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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, February 16

Identity Thief & Jeff, Who Lives at Home

A long time ago, when I was growing up, I knew a woman who weighed about 400 pounds, give or take a pound or two here or there, mostly here. She was a very nice woman, but she weighed this gigantic amount. I and nearly everyone else would say, “She’d be so pretty if she just lost two or three hundred pounds.” That’s sort of what I think when I see Melissa McCarthy doing her comic business, as she did in Bridesmaids and now again in Identity Thief. “She’d be so pretty if she just lost (in her case) one or two hundred pounds.” Does her comic genius depend on the extra weight or would she be just as funny at 120? I’m guessing she’d be just as funny only in a different way, less physical shtick and more cerebral. After all, Tina Fey is pretty funny and she doesn’t depend on slapstick for her humor. In Identity Thief, McCarthy plays a woman who makes up for her weighty insecurities by stealing identities, becoming momentarily someone other than herself, sort of getting away from this fat, really obnoxious woman named Diana and becoming a Sandy Patterson, for example. Jason Bateman plays the Sandy person whose identity McCarthy steals, causing him all kinds of legal and financial problems until he can straighten things out. So he travels from Colorado to Florida to capture the thief, then bring her back to Colorado to explain what she’s done. He finds her, he captures her, but in bringing her back all kinds of trouble ensues—a bounty hunter, a pair of paid killers, several wrecked autos, and at least two snakes. An odd sort of bonding, an odd series of laughs, a highly forgettable film to help one while away a Friday afternoon. And please, Melissa, lose some weight. You’d be so pretty.

Last night we spent a more rewarding hour and a half with Jason Segel, who played Jeff in the quiet comedy Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Jeff is a huge fan of the movie Signs, and feels that all of life is connected and we all need to pay attention to the signs that indicate those connections. He gets a wrong number call threatening someone named Kevin. So he takes Kevin as a sign, following a young man wearing a jersey with the name Kevin on the back. All that gets him is a knock on the head and the theft of the money he got from his mother to fix a slat in a a closet door. Then he spots a Kevin’s Kandy delivery truck that leads him to his brother, who is busy following his wife and what he thinks is her lover. Meanwhile, Jeff’s mother (Susan Sarandon) is getting text messages at work from a secret admirer. All the plot threads come together, the signs really did lead Jeff to his destiny, and everybody lives happily ever after. A nice, quiet way to spend an evening, just enough laughs, just enough pathos to keep us going.

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