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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oops or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Mistake and Just See 'The Descendants'

I made a mistake.

(I’ll wait while you collect yourselves following this shocking news.)

OK, truth be told, I, like most humans, make mistakes all the time. Of course, we all try to limit our mistakes professionally. And here in the newspaper world, we have wonderful people called copy editors who spend a good bit of their eight-plus-hour shifts catching and fixing mistakes by the rest of us. (Know that when they have the AUDACITY to cause mistakes themselves, we lose our minds and give them heck. We are nothing if not unfair.)

But a copy editor wouldn’t catch this mistake, and, to be fair to me, it wasn’t a big one. On Wednesday, Nov. 23 – the day before Thanksgiving – four movies were set for wide release, aka they’d be playing in most theaters across the country.

Or so I thought.

Turns out that one of the four, the very promising-looking “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney, was being released in only a few theaters here or there. Not noticing it wasn’t listed when I scanned the advanced advertisements of the theaters in Lake County, I ran the Associated Press’ review of “The Descendants.”

Turns out the movie was – and still is – playing only at Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights and the big Cinemark theater in Valley View, both about a 35-minute jaunt from Willoughby. 

I have no doubt that “The Descendants” will go wider. And when there’s a movie that isn’t being released initially in Lake County, I sometimes hold the review until it’s playing closer to home. Other times I do run it, listing the Northeast Ohio theaters where the film can be seen, as the movie will not show up in the movie ads in TGIF.
So that’s, as they say, a look at how the sausage is made and a long way of saying I’m sorry about causing confusion for anyone who read the review and wanted to see the movie.

It’s also a long way of introducing the fact that I did in fact hit the aforementioned Valley View theater, on the way back from Columbus, over the weekend to see “The Descendants.”

Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaii-based real estate lawyer and head of a family trust that must decide to do with prime chunk of Hawaiian land before their right to it expires. More importantly, Matt’s wife, Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie), is in a coma, leaving Matt to deal with his two minor daughters, the younger Scottie (Amara Miller) and the older Alexandra (Shailene Woodley), both rebellious and generally problematic. And if all that wasn’t enough, Alexandra drops a bomb on her father: Mom was cheating on him. 

Matt decides he must confront the other man (played by Matthew Lillard, an interesting casting choice), so he takes his daughters, along with Alexandra’s seemingly dimwitted boyfriend, Sid (Nick Krause), from one of Hawaii’s islands to another for an unusual adventure and a bit of family bonding. 

 Fox Searchlight
Shailene Woodley, left, George Clooney, Amara Miller and Nick Krause share a scene from "The Descendants."

“The Descendants,” directed by Alexander Payne (“Sideways”), isn’t the best movie you’ll see all year, but it is worth seeing. 
Here’s hoping it’s at a theater nearer to you really soon.


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