We've been on a streak lately, in a rhythm, watching one Netflix movie a night. Sunday it was Thirteen (disturbing, but good), Monday it was Freaky Friday (fluffy fun), Tuesday it was Welcome to the Dollhouse (I thought it was great, Kris thought it rang false). All three are Thematically Linked. I like to arrange The Queue so that similar films come one after the other.
We're in the middle of a transition from "teen years are hell" films to documentaries. Capturing the Friedmans has been top on our list for several days, but for some reason it hasn't shipped (despite the fact that no wait is indicated in The Queue). Today we received American Splendor, which makes Kris groan.
"Oh, thrilling," she says, "a movie about a comic strip writer. This is going to be thrilling."
She comes into the office to rearrange The Queue. She doesn't like what she sees. (Remember: our One Rule is that I can add anything I want to The Queue, but only Kris is allowed to touch the Top Ten. I'm not good at following this One Rule.)
"What is this Donnie Darko crap? I've never even heard of that."
"I think it's Thematically Linked to Thirteen and Welcome to the Dollhouse," I say, hoping she hasn't read a plot description. It is about a high-school student, but the Internet Movie Database plot outline is sure to leave her cold:
Highschooler Donnie is plagued by visions of a giant evil rabbit who orders him to commit acts of violence and predicts the impending end of the world.Kris scoffs. She scorns my Thematic Links.
"And what's this A Scene at the Sea? A three-star foreign film? That's not going to be any good."
I try to defend myself, though I don't mention that A Scene at the Sea is Thematically Linked to the other Japanese films next to it in The Queue (Ikiru, Kikujiro, and The Hidden Fortress). I tell her, "You can't just judge the films by the star ratings. If we do, then you've got to let me bump Green Acres to the top of the list. Look: it gets 4-1/2 stars."
"Trust me. You don't want to watch Green Acres," Kris says. "It's like watching seven hours of Gilligan's Island."
I have to admit that seven hours of Gilligan's Island sounds like torture. But, then, the Gilligan's Island DVDs only get 3-1/2 stars, not 4-1/2 stars.
The more she sorts The Queue, the more things she finds wrong with it. "Half of these movies are on TCM all the time. In the Heat of the Night: all the time. The Remains of the Day: all the time. The Miracle Worker: All. The. Time. Apocalypse Now: once in a while. Romeo and Juliet: All. The. Time."
"Why do you have two Romeo and Juliets on here?" she asks.
"We don't need two Romeo and Juliets in a row. Especially since we've seen them both before."
I try to explain my reasoning. "If we see them both together we can compare and contrast them. Besides, it's a Thematic Link. See? Richard III is in there, too." (So is Ran, which pulls double duty, tying together two Thematic Links: Shakespeare and Japanese film.)
She shakes her head, flabbergasted with me. "Oh, please! Besides we have the Zeffirelli on tape."
"That's not the same as watching it on DVD," I say.
"Yeah, I know," she says. "It's free!"
When we're done fighting about The Queue, Kris goes to make her dinner. "Are we going to watch your movie?" she asks when her food is ready.
"I thought you didn't want to watch it," I say.
"I don't want to watch it, but I want you to watch it so that we can get rid of it and get something good."
She notices I'm transcribing our dialogue. "Hey! Don't write that down," she says. "Don't weblog this." When I refuse to stop — and, in fact, laugh at the situation, which I find amusing — she whirls to leave, announcing, "The cats don't like you anymore."
There you have it, friends: if you want to save your marriage — and for your cats to like you — do not join Netflix.
Addendum: we never did watch American Splendor tonight. I spent hours indulging my resurgent Civ3 addiction while Kris read George Eliot and watched The West Wing.
Both of us sulked.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2003 — Steamin' Pile of Links I was going to write a real entry today, something about my family history or about being a nerd or about my latest obsession with web-based word games, but somewhere along the way I managed to get sidetracked by things like these.
2002 — Son of Synthpop My awareness of popular music began at Ackerman Junior High, in the fall of 1981. There was a jukebox in the cafeteria, filled with 45s of popular songs.