Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Get Smart," get pregnant?

The tv news is obsessed with the story of the teenage girls who made a pact to get pregnant and have babies together. Every station floats a theory or two as to what would drive these girls to do something so unbelievably foolish, and every one mutters the word, "Juno." Really? Did nobody watch the movie? Because it's not about a girl who gets pregnant and becomes a happy teenage mother with a fulfilling life - it's about a girl who gives her baby up for adoption. Was this a pact of teenage girls vowing to create and deliver healthy babies to infertile thirty-something would-be moms? I think not.

I get the other cultural references, though, like the glorification of celebrity pregnancy. From the first moment a gossip magazine referred to a pregnant belly as a "bump," pregnancy began to be treated as a fashion accessory and not the creation of a living thing with needs and demands and physical, financial, and emotional costs. "With child" is a woman who is already marked as having the responsibilities of a child, while "Nicole's bump" is just a minor and temporary inconvenience.

Look at me, all high and mighty and preachy.

I'm trying to regain my sanity, regather my wits, after a time-consuming and mind-consuming project at work ends. I now can get back to the rest of the job I was hired to do, but the few days this week when I could, I became grouchy and easily-annoyed and bored. I told myself I just needed the weekend to recover and rebound.

Yesterday, Friday, I decided after the last of 3 conference calls I'd shut down for the day. Use up some vacation hours, stop reading work email, hide out. I was so determined to escape and run, that I did just that - hung up the phone, grabbed my stuff, and was halfway to Manhattan when I realized I had no idea where I was going or why. This is not me; I'm a planner and a list maker.

Luckily, I'd synced my treo before I left, so, careful not to click on the work email icon, I navigated to Vindigo and the movie listings, and found that there was at least one I wasn't too late or too early for. I got off the subway and made my way to "Get Smart."

I love Steve Carrell and like Anne Hathaway, too. I used to love watching the "Get Smart" TV show back in its heyday. (Although whenever I think of it, I remember the other show from its star, "Don Adams's Screentest, " an acting competition where two people had to film a scene from a movie and the best won a prize. But the fun part of the show wasn't the acting, but that you were able to see some of the behind-the-scenes magic that seemed so amazing then, like green screens and immobile cars that rocked as if they were being driven. Things now that probably sound quaint, but we didn't have "The Making of" featurettes on DVDs or populating the TV before a movie even comes out.)

But, yes, back to the movie. As a someone who never sees action films, I would say that the long, drawn-out chase scenes bored me. I just wanted to get back to the scenes of gadgetry and dialog. Fortunately, Steve Carrell is allowed to be funny, a bit of a fool but of a hero, too, and Anne Hathaway is glam and smart in the best way. The movie flew by quickly enough that I walked out feeling I'd wallowed in some good ol' mindless, yet not mind-numbing, fun. Nothing great, nothing horrifying.

(The movie even threw a bone to my endless annoyance at seeing 20-something women romantically entwined with 40-something men, without any selfawareness that the dude is just too old, by having Anne's character admit that the facial reconstructive surgery that she underwent after her spy cover was blown also shaved off a few years. So she really wasn't 20 years younger than Carrell's Maxwell Smart, no matter how it looked.)

There should be other movies I want to see this weekend, but I'm not really finding any. Today I've mostly slept and read. Maybe another movie tomorrow, when it's supposed to rain most of the day.


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