Pop Culture Blind Spot: Darby O’Gill And The Little People

Three truths and a lie, St. Patrick’s Day Edition:

  • I grew up Irish dancing and thus I never went to school on St. Patrick’s Day because I had performances.
  • I mostly look like a leprechaun.
  • Every year, my family watched Darby O’Gill and the Little People sometime around St. Paddy’s day.
  • I despair every time someone calls it St. Patty’s Day. Who’s Patricia?

Answer: As you probably guessed from the post title, I’ve never seen Darby O’Gill and The Little People. The 1959 Disney movie is a cheesy, beloved Irish-American classic starring (according to Wikipedia)… Sean Connery?! Woah. In my defense, in the 90s if your family didn’t have the VHS tape of a movie or it didn’t air on a station you got, you just didn’t see it. I’m rectifying that now, so please don’t disinvite me from the next ceilidh or soda bread baking night.

Set design of Irish movies from the 1940s-1970s is the main reason for a lot of lingering Irish stereotypes. Namely, that it’s always vaguely the 1800s with thatch roofs and dirty stucco walls and like … spinning wheels and butter churns and shawls everywhere.

Is the old lady, The Widow Sugrue,  the same old lady from The Wedding Singer? I know it’s impossible but one has to wonder.

It’s not.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Pretty Young Lass Needs A Husband

It takes me about 3 minutes to get into the mode where I understand what anybody is saying. It’s not because I’m not used to Irish accents. It’s because these aren’t Irish accents (Katie’s is often OK. Widow Sugrue’s reminds me of elementary school plays where you didn’t know how to do the accent you were supposed to do so you just talked weird).

It’s called Darby O’Gill and The Little People, and for whatever reason I assumed Darby would be a leprechaun too. Nope. Just a guy.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Group Of Men Telling Legends In A Pub.

The special effects of Darby talking to leprechaun King Brian are surprisingly very good. Sometimes I think modern CGI makes things look more fake than old-school camera tricks.

The image links to an explanation of some of the *movie magic.* I’m duly impressed.

It also reminds me of the parts of Mr. Rogers when take the trolley to the Land of Puppetville or whatever that was.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Village Priest Solving A Financial Problem.

Young Sean Connery could get it.

By the way, Sean Connery is one of those people who’s never been young. He’s 29 here and his face is care-worn and weathered.

Everyone’s sideburns are huge. Little House on the Prairie sideburns.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Woman Leans Out A Half-Door.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Old Man Plays The Fiddle.

These leprechauns have the best outfits. They’re total Keebler Elf getups.

I’d live inside this Leprechaun Ceilidh. It’s like the Trolls hideout without all the LSD, or Munchkinland without the specter of murder. Yet, anyway.

So many dorky Irish in-references: Brian Boru, the harp that once thro Tara’s halls, a tribe of people cowering away from direct sunlight (no? Just me?).

When Darby plays his fiddle really fast and the leprechauns start dancing crazy, you could forget what I said about “without all the LSD” before. This is trippy.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Somebody Gets Someone Drunk In Order To Trick Them.

Always been a sucker for a cat vs leprechaun sequence. Another triumph for old-school special effects.

All these songs sound the same. Bless Janet Munro and Sean Connery. They’re trying so hard to have Irish accents in their scenes together. Sean Connery has natural 21st Century American Invisalign Teeth. Janet Munro, an English actress, definitely looks Irish.

Darby would be a cute name for a dog, right?

Darby, requesting whisky: The best in the house!

Barmaid: [look of shock and fear, because best in the house means things are SERIOUS. Also because Darby gives the drink to a man inside his rucksack.]

I start laughing out loud when Katie starts singing in a drippy voice while preening her weird short bangs and suddenly I can’t stop laughing.

Keep expecting this to turn into an SNL sketch where King Brian is really gross or filthy.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Woman Gets Offended When Man Loves Her.

The banshee looks like you’re meant to be looking at it through special glasses.

“29. Sean Connery is TWENTY NINE” – me, out loud, trying to convince myself that Very Adult Man Sean Connery isn’t even 30 here.

The ghostly horse and carriage is actually spooky in a laser light show at the planetarium kind of way. If I saw this as a kid I’d be unnerved.

By the way, the headless horseman doesn’t really have an Irish accent, either.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I laugh every time they sing that stupid song.

If you’re playing Irish Movie Bingo, fill in your square for Characters Drive Away In A Horse-Drawn Cart.

The bottom line: I enjoy old movies, and this was an enjoyable old movie. The underlying question with our Pop Culture Blind Spot posts is whether cult favorites are good of their own accord, or if you have to have some sort of earlier sentimental connection to them to really love them.  I could see being really into Darby O’Gill And The Little People if I had loved it as a kid, and seeing at is an adult I have a healthy appreciation for the old-school special effects and the imaginative story. It actually made me realize, in comparison, how much more I liked last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Pop Culture Blind Spot, The Quiet Man. In the battle between Rugged Men Who Aren’t Irish Playing Rugged Men Who Are, Sean Connery vs John Wayne, John Wayne takes this round.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tomorrow, October 20th, we’ll be introduced to another TV musical, and just in time for Halloween – The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Unlike Sound of Music, The Wiz, or the best of them all, Grease Live!, this is NOT live. But it does feature a lot of stunt casting with Victoria Justice and Adam Lambert and Laverne Cox as Dr. Frank-n-Furter. Now I have no emotional ties to this movie/musical, so I could care less. But I imagine there are folks out there that do. But you fall into the same category as I do, here’s a post from last year, when I watched the movie for the very first time. Spoiler alert: I did not enjoy it.

 


Pop Culture Blind Spot: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s been 40 years since The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released and for the past four decade’s it’s been a cult classic. It’s spawned countless stage productions, midnight dress-up movie sing-a-long showings and even a Glee episode. But it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time.

If you’re just joining us for our Pop Culture Blind Spots series, we basically live blog our first viewing of something we’ve never seen before but we probably should have. So let’s start by sharing my knowledge of Rocky Horror:

  • Susan Sarandon plays an innocent girl
  • Tim Curry is in drag
  • Time Warp is a song. So is Touch a Touch a Touch a Touch Me.
  • I somehow confuse this show with Little Shop of Horrors in my head and often picture Tim Curry with a talking venus flytrap.
  • I guess I don’t really know the plot?

Alright, so here I am, about to watch Rocky Horror and in full disclosure this might not end favorably for Rocky fans. You’ve been warned.

