One Last Movie With Erica

I've written about hanging out with my friend Erica on a few different blogs (you can read one them here). She's moving away perhaps for good and last night was my best last chance to hang out with her. She's not drinking much these days and I've cut way down so hitting a bar like we have a thousand times before wasn't a great option. Instead we decided to have dinner and see a movie. I suggested we do it in Harvard Square since it was convenient for both of us and I was having a bout of gout in my left ankle and wasn't up to covering too much ground. We met in front of the Border Cafe which is one of my favorite restaurants. It's a Mexican Restaurant. I wasn't extremely hungry so I ordered a salad (which was of course HUGE) the Steak and Blue Cheese Salad. It was amazing. It’s been quite a while since I've enjoyed a salad so much. I couldn't even finish it which almost never happens. If you're ever in Harvard Square looking for a place to eat I highly recommend it.

After Dinner we walked down the street to the Loews Theatre I've been going to for as long as I've been going to movies. Only it isn't a Loews anymore but an AMC. I have yet to notice a difference. Rather than decide in advance we had decided to just walk up and decide. I'd secretly scouted ahead and found a synopsis for each movie.

The Da Vinci Code: A murder in Paris' Louvre Museum and cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery. For 2,000 years a secret society closely guards information that -- should it come to light -- could rock the very foundations of Christianity.

Wah-Wah: Ralph Compton, a youth in Swaziland, witnesses the disintegration of his dysfunctional family, as Britain's rule in South Africa comes to an end. His father's (Gabriel Byrne) heavy drinking increasingly alienates Ralph and his stepmother (Emily Watson), so the teen's mother (Miranda Richardson) -- who left long ago -- returns to reclaim her family.

Somersault: Heidi, a sexually compulsive young woman, heads to a ski resort town after being caught hitting on her mother's boyfriend. Heidi searches for a man to take care of her for a night, and eventually winds up in a motel with Joe. After befriending the motel's owner, Heidi has a place to stay and soon finds work at a local gas station. By opening herself up, Heidi begins to understand the difference between sex and love, and may even have a shot at happiness.

Lucky Number Slevin: A case of mistaken identity puts a man named Slevin (Josh Hartnett) in the middle of a war between two rival New York crime lords: The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley) and the Boss (Morgan Freeman). While under the watchful eyes of Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) and well-known assassin Goodkat (Bruce Willis), Slevin must quickly devise a plan to save his skin before his luck runs out.

I've read a few Dan Brown books and I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code (although I think Angels and Demons was the better story if not as controversial). I'd read a few less than nice reviews of Ron Howard's version but I wanted to see it anyway. I'm one of those people who must decide things for himself. So I pushed for that. Wah-Wah seemed a little depressing. Somersault sounded a little too sexual for our comfort. Neither of us was in the mood for porn. I had no interest in Lucky Number Slevin. I won. It wasn’t a hotly contested battle or anything. We picked out good seats in the middle of the theatre a bit more towards the front than the back. We laughed during the trailers especially at the new Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reaves movie which seems incredibly stupid. Not Bill ands Ted’s Excellent Adventure stupid but Pearl Harbor stupid.

I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. It wasn’t amazing but very watchable even if a little long. I think I understand why it hasn’t been raved about. One, it doesn’t treat the audience as if they’re idiots and this is their first time at the movies. Most movies do you know. This movie assumes that you’ve either read the book or know enough about history, the bible and art that the film doesn’t need to include an explanation of every person, place and event mentioned. They explain the ones most relevant to the story. Two, in Dan Brown’s book you get the opportunity to follow along with Robert Langdon’s thoughts which give you the opportunity to think on the various puzzles and mysteries yourself. That’s the joy in reading a mystery. A film just can’t duplicate that without being twelve hours long. In the movie Tom Hank’s character seems to solve the different puzzles and riddles so easily it seems like magic. Three, it just isn’t the action movie so many people are expecting. The movie is based on a book that made people think. People in movie theatres (unfortunately) tend to prefer being dazzled to having their thoughts provoked. Unfortunately this movie moves so quickly (to make it seem action packed) that any chance it had for being thought provoking is lost.

After the movie we jumped in a cab and went home. It was already nearly eleven o’clock and Erica had to be up for her last day of work at like 4am or something. We didn’t cry or anything. I know she’ll be back and we’ll stay in touch.