You may recall that I recently got a little side job writing movie reviews for a local weekly paper. For the most part it's been total cake. I choose what I want to review, walk to the front of a long line, and get the best seats in the house for a commercial-free, preview-free, free movie. Then spend about an hour or two writing and editing what I thought about it. I even get a little money for the trouble. Cool.
The last movie I reviewed -- Revolutionary Road -- gave me a little more trouble than I'm used to.
This film elicited a very personal reaction from me (I'll tell you why in a second.). When the lights came up and I read over the notes I had scribbled in the dark, all I could see was the makings of a blog entry. Not a review fit for a newspaper with actual paying advertisers.
So I hemmed and hawed, typed and deleted. And ultimately, after about two hours of deliberating, decided to write the review first person and be relatively honest about how I felt...without revealing my whole personal life story.
Basically what I said was this: Revolutionary Road is incredible and you just can't deny it is a well-made film. But how you feel about it will depend entirely upon where you are in life -- and how you feel about where you are in life -- when you see it. If anything, it is thought-provoking and powerful. But it could also be pretty damn depressing, depending on the person. And not everyone is up for thought provoking and potentially depressing on a Saturday night at the movies. Me? Well, I love to brood.
But let me tell you what I really wanted to say in my review.
Are you married? If so, is it a good marriage?
Do you have kids? If so, do you ever wish you didn't?
Do you have unfulfilled dreams? If so, do you blame someone else for that?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I highly recommend you don't go see Revolutionary Road. That is, unless you want to be really depressed.
As for me...I answered no to all the questions above, which is why, when the lights came up, I felt pretty damn good. In fact, this was the first time in my adult life that I actually thought that being unmarried and without kids was actually the very thing that made me "special" among those around me. It made me free. It gave me possibilities.
If you've been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I am in a constant state of impatience waiting for the Ring, the Wedding, the Baby. That longing is there for everything I do, see, think. Every wedding invitation, birth announcement, family holiday card I get can set me off on another round of maternal clock hysteria. Sometimes I have to step away from the Facebook when I see yet one more person I used to know post pictures of their families. And let's not even get into all the dear friends that have slipped away into "mommydom" never to be seen again (except for the holiday cards of course). Let's just say it's a major THING for me.
To suddenly see my "predicament" as a blessing, for even just a moment, was a wonderful thing. So if you are anything like me - and you also happen to like beautifully crafted, acted and scored films - then go see Revolutionary Road at a theater near you.