Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stranger with a Big Mouth

I want to take a train trip. Between seeing "Strangers on a Train" this morning and last night's "Barney's Version" with his profession of love occurring on a train, I'm feeling nostalgic for a train trip and it's been ten years since my last.

And unlike 60 years ago when "Strangers on a Train" was made, I know the likelihood of having a lunch on the train (like the murderer-to-be did) of lamb chops, French fries and chocolate ice cream is slim, but I'll make do. The trade-off will be the motion and passing scenery, both still part of train travel.

Since it was my first time seeing the film, I didn't know that part of it took place in Washington, DC, my hometown. Which made it obvious to me that whomever was in charge of continuity on the film was not a native, because to get from Arlington to Union Station, the car should be driving toward the Lincoln Memorial over the bridge and not away from it. Oops.

There was even a little political humor. "Oh, Daddy doesn't mind a little scandal. He's a senator." The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I'd decided for something new and exciting to walk to the theater, a first for me since I sometimes bike and all too frequently drive the meager two miles. Moments after taking my seat, a man took the one next to me and beside the much older woman on the other side.

"So what is this movie about?" she asked of him straight away. He launched into a long-winded synopsis of the movie, so detailed that I was hearing specifics I didn't want to know before seeing a film for the first time ("A random conversation on a train leads to a murder...).

"You shouldn't tell her everything," I finally said to him, trying to keep him from ruining the movie for me and she agreed, so he stopped. I've seen him at the Movies and Mimosas feature often enough to presume he's a film buff of sorts.

Fifteen minutes in and he was sound asleep. Really? First you over share the story and then you're slumped in your seat like a corpse? Hitchcockian, maybe, but a tad annoying, too. He finally woke up but dozed again later.

And when the film ended, he went right back to pontificating about the movie ("This was his first bad guy role; you know he usually played comedy, blah, blah, blah") as we walked out.

I could have said something else to him, but held my tongue because of a line in the film. "One doesn't always have to say what one is thinking."

I'll try to remember that when I'm on my train trip and tempted to say something I probably shouldn't. You never know how a stranger on a train might take a random comment.

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