NEXT TIME I’LL
CHECK THE RATING

     We were in the foothills of Quebec a couple of weeks ago, visiting my wife’s mother. At 87 years old, she doesn’t get out much, so my wife likes to keep her moving as much as possible when we visit.
     "How about going out to a movie this afternoon?" my wife suggested as we all sat around doing our usual nothing.
     I eagerly agreed, but I was at a point where I would have agreed to go to a lecture on women’s role in theology. I was that bored.
    As for my mother-in-law, she also thought it was a fine idea, even though we’re never sure if she actually heard the question. Her hearing isn’t what it used to be, but that might be a good thing, considering the movie we chose.
    We actually had two choices—The American, starring George Clooney as an assassin chased by other assassins, or Going The Distance, a romantic comedy starring that girl-next-door, Drew Barrymore, and Justin Long.
     Obviously, the choice was clear. No sweet 87 year old woman would want to see a shoot-em-up bloody thriller. A cute little romantic comedy –that was the perfect ticket for my lovely, matronly mother-in-law.
     A little more research, such as checking the rating of the movie, might have been wise. But off we went to be entertained, unaware that all of us were about to be scarred for life.
    My wife and I knew we were in trouble from the opening moments. The proverbial girl-next-door, Drew Barrymore, turned out to have the mouth of the rapper-next-door. She dropped the f-bomb 20 times in the first few minutes, and that was only used to embellish her description of various other sexual innuendos.
    I looked at my wife, who had her hand over her eyes, worrying about her inheritance. I stole a glance at my demure little mother-in-law. She was staring intently at the screen, possibly in shock.
    We thought about leaving, but seeing a movie was one of the highlights of the week. And maybe, just maybe, my mother-in-law’s hearing was so bad that she was missing some, if not all, of the filthy language. Besides, I think the movie was supposed to be funny, and she certainly wasn’t laughing.
    So we stayed. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law’s eyes are fine, and she had no problem seeing the next scene, where Drew Barrymore, who lives in San Francisco, and Justin Long, who lives in New York, reunite and make mad, passionate love on a kitchen table.
    I don’t know how low you can sink in a movie seat and still see the screen, but I may have set a record.
    No way I was going to look at my mother-in-law now---maybe never again. I did glance at my wife, and there was nothing we could do but laugh. And trust me, we weren’t laughing at the movie, which was one of the dumbest romantic comedies I’ve ever seen.
    Again, we thought about leaving, but it would have been even more embarrassing at that point. Besides, we’d seen and heard it all at that point. It couldn’t get much worse.
    That’s when Drew and Justin, separated once again, decided to try phone sex.
     NOOOOO!!!! PLEASE, NOOOO!!! THEY CAN’T DO THIS TO US. HAVE MERCY!!! SHE’S 87 YEARS OLD, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! PLEASE, NOOOO!!!
    Oh, but they did. Split screen, no less, with Drew in bed in California, and Justin in bed in New York, fully clothed with one hand on the phone and the other hand under the cover, doing what most 87 year olds haven’t thought about doing for a long, long time.
    When the movie was mercifully over, we waited for the theater to clear before walking out, just in case someone felt like arresting us for elder abuse. Once outside, my wife, trying to hold back her laughter, had to ask. "How did you like the movie, Mom?"
    No, she didn’t show off her new vocabulary by saying it was f***ing awful. In fact, she had no response. Either she didn’t hear my wife’s question, or she wasn’t talking to us.
 

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