The parental units were happy I made it home, and I stayed up for around an hour with them once I made it in the door. I had some last-minute stocking stuffer wrapping to do for their stockings, then hit the sack. This morning, we had a nice Christmas morning. No one stuck to any sort of limits with the gift-buying, like we always say we will, and I scored some nice things - a few new sweaters, a DVD player for school (my parents bought it in Baltimore with me on Black Friday for $29, then drove it all the way back to South Haven to wrap it and write "From Santa"), a CD boombox, a few books, a couple of gift certificates to Barnes and Noble, and even a pair of black dress shoes. My sister got me a spatula, which was sort of a joke because she saw me using a fork to flip a veggie burger when she was at my place and couldn't believe it.
We've sat around almost all day watching movies. Here are my mini-reviews:
1. The Upside of Anger: Joan Allen is one of those actresses that I think I'd pay to watch read a phonebook, but this dramedy didn't do much for me. It was even one of those character dramas that I usually like a lot, but I just thought it was a big bore. Two stars.
2. 40 Year Old Virgin: I laughed out loud at this movie so many times. This is one of the best comedies since Office Space, and has a similarly superb supporting cast. I especially thought the actors playing the blonde female boss and the black co-worker were superb. In addition, although I haven't been a virgin since that Thanksgiving weekend back when I was 19, I still sort of wish I had friends like this guy had who were so intent on getting me laid. [Speaking of which, the
3. The Polar Express: Cool, if a little creepy, animation, but this was just a Zemeckis excuse to do a lot of cool things with computers rather than tell a story. There was no story here, and even the freakish animation didn't hold my attention very long. A star and a half.
4. Saved!: Doesn't get much past its juicy premise - a very Christian teenage girl tries to "save" her gay boyfriend by having sex with him after she thinks Jesus gives him a message to do so, and she gets pregnant and the boy gets sent off to degayification camp. Instead, it lobs softballs at easy targets and isn't helped much by the acting of Mandy Moore when the film goes into Heathers mode. Where is Kim Walker when you need her? (Dead, apparently. That sucks.) Anyhow, two stars.
It's so nice to sit around and watch movies and play cards. The other good news I discovered today was that our hometown movie theater is playing King Kong. The South Haven Michigan Theater is a converted stage theater, and movies are just $3.50 there. On Mondays, admission is 2 for $5, and on Thursdays, if you bring an empty bag, you get free popcorn. I'm so there.