Quiet, Hot, Humid Sunday

Abigail on Satin 26

The Sunday NY Times had an article exploring the U.S. movement to “ban” Shariah law, and its leader, which I’m still reading and about which I will offer some thoughts, but not this morning, where simply walking Sookie in 80º temps and 82% humidity really takes the starch out of one’s energy (now, there‘s a phrase with long roots).

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Crazy Stupid Love Department

So yesterday, as I worked on photos of Edith, I watched this silly, overwrought, generally-panned, romantic movie — Letters to Juliet.  I knew it was going to be over-the-top sentimentality.  I also knew I’d be a basket case.

You know the story:  Young woman (Amanda Seyfried) visits Verona with her fiancé, finds a 50 year-old letter written “to Juliet” by a girl regretting her decision to leave her Italian lover, and writes a response, which in turn is actually received by the girl in question, now a widowed grandmother (Vanessa Redgrave), who shows up with her grandson.  The story proceeds from there, culminating eventually in a reunion and marriage of the long-separated lovers, and then the principal (Seyfried) throwing over her fiancé for the woman’s grandson.

Thing is, the movie is effectively schmaltzy, at least for us unrepentant romantics, and pushes most all my buttons.

And, like Under the Tuscan Sun, the movie took me back to Italy with scenes of beautiful Verona and wine country in Veneto and probably Tuscany.  My one, non-trivial quibble:  a couple of the outside scenes were shot not in Verona, but in Siena.  To people who have been there, the substitution was obvious (most egregious:  looking down on the Campo in central Siena, including the very famous clock tower; and then even a scene walking down a steep, hillside street — Verona is not hilly).

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Beauty and the Beast Department

Guess who’s the beast:

Such is life during my temporary bachelorhood.

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Fun and Ridiculous Department

In the midst of yesterday’s afternoon inferno (92º with humidity that drove the effective temperature over 100), I decided to take in Aliens and Cowboys.  The premise is so absurd that one’s suspension of disbelief is total and quickly achieved.  Worthwhile if you seek escapism.  Daniel Craig makes every bit as good a cowboy as he made the best James Bond ever.

As usual, when the aliens are mean and nasty, they are also ugly.  And when the alien is helpful and friendly, she is also beautiful.  Much of the early action takes place in the dark and/or underground, which I never like (I can’t imagine many people do).  Ever since my youth, when I saw one of the Japanese “B” horror monster flicks, with unseen creatures grabbing people in the sewers from beneath the effluent, I’ve not liked dark and slimy monster flicks.  I walked out of Alien and Aliens. (As usual, you got a sense of the movie to come from the nature of the previews shown.)

So, if you are tempted, bear all of this in mind.

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From our first session.

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2 Responses to Quiet, Hot, Humid Sunday

  1. Dave Rudin says:

    I saw “Letters to Juliet” on blu-ray. As expected, everybody got together at the end, but it was fun and romantic and the scenes of Italy were lovely.

    I was thinking of going on a trip to Rome and/or Venice next month, but instead I’m going to California. I may be regretting that decision, as I had a dream last night where I found myself in Rome’s Stazione Termini, having recently arrived from the airport. I must have made an impromptu trip, as I didn’t have a hotel reservation, so I decided to take the subway to the place I stayed at two years ago on the Via Cavour. Then I found myself outside the station, walking to get a taxi, when I realized that I didn’t have my suitcase. I was about to turn around to take the train to the airport, when I realized that I didn’t know which airline I had taken. So, I decided to try to check in to the hotel first.

    Then I found myself with my eyes closed, realizing that I was in fact lying in bed this morning. I guess California will have to do.

    • Stephen says:

      Thanks, Dave. Yes, my memories also often dwell on Italy, and I wish I were returning there as well. I think an extended stay in Paris is more likely first, however. (And, before that, figuring out how to get across the Atlantic without flying. If I do go, it will likely be via the Queen Mary II, NYC to Southampton, England, which means I may have a chance to stop by and see Lin, north of London. Maybe next summer.)

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