Haven’t even started the movie yet, and I have to decide whether or not to watch the US version or the UK version… apparently the Brits get an extra song called Superheroes, because America hates heroism. Also there’s an option called “I’m frightened”, and I didn’t pick it because WHY ARE THERE SO MANY OPTIONS JUST TO PLAY THE DAMN MOVIE. 

I already hate these talking lips. Literally it’s talking to me during the DVD menu selection. “Everything is in readyness, we nearly await your selection”, it says to me. SHHH.

I feel like we’ve gotten off to a bad start. Let’s collect ourselves and calm down.

Did movies made in 1975 still have credits in the beginning or was this a style choice made specifically for this film? Either way, I appreciate it

The side of the car said “WAIT TIL TONITE SHE GOT HERS NOW HE’LL GET HIS” …. she got her… sex? I’m too young for this movie.
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I was not aware this movie was in black and white.

Janet’s boyfriend is proposing right after a wedding and defaced church property. Poor form all around.

I’ve never heard Susan Sarandon sing before? Gosh she’s pretty and hasn’t aged.

Who is this Hitchcockian character breaking the fourth wall??

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Janet is using a newspaper to cover herself from the pouring rain. First of all, she is completely drenched. Second, the newspaper is made out of some type of waterproof paper because it’s not soggy at all.

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Maybe it’s because it’s 1975, but TBH, if I walked up to a rando house in the middle of the night in a storm and this dude with the balding hair with Dracula voice answered the door, I’d be all, ‘Oh sorry, wrong house BYE’. NOT TONIGHT SIR. 

Is American Gothic a theme here

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There was a star wipe effect. Did someone edit this on Windows Movie Maker

Oh it’s in color now.

This Time Warp scene is like if Cabaret met Grease and they were meeting in Jeckyll and Hyde’s home office. Also, Eyes Wide Shut.

SPEAKING AS A TAP DANCER THIS WOMAN’S TAP DANCING IS HORRENDOUS AND NOT MATCHING WITH THE SOUNDS OF THE TAPS

HOLD UP. THE 20TH CENTURY FOX LOGO SHOWED UP AGAIN AND IT’S THE SAME OPENING FROM THE BEGINNING? IS THIS LIKE GROUNDHOG DAY (which I watched for the first time a couple months ago)

Is my DVD doing something weird because now the credits are in color, as opposed to black and white when I started this shit 20 minutes ago… OK lit’rally this movie just restarted from the beginning to be in color is this what really happens because I’m fast forwarding.

We’ve managed to move past the 20 minute mark without going back to the beginning. Never have I been so excited to see Tim Curry as a transvestite *apologies for saying ‘in drag’ earlier*. Also, Tim Curry has a huge mouth. take that as you will. I’m already obsessed with him.

Also Barry Bostwick was a babe??

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What kind of fuckery is this? A mummy in formaldehyde? Maybe not formaldehyde. But might as well be.

This is horrible but my other prior experience with Rocky Horror is the Glee episode, and I distinctly remember Chord Overstreet in these tight gold lamé underwears.

Guys, TBH I’m like paying half attention and have no idea what’s happening. Why did Meatloaf just crash through the wall of the Tim Curry’s Willy Wonka laboratory on a motorcycle??

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Yoooo did Tim Curry just murder Meatloaf with an axe

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Why is Janet sleeping in a malaria tent?

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Now the Igor hunchback is walking around with a candelabra and throwing the wax on the gold lamé naked guy. Honestly have no idea what’s going on.

Brad just had sex with Tim Curry? And Brad was okay with it? Oh I guess it’s fine because Janet just sought out Gold Lamé to have sex with her.

Dr. Scott is here. It is someone’s birthday. They’ve been having dinner on a table with a dead person in a coffin underneath it. So that’s another normal thing going on at this mansion.

Funniest thing to happen so far: Igor and busty maid laughing hysterically then Igor suddenly reprimanding her: SHUT UP

I’m gonna be honest with y’all – I lost interest around this point. I got distracted, decided not to pause the movie, but didn’t understand what was happening anyways and I probably skipped a a lot of things moving forward.

They’re in a pool now. Having a huge orgy while the dude in the wheelchair is watching from afar. Because at this point, why the hell not.

Why are there lazer guns involved now?

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Are these aliens?

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Oh it’s Igor and what’s her name?? Gold lamé shorts just shook his fist as he’s trying to carry Tim Curry on his back.

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They fell into the poolWHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS HAPPENING

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I give up y’all. This isn’t for me. I don’t get it. But respect for those who do. 

Unpopular opinion I’m assuming most people will disagree with:

Rating of Rocky Horror: 1 spear shaped lazer gun (out of like 20)

Pop Culture Blind Spot: The Princess Bride

I know someone out there is thinking it – where was my childhood? – but here’s the thing. Somehow, between 1986 and 2004, I aged from 0 to 18 and never saw The Princess Bride. I even did high school theater, where it was decided – by secret ballot, I assume –  that everyone on stage crew would love The Princess Bride. I knew the Inigo Montoya line and all, but believe it or not nobody ever produced the DVD during theater sleepovers (probably because if theater kids’ love for The Princess Bride was eclipsed by one thing in the early 2000s, it was Moulin Rouge). Like almost all of our pop culture blind spots, this wasn’t intentional, but it happened and I’m rectifying it today.

  • This is still how I default to imagining video games looking. I’m not saying that as someone who hates video games, I’m saying that as someone who has an OG NES in her living room.
    This image links to a site directing Fred's bedroom so there goes my afternoon.

    This image links to a site directing Fred’s bedroom so there goes my afternoon.

     

  • I know I had seen Fred Savage’s awesome 80s bedroom set before, yet I still thought this took place entirely in … vaguely in the Middle Ages.

 

  • “When I was your age, television was called books.” – Fred Savage’s grandpa. I already love this.
  • I feel more uncomfortable during the eye sex between Wesley and Buttercup than I do during actual sex scenes, in the ‘I’m not meant to be watching this’ way.
    Some of the more effective eye-acting I've seen.

    Some of the more effective eye-acting I’ve seen.

     

  • Eye Sex Wesley died already? Even though he looks like a gentle English singer-songwriter?
    Cary Elwes, whom I now have a belated crush on. WHERE WAS MY CHILDHOOD?

    Cary Elwes, whom I now have a belated crush on. WHERE WAS MY CHILDHOOD?

    Johnny Flynn, whose songs I sometimes cry to.

    Johnny Flynn, whose songs I sometimes cry to.

