I almost turned this movie off immediately because it’s so unpleasant to look at. Everything is gloomy and dim. The movie looks old, like it should only be available on VHS. The directing is just awful. And the whole movie has a hurricane storyline that is always ruining scenes, making them all dingy and sometimes even special effectsy and greenscreeny. Helping to set the tone is the in-your-face soundtrack of classic 90s angst tunes including Lo-Fidelity Allstars’ “Battle Flag”. If you don’t remember that song, just imagine a Prodigy b-side and you’ve pretty much got it. This movie is really hard to like.
People act like Zach Braff created the manic pixie dream girl, but I think Forces of Nature did. Sandra Bullock’s character can’t keep a job - she’s been a dog walker, a telemarketer, a stripper, etc., she doesn’t see why someone would get married instead of just living their life, and she stands on top of trains and yells into the infinite abyss. Eat your heart out, Garden State.
I just googled “manic pixie dream girl” and the wikipedia page says that even Belle from Beauty and the Beast has been classified as an MPDG. Whatever, I still say Forces of Nature created the archetype.
Ben Affleck is boring and he’s engaged to a boring woman. His grandfather has a heart attack at Ben’s bachelor party and he tells Ben he was never attracted to his wife. If Ben were 20 years younger, this speech would’ve turned him into a real asshole. #ShallowHal Basically the whole movie is about Ben trying to make it to his wedding, which natural disasters (or forces of nature) disrupt at every turn. And Sandra Bullock is with him. And every single person he meets fucking hates marriage.
I gotta say, the writing isn’t bad. I think this movie might even be good if it weren’t for the dreariness and aggressive music choices. Wait, no, that’s not true. It’s really dumb that Sandra Bullock screams on top of the train. And it’s really dumb that she’s the most irresponsible person in the world, yet at 27 years old she has $25,000 to invest in a bagel shop. I guess the truth is that the writing is funny, but the story is not good.
Steve Zahn is like a thin, living Chris Farley.
This movie does that thing where the guy you’re supposed to like is cheating on his fiancee, but the writer doesn’t want the viewer to hate the guy so they make his fiancee cheat on him too. Oh, that solves everything. They should definitely get married now.
The guy his fiancee cheats with is like a living David Strickland.
TWIST. He still marries his fiancee. You thought he was going to leave her for Sandra Bullock just because she wears eyeliner, dances with old men, and knows how to make the most out of a trip to KMart? No, what happens is he tells Sandra Bullock he’s gonna go break-up with his fiancee in front of her whole family on the day of their wedding, but instead he falls in love with his boring soulmate all over again when he sees her in her wedding dress and they go off and get married in Hawaii because, duh, there’s a Hurricane in Savannah. And Sandra Bullock is happy because she gets to spend the rest of her life sitting in a tree with her son.
Patrick Dempsey looks so much like Paul Rust. Immediately I’m convinced I Love You, Beth Cooper is a rip-off of this movie. I’ll see it one day, then I’ll get back to you.
Okay, so Patrick is a fucking nerd and Cindy (played by an unfamiliar blonde actress) is fucking hot and popular. Patrick mows enough lawns to earn himself $1500. He plans to spend $1000 on a telescope until he sees Cindy at the mall with an intense need for exactly $1000. Cindy, I know someone that can help you! She agrees to pretend to date him for a month in exchange for the $1000 she needs for a suede outfit to replace her mom’s ruined one (a teenager spilled red wine on her: party foul!).
Then what happens? She’s mean to him? Her friends don’t like him? Wait, does she slowly grow to like him? Actually, she pretty much likes him right away and so do all of her friends. He’s a cool dude who knows about football and he says things like “This [WWII plane] is the real history, not the stuff we memorize in books.” Swoon. He also encourages Cindy to continue to write her very, very good poetry. It’s very, very good.
