Sometimes, on weekends, I stay home with a rented film. On weekends here in LA, the bars are overly packed and filled with people harbouring a double agenda, making them doubly annoying. They're looking both to 'pick up' and to promote themselves. Pick-up lines in most cities range from, "Haven't we met before?" to "So, what's your sign?" In Los Angeles, pick up lines include, "You should read my screenplay. Why don't you come over and edit the third act with me tonight?" (I am not kidding. This was said to me at a pizzeria.) and "My buddy who knows Chris Rock has a house in the Hollywood Hills. Give me your number and I'll take you there sometime."

When I was a younger lass, I felt compelled to go out on a Saturday night just because it was Saturday night. Gone are the days when I feel obligated to be social just because it's the weekend. Now, I prefer to go out during the week when there aren't any crowds.

Sometimes, on weekends, I stay home with a rented film. On weekends here in LA, the bars are overly packed and filled with people harbouring a double agenda, making them doubly annoying. They're looking both to 'pick up' and to promote themselves. Pick-up lines in most cities range from, "Haven't we met before?" to "So, what's your sign?" In Los Angeles, pick up lines include, "You should read my screenplay. Why don't you come over and edit the third act with me tonight?" (I am not kidding. This was said to me at a pizzeria.) and "My buddy who knows Chris Rock has a house in the Hollywood Hills. Give me your number and I'll take you there sometime."

When I was a younger lass, I felt compelled to go out on a Saturday night just because it was Saturday night. Gone are the days when I feel obligated to be social just because it's the weekend. Now, I prefer to go out during the week when there aren't any crowds.

When I decide to stay home on the weekend and watch a movie, I'm usually brain dead from the work week. Often, I choose light films which I would neither pay for nor be inclined to see at a movie theatre. I have rented '13 Going on 30', 'The Princess Diaries', '27 Dresses', etc. Very chick flick, I know. Sometimes, however, I pick out a film without knowing anything about it beyond what's on the DVD cover. They say never to judge a book by its cover, but I do. Admittedly, it is a risky way to choose films. I can be pleasantly surprised or horribly let down. Just like a blind date. I have 3 categories I use when choosing films at the video store: 1. The picture on the DVD cover. 2. The title 3. The cast.

Recently, I rented 'Savage Grace'. It seemed intriguing and I always love Julianne Moore's performances. I knew it wouldn't be breezy viewing, but I wasn't fully expecting what I was in for. The film is based upon the book, which recounts the true and completely dysfunctional, horrific story of heiress Barbara Daly Baekeland, her husband Brooks Baekeland and their son Antony. During the start of one particularly creepy scene, the mother started to have sex with her son. I paused the film. I was feeling sick to my stomach, and I needed to ponder whether or not it was really necessary to my life to continue through with the rest of the film. I called my friend Mike and said, "Hi. I'm calling you because I am watching a movie in which a mother is just about to have sex with her son and I'm feeling so unsettled that I need you to distract me." Mike felt ill, instantly, just hearing about it. Unfortunately, he was drunk and at a loud bar, so he wasn't much help.

I think, only because it was based upon a true story, did I continue to watch the film. Also, I was hoping for some kind of redemption. But, no. By the film's end, the son had stabbed and killed his mother and he ended up in an institution. The performances were marvelous, though. Otherwise, I would not have felt so completely nauseated.

After the film, I knew I needed to remain awake in order to watch something which would lighten my mood, but the only thing on television was the news. LA news is usually centered around murder, gang violence and car accidents, though, so I forced myself to stay up even later so that I could watch 'Saturday Night Live' and go to bed after laughing to try to prevent myself from dreaming about incest, blood and murder.

This past Saturday night, tired out from American Thanksgiving festivities (Yes, I celebrated their Thanksgiving. Please don't be mad at me), I wandered over to 7-11 to purchase some dark chocolate and Sudafed due to some sinus congestion. 7-11 sells used films for $9.99. I never buy films, but I was feeling lazy and I didn't want to drive to the video store. So, I perused the films. I nearly purchased 'Bride Wars,' but my eyes landed and lingered upon 'Revolutionary Road'. The cover is sweet. Kate Winslet is in a loving embrace with Leonardo DiCaprio. The title seemed interesting. Who doesn't love a revolution? All the film stills on the DVD package looked happy. On the back cover, it said, "...this mesmerizing and moving story follows the lives of a passionate young couple living in suburban Connecticut who decide to risk everything to pursue their dreams..."



It seemed perfect. I love passion. I love love stories. And, Kate Winslet is wonderful. Done. I didn't really want to have to pay $9.99 just to watch a film, but I figured had I gone out with friends, I'd have spent more than 10 bucks. As I paid for my goods, the guy behind me in line looked at me sympathetically. I suppose when you see a woman buying Sudafed, chocolate and a DVD at a convenience store on a Saturday night, you feel sorry for her. His look made me feel a bit self-conscious, but can't a woman stay home on Saturday night, watch a movie and eat some chocolate just because she really wants to do so? Thank goodness I didn't need to buy tampons.

I arrived home and, once again, I didn't realize what I was in for. I was misled by the DVD packaging. The young couple was in love when the movie began, but boy, were they very much not in love for most of the movie. Unless, of course, love includes (SPOILER) cheating, belittling your partner, and giving yourself an abortion behind your spouse's back in your home.

I actually enjoyed the film, though. Kate Winslet was superb. Leo was OK, but a bit histrionic. Also, no matter how old he gets, he always looks like a little boy to me. The film looked great. It was set in the 50s and I enjoy seeing the styles and learning about the attitudes from back then. It's just that I had been in the mood to watch something loving and simple and had chosen the film based upon that desire. By the end of the film, I never wanted to love again. Thankfully, I was armed with dark chocolate.

If I stay home next Saturday night, I think I will just rent 'Madagascar'. All I know about it is that my three-year-old nephew saw it and loved it. And it has penguins. They mate for life. Surely, they won't be cheating on or abusing one other.
CATEGORIES The DL From LA