Last night, armed with a free pass, I caught a screening of the film, The Sessions. (Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy) I was aware the film had been doing well on the festival circuit and knew a little bit about the storyline, but I’ll admit it hadn’t been on my list of films to see. I’m SO glad my friend Giannina scored the free passes and I’m even happier she extended an invite to join her. I’d be genuinely sad to have missed this film – this story…
The film is based on the real life and work of poet, Mark O’Brien. (played wonderfully by John Hawkes) It chronicles his life as a polio survivor and the day to day struggles of life in an iron lung, but the main focus revolves around his quest to lose his virginity. He talks at length with a local priest (William H. Macy), contemplates logistics with his caregivers and eventually hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help realize his dream. The film is very frank and open in its approach to sex and to depicting the unique reality Mark faces as a disabled man. Yet, even with such frankness, the way his journey is portrayed – the way the entire movie is portrayed – is warm, funny, inspiring, heartbreaking and absolutely charming. I really wouldn’t have thought I’d be laughing out loud at this film, but that’s exactly what I did – many times. And cried probably equally as much… I highly recommend checking out this film.
What I don’t highly recommend, however, is FOX’s new policy to ban cell phones from all movie screenings. (Might be more than just FOX, but I do love to poke sticks at them whenever possible…) Upon entering the theatre, we were told that if we had cell phones we’d need to either leave them in the car or stow them with the theatre until the end of the film. (in conveniently provided plastic bags) Ummm, what??
Not that I had plans of being a rude movie-texter or am I so dedicated to my phone one might consider us a couple, I just didn’t want to leave my phone in the car OR give it to the theatre to hold. And the whole idea of having my purse thoroughly checked as I enter a theatre and then being WANDED was absolutely ridiculous. I understand the seriousness of illegally copying art of any kind, but even though ‘The Sessions’ is indeed a fine film, I truly can’t imagine it being a barnburner in the realm of counterfeit DVDs.
All of that said, neither Giannina nor I were having any part of these cell phone shenanigans. And that’s why, after confirming that they were indeed checking purses and wanding people entering the show, we took a quick to detour to the ladies room to assess our options. A few minutes later, I had acquired a limp (due to the cell phone stowed in my shoe) and Giannina may or may not have been wearing an ankle monitor. (or had a cell phone tucked into the bottom of her jeans.) After successfully passing the search and screening screen – and jokingly shrugging off one of the security guard’s ribbing that we looked like ‘bamboozlers’ – we triumphantly strolled (and limped) into the theatre. (Definition of BAMBOOZLE: to deceive by underhanded methods: dupe, hoodwink. HA!! My phone was clearly underfooted – I win!)
And then I was paranoid for the rest of the movie that my phone was going to vibrate too loudly or that I’d accidentally set it to ring.
p.s. Go see The Sessions – it’s wonderful! What an amazing cast… And remember to wear loose-fitting shoes – One never knows when phone-stowing might be necessary.