Friday, January 22, 2010

Rock my world

I don’t get the Tooth Fairy. I mean, I get the plot. It’s Hollywood standard formula: Hyper masculine guy (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vin Diesel, Eddie Murphy, Hulk Hogan, Chuck Norris, or less butch, Michael Keaton or Tim Allen) is being punished for some tough guy misdemeanor (usually beating up felons or being too into his job), and he is forced to something girly (usually something involving cute kids – why it’s appropriate to put someone who has anger issues around children I don’t know, but whatever), he then discovers his feminine/nurturing, melds these two sides of his personality together (demonstrated by using his tool belt to carry baby bottles, or running the carpool like SWAT operation), thereby earning to right to kiss a girl by the end of the movie. This is meat and potatoes, family friendly movie making. Hard to screw. Guaranteed cash cow. Someday your descendants will be watching a remake of Mr. Mom and think it’s hilarious.

What I don’t get is why would you waste the Rock on this? Yeah, he’s done it before. He’s good at it. But it just seems like underselling him. Why has Dwayne Johnson never been in a straight up romantic comedy?

Number one: he’s gorgeous. Number two: he has a great sense of humor and good timing. Number three: gorgeous. Number four: he’s Cary Grant-level charming. Number five: he can sing. Okay, not strictly necessary for a rom-com, but it’s there. Number six: see numbers one and three, over and over and over again.

And why would you cast someone like Gerard Butler in a rom-com before the Rock? Butler’s gorgeous, and he’s got a decent sense of humor. But he’d never charm you out of your panties. They might burn off of you. But the charm, not so much. The Rock on the other hand has that old school suave.

I just don’t get it. It’s not capability. Maybe it’s a racial thing. Hasn’t Hollywood figured out that most women just don’t care? Hot is hot. And the only interest I have in the Rock’s racial makeup is to wonder vaguely what sort of genetic magic cocktail went into that sexy Mai Tai. And can we do it again? That would be a clone project I could get behind.

I think it’s just one of those Hollywood blind spots. And a big reason why so many genres are played out. They’ve spent so many years covering the same old stories, with the same old white bread actors that there’s just no fresh material there. Think of what happened when a straight up cop movie that was originally written for Sylvester Stallone was recast with Eddie Murphy. It blew up the genre, and opened a whole new realm of possibilities. Same with the gangster flick. It was never the same after Boyz n the Hood. They could have shaken up the romantic comedy years ago with Denzel Washington. But scaredy cat studios missed that boat. Wussies.

The Rock is what they call a bankable star. C’mon, Hollywood. It’s all about the money. And Dwayne Johnson in a romantic comedy is something I’d pay to see.

Ice, ice, baby

Did anybody else see Blades of Glory? Who knew it was actually a documentary?

Don't know about you, Seamus. But I smell a rat.

Oh, please.

I love Lion Brand yarn’s free patterns. There’s not a whole lot that’s super snazzy. But if you need an instant gratification, simple knit or crochet pattern, they are a go-to resource.

But I would like to point out that this picture:

advertised as a “lamb”, is, in point of fact, not a lamb. It is a rat in sheep’s clothing. Possibly a cuddly rat that smells like Irish Spring given the cable knit sweater he’s wearing, but a rat nonetheless.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friday, my day

I’m thinking I’m just going to name Friday night “Selfish Night” and be done with it. The past month or so, I’ve just kind of taken the attitude that I’m going to do what I want to do (go to a movie, go to happy hour, do errands, sit on my ass and drink beer and stare at a wall, whatever). And if it’s appropriate, you are more than welcome to join in. But if it’s a movie, I’m seeing what I want to see, when I want to see it, where I want to see it. I’m not taking second opinions. If I want to eat before hand, I will eat real food, with a real table. Movie theater hot dog and Raisinets will not cut it. But if I want a hot dog and Raisinets, I will do that too. If you want to come along while I do errands, you’re welcome to tag along. I’m hella fun while I’m doing errands. But you’ll need to stay with the group. I’ve got things to do, places to be. You are not invited to drink beer with me and stare at the wall. That’s kind of a one woman operation. Chitty chatty gets in my way. Think of it as meditation. With beer.

Yes, uncompromising. Yes, arrogant. Yes, not very friendly. Not very nice. Don’t care. Every other day of the week, I’m willing to compromise. I want to go to Tuesday Morning, you want to go to the mall. Fine. It’s shopping. I dig it. I want a hamburger, you want vegan from the raw food restaurant. Ick. But okay. I get fed either way. I’ll make adjustments, bend, allow mob rule to reign. Your opinion matters, and I care deeply that you are happy and having a good time. On Saturday. Or Sunday. Or just about any other day . . .

