Hurricane Irma and My Cousin, Rachel
As I sit down to write this evening, Hurricane Irma breathes her mean breath against my window seal.
When I was a child, during stormy weather, my mother would turn off the lights in the house and draw me near or I would cuddle in her lap for comfort. She would sing or tell a story. Always though, her voice was quiet. If the storm really began to rage, my mother would gently rocked me to sleep.
As an adult, I have learned to comfort myself on nights when the wind howls, by curling up with The Dane. Sometimes the lights are low and we read. Often sharing passages of the books we are reading to each other. Or like tonight, we pile up on the sofa to watch a suspenseful movie.
Tonight, we rented My Cousin Rachel.
I snuggled in close as the narrator started the movie with the words, Did she? Didn’t she? Who’s to blame?
At once, I turned to The Dane and said, “I sure hope this isn’t another Black Swan moment.”
I think it would be only fair to tell you that I saw my first movie in a theater when I was around six years old: Batman, The Movie. As I recall it, the movie showing was a part of a promotion for kids to join the Mickey Mouse Club. I remember being so proud of my ears as I sat in my first theater seat with a sleeve of popcorn and a coke. Another thing that I remember about that experience is that I went with my cousin’s very young sister-in-law, who was perhaps a grand total of 12 at the time. Together we spent that entire Saturday wearing mouse ears and worrying about how Batman and Robin were going to get out of the jam they’d gotten themselves into.
I fell in love that day.
The magic of going to the movies settled firmly in my bones. There was only one drawback…there were no theaters in my hometown and back then, well, let’s just say, we didn’t get out much.
It was a long time before I went to the movies again. I was around twelve. My brother’s birthday was coming up. For weeks prior, I’d been grooming him about telling Mom and Dad that he wanted all of us to go to the movies for his birthday. When his big day came, he did just that…and then he asked to go see “The Unidentified Flying Oddball.” (Slaps forehead) I don’t recall what I wanted to go see, but I know for sure it wasn’t that. However, when we got to the theater, the magic happened all over again and I sat there watching that silly movie as if it was the best birthday present ever. To top it off, it had a cartoon (The Jungle Book) before the movie. It was like getting two for the price of one. Bliss.
Next up, The Hiding Place (in my experience, movies didn’t come in the correct timeline. This showing was a church event specially to teach us about the Holocaust). For this movie, I can only remember that it was sincerely frightening. If my memory serves, the nurse has her hand cut off for aiding the main characters in a concentration camp. To this day, I can’t see a movie with Eileen Heckart without thinking of her as a mean ratfink. (I’m guessing I saw this one just shortly after the last one).
It would be another four years before I got to see another movie in a theater – War Games (though I really wanted to go see Porkies and wasn’t old enough).
During my college years, there was college night on Tuesdays. I’m pretty sure that I was nearly always there. I recall having this one friend (pretty sure he ended up being my first husband) that absolutely HATED for you to talk during a movie. Me and my girlfriends drove him nuts!
With DVDs and then CDs, the way we watched movies changed. When the kids were still living with us, we used to make a big production of watching movies on Friday nights. They’d invite friends over and we’d watch whatever they chose (within reason). Having a boy around sort of changed things up for me as I’d plop down on the sofa and find out we were going to watch Transformers or Fast and Furious. And while the movies we watched in those years might not have been my choices, I always found something to like about them.
And then came Black Swan.
When it came out, it was probably one of the most talked about movies that I could remember. It was a shoo-in for at least one Academy Award. I couldn’t wait to watch it.
As I recall, I set aside a day on my schedule so that I’d be home and have most of the afternoon to myself. It was chilly and raining. Popcorn was popped and a tall coke sat on a coaster next to me as I settled in on the sofa to watch. I should have stopped watching the movie about half way through. It was a total mess with cardboard characters that I not only didn’t like, but was pretty sure I hated. I forced myself to get to the end.
Why did I hate that movie so much? Well, here’s what I can remember:
1. I didn’t care about any of the characters (actually I really hated them).
2. A complete “tell,” with very little “show” since a big chunk of the movie was a hallucination, which happened to include masturbation with some hallucinated girl on girl action (and that’s what all the fuss was about. A topic for another time).
3. I didn’t see where the ballet was super spectacular (I watched a Russian ballet company dance Swan Lake and this movie had NOTHING on them!)
4. I learned I’m sincerely not a big fan of Natalie Portman.
So, that’s what the “Black Swan” moment was about. Basically what it boils down to is this, I don’t like being tricked.
Well, let me take that back. I loved how it was done in Primal Fear.
So, maybe it’s just that I don’t like being told I should like something just because it’s “edgy.” Nowadays, want me to like it? Then don’t make it suck.
The thing is, I like a good whodunit. What I don’t like is a long, drawn out chase through the woods where I’m breathlessly running and running and then suddenly realize, oh, so here we are at the end and there’s no real resolution.
I mean, I don’t need to be spoon-fed, but if I invest my time and energy to go along with you for the ride, it’s only fair to give me the pay out at the end.
My Cousin, Rachel?
There was good acting involved by both the main characters. The scenery is amazing. But, I think the writer’s really took a wide left turn (like Irma) and missed the boat with the interaction with the two main characters. There could have been a whole hell of a lot more steam involved.
So overall, well, I feel like Rachel welshed on her side of the bet.
If you saw the movie, what did you think?
Until next post, keep all those folks affected by the fires and storms in your prayers or if you’re not a praying person, keep them in your good thoughts.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog.