life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dinner and a movie

As native Long Islanders, we are both keenly aware of the Long Island Gold Coast and its rich history. "The Great Gatsby", F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, is set in the Gold Coast circa 1922. Gatsby lived in the fictional "West Egg", which is modeled after Great Neck. Daisy lived in "East Egg", across the bay, i.e., Manhasset.

 I loved the book. I have a vague recollection of the 1974 movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, which didn't quite work for me. Drew didn't care for the book or the 1974 movie, but was willing to give the new movie a shot. Drew didn't like it, but I enjoyed it.

 This version stays very close to the novel. We saw it in 3D. The 3D effect doesn't add anything to the movie. The sets and costumes capture the opulence, the decadence and materialism of the times. The director threw as much money at this movie as Jay Gatsby threw at his parties.

I did not like the soundtrack. I like hip hop, but didn't care for it in this movie. The 1920's were called "The Jazz Age". I know that hip hop is to modern times what jazz was in the 20's, the same freewheeling style, but you don't Charleston or foxtrot to hip hop. I kept listening for jazz. But the soundtrack wasn't overly intrusive and didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the movie.

 I liked the way the story is framed, with Nick telling his tale to his psychiatrist. Gives us an opportunity to hear Fitzgerald's narration. And I really liked the way DiCaprio brought Gatsby to life. You could tell that the Oxford man was all affectation and artifice, you could see the gritty bootlegger beneath the surface. He made you believe that he realky believed Daisy would be with him . . . Definitely worth seeing.

Afterwards we wound up at Applebees. As chains go, this is one of the better ones, with choices that range from burgers to pasta to steaks to entrees geared to people watching their weight. Drew had the twin whiskey steaks and I had the riblets. Both were well prepared. Large portions, we both brought home leftovers. I seldom order dessert, but caved into temptation and ordered a strawberry cheesecake shooter -- a small but satisfying portion of cheesecake with strawberries and whipped cream. We will be back.


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