Tag Archives: movies

It’s Complicated (Deleted Scene)

17 Apr

Have you guys seen this yet? It’s Julie Klausner in a deleted scene from It’s Complicated!

Seriously, I love Julie Klausner. I think of her as a spiritual mentor/pretend friend.

Happy Monday

16 Apr

Did you know that Reba McEntire was supposed to play Molly Brown in Titanic? Not to hate on Kathy Bates, but just think of what could have been!

Image via here. I wish I could take credit for it, but I just can’t.

This Movie Is The Best Movie: While You Were Sleeping

19 Mar

It’s hard to say what makes the difference between a good romantic comedy and a bad one. The believability of the situation has little to do with it; I love a ridiculous high-concept, and While You Were Sleeping definitely has one. It doesn’t really take creativity–after all, a rom-com always has to be kind of the same story. I think the two things that are most necessary are a) chemistry between the two leads and b) a lead character who wants something besides love. I do not want to watch a character desperately fling her/himself at potential romantic victims for an hour and a half. That’s what my Facebook newsfeed is for. What I need from a romantic comedy is a yearning for something; a family, a baby, a job, a passion, something. While You Were Sleeping definitely has that.

It has a lot more, too. Like Bill Pullman. Let’s get to it!

Anyone who’s ever taken a creative writing course knows that adage, “Show, Don’t Tell.” Well, this movie shows us, repeatedly, just how lonely Sandra Bullock is. She lives alone. She’s working on Christmas in the token booth for the Chicago train station. She has a cat. She talks to her cat. No friends are ever mentioned. Oh, and both of her parents are dead. Such a lonely girl, our Sandy. The one ray of hairy sunshine in her life is Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows.

She sees him everyday as he goes to work, but they never talk. UNTIL! Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows get pushed onto the tracks by some hoodlums who then run away and are never heard from again. Sandra Bullock immediately springs into action and jumps onto the track.

All the while, a train is speeding towards them while deceptively lighthearted music plays and Sandra Bullock says things like, “Please wake up! There’s a train coming toward us! It’s going very fast!” Like, duh, Sandra Bullock, and also move. Finally she rolls both herself and Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows to safety, and that’s where her trouble actually begins.

She goes to visit Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows in the hospital, and through a mix up that could be easily avoided, people start thinking she’s the fiancee. Although she could correct them at any time, she doesn’t, because the 1st rule of Romantic Comedy Club is Never Tell The Truth (Even When It Would Be Very Simple). She ingratiates herself with his family, and no one suspects a thing. Until Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows’ brother Bill Pullman bursts onto the scene, lookin’ like a million bucks in his reversible denim/khaki jacket and his all flannel, all the time shirt collection.

He wears the most unflattering jeans. That jacket is silly (just buy two jackets, Bill. Seriously). He’s old enough to be, if not my dad, at least significantly older than me. And yet I really do not think I’ve ever seen a more attractive romantic lead, ever. Do you need another picture?

Anyway, Bill Pullman and The Jacket are the only ones who suspect something might be up. This is Bill Pullman’s suspicious face:

But you know it’s only a matter of time before he falls in love with Sandra Bullock. Who wouldn’t? America’s Sweetheart, that one. And of course Sandra Bullock falls in love with him. He wants to start a chair making business (OF COURSE HE DOES), he’s wearing the hell out of those jeans, and he growls, like, 95% of his lines. They fall over in the snow!

And then they have what is my FAVORITE romantic comedy moment. It’s the thing where two characters are joking around but then ALL OF A SUDDEN they end up with their faces just an inch apart! And then some drunk guy or inappropriate old man or precocious child says something and they break apart, but it’s too late. They already Had A Moment.

It’s called tension, you guys.
But of course their love can never be, because Sandra Bullock is fake engaged to Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows. In itself that doesn’t make much sense, but it all comes back to Sandra’s desire. That is, her desire for a family. Because Bill Pullman/Petey’s family has already become her family, and she doesn’t want to give that up, even if it means fraudulently marrying some dude who was just in a coma.
Some other stuff happens and blah, blah, blah. The point is things work out with a ring being tossed into a toll booth and oh my God I think I just had a heart attack. Why are we not still talking about how attractive Bill Pullman was? I can’t be the only one who thinks so, right? I get it, Lost Highway was the creepiest movie any of us have ever seen, but damn if he didn’t pay a mean jazz sax.

Yes, Bill Pullman, I WILL marry you.

And I’d say the same about you, Bill.
You can watch the whole thing on Youtube.
It’s a romantic comedy where no one poops on anything or has sex with an animal. Simpler times. Just a guy in a coma and a girl pretending to be his fiancee.

Previously:This Movie Is The Best Movie: Valley Girl

A Large Cup of Coffee and A True Crime Documentary: A Recipe for a Sleepless Night

14 Mar

On Tuesday night, my boyfriend and I went shopping, ate sandwiches, and got coffee. Well, I got coffee. A lot of coffee. We went on a lovely walk, admired lots of puppies, and then I came home to watch a delightful little documentary about a possible murder.
On Mindy Kaling’s episode of WTF, she mentions a true crime documentary called The Staircase. It’s about a woman who died by supposedly falling down the stairs, although her husband is immediately suspected. Turns out it’s online, and I started it last night around 10. This might surprise you, but that was a bad decision. I couldn’t stop watching it, I stayed up way too late, and I couldn’t sleep all night because of my megadose of both caffeine and nerves. Anyway, it’s really long (like, 6 hours long) so I’m not even close to finishing it, but this is a recommendation and a warning. It’s a great movie so far! But don’t watch it before bed.

Please, Someone Give Lena Dunham Some Pants

23 Feb

This weekend, I watched Tiny Furniture, a movie I’d been wanting to see for a long time. I didn’t really like it, which isn’t the point. I think Lena Dunham is very funny and talented and interesting, and I’m not saying it’s a bad movie. It’s just, I felt like Aura was a friend I liked but who was making really terrible decisions repeatedly, and I could say things like, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t have unprotected sex in a pipe” all I wanted, but it wasn’t going to stop her from having unprotected sex in a pipe, you know? You know.

So anyway, Lena Dunham’s show Girls is coming out soon, and I’m pretending it even matters that I’m kind of excited about it. I don’t even have television, let alone HBO. I also don’t understand how to download things (imagine me, swatting at my computer feebly, like a monkey trying to understand the glowing box). It looks funny, but the bigger point is that I’m concerned about Lena Dunham. Not even about her character’s unprotected pipe sex this time.

Lena Dunham, where are your pants? Aura spent the majority of Tiny Furniture sans pants, to which I say whatever. She is a woman in her (mother’s) own home. She is free to not wear pants, I guess. She was without pants so much that it started to seem strange, but I figured it was just a character choice Lena Dunham made. Then I watched the trailer for Girls, and guess who isn’t wearing pants AGAIN? LENA DUNHAM! It’s starting to seem less like a character choice and more just like a personal preference Lena Dunham has for pantsless living.
No pants, like usual

I understand this, in theory. I wear skirts almost every day because I find tights more comfortable than jeans, and the second I get home I change into yoga pants. But I am covering the lower half of my body, which is an important thing for me. I guess what I’m asking is: Is it normal to just not wear pants whenever possible? Because here’s my thing…the appeal of wearing no pants is comfort, right? But how am I supposed to feel comfortable knowing that someone could show up to my apartment at any moment, and there I would be, no pants? There’s a scene in Tiny Furniture where Lena Dunham has to wrap a blanket around her body to answer the door because she isn’t wearing pants. I don’t want to wrap a blanket around my body! I want to be ready to greet the world. Also, what if there’s a fire? Every second counts. You don’t have time to be grabbing pants. Also again, I don’t have blinds up in my kitchen yet, and if you’re walking by just the right way you can kind of see into the living room and, you know what, forget it. You don’t need a detailed description of my place.

Maybe this is just a personal quirk of mine, because I’m going to be honest with you, I like to do my hair and makeup all the time. Even when I’m staying at home and no one is going to see me. Judge away! Call me a vain, naracissistic asshole! I literally cannot concentrate on anything I’m doing if I know that my blow dried, non-straightened hair is looking like this:

And you know what? Last week I was sick, and everyone at work kept telling me how terrible I looked and that I should go home. And the thing was, I knew I didn’t look bad because I was sick. I just didn’t wear makeup all week. That’s how bad it is, you guys. I need to be wearing makeup all the time. I just…I just need to be kind of put together. Just a little bit. I need to be wearing pants.

So, frankly, Lena Dunham, I don’t understand you and your pantsless ways. Not one bit.

My Favorite Movie of 2011: The Future

30 Dec

I operate largely based on feelings and intuition, not on thought or logic, so when I really like something it can be hard for me to talk (or write) about it. I want to tell you guys about The Future in a really smart, insightful way, maybe throw in a few jokes, use a metaphor that makes you say, “Damn, girl, this sounds like a great movie.” But instead all I can tell you is that this movie was just kind of there, waiting for me, when I needed it. When I was feeling really down and confused, it hit me like a punch in the stomach, leaving me kind of nauseated but also just exhilarated.
Maybe you don’t like Miranda July, and that’s fine, I guess. I certainly can’t make you like someone or something, but I can tell you what I like about her. All of her work, be it film, prose, or otherwise, has an emotional vulnerability that’s so complete it’s shocking. Rarely have I seen a writer/performer/director be so open and unafraid when talking about emotions. People tend to apply the word “brave” to art when there’s violence or ugliness or maybe just whatever the hell it was Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe were doing in Antichrist. When I think of brave filmmaking, though, I think of Miranda July, who isn’t afraid to handle the slippery, squirmy things like feelings. The kinds of things we’re, if we’re honest with ourselves, usually trying to get away from, not confront. But that’s exactly what she does. She puts relationships, feelings, emotions, and connections front and center, as if they’re the only things that matter. And, really, aren’t they?

