Andrea and I were empty-nesters for six weeks this past summer. It was the first time we had nearly the full summer to ourselves since before we became parents. Though that may sound exciting and invigorating, it was an adjustment that involved three weeks of getting used to the absence of fights and messes, and another three weeks figuring out how to take advantage of our alone time.

It was in August that we adopted a new routine. That’s when we decided that we’ll catch the early show each Saturday at the Mayfair Theatre, no matter what’s playing.

Our success rate has been very good.

Exceeded expectations

  • Weiner: An insightful documentary about disgraced Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner’s attempt to return to politics with his NYC mayoral run. There are some very raw personal moments with flashes of political thinking.
  • Florence Foster Jenkins: It’s hard to go wrong with Meryl Streep. However, Hugh Grant has never impressed me. Until this movie. Plus, we were exposed to the fascinating story of someone we never heard of.
  • Hunt For the Wilderpeople: As good as Sam Neill was, youngster Julian Dennison gave a great performance. The story was engaging and the duo was extremely entertaining and convincing in developing their relationship.
  • The Music of Strangers: For reasons I won’t get into here I was not looking forward to seeing this movie. I considered making excuses to not see it. I’m glad I didn’t dodge the movie. Forget the music, the people and stories in this documentary are riveting.

Ho-hum

  • Café Society: I usually enjoy Woody Allen films. This one fell flat. Perhaps it was the performances of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart that weakened this one.

Painful

  • Last Cab to Darwin: Andrea watched the clock for most of this movie, and I took a bathroom break. Most of this film was painful. It tried too hard to attract multiple audiences, and it failed in its attempts. I will admit, though, that I was gripped by the final 10 minutes of the movie. It’s a shame it took just shy of two hours to get to that point.

And just like that, I’m hooked on the early show.

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Featured photo: At the Mayfair uploaded to Flickr by chriss.

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