Today was the slowest day EVER. Really. Time did not move during the work day. It melted a little toward the end, but let me give you a recap of my day: I finished “The Crimson Petal and The White” in the afternoon, because things were so slow that 250 pages was completely doable, with time leftover to update my Web site, play with Library Thing, fetch Baked Cheetos from the Union, hire a new guy, and make and cut memos for the 75 apartments in Tower A. I also have a good start on “Valley of the Dolls” now, which was left for me by one of my desk workers.
I came home, got all changed, drove to the gym, realized I was still sore and tired from yesterday on top of being cranky, and then drove home and took a nap. Woke up and went to see theater movie #7 of the year, “Something New.” It was enjoyable. Not the average romantic comedy (though it did have many of the usual suspect pieces). Here’s something really interesting: what makes the movie stand out from the usual rom-com fare is that the main couple is Kenya, a successful, straight-laced, career-oriented African-American woman, and Brian, a laid-back white landscaper. The movie is told, essentially, from Kenya’s point of view, showing how the idea of up-tight, upper-class Kenya dating Brian causes a stir, both in her own view of herself — she’s married to her work, she has a list of what she thinks she wants, and it doesn’t include a white man — and in her circle of family and friends. The movie makes this its main issue (thank you, by the way, for NOT making the issue one of job v. man), and it does it very well, makes the fights and discussions blend in so it never feels, really, like anyone’s giving a speech or standing up for Every Black Woman or Every White Man. But here, look at the summary “provided by Focus Features” that’s on the IMDB page: absolutely no mention of the biracial component of the romance. Everything that makes this movie interesting is left out! Bleh.
A point I love about this movie, as mentioned above, is that it’s not the new standard Rom-Com breed of Job v. Man plot. Here, Kenya is clearly the lead character, and she’s very good at what she does, she’s bright and articulate and successful, and she manages to fall in love without ever a) crying in her office or b). running out of a meeting, thus symbolizing her love of Her Man over Her Job. Bravo. The people who suggest she needs to take time out of work to find a man are the characters who seem the most ridiculous (the brother, the over-concerned co-worker). When Brian mentions she needs to relax, it’s a general statement, not a “be home for me” kind of statement. I liked that. I wish more movies could strike this balance.