Her previous film, Me and You and Everyone We Know was, to me, primarily about people trying to make connections and the problems that keep them from doing so. This film was more about people trying to figure out what their lives are supposed to mean. The Future is about getting to a certain age and realizing that, even though you thought you’d have things figured out by now, you don’t. It’s about trying to make a change and a difference by taking an action, any action. It’s about how taking the wrong action can lead you somewhere you never intended to be, a place where you’re not even sure who you are anymore, where you’re standing on a suburban street in a nightgown and wondering what, exactly, it is that you’re supposed to do all day. It’s an amazingly affecting film, and maybe you’ll get something completely different out of it! Even though it follows a fairly traditional narrative structure, I think a lot of it is open to interpretation.

It’s worth noting that the trailer doesn’t necessarily represent the movie very well. That’s no surprise, as I’m pretty sure a movie trailer has never done anyone any favors (aside from Sofia Coppola, who always manages to have perfect trailers). That talking cat, for example? A very small part of the film. In fact, I didn’t even remember it until I watched the trailer again. Also, the trailer makes the whole film seem a little cutesy, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

This is, to be very clear, an upsetting movie, one that is not in the least bit comforting (as Me and You and Everyone We Know was). But it’s honest about the important things, those parts of our lives that seem so monumental but ultimately become the mundane scraps we piece together to make our days, weeks, years, and lives.

If you want to hear Miranda July herself talk about the movie and her creative process, Meet the Filmmaker has a really delightful interview with her in which she discusses the film and her creative process.

Also worth noting: this may seem shallow, but Hamish Linklater gets better looking the longer you watch him. At first you will think, “This is an okay guy,” but by the end you will be thinking, “Okay, I get it. Attractive.” You’ll have to figure this one out for yourself.

Young Adult

18 Dec

Young Adult got a wide release on Friday, so I assume by now you’ve all seen it at least once.

I posted a month or so ago about how much I was looking forward to this movie and how much Diablo Cody inspires me. This movie makes it clear that she is a truly extraordinary writer. A lot of people, somewhat inexplicably, do not like her. I talked about this a little bit in my previous post, but let me reiterate it now: people don’t like her because she’s an outspoken, talented woman. The only thing that annoys me more than sexism is when people refuse to acknowledge their sexism. She wore leopard print when she won an Oscar, she changed her name to Diablo Cody, she wrote a book about being a stripper, and these are all things that annoy you. As if any one of us would not love to write a blog about being a stripper and then turn that into a book about it and then leverage that into a movie career (or, okay, maybe not that exact trajectory). That’s called intelligence and talent and ambition and drive, and you know what? If a man did the same exact thing, this would not even be an issue. As Tina Fey so brilliantly put it in her book, “I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women though, they’re all crazy. I have a suspicion- and hear me out, because this is a rough one – that the definition of crazy in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”

But enough about that. What about the movie? Rarely do we see a movie that hinges on such an unlikable character as Mavis Gary. Not only is she unlikable, but she doesn’t change. Her epiphany comes, yes, but it’s not at all what it would be in a more typical comedy. Even though she’s a pretty terrible person (and a pretty, terrible person), we still, somehow, want to see her find happiness. She’s newly divorced, living in a haze of hangovers and Kardashians, binge eating fast food, and wearing sweatpants whenever she isn’t trying to have sex with someone. She declares that she’s an alcoholic, only to be met with “Don’t be silly!” laughter from her parents. The young adult series she’s ghostwriting is ending, and she’s grasping at the life she lived years ago. Mavis Gary is a portrait of despair, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a character with her lack of self-awareness. Young Adult is a pretty fantastic movie, and I haven’t even talked about the delight that is Patton Oswalt.

If you’ve seen Big Fan, then you already know he’s a genius at portraying sad, lonely people who don’t have a lot going for them. He is even more wonderful here.
Also, The Concept by Teenage Fanclub is used in an absolutely brilliant scene, and it will definitely be stuck in your head.

A Very Important Movie

13 Nov

Young Adult, the new Diablo Cody film starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt, is coming out soon.
As you might imagine, that poster alone means I can’t wait to see it. Show me the trailer and I’m sold!

