I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but I feel compelled to issue the following public service announcement: Please, for the love of God, don’t rent the movie Wimbledon. You will never get those two wasted hours of your life back.
I rented this so-called "movie" on Saturday night ("movie" meaning "formulaic schlock"). Technically, I didn’t rent it. My sister did. I was with her at the video store on Saturday night. When she first suggested renting Wimbledon, I said, "No way am I watching that crap."
The problem was the movie we really wanted to see, Friday Night Lights, was out at all three video stores we went to. The other problem was that Jane looked like she had escaped from 999 Queen Street West (which isn’t too far of a stretch considering she used to work there).
She was drowning in blue flannel pajamas patterned with dozens of egg-sized, smiling snowmen wearing top hats. The pajama bottoms were tucked into the kind of serious winter boots you might find someone wearing in the Arctic. She hadn’t washed her hair in a couple of days either.
I too was wearing pajamas, which consisted of yoga pants and a fleece jacket. If I hadn’t also been wearing thick wool socks and my mom’s plastic sandals, I could have passed for someone on their way home from a workout. (In our defense, we had just driven back to Toronto from the farm and were emotionally drained and physically exhausted.)
So there we were, looking like Thelma and Louise near the end of their adventure. We were standing at the counter of the third video store asking if anyone had returned a copy of Friday Night Lights when we heard loud laughter behind us. We turned around to see four people in line staring at Jane and pointing at her outfit.
"Let’s get the hell out of here," said Jane, who was mortified, yet laughing hysterically at the same time.
"We still need to get a movie so just pick something fast," I said.
And that’s how we ended up renting Wimbledon.
The basic plot went something like this: boy tennis pro and girl tennis pro meet at Wimbledon. After a brief courtship, boy and girl sleep together and fall in love. Boy plays really well and advances to the finals because girl inspires him. Girl plays really badly and fails to advance because boy distracts her.
Boy and girl fight. Boy is so upset, he loses first two sets in the finals. Girl sees match while at airport on her way home. Rushes back to cheer him on. He wins. They marry. The end.
It’s not so much the unoriginal and unimaginative plot line I had a problem with. It’s the obvious lack of research that went into the film. Like the way these alleged "tennis pros" drove to some seaside town during the middle of Wimbledon, and stayed up all night drinking wine and having sex. As if! Also, they go for a 10-mile training run and she’s wearing Converse. Converse! This is Wimbledon. Not the Saskatoon Open or whatever.
Real athletes would have focussed on the game and hooked up afterwards. And they would never, ever, go for a run in Converse. How do movies like this get made and who watches them?
Speaking of bad movies, I did not have to watch any on the flight from Toronto to Vancouver today. West Jet has little TVs in every seat with 24 channels of live satellite TV. All passengers get their own personal TV. Had I known this in advance, I would have scheduled my flight when the good shows are on. I was stuck watching Canada AM, Regis & Kelly and A Wedding Story.
I probably should have just slept instead. I think I’ve hit a level of sleep deprivation so deep that I’m no longer tired.