Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Cinematic Anti-Heroine

The stores are doing it. A few of my friends have been doing it for a while. At work, we're darn near doing it. I'm totally doing it. Getting in the Christmas spirit. We're talking songs, movies, decorations, colors, decorations, you name it!

I know, I know, how obscene this can be to you Scrooges out there, who insist on no mention of the word Christmas till at least the turkey's cleared from the table at Thanksgiving. I must admit, I'm surprised at how shameless our consumer-driven, consumable society is, as witnessed through the fact that Halloween was barely over before trees and stockings were lining the aisles at most shopping malls. But, as much as I'm surprised by this, I doth not protest! After all, what's so wrong with celebrating Christmas? If I had my way, we'd be doing this on the first Thursday of every month, the second Tuesday, the third Thursday and every single Sunday!!!

Anyway, I was at Ikea last night, my totally favorite place in the whole wide world, and the decorations are out in full force. It drives me into the festive, cheerful, Fa-la-la-la-la singing mood. It doesn't take much to send me other this edge. Just the word "rejoice" the other day broke me into full fledged humming of "O Come Emmanuel" for over an hour. Which led, rather smoothly, I might add, to "Go Tell It On The Mountain", which transitioned to "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming". Wow.

So last night, as I settled into my snuggly sofa (the aloneness of this sometimes gets to me, and then there are other times when I relish being able to stretch my legs out over the entire length of it), cozy blanket around my shoulders, another one on my legs, bowl of popcorn, mug of hot chocolate and remote in hand....what did I put in, but The Family Stone?

I mean, it's perfect, right? It's a Christmas movie. A love story. A family story. A Connecticut story. It's got Dermot Mulroney AND Luke Wilson. There are more chiseled jawlines in that sentence than in an entire room of Greek statues. Whooo! And something about the liberal free-spiritedness of the family, Stone, makes me smile. Especially when set against the uptight, fidgety prissiness of Sarah Jessica Parker as Meredith, the antithesis to their free-wheelin', pot-smokin', cuss-signing family.

I dig her in this film actually. I sympathize with her. I feel her pain - her tight bunned, throat clearing, control freak pain. That's the exact way I feel around my own family, Kaiser, aaaalllll the time! As I was watching this movie, for like the fourteenth time, last night, an overwhelming sense of sympathy came over me for her character. It just hit me how hard she was trying, and yet how miserably she failed. She was not the villain, in this film, though the scenes where she earnestly tries to defend her stance on homosexuality and parenting, would make her seem so. She was no more than misunderstood, both by the Stone family, and by her own self. Her intentions were sincere, her stance conservative but eager, yet she just didn't have the gumption to make it in the face of their familial assault on her.

But there is so much more to this movie, than just her uppityness, that I like.

There's the interactions between a family of many siblings, that makes me long for a family of my own. There is the fact that they have this grand old house, yet it's cozy, warm, lived in, with many scenes set in the cluttered kitchen. I just love the circular driveway though, and the big old pine tree out front. There's the warm, loving acceptance and spirit of tolerance, amongst the siblings (Meredith aside), that makes me wish I came from a family a little less judgemental and critical. And then there's Christmas. Lots and lots of Christmas. And Snow. And Luke Wilson.

So, this was my kick-off to the holiday season. I'm committed to doing one Christmas movie a week till the big day.

Next week, a classic - White Christmas!

P.S. A bright, shiny dime for "Spot the Irony" in this post! Come on' think about it people!

No comments: