Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Brief History of Romance

Apparently no one is going to work tomorrow.

I say that because upon arriving at Movieland to see a 9:00 movie, I found the parking lot almost completely full and it's a big parking lot. Okay, but I was going to the Criterion, the art house theaters, and surely they wouldn't be mobbed like the mainstream Movieland obviously was.

Wrong, so wrong. I bought a ticket for "The Theory of Everything" and walked into a theater already 2/3 full. By the time the movie began, only the seats in the front row were still available.

I've been to Tuesday movies at 7:00 that had six people, so I had to presume that tonight all these fellow cinemaphiles do not have to get up in the morning. Even so, far more people than I would have guessed were interested in a biography of physicist Stephen Hawking.

For me, my curiosity was twofold. The director was James Marsh who'd done  "Man on Wire," still one of my all-time favorite documentaries. And honestly, I just didn't know that much about Stephen Hawking beyond what I remember of all the hoopla around 1988's "A Brief History of Time."

Now I know and it's both a sad and uplifting story in which real people get dealt bad hands in life (I couldn't watch the tracheotomy scene) and handle it anyway. And along the way, redefine the space/time continuum.

If his college romance was accurately portrayed (and there's no reason to think it wasn't since the film was based on his ex-wife's book), it was lovingly executed. The first time he tried asking her out, he invited her to play croquet. Then he took her to the May Ball for slow dancing and fireworks. The kicker was when he wooed her with Tide left on her front porch.

I ask you, can a man be more romantic than that?

Acting was top notch and I fully expect Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to get Oscar nods for their roles as the Hawkings. Best of all, considering the movie was about a man trying to figure out the formula for the beginning of time, there was very little time spent on boring stuff (read: math and science).

My favorite line occurred when his girlfriend found him depressed and watching an old movie on TV after being given a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease and a two-year life expectancy.

When she asks what he's doing, he explains the movie's three characters and says, "I'm trying to work out the mathematical probability of happiness."

I can tell you this: it's a whole lot higher when when a besotted man uses croquet, slow dancing and a box of Tide to get the girl.

1 comment:

  1. haha!!!! you always make me laugh the way you tell it!!