AT MIDDLETON

One reviewer said it briefly, “Wonderful movie not to be missed.” It is more complicated, but this movie about the past catching up with two adults is a must-see. Neither adult knows one another, but each has taken a child (son, daughter) to an entrance orientation at a liberal arts college. This movie is a romance.

The adults/parents (Andy and Vera) slowly get together and have their own college tour/orientation. Along the way, they steal bicycles to ride around, are chased by the cops, venture where they shouldn’t and end up in a drama class: Hints about their lives leave crumbs until they are required to act the roles of husband and wife in the class. Vera is unhappy and alone, in her live with her real husband. He is uncontented but resolved to plough through life with no satisfaction. As part of the role playing, he asked Vera (as he might ask his own wife), “When did you stop loving me?”

That line and sentiment may seem incredibly disjointed, but in this screenplay it works. Vera makes inferences about mistakes she made in her past: Misimpressions, bad advice, taking the wrong road, regrets and sulking and how to handle life’s miseries.

An overall point of this story presents a problem of time for the writer. When young couples fall in love, the whole experience seems automatic. When older, love is hardly automatic. Those systems seem or are forgotten. This scriptwriter knows this, and works on solutions to make the story go.

It seems that Andy and Vera should fall in love, tell the kids, and divorce their spouses. NO – too Hollywood. It is suggested they will see one another but that remains appropriately unclear. The issues of the day’s orientation for the kids work out more directly. Their parents meet other students and get shit-faced. The son and daughter must must drive each parent home (in opposite directions). It was a memorable day. The son asks Andy which way should I drive: “Take the long way.”

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