I recently put it out there that maybe I would read Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland novels before reading Gregory Maguire’s After Alice, or that maybe I would just go ahead and dive right into After Alice.
But then I somehow found out that another one of Jane Austen’s novels has been turned into a movie, and pretty good one apparently! Yay!
It’s titled Love & Friendship and is based on Austen’s novella, Lady Susan. Apparently the movie is pretty funny because, apparently, Lady Susan is considered Austen’s “comedic gem.” (I read that somewhere, but I can’t remember where.)
So I haven’t been able to read anything to do with Alice or Wonderland because I had to re-read Lady Susan. It was bothering me.
I read Lady Susan a year or two ago, but I did not remember it being funny. I liked it, but I did not remember it making me laugh- maybe a few mildly funny things here and there, but certainly not a “comic gem.” A gem, yes. Comic, no. Bridget Jones’s Diary– now that’s a comic gem! So is Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, as well as Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy.
Anyway, what do I know? If the real experts say that Lady Susan is a very humorous novel then obviously it is and I just don’t get it. I probably took it way too seriously. Oh well, I’m still looking forward to the movie and I’m very excited that it looks like it really will be hilarious.
Oh, and I loved reading Lady Susan again. I couldn’t put it down!
So what else have I been doing….
I’ve been watching movies actually. It all started with Bridget Jones’s Diary. I happened to see last week that it was available on Netflix, and because I’m such a nerd I was so excited! I’ve been wanting to see that movie again for years! So I watched it. Loved it!
Then, a few days later, I tried to watch it again but it wasn’t there anymore. : (
And that’s how I found Notting Hill and One Day.
I had seen Notting Hill back when it first came out and I was very interested in watching it again. I was very curious to see if I would react to it differently considering I’m about 15 years older than I was when I first saw it. And, I was right. I remember liking it before but this time around I loved it! I loved Julia Roberts. I’m going to watch it again.
One Day (starring Anne Hathaway), on the other hand, I probably won’t watch again. It’s a really good movie- and sorry to give too much away- but it’s just too sad.
There was one part where Dexter, the movie’s male lead character, was lying at the top of the stairs a bloody mess. No, literally, the guy really was a bloody mess. He had been out at a club the night before, got drunk, then got into a fight with a guy who smashed his face into a mirror. So he (Dexter) somehow gets home, passes out at the top of the stairs, and his little daughter, about 7 years old, finds him there like that. Fortunately, her mother, who has divorced Dexter, gets there just seconds later and she attends to him immediately. She firmly tells her daughter to get dressed and ready to go, but it’s Dexter she’s attending to- lifting his head, trying to get him to come to, trying to get him to stand up. In other words, she responded compassionately. Now, I know she’s a character and it’s “only a movie,” but that situation is entirely plausible. It’s obviously happened to someone somewhere before- it could be happening to someone somewhere right now.
In that situation a person has several different options– I don’t need to go through all of them, use your imagination. Anyway, as I said, the character in the movie responds with compassion. She, in my opinion, responded appropriately.
What would you do in a situation like that?
What would I do?
I know exactly what I would do. My first concern would have been my daughter. My instinct would have been to go to her first. I would have stepped right over him.
That’s not compassionate, not compassionate at all. What does that say about me?
And even after I had taken my daughter to another room, I don’t think I would attempt to physically help the person. I mean… I don’t know… I don’t think I would. I’m an avoider. I would call an ambulance! That’s probably overkill, but that’s what I would do.
But that isn’t natural, is it? Isn’t going straight to the injured person more natural than avoiding them? Al-Anon teaches “Detachment with love.” Or detachment with compassion.
Detachment- that’s the part I’m good at! Its the other stuff I’m not so good with. My detachment isn’t balanced with much love or compassion. But it isn’t hate either. I don’t hate anyone in my family…. I think I love them…. In a way…. But I’m also, I think, alarmingly indifferent.
It’s just that they make me so sad and so uncomfortable, and I just can’t… I just don’t want to be around them…
Anyway, how did this turn into me going on about my family woes?
I was talking about movies.
So, yes, Bridget Jones’s Diary– great movie (even better book), very funny. Definitely recommend.
Notting Hill– loved it. Like I said, I will watch it again. Soon. Julia Roberts was mesmerizing, especially in the first half of the movie. Hugh Grant was also excellent. And quite funny. I really want to watch it with my husband, I think he’ll really like it too. I don’t know why it has only 3 stars on Netflix, it deserves more. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it was a book first and the fans of the book didn’t like how the movie was done.
That’s definitely what I think happened with One Day. It also has only about 3 stars on Netflix. Again, I think it was a book first and the fans of the book probably thought the movie left out too many important details. And, like I said, it’s a very, very sad movie, and not just the ending- the entire story line is a bit depressing. The male lead, Dexter, isn’t very likable, but I don’t think he’s meant to be. Like I said, probably won’t watch it again, and that’s even despite the fact that Anne Hathaway is amazing. In fact, if I ever watched it again the only inducement would be that Anne Hathaway is so great in that movie, but still, I doubt it. Just too sad.
This is why I try to stick to Jane Austen and Bridget Jones and the like. I like happy endings, I don’t care if they’re cliché or unrealistic.
I don’t like sad endings. I avoid them whenever possible.