Rebecca Ascher-Walsh names the books and movies that will carry you through Labor Day

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated September 03, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

11 entertaining things to do this weekend

Unfortunately, cruise director Julie McCoy couldn’t be with us, so I’m taking on the burden of planning your activities for the long Labor Day weekend. Put down that beer and wipe the ketchup off your face; we’ll have no loafing about during these crucial last few days of summer. It’s time to catch up on your entertainment. (One caveat: Since we’ve already established that my taste in television runs toward reruns of ”Touched By an Angel” and ”Murder She Wrote,” I leave you to your own devices when it comes to turning on the tube.)

Friday 4 p.m. Sneak out of work to a bookstore and buy James Gleicks’ new book, ”Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything.” Read as quickly as possible, and prepare yourself for a breakneck-speed weekend.
7 p.m. If you’re still feeling tempted to be a lazy bum on Saturday and go to the beach, buy a ticket to ”Deep Blue Sea” and cure yourself of the desire to go near the water ever again. Does ”Sea”’s high-camp value make you never want to go near a theater again? Then check out ”Run Lola Run,” the critically hailed German export.

Saturday 11 a.m. Call all your friends and tell them that you went to a foreign film with subtitles. Even if you went to ”Deep Blue Sea.”
12 p.m. Return to bookstore, and buy Thomas Harris’ ”Hannibal.” Put aside for Monday. Also get Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ ”100 Years of Solitude.” Remember that it’s only the first 40 pages that are rough going, and since you will not be engaging in social activities this weekend, you will finally have time to concentrate.
7 p.m. Reward yourself for getting to page 41 of ”Solitude” — it’s clear sailing now! — and catch up on ”Bowfinger.” Become inspired by Steve Martin, and on your way home, pick up ”The Man With Two Brains” and ”The Jerk” to watch on Sunday.

Sunday 11 a.m. Get under the covies and continue reading ”Solitude.”
3 p.m. Time for a break. Unfortunately, there are no more movies worth seeing in the theaters, so pop on your VCR and watch that Martin double feature.
7 p.m. Return Steve Martin videos and rent ”Rebecca” and ”Chinatown.” Spend the rest of the evening feeling virtuous that you’re catching up on oldies but goodies.

Monday Noon You can go out and see people now — especially since you have so many interesting things to talk about. Repeat several times that you went to see a foreign film. (If a friend says they went to see ”Life Is Beautiful” in English, you now have the right to look horrified.)
4 p.m. Read most disgusting scenes of ”Hannibal” aloud to your friends around the BBQ. Realize you’ve become a vegetarian in less than four minutes.
8 p.m. Collapse from intellectual exhaustion. Put bookmark in ”100 Years of Solitude” — maybe it’s the first 500 pages that are rough going. Flip on ”Touched By an Angel.”


  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Frank Oz