Friday, June 29, 2012

Turning Thirty: Old Favorites (The More Obscure, the Better)

I'm turning thirty years old on July 6th so for the next five weeks, I'm embracing life and trying to do at least one new and/or enjoyable and/or spectacular thing per day. Click here for more Turning Thirty posts.

Have you ever seen the movie The Thing Called Love? Don't feel bad, not many people have.  I completely fell in love with this film when I was in high school.  It starred Samantha Mathis, River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney, Sandra Bullock and a few others before they were famous.  It was pretty unremarkable, except for the fact that it was River Phoenix's last film before his death, and was routinely playing on the WB network around midnight.  As soon as I saw it, I felt like it was made to be a cult classic. And I couldn't  believe that I liked it; it was all about country music and making it big in Nashville, and as a rule, I didn't even like country music.  I completely charmed by this movie that no one had ever heard of.

Of course, I wasn't surprised that Anthony wasn't familiar with The Thing Called Love.  After we started dated, I made him watch it with me.  Years earlier, I had taped it from basic cable so we fast-forwarded through the commercials and ignored the poor video quality (HD it was not!).  He wasn't a huge fan but sat through the entire thing like a trooper.  I don't think he saw all of the charm that I did, especially as I sang along with the characters for most of the movie.

I had a similar feeling earlier this week when I saw Country Strong.  When it was in theaters in 2010, I read a review with a spoiler and decided not to see it since I knew what happened at the end, but when I saw it listed as a 'free' movie on demand, I gave it a shot.  Remember in The Forty-Year Old Virgin when Paul Rudd's character Dave describes Matt Damon as a real Streisand? I kind of felt the same way about Gwyneth Paltrow AND Leighton Meester.  Note the word felt.  Both Paltrow and Meester were superb (in my opinion, obviously).  The love story seems authentic and the tunes are catchy and even though it's kind of a downer movie, I want to watch it again and again.  And sing along.  If The Thing Called Love was the obscure country movie of my late teens/early twenties, perhaps Country Strong will be the one of my thirties.

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