Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Superlative Movie Festival!

Brunie and I started planning this event about five minutes after the last one.

(This is how every conversation went:
  • Brunie: What's our theme again?
  • Me: Superlatives. You know, like Sexiest Movie, Scariest Movie . . .
  • Brunie (panicking, she is easily scared): Wait, what are you bringing for your Scariest Movie?
  • Me: And Then There Were None. You can handle it.
  • Brunie: Oh, okay. Okay.
We had this exact conversation 43 million times.)

Here was our working list:
  • All-time favorite movie: All About Eve (Lady) and Enchanted April (Brunie)
  • Scariest movie: And Then There Were None (Lady) and Dial M for Murder (Brunie — except she hasn't actually seen it)
  • Sexiest movie: Coming Home, A Tale of Paraplegic Love (Lady) and Don't Look Now (Brunie — ditto)
  • Biggest tearjerker: Brian's Sweet Sweet Song of Death (Lady) and Beaches (Brunie)
  • Funniest movie: Noises Off (Lady) and Groundhog Day or The Full Monty (Brunie)
  • Favorite movie romance: Calamity Jane (Lady) and Holiday (Brunie)
  • Favorite movie marriage: Undercover Blues (Lady) and The Thin Man (Brunie)
  • Most iconic film that I’ve never seen: The Big Lebowski (both of us)
  • Favorite movie starring my favorite actress: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Lady) and Heavenly Creatures (Brunie)

    Note: My favorite movie starring my favorite actress is actually Silkwood, but we’ve already done Meryl.
  • Favorite movie starring my favorite actor: Nobody’s Fool (Lady) and Infinitely Polar Bear (Brunie – which – wait for it – she hasn't seen. Also, she thinks it's called Infinity Polar Bear)
  • Most “classic” movie that I’ve never seen: The Women (Lady) and The Best Years of Our Lives  (Brunie)
  • Movie that inspires me to be a better person: Separate Tables (Lady) and Pillow Talk (Brunie — don't ask)
  • Best sports movie: Bull Durham (Brunie did not have a nominee)
  • Favorite food-focused movie: Lone Star (Lady — the filmmakers might be surprised by this  characterization, but people are eating good Mexican food through this whole movie, I am RAVENOUS afterward!) and Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (says Brunie, "Okay, I don't know if there is food, but there is a table. It's round.")
  • Brunie: Are you the person I love who has the Jennifer Jason Leigh disorder?
  • Me: Yeah, she bugs me; she always looks glum and seems the same in every part. But I love Dorothy Parker. And I am nothing if not open-minded.
[moment of consideration]
  • Me: Well, actually, no, I’m a little close-minded and judgy. But get enough wine in me, I can pass for open-minded. Open container, open mind, that’s my motto.

  • Best movie with a color in the title: Pretty in Pink (we concurred. Brunie's comment: "Never saw it sober. I don't suppose this weekend will break that streak . . .")
We also decided that if the Tina-Amy sisters movie is available by then, we should watch that too — it is The Movie We Should Most Watch Together. (We believe we are the suburban version of Tina and Amy, but we fight over which of us is Tina — we each think we are Tina. Perhaps we're the suburban version of Tina and Tina?)

Brunie created a spreadsheet, but I think she was smoking the reefer or something because Dial M for Murder ended up in a new category:

  • Me: Dial M for Murder makes you want to be a better person???
  • Brunie: I want to be less Murder-y. That's my dream.
Brunie acquired most of our movies, but I had some already on DVD, which she reminded me to bring.
  • Me: My DVDs are stacked and ready. As am I. 
I was mostly excited about the refrigerator at our hotel, and then I heard about the FREE BREAKFAST.
  • Me: Free breakfast? I bet it’s AMAZING.
  • Brunie: I doubt it will include Cheetos, so I am out.

3:00 check in! We unpack our stuff, which takes us, like, HOURS. Mind you, we are here for all of one whole day and two partial days.

I excitedly filled the refrigerator but got ice too, it's good to have options. The ice cubes are tiny. They are like little ice pearls.

As I washed our fruit (strawberries! apples! grapes! We are so healthy in our old age), Brunie did mysterious things with the TV and her computer and many many cords.
  • Brunie: I was so excited about the HDMI, but then it didn't work, so we have to use stupid RGB.
  • Me: Hmm.
  • Brunie: Do you know what any of that means?
She got it to work, what do I care.

We decided to start with Sisters, but it didn't seem like a movie that required our full attention. I leafed through a People magazine and drank cold white wine from the refrigerator, as God intended.
  • Me: I think we would be girlfriends with Adele.
  • Brunie: We would be girlfriends with Adele's mother.
At 5:14, we stop the movie. Ughy-pew. We have better.

