Sometimes I Feel Cheated…

My friend and I went to the movies last night and saw two films, back to back. Silly, I thought that there would be about 10 minutes to spare in between films, but er….well, film #1, Burn After Reading, which was at the far end of the Cinemark, was over at 7:58. Mamma Mia, which was on the exact opposite end of the theater, started at 8:00.

I stood in line for pop corn, while Cynthia went to buy our Mamma Mia tickets. The popcorn guy was especially sluggish, and Cynthia was having an argument with the kiosk – then she discovered she was swiping her card the wrong way. Tickets and popcorn finally in hand, we dashed as quickly as we could to theater 18 (from theater 2).

Phew! The only preview we missed was something for High School Musical. That’s cool. Claimed our seats, went potty, and sat down prepared (almost) to see Pierce Brosnan sing to Meryl Streep.

We did wish we had allowed some time to process Burn After Reading, though – what a bizarre movie; bizarre on so many levels. Bizarre that I actually liked Brad Pitt’s character – he was very funny, endearing, and lovable, and…bizarre that I despised George Clooney’s character so much that I sat there wanting him to die. Yet, in the midst of a stream of horrible language and marital infidelity I found myself laughing – laughing a LOT. It was very dark, very absurd, and pretty clever. I would NOT recommend it though because I do have a reputation to protect…I don’t think I’ll be adding it to my collection, but it was one of those clandestine little encounters that you don’t want to relive but don’t really regret….and you’ll always look back on it with a bittersweet sense of shame and pleasure all at once.

It was a difficult transition to make, from the dark and dirty streets of DC to the bright, sunny, happy-go-lucky island near Greece where we find Meryl Streep preparing for her daughter’s wedding day. Her daughter discovered that three different and delightful men might be her father (this is so wrong on so many levels but bear with me) and she secretly invited the three of them to the wedding. Mom hasn’t seen these guys since their three separate rolls in the sand together 20 years ago. I thoroughly loved Meryl and Pierce singing “SOS” to one another, as well as Meryl singing “The Winner Takes it All” to Pierce on the beach at sunset – oh my word, what a beautiful scene, and it broke my heart.

This movie was fun, full of dancing and singing and Abba songs….and did I mention it was FUN? I really enjoyed it and also felt a little cheated. I wished that I had taken the plunge when I was 20 to become a bit of a vagabond and tour the world, or at least, get out of Pennsylvania before settling down and having a family.

Since I have no idea really who my father is (my biological father…I know his name, I know he’s dead, and I know he was not in the least bit like Pierce Brosnan) and I never knew my biological mother (though I think she may have been a bit on the wild side like Meryl Streep’s character) I could understand the young Sophie wanting to know her dad.

She was lucky – she got to grow up on an island paradise and get three good looking, well-to-do, and nice men to be her Dad.

I feel cheated a bit because I never knew my father or my real mother, and I feel cheated because I was too chicken to take chances when I was young.

That’s why we have movies – for $8, you can live anywhere you want and be anyone you want to be….even if it’s only for 103 minutes.


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