Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Punch Drunk Love

I rememeber that as a child the process for deciding which cereal to buy involved a complex formula that tried to balance the relative value of the cereal with the value of the free gift inside. "I prefer Shreddies but that free hockey card inside the Frosted Flakes makes me wonder".

Last week while shopping for groceries I noticed that a brand of cereal was on special for $3.99. I don't much eat cereal any more expect for this kind which is of a particularly adult variety. So I put one in my cart. There was a splash on the front of the box that indicated there was a bonus to be found inside. Each package contained a free movie pass. I go to the movies all the time so I know that a movie ticket costs about $10. Two more boxes went into my cart.

The next day as I passed the store I rationalized that I forgot to buy some water the previous night. But really I was curious to see if there were any more of those special boxes. There were, and eight more boxes went into my cart. I've been there two more times and I'll be going to the movies for free until July.

So I went to see Capote the other night. Philip Seymour Hoffman was quite good in his role as a reserved yet flamboyant and seemingly always somewhat drunk effete Truman Capote. I first noticed him in P.T. Anderson's Boogie Nights as the pathetic effete schlub who has a puppy dog crush on Dirk Diggler. He also played opposite Bobby Deniro as an effete crossdressing singer in a not-so-good movie. I wonder if he's gay because he's in danger of being typecast as such.

He seems best directed by Anderson as he was in Magnolia playing the palliative care nurse and as the slimebag 1-976 pimp in Punch Drunk Love. In that movie Adam Sandler's character discovers a pudding cup bonus promotion that he can use for free air travel. He then spends a significant portion of the movie shovelling pudding cups into his shopping cart. I now feel a special kinship with that character.

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