Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Don't Know How Anyone Does It

I never go to the movies. We went from being those parents who never go to the movies to the parents who still never go. It's a logistics hassle. Not a nightmare, just a hassle. Netflix is so much easier.

Last night, however, I went to see I Don't Know How She Does It, with a new friend. It was an old-fashioned get-to-know-you girl-date. Afterwards, in the car, we both agreed the movie was pretty much what we expected and not as funny as we wanted it to be.

Then I said, I found it to be stressful.

She laughed. Maybe that's because you're a mom? she said.

Maybe. It's because that shit is true, I said. And I didn't like that. I didn't want the movie to have an agenda, but it did address head on the myths and truths of working women. If you act like a man, you're aggressive and difficult. If you act like a woman you're moody and difficult. Either way, you're difficult.

But there were other things -- more subtle things -- that bothered me about the movie. I wanted Greg Kinnear's character to be stronger. I wanted him to get angrier than he did. To be less of a dream boat supporter. He was a great dad, and totally -- totally -- cute in his glasses. But his near passivity annoyed me.

I wanted it to be less of a fairy tale ending when the assistant had her baby. It was a little too "babies are difficult but they solve all of your identity crises" for me.

I would have slept with Pierce Brosnan's character. Or, okay, maybe I wouldn't have. But I would have wavered a lot more than SJP did. A lot.

One of the things I love the most about the fiction I love is when the people are really real. When they make mistakes. They make bad decisions. Things are hard for them. People get hurt. When the baby falls down the stairs because you're at work, something terrible happens. Greg Kinnear doesn't pick up all the pieces. And the baby doesn't fall down the stairs while you're working, because that feels didactic. He falls downstairs while you're right there. Watching. And there's still little you can do to stop it from happening.

I guess it felt like advertising to me. A shiny commercial for having it all, a career, beautiful kids, a hot nanny, a supportive and cute husband. The strong will not to sleep with Pierce Brosnan. I hope the book is better. But in truth, I'll probably never find out. I have too much to do. At least I can cross "blogging" off my list for today.

1 comment:

  1. this reminds me of when k and i went to see eat, pray, love. we wanted to like it! (especially k) but then we heckled it all the way through.

    i was listening to an npr thing about how awful rom coms are when a woman called in to say how great rom coms are! it felt good to her to watch the same contrived stories, the same happy endings over and over again.

    so... we're not these women. i think probably most women aren't these women, right? i hope. where are the flannery o'connor movies and the alice munro movies? those would be bitchin.