>

(This is last night’s post. An electrical storm prevented me from completing my update.)
I went to my annual physical exam today. Despite my tendency towards hypochondriac speculation, I loathe an actual doctor appointment. I guess I prefer my fanciful but dreadful illnesses to the reality of a legitimate diagnosis. Naturally, I arrived fifteen minutes early, ostensibly to soothe myself with crossword puzzles. Actually, I intended to reassure myself by observing other apprehensive patients.

Only one seat remained in the crowded waiting room. I crammed myself between an anxious looking grandmother and a nondescript magazine table. I smiled at the grandmother and she immediately averted her eyes. Across the room from me sat a trio of sorority sisters. Two girls flanked their sister, who was obviously very unwell. I was touched by their concern, especially since I noticed that each girl held one of their sick friend’s hands. Everyone else seemed to be nervously shifting in their seats and sighing. As I began to study people more closely, my name was called.

How fortunate we are to live in a society that allows both men and women to become doctors. Physical contact seems less invasive when performed by a sister (or brother). Dr. Twinkie performed her annual squeezing, probing, thumping, listening and measuring. She responded to my catalogue of neurotic questions with compassion and gentleness. I felt healthier and a bit embarrassed each time she responded, “That’s perfectly normal, Bestfiend.” I was grateful to have culled half my list of questions the night before. When my appointment was over, I felt relieved to the point of joviality.

**Potential Spoilers**

In the late afternoon, I went to see The Corpse Bride with two friends. Princess Jeanne made me snort water out my nose when she whispered that the Corpse Bride looked just like LaToya Jackson (the boobs, the make-up and the tiny nose). Wonder Warthog was delighted by the song “Remains of the Day,” and did an improvised song and dance as we left the theater. He continued to serenade us as I drove them home. He is probably still singing to Princess Jeanne as I write. I am still recovering from the dancing black widow scene–there is no such thing as a “cute” black widow.

The movie was so incredibly beautiful you could easily overlook the cliched plot. It was bittersweet, just as the critics from Rotten Tomatoes promised. Every scene was painstakingly crafted to entertain on multiple levels. Yet it left me feeling strangely unfulfilled. I scratched my head all evening, trying to understand exactly what was troubling me. It finally occurred to me: the movie was too hurried. Victor and Victoria rush towards marriage, but then the Corpse Bride abruptly takes him as her husband. Frightened, Victor dashes away, the Corpse Bride flits after him. Suddenly, Victor decides to marry the Corpse Bride afterall, etc., etc. It was as if all the characters were in a frantic race to end the movie as quickly as possible.

The Corspe Bride seemed to be a Reader’s Digest treatment of a more substantial work. Fifteen minutes of footage was clearly missing. The charm of a good Tim Burton film lies in his poignant characters and their gradual development. Thus, the progression of even a simple plot is given depth and verisimilitude. This aspect far outweighs the slickness and visual wizardry of the usual big budget films. The Corpse Bride seemed to put more emphasis on the gee-whiz graphics and clever sight gags, than the actual characters. It looked like a Tim Burton film, but it did not feel like a Tim Burton film. Nevertheless, I would have been outrageously thrilled with this movie as a kid. It’s the adult in me that is disaffected. Am I missing something? Well, after I have bought the DVD and watched it ten more times, I’ll let you know.

Comments

I ♥ Comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s