Everybody kind of gripes and grouses about the stress of the holidays. But for some reason, once Christmas rolls around, we think it supposed to end there, don’t we?

But it doesn’t.

Traffic still sucks, lines are still long, everyone and their brother is trying to shoehorn themselves into a movie theater and God help you if you need to return an item without a gift receipt.

The events in today’s comic essentially befell me on Sunday when Cami and I went to see The Life Aquatic Steve Zissou. Normally my baser instincts would have screamed “STAY AWAY! STAY AWAY!” at the prospect of fighting the crowds over a holiday weekend, but the lure of a new Wes Anderson movie was too strong to resist! Pray to the altar of Bill Murray!

What was annoying about the whole thing were the lines. First you’re funneled into this massive line, roped off with those little nylon straps. Of course there are only two people working the register. After about 20 minutes, you get your tickets.

Then, deciding it might be nice to have popcorn, you go to the concession stand and wait in line another 20 minutes. “Oh, wait! We have to pop another batch. Oh, wait! We’re out of ice for the drinks.”

And, of course, without fail… the five people in front of you are buying enough food for a family of eight, but they’re the only one carrying it and they’re about 4 hands too short to maneuver the line without any complications.

And all of this was at a matinee.

Next time, I should just listen to my instincts and wait until the Tuesday 10:00 PM showing…

As far as the movie was concerned, I thought it was great but Cami felt like she had wasted two hours. She thought they advertised it differently than what it turned out to be. I suggested that it’s pretty hard to advertise “quirky”. She also felt like it was too long.

It was a disappointment for her because she’s actually a Wes Anderson fan. She really loved Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.

I don’t know why it went over for me and not for her. Maybe my geeky fan boy love obscured my vision from the duller aspects. Maybe I just fell in love with its vision so thoroughly I was able to ignore its problems with plot and characterization.

I’ll admit the film can be a little herky-jerky at times and maybe a little too cute for its own good. It plays very inside and the characters seem to mostly be speaking at each other and not really conversing. Probably the most glaring issue for me was Owen Wilson’s Kentucky accent, which dropped in and out of his dialogue to the point of distraction.

Part of me wants to be elitist about the whole affair and say “Oh, you just don’t get it.” But I think that whitewashes the issue. Certainly I think there’s a wavelength to Anderson’s films that you’re either predisposed to or not. But there’s something about The Life Aquatic that is more off-kilter than usual. It’s the largest budget Anderson’s ever been given ($50 million) yet the film feels more internalized than anything he’s done before. As if the narrative thread had been pulled out from under all these little vignettes and the audience is left to piece them together themselves.

Certainly the fact that I’m still thinking about it the next day is a good sign. I really wouldn’t mind seeing it again, actually.

Anyone who is interested in buying a t-shirt, baby doll or a hoodie has until January 7th to do it. That’s when the next pre-order period comes to a close. I anticipate those shirts to be delivered before the end of the month, in case you were looking for an estimate.

No real news besides that. I hope everyone had a happy holiday!

↓ Transcript
Christmas Day is the largest movie-going day of the year - and why not?!

To be out enjoying the company of the crowds, enjoying a delicious snack!

Great! More lines!

...Finding solace and relaxation within the confines of a darkened theater.

22 Minutes. That’s how long we’ve been watching the previews.

Is there no greater opportunity to escape from holiday stress?

Start the freakin’ movie already!