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… could the movie end like this.

Now why do we go to the movies?


And in my case I tend toward Romantic Comedies and Light Hearted fare. No grizzly horror pics or outrageous end of the world action flicks for me.

If I wanted to see grief and misery all I would have to do is look at my own life. That’s not entertainment to me … at least not usually.

And the other reason I go to movies?


The really greasy type with extra butter. You see, some people go to movies for the movie … me, I go as much for the popcorn as anything else. And we all know that popcorn eaten in the company of a movie in a theatre has zero calories. I’m sure I heard that somewhere.

The man who fit the bill of the passionless partner in my recent life used to ask for popcorn with “artificial yellow foaming agent”.  Every time. Oh. How. Witty.

So I set off to go to the movies today starring two excellent actors … Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. I figure anyone who successfully roomed with Al Gore has to be good at acting.

It is the story of a couple who have been married for way too many years, in his opinion, to have excitement. You know … excitement? That passion, intimacy and romance that I would look for when I decide to be with someone again. And now that the children are gone, she realizes that there is more than a little bit wrong with the relationship they have.

And since I and a close friend had both been in similar passionless situations recently, we figured we would go see the movie … and laugh.

All the way over we hypothesized on what might be in the movie. And what the inevitable outcome would be. We were more than a little sure that sleeping arrangements would be cold. And snoring would be present.

We were not disappointed.

I had my reusable popcorn container in hand as we arrived for the afternoon matinée. After being told to go inside to get our tickets instead of the usual ticket counter, I approached the refreshment counter and asked if they had senior discounts.

They did … and how many tickets did I want?

“Two” I replied. Now the truth of the matter is, only my friend qualifies for the senior discount. But he did ask how many tickets I wanted, she rationalized. I am on the lookout for the ticket police, but they haven’t caught up with me yet.

Then I asked for a refill on my use-it-all-year-for-less bucket of popcorn. With extra butter. We got two Diet Cokes and ignored the obvious oxymoron of the whole extra-butter / diet-drink situation.

Actually, as it turned out we arrived while the features of coming attractions were still showing … for a full half hour after the movie was to start. Movies are perfect for those of us who run late sometime.

The movie was quite funny. And we laughed uproariously at all the key awkward parts.

There were separate bedrooms. And snoring. And coldness all around. 

It helped the story line that the two of them were equally inept. And neither had a clue about passion. Although Meryl Streeps’ character knew that she was not satisfied with the way things were.

And true to real life, once the counseling was over, they both went back to being who they really were. And the marriage to what it had always been.

But unlike real life, just as she was packed to leave, they both have a total conversion and passionate transformation and suddenly become two people that they never were before. And live happily ever after.

That’s the Hollywood ending you would expect in a Hollywood movie.

Now let’s look at reality.

Reality is that in most cases if there is dissatisfaction like they had, the marriage dissolves. And if there is infidelity, the odds are astronomical that the marriage will not survive. And if the partners are on two totally different levels of expectation as far as intimacy goes … well, either one partner is miserable, or both partners are miserable, or the marriage ends.

In the case of the movie, unlike my real life, they were on the same level … or more like non-level … as far as passion and ability and willingness went. And there was no infidelity.

And it was, after all, Hollywood. So there was a happy ending.

But above all things, that one great truth exists … anything with the word Holly in it has to good in my humble opinion.