Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dead Sexy Dreams

Of course I went out last night.

Problem is, I stayed up talking until almost 3 a.m., so it was lunchtime before I even got up and then today's heat derailed my day even further. Walking, working, grocery shopping consumed the afternoon before I gave in to Mother Nature and just took a heat nap.

But all that's no excuse for not taking a moment to expound on last night's outing to see "I'll See You in My Dreams" at Criterion.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who chose an air-conditioned movie for an overheated Saturday night. I've never seen the parking lot at Movieland so overflowing. It was just too hot to do much else.

I'd chosen the film for several reasons: after seeing the previews at least three times, I was curious about seeing Blythe Danner in the starring role. Discussing her co-star Sam Elliott with a girlfriend, she'd said it best: "Sam Elliott is dead sexy." Hell, I'd go out with him just for the voice, never mind the easy charm and twinkling eyes.

The film's been getting great reviews for not being a senior cliche fest and I was interested in seeing a portrayal of a 72-year old woman holding her own as a single woman and then starting a relationship (you never know when you'll find yourself in a similar position...).

But I also wanted easy entertainment, I'll admit. I wanted a couple hours of escapism in a theater 30 degrees cooler than my apartment and I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Luckily for me, it wound up being a more nuanced and un-cliched story than I'd even hoped for (despite occasional backsliding with lines like, "You are a cougar and I'm proud of you!" and an episode where Blythe and her girlfriends get high on medical marijuana and go on a munchie shopping expedition that seems corny beyond belief), mainly because it was about nothing more than life.

How else to explain an early scene where we watch as she has to have her beloved dog Hazel put down after 13 years? I was welling up ten minutes into the movie.

Fortunately, there were plenty of light moments such as the friendship she develops with her much-younger pool serviceman, who compliments her, telling her what a good drinking buddy she is and takes her to a bar for karaoke.

I even learned something during the speed dating scene (if that even still happens in real life) about how women are given the lead role, offering their contact information only if they choose to.

And just for the record, if a man like Sam Elliott threw me a line such as, "You don't need any of that. You're fine just the way you are" in the drugstore, I'd give him my number, too. Ditto when he explains his philosophy at this point in his life: doesn't want to sit still and doesn't want to be alone.

So of course she opens up after decades of single life as a widow, realizing it's never too late to embrace the possibilities.

Based on the previews I'd seen, I'd been expecting a romantic comedy but that turned out to be far too narrow a definition of the film even with the dead sexy chemistry between the leads, because of how much sadness showed up throughout.

But then, that's life, isn't it?

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