Emma Rae, I have a cookbook to put out, and a daughter to raise, and the God damn winter Grand Prix. And I just don’t have time for the nervous breakdown I deserve, so please, don’t ask me to stop and think!

by Lorin Michel Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:32 AM

One of my guilty pleasure movies is 1995’s Something to Talk About. It was written by Callie Khouri, her next film after her Oscar winning Thelma & Louise (also a big fan of that). It’s not an especially great movie. I’m not sure if it’s even a good movie but there’s something about it that has always resonated with me. I think it’s just the whole southern fried family thing, the crisp dialogue, and probably the cast. It stars Julia Roberts, Robert Duval, Gena Rowlands, Kyra Sedgwick and Dennis Quaid.

If I have not mentioned it before, I am a big Dennis Quaid fan. I’ll watch him in just about anything, especially when he flashes that bad boy grin. He can, however, keep his brother, Randy. I am not a fan of his.

The film is lush with dialogue and food and colloquial sayings that sound absurd and yet completely natural when delivered through southern accents with horses and mint juleps in the background. The basic plot has an older daughter’s marriage to her philandering husband unraveling and her realization that she has let her life become something it was never supposed to be, and her subsequent attempts to get it back on track. It’s done with humor and grace and curly hair. It’s rather a hoot.

For whatever reason, as I awoke this morning at my now customary pre-dawn time, my brain already awash in all of the things I needed to do today, knowing full well that I wouldn’t get to half of them, listening to the high chirp of a small bird that seemed to be positioned right outside our open window, listening to the blur of the vacillating fan and the kick of Cooper’s paws against his kennel as he dreamed about birds and cookies and running through fields; as I lay there thinking and listening still snug under the covers in the cool of the coming day, my mind racing even as my body was still, into my brain popped one of my favorite quotes from Something to Talk About.

“Emma Rae, I have a cookbook to put out, and a daughter to raise, and the God damn winter Grand Prix. And I just don’t have time for the nervous breakdown I deserve, so please, don’t ask me to stop and think!”

It is spoken by the lead character, Grace, played with fun and heartbreaking vigor by Julia Roberts, to her sassy, man-obsessed and wisdom-filled younger sister, played hilariously by Kyra Sedgwick in her pre-The Closer days.

It’s the don’t have time for the nervous breakdown part that made me smile because it is rather my life right now. Granted, I’m not putting out a cookbook, my son is already raised and I know nothing about the Grand Prix other than the occasional car race that I am in no way involved in. But with all that is transpiring now, with packing and moving and finding a new place to live, temporarily, and securing loans and making sure escrow is moving forward and then starting another escrow and making phone calls and making contacts, oh, and working full time, I really don’t have time for the nervous breakdown I deserve either.

Instead, I wake up with the birds, to quote a cliché, eventually I get out of bed and let the day wash over me until the night falls and I fall back into bed to sleep for a few hours.

I’m not complaining; just explaining. I chose all of this. It is what I want. It’s just a wee bit stressful, and I’m using this post to spill.

As Emma Rae said in another line of delicious dialogue: “lick it, put a stamp on it, and mail it to someone who gives a sh*t.” That’s good stuff, too; real, honest, and funny even amidst all that was going on in the film’s fictional story, all that is going on in my factual life. It’s worth celebrating.

Now pardon me while I engage in my meltdown.

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live out loud

Comments (1) -

7/26/2013 6:20:21 AM #

One of my favorite, laugh out loud, movies.

Pam United States

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