Pizza and a Movie: 45 Years

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Poblano Peppers
  • Portobellos
  • Corn

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Movie:

45 Years

The pizza was vegetarian, and it was good. The movie was terrible.

When we walked out of the theater, I said to my husband, “I’d give it a D.” Another couple who was nearby heard me, and the woman said she’d give it an F.

I hate to be negative about movies or books – after all, someone wrote it, produced it, and believed in it. As an author, I don’t want to criticize someone else’s work. Maybe I’m just not sophisticated enough for this film, but in my opinion, it was not very good.

Two reviews I read (afterward) say it better than I can:

“Is it extraordinarily well acted? Yes, but it’s the emotional equivalent of slamming your hand in a door for 90 minutes. Glacierly paced.”

and

“Hugely disappointing, dreadfully slow moving and boring. Honestly one of the worst movies I’ve seen in years.”

Perhaps the plot (or lack of it) bothered me even more because:

  1. I’ve been married for 34 years, and found myself wondering if my husband and I would be like this couple in 11 short years (please, no).
  2. We had a big party for our 25th anniversary, a year after his parents’ (and 5 years after my parents’) 50th. It was a wonderful night and very memorable, and it made up for the fact that we couldn’t afford anything other than cake and cocktails at our wedding’s backyard reception (no dinner, no dancing, and I don’t remember the few toasts).

In short, this was a sad movie, with few redeeming qualities.

As for the pizza, we agreed ahead of time on poblano peppers and corn. I wanted something red (but not meat), and he suggested sliced tomatoes. “They’re two squishy,” I said, so we picked portobellos. It was yummy, and I enjoyed the evening with my husband.

 

Pizza and a Movie: A Royal Affair

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Anchovies
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Spinach

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Movie:

A Royal Affair*

*You’ll notice the movie this time wasn’t one currently out in the theaters. That’s because my husband and I had planned to go see The Martian (and still do), but because it was playing at 7:00 – a bit early for us, after going down to the Corner Pizza first – we decided to go home instead, and watch A Royal Affair on Netflix.

I had seen it before, one time when he was out of town, but I love movies about any kind of royalty (and the affair part makes it juicy). Both my husband and I like foreign films, and  since our daughter (who’s studying in France) recently visited Copenhagen (and saw the Amalienborg Palace), we thought it would be interesting.

It was.

The movie came out in 2012, and it’s based on a true story. The actress who portrays Caroline Mathilde, Alicia Vikander, starred in Man from Uncle (U.N.C.L.E.) this year, and she did a great job. Turns out, royalty has problems, too.

The pizza we chose was three shades of green (sort of). At my insistance, my husband picked all the toppings, and these are what he chose.

I guess he was in a salty, spicy, and healthy mood.

 

Pizza and a Movie: Vacation

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Chicken
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Movie:

Vacation

UGH. Unless you’re a fan of crude, offensive, gross-out humor, RUN, don’t walk, away from this film!

After last week’s Trainwreck, I thought I could handle anything raunchy, but…Well, I hate to say anything bad or to criticize a movie that some people (might) like – I’m a “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” kind of person, when it comes to reviews of movies and books. So, I’ll tell you what (little) I DID like about Vacation:

  1. There were a few genuinely funny moments/gags, if you can get past the silliness. One was a redux of a highway scene in the original Vacation (when a much younger Chevy Chase was driving); another was during a dialogue between Audrey (Chevy’s grown up daughter) and her husband, Stone, at their patio table in Plano, Texas *
  2. I like Ed Helms from The Office in anything, most of the time; as Rusty Griswold, he did fine
  3. Hmm… can’t think of anything else

I’m not a huge fan of Vacation or Christmas Vacation (though we have the latter, to watch during the holidays, and I do think it’s funny). As I sat through this Vacation, I thought of another, much better movie about a cross country road trip that was also pretty crude but was far funnier, much better done, and had another The Office actor (Steve Carrell) in it: Little Miss Sunshine.

[Let me add that, in Little Miss Sunshine, the purpose of the trip and its destination seemed much more important. Not only that, but in Vacation, they took detours that didn’t make sense, even from a plot standpoint.]

Plot? What plot? Oh, yeah…

Now for the Pizza:

Occasionally, my husband makes individual pizzas from scratch for dinner (he’s the family chef). The toppings we chose this time reminded me of those, because he uses ingredients we have in the fridge, like (leftover) chicken, sun dried tomatoes, and poblano peppers, among others. This pizza was just as good, and very tasty.

Going to the movies as often as we (currently) do, we’ve seen some bad films, some mediocre ones, and some really good ones. But our pizzas are almost always fantastic.

* I got married there, and I don’t think it looks anything like the Plano, Texas in this film!

 

Pizza and a Movie: I’ll See You In My Dreams

This weekend’s Pizza Toppings at Corner Pizza:

  • Arugula
  • Corn
  • Poblano Peppers

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Movie:

I’ll See You In My Dreams

My husband and I are as fond of Arugula as anyone else is – but neither of us had ever had it on a pizza before. Interestingly (to me, since I don’t know how to cook – and my husband seemed bemused at my surprise, since he does cook), the chefs added it after the pizza had been baked. So it kind of felt like a (substantial) garnish.

I guess if they hadn’t done that, it wouldn’t have worked out too well. But I was all prepared for something warm and wilty, like spinach.

In any case, it was the vegetarian pizza we had agreed on last week. The arugula made it feel kind of salad-y, too, and it was colorful, light and tasty. Afterward, we headed to the cinema, and here’s my review of I’ll See You In My Dreams:

I’ll start with what I liked (in order):

  1. The singing. Blythe Danner was fantastic at that, and I thought she did a great job acting in the film.
  2. The fact that her character was always asking for, offering, and drinking wine.
  3. The pool guy (not your typical one, but I thought he was sweet, and I wanted the best for him).
  4. Sam Elliott was great, too, and well cast, but I’ve always been kind of 50 – 50 on him, for some reason. However, I thought all the actors were well cast.
  5. The dialogue, for the most part. In one scene, there was a much needed reference to an imaginary guy named Alphonse that I thought was particularly funny.

What I didn’t like:

Basically, the story.

In short, it was sad – sadder than I thought it would be. I felt for Carol (Blythe Danner) and wanted her to find happiness. What she decided on at the end just didn’t quite do it for me.

I’ve read that some people found the movie touching, even witty, and I didn’t think it was a bad movie. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would.

Maybe it’s like Arugula, in that you kind of have to be in the mood for it. And you might just love it.

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