Monday, August 04, 2008


This was a day of slight respite from the heat wave, which was a blessing at church! I worshiped at St. Luke’s and sang a jazzy version of “Sing My Soul His Wondrous Love” while Mick did the housecleaning for the week.

Over lunch we home-screened our first of three films, What Love Is, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., ably backed by an ensemble including Gina Gershon, Ann Heche, Sean Astin and Matthew Lillard. Lillard especially brought acutely rhythmic timing and excellent energy to his role, but the ensemble was excellent throughout. The real star of this film was Mars Callahan, who wrote and directed the piece. His dialogue was witty and the rapid-fire direction was reminiscent of the old “talkies” of the 1930s and ‘40s.

The plot was slight, a look at the relationships between men and women, men and men and women and women, all surrounding the night Gooding’s character invites some friends over to be with him when he proposes to his girl. However the play has three acts – men only, women only and the men and women together. The device works very well and entertains generously. I laughed myself silly several times.

We next sleepwalked through Sleepwalking, continuing to watch simply out of curiosity. We wanted to see if there might be any possible redeeming virtue of this film. It portrayed life as flat, banal, inane and amoral and the characters were the counterpoint to the Great Plains flatlands.

Our interest yielded no joy. There was no reason for this film to be made. It was Charlize Theron’s film and yet we saw very little of her. James Reedy played her brother, who must take care of Theron’s daughter, played by Anna Sophia Robb, when Theron’s character disappears. Woody Harrelson was unmemorable in support of Reedy’s character, while Dennis Hopper offered a stark portrayal of Theron’s and Reedy’s brutalizing father.

Our final home-screened film was Flawless, starring Demi Moore and Michael Caine. I enjoyed this film about the diamond industry and its politics and morals. While the plot was slight, it was well realized, with a tight screenplay and excellent star turns for Moore and Caine. I especially enjoyed a long scene which takes place in a sewer, with the cinematographer catching the light dancing over the effluent and illuminating the actors as Moore discovers the clever method Caine has used to bilk the diamond industry of a billion dollars worth of its gems. This was fun!

Over supper we found yet another film on the tube, Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. An aging Gregory Peck was poorly cast as a newspaper reporter who finds Hepburn, playing a princess, asleep and alone in the big city. Hepburn is running away from her onerous responsibilities. She is luminous in this film, for which she won an Oscar.

I love the sensibility of black and white! In some ways it is a better creative medium than color, asking the eye to see less while the imagination sees more.

What a great day at the movies! We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Gary surfaced after his weekend with his guests at suppertime and watched Roman Holiday with us as well as sharing our Gaia Meditation, at which I offered the closing prayer.