Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Let's Groove Tonight

The rules are different on a girls' night out.

Mac and I were eating at the counter of Galley Go To when she spotted the chocolate/chocolate cake on the other side. Since our pizzas hadn't arrived, we wasted no time in walking around the U-shaped counter to inspect the cake up close. And I'm not going to lie, the coconut cake sitting directly next to the chocolate did give us a moment's pause.

But then Mac decided the matter, announcing, "Nah, I want chocolate cake" and that was that.

Once we were eating our pizzas - the usual Bianca for me and Popeye's for her - she pointed out that we needed to finish soon so we'd have time to eat the cake before we left for the movies. That's when I had to remind her that we were going to see a movie about a middle aged woman looking for love, so there was no reason we couldn't eat our cake in the theater before the movie began.

All I'm saying is, I can't imagine they ever threw any women out of a certified chick flick for eating chocolate cake. I think it's in our Bill of Rights or something.

When we walked into the theater, we were the only occupants. Once we finished our cake, Mac asked if I thought anyone else would come. My best guess was we'd see 2 to 3 middle-aged women. As if on cue, two such women walked in a few minutes later. Next came a couple, surprising us both since we hadn't expected any men.

The final arrivals were a gay couple, bringing the final totals to 5 middle aged women and one straight man. Close enough.

"Gloria Bell" was a remake of Chilean director Sebastion Lelio's film "Gloria," except set in Los Angeles and starring a still gorgeous 60-year old Julianne Moore. Even in the film, a character can't help but ask if she's had work done and she's flattered, but says no. That she's gone on record in real life as saying aging is natural and she'll never have plastic surgery should make her a hero to all women.

Role modeling aside, I liked many things about her character, but probably none so much as her unshakable romantic optimism and her love of dancing as often as possible.

It was gratifying to see that I'm not the only one similarly afflicted.

So while she's certainly not the only woman of a certain age who still loves dancing, the world she inhabits has a leg up on mine because in hers, there's a club frequented by only middle aged people with nothing but good '70s and '80s music played.

Believe me, if such a thing existed in Richmond, I'd be a regular.

And between her nights dancing and her daily singing in the car (it is L.A., after all), that meant a whole lot of music from my youth. I'm talking songs like "Love Is In the Air," "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "September," along with the iconic dance floor anthem "Gloria."

Let's put it this way, there weren't many songs played that I haven't already danced to. Repeatedly.

But my favorite thing about "Gloria Bell" (besides John Turturro, of whom I'm a big fan) was how un-American a film it came across as. Since I hadn't seen the original, I had no clue how things would work out, so I was continually surprised by how the director handled a scene or outcome.

Like life, there were no easy answers and opening yourself up to love at middle age is bound to come with more than a few surprises and at least a little baggage.

Walking out of the theater after everything was not tied up neatly Hollywood-style, I heard my name called from across the parking lot. It was a guy I know, a regular movie-goer en route to see "Transit" and curious about our choice. Guessing what we'd seen, he said his conclusion had been that "Gloria Bell" was a film only enjoyable to middle aged women.

I didn't bother reminding him that gay men seemed to enjoy it, too, a fact he should have realized since he's getting a chemical peel tomorrow and will be unable to be out doing reviews for the next week.

Meanwhile, Mac took issue with the film's depiction of technology, informing me afterward that if a man won't stop calling you, all you need to do is block his number. Can't relate.

That aside, allow me to suggest to middle aged women across Richmond that chocolate cake pairs beautifully with "Gloria" and a girlfriend.

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