Things To Do While Hibernating – What to Watch

couch-potatoLast time I posted, I talked about my great desire to spend the winter hibernating. I know many of you share this desire, and while annoying petty inconveniences like family, friends, and jobs make total winter hibernation impossible, we have to do what we can to support our team. I guess that would be Team Couch Potato.

So on those occasional snow days or holidays when you DO get to wrap up in your snuggie and avoid the world, what should you do with yourself? Besides the wrapping up in the snuggie thing.

An extensive and scientific survey, which involved me e-mailing a bunch of friends and saying, Hey, what do you like to do on snow days?, shows the Top Three Snow Day/Hibernation activities are:

1.  Watch a good movie.

2.  Eat some comfort food and drink hot chocolate.

3.  Read a good book.

So let’s take these in turn. Today, in Part One, we’ll cover a few movies that you might want to watch and one you should really avoid.

In 23 days, Ben Affleck’s Argo is coming out on DVD, just in time for those miserable late February days when you can barely move off the sofa at all. This is the best movie I’ve seen in a good while. Action, adventure, Best Use of Storyboards in a Film, tension and tragedy combined with feel-good, uplifting ending. The only way to improve on it would’ve been if they’d managed to work in a song or two for Victor Garber.

I’ve been crushing on Ben Affleck for well over a decade. Yeah, he was good in Good Will Hunting and he co-wrote it and all, but it was his turn as Richard Burbage Ben Affleck as Richard Burbagein Shakespeare in Love that won my heart. We broke up for awhile over that whole JLo thing, but then he married the girl of my dreams, the other  Jennifer and she appears to have had an excellent influence on him. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now the very stupendous Argo prove that Matt Damon isn’t the only smart one in their epic bromance.

In fact, you could really have a Ben Affleck festival! Start with Good Will Hunting, follow up with Shakespeare in Love, skip some of that dispiriting middle period (we must not mention the “G” word)and then top it off with Argo. If you can’t wait until Argo arrives on DVD in late February, check out Gone Baby Gone, which is grim but excellent. Or go for the somewhat lighter The Company Men, a great little movie about the recent Financial Armageddon.

If Ben Affleck isn’t your thing, you could choose something else but do not make the mistake I made this week and watch The Deep Blue Seastarring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. I really like both of them, but they seemed to have almost no chemistry in this film and the whole premise made me crazy. It was one of those WWII British tortured love affair relics. She’s married to a lord and repressed and miserable even though he treats her really well and seems to worship her. She takes up with his golf buddy Tom, a cad and a bounder and an ex-RAF pilot. She knows he’s just toying with her, but ¡SHE MUST HAVE HIM! So of course, they live together for awhile and cause a scandal and then he gets tired of her and she tries to kill herself so many times it makes Anna Karenina seem positively well-adusted and then they have a good-bye talk and he leaves to go work as a test pilot in Rio. The End.

AUGH!!!!! It was such a MALE view of women. Her feelings for Tom the pilot were of course “true love.” And she was just so incomplete without him that she would have to kill herself. YAWN.
Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston (Photo credit: gdcgraphics) never once looks this happy in “The Deep Blue Sea”

Honestly, it made me think of Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight. It was like a well-mannered, vampire-free version of both, because it was a doormat of a woman obsessively throwing herself at a guy who had clearly been using her for sex and was clearly bored with her now. I’m so so so sick of this being constantly portrayed in the media as HOW WOMEN IN LOVE SHOULD BE. The notion that this is what constitutes “true love” is what leads women like Rihanna to consider going back to abusive assholes like Chris Brown and it’s one of the contributing factors in how an unstable girl like Ophelia, mentioned previously in this blog, develops suicidal obsessions over a boy. I’m so tired of women being spoon-fed this drivel that true love involves nothing more than hot lust and a borderline psychotic obsession with the object of one’s desire, no matter how badly he treats you or how indifferent he is to your feelings.

