Before I begin this column, let me state that I am not a movie snob. I am amused fairly easily. In fact, I’m probably the only person on Earth who actually enjoyed The Beverly Hillbillies movie, and genuinely was baffled when Roger Ebert gave it zero stars.
I know that you all think of me as an intellectual and an aesthete.
What other type of person could churn out such sophisticated and thoughtful prose in column form every couple of weeks?
Yet, even a person of my refined taste and great wit likes to wallow with the hoi polloi on occasion, which is why I found myself buying a ticket to a movie called How Do You Know last weekend.
I went to the movies in order to avoid arriving at my parents’ home two hours early. If you have parents, you’ll understand this.
Several movies on the marquee looked like they might be challenging and rewarding. But I picked How Do You Know because it stars Reese Witherspoon, who has played a supporting role in some of my minor sex fantasies.
I’m not going to get into the intricacies of the plot, because it had none. It was one of the worst romantic comedies I ever have seen. As I’m involved romantically with a woman who loves romantic comedies, I’ve been forced to watch every awful rom com movie ever made. Sadly, I’ve seen so many of these idiotic films that I feel comfortable using the term “rom com” in polite conversation.
I would have walked out of the theater in disgust, but that would have meant arriving early at my parents’ home. So, I tuned out the movie, and pretended that I was watching a romantic comedy about my life instead.
Suddenly, there I was on the big screen! My hair looks perfect, which is always an indication that I’ve suspended disbelief.
I’m skipping down a city street accompanied by a small monkey, which always is in my fantasies. He usually is wearing a little usher’s jacket and a cap.
I’m in my mid-20s, dressed in a smart outfit, and carrying a stunning bag that doubles as a portfolio. I’m a successful career gal on the go!
And then, though a series of comic misadventures, I meet a girl. She’s beautiful and cunning. She makes me believe that she loves me. Because I am young, and filled with hope, I believe her! But she’s a cad, and breaks my heart. I mope around for several years, making a lot of bad choices, and hurting innocent people in the process.
Through a montage that shows me growing older, eating TV dinners alone with the monkey, and getting drinks tossed on me by angry girlfriends, we see me slowly evolving.
The montage ends when the monkey dies. I look up from his grave, and realize with a smile—the monkey lived a good life, so no reason to mourn—that it’s time to grow up, and find true love. Because this is a rom com, I do!
There she is, looking like a nonanorexic Renee Zellweger. She’s a great cook and a pain in my ass. She loves rom coms, and she loves me.
Both movies end—the one on screen and the one in my head. I glance at the person who has been clutching my hand for the past two hours.
It’s the fat Renee Zellweger! I didn’t make her up. Remarkably, she’s not weeping, as she usually does at the end of a rom com. She tells me that she hated the movie as much as I did. True love, at last! We hear the swell of music, and see a rush of end credits.
Author’s Note: The fat Renee Zellweger insists that I tell you she weighs only 130 pounds, which is the real Renee Zellweger’s definition of obese.