The Appointment: Part 2
With Eric’s words (“DON’T YOU WANT ETERNAL LIFE?”) (kidding, I mean the part about the two ways to get to Heavne) ringing in her head, Liz sets out to get the word from The Man on the Street. And the Woman on the Street, too, I suppose.
And, just so we’re clear on the timeline, it’s now the 13th, so Liz has six days to—
Wait a second!
How can it be Tuesday on the 11th and on the 13th?
WHAT SORCERY IS THIS???
Perhaps Liz has found a way to cheat death: by bending time and space so that it is Tuesday FOREVER.
(Sadly, the sorcery seems to be that they forgot they needed another shot of a calendar. See the lower left of the 13th page? It says 317. And the 317th day of the year is November 13th…which was a Tuesday in 1990. Looks like they kept ripping pages off the calendar, all willy-nilly, until they realized that the audience might wonder how much time Liz has left.)
Anyway, for the most part, the Human on the Street come down pretty much how Eric expected—they think the way to get to Heaven is to be a good person. Shockingly, Liz doesn’t seem to solicit the opinions of any Hindus, wiccans, or atheists, with the possible exception of a sunglassed guy in a Hawaiian shirt, who simply responds, “Who cares?”
I love you, man.
And, for the record, a good number of people cite helping others and giving to the needy as requirements. Which I suppose makes them better people than Jesus, since doing these things isn’t a requirement to get to Heaven, but believing he is God, is.
The only person to give the “correct” answer is a black guy in an Adidas shirt (product placement!). In fact, he is so correct that…he basically recites Eric’s line about “there are only two different ways that people are trying to get to Heaven.”
It’s almost as though the screenwriter forgot to give different characters different voices or something!
It is now the 17th (and perhaps still a Tuesday!) and Liz’s boss gives her some news: she and June will be heading to Hawaii earlier than expected…on the 19th!
*dramatic musical sting*
(I’m not kidding around. There actually is a dramatic musical sting at this line.)
It is now the 18th (damn, time is flying!) (though it is probably still Tuesday) and Liz has a fraught phone conversation with Steve. And I guess they are dating after all, since they talk about how much they want to see each other before she leaves. But the convo is fraught because Steve thinks she’s still worried about “the thing with the religious nut” and…well, he’s not wrong. Anyway, Liz points out that her flight doesn’t take off until “after five” on the 19th (remember, she’s supposed to die at 6:05 p.m.), so they plan to meet up before that.
Liz settles down on the couch to relax, and damn, girl, got enough mismatched knick-knacks yet?
She flips past game shows and sports and an old movie (that’s where I would have stopped), finally deciding on the news…and the news is that an airplane just crashed.
Okay, that has the potential to put the heebie-jeebies into anyone who will be flying the next day, not just someone who has been told she’ll die the next day.
(If it puts Liz’s mind to rest at all, I think we can pretty safely assume that if she dies, it won’t be in a plane crash. This movie doesn’t have 1/1,000,000th the budget that such a scene would require.)
Poignant music plays as Liz contemplates her plane ticket.
I have two other ideas for what Liz could have done here, though:
1. Why didn’t she rush out to cover the crash? Reporter’s instincts and all.
2. Failing that, why not have her be the evil atheist, and callously reflect that her own flight might be delayed or even canceled because of the crash?
But neither of these things happen. Instead, we cut to September 19th (!!!) (still Tuesday, probably), and Liz tells her boss she won’t be going on the trip.
Shockingly, neither her boss nor June, who is standing right there, imagine that this sudden case of cold feet could have anything to do with the massive airplane crash that took place not ten hours ago.
Did these people forget that they work for a newspaper???
Instead, June asks if she is having problems with Steve. So, yeah, those two are definitely dating.
(Which makes the previous scene with Bill (the guy who asked her out) even more bizarre. Why didn’t she just tell him that she’s already seeing someone?)
Liz just cites “personal problems” which will all be over “after today.” Which I suppose is true whether Angelic POV Shot is right or not, har.
