Sunday, SteelyKid's paternal grandparents came up to see her, Chad was watching college hoop, and I took the opportunity to go out! By myself! And see a movie!
Even better, if someone sat down and said, "Let's make a fluffy non-guilty-pleasure movie that will make Kate happy," Duplicity would be it.
Ray (Clive Owen) picks up Claire (Julia Roberts) at an embassy party; or, rather, she lets him seduce her, and then she drugs him, searches his hotel room, and walks off with some secret documents.
Five years later, Claire has left the CIA and is working undercover at one corporation's bitterest rival. Ray, also no longer with MI6, has been hired as her handler. And the head of the rival corporation has just announced that a top-secret product is about to launch. Capers, banter, and a non-head-desky romance ensue.
It's as though Julia Roberts said, "I'm going to show Steven Soderbergh what he missed by not letting me do any of the really fun stuff in the Ocean's Eleven movies, and in as unattractive a character design as possible while he was at it." The movie's opening is a deliberate and pointed statement that her character is Ray's equal, or possibly even superior, when it comes to their shared profession. And the obstacles to their relationship are mutual, sensible, and parallel. (I could probably draw up a really pretty chart of the movie's structure, parallels, and inversions, if I had a DVD and a lot of time.)
At the first reveal, I sat back and said, "Okay, you just got a whole lot of goodwill from me." And I was having so much fun that I forgot that I'd I spotted the final reveal as soon as it was set up, until it came back around again. It's fluff, anchored by the central relationship and just a dash of satire, but it's very satisfying fluff, and it was exactly what I needed after a pretty sucky last while.
Previews: in The Soloist, Robert Downey Jr. is the honky that Jamie Foxx needs fully realize his Magical Negro-ness. And yes, I know it's a true story, but wow that trailer just shrieks both of those cliches at top volume. The Taking of Pelham 123 could be an interesting hostage thriller, and maybe the original novel or one of the prior movie adaptations was, but I don't have a lot of faith in Ridley Scott. Ben Affleck appears to be making a career comeback with State of Play, a political thriller starring Russell Crowe, which is nice for him. And X-Men Origins: Wolverine continues to look very crowded.