Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sea of Love

No computer yet, and I'm tired of writing my WIP in longhand. I definitely missed my calling--my chicken scratch handwriting is better suited to signing a prescription pad than writing out dialogue. Oh, well. I never would have made it through organic chem anyway...

So...about a couple of hours ago I was tired of writing and tired of cleaning the house. I'd finished grading papers and taken a long walk and eaten a healthy breakfast, and for the first time in about ten years, I found I had little to do. This concept is completely foreign to me. As is the concept of turning on the television while the sun is still shining. I never do it, but today...I did. 500 gazillion channels and nothing even remotely watchable. Finally, just as I was about to break down and suffer through Regis and what's-her-name, I spotted a movie I haven't seen since it came out in--get this--1989. Sea of Love with Ellen Barkin and Al Pacino. The only thing I could remember about it was I liked it once upon a time, so I settled in for the show.

And what a show it was. Murder, lust, loneliness, suffering, dissatisfaction, mid-life crisis--it was all there and more. The interesting thing was, I really felt it, the humanity of the story, even though it was a pretty by the numbers thriller. The acting was great, the script sharp, but what really got to me was something more. These people looked like real people--feathery lines about the eyes and dark circles underneath, frizzy hair and blemishes, a little bit of tummy hanging over a belt, a slightly deflated butt. These were people approaching middle age, and the director let them look it. No botox or sculpted bodies. None of them had the hollow-eyed, alien-like stare that comes after too many facelifts. And, you know what? The worn look is sexy, a messy but confident sexuality that only comes with experience. Ellen Barkin absolutely glowed with it, and you could see every line on her face.

When I think about some A-list actresses today--Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman come to mind--I can honestly say their vanity erases all sexual allure. Messy is good. Aging is interesting. A little wear and tear in the face sparks the imagination, no? Where has this woman been? What has she done? (Hopefully she'll never tell you, as the fun is in the guessing.)

When people inflate their lips and breasts and various other parts, or poke poison into their wrinkles to erase lines earned through living, something is lost. This is so apparent onscreen, particularly during love scenes. It's hard to believe someone who has iron-fisted control over her appearance would let loose in bed. Let me tell you, though, Ellen Barkin and Al Pacino had the windows steaming up in my family room. I'd add it to my netflix list, if I were you!


  1. How glad I am to find out that the worn look is sexy :))

  2. I'm totally with you on people messing with their faces. I'm pretty anti botox. I'm pro-tummy tuck though. Someday....some. day.

  3. I saw Sea of Love on an international flight. A record player is key to the story, right? My memory's faulty.

    I so agree that aging is beautiful. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous head of white hair. I hope I am confident enough to wear mine as she wears hers someday.

    Honest beauty has been trumped by a manufactured variety. Things like this make me happy I have boys. I think this is a difficult world for girls to navigate.

  4. I have boys, too, Caroline. And I think you're right.

    Tabitha--Oh, it's true! At least that's what I'll keep telling myself.

    L&L--I've heard the tummy tuck is the ONLY way to get rid of that little pregnancy flap. Situps can only take you so far. I wouldn't do it, but I can understand.

  5. First of all, LOVE that movie. I especially love John Goodman as the affable sidekick. My only criticism is theinclusion of Al from behind in his tighty whities. That took me out of the sexual tension and into "ewwww!" If they'd just cut that second of the film, it would have been perfect.

  6. John Goodman was awesome. I forget what a good actor he is.

    I didn't mind Al's tighty whities so much, but Ellen Barkin's shoulder pads were out of this world! I mean it was like matching watermelons sandwiching her head!