A couple of nights ago, taking a break from the furious packing of boxes in preparation for my previously discussed move to the Heights, I poured a glass of wine and turned on the ol’ boob tube (this is a phrase my mom says and my only semi-ironic use of it is indicative of the frightening journey I’m currently on called “Becoming My Mother”).
My intention was to watch a “Medium” rerun on Lifetime (signs two and three, though as this was at 10:30 p.m. and my mother would have been asleep for four hours, that’s really only sign 2.5). I very recently got into “Medium” because, one night while sad and wearing my clothes to bed, I watched part of it and it was surprisingly not-terrible. It seems like it would be, really, on every level. But it’s kind of smart and sometimes weird and occasionally arty (a smidge). When your husband’s a rock star (as mine is, thus my use of a pseudonym), you find that you’ve got some time to kill from 10pm-12am, so I was excited about a new distraction.
Next part of the story: It’s 10 p.m.; a full 30 minutes before the show starts. I flip through the channels, hoping to find a show where people go looking for houses and say things that are ridiculous and harp on about marble countertops (seriously overrated and soon to be dated, in my opinion). Instead, a familar face catches my eye. It is the face of the one-and-only, the iconic, the once young Barbra Streisand. She’s got super curly hair and is yelling something about something when the camera pans to the also very young Robert Redford. My brain does a little adding and I realize: it’s The Way We Were, a classic movie that I have never actually seen. I wonder how far into the film it is and whether it’s worth checking out--and that’s when the credits roll. My friends, I was just in time.
Now, I love classic movies. They don’t even have to hold up with time. I like wacky banter and unabashed sentimentality, but only from old movies because if it was done after 1989 it’s just not genuine because that’s when irony was invented. And I’ve seen a lot of old-timey fare, but somehow missed ever seeing this 1973 film, which spawned the hummable good-time hit “The Way We Were,” which I sometimes think is the song “Memories.”
So I watched it. It was OK. Babs has a lot of moxie, and Redford nearly charmed my high-waisted sweatpants off, but I don’t totally get why it’s so popular. Also, the ending sucks because of them having a rhymes-with-“shmaby” and then he leaves and is like, well, good luck with that. (I didn’t want to spoil it and so used code.)
I did tear up a bit, which made me uncomfortable. And then I told my husband I watched it and he was sad about that.