I love a good chick flick…

Posted on July 8, 2011 by

Chick flicks are mindless, I know. But sometimes mindless is good and makes you think a bit, too, when you least expect it.

That’s what happened the past two afternoons, sitting in cinemas in Lowell and Burlington watching the chick flicks Midnight in Paris and Larry Crowne with my daughter, Wendy.

She and I both love movies. And we also love watching them on the big screen TV at home. But going to the movies is a ritual we love to revive each time we get together, recalling the halcyon days of her (and my) youth when we’d stage movie marathons when she came home from college each spring.

The fare this summer is sparse, for sure, until a couple more open in August. But we both enjoyed our choices this time, even if critics haven’t been generous with their praise.

Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s latest, starring Owen Wilson as a depressed Hollywood screenwriter, engaged to Inez, ably played by Rachel McAdam. They’re in Paris on her parents’ dime, enjoying the scenery, dining and wine. Then  he decides he’d like to ditch all their future Malibu beach house frivolity and move here, settling in like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Picasso did in the ’20s to pursue art by day and party by night.

Then, voila!, one dark night strolling Paris’ magical streets, he’s picked up by partiers in a vintage car and transported back to the golden age. Cole Porter plays on the piano, Scott and Zelda hold court and Hemingway weighs in on everything from writing to wooing women.

Young Gil (Wilson) is hooked and travels back a few more times in this delightful confection of a flick. A bit far-fetched but it drives home the point that it’s best to live in the present, no matter how beguiling the past. Loved the scenery, the music and the quirky characters that Allen brings back to recall the Roaring ’20s in Paris.

Larry Crowne is another frou-frou piece but pretty to look at despite its predictability. Hanks’ character, Larry, is a do-gooder at the U-Mart, where he’s carved a career as a perfect employee after 20 years in the Navy. Only problem, he never went to, let alone, finished college. And it’s a black mark against him, as he gets the ax from the higher-ups.

He signs up at the local community college for speech, economics and English comp. Naturally, the speech teacher Julia Roberts, tart, tangy and hell-bent to cancel her classes for low enrollment is a dazzler. She’s dealing with a sluggard husband, a former teacher and writer, now turned blogger (what does that say about us?), who peruses porn sites while she supports the household. .

One thing leads to another, of course, in this predicatable, yet entertaining, comedy. And, needless to say, teacher and student evenutally connect and, asclosing credits attest, will live happily everafter.

Corny? Sure. But entertaing? Absolutely.

And that’s why I always love a good chick flick on a hot or rainy summer afternoon. Sheer escape and nothing else. And isn’t that what summer is all about?

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