Monday, February 15, 2010

LA and the movies

Michael and I watched "500 Days of Summer" last night, which I probably liked more than he did. I've been quite a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever since "Third Rock from the Sun" was on TV. Perhaps it wasn't a truly great show, but it had its moments, and the acting was quite superb (John Lithgow, Jane Curtain...). I think I 'appreciated' the movie more than I liked it - the structure, for instance. Also, I found snippets of the movie hysterical (getting drunk in your 20's - such an experience), I really enjoyed some of the movie-within-movie playfulness, and I loved the music - so many great 80's songs from The Smiths and The Pixies (okay, that was a karaoke performance in the movie, but still!). Michael did the eye-roll thing when I said that I liked the soundtrack. I suppose that's a too-typical comment?
But what I did enjoy about the movie was seeing shots of Los Angeles in it. I'm not a huge film buff, but I enjoy movies, just as much as any other person, and my taste is more discerning than not, depending on the occasion. Living in LA, I find that I have developed a love-hate relationship with "the Industry", as it's known. I occasionally do get the slight thrill when I see someone mildly famous (like last weekend, at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena, a random sighting of a B-list actress whom I recognized, to my own chagrine and delight). Despite not having cable to watch TV, Michael and I stay well abreast of some of the shows, and my "US Weekly" informs me of the newest hunks and latest celebutants out there. Good times.
All of that aside, I honestly like watching a movie that IS about the city of Los Angeles, or about some aspect of life here. Not that they all need to be or can be "Chinatown" (LOVE that movie, although I do believe that Roman Polanski should face justice of some sort, despite the outcry), but it is cool to see a building that was in "Blade Runner" (for instance, the Bradbury Building, which was also in "500 Days of Summer" - quite the wink or nod or both). A few favorites are "Laurel Canyon", "The Player", "The Big Lebowski", "The Big Sleep" and "In a Lonely Place".
Not that my life resembles the excitement that some of these movies present. Perhaps I watch movies to experience that thrill? I suppose that we all watch them for one reason or another, whether its pure entertainment, laughter, tears or escapism, a good movie can transport us, sometimes to another moment and another place. Funny that I enjoy movies that transport to a different LA from the one that I experience daily.

*A few random thoughts:
- I disliked the female character, Summer, and wonder if that was the intent or if I was alone in that.
- Despite disliking her, I fully understood not wanting to define oneself as a 'girlfriend'. Michael and I never defined ourselves in such a way, and now we're married. Random.
- I loved what his friend said about his wife - how the girl/woman of his dreams wasn't anything like his wife (would have big boobs, etcetera) but that his wife was so much better than the woman of his dreams.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I love movies in general. Growing up in The Valley and going to high school with some sort-of-famous people made it all seem very accessible. I also love movies about L.A. "Laurel Canyon," "The Player," and "Big Lebowski" are favorites of mine too. I also liked "(500) Days of Summer." I thought it was well-made, a different spin on a familiar tale. I like to criticize L.A. a lot (the smog, traffic, crime, etc). I miss out on some of its beauty at times. Living in Orange County has distanced me quite a bit from L.A. Everything in Southern CA is just so far apart.