While I ate my spaghetti and lay down a while to see if that would make the ibuprofen work, I watched a fairly short movie on Netflix called "Dark Matter." I found it at random one day and had never heard of it, despite the presence of Meryl Streep and Aidan Quinn, and put it in my queue. It was recently upgraded to Instant Watch. Score!
A little indie flick apparently. Really engaging from the get-go, and suspenseful even tho it's not in the vein of what one thinks of as things that are suspenseful and ends up being quirky and moving and song-like and beautiful. It never takes anything but surprising turns, despite a handful of accidentally (I believe) misleading cues where you think, "Oh I know where this is going." Of course you didn't at all. After a while you realize it has given you much more to chew on than you expected and its seemingly slow setting and pace actually belie the activity beneath the surface and you've completely forgotten that you were expecting some feel-good exchange student story about rich, accommodating, and at the same time patronizing Americans sharing all that is Red, White and Blue with deprived foreigners flick or even maybe some good-natured Chinese-grad-student-hi-jinx academe version of "Gung Ho." Anyway it is very worth watching on so many different levels for most of you, and that's putting it mildly. (And by "you" I mean the handful of friends I imagine in my head who I know read here and who I know are more open than the average person and who like to be moved and surprised on occasion and aren't allergic to independent fare.)
ANYWAY the real reason I started to write is that I was interrupted part of the way through by Sammers. There is a scene with backdrop music of a harmonica playing "Oh Shenandoah" (slowly and woefully of course, de rigueur for both harmonicas and for "Oh Shenandoah") and Sammers went crazy. He made a beeline for the coffee table where my mac was sitting and jumped up and started walking around and around the computer and sniffing and meowing and pawing. Every turn or two he'd stop and stare at the screen, either from the front or over the top from behind. The fact that it kind of broke the spell of the movie for a minute notwithstanding, it was pretty hilarious.
And yes, actually, there is a lot of background music in the film from the more sentimental side of the western or southern music chart but you'll have to trust me that it's neither cliché or corny and not let it deter you from seeing this movie sometime if you get the chance.