5:20 Coming Home

The MGM lion roars and Brunie shrieks.
  • Me: My God, you're just like that first audience who saw the train coming at them.
Brunie does this throughout the weekend, and I laugh every time. We watched a lot of MGM movies! (It's not technically a weekend, but that's what we're calling it — we were too drunky to be precise in our language.)

Jon Voight plays a marine.
  • Me:  Semper fine.
The tiny ice does not stay ice for very long.
  • Brunie: Like Jon Voight's penis, our ice is less than hard.
Coming Home is magnificent. We happily watch the whole thing and then head to the hot tub.

8:50 The Best Years of Our Lives

I fix us Bohemian Coolers, a recipe I got from Writer Jenny: fresh lemon, elderflower liqueur, rye, and ginger beer. And they go down goooooood.

I'd also made salsa and guac to eat while we watched Lone Star, but we decided they'd go great with returning war vets. Salsa, guac, and Bohemian Coolers, we are hap-hap-happy girls!!
  • Fredric March: What you need is a drink.
  • Brunie: Isn't that the theme of our weekend?
We are gaga over all three boys in this most excellent movie.
  • Fredric March: I plan to meet this situation by getting well-plastered.
Fredric March, we raise a glass to you.
  • Daughter Peggy: And I'm going to break up that marriage. Someone needs to!
  • Me: Me, God, and Eleanor Roosevelt!
  • Fredric March: Who are you, God?
  • Me and Brunie: No, Eleanor Roosevelt!
By now, we've realized that it is harder to snark on excellent movies. We get caught up in them and forget to be funny.
  • Me: But we weren't funny during Sisters either. 
  • Brunie: It sucked the funny right out of us.
Brunie falls asleep, and I watch the first half of Bull Durham. Yummy!


I had a dream that some bad guys told us that we were watching the movies wrong.
  • Me: How would you watch a movie wrong?
Brunie does a semi handstand on her bed to demonstrate watching backward and upside down. Yeah, it looks very very wrong.

We finish watching Bull Durham, and Brunie is now in love with Kevin Costner and insists that we watch the first 20 minutes of Dances with Wolves. It's not on either list! Respect the plan, Brunie!!! She bows to my logic and wisdom.

7:56 a.m. Separate Tables

To our great joy, it has a theme song!!! which we promptly begin warbling. We muse on the movie's cast. Burt Lancaster, hunky alcoholic lead, will ultimately hook up with Deborah Kerr (shy neurotic virgin in this movie) in From Here to Eternity. Burt basically shags every chick in Separate Tables. Impressive!

We decide to break for breakfast and get dressed. I give Brunie a bra that doesn't quite work for me, and she is very enamored of it:
  • Brunie: Hello, girls!
9:15 Free breakfast! And it is AMAZING. Except for the "pineapple," which kinda looks and kinda smells like pineapple but tastes like nothing of this earth.

Back to Separate Tables.  David Niven breaks our heart. That Oscar was well-deserved. We are both weepy.

Hot tub time! And then showers, we are filthy girls. Brunie comes into the bathroom as I am washing pumice scrub off my feet in the sink.
  • Brunie: Um, you can use the whole shower.
Thrilling reading!!! And note my well-pumiced feet.
11:30 a.m. Undercover Blues 

In this little-known gem, Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner play Jeff and Jane Blue, semi-retired spies.
  • Brunie: They're adorable.
  • Me: It's how marriage should be.
  • Brunie: With all the shooting? I couldn't do that.
  • Me: It's something to aspire to.
  • Brunie: I aspire to Kathleen Turner's legs.
At the end of the movie, Brunie decides that she wants to write a thank-you note to Larry Miller's accent. I put up my clean damp hair in pink foam curlers and look very girly indeed.

1:08 p.m. Noises Off!

This movie has the greatest cast, including the late Christopher Reeve and the late John Ritter, and as their names go by in the credits, we both moan a little. Later, Christopher Reeve attempts to climb the stairs with his pants around his ankles, and he goes hop! hop! hop! up the stairs in the most adorable way, and we are simply dissolved. Oh, Christopher Reeve. Rest in peace, you super man.

Such a fun movie! (once you're past the first 10 minutes and Carol Burnett's terrible Cockney accent, which is extremely off-putting) We are happy girls. Also a little drunky, I am downing Chardonnay and Brunie is enjoying Moscow Mules.