But for right now, Friday night is “Selfish Night”. If you don’t like what I’m doing, you can go have your own Selfish Night. I recommend it. And maybe I’ll get tired of doing my own thing, and want to rejoin the tribe on Fridays. I hope you’ll have me back. But for right now, Friday night is “Selfish Night”.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stage and Screen

So, the weekend reviews:

On Friday night I went to see A Single Man. It’s the story of a gay, English man (Colin Firth) who is living in California in the early 60s. He’s lost the love of his life, and has decided without the love, he no longer wants the life either. So you’re following him on the day he has decided to end it all. Overall, the movie is gorgeous and very moving. Given that it’s directed by Tom Ford, the former designer and creative director at Gucci, it’s not surprising that the movie is gorgeous and every period detail is immaculate. The cars, the clothes, the furniture, the cigarettes, everything is vintage and perfectly calibrated for the time and the group of people portrayed. And Colin Firth is amazing. There are several scenes without dialogue or where the words spoken are in sharp contrast to his inner world, and you have no questions about exactly what he’s feeling. My only real issue with the movie, and this is really just a personal taste thing, is that it relies too heavily on literary devices like symbolism and foreshadowing. And I think that’s mainly because it was adapted from a book, and the adapter loved it too much to cut anything. But in a visual medium, symbols are like accessories. You can cha-cha it up too much.

On a side note, this movie had more pure eye candy than I’ve seen in a long time. In addition to the lovely and talented Colin Firth, lots of beautiful boys. Beautiful in a way that a straight male director would never understand. Obviously, no worries about whether this movie would turn off straight guys. Who cares what they think anyway? And for Colin Firth, in the scenes where he’s nude, as far as I could tell, there was no body double. And no need for a body double either. At all. Mr. Firth, I salute you.

Then on Saturday, I went to see the touring company of August Osage County. Wow. What a barn burner. It’s the story of a family in Tulsa, Oklahoma who’d probably laugh themselves silly at the term “dysfunctional”. That’s like saying Ted Bundy was a little bit of a misogynist. Where to begin? This family has it all: alcoholism, drug abuse, cheating, lying, child abuse, ruined marriages. Take your worst family reunion and multiply it by complete psycho. But it has elements that will ring true to anyone who’s even from the most normal family.

My only two concerns came because I’m on the one tour stop where the majority of the audience could pick out the things that just weren’t Oklahoma. Like the accents. Only one character actually sounded like an Okie. And one guy could only possibly have sounded like a native if Poughkeepsie is a suburb of Tulsa that I don’t know about. Another was the lack of an afghan on the couch. DOES NOT HAPPEN IN OKLAHOMA. Ever. And there was the fact that a major plot point revolves around people freaking because a pair of cousins want to get married. If this actually did happen in OK, it would be more like you’d say “I feel the need to point out that Bubba is your cousin.” Then you go look at the gift registry at Wal-Mart. Nothin’ says Oklahoma lovin’ like marrying your cousin. Okay, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.

Funnily enough, the day after I went to the show, I won tickets. And I’d have gone again. But I decided I’d rather give the tickets to friends, so that we could talk about the dinner scene. Which I won’t ruin for you. Because if you ever get a chance to see this show, you should go. Definitely.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Golden Globes (and not just the ones Mariah Carey was showing off)

I really love looking at the fashion commentary during awards season. The awards shows are generally big fat jokes, but ah . . . the fashion is always a high risk game. What’s the big color trend? Ruffles, yes or no? Glossy lip, red lip or no lip? Is Sharon Stone back on her meds (Love her, but I swear you can tell whether you should by Glaxo stock based on how kuku her outfits get – she’s wearing dominatrix boots and a Bo Peep outfit – get the hypodermic)? And honestly, there are only 2 reasons why you should be commenting in print or on TV about the red carpet: either you know your rags or your able to make with the zingers. Both are fun. Luckily, there’s no such requirement for chatting on your blog about this stuff. So whatever. I say what I want!

One thing I’ve really noticed is that fashion seems to be going through a little bit of an upheaval. For a several years, most people were singing the same song. This dress is a delight, that one’s a fright. If Cameron Diaz made a sartorial whoopsie, everyone was calling out who dealt it with one voice. The past several awards shows, it’s like nobody knows what’s good any more. The dress loved by one critic is loathed by another, and meh’ed by a third. The purple frock that Sandy Bullock wore to the Globes has been listed as a best and a worst in several places. Personally, I loved it. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t resist. It looks like something out of my nieces’ dress up box. And dress up boxes make me smile. No apologies.

And another thing I noticed, you know who had the best accessories of the night? That gal from Precious. Glowing skin and a glowing smile. And she didn’t have to borrow them from Henri Bendel. She’s about as far as possible from Hollywood’s fake-ass standards of beauty, but a big smile that shows that you’re having a kick is nice to see for once among all the too-cool-for-school grimaces. Think how much prettier Angelina Jolie would be if she cracked a smile on that sourpuss she’s been wearing for years. Yes, honey, we know that the world is a grim place these days. But you’re doing something about it. You can take a break. Lighten up. Even Mother Theresa smiled every once in awhile. Take a lesson, St. Angie. And that Chloe Sevigny? She was nominated and won. Why so pissy?

And lastly, speaking of her, could we just call a moratorium on the slouching? Why would you put on a dress worth several thousand dollars, then stand there shlumped over like the first girl in the fifth grade to get boobs? It looks ridiculous. No dress looks nicer when you look like you have a severe case of osteoporosis. Nobody wants to worry if you’re going to break a hip on the red carpet.

TIME: Quotes of the Day