Sorry I’ve been mostly AWOL for a week or so. No real excuse other than feeling burned out (but not unhappy) in general — weary of blogging, tired of going to the gym although I know it’s good for me, sick of the same ol’ news in the media. I just plain have not felt like writing anything and don’t have any new stuff to for show ‘n’ tell.
But last night I watched a movie that lit a tiny fire under me again. Long time readers will know of my love for movies, especially foreign ones. I think if I wasn’t blogging about nail polish and such, I’d blog about films. Some of the time I am!
The movie, available on Netflix streaming, is a Korean comedy-fantasy whose English title is Miss Granny (2014, no American rating, rated PG in Canada). In a nutshell, 74-year-old Oh Mal-soon is a cantankerous, bitter woman whose family is getting ready to put her in a nursing home. One day, rather depressed, she goes to a photography studio she’s never seen before for a nice portrait — actually for a portrait that can be used for her funeral when the time comes. But hold the phone, she goes in 74 and comes out 20 years old.
She hasn’t traveled back in time, as in movies like Peggy Sue Got Married. No, she’s still in the present, and when she first catches a glimpse of herself she can’t believe it. There she is, still wearing her dowdy clothes and with her hair in a tight perm, but she’s a beautiful young woman again. Some of the first things she does are to get a new haircut, using a picture of Audrey Hepburn as inspiration, buy a ton of new clothes (which are still modest but in brighter colors), and tell people her name is Oh Doo-ri. (Get it? Audrey? Oh-doo-ri?)
There are numerous laugh-out-loud moments, several songs (she wants to be a singer), more than a bit of gentle romance, and several scenes so sad that I could hear Mr. Silver Nail sniffling down there at the other end of the couch. What it mostly made me think about, though, is why and how things change as we get older. Mal-soon’s clothes are “dumpy” but Doo-ri’s are “vintage.” Mal-soon wears the same hairstyle all the time but every time we see Doo-ri she’s trying something new. Something Mal-soon does is annoying but when Doo-ri does it, it’s quirky and original.
A funny yet depressingly accurate preface to the movie is the analogy between women and various kinds of sports balls.
If you compare a woman to a ball, then a woman in her teens is a basketball. To get the ball high up in the air, every man reaches for it as hard as he can.
A woman in her 20s is like a rugby ball. Several men attack the ball like dogs trying to take possession of it. This is the only time in life a man will risk his life for a ball.
A woman in her 30s is like a ping-pong ball. The number of men going after the ball is significantly reduced, but the amount of attention paid to the ball is still decent.
A middle-aged woman is a golf ball. There’s only one man for one ball. And that man tries to send the ball as far away as he can.
And beyond that, she’s a dodgeball.
Miss Granny is far from a perfect movie. Plot holes, goes on a little too long, a few scenes that seem off to this non-Korean mind. But fun overall. And I love anything even remotely about time travel.
Sure got me thinking. I’m as bad as or worse than the next person about calling a polish color a “grandma shade.” Why do I do that? Why do any of us do things like that? It’s an inanimate thing; it doesn’t know or care who’s wearing it. Why is one thing cute on a young person (Doo-ri’s wildly colored and flowery swim cap comes to mind) but an eye-rolling embarrassment on a old person?
I don’t have the answers. But I’ll keep on recommending bright colors and fun cosmetics for people regardless of their age!