Nothing compares to the luxury of having the house to yourself, abandoning the "should do's" for an evening, and giving yourself over to total immersion in a sloppy love story. They're the best kind, right? There just isn't anything tidy and unsloppy about love or about life. I sniffled and sobbed and empathised freely at all the sniffle- and sob- inducing parts, without fear of masculine ridicule [the cat doesn't count].
It turned out to be a very Christmassy kind of movie with a great cast. Emma Thompson is an awesome actress; of course I bawled when she found out that the beautiful necklace she'd thought he'd bought for her, was actually for her husband's secretary. And what woman, no matter how practical and down to earth, doesn't sometimes daydream of being thought beautiful, instead of damned with the"faint praise"of being adequate? Hugh Grant is no Laurence Olivier, but he is easy on the eye, and reminds me of my Britboy, whose current English lass's name also happens to be Natalie!
And I realised why I've been feeling Grinchy. Christmas is supposed to be about love, n'est pas? But where is it? It's not apparent in the horrendous hordes of cranky drivers; nor in the endless snaking lines at the post office; nor yet in the obnoxious, shouting , mind numbing ads on tv, exhorting us to buy more, more, more. That's easy enough to take care off, and I do--by clicking the "off" button. The commercialization of Christmas gets me down. What happened to the little baby in the stable in Bethlehem? He hardly gets a look in any more. If anything, the other guy, the one with the horns and the pitchfork and the pointy ears, has the upper hand, as greed and materialism spin out of control.
As I watched and empathised, I marvelled at how wonderful movies are. All the problems and misunderstandings are cleared up nicely and tidily in the appointed two hours and thirty five minutes. I, unfortunately , am left with my still-messy, unsorted-out life. I can't afford to hire the best scriptwriters in the land to write my lines for me . I have to blunder through scriptless, adlibbing [and not well] as I go. A bull in a china shop looks dainty by comparison.
Gradually the grinchiness melted away. Pictures from the past month flitted through my head; SIL on the basement floor, rolling around with his Daddy-adoring sons, our grandsons; my DD making sure a delicious and nutritious dinner was ready and waiting for her boys, big and small, on the evenings she had to work; both doing a loving and conscientious job of raising their sons ; Oldest Son and his family, same thing, different style--home after a long day at work, not to a comfy chair and slippers and oblivion, but to work of another kind, being there for bathtime and storytime and climbing-all-over-Daddy-time, and soothing tears and calming tempers, and rocking over-tired little people to sleep, just barely sooner than he falls asleep, exhausted, himself; my California Girl, handed back to me after talking to her older brother -- brave words not quite hiding the tremor in her voice that tells me she wishes she weren't quite so far away, so she could see her siblings, and niece and nephews once in a while; my DIL, as happy and excited as her children in their wide-eyed wonder when she turns the Christmas tree lights on; the OC all spiffy for his office Christmas party; and YS, there to meet me at the airport, whisking my bags into the boot; the marvel of everything looking so nice in the garden and the house, due to his TLC while I was away.
Such a cheerful positive, happy movie. It cheered me right up and made me realise that love is all around us, actually.