     

  • When the guys on stage crew were obsessed with this, it was definitely the Andre the Giant/ Wallace Shawn / Mandy Patinkin sass humor I was thinking about.
  • Buttercup was basically gonna be kidnapped by that king or kidnapped by these guys then, huh? Also, I never noticed before how very pretty Robin Wright is.
  • I like how the sets with the cliffs and the ocean are super fake looking. I don’t mean that in the sense where people say “I like how” when they mean “I hate how.” It has a storybook quality and also reminds me of movies from the 30s-60s.

    Just the right kind of fake.

    Just the right kind of fake.

  • Do high school stage crews still love The Princess Bride? Somebody find out. I can’t, as I’m 30.
  • Is the Shrek Puss In Boots modeled after this Zoro Guy? They have the exact same vibe:

  • If this doesn’t end in the princess winning her own freedom and outsmarting everybody I’ll be pretty disappointed.
  • [I really loved The Paper Bag Princess in my youth, ok.]
  • But surely it will end with her getting together with the Johnny Flynn-looking guy who isn’t dead after all?

A. DID NOT AT ALL see Zorro being Westley and I don’t even think it was supposed to be a surprise. The joys of watching a movie so old that nobody cares enough to spoil it.

B. DID NOT AT ALL see Westley being a sass-pants – I thought his main thing was being subservient.

C. His mustache and ponytail are bad.

D. The movie isn’t even half over, so I clearly called this one wrong.

  • Actually I am liking the ponytail within a few minutes.

    But it IS that awkward length when you're growing out a bob and it doesn't all fit back easily.

    But it IS that awkward length when you’re growing out a bob and it doesn’t all fit back easily.

  • I wonder how Buttercup feels about Westley now that he tells long stories instead of doing chores for her. (The story about getting the ship from some guy who was also not the Dread Pirate Roberts was funny.)

  • Sure, Buttercup is chilled out about her gown getting caught on fire, but the Jim Hensons Workshop-looking giant weasels give her the willies. Honestly, same.
  • Fred Savage says that Buttercup doesn’t marry Humperdinck. I agree. He says it wouldn’t be fair because of all that Westley did for her. I resist the urge to rage at baby-Fred-Savage-from-the-past because a human is not a reward.
  • (I agree that Humperdinck sucks and Buttercup and Westley are endgame, obviously.)
  • Are there gifs of the homeless lady saying Boo, Boo, Boo?

Not only are there gifs and videos, the character is named THE ANCIENT BOOER.

  • So Westley may get to marry Buttercup, if he gets the mail fast enough?
  • JK he never sent the ships. Buttercup’s gonna throw down. It’s all happening.
  • What is Fred Savage sick with? Why is he so sick that his elderly grandpa has to come read stories at him? Honestly a little distressed that Fred Savage has some serious chronic illness that they haven’t addressed.

  • I think it’s beautiful that the two people with the speech impediments have each other.
  • Ewww they had better get there before they “escort her to the honeymoon suite.” Gross.
  • [Obviously the mawiage part is funny but I knew it was coming. See comments above re: high school theater. Carol Kane is a dream. As is the makeup artist, because Kane was only 30-something.]
  • I want an interactive art installation that is Fred Savage’s bedroom and you can go in and touch everything. 10/10 best set decoration ever.
  • WHAT is this boy sick with. Seriously.
  • Wow, I truly didn’t know that Rob Reiner directed it.

Okay, this is the thing we hope for every time we do a Pop Culture Blind Spot: I LIKED this. We don’t do these to make fun of other people’s beloved favorite movies, we do them to catch up on some popular or cult classics that somehow got by us. Now I am wishing we had shelved Moulin Rouge during at least ONE of those sleepovers so I could have seen this sooner.

 

ICYMI: Meet Brit at the Crossroads

Get ready to feel old – it’s been 16 years since Britney’s Oops… I Did It Again! was released. If you’re feeling nostalgic, fellow AARP members, read on as we revisit one of Brit’s most iconic songs.

Happy Sweet 16, Oops… I Did It Again!

One of the most iconic teen pop songs of the early 2000s is now in its teen prime itself. This past weekend, Oops… I Did It Again turned Sweet Sixteen! (For you hardcore BritBits, that’s the song, not the album: it was released in May.) There are now full-blown, driving-eligible humans who were not even born yet when the single was released. In honor of the big(?) event, here are 16 facts about Oops… I Did It Again or Britney Jean Spears herself. I like to think of this as the point during MTV’s Super Sweet 16 (remember THAT?) where the girls would say what or whom each candle was for.

  1. According to the Britney Spears trading card I somehow ended up with as a teen (and which someone posted!), Brit’s favorite color was baby blue and she loved cookie dough ice cream. BTW, baby blue was THE trendy favorite color in 1998-2001. I believe Aaliyah liked it, too. Yet I can’t remember my bank password without answering where my parents met.

2. Britney followed up Oops… with Lucky, a song that was very deep and soulful according to me at age 13. It was about a girl named Lucky who cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart. It was clearly about Brit herself, I figured. 

3. You may think that starting a song title with “oops” is a wacky choice, but it was actually an early 2000s micro-trend: Oops (Oh My) by Tweet (feat. Missy Elliot) came out in 2002.

4. Ellipses, believe it or not, are slightly more popular. Classic children’s album Free to Be… You And Me aside, if you’re old enough to remember 2000 Britney, you’re old enough to remember the 90s songs Can I Touch You…There and Said I Loved You… But I Lied. Both are by Michael Bolton, who really did love a good ellipses.


I don’t know about you, but sometimes if I listen to one Brit song, I’ll end up listening to her entire discography and watch all the things she’s ever been in. And that includes the epic Shonda Rhimes-penned film, Crossroads.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Crossroads

Okay, you know those movies and shows that everyone has seen, and when it comes up in conversation you just sort of nod and hope nobody asks you anything? I have a lot of those. The entire Godfather series, for example. I know. Anyway, we’re both out to tackle our pop culture blind spots and find out if the phenomenon we’ve missed out on are really all they’re cracked up to be.

Our first installment is a cinematic masterpiece that is the zenith of my generation’s teen entertainment. It stars Britney Spears and was written by a young Shonda Rhimes. And I’m pretty sure I’ve told like 5 people that I’ve seen it when it came up in conversation. That was a lie.

Ladies and gentlemen, Crossroads.

0:00 Not only have I refrained from seeing this movie since it came out in 2002, I have also been pushing it down our post queue for, like, two months. So I think a lot of our Pop Culture Blind Spots are movies, shows and albums that we’ve avoided because a still small voice said “another episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, why don’t we?”

