I was having a perfectly slow day at the office on Friday. Not much was happening that required my full attention and, luckily, everyone else seemed as uninterested in working as I did. The slow pace of the day had me looking forward to a quiet night at home enjoying some extreme relaxation. I don’t get those very often, so it was going to be quite a treat.
Things were going according to plan until around 3:30 PM when two ladies I work with (we’ll call them “Sabrina” and “Leslie” to protect their anonymity) asked me if I’d like to join them at the movies. They were going to see “Black Swan” at 5:30. This didn’t really fall under “extreme relaxation” so I initially balked at the idea, saying I’d consider it. “I’ll consider it” is kind of like when your parents would tell you “We’ll see”. It almost universally means no. What you have to understand, however, is that these two women can be very persistent when they want to be and that’s generally all the time. We were to leave at 5:00.
5:15 rolls around and Sabrina has lost track of time. I tell the ladies we won’t make the 5:30 movie but they insist we’ll be fine. We race to the movie theatre, Leslie leading the charge with Sabrina and I following behind. Leslie drives past two lit “THEATRE PARKING” signs before pulling into another lot and asking “Where do we park?” We take the lead and try the first parking structure. It’s full. We pull up to the next structure and there are two entrances. One with a ticket machine and one that’s wide open. We pull in and take the ticket from the box. Right next to the box is a sign that says “Theater does not validate parking” but we ignore it for some reason. We park, get out of the cars, and begin discussing how much we’ll have to pay to park when we get out of the movie. I mention that there’s another entrance and we decide to try it. Sabrina, being on top of things, throws her car into reverse and hits the gas but nothing happens. It turns out that she forgot to actually turn the key. Yeah, it was shaping up to be that kind of night.
The next entrance is wide open – no ticket to pull, nothing. The sign says that theatre parking is on level 5 through 7. We pull in and pass this sign:
Sabrina says “Are we already on level five? Oh, wait, that’s the speed limit.” This night was getting more and more entertaining! We finally park – again – and make our way to the elevator. It’s one of those annoying ones that have as three buttons marked with an “L”. For example there’s PL, LL, and BL. I don’t know which one is the lobby but, thankfully, they’ve put a little star next to the LL. I press it and down we go. We exit and realize that there’s no way to the street (which we need to cross to get to the theatre) and end up taking the stairs down another level. We emerge in a mostly empty subterranean parking structure, the kind that you see in most horror movies. It’s creepy as hell. There’s one ramp leading up that says “No pedestrian access” and some stairs in the darkest corner of the thing. We make our way to the corner and head up an unusual amount of stairs where we finally emerge on the street, the theater across the street shining like a beacon in the night.
We make our way across the street and peruse the board. It’s now around 6:00 so we’ve missed the Black Swan. We decide on the 7:15 showing. Our next order of business was to decide how to kill an hour or so but, because I was with two women, we had to find the bathroom first.
The girls made their way to the bathroom while I stood outside and looked at this:
What the Arclight cinema had done was asked their members to submit a quote about the Arclight. They picked 100 of them and put them on this giant wall. Included with the quote is a picture of the person who submitted it in which they act out something from their favorite movie. There’s a guy pointing whose favorite movie is “E.T.” There’s a lady with messy hair whose favorite movie is “There’s Something About Mary”. Then there’s this one:
The gentleman’s favorite move is “Planet of the Apes”. While it doesn’t say which version is his favorite (original or Burton version) it does seem remarkably racist, doesn’t it? Thought you were gonna sneak that one in and no one would notice, huh, Arclight? Cosby Sweaters is ALWAYS watching.
The girls emerged from the bathroom and we decided to kill some time at the bar. Double Jack straight up and a Fat Tire, please!
We had a lovely time at the bar, me and my two dates. We talked about work, life, bartered with Leslie in an attempt to get her cough medicine so I could make Sizzurp and somehow even Brokeback Mountain came into play. After we finished the first round I suggested a second comprised of this:
Unfortunately, these girls are plenty smart and read Cosby Sweaters, so they knew where I was going with that.
Now it’s time to get into the theater. Of course, we have to get food and 2/3 of us have to pee again. Peeing comes first and the girls disappear into the bathroom. They emerge laughing their asses off and debating on whether this girl is an “up” or a “down”. They were adamant that she was a “down”.
I had no idea what they were talking about but she seemed to be more of an “up” for me.
We make our way to the concession stand and order popcorn, peanut M&M’s, two Diet Cokes and, for Leslie, a smoothie mixture – half berry, half mango. “Merry”:
We were finally, after quite the adventurous night, off to see “Black Swan”. My friend Kendrick saw it a week before I did and summed it up by saying it, “…combines the lightheartedness of ‘The Wrestler’ with the warmth and positivity of ‘Requiem For A Dream’. That movie will put hair on your balls.”
Kendrick was right. That movie made my balls significantly hairier. It’s the story of a young ballet dancer (played to perfection by Natalie Portman) who is selected to dance the part of the Swan Princess in her company’s production of “Swan Lake”. She has an overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey, Coach Dale’s old flame) who pushes her own unrealized dreams of being a prima ballerina onto her sheltered daughter, which results in poor Natalie Portman being unable to lose herself in dance as she’s always too concerned about the technical aspects of her movement. Unfortunately, there is a White Swan and a Black Swan in “Swan Lake”. The White Swan is perfect for young Natalie but she doesn’t have the dark, dirty side that the Black Swan requires. Enter Mila Kunis, a dancer fresh in from San Francisco, who has everything the Black Swan needs.
Normally I would say, “and hilarity ensues” but it never does. “Black Swan” is a pretty messed up story that I won’t spoil for you by telling you much more about it. I can tell you, however, that there’s a scene with Mila and Natalie that is really, really, really hot. Super hot. Cosby hot.
Natalie Portman is going to win an Oscar for her performance in this film. I guarantee it. Her performance is amazing. I wouldn’t at all be shocked to find Kunis or Hershey up for supporting roles, but Natalie is going to win Best Actress. They might as well hand it to her now.
Overall, I was riveted by the film. Truth be told I was reluctant to see this movie simply because I thought it sounded boring. Ballet? Swan Lake? No thank you very much! I gotta tell you, though, that this film was incredible. It sucked me in from the start and by the end I was completely blown away. It’s that good. There’s not a bad performance in it and Aronofsky delivers once again, His direction is amazing, especially considering what he had to put together to make this story work. Gentlemen, this is a perfect date movie. Girls will want to see it and be impressed that you want to as well.
So the movie ends and off we go, me and my two dates. The girls have to pee again and so do I at this point so I make my first trip to the restroom. The Arclight has fancy toilets, as evidenced below:
Once I read that sign I now know what the girls meant when they were saying the skonka from earlier in the evening was a “down”.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier that I exchanged my night of extreme relaxation for one filled with loads of laughs, a lot of fun, and a really great film. Here’s a tip to you boys out there: if two pretty girls from your office ask you to go to the movies, say yes. You’ll be glad you did, as I was.