I won't lie to you, people; it's been a pretty grim week. The deaths of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall, the chaos of Ferguson - sure, Rob and Doug Ford lightened things up with their spectacularly ill-considered handling of a bomb threat to City Hall, but that sort of prop comedy is getting tired. (The thought of Rob trying to dodge a subpoena, though? Now, that's funny.)
How can we get our collective groove back? Well, the CNE is open, so you could gorge on corn dogs and see if you can figure out which midway ride won't give you hepatitis. Or you could check out Cineplex's new adults-only VIP theatres - opening today at The Shops At Don Mills - and lose yourself in a shiny new moviegoing experience.
According to the press release, the Cineplex VIP Cinemas Don Mills boasts five exclusive screens, with admittance restricted to patrons 18 years of age and over. It sounds as though the theatres themselves are somewhere between the smallish VIP screens at the Varsity and the VIP houses within the Yonge and Dundas megaplex, which were retrofitted with premium seats and food options and walled off from the rest of the cinema.
(I am quietly weirded out by the language in the press release, which seems to promise genuinely adult entertainment: "adults-only refinement, a VIP menu of specialty appetizers and entrees; reserved seating; licenced auditoriums; a licenced lounge; premium in-seat service; and much more." I mean, I know what "premium in-seat service" is supposed to mean, in this case, but doesn't it sound just a teensy bit like something else?)
All seats are listed as "VIP Adult," and go for $24.99; if there's a seniors' option, I couldn't find it on the Cineplex site. And here's my favourite part: the opening lineup at this adults-only venue features The Hundred-Foot Journey, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Expendables 3 and Let's Be Cops.
I dunno, maybe Cineplex is working from some other definition of "adult entertainment" than us. If you're not feeling as flush and you're looking for something inarguably grown-up, let me direct you toward MDFF's latest pay-what-you-can screening, this Tuesday (August 19) at 9 pm at Double Double Land in Kensington Market.
The film is Jake Mahaffey's indie character study Wellness, which follows a deeply insecure salesman (Jeff Clark) as he tries to round up customers for a questionable health product during a miserable winter.
It's the oldest title MDFF has brought to Toronto to date, having screened at SXSW in 2008 (where it won the Best Narrative Feature prize). But other than a few technical elements and a general lack of smartphones, it feels absolutely relevant to present-day anxieties - and after a week like this, it might be exactly what you need.