So Cindy has a big ol’ crush on Patrick and so do her horny as fuck high school girlfriends. Patrick reminds her of the fake break-up they have to do and he clicks his heels as he leaves her because he just can’t believe he’s popular now. Oh, so he’s kind of a dick? Yeah.
The fake break-up is ridiculous. He says she’s taking all of his money, she throws herself at him, and her boyfriend (away at college, seems to have forgotten about her because he’s a football guy) doesn’t call her because she’s annoying. Then he dates all of her friends. When she tries to tell him how she feels about him, he loudly blows her off because he’s trying to fuck the easiest girl in school. And he doesn’t even care about Cindy’s new moon poem! It’s probably very, very good and he doesn’t even care! He does sleep with the impossibly-obsessed-with-sex high school student in the bathroom at a party after reciting some of Cindy’s poetry to her. This nerd is a fucking asshole.
She drunkenly tells everyone about their bet and the popular people hate Patrick again. But now his nerd friends hate him too because he’s been ignoring them and throwing poop at their door. What now? Basically time passes and they all forgive him and he dates Cindy on a lawn mower. Now where in the hell did that other $500 go?
Joe just got a job working in IT Support for a pharmaceutical company and I just got a job doing fucking nothing while he’s gone. I’ve decided to watch a movie a day - something Joe wouldn’t be into watching. I’m going to talk about, criticize, summarize, or say whatever else I feel like saying about these movies. Today we’ll be discussing Steel Magnolias.
It’s Southern. Everyone in the movie has a southern accent. It’s off-putting, especially because Julia Roberts can’t quite pull it off. The movie starts on Julia’s wedding day to Dylan McDermott. Her dad is shooting at the sky to try to shoo away the birds until his wife, Sally Field, hides his gun. Oh shit, is this gonna come back to bite her in the ass when one of her sons finds it and kills someone? No. You never see the gun again. We’re safe.
Dolly Parton and her new stylist, homely Daryl Hannah, are doing everyone’s hair for the wedding when Julia Roberts has a fucking seizure or some shit while saying she told her husband she couldn’t marry him because she’d never be able to give him children. Her mom forces her to drink juice and explains that she’s diabetic. This movie just developed a little more of an impending doom vibe.
They’re married and the next time we see them is at some bizarre carnival where Dolly Parton is serving up fried food from a trough. It’s highly unsettling. The cook is dumping corn on the cob, fried shrimp, and god knows what else down this little metal chute, Dolly scoops it up at random and dumps it into a basket. I wonder if they’ll be serving this with brackish dip? #TomGoestotheMayor
Olympia Dukakis speaks in catchphrases. “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!” That said, she’s probably my favorite character.
Julia Roberts is pregnant. But I thought she couldn’t have children? “The doctor said she shouldn’t have children; there’s a big difference.” Sally Field is pretty upset. Next time we see them the baby is a year old. Oh, so everything worked out fine? No, you idiot, Julia Roberts has to have a kidney transplant now. Oh no, kidneys are hard to come by. No, you idiot, her mom’s gonna give her one of hers. Oh, so everything worked out fine? No, you idiot, she fucking dies.
After the funeral Sally Field finally lets loose with her emotions. It’s hot-tears sad. Then Olympia makes a joke to lighten the mood. And the rest of the movie keeps up a lightened mood. Olympia has some fucking issues if she can’t even let her friend grieve on the day of her fucking daughter’s funeral.
Religious dummy Daryl Hannah is pregnant and is going to name the baby after Julia which prompts Sally Field to say “That’s how it should be, life goes on.” Dolly Parton’s husband learns to appreciate her and she gets a second shop - but who the fuck is gonna work there? Her salon has two employees!
The movie ends with Olympia telling the little boy a story about a princess — ooh, his mom? — no, her. She’s the beautiful princess and Shirley MacLaine is the evil witch. Shirley’s character, by the way, is name Weeza. Or so I thought! Her name is actually Ouiser, pronounced Weeza. Goddamn it. Anyway, this story makes the boy cry and Sally Field kind of gets to be a mom again. And Daryl Hannah goes into labor. And hopefully Dylan McDermott doesn’t care that his wife is dead. So.. I guess everything worked out fine?
