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Sandra Bullock and the five stages of grief


June 30, 2009

I had never walked out on a movie, and I wasn’t starting now.

The following is a true story. The names of the people involved are changed, the names of the movies involved aren’t.

Sunday. 4:38 p.m. In one hand I hold my soda; the other, two tickets for the 4:40 p.m. showing of “The Hangover,” and my cell phone with an open text message thread.

Me (2:15 p.m.): I’ll be at the theater at 4:30 p.m.

Tara (2:16 p.m.) : All right.

Me: (4:36 p.m.): I’m in the lobby. Already got tix.

Tara (4:38 p.m.): Almost there.

A few minutes later, the almost is gone. We enter the already-darkened theater where the 4:40 movie is now showing. We are the late people I normally loathe.

Trailers for bad movies show. Sarcastic comments follow. And then silence, for “The Hangover” is about to start. The summer’s breakout comedy starts at an office building, with ... Sandra Bullock on an exercise bike?

As an aside, I do not hate Sandra Bullock movies. I just don’t particularly like Sandra Bullock movies. There are many things I’d rather do than watch a Sandra Bullock movie, and at the top of Sunday’s list was “Watch the movie I paid to see.” I required no romantic ending.

The stages of grief set in. Denial comes first.

“Wait, Sandra Bullock’s in ‘The Hangover,’ too? So is Ryan Reynolds? Thought I would have heard something about that.”

The words, “The Proposal” come up on the screen. Anger comes next. I’m tempted to lash out at Tara for showing up late so we didn’t have time to pick out a seat and ... oh yeah, not hurriedly walk into a theater where one could easily mistake “NOW SHOWING THE HANGOVER 440 PM” with “NOW SHOWING THE PROPOSAL 440 PM.”

Tara took control of the bargaining. “Kevin, I kinda want to see this movie anyway. Assuming you’re free the rest of the night, as am I, I’ll pay for ‘The Hangover’ later tonight.”

Depression was quick. For as much as I didn’t want to see Bullock, there’s something enjoyable about Ryan Reynolds given a chance to be a jerk. Basically, “Proposal” goes like so: The world’s most demanding boss (Bullock) is about to be deported to Canada, but she forces her assistant (Reynolds) to marry her and they have to take a trip to his family’s house in Alaska to break the news and try to convince an immigration agent they’re in love and not defrauding the government.

Soon after, acceptance sets in. I walked us into the wrong theater, and I do not have the moral high ground on Tara here. During a dinner break between the movies, I texted Lacey, who recommended I watch “The Hangover” because I knew she’d love an embarrassing story. And I told friends online, noting they would have become millionaires if they could have bottled up the sense of defeat I felt when Bullock appeared on screen at 4:50 p.m.

A friend writes back, “That’s nothing. I had a friend whose wife took him to ‘28 Days Later’ (British zombie movie) thinking it was the sequel to ‘28 Days’ (Bullock movie about a big-city reporter who checks into a quaint drug rehab center).

I’m guessing she didn’t get a romantic ending either.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: [email protected]


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