Movie - Walk the Line

By now, if you haven't heard that Walk the Line is a film worth seeing, you obviously own TiVo and have ignored all of your friends for the last month.

Walk the Line is the life story of Johnny Cash, his rise to fame and his love for June Carter. There's Oscar-talk, comparisons to last year's biopic Ray, applause for the eerily accurate performances of Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon and the incessant hullaballoo about the music.

But here's the ultimate indicator that this film is worth every penny of today's ridiculous $9.50 movieticket price tag: It never even occurs to men that 1) They're watching a romance. And 2) That it's a musical.

Welcome to chick flick heaven, my brothers: You're all officially gay.

Walk the Line is a manly-musical of life, love and music - everything that makes life worth living (well, minus the drug addiction). It's packed into a tight, perfectly-paced couple of hours and is better than last year's Ray in both the lack of sentimental, overly-maudlin screenwriting and the quick clip of the film. It keeps things moving forward without freneticism. You're able to settle into the mood of each part of the story, absorb it, and let it inform the next. That's no easy feat for a director, especially when your job is to cram a man's entire life into a two-hour timeslot. Kudos to James Mangold.

I would estimate that 8 out of 10 people were scrambling for hankies or using their best tear-wiping-so-no-one-notices maneuver while sniff-shuffling out of the theater. You could hear the mumbles of "Great movie" and "that Johnny and June Carter were really somethin'!" as people held hands and made the hard transition from the cozy colorful joy of movie world to their own greyer realities.

In the lobby, I had to force myself not to cry again as I saw many of the white-haired folks exiting the theater, alone and with tears in their eyes. I realized then that this was a film of their generation, of a time when their relationships had first bloomed: Returning to the present was a grief-filled journey for many.

But all in all, guys? It's a tough-as-nails rockstar story you can feel good about seeing. Your manhood will not be diminished. Still, even you will be forced to admit that it's the romance that sets it apart.

The love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter really is a beaut, totally sap-free, as real as the dirt ground into the heel of your big black cowboy boots. See it. Not only will you want to join me in nominating June Carter Cash for sainthood, you'll understand why Johnny followed her to the grave four months after she died: He would have followed her anywhere.

Plus - and this has to be said - it's the kind of date movie that might actually get you laid. (Unless, of course, you're my friend Gerald - who recently re- announced his permanent retirement from dating.)

Rating: ***1/2 asterisks

In-theater or Rental?: In-theater if you like Cash's music, or would like to see the crowd's reactions. That alone made it worth the price of admission.

Who to Bring: A Date or a Parent


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >