I have never seen a movie like this!

Except, it stirred a vague memory of a redheaded girl named something like Penny (?) who could breathe under water, and who was friends with a dolphin who saved her when she stepped on some poisonous coral. In a movie I watched on the disney channel one sunday as a little girl when I faked being sick so I could stay home from church.

I digress. Anyway, Ponyo was actually kind of funny, and endearing in its own way. What's not to love about a goldfish who sprouts chicken feet and then becomes a human-girl? And a mother with Tina Fey's voice who leaves her 5 year-old and the goldfish girl to fend for themselves in the middle of a tsunami/storm? Grin.

He's just not that into you

Personally, I thought this movie was a little depressing. In the end, it still seems to be portraying love as a game, which works out only if you make the right moves...and even then it's not guaranteed.

At the same time, it was light enough not to take it too seriously, so still enjoyable. I'd say it's worth seeing.

Sweet Land

So, throughout most of this movie I'm thinking that it's frustrating and a little slow...

...and then it ends, and I'm bawling.

Not amazing, but I definitely liked it. My favorite scene had the main character and her fiance in tears. I could feel it too. The fiance, Olaf, managed to do the best acting of all, with pretty minimal dialogue.

The Proposal

Ryan Reynolds is sooooo dreamy. Also...needy? Nice! Enjoyable little fantasy.

Oh wait, there may have been more to the plot than that, but that's all I remember.

The Invention of Lying

I really, really enjoyed this movie. I found it funny and quite thought-provoking. The absence of lying was in part represented by a lot of literal or superficial tactlessness, but I think the exaggeration drove the point home. I will see it again.

BUT - for my friends: I think it will appeal mostly to secular audiences, and may be considered offensive and even crude by the more religious. I don't think I would have enjoyed it at all a year or two ago.

Catcher in the Rye

I just read this for the first time. Frankly, I'm shocked at how many people name this as their favorite. I guess I owe it another read, or a more in-depth analysis.

I did find it enjoyable, and thought-provoking, and amusing, and relatable. Huh.

The Scarlet Letter

I just got back from a vacation, during which I enjoyed revisiting Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. I found so many parallels to my own religious experience:

1. ON VIRTUE - Many believed that only fear of punishment would support human virtue (p. 45).

2. ON JOY - Hester (the adulteress) rejected most joys as sin (p. 70).

3. ON GUILT - Mr. Dimmesdale "attributed all his presentiments" to his own sin. In other words, he blamed his dislike and distrust for Hester's husband on his own guilt and shame, refusing to believe that the other truly harbored him any ill-will (p. 117).

3b. Hester tended to explain away (justify) the sins of others, or take the blame upon herself (blame for her daughter's wildness, her husband's consuming hate, her lover's self-destruction) (p. 140).

4. ON SELF-CONCEPT - Mr. Dimmesdale tended to view others as saintly, and himself as depraved. Hester too is continually self-denigrating, accepts and even encourages the holier-than-thou condescension of others as deserved.

5. ON REVELATION - There was a tendency for persons to find plenty of individualized revelations in nature (p. 128).

Good, thought-provoking stuff.

A Whole New Mind

Read this for class. It was an easy, fairly enjoyable read. My biggest criticism is that the writing didn't seem very research-based, more subjective than objective. Casual. Of course, maybe the conversational tone is what made it such an easy read.

Anyway, I liked thinking about Mr. Pink's ideas, in spite of his apparent bias. He emphasized the importance of tapping into right-brain characteristics. I like.