I just made the bed (something Joe usually does) and I turned into a teenager. About 30 seconds in I became very whiny and thought, okay, I tried, but I just can’t do this. I guess I’m just not someone who can make the bed.
Now it’s done, which is great, but I’m never doing that again. Sorry, Joe.
Exercising regularly is non-negotiable to people who do it, but unthinkable to people who don’t. I didn’t exercise whatsoever until I was 23. I simply wasn’t interested. I liked to talk, read, watch tv, and do pretty much any other activity that doesn’t involve physical exertion. It wasn’t just laziness that stopped me from exercising, although I was (and am) very lazy. It was also that I have never been the kind of person who I imagined exercised. I thought there were go-getters in the world who filled their days with business meetings, half-marathons, and trophy polishing, and there were other people in the world who were cool. It’s true, I felt like I was too cool to care about something as generic as health. Like most people I’d joined a gym a few times in the past and then even went a few times before giving up on it, but this time something miraculous happened… I just kept on going.
1. Exercising is only hard at first
When you first start to exercise, it sucks. It’s hard. Your feet hurt, your legs cramp, your lungs burn, and you’re tired instantaneously. The good news is the next time you exercise you’ll last longer. And the next time you’ll last even longer. When I first started exercising I couldn’t run for a minute straight. It was torturous. Within a month, I’d ran three miles without stopping. That’s how quickly your body can adapt to physical exertion. Once you’re in better shape, you have the freedom to push yourself to try harder. Your workouts can always get harder, but pushing yourself in your workouts becomes really fun and challenging in a different way once you’re in good shape. Again, just get past those first few tough workouts, then the adventure begins.
2. You’ll see results within a month
If you’ve never exercised before, lil mama, you are in for a treat. Your legs and stomach will smooth out, your chin and neck will feel firmer, and your butt…Oh lord, your butt. I would stare, in awe, at my butt in the mirror every time I was in a room with a mirror. I was mesmerized by the results I was seeing in such a short time. I became embarrassed of my old butt, proud of my new butt and, I can’t lie to you, I got a lil’ handsy. And, folks, it feels just as good as it looks.
3. Music becomes something new and incredible
You don’t even know what music you love until you need something to drive you to kick-up the gears in your workout. I sometimes get so excited by a certain song that I run so fast I have to take a break to catch my breath afterward. That’s a beautiful feeling, my friend, and I hope you get to experience that. You’ll notice your Elliott Smith discography collecting dust as you burn through more upbeat artists like Mike Phirman and Don’t Stop or We’ll Die. And you don’t even know joy until you’ve re-lived your high school favorites while working up a sweat. When I’m running to AFI I feel like the coolest normal person and I know my high school self would be ashamed of me. It’s glorious.
This point is so good it’s taking up two paragraphs. When I first started exercising I was a diehard runner. A treadmill runner, so my butt isn’t as rock-hard as it could be, but my joints feel mighty fine. My first paragraph about the new role music will take in your life pertains to my experience running and doing other forms of cardio at the gym. At this point, however, I am more of a Zumba person. That means the songs I’m sweating to now are Top 40 hits with a good beat or songs specifically made for Zumba (so a lot of them literally say “zumba” at some point). And I can’t even tell you how many beautiful Spanish songs I’ve fallen in love with only to find out they’re about drinking or butts. I still love ‘em. It’s who I am now.
