Monday, January 07, 2013

We need more movies about chastity and casseroles.

Have I really been away from the ol' blog for almost two years? What is wrong with me? Have I forsaken my delusion that blogging somehow makes me a Published Writer? (No.) Have I tired of the sound of my own typing? (No.) Have I gone out and acquired a social life too full to accommodate my cyberblather? (No.)

I have simply become lazy. I think of something I could write about, and suddenly my fingertips feel heavy and my brain gets foggy and I just want to daydream of winning a Pulitzer. I am an Olympian sloth. Facebook requires so much less in the way of coherent thought.

But just so Blogger doesn't shut me down for inactivity, here's a blog entry from February 2009 that I never posted.

It's fluffy.

It's wordy.

It's a complete waste of your time.

But not a waste of my time--all I have to do is click "Publish Post" and then go back to my daydreaming. The prophets really were wise when they counseled us to store up some extra blog entries for use in times of winter and famine.


From February 2009:

~~I hereby propose an alliance between the Backward State of Utah and the Backward State of Minnesota.~~

I love it when I forget what's in my Netflix queue and get a surprise in the mail. When I opened the most recent arrival I had a vague recollection from a couple months back: emotionally exhausted by the depressing documentaries I'd been watching through the winter, I'd dropped into my queue a little independent film--a romance--that the Netflix Taste Gods prophesied I would like. It's called Sweet Land. Sweet, as advertised--not great cinema, but charming, well-acted, and gorgeously filmed. I'm guessing it was recommended based on my deep and abiding love for the movie Lars and the Real Girl, for it is a sort of Lars set in 1920. In both of these movies (caution: spoilers!):

1) a conservative, churchgoing, steady, SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor, living sparely but self-sufficiently in the harshly beautiful north, orders woman through the mail

2) a VibrantFemaleOutsider intrudes

3) desiring to do the right thing, SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor proposes chaste housing arrangements that involve him sleeping in the garage/barn while MailOrderWoman sleeps in quaint and cozy room inside the old family home

4) the TightKnitNorseLutheranCommunity struggles to accept MailOrderWoman, especially as they assume that SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor is living in sin with her

5) ultimately the TightKnitNorseLutheranCommunity proves to be the good sort of religious community* and warmly welcomes MailOrderWoman after some difficult what-would-Jesus-do-ing

6) SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor also struggles, at first wary of VibrantFemaleOutsider's effect on his safe and predictable life

7) at key dramatic moment SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor startles audience by taking his frustrations out on the wood pile with an axe

8) SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor slowly opens up to the exotic ways of VibrantFemaleOutsider and embraces life

9) a beloved character dies

10) kindly Lutheran women bring casseroles and concern

11) warm-faced Lutheran minister gives sincere eulogy that makes it all okay

12) wedding and babies implied, but not seen

13) happy happy, the end.

So I've been hearing all this recent local chatter about the need for Mormon Cinema to step up and offer something cleaner than Hollywood fare for the religious/conservative population of the U.S........but my now-extensive knowledge about Minnesota culture makes me confident that Utah and Minnesota are natural allies in these dark cinematic times. Regrettably I was once heard to say that Minnesota and North and South Dakota were essentially useless and should be donated to Canada. I hereby retract 1/3 of that unkind declaration** and proclaim that Minnesota is the new Utah.***  I think we should pool our state arts funding and hire Ryan Gosling and Amy Adams to play a SilentSolitaryLutheranNorwegianMinnesotanBachelor and a BubblySweetMormonUtahnCoed thrown together by fate at a non-denominational charity raffle. After chaste pratfalls and compromises they meet each other Nebraska.

Hot casseroles o' love ensue.

* Meaning not the sort of religious community that is ever featured in a Hollywood film--but I'll leave the rest of that rant for another long as you don't make me watch that hideous Chocolat movie again. Gag, blech, retch.

** If the Dakotas wish to be spared Canadianization, they should apply for my affections in similar fashion.

*** That is the highest compliment I can offer Minnesota, so you can just put those Utah jokes right back in your pocket, wiseguy.


Keryn said...

I've missed your writing. You have an awesome voice! And your proposed movie should be named "Chastity and Casseroles". I'll even go see it.*

*In the dollar theater. Or, more probably, borrowed from a sibling to watch on my laptop while doing dishes.

Amy said...

Welcome back.

wynne said...

I LOVED Lars and the Real Girl! And you're telling me this other movie basically has the same plot? Right down to an inflatable girl? Wow. I will have to check this out.

wynne said...

The problem with "Chastity and Casseroles" is--which of them will convert once they get to Nebraska? (I'm not sure there can be a happy ending for the Mormon audience unless the fella converts. Beware.)

wynne said...

Okay--I take that back. Nowhere in there did you suggest "Sweet Land" had an inflatable girl--that was my brain and my memory that supplied that bit.