PLUS it was just plain dull. While some critics described the pace as “stately” or “elegant,” I would say it was  more like tedious. And for me, there was just never any sense of real passion and chemistry to account for the mess this woman made of her life. There was one sex scene, and that wasn’t even very hot. Geez, at least when Diane Lane makes a wreck of her life for the sake of a cad and a bounder in the overwrought modern classic, Unfaithful, it makes some kind of sense. Her passion is clearly overwhelming, whereas Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea kind of look likes her passion could easily be resolved with a couple of aspirin and a nice cuppa tea. Painfully British and annoyingly precious, but kind of fun to hate-watch.
So actually, now that I think about it, this could make a pretty fun Winter Hibernation movie. And as a caveat, I do have to point out that the critics just ate this one up with a spoon. Slate and The New York Times just loved it. And I truly do love Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. They’re both massively talent, and they both do fine work in this film. I just hated both their characters, and I hate the message this “love story” (and so many like it) perpetuates.

 

If you want to watch Rachel Weisz, check her out in Page Eight or The Constant Gardner. For non-Loki Tom Hiddleston action, check out War Horse, Wallander, or his turn as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Which, by the way, was a delight and you should add that one to your winter hibernation movie list too. After the Ben Affleck festival, of course.

 

Next post: What to EAT while hibernating. Hint – the more starch, the better!!!

 

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Comments

  1. Let me just post a comment on my own blog here to apologize to any casual reader who sees the exchange between Rita and myself and thinks we are too stupid to spell PRINCE HAL correctly. Curse you, Autocorrect!

  2. Thanks for stopping by our blog! I thought I’d return the favor and behold! More ruggedly handsome things to look at! –We may have very similar tastes, me thinkest. 😉

    ~Mae from http://galsgeeksandgrub.blogspot.com

  3. Okay, now both my comments are showing up. I should have waited before posting the new one. I’m too impatient.

    • I have no idea why both comments showed up at first, because I’d only approved one of them. So then I approved the other one too, so that your comment about the multiple comments would make sense. Oy. Lots of critics seemed to love “The Deep Blue Sea.” The actors are of course very good, and they are British, which tends to make everything sound better, no matter how unpleasant it might actually be. I just didn’t like the type of dysfunctional relationship it portrayed. I don’t have a problem with star-crossed love affairs and tragic romances – I loved Dr. Zhivago and The English Patient. But I hate stories about wildly unequal relationships – where one party is slavishly devoted to the other, no matter how badly the other behaves. Just not something I can comprehend, because that’s not a problem I’ve ever really had. Fortunately!

  4. I posted a comment then it went away. I love your review of Deep Blue Sea. Didn’t I read it was up for a SAG award? There’s no accounting for others’ tastes. I too loved Argo. I also loved Hiddleston as Loki. The only time I hibernate is if it’s snowing outside. Then I like to sit in front of the fire and read a good book, with a nice glass of wine. Have only done this once in my life, but it’s a fond memory.

  5. Loved the post, especially your review of The Deep Blue Sea. Didn’t I read that it was up for a SAG award? There’s no accounting for others’ tastes. I loved Hiddleston as Loki. I share your feelings about Argo. Also one of the best movies I’ve seen. The only time I get to hibernate is when I’m snowed in. I like to sit in front of the fire with a good book and a glass of wine.

    • Also meant to say – sadly, I have no fire to sit in front of. We’re always talking about adding a wood stove so that we can be more self-sufficient when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, but then we think about allergies and bugs on logs and the likelihood that SOMEONE in a house full of klutzes is bound to set the house on fire – and we just don’t bother.

  6. Tom Hiddleston plays Hall/Henry V in The Hollow Crown series (which I have yet to see, but it should be awesome (Jeremy Irons as Henry IV). Also my recommendation for a snuggle up and enjoy movie is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt.

    • I’ve heard about the Prince Hall thing but didn’t think it was available here. I’ll have to check it out. I definitely want to see Salmon Fishing in Yemen. In fact, Ewan McGregor would make an excellent Winter Hibernation Movie Festival subject too!

  7. Love the term “hate-watch.” You can waste a lot of time doing that. Great review of what sounds like a baaad movie. Thanks for the warning!

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