Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, But They're Weird and They're Wonderful

Here is the fence separating me from the beer garden at Joe's Place.

For those of you who are new here, my taste in viewing things, is much the same as it is for hearing things and eating things. I like everything, both good and bad. I will watch any hard hitting documentary, but all kinds of cheese too. I think I may have already mentioned the fact that when I was pregnant with Stinky, my friend Anne and I would try to catch every Sunday night made-for-TV movie and saw all three Joey Buttafuoco/Amy Fisher ones. Man, that was a banner year for television.

Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up before you try to start judging me on my viewing preferences. Don't bother. I get it. I have no filter and we can start right there. So, after that preface, I will now list some of the things I've watched recently:

Here is a funny thing that reminded me just a little bit of the robot from Lost in Space.

1.) The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - I'm kind of digging this HBO series that takes place in Botswana. The music is great and Jill Scott does a really good job. Sure, it's quirky, and a little corny, and the mysteries all seem to be too tidily solved, but I like that about it. I also love that Jill Scott's character makes no excuses for her "traditional African form". She is big and smart and sexy and doesn't take shit from anyone. A girl after my own heart.

2.) Tough Love - This is total trash on VH1, but I watch it all the time anyway. At first, I thought it would be interesting to see what guys wanted in women, because lord knows, I have never been able to figure it out on my own. But, it hasn't revealed much except the usual: sexy vs. whorish and be honest, but say things in such a way that you put a positive spin on shit and don't be a drunken slut if you want a relationship and not just a hook-up. Now, I just watch it to feel better about myself. Most of the women on the show are shallow drama queens. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times; it's all about who you compare yourself to.

3.) Rescue Dawn - This is a Werner Herzog film with Christian Bale. I didn't know much about it before I watched it, except that it was a Vietnam flick. The first thing I noticed was that my college friend Toby is in it. He plays the funny guy, which is his normal gig, but he does it really well. The second thing was that it seemed really familiar, and then I realized it was the same story as a documentary, also by Herzog, called Little Dieter Needs to Fly that I saw several years ago. The movie was very slow moving, but the scenery and the character studies were pretty interesting.

4.) Rachel Getting Married - Many of you have already seen this Jonathan Demme movie. I know a lot of people had issues with it, but I really liked it. It's filmed in such a way that you feel like you just got dropped off at a wedding where you don't really know anyone and you have to figure out all the family dynamics on your own. Of course, the people were completely foreign to me. I've never come close to living in that kind of privilege, but again, I liked that escapism about it. Oh, and there was tons of great and varied music too.

I watched this with Coadster and it brought on some interesting conversations. The most obvious being the subject of addiction. I try to impress moderation and balance upon my girls. Most people are told not to drink, but most people end up drinking at some point in their lives. I talk to the girls about how to drink responsibly. As I've said many times before, I have to be very careful about how much I drink, because I have almost no tolerance for alcohol. They don't call me two beer Churlita for nothin'. I tell the girls that when they get to a point in their lives to drink, not to play drinking games or do a bunch of shots or share a pitcher. If you drink cans or bottles, it's a lot harder to get roofied and you can keep better track of how much you've had. I've also said, it's one thing to have a drink here and there but if you have to take drugs or alcohol just to get through the day, you need to look closely at what your real problem is.

The other subject we talked about was the family dynamic in the film. Debra Winger (I also made Coadster watch some YouTube clips from Urban Cowboy after she said she'd never heard of Debra Winger before. Some people may consider that child abuse) played the emotionally distant mother. Having me for a mom, Coadster thought she was really weird. She didn't understand why she couldn't just have a real conversation about things or want to share in her daughters' lives.

Coadster wondered if Anne Hathaway's character was the middle child and if that was why she needed so much attention. I said I thought so. Then Coadster made some comment about how everyone knows that the youngest kid always gets all the attention. Just like how Stinky is so much more spoiled than she was. I told her that I thought that was an interesting perception, since Stinky said almost the same thing about her just the other day. Coadster seemed shocked and wanted to know how anyone could think she was spoiled. I gave her several examples, and she said, "Oh. I guess I never thought about it that way."

