My “Lbs.” Movie Experience
Okay, guys, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. And seriously, I don’t even know where to start. I will say that I absolutely fell in love with DC (and discovered that while I’m a mid-west girl at heart, I’m definitely much more of an east-coast girl than a west-coast girl), but I will write more generally about my trip over the next several days. I can’t put it all into one post – or you’d end up scrolling forever. So I’ll break it into smaller posts (which I’ll warn you, still may not be all that short).
I guess I should first start by saying that I’m sensing a pattern here. A pattern that I like. Last year, almost a year ago exactly, I went on a trip to a place I’d never been before: California. Even better, I had good friends to visit (the aforementioned Shawna and Riley) who were willing to play the tour guide role. My first night there, May 9th, we went to a play in which the lead actor was one that we all liked, Brian Krause. He has been in several things: Charmed, Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, and Return to the Blue Lagoon, among many others. We got to meet him after the show:
So here it is almost exactly a year later. Again, I visited somewhere I’ve never been – this time Washington, D.C. And again, the first night I’m there, I get to go to a show and meet the actor afterwards. Actually, two of them and the director! Like I said, I’m beginning to like this pattern. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store. 🙂
Anyway, these were the guys I got to meet this time around (click on any of the pics in this post to see larger images):
From left: Matthew Bonifacio (co-writer/director), me, my mom,
Carmine Famiglietti (co-writer/lead actor), Lou Martini, Jr. (actor)
Um, yeah, cool night. Okay, so maybe I better start from the beginning.
We got to the theater where “Lbs.” was playing really early. Here it is:
Can you sense my excitement building? The theater (as I said, we got there really early):
At this point, we discovered that while most people here in KC tend to actually get to a movie before the previews start to get a seat (of course there are always stragglers), most people in DC don’t. In fact, most people came in after the movie started. And unfortunately, since there were no previews, several missed the very beginning of the film. So if you go see it, get there on time! 😉
Both my mom and I really enjoyed watching the movie on the big screen. Sure, we both loved the cut we saw on DVD, but there’s just something about seeing it on the big screen. I found myself catching so many more details than I did before. So if you get a chance, definitely check it out on the big screen. I did notice several differences from the version I saw: different music, scenes edited a different way, cut scenes, added scenes, but all of the changes really made it even better, I thought.
But the best part of seeing it in person on the big screen was the audience feedback. You can’t get that at home very well. I loved hearing the audience’s reaction to different scenes. It was reinforcement that I wasn’t the only one who strongly responded to the film. Hearing them laugh at scenes that I’ve been thinking were funny, and gasping at scenes that I gasped at, or sounding disgusted at certain characters that I felt disgusted with was an amazing thing.
As the credits began to roll, the lights came up just a wee bit and some people walked in. Two of them were Carmine and Matthew. Let me tell you, after months of watching these guys either in the film or in various interviews, it was a trip to see them walk into the same room I was in. And shortly after they started the Q&A session, Lou Martini, Jr. (who played Carmine’s character’s brother-in-law) walked in totally unexpectedly. Check out the link to his IMDB page – he’s been in lots of stuff and has several things coming up.
I thought the Q&A was very interesting. It lasted about 30 minutes or so and there were a lot of questions asked. As I suspected, this movie brought up a lot of discussion of what it means to be an overeater or having a food addiction, and even whether there is a way to “help” people who are overweight. I loved Carmine’s response to this – he mentioned that he can usually tell when someone is trying to help out of genuine concern or just to be mean. He said that we know when we’re overweight and need to lose weight – we don’t need to be told. We have mirrors – we know what we look like. Totally agreed with this.
Yup, still love my new camera, but it gets an epic fail on the dark theater photo shot scale
I, myself, asked him two questions during the Q & A (once I got up the courage): whether it was difficult to have so much attention drawn to his own weight fluctuations due to the movie’s release, and what they wanted people, especially those who have never had a weight problem, to take away from the movie. He said that it was a little hard at times, and that sometimes he’s disappointed with himself for the weight he’s regained (I personally think he’s amazing at any weight), and that he hopes people will realize that everyone has problems – ours just happen to be much more visible. There was also a woman in the audience that said she was a health care educator who happened to be about 100 pounds overweight. She seemed very appreciative of the film and its message.
My mom mentioned later that she thought it sounded like a lot of the questions came from people who “obviously have never had a problem with their weight.” I think that’s another reason why these Q&A sessions are so great – Carmine and Matthew, through the sessions and their film itself, are educating the public. We’re just people, too!
During the Q&A, the issue of shame came up. One of the people asking about it seemed to believe that because obesity is so much more prevalent in society these days, that shame shouldn’t be or isn’t really an issue anymore. Carmine quickly corrected that idea – thank God. I mean, where has this person been – do they not watch how overweight people are treated in the media and the news? In further proof of what a nice guy Carmine is, at one point he mentioned some of the messages/e-mails he had received from people interested in the film. He said that many of them mentioned how they were extremely overweight and wanted to see the film, but were almost afraid to even leave the house. He said that he was like, “No, please come. Don’t be afraid. I’ll even come watch it with you.” I’m paraphrasing, of course.
As I said, the topic of addiction came up, as well. Carmine admitted that he struggles with whether he believes that it is truly an addiction or not (it’s no secret on here that I truly believe it can be). One of the reasons he said he struggles with it is because he feels like he should be able to control it and control what he’s eating. So do I. But I believe that that is at the very essence of an addiction. You feel like you should be able to control it and maybe even know that you can, but you don’t. He said that he’s not absolutely certain that it is an addiction, but that he knows he acts like an addict when he wants to eat. I’ve been there.
At one point, one of the theater employees came in to let us know that the next show would be starting soon – in other words, we had to get out. Carmine announced, though, that we could just move to the hall. There was a bit of craziness, but I was stunned that both Carmine and Matthew recognized my mom and I without us having to introduce ourselves. They gave us a very warm welcome with hugs! Amidst the insanity, I was able to get photos with each of them.
Lou Martini, Jr. and I (and Carmine in the background)
Matthew Bonifacio and I
Carmine Famiglietti and I
At that point, I wasn’t sure whether we should hang around or take off since there were other people clamoring for their attention, but Carmine told us not to rush off. I’m glad we didn’t, because after the majority of the crowd left, we ended up getting to chat with Carmine and Matthew for a little over half an hour.
All I can say is that they are both truly wonderful, friendly, genuine (and funny) guys. They both seemed very appreciative of what I’ve done on my blog as far as keeping people updated with new info and reviews (and even said that they visit it sometimes to catch new info!).
I also learned some amazing news. Due to its incredible success in New York, the film will be reopening there next Friday, May 14th, at a different theater, BIG Cinemas Manhattan. There will be Q&As after “select screenings” on Friday and Saturday night. They also said that they will be heading to Cleveland, North Carolina, and Florida soon, as well. Believe me, my mom and I did our best to talk them into coming to KC. 🙂
Anyway, the whole evening was an amazing experience and went much better than I ever could have hoped. We each even got a t-shirt!
Both Matthew and Carmine asked us if we were going to come back Saturday night, and we said we’d try. At that point, we weren’t sure if we were going to be on another tour or not. Unfortunately, as much as we wanted to, when Saturday night rolled around, we were just too outrageously wiped out to even leave the hotel room – enter room service. But like I said, more on that later. It would have been great to see them again, though, even if just to say goodbye.
So if you’re in the DC area, please check the film out. It should be playing at least through Thursday. As always, I’ll be keeping you posted on other showings in other cities and any news I run across!
Film postcard I got at the theater