Thursday, September 29, 2011

How Open House Sent Me Back To The Movies

Thanks to HBO and the now-despised Netflix, I pretty much stopped going to movies--but when the house I live under was put up for sale, I started to go again big time.

For the last 95 Sundays I’ve been asked to tidy my in-law apartment (which mostly means hiding my myriad drugs from the millionaires who might want to steal them) and then, if you will, get the fuck outta Dodge for the duration of this week’s Open House.

The Open House goes from 2 to 4, but in order to not see the Vivacious Agent or any Encroaching Last Minute Stragglers, I try to stay out from at least 1 to 5. (Noon to 6 would be better yet, but I can’t spend six hours away from my Cat Pretend Husband without becoming quite lonely and mental.) Movies, of course, make the perfect escape and, better yet, the perfect distraction from my personal apocalypse of potential eviction.

Which is why the first film I chose to see was Contagion. I wanted its reputed world wide apocalypse to scare my own down to the size of a zygote, but, to my disappointment, it neither scared me nor remotely upset me.

I don’t know if this is because I am Old, or because it sort of pleased me to see Kate Winslet die, or because I’m finally on Really Good Meds---but it made me long to re-see On the Beach, where everyone really does get evicted in a really no-kidding permanent way.

For the next Open House I selected The Debt, mostly to worship the great Helen Mirren, and though this movie did distract me, it was only because I could not figure out which young men had turned into which old men, or why anyone thought that lame ending would fly.

And for last week's Open House---never mind that I completely expected to hate it and chose it only because it was over two hours long--I saw The Help. Which was not unlike seeing Bridesmaids again except, of course, not nearly as funny.

I’d read somewhere that the role of Hilly was over-the-top, a caricature, but let me just tell you that it is so not.  I understand that not everyone raised in the South is a Hilly, but I used to know a person who was, and thirty-five years ago, when we were still young, I had to explain to her—literally and slowly explain to her—why and how it just might behoove her--a woman who’d moved from The Junior League South to the Junior League version of San Francisco--to finally stop using the N word. 

As heinous as some people might seem in the movies, they are always twice as heinous in life.

The good news is that no one--so far--seems ready to buy the house I live under, but I won’t relax till the For Sale sign comes down.

And even then I can’t really relax because who's to say it won't go back up in a year?

If there’s another Open House here this Sunday, all I can say is: I just don’t know what. Do I really have to sit through The Lion King? Killer Elite? I Don’t Know How She Does It? And, by the way, how does she do it? That is to say, how does anyone do it?  Seriously—my cat and I are both desperate to know.