By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist
I’ve always been leery when I see a movie based on a video game. There’s no reset button if the movie turns bad, and you don’t have a controller to take over if you see the character’s screwing things up.
But I do look forward to “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.” It’s got Jake Gyllenhaal, who’s usually pretty good. And it’s based on my favorite video game of the last decade.
If the movie goes anything like the video game, it will follow a prince who is a skilled warrior. Everything goes awry when an evil sorcerer releases the Sands of Time, and it’s up to the prince to change the past. In the video game, the prince fights and goes through deadly obstacles, and the sands allow him to slow time, pause time or rewind a few seconds and erase a mistake.
I loved the concept, because I sometimes thought of how that would make my life different. I have daily opportunities where the ability to pause or rewind time would be phenomenal.
I could have avoided hitting on that one girl Saturday who already liked a different guy.
I’d also be wittier in my times of weakness. About a week ago, I was recovering from an undetermined sickness — I had been exposed to H1N1 and strep throat, but knew it could have been something else too — and went to see the doctor because I didn’t want to be the guy who got everyone at work sick.
I got the cute doctor, and she asked me what I was feeling. I told her where I was, who I was with who was sick, when I discovered the sickness and every symptom I’d experienced over the last few days.
Her first question was, “What is your medical training?” I didn’t expect that question, and simply gave a blank stare. She said she asked because I was the first patient all day to go beyond, “I feel bad.”
Had I been some master of time, I could have paused everything while I weighed the proper response. I could have said I wanted her to do the best job possible, and be the caring patient. Or I could have gone the funny route and said, “I have seen every episode of ‘Scrubs,’ and a little bit of ‘House.’”
So I thought the ability to pause time would be great. But then I watched, “Whatever Works,” a Woody Allen movie starring Larry David of “Seinfeld” fame. I thought I might like it because it was David. But I forgot just how much I don’t like Allen movies.
Why don’t I like them? Because everybody’s witty. Everybody knows exactly what to say, and they always have the perfect vocabulary. Nobody’s ever taken by surprise.
And I now realize my life would become a Woody Allen movie with the ability in “Prince of Persia.”
I wouldn’t have been funny with the cute doctor, because I never would have met the cute doctor. I’d have avoided getting sick in the first place.
And I’d have never mistakenly hit on that one girl, because I’d have known to go to a place with more options than unavailable women and platonic friends.
Or maybe I’d have stayed home because I knew there was nothing all that fun out there. I would have stayed home, avoided mistakes, and not be a better person for it.
I still look forward to “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” and will probably be in a theater very soon to enjoy it. But I’ll no longer envy it. Awkward, single and sick may not be perfect. But at least they’re not boring. Like Woody Allen movies.