Pop Culture Blind Spots: Serendipity

I knew that Serendipity was a romantic comedy that I hadn’t seen, and I was okay with that. I love the genre, but you can’t see them all, right? That was before last week, when I was saw Serendipity in a listicle of Christmas rom-coms. A Christmas rom-com that I haven’t seen is like my holy grail of Netflix-surfing. God. Anyway, it is streaming on Netflix so I decided to remedy the situation STAT, crossing another item off of our long list of pop culture blind spots in the process.

The film opens with Louis Armstrong singing about Santa. So it’s like, CHRISTMAS-CHRISTMAS, not one scene or something. I am shocked.

Molly Shannon is in this? And John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale? I feel like Cusak and Beckinsale make a weird couple, but okay.

This version of Bloomingdale’s at Christmas-time is actually almost crowded and terrible enough to be accurate.

143 online shopping AAF

 

It’s time to talk about John Cusack’s haircut. It’s very feathered for the early 2000s, isn’t it? Like a youth hockey coach in 1991.

Everyone is arguing about a pair of gloves at a store. Please, let this movie not be about people I hate. Anyway, they’re trying to have a meet cute – – also they make a transgender joke that’s not necessarily offensive but still surprising for 2001.

They don’t show the part where they wait in line for 40 minutes to get into Serendipity. Those frozen hot chocolates are legit, though.

My friend who went to high school in Long Island knew girls who had “Serendipity days” where they’d go to the city and do stuff that was in the movie, presumably forcing their boyfriends to play along. It was that popular, apparently. I did wait in line to get into Serendipity 3 during its peak popularity, but as I said, the frozen hot chocolate was legit and I have no regrets.

Best part of this movie so far TBH.

I can’t lie, serendipity actually also is one of my favorite words. It’s a long list, admittedly.

Wow. Cusack (Jonathan), a man with a girlfriend, just went straight for announcing to Kate Beckinsale, a woman with a boyfriend, that he has a crush on her. I think this is about people I hate.

They proceed decide to go on a date even though they’re both dating other people, and Kate Beckinsale is wearing a chunky, short sweater like people wore in the early 2000s, along with tights and shorts even though they’re ice skating. In the snow.

Has the costume designer even been to New York? Or, like, outdoors?

Raise your hand if you’d have to beg off from this date because you’re garbage at ice skating.

Ah, yes. Yep. Jonathan begins freckle-flirting. I know that trick.

I think I’m going to end up loving this movie, as I do most rom-coms, but so far (by the end of the day they meet) I’m not sold yet because we’ve been given no information about these people, and no reason to care about them or whether they end up together.

Instead of just “losing his number,” Kate Beckinsale has Jonathan write his name and number on a $5 bill, spends it, then says if it comes back to her it will be meant to be. That is really some high order Manic Pixie Dream Girling.

For the record, we still don’t know Kate Beckinsale’s name.

It’s Sara.

I can’t help but be annoyed that both of these people already have significant others who they’ve been ditching all night.

There are a lot of Christmas sweaters! Non-ironic ones. Were those more popular 15 years ago?

Cool, now Jonathan is making a whole elevator full of people stop at every floor to find the one that Sara whimsically chose so that she could see if there was *fate* or something.

Awesome. NOW Jonathan is grabbing random brunette women on the street from behind while looking for Sara. Bro. Go home to your girlfriend.

A few years later, Jonathan is engaged to not-Sara. Sara is a therapist or something in San Francisco living in a picturesque cottage that’s got to have an insane market value. She also gets engaged in a fire hazard candle death trap with a ring inside of a Russian nesting-box scenario. Can nobody in this movie just do things the easy way?

Now playing: Burn from Hamilton.

Jonathan goes through life imagining Sara everywhere, like that one episode of Full House where the Tanners go to Disney and D.J. keeps seeing Steve.

Sara’s fiance plays sitar (?) and is inconsiderate, so you instantly dislike him and want her to find Jonathan’s manic pixie five-spot.

Molly Shannon is here! Why isn’t she in everything? She is delightful.

OK, but Sitar Fiance is hilarious. I mean you hate him, but he’s so dopey that it’s funny.

Sara and Molly Shannon are in NY to hunt for the guy she could have just given her phone number to years ago.

Know what I don’t miss? Super low-rise jeans.

Molly Shannon, the sassy strait-talking best friend who is all of us, tells Sara that if everything in life were determined by fate there would be no reason to do anything, ever.

It’s so hard to remember which one is Kate Beckinsale and which is Kate Bosworth. Kate Beckinsale, British, has a 16-year-old which I always find surprising. Kate Bosworth, American, was in Blue Crush and 21, a movie I went to on a first date with a guy who turned out to be a mistake.

Jonathan and fiancee Halley are at their wedding rehearsal, which means I may have to hate him for inevitably – but serendipitously! – falling in love with Sara, unless she’s cheating.

But he will fall in love with her, because Molly Shannon turns out to be friends with Halley. Plot twist! SERENDIPITY.

As a groom’s gift, Halley gives Jonathan a book. Not just any book, though! Sara’s Manic Pixie Dream Book with her phone number in the cover.

Either there is a ticking clock sound effect to show that time’s a-tickin’, or there’s a clock somewhere in my house living room that I didn’t know about.

Remember how big cell phones used to be? Remember how they had those little antennae?

There’s some convoluted stuff with Jonathan and Sara both flying places.

Remember when you had to pay for headsets on airplanes?

Anyway, Sara gets the manic pixie fiver on the plane.

The wedding is called off. Jonathan SITS DOWN on an ICE RINK like he doesn’t care that his BUTT IS COLD. People skate around him but you can’t just do that. You can’t just expect people to skate around you. Yet isn’t that what this whole movie is about? Being as impossible as you know how to be and making everyone else skate around you?

Just a generally bad approach to life.

Oh okay cool. Now he’s laying down, just waiting to get run over by skate blades. Like I know your wedding was just cancelled, but you seemed not that into your fiancee anyway, so.

Sara comes to take Jonathan off the ice and they fall in love, then they do that annoying thing with the gloves again.

Is the lesson supposed to be that true love is always fate? Because I think the lesson is really that if you leave things up to fate, you end up having to do 20 times more work to get what you want than if you had just gone after it in the first place.

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Golden Globes 2015 – Best and Worst Dressed

With the Golden Globes last night, we’re officially in awards season mode. Queens Tina and Amy made their third and final appearance as hosts, our love for Amal ‘The dress is Dior Couture by the gloves are my own’ Clooney grew even more, and for some reason, the tears were flowing so much that you’d think we had watched the last 8 hours of Titanic during the show.

That being said, the Globes came and went as fast as Leo DiCaprio’s model girlfriends, and with the 2015 ceremony behind us, we’re picking our hits and misses on the red carpet. Are your faves on the list?

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Amal Clooney in Dior

The dress was vintage Dior. The gloves were her own. She accessorized with a Je Suis Charlie pin. You win the night, Amal. I appreciate an understated look with one fashion risk tossed in, erring on the side of classy risk (gloves) not tacky (crotch-high slits).

 

Kate Beckinsale in Elie Saab

So, I’ve never thought to myself “Kate Beckinsale: fashion icon” – more like “Kate Beckinsale: which one is she?” because I always have to think about who she is vs. Kate Bosworth. But Beckinsale keeps nailing it on the red carpet, so I have a feeling I’ll be a lot better at remembering which one she is in the future. This is the rare gown that – if you click through to the source – actually looks better on her than it did on the runway, with the neckline altered to be slightly less plunging. I love the dark nails, clean makeup, and after several years of tousled waves on the red carpet, even the tidy updo is refreshing.

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

I was about to write this off as too bridal at first. But honestly, brides WISH they could look this good. This is how a fairly simple design concept can look amazing: perfect tailoring, an interesting brocade fabric, and accessories – it wouldn’t work without that belt. If I could change anything, I’d ditch the bridal-white clutch and swap the dainty silver bangle for a thinner, more solid bracelet.

Julianne Moore in Givenchy

Usually sequins and feathers would get a big “no, not really” from me. But leave it to the preferred designer of Audrey Hepburn to nail it with a minimalist neckline and bodice and silvery ombre.

Matt Bomer in Ralph Lauren Black Label

Okay, boys. THIS is how you do non-black Black Tie. In a decade’s time, these ’50s-influenced, slim-cut tuxedos are going to look so 2010s. I don’t even care. I’m so over those schlumpy, baggy tuxedo pants that look like they could be concealing a diaper.

Honorable Mention: Quvenzhane Wallis in Armani – that little munchkin is dressed exactly how an 11-year-old nominated for her performance in Annie should be. And Tina Fey’s tuxedo, because good Lord, that wasn’t even fair.

