Thursday, August 30, 2012
My Dearest Miss Austen,
My sincerest thanks to you and your mighty pen for allowing me to see the error of my ways with regard to my prejudices, as well as my own pride. Putting me through the emotional upheaval of the last year was the only way I could grow into the woman I am now: A grateful and blessed creature. My marriage to Fitzwilliam Darcy is all that I could have ever imagined and more. He is faithful, intelligent, and truly does possess the kindest and most loyal of hearts. Our life together at Pemberley is filled with laughter and friendship. I take daily walks in our gardens, attempting not to cry from the beauty that surrounds me.
That being said, why oh why, did you surround me with so many relatives who operate on the idiotic level? Lydia and my mother drove me nearly to the brink of insanity everyday, but at least I have love for them and can forgive their lack of intelligence. But Mr. Collins?!!?? Really, now? Why such a man to be my cousin and the heir to Longbourn, which by the way, I feel should never have been entailed away. Just because we are all daughters and females does not mean that we are not equal to men. I digress. Back to Mr. Collins! His constant barrage of senseless rhetoric is a thorn in my side. I tolerate him only for the sake of my dear friend, Charlotte. If you had made her slightly more handsome she could have chosen a husband with intelligence. Instead, she has chosen a fool. The constant influx of his pretentious notions on love and etiquette and God is almost more than I can bear, but then I remind myself how fortunate I am that I only see him a few times a year, and that my Mr. Darcy is quite the opposite. I immediately banish the thoughts, horrid ones indeed, that if I had been closer to poverty, or less pretty or less intelligent, I, too, might have chosen, if choice is even possible, such a man to be my husband. Therefore, I am grateful, despite the bumps and bruises along the way that you gave me the courage and mindfulness to believe in myself, and to know that the only reason to marry is for love.
With all my affection,
Mrs. Darcy, formerly Miss Elizabeth Bennet
Sunday, August 19, 2012
I try to keep up on films that are being made, but I don't remember hearing news about this film and the trailer for Hope Springs snuck up on me. It was one of those movies that I kind of wanted to see, but resigned myself to the fact that I won't see it anytime soon (my bf can't be dragged to this kind of film) and I wanted to see it with someone. It normally would have been with my mother but she is out of town. Then I got an invite from a good friend (Hey, Carl!) and off we went to spend date night with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell as the third wheel.
Kay and Arnold Soames are empty nesters who sleep in separate beds and go about their daily routines without variation. Kay would like to have sex with her husband as it's been a while, but Arnold always has an excuse. But Kay doesn't give up. She decides to take money from her own savings, buy plane tickets to Maine and spend a week in marriage counseling sessions with Dr. Bernie Feld (a very tamed down Carell). Arnold scoffs, but eventually goes with her, grumbling all the way (he's definitely a new generation Grumpy Old Man). The married couple reveal secrets about themselves and peel back the layers that have gathered over 30 years of marriage. Some news is welcomed while other news is disheartening and tough to hear. Kay wants sex. Arnold has lost interest. They've both become complacent in their own lives and relationship.
The film hinges on the performances of its two leads, and Streep and Jones are great in their roles. They're the heart of the film and without them the film would fail miserably because the plot itself is paper thin and the story is weak and tends to linger on the superficial. But that being said, I loved the characters. I felt for Streep's Kay as she tries to light a fire under her marriage, as she tries to look pretty for her husband, as she tries to find her sexual spark again. She transforms herself into this housewife with mom hair that I kept thinking made her look frumpy, but that's the beauty of Streep. She doesn't just play frumpy she becomes frumpy with a hint of something underneath. Jones is so crotchety in his oldness that as I laughed at his bitchiness I also wanted to punch him for it. I laughed a lot during this film (as did the audience) because some of the scenes were embarrassing, but realistic that it felt like we were flies on the wall. One second you're laughing and the next you're stifling a cringe as the heartbreak of awkward moments bounces off the screen and onto your lap. And Steve Carell is fantastic in his role as a marital therapist. He is understated and genuine and his tone is soft and deliberate. I really liked him in this film. He is more than just a funny face.
If you're a Streep fan and want to see how an aging couple deal with the empty nest (and in this case the empty bed) then Hope Springs is for you. You don't have to be an old married couple to enjoy it, or even old. The theme is universal and I think no matter your age or your relationship status this film is relatable. I just wish that some moments weren't glossed over and that a little bit more digging was done. But overall, I had a fun time out on a non-date date night for what is essentially a date movie.
It's taken me a week to sit down and write this review, and not because the film is bad. It's an okay action film, better than a lot of stuff that's been coming out of Hollywood lately. I just didn't care or remember much of the film once the film was over. So what did I take away from The Bourne Legacy? Ultimately, the title is all wrong. It sets you up for something that just doesn't quite come together, and the biggest problem is that Jason Bourne isn't in it.
Jeremy Renner (doing a good job with the script he was given) plays Aaron Cross (who thinks up these generic and silly Harlequin names?) and he's part of Operation Outcome, another one of those dark and secretive government programs. The film takes place in the past (just after the last Bourne movie ended) and Aaron is making his way across the wilderness, but what he doesn't know is that he, along with anyone involved in the program, have been deemed a liability and the government is getting rid of them. Cross survives the attempt on his life and makes his way toward Dr. Marta Shearing (the talented and classic beauty Rachel Weisz) who helped monitor the people in the program. She, too, survives more than one assassination attempt. The second one she is saved by Cross who quite literally comes out of nowhere, which is a good action sequence, but I kept thinking how did Cross get here? And how did he know to come there? And WTF?
Anyway that's about as much as I care to remember as the plot is convoluted and at times, silly, and well, kind of boring. It has a definite "been there, done that" vibe to it. It doesn't quite flow and is episodic in its limited scope. I liked the performances, but when I found out what Cross's secret was I felt a bit let down and didn't see this character as a leading man anymore. I couldn't help feeling that this movie is not a Bourne movie. Maybe if they called it something else then expectations wouldn't be there.
You definitely have to see the first Bourne movies in order to watch this one. This one piggybacks so much on those other films that if you're new to the series then you'll be lost. But even if you've seen those movies if it's been a while then it might be confusing. I haven't watched a Bourne movie in years and I felt a bit lost.