Sunday, January 31, 2010

Are you "Up" for "Two Days in Paris?"

I saw a couple movies this weekend. I know this is supposed to be a book blog, but I can't help it. I watch a lot of movies. As for books, I'm still reading "The Reef," by Edith Wharton and "Princesses," by Flora Fraser. Let's face it, though, I will probably never finish "Princesses." It's so boring and terribly written and organized. Every review I read of it says the same thing. Anyways I started reading it a long time ago, so it doesn't even count toward my goal of 50 books for the year. I'm also still reading for my Law and Literature class. Sometime this week I'll post something about Antigone and our next selection. Bu now, on to the movies!

We put "Two Days in Paris" on our Netflix queue a long time ago, and it just kept getting pushed back all the time. For some reason, the longer I waited to watch it, the less I wanted to. But out of sheer laziness, we failed to rearrange the queue (except to put "The Hurt Locker" at the top, even though there's a "very long wait"), and it showed up in our mailbox. It was especially annoying because it's one of the movies you can watch immediately on the website itself, so we didn't have to waste one of our mailing selections. But we decided to just watch it. And you know what? It wasn't bad.

Starring Adam Goldberg and Julie Delpy the movie chronicles, surprisingly enough, two days that the two main characters spend in Paris. She's a photographer from Paris, he's from New York, and they live in New York most of the time. They took a big trip to Venice and on their way home to New York they stopped in Paris. They spend time with her parents, and some of her friends, and quite a few of her ex-boyfriends. Slowly they both act destructively and things fall apart.

The interesting thing about this movie is not the concept - which is a pretty bland one. But the dialogue is good - it's not pretty, no one says the right thing. It's messy - like relationships can be. The acting is pretty good - although I don't know how difficult it is to pretend you're confused and not sure what you want. But there is a good chemistry between them, and I like seeing all the sights of Paris.

It's not something I'll ever watch again, and it's not something I want to sit around thinking about or analyzing or comparing to me and my life. It was semi-interesting, mildly entertaining and not the worst way to spend a Friday night if you're cuddled on the couch with your husband.

On the other end of the emotional spectrum, who knew that a cartoon would make me cry? Ok, it's not a big shocker. I've cried at Disney movies plenty of times. I just didn't expect to cry at this one - especially not three different times. "Up" is a sad movie. It's about love and loss, missed opportunities, friendship, perseverance and life. This movie has more to say about love and all sorts of relationships than "Two Days in Paris." But I guess that's not saying much.

We decided to watch this movie, because it is very likely to be nominated for Oscars, and it's necessary to see as many of those movies before the Oscars as possible. But I'm so glad we did. It started out as most Disney movies do - with a death. The old man doesn't want to leave his house after his wife's death, but he's forced out by developers, so he takes matters into his own hands and embarks on the adventure he and his wife had always dreamed about. But then, of course, everything goes wrong. And in the end, he realizes that their life together WAS an adventure. Now he's got to go on.

Lessons are learned, funny things happen, interesting creatures are met. It's all good fun, but in a meaningful way. I'm not someone who likes cartoons - now that I'm a grown-up. I appreciate the modern adult cartoons like "Family Guy" and "South Park." When I do end up watching an episode I think it's clever and funny and I vow to watch more often, but I just don't. Probably because I'm too busy watching "Survivor" and "NCIS" (which aren't much more than cartoons themselves, I guess). Everyone has their own prefrences, dammit, and I don't want to be judged! But here is a cartoon I'd watch again.

On a final note, the Grammys are on tonight. I'm sure there will be some interesting moments, and some great outfits. Some cool people/bands are performing. I hope the Michael Jackson tribute is short and sweet. I understand he's a great icon, but really, how long do we have to sit through tributes to him?

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