Karla Peterson: Memorial Day weekend entertainment that will take you somewhere special

Karla Peterson, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

When every day is no day in particular, and weekends don't have their same old ejector-seat allure, what does a three-day weekend mean? We're about to find out.

With the Memorial Day weekend around the corner but so much of public life still off the table, we will have to explore some new holiday frontiers. If you prefer to do your adventuring from the comfort of the office/day care/gym/restaurant you call home, here are some entertainment offerings that will jet you off to exotic places while you stay put.

Hitch up your sweatpants, my friends. We're going places.

--Beauty spot: "Call Me by Your Name"

Just because international travel is not in the cards doesn't mean your eyeballs can't hit the road. And when it comes to flying your current coop, there is no more dazzling destination than the sun-baked Italy featured in 2017's Oscar-winning "Call Me by Your Name." From the lush 16th-century Moscazzano villa where Elio and his family lounge, swim and eat endless al fresco brunches, to the quaint Piazza del Duomo in Crema, where Elio and Oliver engage in some of their best flirting, "Call Me by Your Name" is the gorgeous getaway you and your depleted psyche deserve. Microwave some mac and cheese, pour yourself an aperitif of anything, and prepare for liftoff. (Digital rental or purchase)

--Cozy corner: "Little Women"


On the other hand, there is also something to be said for the comforts of home. Even if you'll need snow shoes and a time machine to get there. Welcome to the cottages, hearths, gardens and frozen ponds of Massachusetts, where the heartwarming action in last year's movie adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's beloved "Little Women" takes place. Director/writer Greta Gerwig filmed around Alcott's home in Concord, Mass., on the windswept beaches of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, at the Fruitlands Museum and inside the Emerson Colonial Theatre for an enveloping film that feels both comforting and abuzz with vibrant life. Don't forget to pack your shawl. (Digital rental or purchase)

--La La Land: "Sex and Rage," by Eve Babitz

Don't let the master's-thesis title scare you. Babitz's novel is not really about sex or rage, but about the mercurial powers of youth and beauty as personified by the book's stunning, pleasure-stalking heroine and the seductively seedy Los Angeles of the debauched '60s and '70s. First published in 1979 and then released in paperback in 2017, "Sex and Rage" follows Jacaranda Leven as she evolves from teenage surf rat to jet-setters' mascot, literary burnout, drug casualty and, finally, surfing survivor. Meanwhile, Babitz leads a vivid insider's tour of Santa Monica beaches, West Hollywood dives and "mansions above Hollywood and Beverly Hills where ambulances often lost their way." You will leave with salt spray in your hair and many dizzy miles on your emotional odometer.

--Heartbreak City: "There There," by Tommy Orange


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