1:00 Taryn Manning, Zoe Saldana, Shonda Rhimes? This was an incubator for stars of the future.

1:20 … and the past. Kool Mo Dee, anyone? [Edit – next morning: I cannot remember where or how Kool Mo Dee appeared in this movie.]

I have already had to pause this to laugh at the Brit Spears voice over.

1:40 The wardrobe department did a very good job on the 90s flashback jacket for young Zoe Saldana (Kit, but it sounds like Britney is saying Kid). It’s easy to picture “90s kids clothes” today, but when it was only a couple years after the fact it was hard to remember what has changed. Like, if you told me to dress a child like it’s 2007, I’d put it in …. an Obama Hope logo tee shirt? No clue.

By the way, young Britney is played by Jamie Lynn Spears, before her life and career went in a totally different direction. You could almost say she was …. at a crossroads.

2:20 There’s a time capsule. I’m hooked.

3:00 Oh thank God. Britney is singing again. Madonna’s Open Your Heart, which is really more suited to a televised mass wedding, to be honest.

3:51 BRIT IS THE VALEDICTORIAN. This is important.

4:10 PENNSATUCKY IS A PREGNANT TEEN. This is more important. I also am not sure how or when Taryn Manning became typecast as the redneck bad girl from the wrong side of the tracks, but she is so amazing at it.

OMG THIS FOREVER YES.

5:50 Why is Brit in a prom dress AFTER graduation? Do they do that in … is this Louisiana?

In my day (2 years after this movie was made) graduation night was the first chance you had to start never seeing most of those people ever again.

6:36 Britney Acting Range: Emotion #1: Pouty. She cries over missing out on high school stuff to become the valedictorian. When she says “I was like ‘is this it?'” you can almost see her straining to recall memorized dialogue.

7:23 They’re at some sort of fancy post-grad soiree. I forgot how shiny and pink 2002 was. Saldana is rocking the rows of twisted hair into a bun look. Sans butterfly clips, because it’s not 1999 here.

Reminiscent of the best Zoe Saldana role of all time, Eva in Center Stage.

10:30 Brit and her Nerdy Male Friend (Lucy and Henry, which sounds more like a preschool class in 2015 than a high school class in 2002) prepare to have sex for, presumably, the first time. There is a scarf strewn over a bedside lamp. Does anyone toss a scarf over a lamp before sex IRL? Anyone? Seems like a fire haz.

Henry, BTW, is Justin Long in his early career.

12:45 Pennsatucky fights with a guy with molded vertical Ken Doll hair.

14:38 The Time Capsule was so boring. Oh my god, so boring. They put in emblems of their hopes and dreams, which is exactly as not-interesting as it sounds. Saldana wanted to get married, Brit wanted to find her mom, and Pennsatucky wanted to get out of dodge.

Britney Acting Range: Emotion #2: Opening a box. Kind of neutral, but wouldn’t most of us be if we were opening such a boring-ass time capsule?

17:10 Brit calls her mom “mother” which gives me hope that things will turn Baby Jane/ Psycho / SOMETHING.

Yo remember those slim-fit rugby shirts we used to wear? I assume there’s a name for them.

That one shirt we all had.

19:40 Bucket hat. Trailer park. They’re going to LA.

21:32 You know those people who,when you’re singing in the car, try to ~show off and sing really good? Britney Spears is that person.

Saldana has those sunglasses with a shape in rhinestone decals. Those are Paige Michalchuk sunglasses.

25:40 Ben was in jail. Ben is the guy they’re driving to LA with. Never take rides from a stranger, friends. That’s how you get serial killed.

27:00 Saldana is rocking some yellow-gold eyeshadow that I also sported a lot c. 2002. I thought it made my blue eyes “pop” but I looked like a baby that needed to get put under those jaundice lights.

Also they’re buying Funyuns. Do people actually like those?

29:00 Dan Aykroyd wants Brit to come home. I have avoided mentioning that Dan Aykroyd was her father till now because it pains me.

31:10 Those shirts with the thin neck scarf thing attached! I had roughly the same top as Saldana has on.

32:18 Pennsatucky and Saldana fight. If anything is redeeming in this movie, it’s Taryn Manning. She is amazing.

Britney Spears Acting Range: Emotion #3: Frustration. Broken-down car on road trip.

35:55 The girls do a Karaoke performance to make money. I Love Rock n Roll. I forgot about that Britney Spears cover. Spears packed a crimper in their luggage, apparently; thank God. She also has one of those shirts where the writing on it is split open in front of her cleavage, and her underwear is a solid inch above her low-rise jeans. Okay. So I have adjusted to the 90s fashion revival, but it’s really going to sting when the early 2000s come back.

38:00 Did you ever notice that Britney changes the end of every word that ends in an “ee” sound into an “ay” sound? ‘He was with may.’ I think that must have been part of the Mickey Mouse Club training protocol, because the late 90s boy bands did that, too. Or is it a very specific accent native to the Oakwood?

43:00 The girls have a slumber party at the house from Pretty Baby.

I waited to add images til my lunch break, and I can’t look up Pretty Baby at work because… have you seen Pretty Baby? But Google it and you’ll see that the set design is 100% the same.

 

Child!Saldana went to fat camp. Is fat camp real? Has anyone been? Will you write a guest post? I’m dying to know more.

44:55: Britney Spears Acting Range: Emotion #4: Rue. Rue? Rueful? She’s bummed. Mom stuff.

You know what this movie is missing? The Shonda Rhimes cadence from Scandal. Where they all “talk like THIS, like.. they are reading a SLAAAM… poem.”

46:00 Wait, Pennsatucky is pregnant because she got date raped? This just got dark.

50:10 How many sing alongs do they have to do? I mean I know it’s a road trip movie… with Britney Spears in it… but I want to leave sing alongs to Man! I Feel Like A Woman on my high school tennis bus where they belong.

54:20 Car Owner Ben was arrested for helping his sister get away from his stepdad. This is the least fun road trip ever.

57:45 NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

Nobody told me that Britney was going to dramatically recite the lyrics to Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman. I would have remembered if somebody told me that. I would have steeled myself for it. Britney Spears Acting Range: Emotion #5: Poetess.

Shouldn’t a valedictorian be better at writing?

1:00:00 Kim Cattrall is here. Maybe that will help. She’s Brit’s mom, who lives in a McMansion. Lots of white, light oak, and giant floral arrangements. The decor preferences of a total bitch. She is dressed like the Crocodile Hunter, may he rest in peace.

