Saturday, June 02, 2007

Confession ...

My life is pretty much an open book. There are a few pages that are stuck together. You can try to separate them, but the text will lift off of the opposite pages and you won't be able to read any of it. Of course, the part you can't read is the most interesting part of the story, but you get what you pay for, eh? Bloggers can't spill every detail of their lives. A little mystery keeps 'em coming back for more. And by " 'em," I mean "you."

However, we're close enough, you, me, and the rest of my gargantuan daily readership, that I'm willing to lay bare some very personal aspects of my life. And so I stand before you, our virtual chairs in a virtual circle in a virtual community center, and I say to you, "Hi, I'm Beth. And I watch chick flicks."

They're not my steady cinematic diet, mind you. I know the havoc they wreak on my liver so I try not to take in too many, but over the past couple days, Netflix has delivered the illicit substance to my mailbox.

First up was Catch and Release. Jennifer Garner is so damn adorable, I'd date her and I'm not gay. And besides, I miss Alias so I have to take my Jen fix where I can get it.

Juliette Lewis is in Catch, and I'm not a big fan of Juliette (part of it is jealousy over the fact that she got to kiss DeNiro in Cape Fear and part of it is that she can just be so damn annoying, like she was in Cape Fear), but she's perfectly cast in this movie.

Jen, as always, is adorable. The story? Eh. We all know how it's going to turn out. I once worked with a guy who created a romantic-comedy flowchart, cuz they're just that damn predictable.

But the architecture and the locations are pretty to look at. And the kid who played Juliette Lewis's son did a good job because at one point, I wanted to reach through my TV and smack him.

Next up, a day later, was Because I Said So. I know, I know. The critics weren't kind. I went in with low expectations. And they were met. Does Diane Keaton use the same black-and-white photo of herself in every film? Is that her answer to the Hitchcock cameo? I'm sure the photo I saw in this movie was in The Family Stone and now I feel compelled to go back to Annie Hall, as I have a suspicion that it shows up in that movie, too. I'll report back on my research. Maybe they're not the same, but each movie features a photograph of her. Hmm.

And who names their kid Lionel? Lionel is a train. Lionel is the cigar-chomping chauffer on Hart to Hart. Lionel is a former Commodore. Yes, I know Lionel Richie was once a child. Don't quibble. I'm feeling cheeky. Just keep reading.

As I was saying, BISS was pretty much what I expected it to be, based on the trailer and based on what I know of basic scriptwriting. I had one particular gripe: the singing. I know Mandy Moore is the co-star. I know she sings. But if singing doesn't move the story along, if you have to justify the singing scenes by making Mandy utter the dialogue, "I've always wanted to sing," singing doesn't belong in your movie. Leave the singing out. And here's another page from Beth's Movie-making Playbook: mishaps with cakes - dropping them, taking them in the face, etc. - are about as funny as a cute heroine falling or walking into a window. We all see it coming. When someone walks into a room carryng a cake and chaos ensues and yet the cake carrier does not set the cake down, we know what's going to happen. Therefore, when it happens, it is neither funny nor unexpected. It's hackneyed. Resist the hackneyed cake gag. But credit where it's due: There is one instance involving a cake that's rather funny, because it's done differently. Different is good.

Anyway, the point is, BISS is a rather large waste of talent. Lauren Graham deserves better. At least we'll always have Gilmore girls and Badder Santa.

A good gauge of how much I like a movie is whether I spend any time on the extras. Needless to say, both of these movies went right back into their mailer sleeves the minute the credits rolled.

Next up in my queue: The Queen and The Good German. I suspect neither movie will feature someone getting a cake in the face.

11 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

I don't know about that...I heard they used a Good German Chocolate Cake in one scene...

1:32 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Badump bump! Good night, everybody! I'm here all week! Try the veal!

That was funny, j.: Good German Chocolate Cake!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best guilty pleasure chick flick over and over again: You've Got Mail. Scene in which Meg and Tom discuss the guy's e-mail address is worth the rest of the movie.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Ah yes, good ol' NY152.

"The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable."

"The number of people who think he looks like a Clark bar."

Good call!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, don't miss EW's "The Good German" vs. "The Good Shepherd" vs. "The Good German Shepherd." A very funny graphic.

3:46 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Another really original romantic comedy you might enjoy is "Happy Accidents". It stars Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onfrio. It was a little indie picture that really deserved to be seen by more people. Wonderfully strange.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yep, I can second that one!

5:36 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

The wonderful part or the strange part..or both?

6:54 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Both the strange wonderfulness and the wonderful strangeness.

6:59 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Nicely put.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Markbnj said...

No Beth. NO.

You can't be jumping the shark here!

Mark

Sure chick flicks.
I kinda liked mean girls , myself...
but...

9:41 PM  

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