When I was a sophomore in college I met L. in the drama department of our school. I was a theater major as a mild act of rebellion against my parents and she was a freshman who had landed a role in our fall production of a bloody old English play called The Revenger's Tragedy. At the time I was awkward and self-conscious not only onstage but in pretty much everything I did. The only thing I had going for me as far as attracting prospective friends was a sense of humor, both about myself and the world. So, I think we became friends based on that. I certainly didn't always deserve L.'s friendship based on my behavior.
Well, you might say, this is all very sweet. But what does it have to do with movies?
Senior year, the movie to see was Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. There was enormous media hype, the movie had won the top prize at Cannes, and L. and I were both excited. Because of our diverging academic paths, I didn't get to spend as much time with her as before. I can still remember how happy I was when she told me she wanted to see Pulp with me.
The theater we went to doesn't even exist anymore, but the way I remember it we were both so buzzed after the movie we went to the nearest restaurant (for coffee and pie of course) because we had to talk about it. The mix of violence, pop-culture, irony, and Uma Thurman's dancing was somehow perfect. To this day I've only had a couple of experiences even close in terms of communing over a movie with someone.
So, when Kill Bill appeared we were living far away from each other. I e-mailed her to note the occasion of of a new Tarantino film and L. responded with a shrug of indifference. You know what? When I saw the movie I felt the same way. When you're contemplating starting a family (like her) or thinking about who you're going to spend the rest of your life with (like me), even a samurai that looks like Uma Thurman doesn't have quite the same appeal.