Only in Jersey: 3/7/12

It’s Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week, and it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Who would've thought of West Orange as "status symbol land"?

In the wake of Davy Jones’ untimely death last week, I’ve discovered at least two connections The Monkees have to the Garden State. First, I was very surprised to learn that one of their hit songs, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ was written about life in West Orange, of all places. Yup, that’s right: the tune, penned by Carole King and her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, was inspired by their time living on Pleasant Valley Way in the township’s Watchung Mountains. Kinda gives new meaning to the lyrics, huh?
The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire
Who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray
She’s proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green
He’s so serene
He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

The second Monkees/Garden State connection, which I recall but had forgotten, is that the band filmed the video for its ’86 comeback hit, “That Was Then, This Is Now,” at Great Adventure’s arena in Jackson. The song and video only feature Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, although apparently Davy was part of the tour.

Happy 2010!

When I think of New Year’s Eve, invariably one of my favorite movies, “When Harry Met Sally,” pops into my head.

And that’s a good thing. Great scene, and – dare I say it? – the sweetest-ever ending to a movie.  After a long, frequently frustrating relationship, Harry (Billy Crystal) finally wakes up and realizes what he’s got right in front of him. I love his speech in this scene – pointing out all of Sally’s (Meg Ryan) faults that drive him crazy but that he somehow finds endearing all the same – but my favorite line of all is this one:

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

Sigh.

But alas, “When Harry Met Sally” was nowhere to be found this New Year’s Eve. I suppose I could’ve pulled out my DVD (I know it’s here somewhere), but instead I spent a chunk of the night watching “Revolutionary Road.”

What a contrast!

Instead of Harry and Sally’s amusing bickering, I watched Frank and April’s misery quietly unfold. And oddly enough, I didn’t find it totally, overwhelmingly depressing.

I really liked April’s (Kate Winslet) desire for a different life than the typical 1955 suburban one they’re living. My favorite quote of the whole movie is this one she tells her husband, played by Leonardo DiCaprio:

“I don’t need everything we have here, I don’t care where we live. I mean, who made these rules anyway? The only reason we moved out here was because I got pregnant. Then we had another to prove the first one wasn’t a mistake, I mean, how long does it go on? Frank, do you actually want another child? Well do you? Come on. Tell me. Tell me the truth, Frank. Remember that? We used to live by it. And you know what’s so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is no matter how long they’ve lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank, they just get better at lying. So tell me. Do you really want another child?”

Though this quote, also by April, is also great:

“It’s unrealistic for a man with a fine mind to go on working year after year at a job he can’t stand. Coming home to a place he can’t stand, to a wife who’s equally unable to stand the same things. And you know what the worst part of it is? Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we’re special. They we’re superior to the whole thing. But we’re not. We’re just like everyone else! We bought into the same, ridiculous delusion. That we have to resign from life and settle down the moment we have children. And we’ve been punishing each other for it.”

Another thing I liked about “Revolutionary Road” was how the *crazy* one (Kathy Bates’ son, played by Michael Shannon) seemed the most aware and sane of them all.

Maybe that’s why he was deemed insane?

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