Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Away We Go

I am going through this.
Other friends I know are going through this.
Some have already left town.
Others are seriously considering it.

For me the question is: To LA with bay-bee or NOT to LA with bay-bee soon to be preschooler with a college tuition size price tag and then public school lets hope he can read kid and then not long after a tagging teen, maybe he's got talent? Of course you fervently pray that he's not a gang banger with jeans around his butt crack but realistically how do you prevent that when your neighborhood is filled with gang bangers? 

So needless to say I found the movie about the couple trying to figure out where to move to raise their kid to be incredibly relevant.

This movie is such a great mediation on these oh-so-critical questions: How best to do this? Where do we want to raise our family? What are the questions we ask in order to make such a huge decision?

I need to share that I had two distinctly different experiences at two different times watching this film. Which is one of the reasons I think I have been jumping up and down and wanting to talk about it. (I left the poll up over there so you can see how ridiculous I am.)

Take 1: Tried to go to a Mommy and Me movie when BHB was like 5 weeks old. They had the wrong time on their website so a bunch of us stroller pushin' wide-eyed sleep deprived Momma's pulled up to find out the movie had started 1/2 hour before. Some shrugged and wandered into the dark room with their hands already in a giant barrel of popcorn. Myself and several other Momma's were too indignant about our movie going experience and choose something else. I choose this movie. Only trouble is, it wasn't a Mommy and Me screening which meant no-one was going to think it was even remotely okay for me to a) have the tiny boy in there b) hear from him c) be willing to turn down the DAMN loud soundtrack. 

He was great through the previews. He was lovely through the first two minutes. He grabbed a little milksnack in the darkness, so far so good. About minute 3 the discontent began and so my ping pong match of going in and out and bouncing and lurking close by to try to watch and then if not watch listen while I change a diaper on the slanted carpet ramp leading into the theatre and this was my experience:

me: I hate this movie. It's so fake-ee and over played and why is the acting so giant and unrealistic and ugh. This is stupid. 

I left after about 20 minutes having spent approximately 5 in front of the screen.  I was unimpressed.

Take 2: My dear friend babysat for us about a month or so ago - oh wait, yea. On New Years Eve, god bless her right? BHB snored and she watched her some pay-per-view (the least we could do, right?). She rented this movie while we were away. When she told me I thought... 

me: Ugh. 

But oh well, right? We've got it for 24 more hours to watch it so we should check it out. And then. 

I loved it! From the first frame. I thought it was in fact entirely enchanting. Hilarious. Poignant and sweet. Basically the exact movie I wanted to see then and have several times been tempted to thrown down 6 bucks on the PPV to see it again. 

The two leads were delightful. I don't watch The Office, so I don't know John Kraniski from Adam, especially due to the giant beard, but it was nice because I wasn't taken out of the movie by his known-ness. Maya Rudulph is adorable, I don't know how else to say it. Adorable even in the fake belly, just so present and available to the high wire of emotions that the pregnant ladies waddle across. I did anyway. 

Even though I've claimed before I have a real need for plot, this isn't a big plot-ee film. But it unfolds beautifully and you know Sam Mendes ain't no slacker in the directing department. I'm a big fan of the way he creates moments. Like the plastic bag moment in American Beauty. Or about 14 million others in that movie, how about Annette Bening in the driving around suburbia singing her heart out? He does the same thing here, he gives us these still snapshots that breathe and resonate. The two of them sitting out by the pool discussing pregnancy weight gain. The way he was unspooling their future in the end frame. I'm avoiding having to do a spoiler alert here, I'm just speaking in weird vague ways, I hope that's working for you. If you've seen it, you understand. If not, perhaps this will make you plunk down a few bucks or click it on up on your Netflix Que. I definitely recommend it.

Of course I have to give a shout out to the most hilarious, memorable moment in recent movie memory -  the stroller scene. The character that Maggie Gyllenhaal plays is so perfectly ridiculous, so hilariously extreme in her attachment parenting rant...I just about peed my pants laughing. You know that peeing laughter when you know you are laughing at yourself? Yea, that one.

