Smart People (Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Hayden Church, Ellen Page)
Wow, I stumbled upon this on the Netflix "watch now" online section. Just looking for a comedy the wife might enjoy, but got much more. I throroughly enjoyed this "romantic-comedy" which dared to show some real pain and confusion between the characters. Not only did we get authentic pain and confusion, making me feel physically uncomfortable for a brief moment, but many other qualities you rarely see in a comedy: the protagontist, Quaid's character, in full messy beard, is never completely likeable yet still I cheer for him; they paint Parker up to look less beautiful; Ellen Page gets drunk and kisses her 40 something adopted uncle which doesn't turn sexual; Church is brilliantly repugnant and cuddly.
As always wishing I'd seen it earlier while everyone was discussing it but this will have to do. Luckily I waited for my teenage son to catch up to me and then we finished it together--we both will remember this one. Solid movie but I do understand some of the criticisms about the unrealistic nature of the film which was strangely highlighted with the singing and dancing in the streets and airport after it was over. Unimportant item I loved: the announcer's pronunciation of "Who wants to be a Millinare"--I smiled everytime.
Kent Haruf's Where we once belonged.
I love Haruf; his characterization of the Mcpheron brothers in Plainsong and Eventide was superb. And I quite enjoyed this book too, but the ending tore my fucking heart out. I generally do not bemoan depressing books or endings; still this one caught me off-guard. I get it intellectually--the book is about a town football hero who has always taken advantage of the townspeople and so it must end with him reeking havoc to illustrate the sins of the town. But, man oh man, it hurt. Maybe, in my somewhat depressed state I just couldn't face the reality Haruf left me with.