Monday, December 21, 2009

Super Holiday Family Fun Movie Time!

Well, well, well... It's that time of year at Boil It First, when I head northward, to where my ancestors inexplicably stopped and settled. It's possible that, as fresh immigrants, they were unaware that there was a rest-of-the-country that bore a less-striking resemblance to the Arctic Tundra, but my parents really have no excuse.

On my journey to Cleveland, I will be passed by snickering herds of migrating deer, bear, birds and coyotes, animals which have developed the intellectual capacity to know that one should run away from the cold, or, at the very least, go to sleep for its duration.

I will be jealous, not just because of the warmth that will soon envelop these woodland creatures as they adjust their Ray-Bans and sip Coronas (or possibly margaritas) on a sunny Gulf of Mexico beach, but because they will not have to 1) decide on a movie to go see with their families, and 2) go see that movie.

My family aren't tasteless savages, so they won't be forcing me to go see Larry The Cable Guy Saves Christmas?!. (I made that up. Sorry if I scared you.) Something so awful could at least be cherished for its ability to give me something to talk about for upwards of four years afterward. It might even get me laid.

The problem is that we are five (or six or seven or four, depending on who shows up and who has a love-interest this year) people with five disparate pop culture palates. The only thing that I think we all like is Star Trek, which would be great if the sequel were slated to open in five days.

But it's not.

I like movies where people are eaten by bears or that are documentaries, which means that I loved Grizzly Man. My brother likes small indie movies and the biggest ridiculous action movies that money can buy, because he's a spazz. Since she's a total girl, Mom likes the mushy stuff: romantic comedies and musicals. My sister loves the corny comedies, because the 80s never ended and John Hughes never died, so shut your trap and sit'n'spin. I'm pretty sure that, outside of Star Trek and The Lion in Winter, my father has never expressed positive thoughts about anything. Maybe I should pay more attention.

If I were to go to the movies with any one of these people, there's a reasonable chance that we could come up with a point of intersection. Something with romance and bear attacks? Sure thing. The difficulty quotient goes up considerably when you have to find a movie for five (or six or seven or four). Specifically, one that my brother hasn't seen yet.

We always end up bailing on our sensibilities and finding something that barely ekes its way into the realm of acceptability. We will succumb to our Midwestern roots and see something completely, totally, absolutely mediocre. A movie that will come on Channel 64 one Saturday afternoon in five years, causing at least two people, who are smoking a big bongload, to turn to each other and say, "I've never heard of this movie."

"Neither have I. I'm surprised, because I've heard of all of these people."

"That guy won an Oscar."

"Let's watch it."

"Cool. I'll order pizza."

Two hours later, they will stand up and stretch and not remember watching the movie. This will lead them to believe that they got primo shit on the cheap from that sketchy dude and they will buy more and they will have been ripped off. That wasn't good shit. The movie was such a C- that it wouldn't even stick to their brains.

Inevitably, I will stumble out of the theater, into the waning daylight, and my third hit of my cigarette will erase all traces of the movie, except for the previews for the summer movies, which will be sweet. Or completely dumb. Either way, they will be winners.

I was thinking that this year, it would be Everybody's Fine, but it looks like it will be out of theaters completely by the 25th. If I remember what it was, I'll let you know.


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