Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
It's New Year's Eve. If you're in the same situation I'm in, then you're not invited to a party; you don't have a significant other to tolerate you; you're at home with your dogs, or maybe your cats; and you prefer the company of your dogs or cats to other human beings, not that there are any human beings who would toast the New Year with you anyway.
Just in case you haven't figured out what to do tonight, or if you want something to do tomorrow when you're hungover, I can recommend a couple of movies.
The first is Crazy, Stupid, Love. Steve Carell stars as Cal, along with Julianne Moore as Emily. Cal and Emily go out to dinner one night, they've enjoyed a delicious meal, Cal suggests they share a dessert, and when he tells Emily, Let's say what we want at the same time, Cal say creme brulee, while Emily says she wants a divorce. Dessert? Divorce? What's the difference? Cal's out; Emily's boyfriend is in.
This movie is amusing, and it has two stand out performances. The first is Cal and Emily's son, Robbie --played by Jonah Bobo -- who gives his dad excellent advice, and is heartbreakingly sweet because he's in love with his teenage babysitter.
The second performance comes from the great Ryan Gosling as Jacob, a suave bachelor who teaches Cal never-fail tricks to get a woman into bed. Gosling is hilarious, but ultimately, touching and personable. I've had a bit of a thing for Ryan Gosling since I saw the indie film Lars and the Real Girl. Gosling = Great
An even better movie, whether or not you've read the book, is The Help. It's well made and every performance is excellent. I thought it was rushed into production after the novel became a success and that it wouldn't be very good. I am pleased to say I was wrong.
It's the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, and Skeeter, a recent graduate of Ole Miss, convinces the local black maids to tell their stories to her for a book about the work they do for white people. Of course, the book is called The Help. The black women have some pretty wild stories to tell, and a few sweet ones.
Hilly Holbrook, a.k.a. Two-Slice Hillie (Bryce Dallas Howard), is the Queen Bitch of the Jackson Junior League, and she makes the most of her part.
Viola Davis's quiet dignity as Aibileen Clark absolutely glows.
I certainly hope I see some award nominations for this film
So if you want to look at TV on Demand tonight for something to watch, or if you're still in the mood to pop out to a Red Box so you can pick up beer and popcorn at the same time, Crazy, Stupid, Love. and The Help are my two recommendations.
Infinities of love,
Lola, who is really sick of people shooting off fireworks and guns and it's not even close to midnight.
Happy New Year!