Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Old Dogs" - Movie Review

Old Dogs is a great movie to see if you're looking for some casual entertainment. I'd recommend it for date night and/or for family night. It's the kind of movie that is best enjoyed if you can suspend disbelief and just go with it. It's better if you don't question things like the short-notice ability of two 50+ year old single businessmen to come up with scouting outfits for themselves and their young charges (who come to visit with only one small suitcase apiece).

John Travolta and Robin Williams seem to enjoy themselves in their roles - business partners who are suddenly responsible for a pair of 7 year old twins. These two belie the adage that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Both experience significant personal growth during the month of their lives the movie covers.

For the most part the comedy is low brow, with the usual fare of farts and groin-racking incidents. There are plenty of pratfalls, which will make you wince if you're over 40. I believe Robin when he complains that he has bad knees.

John and Robin are repeatedly mistaken for the twin's grandparents and are also repeatedly mistaken as being a couple (such as when Robin introduces John as "his partner" - the natural assumption is personalpartners rather than professional). Fortunately, they're able to take all of this in stride with self-deprecating good humor.

I would have preferred the movie not waste time on offshoot tales, such as spray-tans gone wrong (Robin in a tanning booth getting over-done while John is hitting on the negligent attendant) or other irrelevant side stories (a tattoo that requires the shaving of Robin's chest hair) to allow for more character development. The romance between Robin and the twins' mother "Vicki" might have been more believable if we'd been allowed more opportunity to understand her motives and interests.

Some of the humor might have been a little over-the-top, but many scenes had the entire theater heartily laughing. It was nice to see Robin and John poke a little fun at themselves and each other; that certainly added to my enjoyment of the movie. I'm really glad they didn't try to ignore the very real age gap. Robin and John's chagrin at being mistaken as grandparents may have humored me even more because I'm a grandparent.

If you're looking for a movie that is lighthearted, relatively inoffensive and effectively mindless in its storyline and humor, I recommend Old Dogs. It's not meant to be an intellectual movie; it's simply a fun opportunity to share some laughs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where did the time go?

In October I started writing a book on parenting and our relationship with God. It's not a how-to book by any stretch of the imagination. It's just my musings on these topics. It reads a lot like posts I put on my other blog. It's nothing like the posts I put on this blog, which seem to be mostly about the things my cat drags in.

I was plodding along through my life, bemoaning all of the challenges and difficulties and wishing I could write full time. As much as my job motivates me to do something else, the regular pay outweighs quite a lot of the challenges and difficulties. I prayed about the situation regularly.

Then a couple of things happened at once. Guideposts agreed to publish my 2nd story (March issue). And NaNoWriMo crossed my radar. Who wouldn't want to write a novel? I joined over 150,000 other aspiring novelists in the ambitious goal of penning (keyboarding?) 50,000 words beginning November 1st and finishing (and posting the completed work) before midnight on November 30th.

Because I'm an overachiever ... and because I'm leaving for China on November 30th, I set a personal goal to finish by November 20th. Which happens to be my 45th birthday.

Even though I could feel guilty about abandoning my blogs and allowing them to fall to the wayside while I plunge into writing as a part-time job rather than the hobby it's been for the last year or so, I don't. I'm proud of myself for finally getting off my butt (or rather sitting my butt down!) and acting on a dream. God willing, this dream will become my life.

So if you happen by this blog and wonder whatever happened to the woman who used to live here, I ask that you give me a little time because this turn in my life is requiring both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road.