Let Us Be Assholes: It’s Civil Rights!

In keeping with my tradition of only discussing pop culture phenomenons after they’ve ceased to be relevant, here is my take on 2011’s “Bridesmaids.”

Bridesmaids” was nothing less than a revelation for me because by the time it came out, I was convinced that women would never be allowed to be funny in movies again. Sure they were allowed to be funny on TV occasionally. Sure, Leslie Mann was allowed to steal scenes in her husband, Judd Apataow’s, films. But beyond that, it seemed like Hollywood comedies were destined to be one sausage party after another. I hadn’t seen a comedy where women were featured prominently since “Romy and Michelle’s Highschool Reunion” and “Superstar,” which was made in 1999.

Is “Bridesmaids” the funniest movie ever made? Probably not. But it is incredibly funny and hugely important. Here’s why:

  • It’s women! Women, women everywhere! Being funny! (It should be noted the two men in the film–Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm– are also superb and superbly funny.)
  • More importantly it’s women being funny, gross, immature, and assholish. I wanted to write about why this film was so dear to me awhile back, but couldn’t seem to find the time. All I knew was I wanted to title the entry “Let Us Be Assholes.” Because, let’s face it, a major component of comedy is enjoying neurotic idiocy, awkward moments, and even the occasional gross-out moment. And there seemed to be precious few vehicles where women were allowed to be, well, um, gross assholes. In “Bridesmaids” Kristen Wiig’s character, Annie, is at turns goofy, petulant, obnoxious, selfish, and yeah, assholish. IT. IS. AWESOME. Because it’s funny.
  • Melissa McCarthy plays a woman doesn’t wear a whole lot of make-up and is kinda butch. And the joke is not “Ha  ha!!!! Look at the fat woman who’s not conforming to beauty norms!!!” The joke is, “Hey, look at the fat woman who’s not conforming to beauty norms, is a little butch, is highly successful, is a great friend, and is sexually successful!” And is scene-stealingly hilarious. Seriously, if you can’t gin up a reason to pop in or stream this movie, do it for Melissa McCarthy alone, because I don’t think there’s any use in pretending she’s not currently one of the funniest people on the planet.
  • Did I mention the women are funny? Well, they are. Even the women who are dealing with the material that’s not broad. Like many comedies “Bridesmaids” gets better the more you watch it. And when you watch it several times, you start to search out the smaller nuggets of comedy gold. Rose Byrne’s performance is one of those nuggets. She is subtly hilarious as the perfect, beautiful trophy wife and friend-thief, Helen. The scene where Annie tries to get her ex’s attention by driving like an idiot only gets funnier if you pay attention to what Helen is doing in the background.
  • The film is called “Bridesmaids,” but it’s not about dream weddings. It’s not about longing for love. It’s not about men. It’s about friendship, and how sometimes we treat good friends like lovers. We get jealous, we get possessive. I think everyone who has ever had a really good friend has had a moment where we’ve felt anxious about letting a new friend of a friend into our life. That dynamic is silly with comedy gold and I’m glad somebody finally decided to mine it. Really, watching Annie flip out over best friend’s new friend is not just incredibly funny, it’s incredibly relatable.

And, thank goddess almighty it’s not ALL ABOUT THE MENZ.

FANTASTIC DANCING UPDATE:

For Whom the Slaw Coles

If you’re like me, you like the idea of coleslaw more than coleslaw itself, more often than not. That’s because nearly every incarnation of coleslaw I’ve tasted has run the gamut from boring and bland to gloppy and over-sweet. It’s sad, because coleslaw is such  a great, simple dish,  and great way to get fresh raw veggies onto your plate.

So, I’m board with coleslaw. What I’m not on-board with is a thin, vinegary sauce or a thick, sickly sweet one. So, where do I go from here? I go to my go-to sauce, which is neither too thick or thin, too sharp to nor too sweet. I think I’ve perfected the art of slaw, and I invite you try to my super-simple formula.

The following makes enough sauce for 1/2 head of  shredded cabbage and a handful of stir-ins of your choice, or 1 bag of coleslaw mix.

Beth’s Foolproof Coleslaw Sauce

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup good quality, full-fat mayo
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed (and poppy seeds, optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. white wine or cider vinegar
  • a generous pinch of sugar
  • a generous pinch of salt and pepper

Whisk the following together in a bowl, and pour over your slaw ingredients. Enjoy.