Traci’s Picks

Diane Kruger in Emilia Wickstead

Golden Globe Awards? More like SILVER Globe Awards, amirite?? Diane was just one of the many stars wearing a shimmery silver last night, including Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Dakota Johnson, etc. etc. But I think Diane wore it best – it’s not too outlandish like JLo’s, but it’s also not as simple as Reese’s. There’s more too it than just a gown. It has depth and lines – but let’s be real, if anyone else wore this, it wouldn’t look as good.

 

Emily Blunt in Michael Kors

She may not have walked away with an award last night, but Emily is certainly on the top of a lot of best dressed lists today. She looks like a goddess (said in my head with a British accent like ‘god-DESS’) in this flowing white gown. She paired it perfectly with the pop of color with her bracelet and earrings and a perfect braid atop her head. Flawless.

 

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad

Being a model, Chrissy has a penchant for hitting her red carpet look out of the park, and this was no exception. I feel like in person, this baby pink lace dress is even more impressive, and that makes me love it even more. And although John Legend won last night, Chrissy of course made her mark by getting caught making this face, and within minutes she was an internet meme. God bless.

 

Taylor Schilling in Ralph Lauren

As I’m typing this I just realized I also chose Taylor for one of my Best Dressed at the Emmys last year, so I guess she’s killing it on the red carpet as of late? Any type of gown that flares out like that reminds me of a classing Hollywood style, which is perfect for this event. It’s simple yet sexy, and if only she had changed her makeup a little, this would’ve been the perfect look.

 

Emma Stone in Lanvin

Boy, do I enjoy a good pantsuit. I love when ladies say ‘screw traditional women’s fashion – i’m gonna wear pants!’. (BTW best dressed not on my list includes Tina Fey in that tux that made me question my sexuality for a second). Anyways, Emma is the type of gal who can make this look classy yet fun, and that sash – THAT SASH is the perfect accessory. Also, pockets. What girl doesn’t love pockets?!

 

Worst Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Katie Holmes in Marchesa

This shape and color is perfect for the erstwhile Josephine Potter. So what’s the problem? Easy: that it’s one of those fabrics that creases in a not-so-attractive way when you wear it. I really feel for Katie Holmes here – how many of us have been there with something that looks awesome when you try it on, and becomes a wrinkly mess after 10 minutes of sitting and moving around?

Keira Knightley in Chanel

This is a dress worth breaking our usual taboo over having too much overlap on our lists. It’s like part Delia*s, part prom dress from The Virgin Suicides, part Wendy Darling’s nightgown. Hey, at least she tried something?

Conchita Wurst

Conchita Wurst’s fame hasn’t really reached U.S. shores yet, but I’m feeling pretty “you do you” about the beard. The internet might have room for fashion police, but not gender binary police. I just don’t like how the dress reminds me of a Halloween costume for Hot Rose Dewitt Bukater. There’s also some poor timing going on – it reminds me of that much-maligned green dress that took Twitter by storm last week.

Kristin Dos Santos in Walter Mendez

This cut makes her look weirdly bottom-heavy.  If you erase everything from a few inches above the knee on down the dress looks great, so there’s something screwy about how the mermaid effect was tailored.

Alan Cumming in Calvin Klein

What even is this?

Traci’s Picks

Lana Del Rey in Travilla

Looks like Lana’s living out of the waters, probably gonna go spend a day warm on the sand. Thingamabobs? She’s got twenty.

 

Jemima Kirk in Rosie Assoulin

I’m all for a cape but Jemima, who has always been known for her eccentric fashion style, looks like she was dressing up to be Queen Elsa for her kids and found some fabric leftover from 1989 to throw on as a top. Also, she looks exactly like Selina Meyers’ daughter Katherine in Veep, no?

 

Jill Soloway in this suit

Props to Transparent creator Jill for rockin this suit, but I feel like I’ve zoomed into a Magic Eye book.

 

Katie Cassidy in Black Canary couture 

I think Katie Cassidy thought she was going to prom last night… but prom in like 2002.

 

Kiera Knightley in Chanel 

I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine picking a dress for a high-profile event like the Golden Globes could be particularly daunting. But Kiera’s always been a fashion forward-type gal, so one would assume her style tastes wouldn’t change once she got preggo. Unfortch, that didn’t happen. She looks like a tablecloth from a grandma’s summer home up in the Adirondacks. And I just noticed the huge butterfly bracelet. Ring? Purse? In the words of Miley, ‘Butterfly fly away’.

 

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