Maya Angelou says “When you know better, you do better,” and I firmly believe in that wisdom. So why am I tempted to do the wrong thing this weekend?
Why, after seeing films like Jaws (which left me incapable of dwelling in any body of water larger than a bathtub without hearing a tuba playing alternating patterns of F and F sharp notes in my head– foretelling my being mangled by some maniacal great white shark with an appetite for dark meat), Psycho (which also aroused an irrational fear of water in me, coupled with a chorus of screeching violas, violins and cellos every time I shower) and The Exorcist (which was just sick and wrong) am I even tempted to add a fourth film to the list of those which have scarred me for life? Why am I dying to see Flight when I know it can’t possibly end well for someone who is not only highly impressionable, but a frequent flyer?
Well, as it happens, there are four excellent reasons:
1. There’s the man in a uniform.
2. There’s the man in uniform wearing aviator shades.
3. There’s the man in a uniform wearing aviators whose name, Whip Whitaker, sounds like an onomatopoeia for “Mess with me at your own peril, girl, but know that we will have a good time before we crash and burn.”
4. And then there is Denzel Washington– the everyman whose acting in Robert Zemeckis’s latest film is so nuanced and intelligent that the New York Times’s Terrence Rafferty devoted an entire column to trying to answer the unanswerable question: “How does he do it?”
Unanswerable, at least, in the face of genius– which I believe is the case with Washington.
That said, Flight is no joy ride.
I’m not giving too much away by telling you that shortly after the movie opens there is a crash when a plane being piloted by Whip goes down in a bad storm. And while the catastrophe is a metaphor for the calamity that is Whip’s life, from all I’ve read and heard about the suspense-packed, gut-churning, edge-of-your-seat realism of the crash scene, something tells me there will be a down tick in airline ticket sales this holiday season as scaredy cats like me opt to just drive or walk the thousand miles that separate us from any loved ones and a turkey dinner.
Something also tells me that Flight will smash box office records because it’s is a perfect storm of chick flick drama and high-testosterone action. Women will love it for the damaged lady’s man we all believe we can save, and men will love it for the lead who is a man’s man… as well as all the special effects. Not to be overlooked, of course, are the special perks which tend to come after dropping your date off at home while they’re in need of some serious release after enduring all that in-flight tension. Making it a win-win situation for all parties, right?
Perhaps for you, but not for folks like me who have been there and are determined not to do that again.
As someone who actually enjoys air travel, I don’t want to contemplate the horror of a future filled with fearful flying because of some stupid movie. Even if it means saying no to Denzel, his little captain’s hat and those fly Ray Bans. No man is worth it!
Then again… I can’t help wondering what Dr. Angelou might say if I were to see the movie and just cover my eyes and ears for the really treacherous parts.
But who am I kidding?
Even I don’t need a therapist to figure out the answer to this question.
And if you are anything like me, I’d strongly suggest postponing this Flight for a later one on Delta… knowing that by then Hollywood will have edited the content for immature audiences like you and me!