When Johnny is Away

I tend to watch more movies when Johnny is on the road. We do enjoy viewing films together, but lately we've been addicted to TV shows on DVD: Arrested Development and LOST, first seasons of both. Otherwise we are watching current TV shows: 24, Heroes, and ER, and I watch The Gilmore Girls alone with no shame. Johnny does not enjoy the rapid banter, literary references, and Lorelai's and Rory's coffee addiction as much as his wife. He also escaped my suction into Grey's Anatomy.

All of that to say, when Johnny abandons me for a gig in another city (just kidding, J) I make a museum and/or coffee date with a friend, meander in bookstores more than usual, or console myself at night with a glass of wine and a good DVD. Normally my DVDs of choice are independent films which I gravitate towards slightly more than my husband though he does appreciate a good indie film such as Pieces of April.

Last weekend I rented two films I can finally cross off my "to rent" list. Half Nelson was excellent. I have not seen The Notebook, but I loved Ryan Gosling in The Believer which sold me on his talent. In that film I was mesmerized by his portrayal of an anti-Semitic Jew. He did not disappoint in Half Nelson. He plays a gifted out-of-the-box high school history teacher/basketball coach who is also a drug addict. During the entire movie I optimistically hoped he would lose the drugs, but he is so winsome and charming you forgive him seventy times seven. Plus, I believe when a movie depicts a drug addict, it should cause you to have some internal turmoil since it is not a preferred lifestyle and art must tell the truth.

I think I have a very innocent crush on Gosling. Nothing Johnny should worry about, but he is simply a great actor. I can see why he was nominated for an Oscar this year. His female costar, Shareeka Epps, plays his thirteen year old student, Drey, and she is brilliant, too, with fine subtlety and the cutest smirk of a smile I've ever seen. I thought redemption would never come in this film, but it arrived just in time. I loved this movie.

I was not as impressed by Friends With Money. I picked it mainly because I like Jennifer Aniston and I'm waiting for someone to give her the ultimate role to show off her versatile talent. She was good in this film, but her character was so depressed that I got sucked into the blues. The story did not grab me, either, and all the women were annoying. There is a more redeeming lifestyle of the wealthy that this story did not reveal. However, I was very pleased with Olivia's (Aniston's character) unexpected, simple happy ending - very sweet. So then I liked the movie a little bit more, but not as much as Half Nelson. Maybe I should rent The Notebook. I am entitled to an occasional gratuitous chick flick, after all (don't worry, J, I will rent it another time you are off drumming).

No movies this weekend. Tonight I'm curling up with Terms of Endearment, 300, and mugs of hot tea with honey.

The movies I plan to rent next weekend: The Science of Sleep and Little Miss Sunshine.

The next movie the Simmons will see in the theater on opening day: 300. Have you seen the trailer? That is the definition of beautiful film and moving art - visually it is stunning.


Beckye said...

DO get The Notebook!! GREAT film.

Beckye said...

And we thought Little Miss Sunshine was kinda lame. Some funny, but not that good. Get The Notebook instead. :)

Jenni said...

I'll just rent both!

Beckye said...

And did you ever watch "A Walk to Remember" by the same author? The book is great, of course, but so is the movie!