There are so many options now besides leaving the house to see a movie: Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and on and on.
Still, there is something different and special about going to the movie theater.
For one thing, there are no interruptions. The phone will not ring. You cannot get up in the middle of the movie to finish housework or cook dinner. You simply watch the movie from beginning to end.
And, no matter how fine your television set is at home, it is not the same as seeing the movie on a huge screen.
I don’t go to watch movies at the movie theater very often. Perhaps it is a holdover from when my children were young, and going to a movie meant a lot of advance planning: finding a babysitter, leaving instructions, worrying about the kids while I was gone. Now, I don’t have to do any of those things, but we got out of the habit established before we had children when we went to the movies often.
Maybe we seldom go out to the movies nowadays because it’s hard to agree on a movie to see. My husband enjoys science fiction, historical and action movies; I prefer romances and drama among family members on the screen. Sometimes it’s easier to stay home and watch Jeopardy.
This past weekend, however, we went to see a movie that we both agreed upon and enjoyed. It was “RBG,” a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It is not the most popular movie: in fact, when we saw it, there were not very many people in the theater with us. A quick check showed that it is not playing locally — but it is at Crocker Park, which is west (our side) of Cleveland.
It is well worth the trip.
It worked for us because it involved a successful woman (something for me) and also the law (something for my husband).
It is a true story. It weaved together comments from family members with footage of Ginsburg herself alongside U.S. presidents, legislators and other justices. It had a lot of history: landmark Supreme Court decisions that Ginsburg was part of, either arguing for one side or, as a justice, agreeing with or dissenting from decisions.
But it was also personal — how as a wife and mother she went to law school, one of only a few women who aspired to be a lawyer at that time. It showed the discrimination she faced as a woman. She argued cases in which she had to explain to the men on the Court that discrimination against women even existed. (Shouldn’t women just be happy to work alongside men? Why should they deserve equal pay and benefits?)
She met her husband in college and they were together until his death, many years later. They had two children who appear in the movie as adults, reflecting on Ginsburg as a mother. Ginsburg was beautiful yet quiet; intelligent yet humble. The movie RBG lets viewers see her as a person and as a Supreme Court justice, making her human — a very outstanding human.
The movie was inspiring. Without special effects and loud music and violence, it held me rapt all the way through at the way this tiny, determined woman made it to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Hard work, yes. Courage, yes. She has all that and more. You don’t have to agree with her decisions on the Court to admire her as a person, and to learn from as well as enjoy this movie.
Debbie Leffler is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. She can be reached at [email protected]