Now that my son is back in school, I have chunks of the day to myself. Of course, there are my daily to-do lists which include errands and chores around the house. There’s my writing. And then there’s my lunch.
Most days, I choose to enjoy my lunch at home while re-watching a favorite DVD. It’s quite an indulgence for me. Occasionally, my husband and I will watch a movie at night, after Ryan is asleep, but I’m always worried about the volume. I play with the remote, raising and lowering the sound as needed. I’m afraid to laugh too loud in fear that I will wake up our son.
But during lunch, the house is mine. I turn the volume up and am not hesitant at all about laughing out loud or talking to the actors on the screen.
I watch different movies for different reasons. For inspiration, I might watch Julie and Julia or Eat Pray Love. For encouragement, I ‘d select Larry Crowne or Under the Tuscan Sun. For laughs, I’d choose The Wedding Singer or Music and Lyrics. And just for “feel good” effect, I’d select The Shop Around the Corner or Mamma Mia.
This week it’s Mamma Mia. (It takes me a few days, at least, to make it through one movie). I have seen the live production three different times in Los Angeles, and had always hoped there would be a movie version. (So much cheaper to re-watch a DVD than buy tickets to a live production).
And while I’m certainly no film critic and truthfully don’t enjoy a wide variety of films (no thriller or horror films for me), I am absolutely amazed at watching Meryl Streep. She’s impossible to typecast. I’ve seen her in The Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia (one of my favorites), The Bridges of Madison County, and Music of the Heart (to name a few), but yet in each film she’s a completely different character. I don’t watch Mamma Mia thinking that Meryl Streep is Julia Child singing ABBA songs. On the other hand, every time I see Matthew Broderick I can’t help but think of him as Ferris Bueller.
When I was teaching, lunch breaks weren’t often “breaks,” as in an escape or “time-out” from what I was doing the rest of the day. There were knocks on the classroom door from children who had forgotten their lunch money. There were copies to make or phone calls to return or something to discuss with the principal. My forty minute lunch break was often much shorter than that.
But now that I’m home, I can take a well-deserved lunch break. And, for a little while, I can escape into another place and another time by watching a movie.
So this week, you’ll find me in Greece. Mamma Mia was shot in a beautiful location, is a love story with a happy ending, and has great music. I don’t need much more than that.