I saw a movie tonight. Quite possibly the best movie I have ever seen. I know I’ve said that after seeing a few movies in my life.
I remember leaving the theatre after seeing "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” feeling that way.
I felt a similar vibe after seeing “Pulp Fiction”
I also said something of the sort after seeing “Blue.”
I felt that way after seeing “Citizen Kane.”
And, no, I’m not adding "Citizen Kane" to list to earn some level of celluloid street cred.
Tonight my beautiful bride brought home “Room.”
I was entranced from the first images. I was on the edge of the couch through most of the movie and I was a puddle of mess more times than a forty-one year old man cares to admit.
There were a couple of times I said, out loud, these are actors. This isn’t real. (Not missing the fact that it is all too real in the world we live in now.
Now, before anyone reading this chooses to debate the relevance or awesomeness of any above movie listed, please refrain. This list is not exhaustive and remember, it’s my list.
The point of this blog has little to do with movies. It has to do with the writing of the film. Which was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
More specifically it has to do with writing itself.
The first writer I really knew… one who actually got paid to write for a living is my friend Jennifer Barnett Reed. When I wrote about her husband a few weeks ago I promised there’d be coming a post about her.
I met Jennifer in a swing dancing bar in my hometown. She was with a friend of hers, Sarah, I think and I was with my then roommate and her now husband.
Matt and I were sitting at a table drinking our scotch and smoking our cigarettes doing our best to imitate the stylings of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and decided to muster up the courage to ask the two of them to dance. We did muster and we did dance.
I danced with Jennifer. Matt danced with Sarah.
As the dancing commenced there was a back and forth exchange a’la Aaron Sorkin dialogue. At least that’s the memory in my head. Her sarcasm and quick responses captured me and I actually said, “Marry me” at one point in the evening.
I have since joked that because of the loud music from he live band she heard wrong and thought I said, “Marry Matt!”
And I couldn’t be happier for that. They have been married for years as have Beckie and me and that worked out perfectly in my book.
I remember some of the writings Jennifer did as a journalist in Springfield and how she threw herself into the work with passion and discernment.
I learned so much from Jennifer over the years we knew each other in Springfield and I continued to learn from her when I was in Nashville and she and Matt moved to Little Rock.
I probably first realized with her what has taken years to understand when it comes to the power of woman. She is probably the one to get me started on the feminist journey I’ve been on the last several years.
Though those last few sentences may beg for more explanation I’ll leave them there. I also won’t bring in political views and her help there or another perspective on organized religion taking a hard look at things without throwing out the baby with the holy water.
I could elaborate on those things but can’t we all agree there’s enough in social media about those things? After all, the purpose of this crazy hashtag mutiny against the anti-social behaviors of social media is to celebrate people.
Get to know her or get to know me. Buy either one of us a cup of coffee in our respective cities and talk about it. I find that conversations are much more civil when the mob mentality of the comments section is not involved.
I love how Jennifer loves her children. I see their individuality played out in photos and status updates and it brings me complete joy to see a mother and father celebrate their children and their uniqueness with complete abandon.
It reminds me of old photos of me as a child because my mother did that for me. She encouraged my spirit of pretend and my insatiable imagination and I know I am who I am today because of it. But enough about my mom. She’ll get her own post… if not more than one.
Jennifer is, much like her hubby and one of my dearest, closest far away friends, a what you see is what you get kind of person. She has her convictions. She will stand her ground on them. And she has the smarts to coherently explain why they are as they are without fear of a person thinking differently about her.
She is bold. She is kind. She is my friend.
She is on a list of “best people I’ve ever met” and that makes me happy.