Escapism (Or Why I’m Not At Work Right Now)

There’s a heat wave in Ottawa, folks. The humidex says 40 bloody degrees. Is it hot where you are too? Our local art house theatre, the estimable Bytowne on Rideau street, helpfully suggests that their cinema is in fact air-conditioned, and even better, they sell ice cream at their concession stand. So there’s always that.

But today Sean and I are playing heat wave hookie. There’s a water park down the road so we’re slathering on the sunscreen (Sean says: smells like vacation sex!) and hitting the (fake) waves.

Now, one thing to consider when you’re off to the local water park is all those news stories you’ve read about it recently, and in particular, its “dismal safety record.” The good news is: it was only found guilty on 6 of 11 charges, and the 9 others were withdrawn. So that’s not bad, right? I feel like I can beat the 50\50 odds at least half the time.

The truth is, you have to remember that these parks are staffed by the same kids in adventurelandAdventureland. I mean, would you literally trust Jesse Eisenberg or Kristen Stewart with your life? Those two asshats, plus a gang of their ne’ever do well friends, run the games section of a run down amusement park while dreaming of being ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD and having these deep and meaningful conversations while completely ignoring their customers. Have you seen this movie? Did it remind you of any of your own after school jobs? It’s pretty scary when teenagers run the world,

In The Way, Way Back, a kid named Duncan gets hired to work at a water park called Water Wizz, which is an awful name for a park. It reminds you too much of what you’re floating in. I mean, realistically, we know it’s 40% urine. Those kids over there haven’t gone to the washroom WayWayBackONCE since arriving but they’re throwing back juice boxes like it’s happy hour. Water parks probably don’t even HAVE bathroom facilities for kids. Why waste the space? (This reminds of a scene in Grown Ups where Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider are all floating around at a water park, not coincidentally also called Water Wizz since it was filmed in the same park, and suddenly the water around them all 20100614_poolpee_190x190turns dark blue – apparently there’s a chemical that can notify us that someone has peed, and I can’t decide if that’s brilliant or just tmi. The point being: I guess grown ups (if you can really call David Spade a grown up) do it too.) Anyway, back to the movie I meant to be talking about. Duncan seeks refuge at this pissy water park because his mom (Toni Colette) is neglecting him on their summer vacation, and her boyfriend (Steve Carrell) is emotionally abusive toward him. So a pool full of pee starts to seem not so bad.

Me? I happen to like my Mom’s boyfriend, despite his constant cracking of sex jokes, which – hello – are about my Mom. So I’m not fleeing step-parent abuse. But I am avoiding work. And the weird thing about work is, I (and likely lots of you too) have this weird thing about skipping work just to laze around watching Netflix. I mean, that’s what Sundays are for. If you miss work, you need a Reason. See what I did there? Capital R Reason. A good one. Like going out-of-town with my hunny to get an irresponsible sunburn and possibly also athlete’s foot.

Anyway, this was a good movie review, wasn’t it? To recap:

Adventureland: high on nostalgia; has some great supporting characters.

Grown Ups: funny to people who like pee jokes.

The Way, Way Back: quietly charming and sweet and funny.

What’s your favourite summer movie? How are you staying cool? What do you skip work to do?

 

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25 thoughts on “Escapism (Or Why I’m Not At Work Right Now)

  1. mikeladano

    Favorite summer movie? Wow that’s hard. Let me be back to you on that.

    I love Adventureland. I never had a job like that, but I spent many summers at our own Central Ontario Exhibition. Pretty much as crappy as Adventureland, and all the same music too…

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  2. kmSalvatore

    Enjoy you time away.. And hopefully you won’t catch anything ….
    Funny thing is when ever I read your blog., I can’t remember a dam thing. I love movies, I started my work career working at a movie house (in Buffalo). But ….. The brain is dead, , no smart answers either;)!
    Btw.. Our heat wave ended last nite, it’s a beautiful day no humidity, hi 70 degrees.

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    1. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

      Wow. You’re totally right. This coming of age movie definitely doesn’t water down the surging hormones. One of my favorite Cauron movies. When he was tapped for Harry Potter, I thought of this one. Was Harry going R rated 😉

      Watch this amazing summer character piece!

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  3. J.

    Favourite summer movie is Jaws. Not quite sure why, but there you go! I liked Adventureland, but haven’t seen the other two. That Grown Ups thing just didn’t appeal to me.

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  4. movierob

    love both adventureland and the way way back. my favorite summer movie is probably Stand By Me (1986) tho.

    I have been known to play hooky from work to see a movie on it’s opening day in the theater a few times over the years 🙂

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  5. SLIP/THROUGH - Dan

    Nice review of summer flicks. I’m in Ottawa too, but thankfully today is a little cooler. I wish there were more Canadian summer movies out there. For me, Adventureland is the best pick here. It was a real surprise, full of great characters.

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  6. Paul S

    Kristen Stewart is amazing. Everyone seems to hate her because she was in Twilight and because she doesn’t smile and act like a whore every time her agent forces her onto television to do a promotion. We seem to hate her for the fact that she just likes to act, just likes to do her job. But she’s something special.
    She was great in INTO THE WILD and IN THE LAND OF THE WOMEN, but it’s in films like ADVENTURELAND where you really get to see what she’s capable of. And what is it she’s capable of? Honesty. Subtlety. Humanity. I can’t help but watch her and feel like I know her. Or feel like I knew her, like we went to school together. She knows what acting is, she knows what her job is; and she does it with a grace and skill that is all too rare.

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  7. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Always good to take a day off to enjoy yourself! I have always wondered whether that dark blue pee chemical even exists. I always thought it was like a scare tactic so people never peed in the pool! I really enjoyed The Way Way Back though. One day I’ll see Adventureland as well.

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  8. ruth

    It’s actually very Fall-like in MN this weekend, a touch of October w/ temps in the 60s Fahrenheit. So you’re off work because of heat wave? If only we get snow days or super-cold days here in the Winter time! But if I were to get a day off for such an occassion I probably will grab my laptop and spend time more writing my script 😀

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  9. Christopher

    I guess it’s technically not skipping work if I’m recovering from surgery. My favorite summer flick, though, is unquestionably Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Come on: a water park, sex jokes about someone’s mom…how did it not get a mention sooner? I know–no pee jokes. I don’t feel guilty about admitting I enjoy it, but I do feel guilty for thinking “wow, we’re gonna see a lot more of that Alex Winter.” And all adults who look down on the younger generation remember George Carlin’s final words: “They do get better.”

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  10. Chris

    Favorite summer movie, good question, Adventureland and The Way Way Back are good choices. I’ll go with Point Break (1991), which is one of my favorite action movies and also set during summer.

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