My family could win awards for choosing inappropriate movies to watch with each other. This generally stems from a gene pool-wide tendency to base our movie choices on tremendous generalities -- some easy-to-read star-based review (just the stars, not the review itself), any non-specific Oscar buzz or the sheer fact that it's playing on a very small screen at the art house theater. I'd like to say it's because we hate a spoiler and love a surprise, but I really think we're just lazy. But maybe there is something to this surprise bit, for our faux-intellectual technique has led to quite a few shockers.
1) The most famous example: my parents' decision to bring a five-year-old Porter to the Crying Game, completely unaware of the big "secret." Completely bored by the IRA plot, Porter fell asleep shortly after the opening credits (she swears), but my mom never forgave herself.
2) Dad takes college-aged niece he hasn't seen in years to Y Tu Mama Tambien. Neither have recovered.
3) Transfixed by the allure of Jude Law, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman together on screen in a "smart" film, I suggest Closer to my grandmother. We go. As my head is about to explode from mortification over the first email scene, I'm stricken by a horrible feeling of dèjá vu. I'd totally forgotten the name of the play I'd seen a few years before with this totally perverted, totally similar email scene. Hum. Oh, right. Closer. Too bad I'd fallen asleep for everything after that "great email scene" in the play. Not even an attempted pre-viewing or Natasha Richardson could save me.
4) A year before the Closer incident, I caught a preview of the Polish Brothers' Northfork. Ok, it looked odd, but so stylish! and beautifully shot! and a lot of those palm-leaf film festival emblems were flashing before me!! Grandma sounded so excited when I mentioned the name. Grandma sounded very unexcited when we left the theater: "Oh, I really thought this was going to be a lifestyle film about North Fork, Long Island." Oops.
Well, this was a long-winded way of saying that I've just returned from a day trip to the North Fork my grandma thought she'd get to enjoy that day (was beyond lovely; must meet someone with connections to affordable (free) shelter on Shelter Island someday). We head upstate today. Photos to come!