1:06:40 Ben set Brit’s “poem” to music. That’s what I’ve been watching for over an hour? The origin story of Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman? Britney Jean Spears’ fifth-best single? Now anybody who knows me knows that I love early 2000s-era Britney … hell, all the Britneys… but this is just too much.

“Not a girl, not yet a woman.” So, a teenager. That’s a teenager.

1:09:20 They’re singing in the car again (If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow, this time). Oh Christ Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God. Sing With All The Saints In Glory. Why? If I wanted to listen to someone sing Sheryl Crow in the car I would go run errands with my mom.*

* If you like me even a little bit, you would love my mom.

1:12 I’m sure they explained this in between sing alongs, but how do they have the money to stay at all these hotels? Car Owner Ben? Now they’re in LA in a room with a beach view that looks like it would be the set of a Mary Kate And Ashley original movie. One of them would be the girly, sweet one and the other would be the sporty, funny one and their names would be Cleo and Baylee. Or Maddi and Lylah. Or Trixie and Summer.

Shea and Maxie?

 

1:14:02 Ben has a back piece of angel wings, but make no mistake, he’s no Helena.

1:15:40 Oh shit. Saldana’s BF is hooking up with some hussy AND he’s wearing one of those zip up bowling shirt things. AND he raped Pennsatucky. So obvi Pennsatucky owes nothing to anybody at this point, but wouldn’t you do a friend a solid and tell her that her BF/Fiance is a rapist? Or like slip it into a note since it’s an uncomfy convo. I’d say you could text it, but in 2002 that would have taken like 15 minutes and that’s IF your plan had texting.

1:18:20 Pennsatucky fell down the stairs getting away from Rapist Dylan and lost the baby. This road trip is the pits. Is anything good going to happen to her ever, or is this an early 2000s cautionary tale about going to parties in the first place or some-such?

I feel like this is an e.e. cummings poem where Milly (Brit) gets to befriend a fallen star whose rays five languid fingers were, and freaking Molly (Pennsatucky, Saldana) has to get chased by a terrible thing that runs sideways blowing bubbles.

1:24 So Pennsatucky sat out her miscarriage or whatever, and now they’re ready to go.

**** At this point, I went to take a picture of the screen but was accidentally on selfie mode. It’s against my better judgement to post this, but this is the ACTUAL UNALTERED FACE I WAS MAKING while watching this:

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Those aren’t so much eyes as saucers brimming with confusion. ***

1:25 Dan Aykroyd comes to collect Brit. She says “don’t make me run, let me go.” Then she hands him her locket so that he can keep half of it and find her at an orphanage in 10 years, and she leaves to make out with the guy she met that week.

There’s a billboard for Spy Kids in the background, to give you an idea of what era we’re in.

And if there were still any doubt of what era we’re in, Brit sings at an American Idol-esque audition wearing a criss-cross crop top with enormous billowing sleeves. Pennsatucky and Saldana, fresh off a miscarriage and finding out her fiancé is a rapist, respectively, sing backup.

1:29 They make a new time capsule, but with no wishes for the future, because I guess Britney is the only character who has one at this point. For they are not girls, not yet women.

Teenagers.

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Flashdance

Despite being alive in the late 1980s, there are a bunch of movies from this decade that I am totally blind to – Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Top Gun, all of which I’ve since seen. Flashdance is one of them.

This movie was released on April 15, 1983, which makes it nearly 33 years old and three years older than me, so this should be a nice FLASHback to the 80s. Although since we’re deep into Cheers, it shouldn’t be that much of a shock.

Knowledge of this film:

Not Jennifer Grey but rather Jennifer Beals is a dancer and she pours a bucket of water on her person. Also, that What a Feeling song.

Actual IMDb description:

A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.

SHE’S A STRIPPER?!?!?!?! WHO WANTS TO GET INTO BALLET SCHOOL?? LIT’RALLY NO IDEA.

The title scrolls across the screen like a screensaver from Windows 95. There was a similar title card in The Bodyguard, was this just a thing then??

So Jennifer Beals a legit welder? In the 80s was this a common job for women? Or was it just in Pittsburgh because… steel?

If Irene Cara’s What a Feeling *now I’m dancing for my life* music wasn’t playing throughout these opening credits I would think this is a horror movie with all the shots of coal and people welding in the dark.

Ok, Jennifer Beals is a stripper but have any of her male co-workers been to her strip club because I feel like that would be an awkward conversation the next morning in the locker room.

Ah yes, the iconic water scene. She’s actually a good dancer. Especially since she’s dancing on water. I would’ve broken half my bones at this point.

Oh is she an exotic dancer in who doesn’t strip?

Well the guy who just walked in knows her social security number and tells his pal that she works for him. So there’s that.

Richie, the cook at the bar/strip club, wants to get out of Pittsburgh and move to Los Angeles, but a guy (who I’m assuming is the big boss) tells him, “They don’t let short people into Hollywood.” I CAN BUST THIS MYTH RIGHT NOW.

“This place is so small you have to go outside to change your mind.” – Richie, A short-order cook who’s definitely going to make it as a comic in LA.

Nick looks like a typical “hunk” from the 1980s. Like Tom Selleck or Dustin Diamond.

She’s holding a Pepsi that is an old school metal can and besides the big hair it’s one of the props that makes it obvious it’s the 1980s.

She’s a Maniac is from this movie? What is this weird lunging she’s doing? I’ve obviously seen this running in place move but she’s not even dancing she’s doing weird warm-ups.

Jennifer Beals – do we even know her character’s name yet it’s Alex – enters a dance school where the hallways are lined with leotard and tight-wearing ballet dancers and it’s like Save the Last Dance all over again.

Is this secretary related to Meryl Streep?

Tom Selleck is hitting on Jennifer Beals and just wants to get a snack with her. Get a freaking snack with him Alex.

Alex has a QT old grandma.

She also has a priest she goes to to confess. Gotta get that coveted Catholic demographic in the theater.

Some dude who’s trying to get people to watch the exotic dancers just used the word “cunts”, so he is problematic.

There is a workout montage set to the tune of I Love Rock and Roll and it is the MOST 80s thing I’ve seen.

There are two pop-locking/breakdancing kids (?) in the street and they are my favorites so far.

I realized there have been two dancing scenes sans dialogue (a skating rink and crossing guard) in a row and I think it’s because Alex is attempting to pick up new dance moves from the literal streets? IS THIS NOT SAVE THE LAST DANCE?

