Sunday, July 8, 2007

This Week's Movies

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I came to this movie with high hopes that it would generate insightful dialog on what should be one of our top national issues. Moore does a tear-jerking, outrage-inducing job parading a succession of Kafka-esque examples of HMOs refusing to pay claims for desperate Americans. Then he shows HMO CEOs generously dispensing funds to buy influence in Washington. But his documentary falls short when he presents socialized medicine as a panacea. For some reason he didn't use any footage of my UK relatives exchanging National Health Service horror stories, and instead showed upper-middle class Europeans bragging about their government-funded Au Pairs. Clearly having insurance company MBA's calling the shots on health coverage is a recipe for disaster, but do we want the government in charge instead? Hopefully there is a middle ground that can get us out of our current mess so that being sick doesn't spell financial ruin.

Music and Lyrics

Typically I avoid romantic comedies. Romance is no laughing matter unless you are online dating and documenting your horrible experiences on a blog for your friends' amusement. But Music and Lyrics caught my attention because of the prospect of 80's nostalgia. The movie certainly delivers! Hugh Grant plays a cynical has-been who keeps active in the music industry by playing at state fairs to women in my age group and fielding offers from degrading 80's revival shows. His career is rejuvinated when he is called to write a hit for a teenybopper sexpot who performs songs about her bootie in front of an enormous buddha statue. The take-away for me is that pop music imagry can be just as ridiculous now as it was back then.

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