I did something last night that I've never done: walk out of two movies in one evening. My sweetheart friend Marita and I went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" because of all the raves the movie has been getting and despite a "sinking feeling" that Marita had about how existential she thought it might be. I had it, too, but we both hoped the grimy realism wouldn't drown out the inspirational protagonist's triumph. Alas ...
... Marita was right! It is a ghastly grim film -- well, at least the first 40 minutes were, because that's all we could take before we looked at each other and nodded, which we each know means it's time to grab the popcorn and hit the exits. We'd already been subjected to child prostitution, child torture, child kidnapping, grotesque overcrowding, filthy slum-dwelling, corrupt and brutal police and a child caked in excrement before the wretched scene that forced our sickened departure: bandits blinding a child by drugging him and pouring acid into his eyes to use him for their own ends.
The film is the cinema realite that so entrances and titillates Hollywood's leftist artistes, reaffirming their jaundiced and malignant weltanschauung. It is pervasive darkness with a token good guy thrown in, like "Batman." It is the gloomy cynicism of "The Reader" ("American Beauty" redux). It is the dour "Frost/Nixon" without the suits and ties.
As we were walking from the theater in head-shaking disgust, we happened upon the theater manager. I told him we walkd out of "Slumdog" cause it sucked and asked if we could go see another movie instead. He was nice and said "sure." So Marita and I decided we needed to see a comedy to purge the filth with some belly laughs. We walked into "He's Just Not That Into You," (20 minutes into the movie) even though we suspected it wouldn't be very good. Boy, were we mistaken. It was laughably horrible. We were giggling at just how bad of an actress Drew Barrymore really is. The writing was equally bad, and I'm sure the theater-goers around us were probably getting perturbed at our looks of ridicule and teasing. Fifteen minutes into our new movie, just as our seats got warm, we beat a retreat to the exits again after Jennifer Aniston lived up to her reputation of being just an infinitesimal fraction better than Barrymore on the silver screen.
Ironically, having walked out of two movies and having so much horrible grist for discussion, Marita and I had a lovely time at a nice restaurant bar, gabbing and bragging about leaving two movies in one night as she sipped her dirty martinis and I luxuriated in my mohito martinis.
Here's to you, sweet Marita! :)