4. If you’re on a cardio machine, you can get major reading time in
Whether I’m laughing on the treadmill reading “Humblebrag” or crying on the StairMaster reading “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book about Me”, I always enjoy reading at the gym. When I was trying to up my mileage on the treadmill, I was reading one to two hours a day. I went through book after book on my Kindle and it made me more motivated to hit the gym on the days I wasn’t feeling it. I’d remember that I left off on that hilarious chapter about Dave Hill attending a church concert with his mom in his book “Tasteful Nudes” and I’d decide then and there that I was destined for treadmill greatness that day. However, just like with music, not every book is an exercise book. You have to find books you’re really into or else you’ll find yourself screaming “fuck this book” into the ear of the person next to you.
5. It will make you think more clearly
Never am I more motivated to write a blog post, churn-out a killer to-do list, or decide to be a doctor than when I’ve just finished up a tough workout. I feel powerful, I feel light, and I feel like I just might be the smartest person who ever lived. Yeah, sure I just ran a few miles wearing shoes with individual cubbies for each of my toes, but the endorphins I produced during that run will stay with me all day and make me feel more motivated and level-headed. I still want coffee though. Gimme some of that too.
6. It will make you a happier person
Your self-esteem will soar. It doesn’t matter whether you lose weight or not, how often you go, or whether you eat a piece of cake afterward, you will feel more at peace with yourself if you exercise. You’ll see on a regular basis what you’re capable of and you will feel proud of yourself. You don’t need to rely on external praise or things out of your control, you can give yourself the gift of accomplishing a goal every single day if you work-out. Not to mention you’ll be too tired to lash out in anger at your friends and family, so it will make you a nicer person as well. Once I was on the treadmill and American Idol was on one of the televisions on the wall. I began to watch and found myself thinking, “Wow, Jennifer Lopez is flawless. I can’t believe how beautiful and wonderful she is.” Normally I don’t even like Jennifer Lopez. Exercise!
Not only will you be nicer to Jennifer Lopez, you’ll be nicer to yourself too. When I was running every day at the gym, I would take a selfie in the women’s locker room any time I had it to myself. I just felt so fresh-faced and beautiful after pushing myself to go fast and far. Okay, maybe not far – I only traveled as far as the circling treadmill belt would take me – but I felt like I’d been places.
7. It’s fun
I’m smiling right now just thinking about exercising. When you feel that rush of happiness that comes from a good workout, you’ll never look back. You’ll realize why so many people in magazines do this stuff. It will make you feel like a kid again, like you’re playing a round of hide and seek and none of the neighborhood kids can find you. You are unstoppable. Little Billy sees your hair sticking out from behind the bushes, you stand up knowing you’ve been spotted, and he runs over to tag you out. You clothesline him. It’s against the rules, but you don’t play by the rules. You’re reading The Lovely Bones while listening to Queens of the Stone Age, so you’re not taking guff from anyone. You’re racking up the miles and it’s fun. You might even buy a fitness magazine because you are out of control and lovin’ it.
I never would’ve thought I’d be someone who exercised by choice. I wrote bad poetry and hung out in graveyards; I smoked cigarettes and got an F in Ethics; I had a mohawk and dated a guy named Scabby. I was a badass. And yet. Even still. I have succumb.
This isn’t meant as a criticism of parents as a whole, but rather a call to everyone out there to strive to be your best self. Most of our parents have made us feel misunderstood at some point, but those memories of alienation leave us the further we get from childhood. And as life gets harder we tend to let ourselves off the hook for flaws in our personalities, particularly as we begin to empathize with our parents and decide that what was good enough for them is good enough for us. It isn’t. The solution isn’t one-size fits all either, rather we have to tailor our behavior to different people and situations. The goal is to be happy and to make those around you feel understood. Perhaps this can be accomplished if you try to be your best self every day by using some of these strategies.
1. Use critical thinking skills
Critical thinking is useful as the means to a variety of ends, but some of the biggest issues that can affect how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us are our political and religious beliefs. It’s important to decide for yourself what matters to you rather than looking to your parents and the way you were raised as guidance. Instead take a look at each issue and form an opinion based on facts, morality, research, and logic. Even if you end up right where you started, you will feel that much more confident in your beliefs once you’ve combed over them thoroughly and decided they are truly your thoughts and beliefs rather than an adoption of someone else’s.
