saturday night my husband and i decided to go see a movie in an actual theater while the movie was still considered “hot” and very much talked about. if there is something we really want to see we typically wait until it makes its way to dvd. we then get it through netflix and watch it at home on our laptop in the comfort of our living room propped up on the sofa. usually it takes us a while to get around to seeing things that are relevant – by the time we watch relevant films, society is through talking about them and has moved on to something else. case in point: we just saw “the king’s speech” last friday night for the very first time. we’ve only recently discussed that perhaps we should rent harry potter sometime and see what all that is about. now, lest anyone think we are totally out of it, in my defense, i would like to say that we spend a good amount of time watching nitpicky, educational documentaries that do make us very interesting people (in certain circles). i may not know a whole lot about harry potter, but i can tell you exactly how some of george bananchine’s muses felt about dancing for him, and how tupperware came to be sold at house parties.
back to the relevant movies….
last fall (?? i think it was?) i read the help. i loved it. it was the best book i have read in a very long time. it was one of those books that was so good, i put everything on hold until i had a chance to finish it. when i learned that it was to be made into a movie, i told my husband i wanted to see it. right away. in a theater. just like everyone else. so i could talk about it just like everyone else. so saturday we hit the matinee.
this post is not a review of the film. you can read those elsewhere. i would recommend though, that you read the book first, as the book, in my honest opinion, is far superior to the movie. if you put the laundry and cooking aside to read it like i did, it won’t take long to get through it and you can still go see the movie while it is big stuff.
this post is about how i was reminded of why we do things the way we do. why we wait until the movie is available on dvd and watch it at home, just the two of us.
as i said, we decided to catch a matinee showing. not only is a matinee less expensive, there are fewer noisy people in the theater to contend with. or so we thought. unfortunately, several other people had the same idea for a saturday afternoon, enough people to fill nearly every seat of the theater. people who eat popcorn, slurp drinks, rattle candy wrappers, forget to turn off their phones, and laugh in all the wrong places. i sat next to a gangly youth who was obviously dragged along and only there because he had to be. i don’t think he’d read the book. i endured his popcorn eating for forty-five minutes only to listen to forty-five minutes more of him slowly digesting his bottled drink.
then there was the movie itself. my husband and i decided that we will in fact rent this later anyway because we missed half the lines. not so much because of the hungry youth beside me but because we were so enamored with the scenery we forgot to listen. i’m not talking about oceans and mountains, i’m talking about glorious old plantation houses and a beautiful mid-century modern ranch style. i’m talking about vintage drainboard sinks, yards of beadboard, an incredible old stove, woodwork painted robin’s egg blue, and kitchen cupboards with layers of cracked paint and exposed hinges. every other scene my husband and i would turn to each other pop-eyed and exclaim “oooohh! did you see that!?” “look at the pine cabinets!!” then something important or funny would happen and we would miss it. there was no opportunity to hit pause, discuss the way the kitchen was laid out, and then resume the film.
then of course there was the food “scenery” that only a foodie would catch and truly appreciate. fried chicken made with crisco in a cast iron skillet and all those vintage goodies shown in my mother’s old betty crocker cookbook: sunshine jello salad, ambrosia, deviled eggs served with pickles, fluted orange cups, and chicken salad with white grapes. i’m not one for lots of corresponding merchandise but i did come away thinking it would be cool if there was a cookbook from “the help” offered later. minus of course a recipe for the chocolate pie.
perhaps i was just starving because our dinner afterwards at a pub (reminiscent of places we visited on our honeymoon) was the highlight of our afternoon.
missed moments aside the movie was very good and worth seeing. the scene portraying celia foote planting her memorial rose bush was a poignant one for both of us, and one that hit very close to home.
we eagerly anticipate the dvd release so we can find out what it was everyone was laughing at while we were ogling over those blue chintz curtains.