Low Drama

In all the years I’ve written this blog, I’ve never resorted to reviewing movies that I’ve seen.  The main reason for this is that I usually don’t have much to say beyond, “I liked (didn’t like) it.”  Oh, sometimes I might add that the seats were too soft or that the air conditioning in the movie theater was on a bit too high,  but not much beyond that.  This I imagine know often always leaves Yduj a little frustrated; wishing for a more in-depth deconstruction which might include discussions between us about character development, plot lines, symbolism and subtext; you know, things like that.  I really, really hope she doesn’t leave me for David Denby.

But I suspect that if I could somehow develop a sensibility that enables me to view a movie more critically and learn the parlance, it would not only be good for my “relationship” but it would also give me some more stuff to write about.  My gain . . . your loss.

All this to say that a few weeks back I saw a movie starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina about an older gay couple living in New York who, after being together for decades, get married.  What follows is an unfortunate sequence of events which causes them to lose their apartment and be temporarily separated.  During this period, we see two formerly vibrant people become isolated and seemingly irrelevant.  Lithgow’s character suffers most from this and looks god-awful.  Although that character is supposedly just a few years older than I am, his appearance suggests that the next couple of years might be very rough ones for me.

I'll See You in Landlord/Tenant Court!

I’ll See You in Landlord/Tenant Court!

Lithgow and Molina ultimately get back to living together  because they are befriended by a casual acquaintance who had just taken over his deceased aunt’s rent controlled apartment. But he is moving abroad so he offers them the apartment.  And with the gesture of giving a key to Molina, he passes it on to them.  This is the part of the film that really got my attention because, for a moment, I thought it was going to be a movie about real estate.  Or more particularly, about NYC rent regulations.  At that juncture, I hoped the story might pivot to a sub-plot about the plight of some poor, struggling immigrant landlord (Rosie Perez?) who had expected to finally get market rent for the  apartment now that the elderly aunt, the tenant for whom the rent protections were in place, had died.  Imagine the dramatic tension that could have been wrought by watching Ms. Perez struggle to gain possession of an apartment to which she was rightfully entitled in an environment (NYC) where screwing a landlord by (illegally and blithely) passing along an apartment that isn’t yours is part of the City’s zeitgeist.  But for some unknown reason, the filmmaker  didn’t take this detour and continued the story in the direction it had been headed.

This is when I suspected that the only remaining drama to be teased from the story was to have someone die in what time remained of the movie.  And that’s in fact what happened.  I’m new to this reviewing thing but I know enough not to tell you who that is.  I certainly don’t want to ruin it for you.  By the way,  did you ever see 3rd Rock from the Sun



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