Sometimes when you’re down and out, or in my case unemployed, the most practical way to brighten your day is with a summer blockbuster, by which I mean any movie that causes you to question your own existence after watching it. I’m not a fan of action movies, per se, but I did happen to indulge on a couple of them on the same night recently.

After meeting a few friends, we decided on Julie & Julia, a film I suggested. It was quite obvious that my fellow moviegoers wanted to see a fan favorite like G.I. Joe. Luckily, however, I was driving and threatened to leave rather than stomach 90 minutes of Channing Tatum’s “breakout” performance. With the decision set, the three of us, all men, all heterosexual (presumably), waited in line.

The clerk was just about to hand us our tickets when a fourth friend, who happened to be female, arrived. Of course there was no prior discussion on whether she wanted to see the film. After all, she often boasted about her love for the culinary arts.

“Are you sure you want to see this,” she asked.

“Of course,” I replied. “It has Meryl Streep.”

I was certain the mention of the greatest living actress of the last half-century would have her sold. Apparently, I was wrong.

Julie & Julia just seems really … blah,” she said. “Not the type of movie three men would decide on.”

How incredibly naïve of us to assume that someone who claimed to appreciate cooking as much as she had would enjoy a film about Julia Child. Where were our heads?

It was her decision to see A Perfect Getaway, a film I knew little about, but one that everyone agreed was a more appropriate choice. I could have spoken the truth and told them that waterboarding seemed like a “more appropriate” option, but it was late, and I was too tired to argue.

Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, our female friend had ducked out to see G.I. Joe. Apparently the predictable twists and D-list talent were far beneath her high-minded sensibilities.

Perhaps it was why she chose the big screen adaptation of an action figure from the 1980s as the superior cinematic achievement. Girls will be girls, I guess.

I, on the other hand, was ready to tolerate the movie through its entirety.

“You go ahead,” I told her. “I want to see how perfect their getaway is.”

What irritates me most about bad movies is you can never get quite comfortable. Every few minutes I twisted my back and neck into several pretzel-like shapes. I’m pretty sure the person next to me would have blown me away, had there been a shotgun readily available. By the time the end credits rolled I made a beeline towards the exit.

About 40 minutes remained before the end of G.I. Joe, and rather than wait like a fool in the lobby, I decided to enter. I may have missed the first half, but I’m fairly certain I could have had a more enjoyable evening watching paint dry.

After the movie, my female friend wanted to hear my thoughts. She loved it, apparently, and was probably expecting a similar reaction from me.

“It just seemed really … blah,” I told her.

“What does that mean,” she asked.

It must have slipped her mind that she used the exact same analogy only a few hours before.

“Well,” I said, “you tell me.”