Renting some youth for two hours
It’s getting colder in the ‘Boro. I can tell because my Viactin multi-vitamins are harder to chew.
But that’s beside the point. Last night Colin and I went to go see Rent. You have to understand that the last movie we saw was Chicken Little, so this was special. Compounded by the fact that Colin saw it on Broadway and bought the soundtrack, so we knew all the words. I’ve always been thankful that my husband is this athletic, manly guy who also appreciates art, no matter what the subject matter.
So we go to the movie, a movie that is a remake of La Boheme and deals with AIDS, drug use, poverty and art.
Here in the ‘Boro, a smallish town south of Nashville, there are only two theatres—the “good one” and the “scary one.” We chose the good one, because seeing a larger than life musical deserves a big screen. Alas no. They stuck us in this puny theatre that fits about 100 people.
As the annoying Fandango ads and dancing hot dog ran on the screen, we looked around at our Rent-loving compadres. I felt time-warped. Tons of teenagers. Mostly girls. Cell phone lights dotted the room punctuated with giggles and hair-flipping. Then in walked a couple about our age. They sat right behind us, and like when I was pregnant and ran into another pregnant woman, I felt akin. Who were these people our age who appreciated a little music and AZT-popping?
Seeing that I make most of my friends in public places, I was tempted to turn around and introduce myself. Colin teases me for my friend-making techniques. No longer do I have friends named Claire, Marge and Sally, but “Coffee Shop Carol”, “Bookstore Belinda” and “Playground Patti.” So I was sitting thinking if this woman might turn out to be Rent Rachael, Movie Marnie or (hold me down) -- Cinema Selena.
Besides the adolescent laughs and “oh my Gods” during the chaste gay romantic scenes, the movie got an interesting reception in these parts. Frankly, I don’t think the movie made a smooth transition to the screen. What is theatrical cannot always be cinematic, and there were part of the movie that seemed laughable because the timing and rhythm were not right. Maybe an intermission would have helped.
Nonetheless, it is a kick-ass revolt against what this town I live in is about, where art is NASCAR and music is Toby Keith. This movie talked about compassion and creation is a way that left the Baptist-going audience a bit confused, where only Christians are allowed to possess compassion and only God can create.
And thus, our new best friends, the couple behind us, walked out a third of the way through. My husband looked at me as if he knew what I was thinking. Oh, and I was wrong, there was another couple our age there—down in front. I know because they too walked out.
So we were stuck with the fifteen year olds.
I wonder if the couples left because it was too much an assault of reality, or they were repulsed by the gayness—done tactfully. (Frankly, Jessie L. Martin is still fine, gay, straight or dead.) And did they then think that Colin was gay for staying, much less liking the movie?
So once again, Colin and I find that we are at home with people half our age or gays.
So ‘Boro, once again, you mystify me. How long are you going to stay in your bleached-blonde, John Deere driving bubble?
By the way, your kids are down with it. At the end, as the credits rolled, there they were applauding.
There’s a line in the song , “La Vie Boheme”, that says “The opposite of war isn’t peace--it’s creation.” But, of course, the South walked out before they got to hear that line.