Richie is doing his stand-up act at the bar and no one is laughing. BLESS. The joke that makes everyone laugh: “I’m just a cook. This is my big break. If you don’t laugh then I’m gonna put cockroaches in your hamburgers!”

But really, this club is not a strip club no one has gotten naked. Do these clubs still exist? It’s like Chippendales but more clothes (remind me to tell you about my recent experience at Chippendales).

The dude with the offensive language, whose name is apparently Johnny, tries to grab Alex and get her to go with him to “drink wine and smoke some weed” and I hate him. He also beat up Richie, so he’s the worst.

Nick Selleck comes out of the literal shadows to save Alex and instead of getting a ride home from him, she decides to bike home in the dark. Come on Alex, Selleck isn’t going to do anything to you (he drives behind her the whole time for safety).

Alex has a friend named Jeanie who is a competitive ice skater and it makes me yearn for the Olympics/The Cutting Edge movie. JEANIE FELL. SHE FELL AGAIN. THOSE DAMN TRIPLE AXELS. Her dreams are shattered.

Alex and Nick are on a date and she takes him back to her place (an old warehouse?) to eat pizza. BOW CHICKA WOW WOW.

She changed into a sweatshirt and took off her bra in front of him. This is their first date. And it doesn’t matter because they slept together. Their next date is literally walking down a railroad track which leads to a landfill of steel. Guys, just because you work as welders doesn’t mean you have to make your dates themed as such too.

WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL IS THIS I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING IT’S LIKE A 1980S GEISHA DURING A DREAM SEQUENCE OF HOW PEOPLE FROM THE 80S PICTURED THE FUTURE. OMG LITERALLY THIS SONG IS CALLED IMAGINATION AND HAS THE WORDS “FANTASY” IN IT

“Do you know how to do the horizontal mambo” Asshole dude GTFO

Whooaaa Alex just threw stones through Nick’s window in anger but I missed why she is so upset.

Richie is leaving for LA to go for his dreams as a stand-up coming and I am truly sad to see him go but happy he’s

Oh Alex saw Nick with some blonde chick at a dance benefit, who turned out to be his ex-wife.

“I broke your fucking window!… Go fuck your blonde!” I LOVE ALEX

LOL at all the other welders cheering them on from the peanut gallery

Yo Alex is serving in this tuxedo look.

Nick’s ex-wife LOL she looks like a Scandinavian socialite.

What’s happening here? Is it Halloween? It’s Halloween. There’s a free for all on the stage.

Alex applied for an audition to the dance conservatory and she got in!

Alex realizes Nick made a phone call to get her the audition, which she obviously didn’t want because she is a strong, independent lady of the 1980s who doesn’t need any GD help from any man.

Oh finally a strip club with actual stripping. It’s like everyone hates their lives here. Apparently Jeannie ditched being an ice skater and decided to only be a real stripper.

HAHA Alex straight up pulls Jeannie from the stage as she’s stripping. AND Asshole guy comes out of nowhere to tell her to not take Jeannie away and Alex pushes him away. It is great.

“When you give up on a dream, you die.” Nick Selleck says to Alex, and Alex realizing she could end up like Jeannie as a real stripper all at the same time.

Is QT grandma not actually her grandma? Alex is calling her Hanna. OMG SHE DIED. YESTERDAY. NOOOOOO

But NOW I bet Alex is going to use her pain and suffering to follow through on her promise to QT grandma Hanna to get into the dance school.

In full disclosure, I’m getting hungry and there are 20 minutes left of this movie and I can barely pay attention.

But Alex is back in the Priest’s confessional and crying? She’s sinned, obvs.

Alex is back in her black leotard from when she was lunging for this audition, and  I’m really wondering why type of dance she’s qualifying this as. She’s literally gliding by the judges’ table and pointing at each of them hahahaha Yup, she’s incorporating breakdancing in this audition. And apparently she got in because the next scene was see is her running outside to meet Nick and she’s super happy about it.

So that was fine, I guess. I’d say don’t waste your time on it?

Pop Culture Blind Spots: The Quiet Man

Just last week I wrote this post about things Irish-Americans will understand, but the truth is I’ve been missing a big part of the typical experience. Friends, I’ve never seen The Quiet Man. Pop Culture Blind Spots are all about getting acquainted with the classics and cult favorites that we’ve somehow missed out on, and it doesn’t get much more classic than John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. It’s still Irish-American Heritage Month, and this pop culture blind spot is FULL of Ireland, America (John Wayne, hello!) and a healthy heaping of heritage.

  • What I know about The Quiet Man: John Wayne is an American (I hope, because he’s not great with accents) who goes to Ireland and falls in love with Maureen O’Hara before dragging her across a meadow on Christmas. Maybe he’s trying to be a cowboy in Ireland? Maybe Ireland doesn’t need cowboys. But maybe Maureen O’Hara needs a cowboy.

Based on this poster: a lot’s going on.

  • Also, I’ve been present when The Quiet Man was on – my dad has it on TV at some point every Christmas – but I’ve never actually watched it.
  • Huge props to whomever first put credits AFTER the movie instead of before. Like most old movies, this one begins with a solid few minutes of people’s names.
  • They segregate Irish cast members under a heading The Irish Players and for some reason that cracks me up.
  • John Wayne meets a priest whose whole purpose is to give exposition about him and his parents.
  • Okay, so Sean (John Wayne) was born in Ireland, and now is returning, but he was in America long enough to sound like John Wayne, the voice that comes out of the eagle on a $1 bill.
  • Wow, Ireland has a normal amount of trees. Background: I have relatives who maintain that “the English” cut all the trees down in Ireland and that’s why there … aren’t trees there? First of all, sounds fake. Second of all, if Ireland had a climate where trees grow, wouldn’t trees eventually come back? According to the cinematography of The Quiet Man, yes.
  • No lie, this is filmed in BEAUTIFUL technicolor.
  • This lush countryside with the sheep, collie, and Maureen O’Hara in it is 100% how Americans stereotype Ireland. Just need a thatched cottage (forthcoming, I’m assuming) and a leprechaun (probably not) or family with many children (maybe).

  • Thatched roofs appear by the 10-minute mark, don’t worry.
  • Maureen O’Hara has my natural hair type, and I’d really like those poofy 40s hairdos to come back.

Lit’rally my stupid hair.

