Fifteen minutes into The International, starring Clive Owen, I was confused. Something didn't feel right. I put down the popcorn, and leaned in toward Mrs. Film Geek's ear:
"This doesn't feel like a romantic comedy," I said. She shushed me, and kept looking at the 10-foot-tall rugged handsomeness of a desperate, pissed-off Clive Owen.
Twenty minutes into the flick, I suddenly realized I hadn't seen one of the movie's major co-stars yet. I found that even more strange. I leaned in again:
"Where's Julia Roberts? Don't you think it's strange she hasn't been in a scene yet?"
That fact, plus the very serious mood of what I was sure to be romedy had my head spinning. I was so confused, I hadn't yet opened my box of Goobers.
"Listen, you're thinking of Duplicity. That stars Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, but doesn't open until next month. This is a different movie, a thriller. Now hush, and watch the movie."
And I did. And through my newly opened eyes I watched Clive Owen, in all his rugged handsomeness, piece together an international mystery that comes strikingly close to how I suspect the modern political world is managed. The International was smart, well-acted and timely.
And very, very serious.