Monday, December 31, 2012

I (Don't) Know What Boys Like

by Julia Buckley

Yesterday was my birthday.  I was able to enjoy some time with my husband at breakfast (at which point he had to go to work).  Then my sisters and nieces took me out for a very nice lunch.  My sons had promised that in the evening I could pick any movie and they would watch it with me.  This was very generous, since we can NEVER agree on a movie that we would all like to view.

So evening came, and I started perusing the Amazon movie downloads available for purchase.  I suggested It's Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin; even though it's a movie aimed at the older set, I knew my sons liked the two male actors and might enjoy the humor.

"No," said my eldest immediately.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because," he said, "It's the worst."

To Ian, "the worst" can describe just about anything: me, when I'm being too strict, or a class he doesn't like, or a movie he doesn't want to see.

Back to the drawing board.  "What about a Hugh Grant movie?"  I'm partial to Hugh Grant, but my sons immediately said (I kid you not) that he was their "least favorite Hugh."

I suggested a couple of Grant's films, including About a Boy (no--the worst); and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain (Mom! You're making that title up just to annoy us!).

I went the Disney route.  "What about That Darn Cat?  I always like Haley Mills in that movie."

My sons stared at me, mouths agape. "Mom. Are you serious with these suggestions?"

And it went on.  No to Firewall.  No to Frantic. No to anything from too long ago.  No to anything black and white. I asked if we could watch a suspense movie.  They said yes.  "But no espionage," Ian said, "and no intrigue."  That time he was joking.  :)

We finally settled on Collateral, only to find out that it wasn't available on Instant Watch.  Ugh.  Who knew that this was so hard?

I asked if we could watch Bridget Jones's Diary.  "No--nothing with the word diary in it," Ian said.

They did say they would be willing to watch one of my favorites, All the President's Men, but I had just seen it.

I asked if they wanted to watch one of the Star Wars films, but we disagreed about which were the best.

Finally, after literally an hour of negotiations, we agreed to watch Snow White and the Huntsman.  The boys were willing because the cast had both Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Ian MacShane (Deadwood).  I was willing because I'd heard it had cool special effects and had an interesting twist on the fairy tale.

So we watched that movie, and the boys talked over most of it.  This is what they meant with their generous birthday offer.

But it was a good birthday, and I'm lucky to have lived another year and to have healthy children.  So ultimately I was quite satisfied.


Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Happy birthday, Julia! At least they're still home on the couch with you. I haven't watched a movie with my son in decades, but the last time he recommended one was the first Pirates of the Caribbean. "I think you'll like this, Ma," he said. "It's got cute violence." Actually, what I want now is for him to go to the movies without me, so I can babysit the grandchildren.

Julia Buckley said...

Haha. I really liked Pirates of the Caribbean! Did you?

Yes, I can see the grandchildren becoming the preferred group. :)

Thanks for your wishes.

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