Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, kittens!

I went down to the Hilton with BAK and JP during the lunch hour today and protested W's appearance in Chicago. It felt good.

Beg, borrow, steal, forge a loved one's death certificate so you can take a bereavement day off from work, do whatever you have to do to go see this man live.

This is the best, most hopeful, interesting, and thoughtful analysis of celebrity worship I've ever read. (I gotta go check Pink now.... It's the noble thing to do for humankind, right?)

CTLA and I used to joke about how much we wished we could CGI Alan Rickman into the Keanu Reeves role in the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing just so the film would be rounded out with a genuinely satisfying bad guy and, y'know, someone who's actually able to deliver the language. Well, going to see Rumor Has It... with my sister last weekend was one of the only times I can remember wanting to CGI an entire movie into and on top of another entire movie. God, it was execrable. I love pop culture in all its guises, and I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the middlebrow in general, and the practice of going to the movies is just inherently thrilling to me anyway, so it wasn't like I was dragged kicking and screaming, against my will to the theater. If it's something a family member expresses a desire to see, I'm usually inclined to tag along and will absolutely feel I've gotten my money's worth if I can spot an interesting performance or a savvy little bit of writing or an unexpected moment of humor or emotion between characters. But, bzzzzzt. Came up short this time around. Which is unfortunate, because there's actually a neat little movie hidden, deep, in the concept, somewhere. It could have been a melancholy, twisted Michel Gondry-ian take on a woman's journey to discover the hidden truths about her family and thus about herself, refracted through the prism of a classic film, with the potential for some surreal imagery commenting on how we inevitably fictionalize and/or mythologize our families' backstories to deal with them more handily or fill in gaps that we've never quite been able to have sufficiently explained to us. But instead, we had the Team Aniston mascot waffling prettily about how confused she is about everything (dude, if I had to constantly peer out at the world through that thick curtain of hair, I'm sure everything would look a little skewed to me, too), a not-quite-ironic-enough-to-be-
cool-again-yet Kevin Costner sleaze-a-thon, Shirley MacLaine phoning it in with a few bitchy lines and soused double entendres, a minor incest subplot inexplicably played for laughs, and a cheery-bright mainstream commercial movie sheen slopped all over both the lighting and the general tone. Mark Ruffalo, at least, did his part to put everyone to shame, infusing the token "nice guy gets screwed over but eventually wins the girl in the end" mensch role with that beautifully dark rage and indignation he does so well. ::sigh:: What's that Buddy Fiddler line from City of Angels (the musical)? "I saw the whole movie in my head. It's a pity we can't sell tickets to my head; we'd save a fortune."

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