Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feeling bold? Just walk in and see whatever is playing in the next 5 minutes!

I really recommend trying this with an open-minded friend. It's a bit of a crapshoot, but also a bit of an adventure, which is great. I have done this on two occasions, both with my big sis. Amazingly, we really enjoyed it. There is one tip before you try it: each time we were at a Landmark Theater. I think it would be more risky at your local cineplex. You could end up seeing Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son (yes, that really is a movie). We were very fortunate and ended up with Vacation Movies both times! These are available now on DVD, so read on for my reviews to see if they might be something you'd like.

This is a 2009 film starring Patricia Clarkson (love her!) and Alexander Siddig (new to me, but loved him in this). It is a romance of sorts, but it's also one of those movies where nothing much really happens. It essentially just follows two people spending time together and getting to know and appreciate each other.

The scenes of Cairo are GOR-geous. Lemme tell ya, Ms. Clarkson's hotel room is outta this world...not creepy-gaudy like something in Dubai, but simply elegant with a stunning view. Anyway, you get to take a boat ride, see the pyramids, go to the desert, and attend a wedding. It's an excellent vacation, but a very subtle, slow moving one. Bottom line, if you aren't into subtle, this isn't for you.

The thing that was nonsensical in the movie? She's a New York editor married to a UN official, but her first day out in Cairo she walks around town in a sleeveless blouse and skirt (and ends up getting harassed by men). Given her background, I'd think she would have a little more travel savvy. Granted it looked like it was hotter than hell there, but they could have resolved that issue by having her put on a scarf/wrap in her hotel room, and then simply removing it outside with an obvious expression of feeling overheated. 

Minor complaints aside, I really enjoyed the movie and would be happy to see it again.

This 2008 film takes place in 1950's era New Zealand, and opens with three young Dutch women on a flight there to meet their new husbands.

This one's also a romance, but more of a dramatic saga that spans decades, taking you through marriage, childbirth, reconciliation and death. It reminds me a bit of one of those epic mini-series like The Thornbirds. I'd never pick New Zealand as someplace high on my list of travel destinations, but I really enjoyed this trip. Not picking it is what made it a fun adventure.

Funny thing happened at the theater, though. Rutger Hauer appears briefly at the beginning of the film, but we didn't know he was in it. Just prior to going into the theater, we were looking at a newspaper that had a little blurb about some movie called Hobo With a Shotgun starring a craggy-looking Rutger Hauer. We sat down to watch our movie, and there was Rutger. My sister and I turned to each other, each with big-eyes and an expression that said, "Cripes! We're in Hobo With a Shotgun. RUN for the door." 

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