Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Late in the day, I dropped Norah off to Dwayne as he was leaving work and met up with two of my good friends for dinner and a movie. We saw Four Christmases. It was crude in places, unnecessarily so, and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else pay to see it in the theater. It didn't keep me in stitches, but there were two scenes that are still making me chuckle.

Spoiler Warning: What comes next may ruin some of the scenes to any of you who want to see the movie with fresh eyes.

For me, the first really funny scene is when Reese's character realizes that her best friend in high school was, most likely, a lesbian. She is trying to argue that this wasn't true, but what she says in defense of her point just brings to light what should have been obvious to her all along and her voice trails off as she comes to the realization... I think this was a great bit of acting on her part.

I liked it so much because I can't tell you how often this happens to me and how many of those times Dwayne has been there to watch me realize what has been obvious to everyone else for so long. The most recent case in point: I've seen the movie The Color Purple about a million times, really, a million. But, I watched it again a few weeks ago and only just realized that Celie and and Shug Avery had an affair. If you've seen this movie, you are probably wondering how I could have missed that. I'm shrugging my shoulders and shaking my head, too. I don't know, but I miss these kinds of things a lot and I felt like that scene in Four Christmases gave me permission to laugh at myself.

Another scene I liked, probably my favorite in the entire movie, is when the characters are all playing Taboo and Vince's character's brother and his wife plow through about a dozen cards in one turn, getting every one of them right. She is asking the questions, he answers her without any hesitation and the exchange goes something like this:

"This is on the nightstand next to your bed..."
"A sock."
"Yes!"

"This is the only man I am ever allowed to cheat on you with..."
"John Grisham."
"Yes!"

I related to this scene, too. First, I am crazy about party games, especially Taboo. I become very competitive and focused, just like the redneck wife in this scene. And, if Dwayne and I are ever partnered together, we usually wipe the floor with other teams because we have a language of our own that has come from our countless (and admittedly often pointless) conversations that last late into the night. But, in the context of party games, marriage can give a team a shameful advantage. I love that.

And, since I have to find morals to every storyline, even the ones starring Vince Vaughn, I did come up with some for this movie. And, this is my blog, so I can subject you to them here:

I think the movie shows that healthy relationships have to be able to go anywhere, quite literally. Your "perfect" relationship may work in the city, but it really should to be able to translate to any place on the map. Relationships have to grow through every season of life. You won't be young together forever, your priorities may shift, etc. Which leads, naturally, to my last point. The people in lasting relationships change along with each other and this happens again and again and again...

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