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?

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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.
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I had a party. No Irish people were invited.

 

 

Smile.

I'm trying to get Evan a job as Cheerios' new spokesman

I’m trying to get Evan a job as Cheerios’ new spokesman

I’ve talked before about how much I hate wasting food, and I briefly mentioned how much I looooove roasting things as a way to preserve food that’s starting to wilt or look “iffy.” Well, let me mention it again: I LOVE roasting things.

I had some apples that were going mealy and some garlic that was about to sprout. Solution? Roast them on same sheet pan, until the garlic is golden mush and the apples were, well, kinda the same. I put the whole shebang in storage containers, and a few days later, I made this!:

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Apple Roasted Garlic Gravy

[From my Facebook page] Anyway what I did was fry up some bacon, drain and chop it up. I browned the chops in the rendered fat, then set them aside. Then I added this huge head of escarole (which I would prolly not use again…it was a little bitter…I’d prolly use spinach or kale). I let it wilt, then removed it and set it aside. I added more oil to the pan, & I sauteed some onions, the roasted apples and garlic. Then I made a gravy—added a little flour to the pan, then stirred in some chicken broth and white wine. I popped the chops back into the mix, along with their juices and some fresh sage and thyme, and let them cook through.

To serve, I made a mound of mashed potatoes (I’d made because I had several Yukon Golds that were about to go bad) on a plate, topped with the wilted greens, then the chops with apple onion gravy, then the chopped bacon.

Important roasting update for smartass commenters

Seriously. Roast things.

This One’s for the Ladies

A few days ago I did not get around to answering a couple of comments. I’ll answer them now!

In a previous food-related entry where I discussed cooking for people with different food needs/wants, bbkf said this:

I know if i made a light soup or salad for supper, hubbkf would be aghast and rummaging in the cupboards about a half an hour after eating because he tends to not eat during the day and is ravenous by evening…also, he’s one of those a-holish people who can eat all the junk food they want and not gain weight…so, if i do make something on the lighter side, i make sure there’s bread and other things to fill it out…

the thing i find most difficult about cooking for hubbkf is gauging his satisfaction: i mostly get ‘it was alright’…’pretty good’ is high praise with ‘i didn’t care for that’ as being the worst…although one time i made a meatloaf that was so bad that he quietly fed his piece to the dog…who wouldn’t eat it either…

This sounds so eerily similar to my situation, I’m frankly a little freaked out. The whole thing. Especially the part about gauging satisfaction. I get “It’s delicious.” for everything. Now, I know that not everything I make is delicious so that, of course, has no meaning for me. Lately hubby’s been getting “better” about this. It’s pretty easy to coax a “I wasn’t crazy about it.” from him. Soooooooooooooo Yay(?) for me?

oh, hai! i am feeling especially blabby today! here’s a couple of recipes/sites i have had much hubbkf related success with: pork tacos and a racheal ray soup recipe of all things…not a fan at all of racheal’s teevee stuff, but i get her mag and i must say any recipe i have tried from them has never failed…go figure…

I’ve had every outcome you can imagine trying Rachel Ray recipes. Can’t remember a time I actually completed a recipe in 30 minutes, so I have to call bullshit on that, but I think she’s actually pretty great at writing recipes for home cooks that are healthy (they’re well-balanced and don’t use a lot of–if any–processed ingredients), yummy, have a hint of sophistication and are eminently doable. And actually I find that the more of her recipes I try, the more the success rate goes up. I know she’s not considered, like, a hoity-toity foodie-type, but I genuinely think she’s onto something with her formula…so I’m sticking with her.

Rachel’s must-try soup? Her Sausage and Peppers Stoup. It’s almost indescribably delicious.

wiley asks:

Do you make Lord Chubbington’s (he’s growing out of that name, hey?) baby food?

I do not. LC is very sensitive to textures. He hates “in-between” textures. So a food either needs to be toothsome or crispy or completely smoothly blended. It’s very hard for me process my food to the consistency he likes, and when I’ve tried he has disliked it intensely. He also does not seem to like things like fresh fruit and veggie slices. He is, however, learning to like things like little ham cubes, and he he ate some of my turkey chili on pasta and turkey bolognese, so he *is* branching out.

I am always open to suggestions re: toddler food.

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Instagreat: Why Instagram Is Not Nearly as Useless and Stupid As You Think It Is

When I first learned about Instagram, the photo-filter app that makes all your pictures look like an indie album cover or old Polaroid, I was not impressed. As someone with a fairly intimate relationship with Photoshop, my first thought was “What’s the point?” And I wondered why anyone would be interested in taking photos that looked painfully pretentious, like “I AM…TRYING SO…HARD…TO BE RETRO-CHIC.” But, you know how this ends: I’ve never met a gadget or app I could resist, so…I downloaded it.

But here’s the thing: Instagram is fun. And it’s easy. And it’s egalitarian. It’s an art form that invites everyone to play. And occasionally that play turns into something seriously beautiful and resonant.

Sure, I could recreate its filter effects in Photoshop, but it would take minutes, if not hours, of tinkering. Instagram is, well, instant gratification.

And the fun thing about the app is that its truly transformative (not a word, I know, but stay with me). You can take a photo that’s remarkably unremarkable, crop it and add a filter/blur/frame and turn it into something cool and interesting to look at. In a matter of seconds. That’s addictive.

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Finally, like all great art forms, it makes you look at the world differently. I looked at the world with the eyes of a fantasy artist when I started taking my manipulations seriously. But in the past couple of days, I’ve been “Instagramming” everything, wondering if a particular vignette or pose or moment would be suited to its claustrophobic, hipster-retro look. There’s definitely a trick to taking an Instagram-worthy photo. I plan on blogging about it soon, so stay tuned.

Long story short, I’m hooked. Perhaps you should get hooked, too.

Whiskey. Toddlers. Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together, Except the Goddamn NANNY STATE GOVERMENT WON’T LET ME

You may recall a not-at-all-whiny post awhile back about my adventures designing stuff for The Notorious L.G.M.  It went…interestingly. But to quote to the bard, Eddie Murphy:


I think this flask of whiskey looks damn fine
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There’s something I can do about the cartoonish appearance of the characters in my art. There’s nothing I can do about how cartoonishly cute my son is. And it’s a good thing he’s cute, because he is one buttload of work.

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I need some whiskey.

I Would Douth Anything for Thanksgiving but I Won’t Douthat. Except that I will.

This column came out a couple of days ago, so that makes it–in blogosphere terms–about as relevant as the Lewinsky scandal; but I had to comment anyway. And trust me when I tell you that Ross Douthat’s little tantrum is even more amusing than cute, chunky chicks getting caught blowing the Prez.
See, Ross is willing to concede that the hive of scum and villainy that makes up the Democratic coalition won the election. Won it fair and square, even. It’s just we should not gloat about it because while we are super-awesome at winning elections, we are also super-awesome at tearing apart the very fabric that holds together this patchwork quilt of Norman Rockwellesque exceptionalism. Think of it this way: the red states–even though they have higher divorce and teen pregnancy rates–are the squares with the Thomas Kinkade cottages on them. The blue states are pretty much nothing but pictures of homosex.  And we are the stinky, jerky thread that’s starting to break, possibly because the Thomas Kinkade squares weigh more than the other squares and also have higher incidences of diabetes. I don’t know. This analogy is not perfect.  Nor did I provide citations, but–guess what–neither did little Rossie. It’s just that all the stuff I said is true and provable. And so is the fact that Ross Douthat is a dumb poopyhead.

My son: not a poopyhead. Bit of a poopybottom.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY!