Chick flicks and Chick-fil-A
By Bob Emery
Suzanne and I went to what I would call a “chick flick” the other day titled “Hope Springs” starring Meryl Streep and Tommie Lee Jones. Now first, I don’t normally do movie reviews in this column and second, I don’t do chick flicks but in this case I will make an exception. If you’ve seen the film, you will know what I am talking about and if you haven’t, maybe this will get you to the theater.
The storyline is simple: longtime married couple, children grown and gone, hum drum sameness in their everyday life, bacon and eggs for breakfast, fall asleep in front of the TV, no spark, no sex. Arnold (Jones) is a real curmudgeon who harrumphs his way through the day with monosyllabic grunts and an occasional peck on the cheek for his bride, ending the day with the Golf Channel and a separate bedroom. As we watched the film and Arnold displayed some of his complacent grumpiness or unwillingness to get out of his rut, I could hear Suzanne mumbling, “I know that guy, I know that guy.”
Kay (Streep) sees an ad for marriage counseling and signs herself and Arnold up for a $4,000 week-long session in Maine. The rest of the film is a funny but moving journey through self realization, self doubt and selfishness. The shrink, Dr. Feld (Steve Carell), plays the straight man who guides Arnold and Kay through bouts of denial, anger and an occasional laugh. What struck me most about this film was the effective portrayal of how easy it is to fall into a complacency trap and not recognize it. I like to go to the movies and be entertained, but I also like those that make me think and “Hope Springs” did just that. You will enjoy it.
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It never fails to amaze me how worked up people can get over nothing. A recent statement by Dan Cathy, president of the Chick-fil-A fast food chain, against gay marriage has everybody in an uproar, both pro and con. Now I could care less what Cathy thinks about gay marriage but I do care about butchering the English language. Don’t the people in Georgia, home of the fast food chain, know how to pronounce the word filet? Do menus in the South feature “fil-A-Mignon? fil-A of swordfish? To boot, an “A” standing alone is a short “A” and is pronounced “uh.” It should be pronounced “Chick-fil-uh.” Besides, their sandwiches are as bad as their grammar.
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Summer update on grandson Nyack. Our boy was here in Poway for a week and a half attending Sea Monster Camp at the Natural History Museum, Spanish language camp in Balboa Park and swimming, swimming and more swimming. Last year we were worried about Nyack’s safety in the water but not this year. He can easily swim the length of our pool and at the beach he headed out into the waves with his Boogie Board and rode the “big ones” with the best of them. We have seen the 7-year-old learn to read, swim and use an amazing vocabulary in just the past year. And he can use Grandma Suzanne’s iPhone with ease. I can’t even turn it on.
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