'Cause for reals I was a total Moby wearing graduate to Ergo sportin' Momma. Still am. The first time I put him in a stroller (recently) I was like oooh noo! I can't see him! He can't see me! What  am I doing!? This is unconscionable! But, for the record, I am over it. And I quote the movie alot. 

In fact, let's bust out a *Spoiler Alert*

For one line. It's so brilliant:

"I Love my babies! Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?"

*That's it* 

Wishing for more hours in the day so I could watch this movie again,

PS - Thanks for the commiserating in my safety dance rant. I'm still in search of solution, in the meantime my shoulders look great in my ears.

PPS - Thanks for reading you guys. In my quick little reference here about what the 'Big Life Decision' is, it's so nice to not feel so alone in the struggle. This blog (and the lovely comments) give me a really lovely feeling of camaraderie and safety. It's an illusion clearly, but I look forward to coming here and also following you back to read what you're doing. It's fun up here in cyber mommy space. Xo!


  1. Are you the blogger who recently let her child cry it out? Is your baby still doing great? Just haven't heard an update in awhile and I'm still wishing you all the best!~

  2. yes yes and yes. i want to watch this movie now, and you must raise G$ in LA.... I promise to personally make sure he is not a gang banger.


    xoxoxo ~your BFF.
    well...........................one of them.

  3. Oh I looooooved this movie. I had to watch it twice, too, because the first time I watched it with my adorable, cultured husband he just kept saying "I don't get it... what?" and it annoyed me too much to enjoy it properly. '

    The stroller scene is officially one of my favorites, too. And what's that line about the co-sleeping? Something like "Oh, do you intend to hide your lovemaking from your children?" Something like that. Friggin hilarious.

    And also poignant and moving. And I loved that John Kraniski and Maya Rudulph just feel like regular ole people - their acting is great, their chemistry is great. They were perfectly cast, IMO.

    Can you tell I liked it? :)

    And how perfect for you, too, as you mull over your Big Decision. Good luck.


  4. Oh my goodness Jane, we have been having this talk--about where to go and when--for months now. We are excited about possibly a new great adventure in Portland, Oregon, but are apprehensive to leave this sunny and 70's great pot of diversity and culture. But, then, other days, we are literally dying to escape the smog, traffic, and irrationally unreasonable cost of living for families.

    And, this movie brought us both to tears. Not only because it ,too, touched on a subject we have been greatly debating, but also because it reminded us what's important at the end of the day--us, our love, and each other. Sappy, sappy, I know...

    Love to G$.

    J & NF

  5. I didn't expect to like this movie at all. I mean Dave Eggers -- eh. But not only did it meaningfully address this whole "where the f%$# do I raise my family" dilemma, but it took the piss out of obnoxious attachment parenting disciples and lampooned all the ridiculous shit people say to pregnant women. I didn't know that Dave Eggers could be singing my song.

  6. I'm expecting this movie to speak to me, and it better not let me down. (I'm saying this as someone who chose to leave town. San Francisco, you still have my heart.)

  7. On your advice, Mr. Smith and I will be renting this one.

    We are facing this dilemma. We like in OC, which is like living in a really scary, super, ultra religious Republican enclave. We struggle with the lifestyle (Real Housewives of OC says it all) and the fact that we want our children to be a little deeper than a puddle.

    Tough call. We need to be here for our business. What to do, what to do. For now, we stay.

  8. that should say live in OC, not like in OC. We do not like OC, despite the fact that Mr. Smith was raised here.

  9. Hmmm...I'm thinking I'll have to convince my husband that we should rent this on V-day. Maybe he'll love it as much as I expect to? Great review! (Especially the two distinctly different impressions. Oh, the colors of frustration and how they bleed over into our perceptions :))

  10. Every now and then I picture the office door opening to reveal Maggie G nursing her baby AND her four-year-old and just crack up. So great. I already pitched the greatness of LA on JJ's blog so I won't bore you here. I say wait til you get your Oscar, then buy a big spread in Montana next to Harrison Ford's.