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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Too Friendly

I don’t want to be at Blockbuster in the first place. I feel guilty, like I’m cheating on my real video store, a wholesome, funky little independent store where you can get the most little-known arthouse titles and the clerk has an intimate knowledge of subgenres of anime and knows the filmography of John Sayles back and forth. But that store is across town, down multiple one-way streets in a neighborhood full of campus bars, where it’s nearly impossible to find parking on a frigid Friday evening in January. If you wind your way there and do manage to find parking, you are sure to find the movie you want, as long as it’s relatively obscure. But if you’re looking for a popular title – say, Little Miss Sunshine – you will be shit out of luck because sorority girls who live just down the street will have snapped up the measly two copies my sweet independent video store has in stock.

And tonight I am trying to rent Little Miss Sunshine.

I’ve been wanting to see this movie since we caught the preview before Wordplay last summer, but its one-week stay in our local arthouse coincided with the Great Babysitter Drought, and somehow we haven’t gotten around to renting it yet. But its buzz has been steadily growing among our friends and acquaintances, and now it’s even gotten several Oscar nods. It’s time to see this movie.

So now I’m at my local Blockbuster, staring down a wall of not ten, not twenty, but a hundred copies of Little Miss Sunshine. For some reason I find this mildly depressing. I grab a copy and head to the register.

All I want to do is give the clerk my $2.50 and hie on home. But she is friendly and wants to bond over my choice of movie.

“This is such a great movie!” yeah that’s what I’ve heard. “Everyone I’ve talked to about it likes it, except one person.” yeah, well. (for lack of anything else to say) there’s always that one person. “I know! And they ruin it for the rest of us.” silence (thinking: no they don’t. I’m perfectly comfortable liking something most other people don’t like, much less one other person.) “Well, you have this ‘til Monday, and with the bad weather coming, I recommend that you stay in and watch it over and over.” (silent.) “It’s that kind of movie! I’ve seen it five times!” (oh my fucking god. now I don’t even want to see the damn thing…)

There was a lot I liked about Little Miss Sunshine. Steve Carrell gave his best performance since Forty Year Old Virgin. The character Olive was impossible not to love, and I found her silent, angsty brother endearing (and, disturbingly, a little hot). The push-starting-the-VW-van gag never got old, and the all-family dance sequence toward the end was pure pleasure. But overall I was disappointed. The whole movie had sort of a bad flavor for me.

Damn you, hyperfriendly Blockbuster clerk.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Awww - too bad. I went in with no expectations and ended up loving it. Damn you, perky Blockbuster clerk!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Orange said...


I saw Little Miss Sunshine at the cinema with a friend (it was her second time seeing it). I rented it from Netflix so Mr. Tangerine could see it...and he seems to have no interest. Do I force him, or should I just send the movie back and move on to The Devil Loves Prada? (Or Murderball. That one arrived from Netflix five months ago, and we still haven't felt like watching it. It sits on my desk gathering dust motes.)

10:47 AM  
Blogger Esereth said...

I have experienced the phenomena of which you speak. Nothing like an unadmirable person chirping with love for a artist book movie anything to make it unsavory.

I was totally attracted to the son, too. But he's like 22 so it's okay.

Did the movie feel cold to you? I found it neither cold or warm, but kinda fresh, even though zany roadtrip is an old story.

1:18 PM  
Blogger DoctorMama said...

Orange, I'd give it up. it's so painful to have someone ruin a movie in retrospect by saying, "What was it you saw in this?"

The best way to see a movie is to have one person you trust say, "You should see this!" but not tell you anything at all about the movie. Which is pretty much how I saw LMS, and I did love it. (I guess Mr. Tangerine doesn't subscribe to this method.)

(But I stress, this only works if you trust the person not to direct you toward anything that could be described on the DVD box as "harrowing.")

7:57 PM  
Blogger DoctorMama said...

And also, Orange, you are such an attention-mongering whore. Wordplay indeed! A little fame just went right to your head, didn't it?

8:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm terribly disappointed for you, but that's the way it rocks and rolls sometimes. No biggie. I saw it at Sundance with almost no preconceptions and fell madly in love with it--more like my love for Eddie Vedder than my love less deep and smart and cool. Eh. That worked well--not. (I'm reviving the use of "not" because I've lost my ability to be properly sarcastic. Siiiiigh.)

Anywho. I'm glad you at least found some good in it. If you haven't seen "Puccini for Beginners" then I would recomnend it. It was another of the films I saw that year (along with the revered "Wordplay"!!). I will tell tell you nothing else. It was not wildly original, but I liked it. It made me smile...

2:53 PM  

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