Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feels like a Sunday Morning

I woke up this morning at 5:50am. For no reason at all; I just woke up. For about 10-15 minutes I tried to go back to sleep, and then gave up and decided to see if I could find anything interesting to watch on TV.

I started on channel 2, and had made my way through the program guide into the hundreds wothout finding anything. I was nearly ready to give up when I came across a Woody Allen movie I don't think I'd ever heard of. It was called 'Melinda and Melinda', from 2004.

Ordinarily I'd have passed this up, but as there was nothing else on, and nothing to do that early on a Saturday morning, I pulled up the Info page on the movie to investigate. I like some Woody Allen, and find other Woody Allen films boring, so the fact it was Woody Allen was only slightly intriguing. The summary of the plot didn't interest me, but the info page mentioned two actors in the movie. I'd never heard of the female lead, but Wallace Shawn was the other name mentioned, and I like him, so I decided to give the movie a shot.

As it turns out, having missed the first twenty or so minutes, I only saw Wallace Shawn for about 2 minutes in the rest of the movie. And the movie was really more like 2 different movies, spliced together. Piecing together the very last scene (that did have Wallace Shawn) and the summary description, I think the idea is there are two guys (directors, maybe?) that each describe the way they would approach a movie or play about a particular woman and her lovelife. One chooses a dramatic, intense, and ultimately sad portrayal, while the other goes for cute, funny, and whimsical.

The movie that I watched is the two different takes, showing some from one style, and then scenes from the other, switching among the two every few minutes. I found the dramatic story to be a little bit dull and cloying. I very much enjoyed the lighter story.

Sometime in the late-90's I registered at the Internet Movie Database and began rating movies on a scale of 1 to 10. A few years later, Jessica pointed out to me that I almost always assign a rating of 7 to every movie I see. After watching the movie this morning, I wanted to give it a 7.

Lying in bed I thought about this. I see two ways to look at this. It could be that I seldom rate movies a low score, because I have very good judgement, and successfully avoid rotten movies. OR, it could be that I'm too risk-averse, and only choose safe movies that I know I'll like, potentially preventing myself from seeing anything that would be adventurous and ultimately more rewarding.

For example, Melinda and Melinda starred Will Farrell. It also had a bit role by Steve Carrell. I never liked Will Farrell in SNL, and every movie I've ever seen him in has looked very, very stupid. (Except for one, where some fiction writer is writing his life. That looked good, but I haven't seen it yet.)

If this movie had been presented to me as a Will Farrell movie, I'd have never given it a chance. But as things worked out, I liked his character the best, and he had the only two really funny lines in the movie.

I noticed something else interesting to me as well. In the movie, there are two instances of interracial dating. In each case, a white woman dates a black man. I think I've seen this in other movies as well as TV. In nearly every filmed case of this I can think of, the couple is a white woman and a black man. I can only think of one instance of a white man dating a black woman (Firefly and the Firefly movie, Serenity). Curious.

Anyway, as I write this Jessica and Maren are still sleeping, Nate's dressing up in superhero costumes, the morning sunlight is streaming through the living room window, and I'm listening to a GRP Jazz Sampler CD I got years ago, on my new CD player. (Thanks Mom!) It feels very much like a Sunday morning, although it's really Saturday, hence the title of the post.

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