  • Speaking of 1940s hairdos, when is this set? Is it mid-century, or is it, like, 1880? So far the modes of transportation are bicycle, horse, and train, so that doesn’t help. I got up to let my dog in during the first minute of the movie so this may have been addressed already. Widow Tillane is showing kind of a lot of ankle if it’s set in olden days, no offense.
  • Wow, everyone sure is wrapped in a lot of tweed in this movie.
  • Mr. Danaher (Victor McLaglen) tries to have an Irish accent some of the time (not all of the time).
  • Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara) and the other Danahers live in a spacious cottage with a hutch full of fancy china, so at least they aren’t going for the thing where everyone in Ireland is poor.
  • Is this a drinking game? Cool, drink for family with many kids (Mary Kate has an indeterminate number of brothers, unless they’re just house guests).
  • Unrelated: a teen walking a pit bull just let it poop in my front lawn then walked away. SO RUDE, wow. I was going to go bang on my window but I was afraid of spite poop from now til eternity.
  • Drink for people singing folk songs in a pub.
  • I like how there’s a stock character of Old Ethnic White Man With Long Beard who looks completely the same for every ethnicity. Whether you’re Russian, Irish, German or French, eventually you’ll look like this guy:

Far left.

  • Drink again for people singing folk songs in a pub.
  • I don’t know when the title is going to make sense, but as of a half hour in, John Wayne talks a normal amount at a regular volume.
  • OK, I’ll bite. I’ve heard in/een added to girl names before to make it a nickname, but never guy names. Michaeleen, Seanin… I guess it’s a thing! That’s fun.

Sean: So you can talk.

Mary Kate: Yes I can, I will, and I do.

…Maybe he’s only quiet compared to her then.

  • Now Sean and Mary Kate are in love because they looked at each other at mass, which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to go to mass more.
  • A (Protestant) Reverend and his wife visit Sean. They’re mostly made of tweed.
  • Over 60 years later, The Quiet Man still looks like a product of Ireland’s travel bureau.
  • My favorite thing about Mary Kate is she’s always wearing a blanket cape like me in the winter watching Netflix.
  • Mary Kate will only get married if her property goes with her. Married women could own property in the UK after the 1880s (assuming this is pre-independence?).I’m not sure yet when TQM is set. The costuming and set design are vague and woolen.
  • I had to look it up, because it was driving me crazy. Released in 1952, set in the 1920s. Some of the folksy dresses are probably fine because it’s a rural area, but I think Mary Kate’s hair is a bit anachronistic. Probably because it’s my hair, scalped off of my head and placed on Maureen O’Hara’s.
  • They’re at the races, and nobody started singing “ev’ry duke and earl and peer is here,” so I did.
  • No offense but this isn’t going to be a great jockey:

    I can’t find a photo of him in his racing silks, but trust me, hilarious.

  • “Two women in the house, and one of them a redhead.” File under: should be offended, but that’s actually fair.
  • Man. Everyone is very pissed that Mary Kate (MK, I call her) isn’t putting her bonnet on a pole, which is culturally relevant somehow.
  • Call me crazy, but I’m starting to really like the name Mary Kate. Too Olsen Twins? Maybe it could be short for Mary Katherine. Too Molly Shannon? Just putting it out there.
  • IF there were such a thing as drag racing horses, that’s what happens.
  • Well, I’ve thought Mary Kate’s brother was her dad for the past hour. Let it be known that MK has a giant brother who is approximately 40 years older than her.
  • MK has a “fearful temper” which in the 1920s just meant opinions, sometimes.
  • Sean and MK steal a bicycle built for two after they get engaged, but as far as I’m concerned the only crime they’re committing is being too darn adorable (plus petty theft I suppose).
  • Everyone folk-sings “I’m sorry I never got married” at Sean and MK’s wedding. Fun party.
  • BRB overdubbing this whole wedding scene with Helpless/Satisfied from Hamilton.
  • MK’s Old Brother announces that he’s marrying Widow Whatever-aher at Sean and MK’s reception. Talk about thunder-stealing. Also he didn’t clear it with Widow first, which isn’t great. All of these people are like 2 generations apart and it’s very confusing.
  • Sean flashes back to boxing, punching a guy out, and accidentally killing him. WOAH PLOT TWIST. Genuinely did not say that coming.
  • Saddest moment in the movie: MK says “ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having my own things about me.” Her lifelong dream was to be allowed to own stuff. What does her old brother care anyway? He’s probably almost dead or about to marry into all that sweet Widow Talooley money or whatever.
  • OH OK. MK is going to go Lysistrata until she gets her dowry.
  • MK gets her furniture, and it looks GREAT. But no money because her brother’s a dick.
  • MK talks Irish to the priest, who is fishing and wearing some tweed, but not like a Protestant amount.
  • How about from now on I just tell you if there’s a pub scene that doesn’t end in singing?
  • Meanwhile in the protestant minister’s house, you can tell that he’s a protestant minister by the wife and the giant globs of silver on the mantle. He and Sean have a tete-a-tete about the deadly boxing max and the Danaher dowry.
  • Not to make too much of the cinematography, but I feel like I should be paying more than my monthly Netflix membership to watch this, it’s so pretty.
  • Basically all of the male minor characters are Alfred P. Doolittle from My Fair Lady.
  • Know whose butts looked good in those saggy woolen pants they used to wear? Nobody’s butts. Not a single butt.
  • OK, help me with this. Sean pulls MK off a train and drags her by the arm through the town. A flock of Irish Players trail behind them. A guy at the pub announces that he’s “walking her back, the whole way.” The crowd grows, and Sean grows increasingly yank-y and rough. MK looses a shoe. She falls, he drags her anyway, then yanks her up and pushes her down a hill. Sean then drags MK by her coat collar. A woman hands Sean “a good stick to beat the lovely lady.”
  • You know how sometimes with old movies, it’s hard to understand how the original audiences found them at all surprising or riveting? I am every bit as befuddled as the 1952 audiences were. WHAT IS GOING ON. WHY CAN’T SHE WALK REGULAR. SINCE WHEN IS SEAN A WIFE-BEATER. WAS THIS COMEDY IN THE ’50s. IS THIS A SCHEME? IS THE WHOLE TOWN IN ON IT, BECAUSE IF NOT THEY ARE VERY VERY CHILL ABOUT ALL OF THIS WIFE-DRAGGING.
  • Here, just watch it actually:

