So we went to the movies.
This might not sound like much to those of you who, you know, go to the movies. But for us, it's huge.
It's one of those things that we somehow forgot to inure the children to early on (like vegetables and being on time) and so by the time we got to movies, they were all so BIG and LOUD and UNPREDICTABLE that, well, they were too much. And some people of my acquaintance have a bit of a problem with plot tension. In a book, you can skip to the last (or next) page. In a movie? You just panic. So somehow, with the lovely exception of Moonrise Kingdom, we just don't go to the movies.
Until a week ago. When we hauled everyone in the house (inadvertently spreading a rather vicious influenza—sorry, every single person at the Ziegfeld) to see Les Miserables on Christmas Day. With yes, a visit to Chinatown for dinner afterwards. (Jews on Christmas day, we know how to party! Except for the influenza!)
We prepared. Oh, how we prepared! We read the synopsis on Wikipedia multiple times, to avoid the heavy stress of not knowing who would die. SPOILER ALERT: Pretty much everyone dies. We watched the preview. Often. We saw the pirated scene from the Spanish version on Gawker. We PREPARED.
And? I know, many of you have seen the multiple scolding reviews. I will not go so far as to say this is a good movie. Or that "You'll Love It!" However? I had an awesome time.
Note, for the faint of heart: said awesome time involved rubbing Chestnut's back as she dissolved into wracking sobs over, and over, and over again. (Also rubbing her back as she collapsed in horror from the onslaught of the previews, but that's another story.) Crying, it must be admitted, myself. (It's sad, OK? They're Miserables, after all.) Watching Diana, whose taste runs to cerebral, meta, dark humor, also cry. Watching Aragorn cry. Watching the guy in front of us get angry because Diana touched his seat with her foot (he probably has the flu now—sorry!). Watching both guys in front of Chestnut turn in their seats repeatedly to see who was crying that hard. Floating out of the theater in full catharsis mode (catharsized?), empty of tears, uplifted by the whole "To love another person is to see the face of God," etc. Just: wow.
My belief: do you know an 11-year-old girl who feels things deeply? Go with her. Buy lots and lots of popcorn and m&ms. Prepare well. Cry your eyes out. When things get too intense, eat more candy. Emerge, renewed. Have an excellent Chinese dinner. Then go home and read a book.
Also: DON'T GET THE FLU.