Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I did over my Christmas Vacation!

Although I'm back to work I haven't quite let go of my brief glimpse of what I hope retirement will be like.  I took two weeks off over Christmas and enjoyed every minute of it.  This year I left the Christmas decorations in their boxes and decided to have a stress free holiday.  Nothing to put out and nothing to clean up.  I don't know if this is a permanent thing but for this year it worked out wonderfully.

Ron received about 50 free Redbox movie rental coupons from a very generous drive-through attendant at McDonalds who either didn't want to give them out all day one at a time or who was just mesmerzed by Ron's good looks and charm.  Either way it provided us with a free movie marathon that may continue well into the middle of 2010.  Since our selection has often been limited we have decided to just be open minded and watch what ever strikes our fancy.  Some of our choices have worked out pretty good while a few would have been a waste of time had it not been free and had we not been able to nap cozily by the fire through the whole thing.

One of the movies we rented was "The Other Man" a muddled little dud of a meodrama.  It stars Peter, (Liam Neeson) as a software designer who lives near Cambridge England who discovers e-mail correspondence and pictures on the computer of his absent wife, Lisa (Laura Linney), that reveals her affair with another man, Ralph (Antonio Bandares). Peter, who has fancied himself happily married for 25 years, is seized with sexual jealousy that transforms him into an anguished, wild-eyed monster.
Lisa, a high-end shoe designer, has mysteriously disappeared without leaving word of her whereabouts. Suspecting she has gone to meet her lover, Ralph , whose name and address in Milan Peter uncovers through unscrupulous computer sleuthing, he flies to Italy, bent on murdering his rival. No sooner has he arrived and spotted his prey than the movie just fizzles. Peter trails Ralph into a chess bar where they strike up a conversation and play an exceedingly dull game of chess, during which Peter, without disclosing his identity, elicits juiceless trivia about the affair.

Though Ralph has fiery eyes and dresses impecably, he is a self-described loser who, Peter notes with contempt, has pink hands. Long before Peter leaves Milan, any tension has drained away.

“The Other Man,”  bets all its dramatic chips on a whopping plot gimmick that is revealed two-thirds of the way into the film. That twist, which I wouldn’t dream of giving away, is so poorly prepared that instead of shocking you, it leaves you scratching your head and wondering what signals you missed. The remainder of the movie dribbles away in a hasty attempt at catch-up.

Now this movie left me a little confused, (although I caught on to the twist almost immediately) but there was no development of the characters which left me feeling empty.  It didn't give me any real insight into the couple's relationship or why she strayed in the first place.  Now Ron really enjoyed the movie and surprisingly had quite a different insight to the overall theme.  He said the movie's intent was to show Peter's discovery that it is possible for someone to truly love two people at the same time

Besides watching movies, enjoying the snow, and sleeping as long as I wanted, I read.  I had purchased a book recommended by Arkansas Patti, "A Thousand White Women" and that I had saved just for my time off.  I really savored it and was sorry when I finished.  Thanks Patti for recommending this book.

Now it is time to get back into the swing of work but I will continue to look longing into the future when I will be on holiday 24/7 and enjoying the fruits of my labor!

And just for good measure this little tid-bit was sent to me by my daughter!  Double click to enlarge!


kenju said...

My curiosity is aroused about that movie now, so I will look for it. Anything with Antonio Banderas can't be all bad! lol

I'd probably like that book too.

Arkansas Patti said...

Trust me, retirement is just even better for there is no end to the free time, unless you consider the obvious. I'm just sorry we can't retire at 21.
It is funny how different people can see the same movie in a different light. Good thing for the industry I suppose.
So glad you liked 1000 White Women. I thought it was a really interesting premise.