Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Happiness & Laughter

After spending a fruitful weekend with a high-school friend, last night I took the opportunity to watch programs that had accumulated on our DVR. One of my favorite comedians, Jim Carrey, had hosted Saturday Night Live and I looked forward to checking it out. Much to my surprise, I gained nary a laugh from said program while my wife chuckled a number of times. Could it be that I just wasn't in the mood for a bit of levity?

After finishing "The Larry Sanders Show", I saw that a movie from 2004 was playing on the Independent Film Channel. Starring Tom Hanks, "The Ladykillers" was a Coen brothers movie (they directed the recent "True Grit") that I hadn't seen. The trailers made it look amusing, but I wasn't motivated enough to see it more than a half a decade ago.

It was a very unusual role for Hanks in that he played a Southern gent with an incredibly vast vocabulary and a goatee. He reminded one a bit of Colonel Sanders. There were a number of laughs in the early going and I loved how Hanks' character wasn't ashamed to use the 12-dollar words that he was familiar with; I sometimes have the tendency to dumb down my language when talking to others because I don't wish to pelt them with phrases they're not familiar with.

My wife grew tired and went to bed about an hour into the movie while I watched the heist that the film's characters had planned took place. It's a fantastic feeling to stumble upon a film that you have no expectations for, but which winds up pleasing you greatly. There was a running gag involving a garbage barge and I laughed the hardest, crying almost, when it was used for the last time in the movie's final minute. Just as an orgasm completes the sex act, so too, should the biggest laugh of a comedy come about at the very end and this is one of the rare movies that did so for me.

If it wasn't pleasing enough to close my night with a huge guffaw, my morning had started strong as well. As I drove with my friend on the interstate and looked at the farms covered by snow on a day in which the temperature hovered around 20 degrees, I was struck by a knowing that everything is perfect just the way it is. Now, that is something that I like to believe, but to actually feel it in the marrow of one's bones was a beautiful thing.

On the way home, my wife picked up a prescription while I walked a bit in the clinic's halls. I saw a lady who was walking kinda funny and smiled a bit, almost ashamed of how good I was feeling. I wanted to tell her that though it might not seem so, nothing needs fixing. A moment later, as an older man passed me, I again displayed an expression of extreme contentment. Walking outside to the car, I was tempted to skip, so great was my feeling of well-being. I do what I can each day to create my own happiness, but sometimes I'm surprised by how strongly the feeling can manifest.


Phats said...

Didn't watch the SNL with Carrey even though I am a big fan of his, what is your favorite carrey movie? Last SNL i watched was Jane Lynch and it was pretty good.

We cleaned off our DVR's over the holidays it's amazing how much was on there we forgot about.

Stay warm, our Boilers invade Minnesota on Thursday, doubting you'll give a big Boiler Up cheer? haha :)

Thomas said...

My favorite Carrey movie, that is a hard one. The three that I most enjoyed would probably be "Dumb & Dumber", "The Truman Show", and "Me, Myself, & Irene". Then again, "Eternal Sunshine" was my favorite film of 2004.

Carrey was also on the Actors Studio this week and it was enjoyable to see him discuss the many movies he's been in.

I'll definitely give a BigUp to the Boilers when they come to town. There's no reason to favor one team over another just because they don't live in the same geographical area as I do. That's xenophobic.

Narkissos said...

OUCH! You just pelted me with 2 unfamiliar words thomsy “nary” and “guffaw”....pardon me for being among ESL population and plz dumb it down next time......wudja?

sorta forgot the feeling of “extreme contentment”.....don’t even know if it really exists....for me it’s just an illusion eh....
to happiness and laughter...cheers!

Rocketstar said...

I agree on the Carey comments, not that funny. I hate when comedians go too far, like Carey and Robin Williams always do. They need to stop trying sooooo hard.

I just saw True Grit last night. Quintasentail (sp?) Coen Brothers film. Good story, well shot, good acting (the young girl was AMAZING) and the right length. No need to see it in the theatres but definitely a renter. I'd give it 7 out of 10.