Benjamin Button and Christmas Rain, not in that order

For the past dozen or so years, including this one, we’ve been invited to Christmas dinner at the house of some friends (writing without names is awkward, for which my apologies). And we’ll be leaving for there in a few minutes.

But yesterday, another friend called and suggested we go see a movie before dinner, which seemed like a good idea. Her sons wanted to go see The Spirit, but she didn’t; she suggested The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which sounded like a better bet to Diane and me. Much to my surprise, Jeff decided on Button instead of Spirit, letting MetaCritic be his guide.

The timing wasn’t ideal, though — Benjamin Button is a long movie (nearly 3 hours), making it difficult to squeeze in a show between lunch and dinner. But I thought we could manage, so we made arrangements to meet at the theater. And we would have had no problems, had we not decided to go out for a pre-lunch walk.

It had rained earlier in the day, but the sky was bright and clear when we left. And it was still pretty clear when we reached a decision point — did we want to go home, or walk another mile or so. We went for the additional walk, and it was still only mostly cloudy when we hit our turnaround, and it didn’t start raining in earnest until we were half-way home. Fortunately, the liquor store in Downing Center was open, and we waited out some of the worst there — which meant that when we got home, not only were we drenched, but we no longer had time for lunch before we had to leave for the theater, which was in a fine local shopping center.

Parking was, of course, easy (for the only time this month, I’ll bet). And the lines weren’t too long at the concession stand, so we scored our lunch (popcorn) quickly, but didn’t do as well at getting seats — there weren’t four together in the stadium part of the theater, so we had to sit closer to the screen than I like, which made the lack of sharp focus all too evident (I guess they save the good projectionists for the full-priced shows).

The movie was very well done (and maybe some of it was deliberately shot in soft focus!), and I recommend it. I played “guess where in New Orleans they were” as well as enjoying the story and the acting; I thought they did a very good job of making Brad Pitt’s aging backwards come to life, and found myself very much drawn into the film, not even noticing that it was nearly 3 hours long. I plan to read the story later.

And The Spirit? Our friends’ sons said it wasn’t as bad as they expected; one even said it was funny. I don’t think “funny” was the original goal, though.