3:24 p.m. I take my rollers out and shake my hair.
  • Brunie: You look just like Jane Fonda after she started doing Jon Voight.
3:25 p.m. The Women

3:45 p.m. We give up. Ugh.
  • Brunie: You know what that movie could've used a few of?
4:10 p.m. Dial M for Murder
  • Grace Kelly: One day, he told me that he was simply through with tennis and was taking a job.  Well, I couldn't believe it!
  • Me: Who would give up tennis?
  • Officer: I'm Chief Inspector Hubbard.
  • Brunie: Perhaps you've heard of my old mother.
Brunie decides to make a Bratslavian Cooler, swapping in vodka for the rye. I have a small bit of warm wine in my glass, which I don't want to drink; I want to pour it back in the bottle and have Brunie make me a Bratslavian Cooler. You cannot believe how much bullying and debate this required.

Brunie is awestruck at my ability to pour into a tiny wine bottle neck. My ability to preserve alcohol, it is prodigious. And Bratslavian Coolers, by the way, are DA BOMB. Vashe zdorovie!

Neither of us had seen Dial M, and it is awesome. Highly recommended!
  • Me: So now we've watched the two movies that make us want to be better people. Have we learned any life lessons?
  • Brunie: "Don't murder people."
  • Me: "Be kind to sex perverts, because you just never know."
6:16 p.m. We order takeout. Brunie offers to play something for me while she's getting the food. She has been trying to get me watch Cimarron, one of the Oscar winners I haven't seen, but I am still scarred by The Great Ziefeld from last year.
  • Brunie: How about the first 10 minutes of Cimarron?
  • Me: How about the first four or five hours of The Great Ziegfeld?
6:23 The Majestic
  • Movie guy: Instead of a disease, we give the kid a dog!
  • Me: Now that's how life should  work.
FIRE DRILL! And yes, we're on the fourth floor. I limp my way after Brunie, still in my peignor (but my hair looks fabulous).

6:49 p.m. Brian's Song
  • Brunie: This better have a happy ending!
  • Me: Yeah . . . maybe we should stop right now.
Brian Piccolo dies at 26. He's a child. We are wrecked. Brunie returns to the hot tub, I do a crossword.
  • Me: Are we . . .
  • Brunie: Beautiful?
  • Me:  . . . not men?  Are we Devo? Are we there, God . . . ? NO. Are we still drinking?
(Try to picture Brunie's face. And her answer, by the way, was HELL TO THE YES.)

More Bratslavian Coolers! We's in luv.

9 p.m. And Then There Were None
  • Emily Brent: You cannot lock out the devil.
We raise a glass to that.

Brunie falls asleep immediately and I've seen this movie a million times, so I go back to The Majestic.

  • Brunie: What time did you go to sleep?
  • Me: Hmm. Wait, what superlative was The Majestic?
  • Brunie: Most majestic. Ha! No. My favorite musical scene from a non-musical movie.
She asks me what I want to watch while she gets our coffee, and I decide to give The Big Lebowski a try.

(Note: I barely got up from the bed the entire weekend. I am exhausted. Many blessings to Brunie, who loves to step 'n'  fetch for me!)
  • Brunie: Why do you want to see this movie?
  • Me: I don't! But it's so culty.
Brunie returns with good Starbucks coffee.
  • Brunie: I love Jeff Bridges.
  • Me: I love how he doesn't spill that drink.
  • John Goodman: You want a toe? I can get you a toe by 3:00.
  • Me: I like that follow-through.
To our astonishment, we seem to be watching the entire movie.
  • Police chief: I don't like your jerk-off name. I don't like your jerk-off face. I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear? 
  • Brunie: I think he has a real problem with masturbation.
  • Me: Yes, but he can conjugate it correctly. 
Wow! OK, we've seen it. I don't quite get the mad love, but I like the Coen brothers a lot, so there you go.

We decide breakfast, then buffalo (aka Ruffalo, our shared boyfriend). Over waffles and "sausage," we discuss the weekend thus far.
  • Brunie: I feel like we're not as funny this year.
  • Me: It's the quality of the films.
  • Brunie: Next year's theme should be movies that we can MST3K the shit out of.
  • Me: But I can't spend three days watching crap just so we can be funny about it.
  • Brunie: This is our gift to the world!
  • Me: Hmm.
  • Brunie: I think I love waffles.
  • Me: Waffles bore me.
  • Brunie: Write that down! That's funny.
  • Me: Yeah, you're welcome, world.
Good Morning America is on a TV behind us. All weekend the name "Michael Shannon" has come up, and each time I say that I don't know who that is.
  • Brunie (points to TV): That's Michael Shannon! And you said you didn't know who that is.
  • Me: Which I continue to exhibit.
  • Me: So far, we have been funnier at this breakfast than we've been all weekend.
I get back to the room first, but my stupid key doesn't work. I sit on the floor and wait for B.
  • Brunie: Are you having a time out?
9:39 a.m. Infinitely Polar Bear

Really so sad. Maybe not the best last-day movie...

