I have accepted that the world has changed and pretty much left me behind in the process. I am no longer any merchandiser’s demographic target. I don’t understand the commercials on television anymore, even though I did see one recently that confirmed that old question of “does a bear —- in the woods?”
I saw a whole family of bears doing it and evidently, it has become so prevalent that someone is sticking rolls of Charmin on tree limbs. This might be another challenge for the Toomer’s corner oaks, as if they didn’t have enough to worry about. Clearly I am being marginalized by our advancing society.
Nowhere is this more obvious that at the movies. I have been movie lover since my first Tom Mix serial along about 1945 and generally I enjoy a wide variety of flicks. There have been a few movies that have left me completely baffled and until last week the two worst movies I have ever be subjected to were Marty, circa 1955 and The Accidental Tourist, in 1988.
One might question my level of sophistication considering that both of these films received an Academy Award and were met with great critical acclaim. I have some evidence that this might be the case considering I muddled my way through The Catcher in the Rye and thought it was the most pointless book I ever encountered. In view of the fact that all of these experiences occurred in my callow youth, one might hope that today I would have a deeper appreciation of all three. Ain’t gonna happen. Sat and waded through that stuff long ago and am not going to do it again.
I don’t feel too bad about reading books and watching movies over a 65 year period and having my main objections date some 30 to 50 years in the past, at least that was the case until last week. I have seen the first 45 minutes of a current movie that would make Marty and The Accidental Tourist seem like Star Wars and Gone with the Wind.
I had been watching the movies at our local multi screen cinema closely for several weeks hoping to catch a release that did not have space aliens, massive mechanical monsters or flesh eating zombies in it. I can take a little gore, some light porn and an occasional car chase, but these productions that have continuous explosions, dismemberments and civilization ending erector sets, all done in 3-D and some sound system from teenage hell are just too much. I like to be entertained, not terrified.
Last week I finally found something that sounded like it might work. The film was The Five Year Engagement and it was touted to be a romantic comedy reminiscent of The Owl and the Pussy Cat and The Apartment. In spite of having never heard of a single member of the cast, I bit and sprung for a $7.50 senior citizen’s ticket.
I sat through the first 45 minutes waiting for something to happen, but alas, it never did. There did not seem to be a story line and the movie itself appeared to have been made simply by following this couple around and memorializing their completely dull lives. Previously, I had only left one movie that I can remember.
In 1954 there was a feature film called Rose Marie and the previews showed an actor, Howard Keel, dressed in the red jacket of a member of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. My friend Noel Funchess and I took the bait and spent our Friday night hoping to see something along the lines of Sergeant Preston of the RCMP along with his horse Rex and his faithful dog King.
What we got was a remake of the Nelson Eddie and Janette McDonald operetta of the same name from the 1930’s. As soon as Howard Keel began to wail Indian Love Call, we hit the door. I am a lot older and more tolerant today and that is the only reason I sat through 45 minutes of this total drivel. I once paid fifty-cents to see a geek eat a live chicken and I found that to be a much better use of my money than The Five Year Engagement.