Monday, August 10, 2009

Take one dose of Meryl Streep and call me in the morning!

A couple of months ago or so, I wrote about "Finding the happy" -- a family philosophy from waaaay back for dealing with life's troubles (big and small) and coming out OK in the end. Well, this could be called "Finding the Happy, Part Two", because I have discovered something that makes me just as happy as sitting on my porch swing reading a good book. Meryl. Yes, Meryl "The Wonderful" Streep. I have always admired the way she transforms herself for a role and makes you absolutely believe in her character. I mean, really, her skills as an actress are undeniable. Sophie's Choice, Out of Africa, The River Wild, The Manchurian Candidate, Postcards From the Edge... The list goes on and on. Her performances have thrilled me, moved me, made me think, and thoroughly entertained me. But, when it comes to "Finding the Happy", nothing beats Mamma Mia and, as of this afternoon, Julie & Julia. I went to see Julie & Julia with some girlfriends today, and I haven't laughed that hard and felt that genuinely happy watching a movie in ages. Seriously, I was clapping my hands together with joy like a 9-year-old girl throughout the whole thing. I'm sure I was embarrassing my friends, but at least they could pretend I was just some strange woman, with poor social boundaries, who had sat down next to them in the theater. Anyway, I think that Meryl just glows with life and vivacity and something uniquely "Meryl". Both of these movies are just one big celebration of living and loving and being happy in your own skin (and it doesn't hurt that everybody seems to be drinking wine throughout, which is a little something that always adds to my personal happiness as well). I find it impossible to feel bad about anything while watching either of these life-affirming movies. Meryl, an over-50, average-sized woman, who seems to be bucking the plastic surgery/botox trend and actually aging gracefully, shows her audiences that beauty transcends body-type or wrinkles, and she is absolute living proof that every woman is lovable, is sexy, and is worth celebrating. I just love her! I can't wait until Julie & Julia comes out on DVD, because it will go right next to Mamma Mia in my movie drawer. And, speaking of Mamma Mia, as soon as my little guys are in bed tonight, I'm putting it in the DVD player, pouring myself a glass of Cabernet, and thoroughly embracing the joyful feelings Meryl's luminous performance brings out in me. To life -- whatever it brings! To love -- in all of its forms! To Meryl -- who helps me appreciate it all! Cheers!

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