Wednesday, January 27, 2016

100% Pure Grown...

               I am not your typical movie viewer.  I tend to favor documentaries and independent and foreign films over most wide releases, unless it’s related to Star Wars or Harry Potter.  Don’t get me wrong, I have watched all sorts of movies, but usually only after significant coercion and with the promise of a discounted ticket.  Just like exercising or watching college football, I can sometimes be bullied and/or shamed into participation.

                This past weekend was the limited release of Maggie Smith’s newest movie, The Lady in the Van.  It is based on an Alan Bennett novella and is geared toward an audience just a wee bit different than those watching Ride Along 2.  One of the perks of preferring movies like this is the crowd tends to skew older and concerns about waiting in line and the possibility of sold-out status are usually non-existent.  When I arrived at the theatre and discovered a line snaking down the sidewalk and around the corner of the building I was confused.

                As I worked my way across the parking lot, I started to notice the audience was mostly female and mostly elderly.  I’m talking elderly like they may have driven an ambulance during WWII, just like Queen Elizabeth and Miss Smith’s character in the movie.  The accessory de la foule was an oxygen tank discretely encased in a Vera Bradley purse.  As I stood in line, I wondered would my time be spent surrounded by a more mature crowd or would it be like the time I found myself unwittingly at the mall with Payton during a Victoria’s Secret sale?  I pondered if there would be quiet older women, smiling pleasantly or would there be older versions of mean girls and nerd girls and party girls and snitches?  I focused on the female as, counting myself, there were five men out of approximately 100 movie fans.

                There were friends grouped together some complaining about having to wait, others raving about Maggie Smith and reminiscing about her breakthrough role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the first of her two Oscars.  There were those who mistook her for other people, like Geraldine Page, who is deceased and Olympia Dukakis, who is not.  There were mean girls gossiping about people both absent and, based on the judicious use of sotto voce, in attendance.  There were of course, tattletales who were talking about the ones who arrived later than their friends and seemingly cut in line and also about those who blatantly cut in line.  One group of tattlers even pointed out a “cutter” to the management of the theatre in an attempt to have her barred.  And there was the small group wondering aloud of the alcohol selections (as this theatre serves wine and beer) and snickering about contraband flasks.  There were a few plotting seat provisions with their companions. Of course, there were also normal women waiting quietly, scrolling on their phones or lost in their own thoughts. 

             I am definitely more mature than I was in college, but I also have days where I feel as if I’m faking my adulthood and no one is questioning it because I am, in the vernacular of my family, “pure grown.”

             Do we grow up or do we simply age?  I think the answer is both.  What do you think?

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