2. Always strive for self-improvement
Don’t settle for a sub-par version of yourself. If you lash out in anger when anger is unwarranted, you should attempt to control it. If someone tells you your behavior affects them negatively in some way, hear them out and try not to be defensive. As I get older I’m hearing a lot of my friends say things like “You know, my parents were right…” but it’s clear they’re making excuses for their own behavior. They yelled at their child, stayed in a volatile relationship, or have decided to settle into an all-around negative attitude. Don’t make excuses for your bad behavior and don’t talk yourself into thinking it’s acceptable by comparing yourself to your parents.
3. Trust your younger self
It’s easy to shrug off the feelings of your young self as you get older, but don’t give in to that inclination. As a child I felt wronged when my parents didn’t explain their punishments to me and I would be doing myself a disservice if I, as an adult, decided that this no longer matters. As a 27-year-old I have a hard time remembering what it was like to have to go to school every day, to attend family get-togethers whether I wanted to or not, and to have to suffer the explanation of “I’m the daddy, that’s why.” It’s important to remember how it felt to be a child and to have so little control over your life. Adults don’t always know better and it’s important that you remember that once you’re an adult yourself.
4. Let go of pet peeves
Pet peeves are unimportant and tend to come from simply what you’re used to. If you become furious when someone puts their coffee mugs on the first cupboard shelf rather than the second shelf, you have to take a step back and realize that is doesn’t matter. This will make your life and the lives of those around you easier. I can’t even tell you how upset I get when I set an almost-empty shampoo bottle upside-down in the shower only to find it placed right-side up when I shower next. But I take a breath and realize that this other person doesn’t care about the same things I care about and it’s really not my place to be angry with them about it. My parents finished up their shampoo this way, but that doesn’t mean this way is better, it just means I’m used to it.
5. Don’t convince yourself kids these days are worse than you were at their age
As a non-kid, you just couldn’t possibly know that. Don’t ever let yourself become an out-of-touch adult. Even if young people use technology you don’t understand, create new slang terms, and listen to music you don’t connect with, you can’t make the assumption that a new generation of kids is any less intelligent or any more rebellious than kids were in your generation. Give the youth some credit and remember that your parents didn’t like your haircut or your favorite band either.
The main objective here is to be who you are and to embrace growth and improvement at the same time. If you’re open to change and you’re open to being wrong, you can make decisions based on what’s right for you now rather than what you would’ve done in the past. Be mindful in your decisions, be open to new ideas, be flexible in your behavior, and be your best self at all times.
1. You need to get over your shitty childhood before you have children of your own
If you’re still devastated about your abusive father, your absent mother, or some other issue from your upbringing, it will be difficult for you to understand that you are not the child anymore. As the adult, you are now giving your children the same shitty childhood that’s damaged you in the first place. Realize that you need to move on and devote all your energy to ensuring your children don’t grow up with a childhood they need to recover from.
2. Trauma creates addiction, but can be treated with therapy
So many people on “Intervention” find comfort in discussing their traumatic experiences in therapy. It makes me so happy to see an update with a recovering addict saying “I realize that he can’t hurt me anymore”, or “He took something from me, but he doesn’t control me anymore.” I see that a counselor has done their job. They helped the client express their feelings and they gave them a new perspective that empowers them.
3. You have to be affectionate and loving toward your children
The parents of addicts on the show who defend depriving their children of affection are tough to listen to. I understand you weren’t hugged much as a child either, but come on. Especially once it’s pointed out to you that it’s upsetting your child, get over your issues and be loving.