Brunie goes for one last hot tub dip, I listen to her Hamilton CD (loved!!!) and drink wine. Yes, at 11 a.m. Dude, I am dealing with some serious shit, me and the Bull Durham guys.
[Larry jogs out to the mound to break up a players' conference]
  • Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell's going on out here? 
  • Crash: Well, Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live . . . is it a live rooster?
[Jose nods
  • Crash: We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove, and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present. Is that about right?
[the players nod
  • Crash: We're dealing with a lot of shit
  • Larry: Okay, well, uh . . . candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let's go get 'em!
11:45 a.m. Pretty in Pink
  • Me: I am ashamed of how hot I find horrible James Spader.
 We love Jon Cryer as Duckie.
  • Brunie: Hello, every gay boy I ever dated.
We do an M&MS taste test of three new flavors: chili, coffee, and honey nut (which we like in that order; in fact, neither of us especially like honey nut. We taste so you don't have to!)
Sadly, we cannot finish watching this movie as we have to check out, but I do manage to empty my wine bottle and Brunie finishes her vodka. Happy ending?

It went too fast, as always, and I'm sad about the movies we didn't watch together (Lone Star!!) — but all in all, a perfectly grand and glorious weekend with my great and wonderful friend!

p.s. Now taking suggestions for next year's theme . . .


  1. I LOVE (love, love) reading all about your movie weekends!
    Do you ever invite outsiders?

    1. Yay! Glad you liked it.
      Well, we invited Sister Hart to lunch with us once - but if we invited another person, we'd have to get another bed. (We each take up a LOT of space.) You should have seen Brunie's face when I told her I'd invited my kids to come up and use our hot tub -- and she is their Beloved Godmother!! But I assured her that we wouldn't have to TALK to them or anything, and all was well.

  2. #1 Best book photo EVAH!
    #2 How could you not like The Women? That movie is brilliant! "Jungle Red!"
    #3 I hate the Big Lebowski. Snore!
    #4 Best book photo EVAH!

    1. I am so happy you like the photo!! Feel free to use it in all your publicity. Your book was prominently displayed all weekend and I carried it everywhere (though you've read the post, you know I didn't go far), but I was bad about remembering to take pictures. Brunie did order it for the Beverly High library, though, so I feel like I did my part. My small, drunken part.

      I will give The Women another chance because I did want to see Marjorie Main (and didn't make it that far), but Norma Shearer gives me the itch. In fact, all of those women annoyed me to distraction – I couldn't find a single character to like. Will you please come over and watch it with me???

      And yeah, I don't get The Big Lebowski at all, but I did laugh a few times. No need to watch it ever ever ever again though.


  3. So much fun! I felt as if I were there! ~ Brunie

    1. I seem to remember seeing you regularly!!!

      Girl, should we consider doing this on a seasonal basis? Clearly, it feeds our souls . . .


  4. Everyone should strive to be less murder-y

    1. God, yes, particularly people who STAY IN MY HOUSE.

  5. You have a "The Women" date! Let's do it at my place so hubbie can serve as our bartender for the evening. We'll pick a date offline.

  6. All these movies are so OLD. I think you'd both be funnier with movies that are younger than you.

    1. Dude! Were we not funny enough for you?? And we did watch a new movie: Sisters! Which freaking blew.

      We love old movies. We love new movies. We love all movies! Except Sisters. And The Great Ziegfeld, jeez.

    2. Dude! Y'all were as hilarious as always. I think this annual movie weekend report is my most favorite thing on your blog.

  7. Theme Suggestion: Notable foreign movies you have not seen. With subtitles, of course - you talented gals can talk and read (and drink!) at the same time.

    Saw the play version of the Women twice, cause, well...( Wish I could have seen it with you!

    1. Hee! We are way too lowbrow. Foreign movies are just so . . . FOREIGN. Though in fact Favorite Foreign Movie was one of our categories, now that I think about it: mine is Run Lola Run, and Brunie's is The Nasty Girl. We just didn't quite get to them . . .

      I've seen the play version of The Women too and really liked it! The movie just didn't grab me at all. But I agree: any viewing experience is vastly improved if you are by my side!!


    2. Ooh, I just read the review. What a cast!! Also: Leaving wan Cynthia Nixon for the scrummy J. Tilly? Now THAT makes sense.