Sunday, February 27, 2005

Montreal is my boyfriend

I don't think men actually believe their unpolished pick-up schticks would ever work on women (who count) so they first test it on fuglies to lessen the blow of getting shot down. Somebody hit on me with that lame "Nee how mah?" line again. There's no point in using Chinese to initiate conversation with me when it is, inevitably, followed by, "Do you speak English?" or "Parlez-vous francais?" Anyway, this man was walking with his buddies when he did a double-take and whispered something in my ear just as I was passing by. It gave me the heeby jeebies. Seconds later, he came running after me, inviting me over to his place for a drink. I tried to make a graceful departure:

"That's very nice of you but I'd rather not."

I made excuses about being busy tomorrow (today) but he kept pushing me to agree to see him again. So I dropped the Y-bomb and told him I'm likely to be too young for him.

"How old are you? I think maybe ... 20? 21?"

"Heh, whatever makes it legal, right?"

He laughed. I knew that was my chance to bolt (because amusement channels vulnerability). I removed my mitten, told him it was a pleasure, and shook his hand to say good-bye. Final impression? His handshake was limp. Never good, guys. Jamais, jamais, jamais.

***

I make no secret of my thing for Angelina Jolie (more vice than nice: the definitive femme fatale). So when I saw the trailer for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I vowed to shell out money to go see this star-studded jamboree. (*Note: I find it oddly fitting that the movie teaser chose to use the theme song from Pacino's Scent of a Woman since that also dealt with the issue of discretion.) And damn! Check out those gams! Hubba, hubba.

***

I took in a movie during last night's venture downtown. (Yes, alone but unashamed.) I watched Hotel Rwanda, an overall top-notch movie. Walking in, I expected something Dogma 95-ish, but left kind of disappointed thanks to a few glaring flaws typical of American fair (i.e. under-developed supporting cast, conventional story arc, tendency to sentimentalize moments with orchestral soundtrack, deus ex machina). But the ambitious acting more than made up for it. I was really impressed with Don Cheadle's portrayal of Paul Rusesabagina, but unlike Liam Neeson's skillful Schindler performance, I didn't get a strong sense of his character's improvisational abilities presumably honed through years of managerial experience. From what the script allowed, I understood that he was an excellent briber (when resources were attainable) and tried to make use of important Western contacts (when they were available). Every time a massacre looked imminent, a rush of soldiers would come charging into the scene and Cheadle would escape yet another close call. The audience barely ever sees him talk his way out of danger without relying on some sort of material transaction which brought in a certain contrivance entirely unacceptable in a film of this calibre. Still, Cheadle did a credible job with the material and definitely earned a leading man status. I will admit to getting more than misty-eyed on several occasions, borderline bawling whenever the dialogue was delivered dead-on ("You should spit in my face. [The West] think you're dirt, you're dumb, you're worthless ... You're not even a nigger; you're an African"). Watching ideology motivate senseless slaughter was deeply troubling. (I cringed every time Hutus referred to Tutsis as "cockroaches." But I suppose, in battle, it is easier to kill those no longer deemed human.) An elderly couple beside me sat holding each other's hands in total silence even as the ending credits started rolling, the screen arresting their attention long after the lights returned.

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