Monday Smiles – 8/18/2014
There is no doubt that as we age, there are more bittersweet times, and we have to double our efforts to train ourselves to savor the smiles. On some days, it’s a call from a friend or a kiss on the cheek from someone we love. Others, it’s a song on the radio or a sunrise. I’ve decided that on Mondays I will do just that by posting about something that makes me smile, even on the darker days. I think I’ll call it Monday Smiles. That is how I began my first Monday Smiles post back in September of 2009. If you read only that post, you could get the impression that I don’t have much to smile about but you’d be wrong. I am a very fortunate man. But life is life and I have a dark side so sometimes, I still need to be consciously grateful. That’s why I added Monday Smiles to my blogging schedule … it is a public gratitude list that starts my week.
For the last few weeks, it’s taken some effort to come up with smiles, mostly because I was battling bronchitis that I passed on to my wife, Muri, as a cold. Two weeks ago, a weekend with those beautiful grand-kids provided my smiles as I kept my distance to keep from passing along my germs … and last week, our forty-sixth wedding anniversary did the trick, even though we weren’t feeling well enough for a big celebration. But this weekend we were feeling better, well enough for a two-date weekend. A two-movie-date weekend, with movies produced for people without a Marvel Comics obsession. Friday night, we went to see Get on Up, the homage to James Brown produced by Mick Jagger. The film was directed by Tate Taylor who directed The Help and starred Chadwick Boseman who played Jackie Robinson in 42. Boseman was amazing as the ego-driven, mercurial Brown and even though the soundtrack featured Brown’s recordings, the synching of Bozeman’s performance was so good that we had to wait until the titles to be sure. The film played a bit like a documentary for my taste with some odd flashbacks but I certainly came to appreciate the accomplishments of the man. And, oh, the music …
Saturday, we saw The Hundred-Foot Journey, in which Kadam family, displaced from India by the destruction of their restaurant settles in a small village in the south of France. Against the advice of his children, the patriarch, Papa (played by Om Puri) buys a former restaurant structure across from the Le Saule Pleureur, a snooty French restaurant owned by the icy Madame Mallory, played by the beautifully ageless Helen Mirren. Papa opens the flamboyant Maison Mumbai with Hassan Kadam as chef and war develops between Mallory and Papa, at least until an attraction between Hassan and the Le Saule Pleureur’s sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) leads Hassan to French cuisine. Gradually, Mallory realizes Hassan’s genius and takes him under her wing, making him one of the most important chefs in France. The Hundred Foot Journey is a beautifully filmed foodie-film with humor and romance and the unlikely blending of cultures. And yes, there are no super heroes, just charming characters.
Two weekend dates. Two enjoyable movies in one weekend. No CGI mass destruction. What’s not to smile about?