Today I spotted this movie on Instant Watch and decided to sit down and watch it. I'm not a big Julia Roberts fan, but I did like this one for a very specific reason. The ending.
The boys were folding their laundry and doing some long over due room cleaning so as this is a chick flick of sorts, I expected the room to empty out quickly.
"What's this?" Sam asked.
"An old Julia Roberts movie," I replied. Okay. Maybe not old . . . but to a twelve year old . . .
"Who's Julia Roberts?"
"Tinkerbell. Hook. Robin Williams."
"Oh. I liked that movie."
"This isn't the same kind of thing," I said. "There's kissing scenes in it."
"Oh. Ick." He moved his pile of laundry so he could sit on the couch and fold it in front of the TV.
So I get all absorbed in the plot and forget he's sitting there. About ten minutes into it, an indignant voice rose from the vicinity of the pile of laundry. "Her husband is a jerk."
"Oh. You ain't seen nothin' yet."
Joseph wandered in. "What are you guys watchin'?"
"Sleeping with the Enemy. That guy is a jerk," said Sam.
I smiled. A minute later, the husband hits the wife and she falls to the floor sobbing. The young men on the couch spoke loudly. "HEY! What the heck?!"
Daniel joined us. As it became clear that Laura (Julia Roberts) was going to escape from him by convincing him that she's dead, they got excited. "I can't believe I'm really into this movie," commented Joe. "Me either," said Daniel. No one moved (except when I advised them that there was a "thirsty scene" coming up. They returned as soon as the coast was clear).
The movie progressed. Laura met the great guy next door. The "bereaved" husband begins to suspect that his wife wasn't dead yet.
Joseph made a prediction. "I'll be he's going to kick the husband's butt."
"Somebody needs to," Daniel agreed. "Yeah," said Sam.
They were all completely swept up in the drama; they even got a little excited when Julia and the nice guy next door started falling for each other.
The canned goods scene still made me jump even though I knew what was coming (I often think about this image when I look at my own pantry).
The tussle between the evil husband and the guy next door. The seeming triumph of the evil husband. The confrontation between him and the terrified Laura.
And one of my favorite high suspense lines ever: "Please come quickly. I've just shot an intruder."
The gun shots. No more evil husband.
The boys cheered.
As the credits rolled, they discussed it. Joseph repeated my favorite line. I talked (very) briefly about domestic violence.
When I left the room a minute ago, they were conversing about what they thought/hoped would happen next.
For my part, I was delighted at their responses, that they were all mature enough to appreciate her triumph. But mostly I was pleased with their strong, visceral responses to the husband's violence against his wife. Their father's lessons, cautions, warnings, and the way he treats me (with gentleness and respect) has made deep inroads into their psyches. The oft repeated phrase--You don't hit girls. Not ever--Is a part of their built in sense of justice. Thanks Gary.