Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Scoop on Stuff

I am turning 44 next month. I have to keep repeating it, because the first time it popped into my head I got depressed. Why does 44 seem so much older than 43? The difference between early 40's and mid 40's I guess. Turning 40 wasn't as bad as turning 39 - being at the end of my 30's bugged more than being at the start of my 40's. It doesn't matter. I'm still older than most of my colleagues at work; I graduated high school before some were even born.

* * *

It's already August! I still feel like the summer has just started. I bought a bathing suit but have not worn it yet. I am not much of a swimmer and don't often have occasion to swim. A friend of mine just suggested going to Coney Island this weekend, which I might do if it's not in the 90's or, god forbid, 100's. Coney Island can be insane and crowded and loud and obnoxious, even in nice weather.

It's supposed to hit 100 today.

* * *

My friend just moved back to NYC after 5+ years in Europe, and she and her husband have rented an apartment just blocks from mine! It will be fun, but also strange, to have someone that close. My last experience with having a close friend in the neighborhood ended poorly when she stopped speaking to me. Oh, yes, the woman upstairs who I've alluded to but not yet fully explained. In a nutshell: we used to be friends, I got her the apartment upstairs, I asked if she could be less noisy in the mornings, she refused to speak to me again.

Of course this time will be different, as I'm not living in the same building with this other friend. But I can now do all the things I looked forward to doing with the first - pointing out the best place to buy fresh fish or ripe peaches, hanging out in Cobble Hill Park with an iced coffee and the NY Times, eating brunch at places I don't feel like going into alone, etc.

* * *

"Scoop" was pretty bad, and I'm a Woody Allen fan, although one that is resigned to the knowledge that he makes bad films ("Curse of the Jade Scorpion," "Anything Else") as well as good ones ("Matchpoint," "Husbands & Wives," and the older classics.) Worse than the sparsely written plot (with a dangling storyline that was grating on my nerves until he "wrapped it up" in a throwaway line in the last few minutes of the film) was Scarlett Johanssen. I don't want to blame her, as I've been impressed with Scarlett on other occasions, so I'll assume that Woody directed her to do a Woody Allen impression, and you can guess how successfully that came off. (The only Woody-ish character I've liked was John Cusack in "Bullets Over Broadway.") Her character is a budding journalist who goes undercover to unearth a possible serial killer, so sometimes it's hard to tell if she's playing a woman who's really bad at pretending to be someone else, or if it's simply bad acting. But then the empty facial expressions and awkward voice spills over into scenes where she is no longer undercover, but is being herself, and it's clear that she's flat-out uncomfortable in this role. And she looks - weird. Someone decided the best way to make her look frumpy and comedic is to pad her in unflattering clothes that make her look pregnant. I don't think that Scarlet Johanssen has that big a butt, and while I'm aware of the internet obsession with her breasts, even they were not displayed to much advantage. Now all of this is fine - I don't think that every character an attractive actress plays has to look like a goddess - but there was something off about the frumpiness in relation to the character. A pair of glasses and a fat ass do not a nerdy girl make, if the nerdiness isn't coming across in the acting itself.

At least Woody didn't attempt to script a relationship with her, although his character does pass himself off as her father instead of her grandfather. Yes, I know that Woody himself is having children in his late 60's, so being only 50 years older than a fictional daughter is probably a stretch.


Blogger madabandon said...

I turned 44 this year. It only freaks me out when I think of how I used to view 44 from the vantage point of, say, 25, or even 35. But it feels no different, and it is liberating, in a way. The only drag is that you end up having to spend more time thinking about doctors etc, since they want more from you. So take good care of yourself!

11:47 AM  
Blogger Pynchon said...

44, eh? I'll be 43 at the end of the month. We can mourn together.

You have a very young voice. I mean that as a compliment.

3:39 PM  
Blogger medusa said...

Thank you both. Weird, I found both of your blogs when I was surfing right when I started mine, and yours are two of the only I still visit. I didn't think about it before, but maybe because you are close to my age that it's easier for me to relate. But really, we all have very very different lives.

7:32 AM  

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