Family Movie Night
By Karyn Bowman
Ah, summer time.
It is hot and muggy and appearing to be never ending. It is also the month of weddings.
The husband and I will celebrate 21 years of marriage this week. Our wedding took place at Starved Rock State Park. They had recently built the platforms looking out at the Illinois River. We took full advantage, forced family and friends to climb the stairs to our area.
It was a hot day, the temperature hit 95. We had a cooler of drinks along so people wouldn’t get dehydrated. But it was great to have so many family members there for our celebration. Even the Texas Bowmans came to see their brother finally get married.
One of our favorite activities together has always been watching movies. One of our first dates attending a screening of Wolf starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer. It’s a well done movie about a meek and mild publisher who becomes a new man after a bite by a wolf on a lonely Vermont road. Everything changes for the publisher. He regains his lust for life and jumps into a battle at work against James Spader.
The movie is atmospheric, filled with great lines, and a solid performance by Nicholson Pfeiffer, and James Spader. But this isn’t our favorite movie to watch as a couple.
That movie is Forget Paris starring Billy Crystal and Debra Winger. Most romantic comedies end once our two leads finally become a couple. But this movie gets going once the star-crossed lovers finally get uncrossed. Sure it is fun to fall in love but sustaining it is the hard part.
We enter the scene as one couple celebrates their upcoming wedding with friends at an Italian restaurant in New York City. The woman is certain they have the most unusual story as to how they met. But her-soon-to-be husband knows a more unusual story and proceeds to tell the first part. As more friends arrive, we hear more of the story of love gained, love lost, love regained with a happy ending until it’s not happy.
Not that this couple don’t try hard; they have to work things out while dealing with long work-related road trips, sick parents, and failed fertility treatments. We get front row seats for the fights, the make-up sessions, and reunions as Mickey and Ellen try to figure out love in the modern era.
Billy Crystal co-wrote, produced, directed, and co-starred in this gem of a movie. He has a great partner in Debra Winger who gamely takes what ever is thrown at her and runs with it, including a pigeon trapped on sticky paper. Their dialogue is real, the actions heartfelt. I never doubted for a moment the emotions I saw, never doubted the arguments that took place.
This is not a movie for kids with a few scenes of sexy behavior. Besides the content being very grown-up. I doubt if many kids would want to watch this movie. The teens might, if just to snicker about this or that scene. Otherwise, it is a fun movie that is a little racy at times about the trials and tribulations of marriage after the great build up of romance.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.