The boss folds like a cheap suit and says he’ll get someone else to go, and June is super disappointed, given that Liz is her buddy and all. And I’m a bit surprised that neither Liz nor her boss thought to simply fly her out a mere half-day later than planned. If her “problems” will be over after tonight, why not just reschedule her to leave the next morning?
Oh well, I guess that’s why I don’t run a newspaper.
Her boss even tells her that she should take the day off if she’s having problems, and Liz says she wants to be at work. So the boss is a nice fellow, if nothing else. (Though he probably thinks such nice gestures are the way he’ll get to Heaven, the sinner.)
Liz whiles away the morning by reading On Death and Dying, then asks after Eric…who is out of town.
Nooooooo!!! Now who will teach her how to make the transaction?
(Liz’s reading choice is an interesting one, though perhaps not for the reasons the movie imagined. In the years following On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross descended into speculations on NDEs and the nature of the soul that would make even Doctor Marissa blush. If anyone is interested in reading about this in greater detail, I recommend S.T. Joshi’s God’s Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong.)
Liz re-listens to the recording of the guy talking about how you need to accept Jesus and not just be a nice person. Bear in mind that he said this less than seven minutes ago, movie time.
Stupid Bill interrupts her listening, since he can’t take a hint…
Bill: Hey, Liz.
Liz: *is startled out of her reverie* WHAT? What do you want?
Bill: Wanna grab a bite?
Bill: My treat!
Liz: Bill, I said no!
Bill: Boy, are you edgy today.
Dude, she has a boyfriend! Lay off! And even if she didn’t, she’s already turned you down, like, four times! You look like a creepy wuss when you keep asking like that!
The day ticks on by, and Liz is the last to turn out her light and leave her office, having not done one bit of work all day. I really don’t know why she didn’t take up her boss on his offer of a day off—I know I would feel safer in the privacy of my home. Just crawl into bed for ten hours, yanno?
It is now two minutes to six…
Oh, and since it is, why haven’t Liz and Steve contacted each other, as they said they would? I mean, Liz isn’t going to Hawaii anymore, but Steve doesn’t know that. I think the movie forgot about him.
Liz walks slooooowly through the empty office, and both the music and her manner indicate that Jason Voorhees is about to spring from the shadows.
Frank, one of the nonbelieving reporters, provides a good old-fashioned jump scare (speaking of Jason Voorhees) and Liz begs him to hang out with her for a few minutes. But he has a hot date and has to run. Too bad, so sad. (For Liz, not for him.)
It is now two minutes after six…
Liz sits in someone’s chair, apparently determined to just wait it out. She calls the time. (Ha!—remember when people did that instead of just checking their phones?)
Looks like it’s Eric’s desk, because there’s a Bible there! Liz sloooowly opens it at random, acting as though she expects a spider to jump out of it…
And she is startled by a noise!
Look, Liz, it can wait! Just sit there for two more minutes for your peace of mind!
But no, she heads for the noise, talking to herself about not taking the religious nut seriously, and how she’s not going to die. Which, sorry, Liz, but you took a wrong turn and ended up in a Christian film.
Turns out the noise, though it sounded like something small falling, was caused by…this small bonfire?
I kinda think they meant for this to be the darkroom, but is it just me, or is that a pile of kindling and hay?
Liz: I’m gonna burn!
Really, movie? Really? You didn’t think that was just a tad on the nose?
The fire alarm sounds and Liz makes a dash for the exit.
It is 6:04…
She gets outside just as the firefighters pull up (damn, that is a great response time, guys!), and Liz’s last act on Earth is a helpful one, telling them where the fire is and that she’s pretty sure nobody else is in the building.
Liz slooooowly (and without looking where she is going) backs away from the building, and as the clock ticks to 6:05, she trips off the sidewalk and falls into the street…
Where a car hits her.
Like I said, it’s not like this movie has any kind of effects budget, so this is the best they can do to demonstrate what happens to Liz.
And Liz didn’t convert. She did, indeed, burn.
So the omniscient, omnipotent God was indeed fucking with her the whole time.
Damn, that God guy is such an asshole.
Oh well. If nothing else, it’s a nice lead-up to the War on Christmas!
Next up…my annual Black Friday introduction to our Wintermas romance read!
Happy Turkey Day!