Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And There Ain't Nothing I Can Do About It

I've watched a bunch of movies in and around the holiday season. Most of the films were with my daughters, so they were either out-and-out girl movies or vapid teen flicks - either way, I'm going to talk about them on this here blog with y'all.

The Holiday - Was a total girl movie. Which is to say, that it was absolute escapism and everyone was rich and beautiful (or they were Jack Black and therefore, didn't have to be beautiful) and it all ended happily ever after. I even almost found Jude Law attractive in this film, and normally I think he's creepy and smarmy looking. My friend S. saw this with me and the girls and as she was driving home, she called me to talk about all of the plot holes. Yeah, absolutely everything fell through the big gaping holes in the plot, but it all happened in charming British cottages or sleek L.A. condos, so it was okay, right?

Ice Princess - I don't remember much about this movie, except that it had the biggest reversal of the Sandy from Grease transformation I've seen in a long time. Both Kim Cattrall (the sluttiest girl from Sex and the City) and Michelle Trachtenburg, (the pop star minx who seduces Keith in Six Feet Under) clean all the way up for Disney in this heartwarming teen flick or whatever it was, since I didn't pay much attention. It could have been ice skating porn for all I know.

John Tucker Must Die - Apparently, all the cool kids from high school dig this flick. It's about a philandering, popular boy who lies to all the hotties to get as many of them as he can. All the girls find out, and hatch a plot to foil him, all the while, learning valuable lessons about the power of female friendships, and being true to themselves and wearing the most revealing clothes I've seen anyone get away with at school.

It's great when, by the end of the movie, all the main characters learn valuable life lessons and make heartfelt speeches to an auditorium full of their peers - so much like my high school experience.

Step Up - Is one of those lovely formulaic masterpieces where the kid off the streets, played by the same guy who plays the White-wannabe-African American guy in all the other teen flicks, blends his street dancing skills with a classically trained dancer who looks slightly Latina and much like about five other actresses her age. They each learn valuable lessons about trying to "make it" in the highly competitive world of the performance arts, while falling in lust with each other. Basically, I liked it better when the street guy was a hockey player trying to blend his talents with a figure skater and they called it, The Cutting Edge.

Dreamgirls - The girls wanted to see this on New Year's Day and so I agreed. I'm normally not much of a musical theater enthusiast. I was married to an actor and saw my share (and yours too) of experimental, musical theater. Plus, in general, the musical numbers take me right out of the story. This movie did a good job of flowing in and out of the excited singing/dancing, without being too jolting.

My two criticisms about it, would be that sometimes I felt the music was too theater-y for the time period it was supposed to represent and I wished Beyonce's character had more depth. The real Diana Ross was supposedly a total heinous diva and I would have found that much more interesting. Does anyone know, was there some kind of deal the producers had to make with Diana Ross in order to make the film - one that said she had to be played by the hottest young singer/actress they could find and her character had to be void of almost any personality?

I actually saw a few movies without my girls, but those will have to wait for another blog post when it's not 12:30 a.m. on a work night.


Remiman said...

I haven't seen any of those flicks, and from your crtiques, I don't think I'll bother. Actually I don't do movies too often, but when and if I do, they're usually of the sci-fi gendre,or fantasy ie; Lord of the rings, wheel of time, Robinhood, King Arthur etc., etc.

Brando said...

I was going to comment, but I think the only way I can really expresss the message I want to convey is through a song...

I hate, hate, hate musicals.

Neil said...

Beyonce was clearly the least interesting part of Dreamgirls.

Killer said...

I saw Children of Men last night, it was pretty good.
I really don't have much desire to see Dream Girls. I hate musicals, or anything remotely close to a musical. Odd since I love music.

EEK said...

My fifty-five year-old father rented John Tucker Must Die thinking that it was an action flick. He was apalled when he discoverd that it was a movie directed at the teenage girl population. I laughed, and laughed.

Pans Labrynth is a really good movie. I just saw that last week.

Churlita said...


You're lucky. just be thankful that you don't have teenage daughters and don't have to even have the DVD's in your home.


Can I sing the chorus with you?


She was very easy on the eyes, but then I was just bored.


I really want to see that. I've heard such good buzz aboout it. I love music too, but I like good music and how often is there any really good music in a musical?


I love it that your dad rented JTMD. I wonder how far he got before he turned it off and flipped off the TV.

Pans Labrynth, eh? I'll check it out.

Bice said...

I know. I'm a loser. I've seen none of these movies.

Reel Fanatic said...

I liked Dreamgirls quite a bit, but I have to agree with you that Beyonce was just too perfect to be believed .. My biggest beef, though, was the scene where they had Eddie Murphy's character don the kind of knit skull cap favored by the late, great Marvin Gaye to sing that treacly faux protest ballad .. Mr. Gaye never would have touched such crap, and the whole idea was just insulting, to him and the people who had to watch it

Churlita said...


You would only be a loser if you'd seen most of these without teenage daughters as an excuse.

Reel Fanatic,

That Marvin Gaye-ish scene included one of the songs I found too musical theater-y for the time period it was supposed to represent.

Margaret said...

girl, you're a better woman than I.

Churlita said...

I know. This is where alcohol comes in handy - you know, just a little something to smooth out the rough edges of the teen movies.