Okay. That's probably enough of my pseudo movie/show reviews. Come back tomorrow and I'm sure I'll prattle on and on about nothing again.


Mr Atrocity said...

Is watching Debra Winger videos the new "being grounded" punishment then? "If you don't tidy your room young lady you'll have to watch half an hour of Debra Winger on YouTube..."

Stern disciplinarian.

Remiman said...

Your relationship with your daughters is a treasure.

Ananda girl said...

I have managed to miss all of these.
There is so much testosterone at my house that we hardly have time with all the zombies and mall rat stuff.

I think its great that you watch with your girls and talk about it. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore situations like addiction or abuse. Kids are curious but not always comfortable asking out of the blue.

Pamela said...

It's so nice you can have such good conversations with them! And love your photos.

Anonymous said...

I think you're going about the drinking subject with your girls the right way. I was never forbidden from drinking, I was never told it was wrong or evil, I just chose not to on my own. You're doing a good job over there, except for showing Coadster Urban Cowboy clips.

Johnny Yen said...

I am the king of shitty movies, believe me.

I read an interview with Debra Winger a couple years back (conducted by Tom Robbins, no less!). She took a hiatus for a couple of reasons-- to raise her kid and because she felt that the roles for a woman over forty in Hollywood were not too plentiful and not too good. She was in a documentary, "Searching For Debra Winger," directed by Rosanna Arquette, who also talked to other actresses about the subject.

laura b. said...

Thanks for all the viewing pleasures! Definitely want to check out #1 Ladies Detective Agency...and the fact that I haven't seen Tough Love is sure some sort of oversight.

I really like Debra Winger. I read a book she wrote called Undiscovered, which is full of these really lovely, poetic thoughts about her life as an actress, a wife, and mother.

Tara said...

"Rachel Getting Married" is sitting on my couch right now, unwatched. Gotta watch it.

girl crush said...

oh my god! i just looked up your friend toby and learned the most amazing thing - he played artie on the adventures of pete and pete. artie just so happens to be one of my most favorite characters of all time. i am so impressed. "i'm artie. the strongest maaaannn in the world!"

p.s. i hope you're feeling better for two reasons. 1. i don't like it when you're sick because i heart you. and most importantly, 2. i am selfish and want you to be able to come out and play this weekend!

Mnmom said...

Debra Winger is great, except that whole Officer and a Gentleman thing - that made me want to slap somebody. I love to watch movies with my teens but it's hard to carve out time without the nine year old around.

MrManuel said...

Rescue Dawn is an amazing movie. I loved it! I walked in to someone's house while they were walking Rachel Getting Married and it was some long 20 minute party scene. It didn't look very good...much like Urban Cowboy. :-)

Churlita said...

Mr Atrocity,

That's right. I'm a total hard-ass. Maybe Stinky will start handing in her assignments and if not, it's Terms of Endearment for her ass.


Thanks. We have our days and then again we have our other days. You know how up and down it can be with teenagers.


I love zombie movies and my girls aren't really into them. Maybe we can trade kids for a night.


If nothing else, we are all good at talking. Probably too good sometimes.


I know, the Urban cowboy videos were bad. I just hope neither one of my girls ever develop an addiction. It seems to ruin lives.

Johnny Yen,

I've heard of that documentary. I just haven't seen it yet. Maybe I'll make my daughter watch it with me too.


I really liked her in Rachel Getting Married. I haven't seen her in anything else in so long.


Like I said, some people really like it and others, not so much.

Girl Crush,

I'm much better.

That's funny that you love Toby's character In Pete and Pete. If I remember correctly, that started as part of his stand-up and was one of the first things that got him noticed. He's one of my FAcebook friends too.


Yeah, my girls are only 16 months apart in age, so I don't have to worry about the age difference and appropriateness for the most part.


I like Rescue Dawn a lot too. I don't know if someone who wanted tons of action and shit blowing up would be quite as into it.

DJSassafrass said...

I love Jill Scott. That's about all I've got today.