Tag Archives: Jessica Lange

The Vow

Oh The Vow. I see that you want to crawl up inside my vagina, manipulate my lady hormones, and convince me to buy movie tickets and packets of kleenex and ample ice cream, and quite possibly those handbags that the camera keeps inexplicably dwelling on. You’re a cheap ploy in romance clothing, but I’ve got your number.

The Vow thinks having two attractive leads is enough for you to believe in their love. He looks good, she looks good, what more could they want? The movie sets the bar low for itself but still  manages to tumble far, far beneath it.

Item #1: When she is sick, he leaves her a box of ‘get well’ goodies, containing, and I can hardly believe I’m about to write this: lingerie. Which is a subtle way of saying: I think you’re gross right now, but I look forward to fucking you again in the future when you’re useful to me again. He does not hand her this box, merely leaves her to discover it while he waits a plate-glass away. Not only is that unromantic, it’s completely misguided and for me, would be an automatic break-up. You know what’s romantic? Risking her germs to actually be present when she’s sick. Letting her know that you love her whether you currently find her fuckable or not. Loving her whether she’s currently well enough to blow you or not. Loving her enough to be in the same room as her in sickness and in health. THAT’S romantic. Or, you know, basic human decency.

Item #2: When he farts in the car, she rolls up the window. Okay, I’m gagging right MV5BMjI4NTQ4MDIxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTAzNDUzNw@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_now because yes, that’s played as romantic in this twisted little shit of a movie, when in fact that’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on film, and I’ve seen Matthew McConaughey receive some poultry-related fellatio, so keep that in mind. Hot boxing farts is romantic? No. Holding it in until you’re in a bathroom is romantic. Sticking to turkey at Thanksgiving to avoid ham farts on the car ride home later (sorry for outing you, Sean) is romantic. Or, you know, basic human decency.

The Vow, because if you don’t already know it, it’s probably not apparent, is about a couple, Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum), who fall in love because every thing they do is just so damned romantic. Except for the car crash that nearly kills them, and leaves her without a memory. Or, at least, without a memory of him, their entire relationship just wiped out. The doctors seem to agree that this is a thing that can happen even though I suspect she’s just tired of his constant need to come up with new ways to plausibly be shirtless. But anyway. He’s still deeply in love with his wife, but his wife thinks he’s no better than a stranger. So she elects to go home with her parents instead since she doesn’t remember they’re estranged, and they’re pretty eager to pretend they’re not (Jessica Lange and Sam Neill are the sole touch of class to this movie and are completely, egregiously wasted – the movie would be vastly improved by writing out Tatum and McAdams completely and focusing on the talented, veteran actors instead. Alas.).

So: does he try to win her back, or does he do the kind thing and let her go? His friends are of two minds: a) she doesn’t remember all the stupid shit he’s done, like the car farts b) can he really get her to fall in love with him again? Paige has reverted to some juvenile or naive former version of herself and doesn’t seem willing to give him the time of day (in fact, has her eye on an old boyfriend, the smug Bradley Cooper type who is apparently played by Scott Speedman when production runs out of money). And stupid Leo’s ONE movie consists of an expensive box of chocolates that I don’t know how they afford because she’s an artist and he owns a recording studio which means they’re basically unemployed and broke AF, and a guessing game that even Forrest Gump would have found immature.

What happens in the movie doesn’t matter because it’s boring and predictable and full of shit. Even the real life people upon whom the story is based don’t like it because the film erases their Christianity, and Rachel McAdams says fuck. And I don’t like it because it preys upon the lonely, romantic saps who just want to believe in true love, and then feed them a barrel full of horse manure and label it truffles. Baloney.

However, I have enjoyed taunting Sean about whether or not he could win me over in the case of amnesia. I mean, what if I woke up with standards? Hopefully we’ll never know. And hopefully it doesn’t take head trauma for you to realize that flatulence should never be part of courtship. Hopefully we’re all living better lives than the doomed couple in this movie – this is the kind of “romantic” movie that causes single people to gloat and everyone else hang their heads real low.

 

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The Gambler

Have you ever found yourself wondering: can Mark Wahlberg play a professor? Wonder no more: of course he can’t. Even if he’s got a blazer and a slightly overgrown haircut? Not even then, I’m afraid. The part where he’s a total degenerate gambler, that I believed. He has said that this was the hardest role of his career, and you’d better believe it. The fact that it’s a terrible stretch for him is evident all over this thing.

As a cereal-loving, self-loathing professor of literature and a crazed gambler who has the-gambler-4.pngliterally gambled his whole life away, Jim is in a tough spot. He has enormous debts and borrows from one low-life money lender to pay another – although he then pays neither, and loses that money at the casino too. His bottoming out is made even more embarrassing because his most promising student (Brie Larson) happens to witness it.

But the truth is, it’s exceedingly hard to care about this guy. Even if you cut him some slack in light of his compulsive disease, we also see that he’s not terribly good at his job, or at being a son, or at being a person. He’s a self-destructive guy who just stopped caring a long time ago and there are no redeeming qualities to be discovered, even if a young blonde somehow finds him alluring.

[Sidebar: young women always think they can save the bad guys they’re attracted to. They can’t. Give her 6 years and she’ll be throwing houseplants at his head while she furiously packs her bags, accusing him of stealing her youth.]

This film is watchable but it’s derivative and never justifies its own existence. The original is still king. This one flubbed the minute Wahlberg came on board and just flopped about like a balloon with a slow leak.

Wild Oats

Eva is a grieving widow who doesn’t even get through her husband’s funeral before her daughter is reminding her of unpaid hospital bills and a home that isn’t worth much before significant sprucing. So can we really blame her when she cashes the 50K insurance cheque even though it’s accidentally made out for 5 million? Nope!

Eva (Shirley MacLaine) vanishes into the night with her friend Maddie (Jessica Lange), their eyes set on a luxury resort in Spain. Maddie is sick, her days numbered, and her Wild-Oats_poster_goldposter_com_2-702x336husband’s just left her for a secretary a fraction of her age. Eva’s been caring for her sick husband for a long time, so washes away her guilty feelings with generous dosages of mojitos and embraces the mistake, determined to live it up. These two chiquitas have nothing to lose so it’s all blackjack and boy toys until a) a dashing Billy Connolly enters the picture and b) the fuzz are on their tail. Well, not so much the fuzz as the insurance company trying to reclaim their losses, but you get the picture.

Is this a brilliant movie? No it isn’t. It’s kind of like Going In Style for old biddies, an adventure for senior citizens that’s exactly as predictable as you’d think. Lange and MacLaine are ludicrously charming but they deserve better material. They’re able to polish a few pieces of coal into diamonds thanks to their professionalism and gung-ho spirit, but for every high, there’s a low. I found it a perfectly inoffensive time-waster, but this movie will really only appeal to people who always wondered what How Stella Got Her Groove back would be like if Stella was an 84 year old white lady.

 

 

Asshole Ethics 101: would you cash the cheque, or report it?