On Saturday, Jeff and I decided to enjoy the short burst of sunlight by heading over to Maryland's capital - Annapolis. I had never been there, and thought it'd be nice to see it, since it's so close to DC. We spent a nice hour or two walking around the little pedestrian shops.
We then took at 40 minute boat tour of the harbor. From the tour we got a good view of the Naval Academy, which looked very nice. We ate dinner at a little place near the water - and had some crab dip to start to make it an authentic Maryland experience.
We left in the early evening(around 6:30), and decided we'd like to see "Away We Go", the new movie written by Dave Eggers and his wife that stars John Krasinski (Jim from 'The Office'). Rather than trying to park in the city, we'd just stop and see the 8pm showing of the movie in Bethesda and then go home afterwards. We figured we might be early, but we'd brought books and planned to grab coffee. We didn't expect to run into a parking nightmare, since Bethesda is kind of a suburb. How wrong we were. We drove around looking for a spot for 10 minutes or so, then decided to just park in a garage, since we only had 20 minutes until the movie started. Unfortunately, there weren't any spots open in the parking garage, but there was a long, long line to get out, so we were in the parking garage for a grand total of about 30 minutes (10 minutes past movie start time...)
From there, we decided to drive into the city instead, which has lots that don't completely fill up. We were met, however, with the trail end of the D.C. Pride Parade (which we forgot was this weekend, or we may have tried to catch it - DCist has some great pics.) In this case though, it just becase a serious traffic impediment, as we went in a big circle to get around it. We finally made it no more than 30 minutes early for the 9:40pm showing of the film.
Anyway, enough complaining about traffic. Jeff and I enjoyed the movie - it was funny, and cute, and interesting. Not the most amazing movie you'll ever see, but some good actors and fun dialogue. However, our friend that works at the theater told us not everyone likes it - one woman demanded a refund, saying that the movie had been billed as a comedy, and that after seeing it she felt depressed. To be sure, this movie is not "The Hangover" or "Knocked up", there's a bit more depth and a few serious things to consider, but I enjoyed it.
This made me think about why people choose to see particular movies - whether people just want to be entertained or they want to be challenged. Two movies can be about very similar subjects on the surface, but create very different feelings from watching them, depending on how realistic and serious they decide to get about the circumstances. Movies can sell themselves as eye-opening documentaries, but require no thought on your part. Others can be primarily comedies, but have moments or themes that require you to contemplate your own thoughts on the issue. Most interesting to me are movies that don't provide you with a clear emotional response - scenes or situations that can't clearly be defined as 'happy', 'sad', 'serious', 'mean', etc. seem more realistic and intellectually interesting.
Personnally, I really enjoy seeing both types of films - things that make you think, or require more of you emotionally, as well as movies that are just fun. (I did see 'The Hangover' last weekend.) Overall, though, if I had to pick one type of movie to keep, it'd be the interesting, challenging films - it's just impressive to me how well this art form can be used to present an interesting thought, idea, or emotion. Though some of my favorite movies are family-friendly (The Princess Bride, It's a Wonderful Life), the ones I find most artistically impressive (- Dancer in the Dark, Magnolia, Bamboozled, Quills) tend to be a bit more serious.