Erin Brockovich-- 03/18/00

Nancy and I went to the movies tonight to see Erin Brockovich. Since it had just opened yesterday I was concerned that we might not get in, but since this theatre was also showing Mission to Mars (which we both want to see despite the poor reviews and would rather see it in a theatre rather than on video) and Cider House Rules (which we would also like to see) and all three films started at seven o'clock, so I figured no problem, if Erin was sold out we could just pick one of the others. It was very full but we were able to get in, although we among the last to find a pair of seats in the middle and there were probably just a few of the front row side seats left by the time the feature started. (Except for one WWII submarine movie, all of the coming attractions were for definite chick flicks.)

Anyway, Erin Brockovich is a good movie and Julia Roberts does a great job. Hey, you know what... she's a pretty good actress. Roberts plays the title character, a twice-divorced woman with three kids and no job who browbeats the lawyer who lost her automobile accident lawsuit. (Well, the loss was not so much his fault as her abundance of attitude and foul mouth on the witness stand.) She gets involved in researching a suit involving people whose water was contaminated by a giant electric utility company. There are strong similarities with Travolta's A Civil Action but this one works better.

I'm not going to get into plot details or start quoting lines from the movie, but let me just say that Roberts really does some acting and has a number of very good scenes. The entire cast is good; they really look like real people, genuine blue collar ordinary people. This is a "feel good" movie. I thought of it as being a Frank Capra movie, with Julia Roberts in the James Stewart role.... uh, sort of a blue collar Jimmy Stewart with attitude and a four letter word vocabulary and, uh, boobs... very noticible boobs.

It was also a funny movie and the audience was very appreciative. Please don't be put off by the reviews... every review I have read has been lavishing praise on this movie... so don't take a reverse attitude and stay away because you don't believe the reviewers. They are a bit extreme in their praise (as if they were astonished by it) but this really is an enjoyable movie.

We had an early dinner tonight, just a few minutes past six, but that was because Nancy and I wanted to go to the movies and our kids were going to the annual junior class music and comedy review at their high school. (Last year, when Jennifer was a junior, we went and enjoyed the show.) They've just come home and said that this year's show wasn't that good. These shows always make fun of the freshman class and the senior class plus the faculty and adminstration and usually poke fun at one or two of the neighboring townships. Jennifer and Sean reported that this year's show also ridiculed some specific seniors, including one of Jennifer's friends (who is identifiable due to experimental hair styles, formerly a mohawk, since changed to a shaved head, plus lots of piercings)... the idea is that generic jabs at seniors can be funny but jabs at specific students is a step over a line.

Well, I'm going to post this now. Right now, here in the kitchen at 11:15 p.m., my daughter is about to bleach my son's hair (which is very dark brown, almost black) so that they can then dye it some sort of blue. (I don't think this is a very good idea, but when it comes to something like this Nancy and I follow the attitude that it is their hair, so they can do what the want with it.)

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