Charlize Theron stumbles around wearing yesterday’s eyeliner and sweatpants for most of this trailer, yet she still manages to look like an even prettier cross between Katherine Heigl and Sharon Stone. She’s going to end up with Patton Oswalt, right? I mean, she’d better. If I’m going to spend upwards of 8 dollars on this movie, she’d better end up with Patton Oswalt.
If you don’t like Diablo Cody, please look deep within yourself and examine where that hatred is coming from. Could it maybe be for the same reason you didn’t vote for Hilary Clinton, because there was “just something about her” you didn’t like? Is it, possibly, related to the fact that you don’t like Oprah, because you think she’s too full of herself? Listen, I would never accuse your pretty face of sexism, but it’s just something to think about. I wouldn’t want to sit through Juno again either, but let’s just be honest and admit that it had some sincerely affecting moments. Also, despite the fact that so much criticism is directed towards her, she has a great attitude and doesn’t talk shit about other people in interviews. Diablo Cody is creative, hardworking, and productive, so let’s get this on the record: I like her!

This Movie is the Best Movie: Valley Girl

2 Nov

It’s an honest-to-God shame more people don’t know about Valley Girl. Somehow, someone decided it doesn’t deserve inclusion in the Great Teen Movies of the 80’s canon, when it’s about ten thousand times better than Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club (but not Pretty in Pink. Nothing’s better than Pretty in Pink).
One of my problems with most contemporary teen movies (other than the fact that, as a 25 year old woman, I’m not in their target audience) is that they lack a real emotional connection. There are so many teen movies that revolve around one-to-several douchebags hilariously attempting to lose their virginity, which is not at all something I can become invested in. Valley Girl treats its characters as if their emotions matter. Julie, the titular Valley Girl, is kind of weird and distant, but it makes sense for her character. The real heavy lifting goes to Nicolas Cage, who plays Randy (the punk who would steal Julie’s heart)not as the sort of passive, nerdy, shy hero we’ve come to expect from a teen male lead. Instead, he’s possessed with a barely-controlled (and sometimes, excitingly, not controlled at all!) anger behind an intense passion. I mean, when Julie has her required “I need to be popular, I can’t date this punk guy!” epiphany, do you know what Randy does? Does he whine, or cry, or stand outside her bedroom window holding a boombox? No. He goes to some divey club and has angry sex with his exgirlfriend in the bathroom. People keep using the bathroom while they’re having sex. It is truly astonishing.
The exgirlfriend sex is but a momentary transgression; the movie is mostly about Randy’s strange, inexplicable-yet-heart-fluttering love for Julie. He wants Julie, and he goes for her. He hunts her down, crashes her party, and hides in the bathroom until she shows up. That’s love. The movie’s not about him getting up the courage to talk to her; the movie’s about convincing her to date him, despite what her dopey friends think. Simply put, he’s a badass, the type of male lead who’s sorely lacking in TV or film since the 1970’s. He’s a regular Jess Mariano, without being such a, you know, asshole. Nicolas Cage was a great actor once, and he probably still is if he could only pick movies that deserved him. He’s at his 2nd-hottest here (1st hottest: Moonstruck), and he’s the reason this is not just another teen movie.

Other great things about Valley Girl:

-Nic Cage’s clothes.

-Nic Cage’s chest hair, which resembles a Sex Ed diagram of the female reproductive system.

-Randy’s creepy friend.

-The lovely and adorable Elizabeth/E.G. Daly, who is also the voice of Tommy Pickles on Rugrats.

-Julie is like some sort of beautiful plastic doll.

-You guys know how I love a romantic comedy, and the best part of any romantic comedy is the falling-in-love montage. Valley Girl has the longest falling-in-love montage I’ve ever seen. It spans the length of Modern English’s I Melt With You. Julie and Randy go on, like, 15 dates, eat at so many restaurants, and say goodnight SO MANY TIMES. I love it so much. This makes my heart flutter so much that it actually stops and then restarts again. And that little dance down the sidewalk Nic Cage does at the end? It killed me. I’m writing this right now from beyond the grave.

-“It’s like I feel connected to you somehow. It’s like I’m…it’s like we’re linked, or something, I don’t know!” Oh, Julie, you don’t have to explain it. We understand.

Seriously, hunt down Valley Girl and watch it, like, right now. Nicolas Cage is so not your average heart throb.

Lady Jam: The Most Popular Girl, Teen Witch soundtrack

25 Oct

All of the songs from the classic film Teen Witch are great; the entire movie is great. From the rap battle to the disgusting silhouette make-out scene, it’s a cinematic masterpiece. The Most Popular Girl is one of my favorite songs, and I have to say that I would totally wear all of the outfits she’s rocking in this clip. Waist-cinching belts will never go out of style! And, honestly, I only wish I could make my hair that big. The sound is slightly off in this video, but, um, does it matter? No. It does not.

If I had a car full of dudes rapping at me, I would lose it. And then date all of them. And then toss my hair some more.