Friday, January 20, 2012

{Dinner and a Movie} Drive + GTO

Guanjato Mexican Restaurant is a lunch counter dinner with melamine plates and a car-like nickname , "GTO", that serves cheap and tasty dishes right in the heart of Bay View. Although you've probably driven past and never noticed it.

Drive is a frustrating and haunting movie of many cars including a GTO, although mostly a '73 Chevy Malibu. And there's Ryan Gosling, too. Except he's a stunt car driver turned for-hire getaway driver turned murderer.

The immediate taste of both GTO and the movie Drive was that they were the exemplification of 'meh'. But, that blandness was just a facade - the sneaky disguise of a true hidden gem.

I would have never walked into GTO if I hadn't heard the rumors they were hustling the best tacos in town. I wasn't ready to be converted. The tiny restaurant ironically goes unnoticed on the bustling corner of Howell and Lincoln in Bay View, but word is catching on because the night I went there almost wasn't anywhere to sit. The chips and salsa were good, the waitstaff friendly, but I wasn't wowed. I guess I thought I needed to be immediately wowed. But then I realized-- I am still craving their huaraches a day later; I just drank good margaritas for $2.75; And there is a lunch counter - no where has a lunch counter anymore -- And it hit me: This is my new favorite mexican restaurant. This place is the real deal. And real deals don't need a wow factor.

As for Drive, I'll admit that I just wanted to look at Ryan Gosling for 2 hours and wasn't expecting greatness of any sort. The movie starts with an intense chase scene and I eased into my chair satisfied I was getting what I paid for. Then the movie went what looked like 'nowhere', like I got dropped off a mile from my house and now I had to walk home. I was upset - this wasn't what I signed up for. Ryan Gosling's character barely speaks, he's awkward and can't even ask a girl out (this is not Crazy, Stupid Love 2, btw). But then it happens, the movie already dark and gloomy turns dark and sinister with no apparent resolution ever. And it was so incredibly, dauntingly....epically....FRUSTRATING. I was screaming at the the television (I was at home, not a theater thank God). I was angry in the pit of my stomach. It was the most visceral reaction a movie has ever gotten out me. And that's when I realized, the movie was that good. Good enough to get me so emotionally invested that I would swear at the t.v. and lie awake at night with that plot just eating at me. This movie was not overtly amazing in any way, in fact, I began to wish I hadn't seen it because it raised up so many ugly emotions. The only parts I did enjoy were the M83 songs. And that's when it hit me: Enjoyable does not always equal good. But a movie that haunts you and keeps you up at night thinking, now that's a good movie.

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