I try to avoid watching movies when my husband’s around. He doesn’t understand that for me, movie-watching is like a waterslide; if anything interrupts me along the way, I lose momentum and don’t enjoy the ride as much as I could have distraction-free. My husband has a knack for choosing exactly the wrong moment to laugh hysterically over something he’s reading on the computer behind me, or to walk in and ask, “Why is that girl about to jump off the bridge?” or other similar questions that I’m unable to answer because I’m choking back loud sobs. This is why I like the cinema, because he’s usually not there with me.
I really love going to the movies alone. I planned to do just that to watch The Descendants, but my husband kept making comments about seeing it with me so I eventually gave in and planned for us to go together. I find movie dates scary because I’m usually the one who chooses what we’ll see and therefore feel solely responsible for how much my husband enjoys the evening out. We really don’t date well.
This time around, my husband was completely on board with the idea of seeing the film until my mum mentioned (less than an hour before we left) that we may want to take tissues. It turns out that when he looked surprised and asked, “It’s not an action film?” at this point, he was not joking (this may explain his confused face as we laughed heartily). He seriously thought there’d be gangsters involved. And this is when the whinging began. Below is a sample of the kinds of conversations we had before the movie started (as I remember them):
(On the way there)
Him: It’s going to be all depressing. Why are we even going when we already know it’s going to make us feel all depressed?
Me: We don’t know it’s going to make us feel anything! We know absolutely nothing about this film.
Him: Your driving is scaring me.
Me: Be quiet and eat your dinner.*
(In the long queue)
Him: You were supposed to bring the ticket in for them to validate it.
Me: You could run back to the car and get it?
Him. But it’s tooooooooo faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar.
(Having purchased our tickets)
Him: THIRTY SEVEN DOLLARS FOR TWO TICKETS?! That’s RIDICULOUS!!!
Me: [Breathing deeply]
(Sitting through the trailers)
Him: This movie looks so stupid it’s making me laugh.
Me: If the next thing you say isn’t something positive, I’m going to stab you in the face with a fork.
He was quiet after that, except for one point during the movie when he leaned over to whisper that he was enjoying it, bless him.
So, The Descendants.
I loved this movie. It was funny and painful and heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one, as life tends to be. The characters were real (the acting was so good!) and the story was simple but meaty. I enjoyed seeing George Clooney in a non-heartthrob role. He’s been in so many movies I’ll continue to re-watch because they’re just gold: One Fine Day, Ocean’s Eleven, Intolerable Cruelty, Fantastic Mr Fox, Up in the Air, and this one. It seems he’s getting better with age. And it wasn’t necessarily a tearjerker; I cried because I cry in all good movies (the end of Cool Runnings, anyone?), but it wasn’t emotionally manipulative. Just a glimpse into someone else’s crisis for a bit.
After the review for this film on the At the Movies site, someone called Matt has commented that “film is supposed to be life with the boring bits removed.” If you agree with Matt, don’t go see this film. If, like me, you want the films you see to reflect what life’s really like, boring bits and all*, this one’s for you.
I’m giving it 23 potatoes.
* Earlier in the afternoon, my husband had asked me if I could drive to the movies so that he could have a beer, and I was like, “That's so bogan, getting your missus to drive so that you can drink beer in the passenger seat!“, and he was like, “Nooooooooo, I meant have a beer with dinner before we leave!“ But then we were running late so we packed our meal in a Tupperware container and I drove while he drank beer in the passenger seat. We're so ready for you, Penrith.
** Although, really, I didn’t think there were boring bits in this one, it’s pretty perfect. There are definitely no gangsters, though.