Friday, May 16, 2008

They call them "lassie flicks" over there

I'm working fewer hours, spend less time traveling to and from work, can do my laundry at home whenever I want, and thus far have had a less active social life--yet somehow I've had less blogging time since I returned to Utah than I had in New York. I still have a few NYC loose ends I want to write about, but first I want to write about a movie I saw on Saturday with my friend Emily.

Emily and I have been friends for nearly seven years now. We were in the same ward for a little while, and we were in the same major and had nearly every class together. We talk on the phone a lot, so when we actually hang out we usually go to movies. If it wasn't for Emily I'd probably never see any "chick flicks." Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised, like with The Holiday, and sometimes I see films like License to Wed that tempt me to ignore Emily's calls (kidding, Emily--but that movie stunk).

This time we saw Made of Honor, a Patrick Dempsey (I know him as Ronald Miller from Can't Buy Me Love, Emily knows him as Dr. McDLT or something from some TV show) vehicle that I would've likely found very mediocre, except it's nostalgia factor was through the roof!

(Non-Spoiler Alert: I'm about to give away details of the movie, but it's so predictable that half an hour in you'll know exactly what's going to happen the rest of the way. I bet you'll even predict the horse.)

It starts off with a flashback to 1998, the year I graduated from high school and moved away from home, complete with Smashmouth playing and people dressed as Bill and Monica, and the main character's best friend is played by Kadeem Hardison, the immortal Dwayne Wayne from the Cosby spin-off A Different World. A good start. Plus, the first 15 minutes or so is filled with a lot of the yuppie pretentiousness I love reading about on the great blog Stuff White People Like.

Best of all...the entire movie takes place in the only two places I've ever lived in besides Utah--New York City and Scotland. The New York stuff was all swanky downtown or East Side stuff that I've seen a lot in movies before but didn't have enough money to actually experience while living there, but it was fun to see the city so soon after leaving it.

The Scotland stuff, though, was great. Real Scottish actors, real Highland cows, and unlike the battle scenes in Braveheart, it was really shot in Scotland--in parts of my last mission area, no less. I loved seeing the Isle of Skye, Dunvegan Castle, the Skye Ferry at Kylerhea, and Eilean Donan Castle. I loved seeing that the main tartan used was Murray of Atholl, the same as my own kilt (I have no Scottish ancestry, but I'm from Murray, so I figured that one was kind of my "heritage"). I loved that they didn't bother to translate all of the "Scottish" used in the film. ("Ya ken fit you're gonnae name your bairns yet?" Outstanding.)

Of course, they didn't get everything right. The Scottish guy, Colin MacMurray, supposedly lives in Dunvegan Castle, when everyone knows it's Clan MacLeod that runs the show there. When playing basketball with Dempsey (the funniest scene in the movie), he claims that basketball in Scotland is called netball and is more of a women's game (the games are similar but not identical, and as far as I saw neither are popular over there). Potentially worst of all, when participating in the Highland Games Colin switches from the Murray of Atholl tartan to a red plaid, probably Murray of Tullibardine but I couldn't tell for sure. I say potentially because I don't have a perfect grasp of the system of clans and septs and other family connections, but as far as I know a person wouldn't normally wear two different tartans. (Note: after writing but before posting, I found this site, the first place I've seen red Murray of Atholl paraphernalia, that I can recall. I'm not sure what was worn in the movie. The lesson, as always: I don't nearly as much as I think I do.)

Then there were the plot aspects that bothered me: as the woman at the center of the movie's love triangle has second thoughts about marrying Colin, some of the potential deal-breakers were bagpipe music, haggis, and wearing the tartan--all things that I feel are great. Plus there's the more general problem that Dempsey waited too long to express his true feelings, and when he finally did it he risked ruining lives. In real life, there comes a point where you've missed your chance to be with someone; unfortunately, that line is crossed all the time in movies like this one.

So, if you like Scotland, this movie is worth seeing. If you don't, then I'm not sure--because I like Scotland, which helped me to love this movie despite its flaws. Two thumbs and two big toes up.

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