Thursday, February 2, 2012

Standing Room Only

If romantic comedies are date movies, does that make historical dramas about sex nerd date movies?

Not that a movie was even necessary after a killer meal at the Roosevelt.

Some of us have been on an Italian wine kick here lately, a need easily satisfied by Gabriele Rausse Vin Gris de Pinot Noir and its delightful fruitiness.

Although I'd brought along stellar company, there were plenty of friends around to stoke the conversational fires.

One had seen U2 at the Bayou in 1982 and one had played the Bayou when he was 15. One came in after finishing his honey-do list.

Meanwhile, my partner in crime and I ordered enough food for an army. First was the white sweet potato and Surry sausage hash with a soft-cooked egg and Tennessee truffles.

It was the kind of dish that would make a perfect breakfast after a rambunctious night before. Or the perfect start to our dinner.

Next came the charcuteie plate and it was easily the most creative of those I've seen in some time.

A generous slab of lamb neck terrine was to die for and came with Olli salami, sugared bacon, lardo and duck liver pate.

Yes, it was a heart attack on a plate and yes, it was out of this world.

A witty friend came over and commented that, unlike me, she hadn't had the plate because she doesn't eat all those things, "Unlike Karen, who'll eat babies."

Not true.

Next up was Lee's fried chicken sliders with house-made pickles and kimchee mayo (this could be the ultimate picnic sandwich).

Last up was a chicken breast with gnocchi, local mushrooms, chicken oysters and a decadent foie gras sauce.

If we'd had any sense we would have skipped the movie and stayed there to digest such a feast and sip a little more wine.

But, no, we soldiered on because we're the types who can't resist a book turned into a play turned into a movie about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

"A Dangerous Method" was playing at the Westhampton.

That's right, a movie about the fathers of psychoanalysis and analytical psychology and the beautiful patient who liked to be spanked.

If it sounds simplistic, it wasn't. The rivalry and differing schools of thought that kept the men from collaborating made for an enlightening, if somewhat stagey film about the power of talk.

It was basically one long conversation, with magnificent shots of Zurich and Vienna in between.

I know plenty of people who'd have been nodding off at so much talk, but, fortunately for me, I also know a person or two who would be as caught up in the history, the development of theory and the extensive analysis as I would be.

Walking out after it was over, the manger asked what I'd thought of the movie and I told her.

"We expected bigger crowds for it," she said. "Even on the weekend, not many people came."

Well, duh. Surely a catchier title would have helped.

Considering Freud's debate with Jung over the basis of all action, I'd suggest "It's All About Sex" would have brought in far more viewers.

Still, it's doubtful that they'd have been like us and afterwards had one long conversation about the book turned play turned film.

But then they probably wouldn't have wanted to eat blueberries and listen to the Pet Shop Boys afterwards, either.

You can live your life lonely
Heavy as a stone
Live your life learning and working alone
Say this is all you want
But I don't believe that it's true

I like to think that the blueberries balanced out the charcuterie because who among us can get through the day without one or two good rationalizations?

The spanking, however, I could do without.


  1. Saw A Dangerous Method on Sunday afternoon there was about 20 people in that big ole theater. I did think they could have done more with the subject matter. I found it kind of meandered on without much direction. The sex was more clinical than hot and yes so much spanking! Not sure I bought Knightly in that role, opening scene facial expressions were disturbing however. Would have liked to know more on how she went from being crazy to attending the university. Good performances but the total package left me wanting. That is one of my favorite Pet Shop Boys songs however! Knightly needs to make a run to the Roosevelt and put some meat on those bones!

  2. I'm not a big Knightly fan and I couldn't agree more about her lack of curves. She's just too skinny. In that scene where he was using the belt on her she barely had any breasts to fall out of that corset. You're right about the Roosevelt being able to fix that for her!

    Props to you for not only knowing the Pet Shop Boys song but for agreeing that it's worthy of being a favorite.

    I like the way you think, Shaun.