Monday, October 13, 2014

Girl, gone

So, despite the recent Ebola epidemic that is spreading fast and sure to kill us all, I decided to venture out of my house this weekend (an event that rarely happens unless I am low on grapefruits, half and half or bubble wrap). This was a risky venture but, at the time, I thought it would be well worth-it. I went to go see the movie Gone Girl.
I have read the book and very much enjoyed it. In fact, Gillian Flynn has written an array of fucked up books that I did not hate. Although, I will admit, I have spent many hours up at night contemplating whether or not Flynn should be locked up in a jail somewhere, due to all the fucked up shit she has concocted in her novels (Sharp Objects and Dark Places were were equally disturbingly entertaining). Regardless, I had semi-high hopes when going to see this movie, as I do with all movies that I splurge 12 dollars for (instead of watching it illegally online like a logical person).

But, you know what happens when you have high hopes for movies... especially when that movie stars Ben Affleck (do not say I did not warn you Batman fanatics!).

Gone Girl was a disappointment almost from the get-go. Ben Affleck's emotional range is nothing to be desired. He pretty much makes Miranda Cosgrove look like Meryl Streep, in comparison.

The truth is, Ben Affleck needs to break glasses when he is mad because you can not tell what he is feeling otherwise. He stayed with the same flat affect throughout the entire movie. Happy Ben, Sad Ben, Mad Ben, Anxious Ben, Nervous Ben, Horny Ben... each one of these Bens looks exactly the same. Ben, it may have worked for Voyage of the Mimi back in the day, but now you gotta put on your big boy actor panties and you gotta, you know, act like an actual person who smiles, who laughs, who cries and who gets mad (without breaking things).

Not even his side-dick could save the movie from itself (and that is when you know the situation is dire). Quite a cheap move, if you ask me. I mean, we were all subjected to two sets of boobs, would it kill you to give us a proper look at a johnson for once, David Fincher?

I will admit, Rosamund Pike did a decent job portraying Amy. However, was I the only one who was semi-annoyed by her voice? Half of the time I could not quite understand what she was saying. Her voice almost sounded like a distant, low murmuring that was making me think I was perhaps turning into one of the geriatrics that were swarming the theatre that I was in. The geriatrics that I was shamelessly making fun of moments earlier (karma?!).

Besides these issues, as a person who read the novel, I felt that the complexity of the characters was absent. For instance, the movie portrayed Nick's character as a sort of protagonist to Amy's antagonism. Whereas, in the book, both of the characters seemed equally unlikable and, without a doubt, a lot more complicated and three-dimensional.

For one thing, one of my favorite quotes in the entire book was butchered up and seemed quite out of place in the movie. The "Cool girl" speech that Amy recites, perhaps is what made Amy's character so interesting. Here we had a seemingly, completely psychotic biddy stating very real truths about femininity and relationships:

"Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men – friends, coworkers, strangers – giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much – no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version – maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: “I like strong women.” If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because “I like strong women” is code for “I hate strong women.”)”

I think most heterosexual girls relate to this monologue in some way, shape or form. The main idea being that the "cool girl," or the girl that all guys want, is a person that girls are forced to pretend to be. You know how girls all throughout football season post on Facebook, pretending to watch games? And you know how they pose like bro-hoes with their cute little jerseys, pretending to give two shits about any of it? In reality, they do know know the difference between the Super Bowl and ComicCon. That is the "Cool girl." That girl seldom exists.
For the record, I actually do like hot dogs. Do not be fooled though, I am anything but cool (I put ketchup on them!!!)

Although the character of Amy is malevolent, the book can be interpreted as a sort of radical feminist rebellion. Amy is rebelling against the constraints of females in relationships (perhaps drastically and not in a sane matter, but a rebellion, nonetheless). 

The real issue I had was that this monologue was butchered and somewhat overshadowed in the movie. The film focused so much more on making Nick the character we empathize with and Amy the psychobitch (echoing the motif of the "Mad Woman in the Attic"), that this speech was easily ignored and somewhat presented out of context. By simplifying these characters, the complexity of the story was lost on the audience. Instead, we are presented with a narrative that is male-dominated, with its female protagonist essentially muted.

The film did not do these characters justice. So often in mainstream film, (the middle-brow media, in my humble opinion) the writer and director is forced to water down characters and make everything a lot more simple for the assumed moronic audience to understand. Nick, a character in the book that was misogynistic, is made into a different type of character in the movie. The film version of Nick Dunne seemed to have the volume turned down on his misogynist tendencies (aside from the occasional "cunt" outburst... but haven't we all been there?!) to make him more likable and to give the viewer "someone to root for," so to speak.

So, while those who skipped over the book and saw the movie may presume that Gillian Flynn simply made a film about a psycho-bitch who married a horny dude, perhaps it would do you some good to read the book and then make your feminist critiques.

For those of you who have not seen the movie yet, save your 12 dollars to buy the book or maybe just use it to go out to dinner to Cheesecake Factory. I hear the Oreo cheesecake there is to DIE for.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tragedy Hits Jersey

These past couple of days, I have been completely beside myself with grief. Many have told me that I have looked distant and, often times, on the brink of tears. But how can anyone really go back to life the way we knew it? How can we go on with our lives knowing that Teresa Giudice and her husband are going to jail?

Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe Giudice were sentenced to jail time on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges. Theresa was sentenced to 15 months of jail and Giuseppe, 41 months. But, DO NOT WORRY, Teresa will not have to turn herself in until January 5! The judge did this so Teresa can spend the holidays with her family one last time before getting locked up for what will, most likely, be for a few days.

The reality star shit dicks will serve their terms at different times so there will be at least one parent with their four kids at a given time.

I know, we are all thinking the same thing. What has this world come to? Sending white people to jail?
This is not a world that makes sense, this is not a world that I am comfortable with. Maybe the Ebola has gone to everyone's heads. Maybe this is, FINALLY, the sign of the ACTUAL apocalypse  (an apocalypse that I have incorrectly predicted about four times already...)

White people being held accountable for their action? I am just as shocked and appalled as the Giudice's Real Housewives co-stars. If anyone has caught an episode of the current season of Real Housewives of New Jersey (a show that I have regrettably picked up recently due to boredom and Housewives withdrawal, as all the other housewives locations are on hiatus). All of Teresa's fellow Housewives' and husbands have spent the entire season, thus far, lamenting the "tragedy" that is the Guidice's life. Scene after scene we see rich white people crying...

"I can't believe this is my life," Teresa says into the camera, sitting in her 14 million dollar house. And neither can anyone else, apparently.

In hopes of helping Teresa get through these trying times, I created a list of things she could bring to the spa-- I mean jail, when she gets locked up.

1) A poster of Ariana Grande: Ariana is pretty. She needs a pretty girl in her life.

2) A copy of the film Garden State: the pseudo-poignant soundtrack and unnecessarily "deep" dialogue  have been said to lead to some fake epiphanies for some basic bitches, I hear. She needs a fake epiphany.

3) A foot massager: foot massagers are a must-have in rich people jail. She needs a good foot massage in her life.

4) A CD containing only songs written and sung by Vanessa Carlton: Explanation not necessary. She needs a little Vanessa in her life, as does everyone.

5) A piece of poop scented air freshener: this way, Theresa can feel like she's at home in New Jersey at all times. She needs to feel at home.

6) A year's supply of Kleenex tissues: Theresa is a Taurus, after all. Those idiots are constantly crying. She needs crying in her life.

7) A two year's supply of Mallomars: Teresa needs Mallomars more than anyone I know. The situation is dire.

Happy jail time, Teresa! If I learned anything from Orange is the New Black, it is that prison is kind of a ballin' time.