Saw a few movies this weekend: About Schmidt, Chocolat, and Bridget Jone’s Diary.
About Schmidt is the hardest to talk about. I liked it…I think. In a way, it wasn’t about anything. In another way, it was about life itself. Gak, that sounds idiotic. Basically, Jack Nicholson plays a 66 year old fellow named Warren Schmidt whose life is changing drastically, setting the poor fellow more or less adrift. It was worth seeing, but don’t fall all over yourself getting to the rental store. Oh, and contrary to what you might think from seeing the trailers, the bulk of the movie is *not* about him going to his daughter’s wedding. Nicholson is…well, Nicholson, and I mean that as praise. He spends a lot of the movie with that “this guy is searching inward with all his might, leaving no room for outward expression” look on his face, and you’re just waiting for him to explode.
Chocolat was a sweet (sometimes bitter-sweet) story of a woman and her daughter who move into a quiet, deeply Catholic village in France, and open a chocolate shop…during Lent. That puts her at odds with the village’s mayor and young priest. Her chocolate has a faintly magical effect on the people who eat it, and she ends up stirring up the folk of the village in some wonderful ways. Very sweet, sometimes funny, well worth watching…I think I’ll buy this one to have at hand whenever I need a pick-me-up.
And finally, Bridget Jone’s Diary was laugh-out-loud funny. A love story with not many surprises, but you never care because you spend the film worried about Bridget…or laughing at her…or laughing with her. As a guy, I got to peer into the female intellect and the problems girls face where men are concerned. Such as, do I wear the teeny tiny thong panties in case I get lucky, or do I wear the big tummy-control panties that aren’t the least bit sexy but make me look better dressed, and thus improve the chances of getting lucky. Girls worry about this? Who knew? A fine, funny film. I was very pleasantly surprised.
For a laugh, rent BJD. To feel good in your soul, rent Chocolat. And to observe the human condition, rent Schmidt.