I rented Leap Year last week and it’s a good thing I had a coupon and got it for free or I would've been stomping back to the store, demanding my money back. Load of formulaic crap with the same amount of originality, soul and entertainment as a paint-by-numbers rendition of a stag by a lake. If you're in the mood to see this story - overly controlled urban woman seriously into planning goes to quaint, mostly rural area, somehow gets thrown together with a scruffy, handsome local man with a sexy name, they spend the majority of the movie bickering/falling in love while the woman through various humiliations learn to cut loose and be less uptight and they live happily ever after - rent The Proposal (Single Disc Widescreen). Equally preposterous if you think about it, but you don't because in that one, the writing is good and the actors make it work. Leap Year? Not so much.
Anyway! The test - because there's always some sort of test - that convinces formerly uptight city woman seriously into planning that her existing boyfriend (equally uptight citified male with a silly name) should be scuttled in favor of new handsome and scruffy man as this one: Handsome, scruffy man asks her what she would take with her if her house was on fire and she only had 60 seconds to get out. Naturally, he would take his dead mother's Claddagh ring (obviously, this is the part where the filmmakers attempt to push the "wistful sigh" button in the female viewing public, except it didn't really work). And equally naturally, once home with existing boyfriend, uptight city woman now not quite so much into planning anymore after spending time with handsome, scruffy man employs this test, yanking the fire alarm. Soon-to-be-ex boyfriend makes sure to take laptops, digital cameras containing pictures of the two of them, the video camera with the recording of his proposal to her and their Blackberries because that's where their lives are and that's where the pictures of them together - not to mention the video recording of him proposing to her - are located. Somehow, this constitutes failing the test. No, I don't know why.
I don't see what's so wrong with being into planning – those of you familiar with the Christmas schedule will know this - but that's beside the point. The point is the test. Because it made me think about what I’d take if I had 60 seconds to get out and other than the cat, my computer, external hard drives and camera were high on the list. Because that’s where my life is – my work, a few books-in-progress, photos of the important people and events in my life. The rest is just stuff. And sure, if I gave it some more thought – and I’ve already probably given it more than it deserves – I could probably come up with a few precious objects. Like the vase my grandfather gave to my mother on her 17th birthday, that she passed on to me when I turned 17 and which Morgan will get when she reaches that age, the opal my father bought for me when he was in Alice Springs, the necklace made from a chunk of meteor David gave me on Valentine’s Day and a few other things, but most of all, the cat and the technology. Oh, and my painkillers. The technology is needed to re-create my life, the few items are irreplaceable treasures and the meds? Well, it can take several days to get new prescriptions and I'm going to need them. Am I being overly practical/not-at-all romantic again?
What would you take if you only had 60 seconds to leave the house?