So while I was being all silent, I was watching a movie. A Previous Engagement, a new film starring Juliet Stevenson, Tcheky Karyo, and Daniel Stern. It was written and directed by Joan Carr-Wiggan and all awards for producer will be going to David Gordian. Okay, now that we've got the basic credits out of the way, we'll go right into the critique. It's a comedy. Think An Unmarried Woman crossed with Same Time Next Year. The premise is this: a man and a woman had such fantastic sex on a beach in Malta when they were young and foolish that they vowed to meet on the same beach twentyfive years later. We don't get to see the sex, but they both agreed the earth moved, etc. etc. Okay, fast forward to twentyfive years later and a middle-aged librarian travels to Malta with her boring, bored husband and two whiny twentysomething daughters. The other half of the equation, the now middle-aged publisher of a literary journal, travels to Malta with his secretary, who he occasionally bonks. Meet cute, cute meet: what's going to happen? Will they fall into each others arms? Will they even meet again? Will they have sex? Will it be good? Will she leave her husband? Will her daughters stop whining?
I watched this movie because I was asked if I wanted to see it to possibly talk about it on my blog. I said yes, and now I'm talking about it on my blog. Okay, now I can tell you what I really think.
I really think A Previous Engagement is a sweet little movie, but over-long. The twists and turns of the will she/won't he/do they seem to go on forever. It's been a long time since my British film-watching credentials were polished, but it seems to me that this is an example of a particular genre of British comedy that has some name, except I'm blanking on it now. It's farce meets meaningful subject, which is a bit of a contradiction in critical terms, if you know what I mean, but saved by superior acting. The Brits do that, you know. Except Daniel Stern is American and Tcheky Karyo is Turkish. The former is quite good (isn't he always) and the latter is not bad, albeit no Alan Bates (where is Alan Bates these days, anyway?) But Juliet Stevenson is really quite, quite good. Quite. She's a bit mannered, in a quirky manner, but she pulls the character off.
The problem for me with this movie is that, well, how long ago was An Unmarried Woman? Twentyfive years, you say? Then the concept of beleaguered wife being sucked dry by a dull husband and LEAVING HIM was revolutionary. Today, it's not. So the movie is cute; it's sweet; and it definitely made me laughoutloud (LOL!) from time to time. Thus, I say it is worth whatever the hell they're charging at your Cineplex these days. Just in time for the summer blockbuster, we've got a movie for us midlife folk, and if we go to this one, maybe they'll give us some more.