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

If you have a gallery at dA or simply enjoy looking at art there, know that at some point during your browsing, you will end up going down a rabbit hole you didn’t want to go down. It just happens. You click on a piece of art you like and  then you see a picture you like less, and inevitably then you end up at a gallery that’s nothing but furry vore. It will happen. I do not search out this stuff, but sometimes it creeps in on my browsing (for art that I genuinely like) and then I’m stuck with the psychic scarring.

Today, I ended up at this spot, a gallery entirely devoted to removing the heads from sexually suggestive pictures of women.

Here’s his bio…be prepared to laugh:

I love cars, women, and having life

He loves women, y’all.

But you know what? It’s cool. Because:


Favorite TV shows: The Big Bang Theory

 

I can’t decide whether this is better or worse than the gallery entirely devoted to showing pictures of hanged women. I guess we can be thankful that this and the aforementioned fetish cannot be combined.

The Shitty Miracle of “The Women.”

I recently read a fun article at The A.V. Club called “Shitty Miracles,” which refers to projects so stunningly bad one wonders how they were ever greenlighted. The staff of A.V. Club seemed to have so much fun recalling their “favorite” shitty miracles, I thought I’d give it a go myself.

Since “The Room” was mentioned in the Q&A I decided not to discuss it here. Besides, “The Room” is not shitty. It is unbelievably wonderful, a transcendent movie-going experience.  If you looked up the phrase “so bad it’s good” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Tommy Wiseau winking impishly.

How I felt when I watched the remake of "The Women"

How I felt when I watched the remake of “The Women”

So I’m stuck picking another, erm, winner. And that has to be the 2008 remake of the 1939 classic, “The Women.” Now, the original “Women” is one of my favorite, if not my straight-up favorite film of all time. It is a fast-paced, fast-talking, funny, snarky, silly, feminist (in its own twisted, antiquated way) film about an extremely privileged woman who’s dealing with her beloved husband’s infidelity and her circle of friends’ reaction to her turmoil.

If the original “Women” was sparkly, chilled champagne, the remake is a bottle of Peach Riunite that was left in the sun. It has no bubble, no verve and might make you throw up.

Low Points:

  • The casting. It was terrible all-around, but special mention must go to the casting director who’s answer to “Get me a smart, snarky, jaded, single writer” was “I know–Jada Pinkett-Smith!” Not Aisha Tyler. Not Janeane Garafolo. Not Margaret Cho. Jada fucking Pinkett. What’s worse, was that the character was inexplicably made into a lesbian apparently so she could stand around being lesbian and saying lesbianish things like “Hey, that woman who’s banging your husband sure is hot.” I do give the writers credit for not having her wax poetic about trips to the Home Depot, but this movie is such a huge mish-mash of moronic non-sequitors, they probably had to stop somewhere.
  • At one point the twiggy tween daughter  (who worries about being fat) talks about her father finding her mother’s “coming into her own” sexy. Daughters talking about their mother’s being sexy is dead creepy. Full stop.
  • At not one, but two, points in the film, the extraordinarily annoying Sylvia character has over-earnest, goofy, feminist primer sessions with the possibly-more-annoying tween. Feminism is awesome. Talking to young girls about feminism is also awesome. Doing it in a clunky, dated, “where the hell did that come from?” way is not awesome. Oh, and the 1990’s called and it wants its feminist issues back. PLUS, I’m a liberal, not a wingnut. I don’t need my films to be rife with smarmy, obvious propaganda that confirms my worldview.
  • The original film nods earnestly–albeit quickly–to the main character’s privilege. And somehow the the time period of the film makes the first world problems of these women seem less irritating. Not so for the remake. Somehow the idea of these thoroughly unappealing women pondering love and loss and how hard it it is for a tough-talking rich woman to get by in the magazine business kind of makes me want to vomit. I simply don’t care. Honestly, the movie would have been better if they–along with their first world problems– had all click-clacked their way in their Manolos–or Jimmy Choos or whatever the hell idiots wear these days– into the middle of the street and been run over by trucks. Also, “Sex and the City” wants its…everything… back. (Although, to be fair, SATC was occasionally funny and goodness knows the “Women” remake didn’t steal that from the show.)

I don’t know how the film managed take everything that was good about the original film–its crisp dialogue, its amazing cast, its catty humor– and turn it on its head. So instead of a soapy treat about women and their relationships, you get the treat of watching a horribly mis-cast, humorless pile of shit with leaden dialogue and feminist propaganda disguised as a meandering plot.

Feminism is great. I am proudly and rabidly feminist. The most feminist aspect of “The Women” is it that features no men. If you don’t understand the visual and psychological impact of that, you have no business remaking the film.

P.S. : WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHITTY MIRACLE?

Is It OK to Say a Movie is Boring?

The great thing about twitter conversations is that there’s no need to shorthand them. Here’s a quick, easy read wherein a really nice guy in my twitter feed says he was bored by “Blade Runner.” Which kinda shocked and thrilled me, because even though I think “Blade Runner “is stunningly gorgeous and impactful, I also think it’s pretty flawed. (Although decidedly not boring.)

“The Masterbat0r” is more like it. But, to be fair, those two lingering shots of the boat waves really helped to advance the plot. 

I find that most people demure when it comes to the subject of movie-induced boredom, especially when discussing critically-acclaimed films, and I’m not sure that’s a healthy impulse. Some films–even films with a lot of merit– are just boring, and I think it should be ok to say so. What do you think?

Mansplainers and Novelty Girls and Trolls–Oh My!

This LGM thread got predictably and amusingly out-of-control. See if you can spot the mansplainers, novelty girls and trolls. Fun for the whole family!

My take? I read Adria’s account and found her case fairly compelling. Earlier that very day, she’d had an encounter with a man making a n (undeniably, inexcusable) sexually-charged crack. By the time the jokers behind her started making their dick jokes,  it’s clear she’d had it with the dudebro tenor of the conference, and decided to do something about it. It’s understandable, at least to me.

That being said, I find the firings fairly appalling. None of these offenses strike me as fireable offenses…at all. I’m sorry the one dudebro lost his job. That sucks ass, and I wish him well.

Why My Son Will Likely Not Be a Candidate in the 2016 Presidential Election

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He’s too busy doing brackets.

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He’s a bit of a narcissist.

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He gets cranky around naptime.

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Often does not listen to his constituents.

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Can’t even get a job as dog catcher.

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May be a furry.

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May be Sasquatch.

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He’s been caught driving drunk (backwards and naked).

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AND texting and driving.

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America is not ready for a Latvian Orthodox president.

He's easily frustrated.

Does this whenever Michele Bachmann speaks.

True Conversations

(Approximate) Conversation with hubby:

Hubby: Why did the RNC choose Reince Priebus?

Me: I don’t know. He’s awful.

Hubby: Do Wisconsinites really sound like that?

Me: I think so.

Hubby: So all Wisconsinites sound drunk?

I don’t know.

 

Happy Belated Drunk Irish People Day.
smilingnotirish

I had a party. No Irish people were invited.

 

 

47% Guy has 1000% of My Respect and Admiration

So, the hippy-fag-commie media has been abuzz the past couple of days with the news that the 47% guy has chosen to reveal himself. Yeah, I don’t blame it for being abuzz. I’m abuzz and agog and ahappy: Mitt Romney was brought low by a bartender–a hard-working member of the 47%.


So, the story is fairly extraordinary if you stop there. But the fact that this guy is so incredibly politically shrewd is what has stayed with me. He played this just right. He released the tape and let Romney’s words speak for themselves. The story never became a referendum on Scott Prouty, which is exactly what would have happened had he had a higher profile, or any profile at all. And as disappointed as I am that I have no idea whether he has granite countertops or not, I’m really really thankful he never put himself at the mercy of the wingnut media, which would have done its level best to make this man’s life a living hell.

I’m sure he’s getting death threats as I type this, and a part of me is wishing he’d never revealed himself. But, damn, since he has, I just wanna say “thanks.” Thanks for revealing Mitt Romney and his donors as the bubble-headed sociopaths they really are. Thank you for saving us from a Romney presidency. Because I really don’t think I could have afforded to participate in the mandated “Seersucker Suits and Polo Day”* activities. I don’t even know where to get a polo pony.

*For those smartass commenters who are bound to point out that–duh–I can get what I need at Seersucker and Polo Ponies Discount Emporium, let me just stop you: WE DON’T HAVE ANY IN RHODE ISLAND. So, bite me.