Catch uP: A Perfect Day

7 08 2009


It’s very rare for me to have a day off in which I’m not running to an appointment, engaging in friends/family commitments or doing menial household tasks that have been piling up for days. Today, however, was one of those rare days, and I spent it my favorite way: going to the movies by myself.

Many people think it’s odd that I love to go to matinees alone. I, too, used to think solo moviegoers were complete weirdos…until I went by myself. Now maybe it’s the introverted side of my personality talking but I hate having to discuss a movie with someone right after I watch it. I’d much prefer to wait a day or two and then have a lengthy convo over a glass of wine. I also don’t want to worry whether or not a person is enjoying the movie or if they’d rather be outside lighting up a P-funk. And while I love to have a good cry at a movie, I am embarrassed to cry in front of others; no matter how close I am to them (my sister, Christine, is the one and only exception to this).

So with my day wide open, I embarked on a movie double header. No summaries here, just thoughts.

12:10 showing: 500 Days of Summer.  Nine hours have passed and I can’t stop thinking about this film. Going in, I was a little nervous that it was going to be a bit too “precious” for my taste. I usually find romantic comedies contrived and annoying but I gave this a chance because I love the leads (Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my new Hollywood boyfriend) and I thought the premise was interesting (500 days in the relationship between Tom and Summer in which the narrator tells us in the first 5 minutes “this is NOT a love story”).  It’s a clever, funny and sometimes heartbreaking 90-minute movie with a banging soundtrack and none of the Katherine Heigl-esque crappy movie antics that give romantic comedies a bad name. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will never look at greeting cards or Hall and Oats the same way again; totally worth the 6 lbs of buttery ass, kettle corn sprinkled popcorn I had to run off later.

2:30 showing: Funny People. This was a last minute decision coming off the high of my earlier movie. I had heard mixed reviews and wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to 2+ hours in the dark with Adam Sandler, but I’m glad I bit the bullet and went. While a fan, I tend to think Judd Apatow’s movies are way too long and some scenes definitely could have been shaved off this one, but I never checked my watch as I’ve done in the past. I think the key to enjoying this movie is to go in expecting a drama that happens to be funny and not a raunchy Apatow comedy. I laughed. A lot. But when all is said and done, this is a pretty serious and somewhat sad movie. This is not Billy Madison “are you looking at me, swan?” Sandler. It’s dark and depressed and somewhat douchey Sandler. There are no memorable body waxing scenes a la 40 Year-Old Virgin, or shrooming in Vegas, but it doesn’t need them. The cast is tight, Adam Sandler is at his best ever and Seth Rogen proves that he can be more than the oafish pothead. Just go to the bathroom beforehand because with previews, my butt was in that seat for 2:30. Oh and as a side note, the AMC Loews Village 7 Theater smells like an old person’s basement after a flash flood. As much as I hate Times Square, I’d recommend its comfy stadium seating and breathable air for this film.

So that’s that. My perfect day filled with all of my favorite things: walking around New York with my iPod, matinees by myself, eating the shittiest food on the planet (and subsequently running it off), watching the So You Think You Can Dance finale and ending the day writing with a liter of Zazz black cherry seltzer.  It doesn’t get much better than that.


Catch uP: Avenue Q

25 07 2009



When I heard last week that Avenue Q was closing, my immediate reaction was “WHAT?”

I am very particular in which Broadway shows I deem worthy of seeing. I don’t mean to sound snobbish, but having been involved in theater for more than half my life and constantly surrounding myself with actors and actresses,  if I shell out $100+ to see a show, it had better be good. If I actually pay to see it twice, that is really saying something.  To this day I have only seen three Broadway shows more than once: Fosse, because the great Ben Vereen and Ann Reinking closed the show, Jersey Boys, because my husband and I both took our parents on two separate occasions, and Avenue Q because it’s brilliant.

For those who write it off as “a pornographic puppet show,” perhaps you should spend your money on South Pacific or some other boring old classic.  Avenue Q is witty, tender and outrageously funny. Is it for kids under 13? Absolutely not! But with a soundtrack of hits including “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” “It Sucks to be Me” and “The Internet is for Porn,” it’s the most daring show on Broadway, not to mention the most resonant.

I urge you to support this wonderful little show that beat out the overplumped and underwhelming “Wicked” for the Tony award.  You’ve got ’til September 13 (my anniversary!) to be a part of pure Broadway magic.

Here’s a great clip from the Tony Awards: