Really, most of the action is on my Tumblr these days but worry not, I saw the worst movie of the year and I’m going to tell you ALL about it.
I guess I should catch you up on some things first bec
Cause guys, MAYBE I HAVE TWO BOOKS COMING OUT. My novel, an Untamed State will be published by Grove/Atlantic in 2014 and my essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial. I am going to lobby really hard for French Flaps.
I have been absolutely staggered by the outpouring of support and well-wishes this weekend. It’s just so great to feel so… well, loved, really, or at least, liked and respected. I’ve read all your comments and e-mails! I am trying to reply to all of them. So many people have said, “long time coming,” and “well-deserved” and so many other truly flattering things. I don’t know that this kind of thing is ever deserved but I hope I can live up to such kindness and respect. I am going to try very hard. Thank you for reading and writing and being. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And also, there is some other stuff in the works I will hopefully tell you about soon.
REVIEW IN NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Here are some pictures because I tracked down copies of the Sunday New York Times in this little town! I bought three copies. They were $6 each which, ouch.
Yes, it’s silly. I also have some screenshots verifying the popularity of the review, online, at various points during the weekend. You don’t need to tell me about my lameness. I’m way ahead of you. I know.
Okay, I am tired of capslock now and also, myself.
If you are in the Midwest, consider coming to Lions in Winter, on 1/25 and 1/26. You can hear Jaimy Gordon read on 1/25 and attend craft lectures with Randa Jarrar, Eduardo C. Corral, and TIna May Hall on 1/26, followed by an editor’s panel and then a reading with these three lovely writers. There are other things going on too. Check it out, here.
xTx has a new book coming out called Billie the Bull. I’ve read it and I love it and I encourage you to love it, too. How could you not?
Birds of a Lesser Paradise is out in paperback. I loved this book so I am telling you this.
I also read the most unexpectedly great book this week–Panorama City, by Antoine Wilson. I say unexpectedly because I knew nothing about the book going in so it was all a lovely surprise. The narrator, Oppen Porter is really unique and this is a sophisticated book that does some smart stuff with narration, reliability, and voice. I don’t think I’ve read anything like this. There are also these gorgeously long sentences that go on and on and man, I am hypnotized by this book, just hypnotized. I’m re-reading it as we speak.
Can we talk about the Trojan vibrator commercials? Is it really that serious? The way those commercials make it seem like this cheap, shitty vibrator you can buy at Walgreens vastly improves a couple’s sex life makes me weep. Is the bar that low? Get yourself to Good Vibrations or Babes in Toyland and really blow your sex life open.
I woke up the other day and thought, “No one will ever want me again,” and I was feeling really quite sorry for myself. I havent’ been single for like a desperate amount of time, not even 6 months, but I wouldn’t mind a little romance and wooing. Anyway, I was feeling very sorry for myself (I’m hideous, unloveable, I’m going to die alone, etc.) so I decided the smartest thing to do would be to go see a chick flick so I might feel better about love. I wasn’t in my right mind. Movies, these days, are where love goes to die.
Chick flick is also a stupid phrase. We can admit that. But whatever. I saw Playing for Keeps, which was just an utter piece of shit but not in any sort of endearing or redeemable way. At several points, I nearly walked out. This movie was a pox. Agony. It pains me to even think upon it. The movie is so terrible, that most of it is an excruciating blur of bad acting, bad set dressing, bad costumes, bad directing, bad producing, and a bad script. I hope I forget about this movie soon. I am tired of having it in my brain.
Here are the movies I have seen this year. I’m not ashamed, but keeping it real, most of these movies are trash. That is to say, when I say Playing For Keeps, was terrible and the worst, you need some context.
Our Idiot Brother
The Darkest Hour
Man on a Ledge
Acts of Valor
The Lucky One
Water for Elephants
The Five-Year Engagement
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Cutting Edge (about 11 times)
Dark Knight Rises
Step Up Revolution
All the Lifetime Movies
Breaking Dawn Part 2
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Playing for Keeps
Very few of these movies were good. We Need to Talk About Kevin was just so indulgent and annoying. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, made me want to shoot myself. Alex Cross? I mean. AND STILL, Playing for Keeps was the worst. THE WORST. It was like all the worst movies of the year had a genetically mutated alien baby and then named it Renesmee.
First of all, everyone looked terrible. Plastic surgery has just gone way, way too far. I know we’re not supposed to say that but Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jessica Biel have the same face even though they are different people. Catherine is gorgeous but man, she was stretched. Jessica just looked so not good and also stretched. It was like they ran out of make up before every single one of her scenes. And she always looked really tired, red eyes, the works. It made no sense. Was she going through a rough time during the filming? What happened here?! She is a pretty woman. I don’t understand.
So, when the movie begins, we get a vigorous montage of Gerald Butler as soccer star. There are lots of thighlights. And then, we are in present day. Butler has lots of debts, and is filming himself sportcasting in a suit coat, tie, and boxers or the uniform of freelancers, everywhere. He lives in a guest house and has a son and ex-wife, Biel. This movie made me long for the G. Butler of 300. SPARTA! Let’s refresh our memories:
Butler looks nothing like that in this movie. At all. Hold on to this beautiful memory because a beautiful memory is all we have left.
Butler hasn’t been a very good father, blah blah blah. Biel, Butler’s baby mama, is shacking up, as my mother might say, with a man she’s soon to marry. We see Biel’s fiance for approx. 2.4 minutes throughout the ENTIRE MOVIE. Please note the decimal point. He mostly just says things like, “Hi.” His performance was so affectless, so stultifying, he was demonstrating, in each scene, the lack of fucks he was giving about the movie. They could have used a Roomba for his role for all the good he did. I got really irate about it by the end of the movie. This movie was offensively bad.
The kid was fine, I guess. He wasn’t a very good actor but he didn’t embarrass himself the way the adults did. I bet he spent each day on set thinking, “You people are a disgrace to the profession.”
So one day, Butler is playing daddy and he takes his son to soccer practice and the coach is incompetent and always jabbering on his phone and Butler can’t have this so before long he’s showing the kids some moves and then all the parents ask him to be the coach of the soccer team, which he reluctantly agrees to do.
There’s this ridiculous subplot involving his landlord, an Indian guy, who is the only person of color in the movie. He has about 7 lines, none of them interesting. It’s just a weird, sad situation. I can’t even talk about it anymore.
Dennis Quaid is in this movie as one of the soccer dads. His wife is Uma Thurman, who, incidentally, shares a face with Biel and Zeta-Jones. She cries out of her ears is what I am saying. It was upsetting to look at her and that’s a shame because again, she has always been lovely. Thanks, society, for making women do evil unto their faces. Thanks a lot.
Quaid looked TERRIBLE–bloated, hair just tragic, red face, haggard but not like hot haggard. And his acting, was atrocious. My god. I am nauseous thinking about it.
We won’t talk about what Robert did to his face.
That’s why he gets to play God. Speaking of Morgan Freeman.
So, Quaid is this gregarious asshole who is rich and loves to throw his money around. He’s a cheater, and he doesn’t trust his wife and she’s a desperate housewife who tries to seduce Butler but he considers Quaid his friend and so he declines. Does this sound incoherent? Well, welcome to this horrible, evil, horrible movie. Nothing made sense. Not one scene in the movie felt like it was organically connected to any other scene in the movie. There was NO PLOT. There was no acting. This was a spiteful movie. I have been spited.
Butler is trying to be a good man and all the soccer mom/desperate housewives are literally throwing themselves at him because you know, that’s what we’d like to believe about modern married women, just so unsatisfied and so lacking in self-esteem that they’d consider this d-bag deadbeat a catch. One of the women, the insanely talented and underappreciated Judy Greer, is always crying because she’s freshly divorced. Eventually she dries her tears with Butler’s penis and that sorts her out for the most part.
Things happen involving soccer, a wedding dress fitting, a romantic proposal, a fight, etc etc etc etc. None of it makes sense. None of it is written, acted, or directed well.
There’s this other plot about Butler trying to get a job as a sportscaster. CZJ, one of the soccer moms, is a former sportscaster herself and she offers to help Butler “film a demo,” with his penis. And then he gets the job but turns it down to stay with his family and Biel dumps her fiance and the happy family is reunited. JUST LIKE THAT. She just forgives him for all his trespasses and takes up with this unemployed has been. Also, she doesn’t bother acting in this movie. She just blandly recites her lines at various points when she feels like hey, maybe I should say something here. She and Butler are completely lacking in chemistry. I am having a more passionate affair with my Peeta cutout.
Here is Peeta working out on our yoga ball. That’s right. He stays in shape for me. No, I don’t have curtains after 2.5 years in my apartment.
Honestly, there’s nothing much I can say about this movie. I can’t be witty because the movie was so terrible it is beneath wit. It is beneath… the gross stuff on the bottom of my shoes after going to the public bathroom at a major sporting event. This is an abomination of the highest order. Straight to Video movies have more dignity to them. I am quite scarred by the experience of seeing this movie. I need to cleanse my filmic palate immediately.
To summarize: Playing For Keeps is terrible, horrible, sexist, lame, derivative, the worst movie of the year, depressing, pathetic, sad, tragic, and terrible.