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The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

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Monday
Dec312012

Too Perfect to be Forty

I went to see the movie This is Forty. Because that’s what people over forty do. I figured I could take it. Well braced for a story line follow-up to Knocked Up. Yea the reviews weren't great. But I love Leslie Mann. She always makes me laugh, I feel good about myself in spite of her awesomeness. With Apatow (her real life husband) involved, there would be no way this adventure in Mann Land could go wrong. She's real. She's funny. Her husband let’s her make out with her other actors. She's my muse for accepting age and rolling with it. 

And then she did it. I don't know if she did it, or Apatow did it in post-editing. But I'm still shaking. There she was. Seventy feet high, in bed with Paul Rudd. Camera goes to Rudd. He's ruddy. Eyes are guy-baggy. Like guys hungover with fake love should be. Watching him on camera makes your stocks stink, in a good way. Then the shot of Mann.  Glowing like they put vaseline on the screen, from the inside-out. So she'd extra-glow. There is no way a woman at forty looks that glowy. With no lines. Her under-eyes were sand-blasted to porcelain perfection. You could ice skate on her chin. She looked good. Hollywood good.  To the point that women will, instead of reveling in her humor, obsess the entire movie about Googling her surgeon on their Pee Break App.

Over Forty made me laugh. A few scenes will make you roll. It teaches you how to say “I’m Pregnant” with a shlong in your mouth. OK, not a kids movie. All my nieces and nephews reading this should stop now. But they wouldn’t understand my angst anyway. That’s why I love my nephew Harrison. He always told me I was beautiful. I love him for that, the innocence of family. But how beautiful can you be at seventy feet tall. So I guess I would do it too. Turn my chin into a skating rink.

I remember clearly sitting on my Aunt Virginia’s front porch in Springfield, Vermont. She was ninety. Her skin was porcelain too, and it hung. Her neck warbled as she gobbled. And it was perfect. Because it was real porcelain, and real gobble. Her eyes twindled, reflecting off the wrinkles surrounding her eyes. They say you can tell the age of a tree by its rings. She had a lot of rings. So did the tree in her front yard, that was seventy feet tall. It offered her shade, and made her beautiful. She didn’t need Vaseline to make her beautiful. Her beauty came from the fact she was so raw in her elegance it made me ache.

This is Forty made me ache for something real. The writing was ok, relatable to parents with pre-teens. There were some funny bits in there that us parents with cool mom cars over forty go through. Now, parents over forty who live in the projects with gunfire over their heads at night may not find it so funny. Count your blessings, you whiny sons of biatches, they might say. But this is my blog and my story, and I’m a little white girl from the burbs and I say it how I see it so let’s just say it was pretty funny. Then why did it make me sad?

My mother ran a post-op plastic surgery facility for celebrities for twenty years. I’ve been pretty trained to see if something is too good to be true, or real. I have also photographed some of the most beautiful people in the world. So maybe I’m a little sensitive, or aware, if an actress or actor has had some work done. Many get away with it by saying they haven’t had work done, because they’ve only undergone chemical peels, or injections and not a facelift. I’m not judging Mann for whether she had work done or not. I’m just saying whatever she did, or didn’t do, took me out of the story. And made me feel worse about myself. There, I said it. It’s not jealousy. OK, maybe a little bit. But jealousy come from wanting something there is no way of obtaining. Talent. She has that. That alone can make someone jealous. But it was her edginess, her realness, that allowed us other gals to embrace her every-girl beauty and roll with the punches, praising her because she was completely beautiful, and real to us. 

I don’t know why Mann looked so ethereal. Maybe it was just a really greasy lens. Mann looks amazing. Whatever it is, I'll have what she's having. I just wish there was something in the movie I could touch. Like possibility. Even though film is considered escapism, there still needs to be something we can relate to other than BMW’s and whiny children. Perhaps I’m just getting to the point where I’m starting to want the little extras in life. Like a wrinkle on somebody else’s face.

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