I caught a little of the movie 21 this weekend. Have you seen it? It’s pretty good, and interesting because it’s based on a true story. In short: a group of brilliant MIT students form a secret team that “counts cards” and sneaks off to Vegas every weekend to make obscene amounts of money playing blackjack. The film shows splashy scenes from the famed city’s nightlife: the neon-lit strip, dizzying dance clubs, posh hotel suites and high-end shopping sprees. In the end, of course, the once well-behaved students recognize their reckless greed and learn that–now brace yourself–Money Isn’t Everything.
Still, it’s a fun show. But after watching it, I realized there are a few things I just don’t understand about 21:
A Few Things I Just Don’t Understand about 21
1. Why my life is–and ever has been–so dull in comparison to everyone else’s. Example:
I had never set foot in Las Vegas until after I was married, and then my young husband and I were kicked out of Ceasar’s Palace for looking underage. (We were actually twenty-two at the time, thankyouverymuch.) We had stopped in Sin City on our way to visit relatives in California and decided to see a few of the sights. We’d barely made it past Cleopatra’s alabaster bosom on the main floor when a loud, frazzled lady came chasing us through the crowded aisles, demanding to see our IDs and raving about how the Gaming Commission would “shut us down!” if they caught two infants like us frequenting their din of iniquity. We smiled and told her that hey, it was okay–we were married! Proof of adulthood. She just blinked at us and wondered aloud how two kids who weren’t old enough to gamble had managed to get themselves married. We looked at each other and wondered the same. (Oh well, we shrugged. Too late now. Let’s go try the slots at Treasure Island.)
2. Why 21 is such an anticipated birthday for some people. Example:
My twenty-first birthday found me home from college for the summer living with–who else?–Mom and Dad. My darling mother had hung approximately four balloons and four strands of streamers from the dining room chandelier. A cake was made and approximately four friends from church came over to wish me a happy birthday. We sat around talking quietly as they generously tried to pretend that this was a real party. I cannot now remember any of the friends’ names, so I’m thinking we weren’t too close. My close friends were all off serving missions, studying abroad, getting married, or getting drunk for their own 21st birthdays. I remember being thankful that a) my mom would still hang streamers for a grown daughter who should have had her own birthday plans by now, b) that school was starting soon, and c) that my cute friend Derrick was still available to hang out with. (He was pretty fun.) (And funny.) (And smart.) (And cute.) (Wait, did I already say cute?) (Well, that was all.) (No, really.)
3. Why these young gamblers were so excited about their winnings. Obviously they had never experienced the thrill of putting your kids and husband to bed early on a Saturday night, having the tv all to yourself, and watching half of a movie while folding laundry, vacuuming carpet edges (not kidding), and re-organizing the DVD closet. They must never have felt the goodness of finally plopping down on the sectional, only to fall asleep before said movie ended. What a great night. I get a tingle down my spine just re-living it on the page. Don’t tell me you haven’t been there.
4. Why Kate Bosworth is considered such a hottie, and Jim Sturgess isn’t considered more of one. The guy just does something for me. Brainy and sloppy, that’s how I like ’em. (See my last post for proof.)
5. How to play Blackjack. After paying close attention to the movie’s explanation, I still don’t get it. But I almost have Uno down. (Care Bears version.)