Since my early crush on Han Solo, I’ve always liked action movies and I haven’t gotten over it. What right-minded girl doesn’t wish she were dating Jason Bourne? He has everything: abs, mental illness, multiple passports. What’s not to love?
Yeah, sure, I went through a grandiose phase in my teens (Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan, anyone?) and I saw a serious lot of drama and tragedy and just all-out weird shit when I studied film in my twenties, but I think I settled out into the middle when I hit my thirties. Comedy, action, rom com, some documentaries and drama.
(I’m still puzzled at why I stopped watching the edgier films when I got together with R. Maybe it coincided with my getting happier. Or because it’s harder to talk to your boyfriend when you’re trying to read subtitles or follow a plot that involves more than a dodgeball.)
Here’s the weird bit though: after we had A. last spring, my tastes narrowed even more. R. and I used to go to the movies a lot pre-A., but when we started going out again, about two months after A. was born, we had to be choosier because we got out less often. So what did we see? The Losers. Then The A-Team (punctuated by me saying, “This is the best movie EVER,” repeatedly to an uncomprehending R. Apparently, there’s no making up for missing out on Dirk Benedict when you were a twelve-year-old girl.) Then Iron Man 2. More recently, Red. Unstoppable. Limitless. The Mechanic. (Statham = reliable awesomeness on a stick.) God help us, we even saw The Expendables which you could tell from the trailers was going to just flat out suck and totally lived up to that expectation.
What is going on??
I have a couple of theories, naturally.
- I’m trying to keep my adrenaline up to keep up with the baby. Although taking down an assassin with a book and an armoire in Tangiers does seem to require more aerobic exercise ahead of time and more specialized skills than bending over 175 times in a day to pick up a 22-pound weight and trying to aim a rubber spoon accurately between two windmilling arms. Or maybe not.
- I haven’t fully recovered from ten and a half months of interrupted sleep and only super-bright explosions can keep my attention. Mumbling French people have no chance. Ditto, angsty teens, worried lesbians, bickering couples, and men living alone. Especially with beaver puppets. Bring the fire power, people.
- I have exhausted my interpretive abilities trying to guess if our tot is hungry, thirsty, tired or reaching for a wall socket, one of her books, or the large glass container of sugar that has recently come within her reach in the lower kitchen cupboard (deadly, much less interesting and bodily harmful, respectively). I have nothing left to apply to complicated emotional situations involving very attractive people I don’t know and who seem to have really very nice lives off-screen from what I can tell in the four and a half seconds I have to read up on them in Us Magazine in the grocery check-out line while R. pays and the baby is momentarily distracted by a passing balloon or piece of lint.
- I have become shallow.
Or maybe it’s just a phase that will pass when Astrid gets a little older. Then I can start watching Bugs Bunny with her, which demonstrates far greater depth I’m sure than my umpteenth viewing of The Bourne Reluctancy. In the meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be at the 8:10 showing of The Fast Five.
If you can’t beat ’em – and I definitely can’t: look at them for Pete’s sake – you might as well join ’em.