In the Fox household we are democratic when it comes to seeing movies. Helaine and I take turns choosing which picture we’ll see. First, she’ll pick a great movie. Then I’ll pick something neither of us ends up liking.
That’s not how it’s supposed to work, but why lie?
Our choices today were Shopgirl, Steve Martin’s well reviewed adaptation of his very thin book, and Good Night and Good Luck. GN & GL was also very well received and has the celebrity cachet of George Clooney, producer.
We saw Good Night and Good Luck and both Helaine and I were disappointed.
It is a story I know well. In the mid-1950s Edward R. Murrow, the patron saint of broadcast news, took a moral stand (with the grudging backing of William S. Paley, who owned CBS) against Wisconsin’s Senator Joseph McCarthy.
No doubt, there are parallels to this story which are still applicable today.
It is inspiring to see someone with the courage of his convictions. I am not criticizing Murrow. We need modern day Murrows.
The problem is, I just found the movie ploddingly slow.
Yes, it was very stylish and beautifully shot in very stark black and white. There was more cigarette smoking than I’ve seen in a movie in a very long time – maybe ever! Did everyone smoke back then?
Dianne Reeves was featured prominently singing jazz for effect. She has a beautiful voice, but it slowed things down for me.
I’m glad I saw the movie… energized by it… but I wish I would have enjoyed it as much as I’m sure we would have enjoyed Shopgirl.
I did have an ulterior motive for seeing this movie where I saw it. There is a fairly new theater in Downtown New Haven: The Criterion. I wanted a chance to go, be supportive of New Haven business and see what had been built.
The theater itself is very nice. Our particular screening room was about 170 seats, well padded though not reclining. The sound system was excellent. I knew that just by listening to the music that preceded the show.
The problem is, going to New Haven added $6¹ to our movie cost. We had to pay to park in the garage across the street. Seeing the same movie in North Haven or Orange would have eliminated that cost.
Parking validation anyone?
Having us in town was good for New Haven’s economy. After the movie, I talked Helaine into going to dinner. We headed up the block to the Temple Grill. Neither of us had been there before.
The dining area and bar in in the same room. We moved toward the back and sat down at a table set for four. While we decided what to get, our waitress brought a pail of warm (I assume freshly homemade) potato chips.
I ordered a Seafood Pie and Helaine got a Burger. The “pie” was really great with lots of tasty shrimp and scallops. I wouldn’t hesitate ordering it again. Helaine said her burger was OK.
So, that’s our exciting evening… and by 6:00 PM, we were on our way back home.
¹ – Since Helaine gets AAA discount coupons to Showcase Cinemas, the savings out of New Haven are even greater. I just can’t hold that discount coupon against the Criterion.