last holiday

I watched Last Holiday in the wee hours of the morning. It didn't get a very good rating at IMDb but I didn't read any of the comments so I don't know why.

I can see folk objecting to the movie due to its exploring old themes and being derivative of many other movies. In a way it's like Date Movie which I saw a few days ago. However, where Date Movie was gross and did everything wrong, Last Holiday gets everything right. I loved it and no small part of this was due to the charismatic personality and wonderful acting of the star, Queen Latifah. The supporting performances by LL Cool J, Gerard Depardieu, Timothy Hutton and the lovely Alicia Witt (I love red hair!) were all on the money as well.

This film borrows from a number of other movies but it does it with grace. Pretty Woman gets a nod, as do most movies in the Cinderella niche, even Shrek, an anti-Cinderella movie. But the best comparison to me seems to be Jerzy Kosinski's Being There (1971). In that book, a character named Chance impresses everyone he meets by telling simple truths that are interpreted as meaning much more by the people he meets. That's the effect that Georgia Byrd (Latifah) has on the people that she meets also.

Plot? Byrd is a quiet clerk in a department store, cooking dishes to help sell kitchenware. She gets a diagnosis of incurable cancer and decides to spend her last 3 weeks of life doing the things she's dreamed of but was too practical--or afraid--to do.

Sure, that sounds like dozens of other movies and many of them not very good. It's formulaic but this movie transcends the formula and you really get involved with the characters. This is a light romance movie with a big message and very enjoyable. I most definitely recommend it to any but the most cynical of viewers.

As for what's going on in my life, tomorrow my lab moves across campus. The past two days have been filled with packing and today I made a number of trips with items too delicate or expensive to be trusted to others. Of course it was in the mid-90s and humid as could be. Not the best day to be hauling ovens, microtomes, computers, and image analyzers all over campus.

At least I was able to spread the trips across several hours, packing in the A/C between trips. The movers tomorrow won't have that luxury when they move the 16 boxes I packed or the 40 or so boxes of the lab I share space with.

The lab we're moving into is a lot smaller so things will be kinda cramped but the building is a new one so we're all quite happy about the change. The building I've been in the past 3 years leaks when it's raining and the A/C often doesn't work so the Summer can be horrid. Unfortunately since I'm the only member of my lab group I am the only one not to get an office. Poor me! I'll be out in the open lab guarding the equipment as everyone else is napping behind closed doors. LOL But at least I'll be comfortable!

One annoying note. I have two students under me this Summer and my boss gave them both this week off so that they'd not be underfoot as I packed up and moved our lab. Didn't it occur to her that I could have used their help? *sigh* If anyone wants to hear it, I'll be glad to complain some more. :-)


Michelle said…
Are they women "under you"?
Teresa said…
Complain away, my friend. I'll listen. I'll sympathise. I'll also remember that you are probably happier doing it yourself, so you'd be complaining about the "help". Gotta love you, Dave!
utenzi said…
I'm saving myself for you, Michelle.
utenzi said…
Damn. You're finally showing some signs of knowing me, Teresa. ;-)

Renee gets pissed at me all the time over that quirk of my personality. It is true--I really have to do things myself or I just bitch and moan about it. And I know myself well enough that I didn't ask either of them to help for that very reason. I'd be a terrible manager. I'm too much of a control freak.
utenzi said…
Thanks, Keb. I'm sorry you're going through the pain of moving--but it's good that your situation is improving. I hope you get settled in quickly!
Michael Manning said…
Utenzi: Yeah, I hear ya. After a day in the sun with SPF 50, you go home drenched and stand under a shower for 30 minutes and still feel wiped out. Hope the Lab gets settled soon!
Oreo said…
Oh! Momma liked that movie too & she HATES love story, sucky movies!
Sorry you gots to move. I hate moving.
Tandi said…
We just rented that too recently and I was pleasantly surprised!

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