Thursday, May 19, 2005

Million Dollar Baby (17May05)

As we headed to The Cheap Theater to see the Academy Award-winning drama Million Dollar Baby, I wondered what kind of crowd we'd be joining there. I was reminded of the night of the Oscars -- and a clip of host Chris Rock interviewing average-Joe moviegoers at a local theater.

"Have you seen Million Dollar Baby?" he asked a gaggle of happy, popcorn-munching theater patrons.

"Nope," they all responded.

"What about White Chicks?" he added.

"I love that movie!" they all replied.

And at that moment, I smiled a smile of sadistic pleasure -- not because people in general loved White Chicks (that actually frightened me just a little bit -- but to each his own) but because I wasn't the only one who tended to avoid the heavy, dramatic movies that get so much hype from the Academy.

Of course, I still wanted to see it. I am, after all, a Movie Person. I have to see and appreciate all kinds of movies (even though -- I'll admit it -- it was pretty tempting to forget that crap and go see Man of the House or maybe Are We There Yet? instead).

But I did it. I went to see a Drama (one so dramatic and so critically acclaimed that it deserves a capital D).

But what kind of person actually goes to see a Drama -- especially in The Cheap Theater (which, in my mind, accommodates more to the Man of the House crowd)?

1) Older viewers. We were actually some of the youngest people in the theater. Most of the people there seemed to be somewhere in their 40s through their 60s (and even some in their 70s). We were surrounded by groups of middle-aged people and pairs of adorable petite white-haired women who smelled powdery -- just like my grandma always did. It made me wonder how they handled the gruesome scenes with broken noses and gushing blood (I, for one, closed my eyes).

2) Intellectual/alternative college students. Most likely philosophy majors who will go back to their dorms and sit up all night discussing the underlying message. Some may also be English majors as well, but I was an English major, and you never would have caught me in that theater when I was in college. I most likely would have been in the next theater over, watching Are We There Yet?

3) Three boys, ranging from about 12 to about 17. No, I don't get that one, either. I have a feeling it wasn't their idea.

4) A few people like me, who just go to look intellectual and open-minded.

Did I appreciate the movie? Yes. Did I secretly wish I'd snuck out and gone next door to see Are We There Yet? A little.


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