Monday, September 1, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

... September first rolls around and the college students descend on Boston. Well, it's not just the college students, it's the fact that I would estimate 75-85% of leases begin on September first, so everyone and their grandma is moving today.
Except for me! This marks the first time in three years that I haven't had to move or help Dan move. Last year we lucked out when we got this place and got to move in on the 15th of August. We can end our lease whenever we want, so we'll not have to move on September first for a long time.
How bad is it to move in Boston on the first day of the ninth month of the year?
So bad that two years ago when we tried to rent a UHaul, we had to drive to Natick to get one. And it was still one size bigger than we needed.
This day could also be called free furniture day. The sidewalk is littered with people's cast-offs. If you're looking for home furnishings and don't really care about the whole used thing, it's a pretty good deal. I've been keeping an eye out for a coffee table, but I know I won't find a good one. Coffee tables are like couches, you don't throw it out until it's seriously damaged.

Yesterday Dan and I watched The Savages and Smart People.
These two movies were similar in narration and tone, to the point where you could think they had the same director.

The Savages is a sweet little movie about dealing with mortality and the flaws of everyone. A brother and sister, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, are forced to care for their elderly father who is suffering from Dementia. Their father was abusive and abandoned them as children, and then their mother took off as well. Needless to say, hilarity does not ensue. The narrative drives home the isolation of the characters, even when they are with each other. A filter is used for most of the film, making daylight bright white and unforgiving. This was a very good movie, it falls in the distinctively independent category with the likes of The Squid and the Whale. You'll laugh, you'll feel the oppressive awkwardness and loneliness. It strives for realism. Life is complicated, death is not. Good acting, good story, good direction and cinematography. Completely worthwhile. Not life-changing, but a good movie.

Smart People is an odd comedy about two intelligent misanthropes, Dennis Quaid as a literary doctor at Carnegie Mellon who thinks no one else can possibly understand literature the way he does and his daughter, Ellen Paige, striving for a perfect SAT score and part of the young republicans who acts as a housewife since her mother died about ten years ago. Enter the doctor's adopted brother, played by Thomas Haden Church and the beautiful doctor and ex-student, Sarah Jessica Parker. The collective forces of these irresistibly likable people force the father and daughter to re-evaluate how they treat others. We see their coldness is a defense mechanism- by treating others as idiots they are able to remain emotionally distant. The acting is great, the story is good- except that you wonder why Janet (Parker) pursues the crumudgeonly narcissist in the first place. The son is left as an afterthought- he is as absent in the movie as he tries to be in his father's and sister's lives. Very funny movie, the dialogue reminds you of Juno, except more realistic. This film also reminded me of The Squid and the Whale

Watch The Squid and the Whale. It's fantastic.

No comments: