Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Savages Review

Last night, I saw the new film The Savages. I can't say it was the greatest movie I saw this year, but it has stayed with me today. The movie stars Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as siblings who have to put their father into a nursing home. The thing is, neither sibling really had a relationship with their father who abandonded them and are torn between emotions of obligation, loss and guilt. Laura Linney's character is a neurotic self-obsessed survivor living in New York with her cat. (I kind of related to her.) PSH plays a drama professor living in Buffalo who can't commit to his Polish girlfriend. Both performances were amazing, and the script had some killer dialogue such as, "This isn't therapy. This is real life." There is also a hilarious exchange where the siblings equate their father's situation to the Emergency Alert system determining that their father's situation is in "yellow" status. Yet, as I watched the film, I kept thinking about how every year my family argues about going to the Lancaster Outlet malls on Black Friday. I used to enjoy the outlets, but now the outlets don't sell outlet clothes. They just sell cheap crap that is manufactured for the outlets and while I can find something good sometimes, I don't enjoy the experience as much as I used to ten years ago. The Banana Republic outlet sells last season's styles replicated in cheap single ply fabrics. I'd prefer to do my discount shopping at H&M and Target where the bargains are genuine and not pretending to be something they are not. Somehow, I always still wind up on the outlet trip, despite my better judgement. Inevitably, I always get really cranky at the outlets and this results in a family fight where we yell at and insult each other's life choices, fashion sense and finally, each other's weight. Jabs can include everything from "Why are you so angry?" to "I hate you" to "Well, since you put on weight...." And, I'm always the bad guy because I didn't want to go to the fucking outlets in the god damned first place. After the outlet trip, The Savages drama seemed slightly obvious and trivial to me. I think my family status is in Orange.

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