haven’t seen it (mostly likely everyone reading this), here is the storyline according to IMDb:

When implanted in a person’s wrist, a TiMER counts down to the day the wearer finds true love. But Oona O’Leary faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER. Her soul mate – whoever and wherever he is – has yet to have a TiMER implanted. Staring down the barrel of thirty and tired of waiting for her would-be life partner to get off the dime, Oona breaks her own rules and falls for Mikey, a charming and inappropriately young supermarket clerk with a countdown of four months.

Early in the film, I immediately identified with Oona. My 30th birthday is right around the corner, and I still haven’t met my “soul mate” (or have I?). I have had my share of disappointments, so I can understand feeling frustrated and tired of waiting. Finally, I can absolutely relate to wishing there were some way to know without a doubt whether a particular relationship were meant to be before investing so much time and emotion.

At first, the TiMER seemed like a great idea. It would completely take the pressure off in dealing with the opposite sex… or would it? The underlying question seems to be whether knowing the future — in this case, your romantic future — is worth it. Would it make you any happier? To seriously consider these questions, you would obviously have to accept ideas such as the existence of soul mates and, ultimately, fate and destiny. That, however, is another topic for another day and another film.

But, before I continue with this discussion, I have to admit that I have been known to check my horoscope daily, and I have even paid for long term forecasts (Don’t judge me!). I, like Oona, feel a lot of anxiety regarding the future, and I suppose it is somewhat comforting to have some insight, even if it does come in the form of vague or cryptic horoscopes that may or may not be accurate. But, that is why I found this film so interesting; it made me question my own beliefs and fears.

Although the protagonist struggled with not knowing her romantic future, other characters in the film struggled with knowing the future and feeling helpless to change it. Her brother had his TiMER go off when he was only a child, and with the most unlikely person. Her sister, on the other hand, had a TiMER that was set to go off when she would be much older. In neither of these cases did knowing the future make life any easier. In fact, it created more complications than it was worth. Oona, however, was no better off; she began a relationship that made her happy, only to spoil it by constantly questioning whether it was real and not giving it a fair chance.

That brings me to my next point, which is that knowing the future would inevitably affect the way you view and live in the present. And what if that knowledge made your present less meaningful in some way? Who would be brave enough to enter a relationship that he or she knew for a fact were doomed, while waiting to meet his or her soul mate? On the other hand, if you chose not to, you might be alone for a long time, which could arguably be more painful than heartbreak.

Finally, as cliche as this may sound, what is there to hope for, when the future is known? I feel certain that if I had known how some of my relationships were to turn out, I would not have entered them with hope and excitement. I probably would have avoided them and thereby avoided the pain of loss, disappointment, and betrayal. But, I also would have missed out on much more. I would not have had the amazing experiences that these failed relationships provided me. I would not know how it feels to love or be loved, nor would I have learned so much about myself or human relationships. Most importantly, I would not have had as much fun in my life as I have had. Would I readily give all this up for the chance to know some date that may or may not make me happy? I am not ready to answer this question, but thankfully I don’t have to, because it is not an option.

This is not at all intended to be a review, but I would recommend watching the film, as it is entertaining and original. While it is not Oscar-worthy, it did make me think, which is what any art should accomplish.

[On a personal note, I have decided to stop checking my horoscope.]

Very useful tool for amateur moviegoers. There should be one for when it’s okay to talk at a movie theater (NEVER!!)

TheaterPeeHeader copy

To pee, or not to pee? That is the question. Everyone who has ever gone to a movie knows this predicament- whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of painfully watching a movie when you have to relieve yourself, or to take arms against a sea of porcelain and miss a few minutes of a movie you’ve paid to see. To help you determine the best possible time to pee during a movie, I’ve created this flowchart.

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Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn…

The most inspiring quotes I know are from songs or movies that I love. My favorite movies feature great female leads: Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, and Penny Lane in Almost Famous. I keep coming back to these films and a few others, because I find these women inspiring in that they are strong, fiercely independent individuals who shamelessly outshine the women around them.

My absolute favorite of these films is Gone with the Wind. Though it is often portrayed as a romance, I’ve watched it enough times to know it’s really about the sharp, selfish, proud Scarlett and her many struggles during and after the Civil War. In one of the most well known scenes, a young Scarlett has caused a scandal by dancing in public while she is expected to be mourning the recent death of her husband. She jokingly says to her partner and would-be suitor Rhett, “Another dance and my reputation will be gone forever.” Rhett replies with, in my opinion, one of the best lines in the film:

“With enough courage you can do without a reputation.” 

All eyes on Scarlett

First Loves

Alpine Cinemas in Brooklyn, NY

The summer of my junior year of high school remains, in my memory, one of the best times of my life. I started my first job working concessions at a local movie theater, where I earned a whopping $5.50/hour. I always smelled like popcorn, and the physical labor was exhausting…. But it was glorious. I had money, freedom, and I never paid for movies. Not to mention the fact that I suddenly gained popularity with boys.

Naturally, my first job led to my first boyfriend. His name was Steve. We watched movies together, we took our breaks together, and we developed a special bond based on similar musical taste and our mutual appreciation of junk food. It was simple, fun and lasted a whole three months, when we were separated by distance and schoolwork.

I was devastated. I didn’t eat for two weeks and moped around for months. I continued working weekends, but I had been banished to work the box office by management, who wanted to avoid public quarrels. I was thankful for the solitary confinement; it spared me the agony of facing Steve. It never even occurred to me to quit. I wouldn’t realize it for a while, but that summer, I developed a love that ran much deeper. There was no way I was going to give up unlimited free movies over a boy!

Today I frequent movie theaters all over the city, with all the excitement of first love. Read some of my thoughts on films on this blog.

A New Happy Ending

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Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook

Spoiler Alert: If you plan to watch Silver Linings Playbook (in theaters), do not read just yet.

I watched Silver Linings Playbook last week. It was an unconventional romantic comedy, with central characters who are troubled and unpredictable but still very likable. You really want things to work out for them throughout the entire movie–and you know they will, of course, because of their great chemistry and their immediate connection.

So then why, oh why, did the people responsible for this film (Excuse me for not knowing their names, but I’m not a film critic or in the film industry; just someone with an opinion.) choose to go with a cheesy, overdone rom-com ending?! I found myself smirking at the screen while watching the final scene, where Bradley Cooper chases Jennifer Lawrence, who has run away after they finished the dance sequence they spent the entire movie rehearsing for and made everyone proud, because she wrongly believes Cooper’s character will end up with his estranged wife after all. She’s distraught, of course, but he finds her and confesses his love, at which point they have one of those dizzying movie kisses, with random romantic music playing in the background.

I don’t know how I was expecting the film to end, but it certainly wasn’t happily ever after, especially since we are essentially dealing with two very emotionally disturbed people. There is no way that everything suddenly falls into place (unless they somehow found the right meds but the director chose to cut that scene). It was so unbelievable that it made the rest of the film less credible, which is such a shame, because I thought it was really onto something.

That being said, I did enjoy the film. I think the acting is superb, and there are so many poignant moments that redeem the story as a whole. I only wish the ending reflected the same level of honesty as the rest of the film. I’d rather have walked away not knowing exactly what would happen to those crazy kids than being force-fed an unrealistic happy ending. Yes, I am a romantic (I took an entire course on Jane Austen, for goodness sake!), but I also believe it is possible to be happy in a way that is true to who you are. And this particular couple deserved an ending all their own.