Chaos Attraction

Taking The Day Off

2005-12-21, 7:28 p.m.

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Like Ferris Bueller, I "took the day off."

Okay, I didn't outright fake illness or anything. I woke up with a headache and feeling groggy as fuck, and I figured "hell, everyone's either taking time off or leaving early this week, no one's going to care if I'm out," and called in sick. Then I went back to sleep. Then I woke up and took some Excedrin.

You know what annoys me? That you can leave work early to go home sick, and you can call out all day sick, but you can't call in sick for a few hours at the beginning of the day and then go in to work when you feel better. Because there are just some mornings where I feel like ass, but know I'll be fine in a few hours, and I feel bad having called in sick for the entire dang day when I only needed 2-3 hours in the morning to feel better.

Anyway, since today was another one of those days, after the Excedrin kicked in, I decided to go to the grocery store and pick up some vitamins and... go to the movies and do that movie marathon I was going to do on Sunday until it turned out to be gushing rain. So I went to see Narnia and The Family Stone, both of which were very good. And besides that, it was damned cool to go to the movies on a Wednesday afternoon when nobody's there but a sea of retirees and kids. So rebellious of me.

(note: If you don't know the plot of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by now, where have you BEEN? Anyway, if you can't stand knowing that, be forewarned. I'm not going to spoiler space a movie where almost everyone knows what went on.)

I thought a lot of it was very cool. I liked seeing the Professor and seeing him hint about knowing about Narnia. I liked how they did stuff like mentioning the White Witch's name- yes, I'm a dork. I liked seeing the evolution of the White Witch's look- from snarly dreads and an icicle crown, to seeing the crown melt, to seeing her hair go from snarls to straight as the movie went on. (Though the dress she had on in the palace looked like she has a humpback or something. What IS that?) I liked how they show the kids as adults in the end. And I really liked Mr. Tumnus. I wasn't too into him in the book, but the movie one was cool. (Though I kept thinking, "Dude, if you're cold enough to wear a scarf, PUT A SHIRT ON.") And the effects are pretty good, the animals work for me as Talking Animals and all.

I have to give them credit for making it clear that Peter was being asked to take on being a battle leader when he had NO clue what he was doing with that sword. I do kind of wish Susan had gotten to USE her bow and arrows more than once given how it's a big deal that she has them and she carries them around all the time, though. The girls WERE in the battle in the book, right?

But anyway...good movie.

As for The Family Stone, I also really liked that, and it'll probably become one of those Classic Holiday Movies to me in later years.

The Stones are this kind of kooky-ish family, and the oldest kid Everett's brought home his girlfriend Meredith to meet them. Meredith is a nice enough chick, but she's got a massive corncob up her ass. Thing is, it is kind of hard to figure out why most of them have it out for her other than the corncob thing. It's not like she's actually DONE anything at the time to deserve the cold/weird shoulders.

Anyway, within 24 hours Meredith feels unwelcome enough to (a) decamp to the local inn where some of the other relatives/SO's are staying, and (b) call and beg her sister Julie to come out and be on her side. And thus begins a bit of sibling swapping, as Everett gets interested in Julie and laid-back brother Ben gets interested in Meredith.

I have to say, I was loving Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams in this movie, even though they play mostly bitchy and almost totally bitchy, respectively. They're a real hoot. I love the scene where Diane Keaton (Sybil) announces casually that a fellow named Brad is the guy who "popped Amy's cherry." After that I kept thinking of the guy as "Cherry Poppin' Braddie." Oh, come on, like you wouldn't have thought the same thing? I also thought Thad (the "I love my deaf gay son!" character) was a hoot, and I loved how they would all sign and speak when he was around. I wish they did MORE signing when he was around, but it was still cool to see. I always love movies where they have a lot of sign. Hell, I love that in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and that's not even ASL they're signing. And in this movie, you learn the sign for "asshole!" Woot!

And at this point, folks, I need to call for spoiler space because I'm going to reveal something big about the plot. So if you don't want to know, STOP READING NOW I AM NOT KIDDING. Go down to the next part where you see bold text.

Before I went to the movies, I asked Mom if she would want to see any of the movies that I wanted to see, and she said she'd be willing to see The Family Stone. It occurred to me while watching the show, however, that there is no way I can take her to this movie because she's gonna cry.

You see, Sybil is dying (probably breast cancer) and this is going to be her last Christmas. She doesn't want to tell the family until after, though at least two of the kids find out or already knew and I suspect two of the others end up suspecting. Amy looks suspiciously emotional when Meredith hands out her gifts to everyone- framed copies of a photo of Diane Keaton while pregnant that looks suspiciously like Lisa Kudrow- and I suspect they cut a scene where she found out out of the movie. I'll have to check the extras on the DVD later.

After Ben finds out, he goes home and hugs Mom and is all "I love you" on her for a long time in front of people who don't know, and you can tell she's kind of thinking, "Okay, so you know? I appreciate the sentiment and all, but I wish you'd GET OFF ME RIGHT NOW BEFORE ANYONE ELSE FIGURES THIS OUT." Finally she says, "So, enjoy getting stoned with Dad?" to cover it up.

(Hee. The Family Stoned. Don't tell me you didn't think that either.)

But the kicker for me is that it seems to me that Everett was insisting on proposing to Meredith at Christmas BECAUSE of his mother being sick. She doesn't outright tell him "This is it" during the movie that you can see, but she does say after giving him The Family Stone (i.e. Grandma's ring, which she outright told him she didn't want to give him) that she's sick and him getting married isn't going to fix that, and then there's the hug-n-cry. And while I didn't cry during this scene, well... once upon a time I got engaged for some similar reasons myself, so god knows I understand the urge. Hell, I still feel bad I never got myself married off while Dad could still attend the wedding, "right guy" or no. Too late to fix that one now, though.

Anyway, the end is quiet and mellow. It's a year later, everyone shows up, some of them with kids, some siblings with the right siblings, and Mom is not there but everyone's going on anyway, and the last shot is the pregnant shot of Diane Keaton. Awww.

(And what did I choose to watch tonight? Pieces of April, with another dying mother who might be having her last holiday. Clearly I wasn't thinking when I went through my Netflix queue trying to find what holiday movies I had in there. Speaking of hateful relatives and death, Pieces of April- oh my god. Her entire family fucking hates her, WOW. And it's kind of a hoot in a way when April's oven breaks and she starts knocking on the doors of her neighbor's house trying to find another oven. A black lady opens the door and April says, "I've got a problem," and the lady's all, "Yeah, you're young and white, I can't WAIT to see what YOU think is a problem. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!" and April just stands there. Then they cut to the lady crying after April's told her her problem. Hah.)

I ended up hinting to Mom why she couldn't see The Family Stone when I had to call her and she was all, "I end up crying all the time anyway, what's one more time" about it.

Here ends the part where spoilers were. You are now free to continue reading.

I also found out that- gee, big surprise- the PITA's are still being dicks. They dropped off presents yesterday and were being all snotty at Mom for not putting up a tree at the hospital for Dad. Since he started crying when she asked him about the possibility, she assumed he didn't want one. But now that they made her feel shitty, she went and bought one today. Whee.

Oh, and guess what: nobody is going to do anything about Grandma and Grandpa. APS sure as fuck isn't doing anything, and meanwhile Grandma's leaving water on to boil and forgetting about it. They are clearly going to burn down the house someday and nobody is giving a shit! Nobody! I never thought even the PITA's would be such assholes. I guess they just WANT Grandma to kill the two of them accidentally and they'd be fine and dandy. My gawd.

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