I grew up going to the Mountlake 9 Cinema—a pleasant, no-frills multiplex somewhere between Lake Forest Park and Edmonds—and I was sad/surprised when I learned it was to become Cinebarre, a hoity-toity (just look at the NAME!), 21-plus, food-beer-and-cinema situation. It seems like a dangerously Old Economy idea (I've previously written, IN THE HIGHEST OF DUDGEON, about the similarly dubious Big Picture and Gold Class Cinemas) to exclude families with little children, and teenagers running in alarming packs, and college freshmen on awkward dates, and to presume that you don't need their money, goddamnit. Because you could have it if you wanted it! You could have their money. Don't you have seats to fill? Surely this business model will not stand.

But tarnation-or-something if I didn't luuuuuv Cinebarre. With the ordinariest of prices—$8 matinee, $10 adult—and easy parking and affordable-ish, pretty-good food and ticket takers who tell you your dress is cute, Cinebarre feels like the regular old movies, just slightly better (and with milkshakes!). You want to go back. (In contrast, Gold Class Cinemas feels like a fucking gold-plated hermitage and costs about $30 a ticket.)

You enter the lobby and there is a bar. Women sip pints of bubble-gum pink smoothie-looking stuff that turns out to be a frozen "daiquiri" made of wine. To the delight of the bad-comedy masochist in me, Cinebarre's menu bristles with horrific punny kitsch: Lord of the Onion Rings, Some Like It Hot Wings, Soylent Greens Salad (but... surely you've heard that it's made out of people, right? Or did your marketing team fall asleep before the end?). We got an order of Goldfingers (golden-brown chicken fingers, you see) and Mr. Chips & Salsa with queso (the food that is most like plastic that I most want to eat).

We were there to see The Proposal, a satisfyingly formulaic romantic comedy starring Ryan Reynolds (young and hot) and Sandra Bullock (old and still super hot!). Bullock is a bitchy book editor about to be deported to Canada; Reynolds is her long-suffering assistant turned partner in sham marriage. To convince the evil INS agent of their (fake, BUT SOON TO BE REAL, OMG!) love, they have to travel to far-off Alaska and make out in front of Craig T. Nelson and Betty White. And it is aaaaaaaaawesome! (P.S. How long has Betty White been elderly? I'm not complaining or anything—she's obviously an intergalactical treasure—but Betty's been geriatric for literally my entire life, and I, good sirs, am no spring chickenlady.) The Proposal is ridiculous, with a few truly weird scenes (see specifically: eagle chase and shaman granny), but it satisfies in precisely the same way as a great big bowl of spicy, steaming Silly Putty and melted yellow crayons. I mean queso. Mmmmmmmm. Also, fuck guilt. recommended