July 11, 2002
Movie Date

miles to go: 1,088.38

The best thing about our movie date last night wasn't Tom Hanks.

He was good, of course. As a morally conflicted mob hit man, circa 1931, he managed to convey the usual 43,897,621 different emotions simply by narrowing his eyes a little. Still, he wasn't the best part of the evening for me. Neither was Jude Law, as the creepiest bad guy in a cast full of creepy bad guys. Neither was Paul Newman, although they'll probably wind up giving him an Oscar next spring simply for being Paul Newman.

The best part wasn't the storyline. When you're writing a movie screenplay about a guy who kills people for a living, how many different ways can it end?

It wasn't the theater itself ... although I do like Oakland's unapologetically ostentatious Grand Lake Cinema. As David pointed out, Tom Hanks himself probably sat through many a boyhood matinee, right there in the same cheesy red velvet seats *we* were sitting in. It wasn't the mostly-well-behaved theater crowd. (Two ringing cell phones, one briefly talkative child, one overly-excited woman shouting "Shoot him again!" during a pivotal moment in the story.) It wasn't popcorn or malted milk balls or syrupy movie theater Coca-Cola. (We bypassed the snack bar entirely, although we did have an amazing Chicago-style hotdog at Colonel Mustard's next door, just before the movie.) It wasn't the luxury of a midweek night-out with my husband, or the convenience of not having to cook, or the undeniable comfort of sitting in an air-conditioned movie theater on the hottest night of the year. It wasn't even the idea of seeing one of this year's *big deal* movies a couple of days ahead of the rest of the world,  thanks to a pair of advance screening tickets David got from his boss.

All of that stuff was good. But it wasn't what I liked best about our movie date.

The thing I liked best about our movie date, last night, was the moment that my date shifted around in his seat, reached over in the darkness ...

... and held my hand.

That's what a movie date is all about, if you ask me.


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