January: Johnson County

I couldn’t wait to see August: Osage County.  I bought  into the hype of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep in an Oklahoma family drama. I love Juliette Lewis and Sam Shephard and Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale and Ewan McGregor.

My expectations? A Ya Ya Sisterhood/Steel Magnolias funny dysfunctional family drama set in my neighborhood. I’m from Southeast Kansas which is close enough to Oklahoma to make me feel like it’s my people. The scenery was familiar. Not that I’ve been to that particular town, but yeah, I’ve Been to that Town.

My husband immediately advised in loud tones that there was no way in Hell he was seeing it.  This from a man I suckered into both Sex and The City movies. (Pretty sure it was the nudity and some well placed guilt). My sister in law said she would go. I could have called a friend.  I didn’t.  I didn’t want to plan, compromise on theaters, times, dates. I wanted it right now.

So I went by myself.  All alone. On a Sunday morning. An unofficial new year’s resolution-don’t wait around if you want it,  do it yourself.  I do not think this will be my last lonesome foray.

So it was a beautiful dry 50 degree (in January. In Kansas) Sunday morning.  I grabbed some equally dry lukewarm popcorn and slid into the theater slightly late.  I hate being late. Late means lights out creeping in during the previews.  I like to get there early and get THAT seat.  If you are familiar with Big Bang Theory you will understand my Sheldon method.  Alas, it was taken. Heavy sigh.

So there I was uncomfortable in borrowed skinny jeans and knee boots perpetrating a too young fashion look. Alone in the wrong seat.  In the dark.

I’m not going to lie. I like a happy ending.  This did not have a happy ending. There were funny moments at the first. I laughed out loud. Mostly it was uncomfortable, tense and just horrible.  I’m not saying it was a bad movie. God, no.  I cried through the whole thing.  The acting was superb.  I FELT for all the characters.  It was just too much.  Too much. Too dark of a theme for a hot August Oklahoma.  Too dark of a theme for a fortysomething daughter on a sunny clear January day.

I keep rereading this and saving it meaning to come back to it. To flesh out my reactions. But I’m rather speechless or I guess “at a loss for words” is more like it.  Maybe it was the fact that I watched it alone, got in my car and drove straight home.  Usually cinema experiences involve a over the shoulder, arguing with the backseat, discussion of the trailers, the plot, the characters.  I swallowed the rest of my tears, touched up my makeup and ended up morosely mopping the kitchen.

There were warnings.  A friend said, “it’s dark”.  Ok.  My daughter had seen it the night before, but hadn’t bothered to text me the run down.  I tried to rehash it with her over the phone and couldn’t really get anywhere. She ended up forcing her roommate to watch Steel Magnolias as a counterpoint.  See.  This is a great movie! This is comedy and tragedy.  As Truvy said, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

My favorite part?  When Julia Roberts loses her shit.

August: Osage County (2013)


One thought on “January: Johnson County

  1. Your friend was right. “It’s dark.” I’ve seen it twice and was glad to see it twice, but I still don’t think I can say that I loved it. I think it just leaves one too weary by the end. I don’t know how you had energy to go home and mop the kitchen.

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