Mary Ellen has me on very short leash due to the virus. I am not allowed to go into grocery stores, play pickleball or even sit indoors with friends to enjoy a beer. When I kiss her, I have to stand 6 feet away, which is wreaking havoc with my neck.
We remain socially engaged by FaceTiming every Saturday with our friends Jane and John Murphy. We start off by asking each other what we all did the past week — which is usually nothing. Then we discuss which movie to stream for a discussion the following weekend. Any movie is OK as long as John doesn’t have to pay for it.
I’m not very good at following movies and have trouble participating in some of the conversations. John has a Ph.D. in statistics, and he told me that 51.7 percent of the time, I have missed the entire point of the flick. But I did much better than that a few Saturdays back.
Jane: I liked the movie. The characters’ personalities were multi-faceted.
John: The plot was suspenseful. Lots of surprises.
Mary Ellen: Yes, I loved the cinematography, especially the director’s use of tight shots.
Dick: I felt the movie was surprisingly thin on plot, angry at times and disjointed, often wobbling between high-minded outrage and tabloid sensationalism.
Mary Ellen got on my case.
“Where did that analysis come from? You’re never that insightful. When we watched ‘Titanic,’ you asked me why the captain permitted guests to swim alongside the ship.”
She had a theory.
“You know what I think? You looked up the film online and then quoted some egghead from The New Yorker so you could look smart to all of us.”
I told her that was craziest thing I ever heard, which … is not exactly a denial.
For our next film, we all decided to watch an old Hitchcock classic, “Notorious.” I offered my opinion: “The inclusion of real-life footage and YouTube clips was interesting, but the shooting style was awkward, and the movie disgraced its subject, when it should have celebrated this music star.”
“Dick, you googled the wrong film. That’s the 2009 movie, also called ‘Notorious,’ about a rapper.”
Mary Ellen was mad at me for continuing to cheat, so I promised to stop Googling films. While we were eating the meal she prepared on Sunday, she asked how I was enjoying it.
“Your dinner tonight, Mary Ellen, was superb! The entrée was not upstaged by the appetizers, pasta and vegetables. The dry-aged sirloin was impressively tender.”
“See?” she asked, “don’t you feel better when what you say comes from your heart?”