I have broken one of my own rules for living again this weekend. I should know better.
My rule, in case I haven’t already told you, is this:
Only go to movies that make you feel better when you’re leaving than you feel when you’re going in.
It’s a good rule. As long as I live by it, I do okay. But on very rare occasions, there are movies that I can’t stop myself from seeing even though I know good and well they go against my movie rule. Just like when I eat mac and cheese, or pizza, or homemade chocolate fudge straight out of the pan before it even has time to cool. I know better, but I go ahead and do it anyway.
I can always rationalize. I say this macaroni is whole wheat, or cheese has protein and calcium. I say to myself dark chocolate is good for you, they’ve done studies to prove it. Have some more!
This time I said to myself and to my husband, this may be the only time we ever get to see Julia Roberts and Meryl Steep together in a movie and it’s got to be good. He agreed. He also agrees about mac and cheese and chocolate fudge, so you can see how reliable his judgment can be sometimes.
Well, on his behalf, August, Osage County was a really good movie. And it may be the only time ever we are able to see these two outstanding actresses performing together. We were right about that. But we both knew going into the theater that we weren’t going to be happier leaving.
Unless we looked at it from a philosophical point of view, that is. The family in this movie made everybody’s families look like the Brady Bunch. No matter who your mother was or how quirky she seemed when you were growing up, she is Carol Brady, or even better, June Cleaver, after you watch Meryl Streep as Violet Weston. Your children are angels, your in-laws are the salt of the earth, and your husbands are knights-in-shining-armor. Even Aunt Harriet and Uncle Clevis are sane, decent people no matter what they’ve done in the past.
In retrospect, I’m glad I went to this movie. Every actor in it gave a stellar performance. It really may be the only time I see these two women together doing what they do better than anybody I’ve ever seen. But if they ever get together again, I really hope it’s a comedy.