This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. With our next duo post kicking in on the last day of the month, might as well recall the only previous time I spent with the film we’ll examine tomorrow.
“In the Southeast they say that if you want to go to heaven…you have to change planes in Atlanta.”
December 26, 1988: Have to admit liking three-day holidays. Especially those that aren’t normally the customary ones as Memorial Day or Labor Day here in the States. Take this year for example. Christmas landed on a Sunday. Naturally as is the practice in the U.S., many were given the following Monday as a national day-off. Nice when that happens…don’t have to use up your own paid-leave for extra furlough.
The year coming to close already had been quite a special one. Well, at least for my fiancée and I. The annum of our courtship entered its final stretch. Within two months of the new year, after exhaustive prep, we’d at last be wed. Should enjoy some of the time left us as single folk, I thought. Taking the soon to be she-who-must-be-obeyed to a movie-date on a day we’d normally be at work, an opportune idea.
The Accidental Tourist opened in limited release the week before. Back then, it meant Westwood Village for us moviegoers — one of the few areas in L.A. that’d get an early crack at a late Oscar-contender. Pretty sure it was The Bruin Theatre we visited. Besides, seemed like something my future bride would enjoy as it didn’t involve the guns and pyrotechnic fare I’d dosed her with that summer. A drama, about relationships. Natch.
Careful what you ask for, I’d learn. There I sat, a child of divorce about to enter into wedlock, watching a film about the dissolution of a marriage, with unforeseen death, and its aftereffects. Sitting right next to the love of my life, the intriguing story told onscreen may have struck me harder. Wouldn’t change my mind about our immediate plans, but it did give me pause. Question my commitment, as any big decision should.
May have made me seriously wonder what the future held. Finally convinced myself whoever these movie characters were, the situation they’re in, had little in common with the two single people pledging their lives together. Besides, movies aren’t real life. Right? We’d survived this long, and would continue to do so. Soon as a married couple. Ultimately, nothing changed that. Even after my father died suddenly two weeks later.