“This is 40”: Everything is terrible, apparently, especially if you’re a teenage girl
My brother, who is about to get married to one of my all-time favorite people in the world, has an edit for me: “I think the headline of your entry should have been what you texted me after the movie. ‘According to Judd Apatow your life is about to be terrible.’”
“This is 40” was the classic example of your average Judd Apatow movie: funny, with absolutely no plot structure, and refreshing honesty. But, man, it was also fucking bleak and its rays of hope were completely overshadowed by how miserable everyone seemed without offering any real suggestions for how to make it better other than: “Death will eventually take us in its sweet embrace, so we might as well ride this one out together.” I don’t know about you, but I have higher hopes for my future than that, no matter how true it may be. You’re going to read better reviews that say the exact same thing about how depressing it is to watch beautiful people with two healthy children bitch about how terrible their lives are for two hours and 20 minutes, so let’s talk about something new, shall we?
I’m not going to repeat everything everyone has to say about Judd Apatow’s lady problem. I don’t believe he hates women, he’s done more for female comics than any modern comedy auteur, but he’s definitely got some issues with them. People have brought up his shrill, one-dimensional portrayals of the women in his movies but nothing reiterates this problem more to me than the character of Sadie, the teenage daughter, played by his own, exceptional kid, Maude.
If honesty is at the root of Apatow’s comedy, “This is 40” demonstrated that Apatow knows absolutely nothing about the inner workings of his pubescent daughter. Sadie is a whining, shrieking monster with few redeemable qualities. She has no inner complexity beyond the banshee wailing for her iPad that we see onscreen. I understand that comedy comes from extremes but Sadie’s only foil was her insanely cute little sister, who was made angelic if only because she wasn’t menstruating yet. Sadie is just horrible, with no empathy for why she acts the way she does.
Granted, I’m sensitive to this stuff because I was a particularly horrible teenager who took to not speaking to others for long stretches of time and lashing out at anyone in a five mile radius. But also I know I was going through some crazy shit from 13 to 17 and it made me the balls-out awesome chick I am today. That’s why I respond so well to a show like “Awkward.” Those teenage girls are real people. They have little problems that seem like major tragedies but that’s because they are for anyone at that age. At the same time, you get to watch Jenna learn and grow from her mistakes and actions, to figure out why she feels and does what she does. It’s cloaked in uber-hip language, but Jenna is a human being, not a wretch who will eventually cast off her teenage-dom and become a person. I’m also so supremely disappointed because Lindsey Weir of “Freaks and Geeks” was a human being. She was messy and complicated and trying to figure out who she was. How could Apatow forget about a great female character he didn’t create, but certainly helped foster?
Considering how bloated Apatow flicks can feel, there had to be some time in between the close up of Leslie Mann’s colon, Megan Fox wearing Ian Laperriere’s false teeth and the two Graham Parker musical numbers, to actually create a character of out of Sadie. The problem is, Apatow doesn’t think there is one there. And it’s so sad how wrong he is.
“Five Year Engagement”: What was that?
Okay, so I just watched “Five Year Engagement.” I remember reading reviews that said things like “buoyed by likable actors,” “overly long” and the like, but Christ, did no one else think “Hey, this movie is really fucking misogynist?” As in: All of the unhappiness is caused by Emily Blunt’s Violet continuing her education? They made it seem as if she wouldn’t settle for someone who wasn’t perfect, but all signs pointed to their shared unhappiness because they moved to a different place. As a couple, did they not expect to move because of her job? PhDs, especially those looking to get into academia, are kind of known for having to move around a lot. Was that not something they even considered? And, please, I’ve been to Ann Arbor. Sure, it’s cold and shit, but it’s also the site of a worldclass university where thousands of kids are tasked with finding places for their parents to eat at fancy places, not to mention fancy professors who like fancy meals. It’s also an hour outside of a major metropolitan city (sure, one that’s in major decline, but also one that has restaurants in it). Of course Violet got the assistant professor job because she was fucking the Welsh kicker from “The Replacements,” and not because she totally deserved it at all. That could never be a possibility. The only example of a woman who is in any way happy with her life choices is Violet’s sister, who doesn’t pursue her career so she can be a full time mom. The only other man who makes such sacrifices (Chris Parnell’s character) is viewed a crazy person who knits tuxedos. Obviously, this couple couldn’t have worked until Violet gave up all of her studying/career aspirations so she could work in a motherfucking taco truck with the man she loved.
Look, Apatow brood, I love y’all, but you seriously need to get your shit together when it comes to the ladies. Because fuuuuuuuck that movie.
That being said, Allison Brie and Chris Pratt were gold. Everything else sucked.
Reason number, like, a million, I’m a terrible person
There’s this one person who I follow on Twitter and Facebook who often posts about their kid and every time they write something I think, “Oh man, you’re kid is gonna be so lame.”
Granted, it’s because they always post about innocuous movies their kid can’t stomach and my mom let me watch “Dog Day Afternoon” when I was, like, 11 because she told me it was good and I turned out kinda-normal*.
*Kinda-normal=I was the only kid who knew what a transsexual was out of the entire fifth grade class at Penn Valley Elementary.
Upon learning that the creator of “iCarly” played Ricky Smith in “Better Off Dead.”
From the Daily News, October 31, 2012
Bobby Digital! Eeek!
Television Revelations: “NCIS” edition
This Buzzfeed post about Then and Now Crushes, which I off course clicked on due to a 95% chance of a JTT sighting, has alerted me to the fact that Binx from “Hocus Pocus” grew up to be McGee from “NCIS,” a/k/a, my fourth favorite character on “NCIS.”
I was hanging out with Beau Biden,” Shore said. “He gave me his cell number. He seems like a cool guy. I’m a fan of his dad’s.”
Shore says he also met members of Biden’s security detail. “Some of the Secret Service guys came up to me and said ‘Encino Man’ was their favorite movie,” he said.
To be a fly on the wall…
Also, with a lifetime of covert experience in foreign countries, plus the whole daughter-kidnapping thing from famous original Taken, wouldn’t he just say, “Ahh, you know what hun, what if we went to Disney World instead,” when vacations were discussed?
Potential question list drafted by Daniel Day-Lewis devotee Emily McCullar and myself:
- How big is your penis?
- Would you sleep with someone under 30?
- How happy are you in your marriage, really?
- Would you lick my neck?
- Do you still have Hawkeye’s loin cloth?
- Follow-up: Could I have it?
- How could you love the woman behind “Jack and Rose?” Are you an advocate for incest? Are we to assume that your wife wanted to sleep with her father?
- Also, “Jack and Rose” is terrible.
- Is it weird that I would still do you in full-on Lincoln make up?
- Is it weird that I would RATHER do you in full-on Lincoln makeup?
- And to, you, Mr. Spielberg: Do you still have the whip from “Indiana Jones?” Could you give that to Mr. Day-Lewis?