4. If your child is sexually abused, you need to react appropriately
Don’t blame them, don’t say she stole your boyfriend, don’t call her a whore, don’t tell her to get over it. *Takes a big breath* Don’t say there’s nothing you can do, don’t say he has to deal with it on his own, don’t tell her the past is the past, don’t say “I thought your mother was gonna deal with it”. Fucking care. Just care and be nice and let your children know you give a shit when bad things happen to them.
5. Alcoholism is tricky to treat because the origin is sometimes nothing more than genetics
I never know if the alcoholics on the show are going to get better. So many of them are alcoholics primarily because they just started drinking and couldn’t stop. Some of those people and just shitty and don’t care about anything but their new boyfriend and his giant house. Some of those people are sad and just want to be loved and will get better and thrive. It’s tough.
6. If trauma occurs within a family, each child will react differently to it
The siblings of addicts on the show tend to seem pretty normal. They will talk about childhood trauma and how it affected them, but they usually seem to have moved on and been able to live a normal life. Some of the siblings become drug addicts to escape the pain, some are abusive to their family, some do drugs to be closer to the drug addict in their family, some become cold and emotionless. You never know how one child will react to trauma versus another.
7. The person who is always harsh in life, should be nicer at the intervention and vice versa
I love when the asshole of the family pats himself on the back for giving the addict tough love. He thinks he’s better than his other family members because he doesn’t enable the addict and he cut him out of his life right away. No, buddy, you did that because that’s where you’re most comfortable. You don’t like to show any emotion but anger, so this is what’s easy for you, just like Auntie’s enabling is what’s easy for her. At the intervention, you need to break down your walls and let your loved one know that you care, while Auntie needs to set some boundaries for a change.
8. If another family member is an addict, they will likely be stuck in denial
I don’t know why, but this always seems to be the case on this show. This other relative will become angry when their own addiction is discussed and they’ll either outright refuse treatment (or refuse being involved in the intervention) or they’ll agree to go to treatment but will leave within a week. I don’t know why this is, it just (almost) always seems to happen that way.
9. Personality disorders are fucked up
I’ve only recognized two “Intervention” addicts as having personality disorders in the last few seasons I’ve been watching, but boy were they hard to feel for. These people are basically sociopaths with fewer violent tendencies. These two were more into manipulation and skillful lying. Neither one of them got better because neither one of them is ever honest with anyone in their life. Not their significant other, not their family, not their treatment counselor, not their therapist. They lie and they don’t feel bad about it. It’s scary and it doesn’t seem like anything can be done to help them.
10. If a person’s addiction doesn’t have a clear catalyst, they’re probably not going to get better
Some people are too addicted to care about anything other than their addiction, and some people are just shitty. For real, some people on the show just don’t care about their family. They have kids they neglect and they’re just like ehh, whatever. When it flashes to someone’s baby photo and they tell a basic story like “She was a happy child, but as a teen she was rebellious.” I’m like, uh-oh, this person ain’t gonna change. Nothing bad even happened to them, they just don’t care about being a good person.
11. Dumb dads and dumb moms will find a way to be together
Hey, I’m a dumb-dumb who thinks beating the fuck out of children is okay and you’re a dumb-dumb who thinks the man should make all the decisions, let’s have kids. Then we’ll be judgmental when they develop a drug addiction too, because we’re just the dumbest.
Bonus: Seth Jaffe is a fucking badass
I’m punching the air when he comes on screen. He is confrontational in exactly the right way and he is fucking mean to the people who deserve it. I love him. I told my boyfriend that our love for this guy probably shows our daddy issues a little too clearly, but fuck it, Seth Jaffe is probably an awesome dad. Joe says he’s the real-life Mike Ehrmantraut and I couldn’t agree more.
While You Were Sleeping is a perfect movie.
I feel emotionally manipulated in all the right ways.
I got lost in the Make-A-Wish website last night and thought I’d share some of my favorite wishes with you guys. I just love the innocence of these wishes. “I wish to see pineapples growing,” are you kitten me? Adorable.