The Healing Power of Mark Wahlberg

Okay, not just Mark Wahlberg, but movies in general -- I just like saying "Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg," I'm still so tickled about that turn of events. (Oh, and by the way, when I said the other day that Wahlberg would "forever more be known as 'Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg,' I should have added "until he actually wins.")

Anyway, what happened was this. I had a crappy day on Tuesday. I was staring down multiple deadlines that were rushing down on me. I was running around like a headless chicken doing necessary errands. I was getting over a nasty bout of the flu that had wrung me out. I was stressed out, exhausted, and wished I was able to relax enough to have a little cry just for the relief it would provide. And then at the end of all that I had this evening screening for Shooter -- that was delayed getting started a few minutes and I already knew that the film would be running for two hours and six minutes and I was calculating how late it was going to be before I got home and ...

And I was simply in a lousy, lousy mood sitting there waiting for the damn movie to just start already.

And then the lights went down and that big Universal logo came up on the screen and I forgot absolutely everything that was annoying me. This isn't about the movie itself -- the actual story itself hadn't even started. It was just the idea of The Movies, the anticipation that I was going to be able to forget my troubles for two hours and six minutes. I wasn't expecting much one way or the other from Shooter -- wasn't expecting it would be either extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad -- so it's not that I was anticipating that this particular movie was going to do much in and of itself to cheer me up. It was just that I love, love, love movies. All movies. Even the bad ones.

As it turns out, after the first half hour of Shooter I was atwitter with the possibility that this might be on track to be another Fugitive, one of the best popcorn movies of recent years, and one of my favorite movies. That didn't quite happen, and by the end of the film I'd reconciled myself with the fact that this was only going to be a mediocre flick. But that was fine -- the film had already done its job of diverting me.

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MaryAnn Johanson

author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride

minder of FlickFilosopher.com