Seriously? I’m Trying to be Entertained Here!
This past weekend I was clearly channeling Michael Corleone from The GodFather: Part II.
Hey, I love a good flick or TV show as much as the next girl or guy but I usually know what I’m getting. Some days I’m in the mood for a drama with an Indie edge, other times it’s a light comedy, and sometimes I crave a meaty historical film that draws me into another time and place. I usually know what I’m getting based on the movie description … that is unless the description is misleading as it was with what turned out to be one rather moronic movie, Couples Retreat:
“the comedy follows four Midwestern couples who embark on a journey to a tropical island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three set out to jet ski, spa and enjoy some fun in the sun. They soon discover that participation in the resorts couples therapy is not optional. Suddenly, their group-rate vacation comes at a price. What follows is a hilarious look at real world problems faced by all couples.”
Yeah, it wasn’t my first choice either, but I deferred to be a gracious hostess to our uncle and aunt visiting from Virginia who wanted to give the comedy a try. It got awkward pretty fast when it turned out that the real reason behind the tropical trip was for a couple who couldn’t conceive to decide whether (after their infertility had all but destroyed their married life) they remembered how to have fun, and more importantly, if they had what it took to remain married. Hilarious NOT! The portrayal of said couple didn’t do much to erase any one-dimensional stereotypes either: uptight, crazed woman and emasculated, frustrated guy. They looked pretty wretched.
Not doing much to entertain here. Blech…
Okay — who wants some popcorn — !?
Our collective saving grace came afterward in watching Olympic highlights. Nothing like some shiny-faced, enthusiastic, talented athletes to lighten the mood.
With aunt and uncle on their way to visit more relatives we elected to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon catching up with the cheesy but entertaining Spartacus. Seemed safe enough until episode five focused on the infertility of the female protagonist — complete with a story line of a nubile, fertile, younger friend arranging a “fertility consultation” with the Priestess of Juno on the protagonist’s behalf. Ugh. Normally I prefer the non-gladiator scenes but manly gore was preferable at that moment.
Hey babe – would you like a beer or wine or whiskey? I know I do!
At least the portrayal of the condition in Spartacus was comically absurd — and accurate. The Priestess of Juno charged a very steep rate for her services — with no guarantees. Nailed it!
After dinner, we tuned into HBO’s Big Love only to learn that Nicky has been diagnosed with secondary infertility. Seriously!?
When did infertility become such a favored surprise plot line? I’m almost afraid now to turn on the television.
The saving grace, though, is that after this trio of stories I realized how far I’ve come. In the past I would more than likely have escaped to another activity or found some other viewing choice. I had to turn off Children of Men two years ago within minutes of the opening scenes. This time I watched the infertility portrayals with a more dispassionate, critical eye. The doctor in Big Love gave Nicky a frank assessment of her options, while in Couples Retreat, the reality was clearly distorted.
So in the interest of preparing others for what’s hiding in the sub-plots, any other film or TV shows that we should be prepared for??