Well, there’s a sequel.
First things first: The movie is very, very cute where it is not downright breathtakingly good-looking. You’re going to giggle several times. You’re going to find the personalities of all of the actors charming as heck. You’re going to say “Dang, Richard Gere got handsome and charming at some point!” On top of that, you’re going to marvel at the colors, the costumes, and think “man, I wouldn’t mind retiring there”. It’s a fine, fine date movie if you’re looking for a date where you’re not going to be discussing the movie much at dinner (other than how cute it was, how charming the actors were, how vibrant the colors were…).
That said, there was a mis-step the movie took, it seemed to me. When doing some digging around the whole “Chennai Express” movie experience, I encountered an article featuring the news about how this particular drop-dead gorgeous Indian Actress has stated that she will never have a kissing scene. (The thing that happens in these movies where Americans would lock lips is that Indian Actors will both look wistfully together at the horizon. Their cheeks might brush.) With that knowledge under my belt, I thought that the success of Richard Gere when hitting on the (drop dead gorgeous) Indian Lady was gratuitous. He should have tried, of course, then failed. Then realize that he needed to get to the whole “share a meal” thing first and realize the difficulty in getting her to actually share a meal with him. Like, she wouldn’t even sit down, then she’d sit but not eat anything, then sit and maybe have a drink of water, sit and have a bite of an appetizer… but NEVER SIT AND SHARE A MEAL. And then, at the end, he could victoriously get her to agree to go out to dinner with him. It’d be funny (it’s Richard Gere! He can’t get this woman to go to dinner!), it’d be chaste (hey, fun for the whole family!), and it wouldn’t have me remembering the interviews where actresses talk about the importance of not kissing.
But that might just be me being prudish.
If you can get past that one (very small, really, in a movie designed for American audiences) thing, you’ll find this movie to be a fine trifly sequel to a fine trifle of a film.
On top of that, I recently started reading a (real!) book for pleasure: The Last Magazine: A Novel.
The story begins with an editorial meeting in which a story about genocide in Africa is waved away as “we’ve read that” (“but it began last week”) and the editors suggest tying in the booming business of cell phones in Africa to the story to make it a fresh one. The next chapter is the journalist in Africa reading the email that tells him about this suggested change to the story he’s working on while embedded with a group of refugees. There is editorial intrigue, the evolution of new media, cultural critiques, the buildup to the Iraq War, and a lot more going on here. On the back of the book, it notes that the author works as a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and also is an editor at Buzzfeed and I thought “Ouch”. (And, now, doing a little more research, I see that Michael Hastings is actually, erm, dead. Died a couple of years ago in a car accident. Which makes this book a little more sad and will change my experience of finishing it…)
So far, I’ve laughed a couple of times at the insights given and the stuff I’ve seen skewered. I’ve winced a few times more than that. It’s worth checking out.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?