The weekend quickly disappeared in a fast-forward WHOOSH of chatting and talking and discussing and many other synonyms for flapping our gums endlessly at one another. True, Kira and I speak several times a week on the computer, anyway, but something about being together, in person, for that one weekend a year makes it suddenly VERY IMPORTANT that we discuss everything from the Good Old Days That Really Were Kind Of Sucky back when we were both single moms and despaired of life ever getting better to how we can possible arrange for her Max to marry my Chickadee and the kids to think it was all their idea and we had nothing to do with it.
Inbetween all of that talking, and also sometimes DURING it, we figured that another benefit of our time together with NO CHILDREN OR SPOUSES was that we could partake of some movies we otherwise might not see. This would’ve been fine if we’d been hitting up our local movie store, but instead, we settled in with my Netflix account to see what was available via livestreaming.
I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to Netflix, it turns out.
The thing is—no matter how many times reality proves this not to be true—I remain convinced that the ability to livestream movies from Netflix is the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is probably because we have had Iron Man 2 sitting here on DVD for the last six months. I mean, we have a Netflix queue, sure. But what happens when you have two very different people putting movies into that queue is that a disc arrives and whomever didn’t order it turns to the other person and says, “REALLY??” and then the disc sits there, collecting dust. Back in the old (read: pre-livestreaming) days, we merely wasted $6/month or whatever it was, playing that game. But now we justify the money because we can livesteam programming even as Iron Man 2 continues to serve as a passive-aggressive drink coaster.
I guess if everything you could get on disc was available to livestream, we wouldn’t have this problem. But Netflix employs a complicated algorithm to determine what’s available via livestreaming on any given day. I can’t be positive of exactly how it goes, but I believe it’s something like this:
Collective review < 2 stars = +5 to livestreaming
Currently in Mir's queue = -400 to livestreaming
Starring people you've never heard of = +10 to livestreaming
Starring people you've heard of in a movie you've never heard of = +500 to livestreaming
Kira and I combed through the available offerings and began adding movies to my queue. Because I have a Roku! And we could watch all kinds of things without having to drive to Blockbuster! And that gave us more time to drive to the grocery store and purchase a nutritious dinner of a giant hunk of Brie, fruit, nuts, and crackers.
On Friday night we settled in to be entertained while hardening our arteries. But to counteract the possible health ramifications of all that cheese, we also had some wine. This turned out to be a good thing, because the movies we watched? Required wine.
First up: The Joneses, starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny. The offered summary of this movie is: “A seemingly perfect family moves into a suburban neighborhood, but when it comes to the truth as to why they’re living there, they don’t exactly come clean with their neighbors.”
Kira and I, naturally, translated this to mean: “A seemingly perfect family moves into a suburban neighborhood, but there is a plot twist that involves David Duchovny getting naked.” (This is how The Joneses ended up on my Roku.)
Spoiler: David Duchovny doesn’t get even a little naked. Which means this movie is completely pointless. But at least the plot has multiple, gigantic holes in it, and the movie has a trite and predictable ending.
Undeterred, we moved on to our second selection, Chocolate. The summary here is: “An autistic woman with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother’s debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.”
Kira and I translated this to mean “This is a somewhat campy foreign film that may actually portray autism in a positive light and also—judging by the title—have something to do with chocolate.”
Spoiler: This movie has absolutely nothing to do with chocolate. At all. Apparently when this film was released in Thailand it was titled Fury, which makes a lot more sense. It is not campy or amusing in any way, but extremely violent and sad and also confusing. But at least it stars perhaps the most unflattering and unrealistic portrayal of an autistic person that we’ve ever seen, so there’s that! We spent half this movie discussing how the quality of Monkey’s life might be improved if he, too, were a furious martial arts savant. Kira may have pointed out that because I am not entangled with the Japanese mob that might not be as useful as it sounds, really.
Please note: a wheel of Brie only lasts through two truly awful movies.
The next day we attempted to watch our final selection, The Hebrew Hammer. The summary is listed as, “An orthodox Jewish blaxploitation hero saves Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus’s evil son.”
Kira and I translated this to mean: “… blaxploitation is a real word…?”
It is worth noting here that of our three selections, this one had the lowest aggregate rating, but was BY FAR the most entertaining.
Spoiler: I’m not entirely sure that Andy Dick is playing a character, here; I think it’s possible he actually IS the evil son of Santa Claus. Kira and I agreed on this point. Still, this movie is regularly laugh-out-loud funny if you don’t mind your humor a little irreverent and creepy.
The sad news, here, is that halfway through the film we were hit with a big thunderstorm, and we lost power. Woe! Sadness! The power came back on a few minutes later, but then my Roku was all, “Hello? Is there a network? I think there’s a network problem! Log in! No, don’t! Netflix? I’ve never heard of Netflix!” and we never did see the rest of it. Which is kind of tragic, because I’d like to know if any of the Jewish characters in the movie ever eat anything besides bagels.
We soothed our sadness over this tragedy by going out for a ridiculously delicious dinner thoughtfully provided by my husband, and I have to say that seared scallops went a long way towards making us forget that our movie had been rudely interrupted. By the time we got to the creme brulee it’s possible I no longer cared about the fact that Andy Dick had killed Santa Claus.
So as you can see, the answer to “Did you and Kira have plenty of quality time, Mir?” is a resounding “Hell yes.”