Make Them Stop Singing!
If you thought it was soul-wrenching to watch Anne Hathaway IN Les Mis, you should have seen my husband after two hours AT Les Mis. It was enough to break your heart.
On Christmas Day, instead of my beloved turkey, pecan pie, and evening cocktails at The Bar with our favorite gays, we had steak, cheesecake, and went to see Les Miserables with his mother. Both she and I were very excited about the film. Poor Frank…not so much.
After the first five minutes, he asked for my coat, which he proceeded to fold into a pillow and place behind his head. To counter this, I proceeded to pinch him every five minutes.
When Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter hit the screen, he perked up.
“Isn’t she the chic from that other musical you made me watch?”
“Sweeny Todd. Yes,” I whispered, “Do you recognize the guy?”
“Yes,” he replied, then said longingly, “I want to see The Dictator. Can we please see The Dictator?”
I realized he meant…NOW, I want to see The Dictator NOW. Can we leave? Please!
I shook my head and gave him “the look.”
About halfway through the movie, he leaned over and groaned, “I bet the real revolution didn’t last this long. I need to go to the bathroom.”
I knew if he left, he’d never come back. I gave him “the look” and a finger point.
By the time Marius was singing, “Empty Chairs, Empty Tables,” Frank was audibly sighing and grunting. I couldn’t help but start giggling. I have a long history of laughing at inopportune times…at business meetings, in the middle of serious poems at Holler Poets, at funerals and in church. It always starts as the silent shake then quickly moves to tears rolling down my cheeks and finally flat-out howling until people give me “the look.” My laughing became contagious. He started the silent shake. We were both doing that clenched mouth laugh that sounds like you’re clearing your throat. I bit his arm in an attempt to stop us. It didn’t work. Finally, I had to think the saddest thought ever…my dog Doc Grizzly, who I love more than anything, getting hit by a car…to pull myself together.
When the movie ended, Frank cheered louder than anyone.
On the ride home, I asked, “You had to liked something, what?”
“I like that part with the boat. That boat was cool.”
“You mean that big boat that was only in the first two minutes?”
That night, Frank awoke screaming, “Please make them stop singing. They’re singing in my dreams. Make them stop singing. Make them stop,”
I knew we should have seen Django Unchained.