Recent Films

We’ve been watching a lot of movies at home lately. It’s been interesting to branch out from Ebert thumbs-up flicks at the theater.

In no particular order …

We watched The Wedding Date, which I liked a little bit better than I thought I would. Didn’t understand the sex scene; it just didn’t seem to fit. Maybe the screenwriter or the studio thought it needed to be included. I came in about fifteen minutes into the dvd. My wife was watching while I was blogging. She gave me the run-down about a woman who hires a prostitute to escort her to a family wedding overseas.

Wrong! I thought. I can’t suspend belief that much. No woman as attractive as Debra Messing needs to pay someone to accompany her, I said to my wife. Anita replied that her family had beaten down her self-esteem so much she didn’t see herself as attractive. Okay, maybe my belief is suspended after all. Too many women get pounded down like that.

There was a gruesome revelation about recent family history, and the “escort” rescues the rich young lady from emotional meltdown. A few twists on Pretty Woman, and the premise may not be so bad. The dialogue was pretty good, but some of the scenes (and not just the sex one) were just in the way. Some of the deleted scenes we viewed might have made the movie a better narrative experience. Could’ve been a lot better, I thought.

We also watched License to Wed, which was totally unbelievable. Robin Williams, as a non-Catholic priest, has a wedding prep program that guarantees a successful marriage. It involves the engaged couple refraining from sex, but it also includes his close monitoring of couples–two years’ worth of weddings. How the heck a priest is going to keep close tabs on 104 engaged pairs from bugs his assistant has planted in apartments is beyond me. But as I’ve been spending hours re-doing our parish wedding policy book, it was a fluffy diversion from reality.

The Family Stone was a step up from these. Nice dysfunctional family at Christmas. Adventures in the liberal-conservative divide. Can’t beat that.

Did I mention we saw Enchanted on the blog? I should have. It was great. Amy Adams: a good actress who can really sing. What’s not to like? My wife and daughter enjoyed it even more than I did.

I picked up Wordplay from the library the other week. Great work. Fascinating film on crosswords: puzzle makers, puzzle solvers, and tournament organizers.

Last night I caught How The Earth Was Made on the History Channel. It’s one of the better science documentaries I’ve seen on cable. It’s certainly the best I’ve seen since … well, the last century. Science tv has really gone into the tank since the explosion of crime tv in the late 90’s. I learned some things and I had the chance to impress my wife when I got to the various punchlines: stromatolites, Snowball Earth, the Cambrian explosion and the union of the Americas before the narrator. Though the narrator did beat me to the punch on the Burgess Shale. I knew it was in the Canadian Rockies, but I couldn’t get it out of my mouth in time.

We also saw a lot of fluffy Christmas romance movies. You know: Hallmark, Lifetime, the usual suspects. I can’t remember any of them really, except that they were entertaining while the tv was on and I pretty much forgot about them the next day, if not the next minute. But Anita likes them and I keep up a running commentary about how 70% of soap opera or romance tv is based on poor communication. If only couples in love would attend Engaged Encounter, we could have more science on tv because so many stupid plot ideas would dry up.

Anyway, those are some of the movies we’ve been watching. Anita wants to see Juno. Brittany has revived her interest in Star Trek: Voyager. We’re just starting season 4. I don’t think there’s anything out right now I want to see. Any readers with recommendations?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to Recent Films

  1. crystal says:

    I watched How The Earth Was Made last night too – the snowball earth, the green seas, the Burgess Shale. Neat stuff!

  2. Anne says:

    Saturday night my husband and I watched the movie “Breach”…On Demand. This is about FBI agent, Robert Hanssen, who was caught and convicted for selling secrets to Moscow. Although I don’t believe I ever heard the term “Opus Dei”, ultra conservative Catholicism was a big part of this movie. I recommend this film. We enjoyed it more than we thought we would. Very well done.

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I watched “Enchanted” with my wife; we both loved it. “Wordplay” is also brilliant.

    I don’t know of anything in the theaters right now (besides Juno) that’s worth seeing.

  4. Dale Price says:

    Enchanted was a true delight, and marks our last foray into the theatres. Our children loved it, too.

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