  • Danaher won’t fork over the dowry money. Sean throws MK back at her bro, because no dowry/no wife. Old Brother Danaher throws the money at Sean. He and MK burn it. She was in on this, right? I still think he was unnecessarily rough. MK says she’ll have dinner ready for him, then leaves Sean to beat up her brother.
  • What follows is a ten-minute long fight sequence involving:
    • indiscriminate punches thrown by all of the villagers
    • … in a pile of hay
    • a shot fired by Michaeleen to call attention for the rules of the fight
    • Widow Tooraloora watching through an opera glass
    • Old Brother Danaher landing in a river
    • Bookies
    • A deathbed scene for the Bearded Ethnic White Man, interrupted when he pops up to watch the fight
    • Buckets of water thrown on Danaher
    • A priest rubbing his hands with glee
    • Other buckets of water thrown on everyone else
    • A BREAK FOR A PINT TOGETHER AT THE PUB
    • A sub-fight about who is buying the drinks
    • A door breaking into smithereens, a word I don’t use nearly enough
    • A singalong
    • Sean and Old Brother Danaher showing up, drunk and woozy, for dinner at MK’s on her great furniture she owns.
  • Time passes. A crowd is told to cheer like Protestants, which apparently is the word “hooray!” Old Man Danaher and Widow Talooraeay get married! Sean and MK scamper back to their cottage, married and adorable.
  • Well, it’s official. This movie has nothing to do with Christmas. Or, now that I think about it, a man who’s particularly quiet.

 

Pop Culture Blind Spot: Leap Year

We got a bonus day yesterday, which apparently means that women are *allowed* to propose to their boyfriends instead of the other way around. It’s a tradition that dates back for centuries, and seems to derive from lore in the U.K. and Ireland. And despite the fact that – GASP – women can propose any damn day they want, there was still a bunch of ladies who got down on one knee yesterday and popped the question. Like this woman I found on Instagram, for example. She not only posted about proposing on the days leading to the big day, but in a video, the big moment seemed… anti-climactic?

While this lady’s proposal wasn’t filled with a lot of fanfare, there is one that could possibly be way more dramatic – Amy Adams in the film Leap Year. I’ve never seen this movie, so what better time than an actual Leap Year to dive right in?

Knowledge of this film:

Amy Adams falling in love with some guy who’s British. On February 29th? Andddd I’m out.

Actual IMDb description:

Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.

…. I was close. Moving on.

THIS TAKES PLACE IN BOSTON????? I NEED THERE TO BE A HORRIBLE FAKE ACCENT (odds are yes).

ADAM SCOTT IS IN THIS?? GUYS IT’S BEEN ONE MINUTE AND I’VE LEARNED SO MUCH.

Photo Feb 29, 10 22 16 PM

So Amy/Anna’s job is a realtor? Luxury type? No, she “stages” apartments. When people are selling their place, she basically set dresses the home to make it more sellable. There’s a job for this??

“We’ve got an 8:00 rezz…” Adam Scott, but also channelling Tom Haverford. I just realized he must have filmed this on a break from Parks? Or just before Parks?

John Lithgow is Amy Adams’ father??? Honestly, who else is going to pop up in this movie?

Photo Feb 29, 10 24 43 PM

Anna thinks her BF/Adam Scott is going to propose to her at this fancy dinner – reminder that this is not how you propose.

Turns out Adam presented her with a box of diamond earrings. Bummer.

He gets a call during dinner about an aorta emergency (he’s a cardiologist) and he has to leave… but also leaves her with the check??? And he’s leaving straight from the hospital to Dublin for a cardiologist conference. So, um, peace out?

Photo Feb 29, 10 25 56 PM

In Ireland tradition a woman can propose to a man every four years “That’s ridiculous” says Anna. ALSO SAYS TRACI. This movie was made in 2010, and I feel like women empowerment, feminism, etc. has made great strides since then, which makes me think this movie might not fly in 2016? Not like this was a big blockbuster six years ago, but I’m just saying a lot more people would speak up and argue how dumb this idea of chasing after a man just to propose to him on the one day where roles are reverse is stupid.

Also, they really should’ve released this movie on a leap year.

“I may have underestimated the storm just a little bit.” – the captain piloting a plane through horribly turbulence says as the oxygen masks fall from overhead.

They have to land in Wales due to the weather, which means Anna is in quite a pickle with her proposal plan.

Why did Anna wear heels on the plane? She’s dressed like she’s going to a business interview.

She is The Perfect Storm-ing it and it’s utterly ridiculous.

Photo Feb 29, 10 30 35 PM

WELL. This is why you don’t wear heels on the plane.

Photo Feb 29, 10 31 07 PMAnna ends up at a bar in… Dingle? She asks around for a taxi to drive her to Dublin, but surprise, surprise S.O.L. She has to spend the night at the small town’s inn, which happens to be upstairs and Matthew Goode is the bartender/innkeeper?

She is out of juice on her *Blackberry*, but the only place to plug it in is underneath the bed. She can’t reach it, and tries to move the bed, which leads to breaking the drapes, and knocking over a dresser and lamp. Then when she does plug in her phone, it sparks because OBVIOUSLY and she manages to cause a blackout in the inn and throughout the entire town. This is why people hate Americans.

Matthew Goode is v tall and has to duck his head when going through all the doorways.

His character is also kind of grumpy and crochety, which is the exact opposite of all the people I met when I was in a small town in Ireland. Back when I was studying abroad in college, my friends and I took a weekend trip to Ireland. We went to the Cliffs of Moher and a small town near that called Doolin, where my friend’s best friend’s family is from. We spent part of St. Patrick’s Day in this small town, and this town center reminds me of Doolin and I have all the nostalgic feels rn.

Photo Feb 29, 11 34 33 PM

“It’s a Vuitton.” Anna

“…what??” Matthew Goode LOL

Anna tells Matthew Goode (whose name is Declan, because the writers wanted to make sure you knew they were in Ireland) about her #LeapYearProposal and he thinks it’s the dumbest thing he’s ever heard. I’m with him on this one.

“What are you, the Lucky Charms leprechaun?” SICK BURN, ANNA.

God this is so picturesque and gorgeous it makes me want to go backkkk 😦

Photo Feb 29, 10 36 39 PM

Declan has been eating in 90% of his scenes so far. He’s like the Rusty Ryan of Ireland.

Anna accidentally makes their car roll back and off a cliff into some kind of marsh and what in the fresh hell. Is she supposed to be this clumsy?

Sans car, she decides to star walking with her Vuitton suitcase. A van passes by and he basically steals her suitcase and drives away. Also there were weirdos in the blacked out back. Declan warned her.

Photo Feb 29, 10 37 26 PM

Whyyyyy is she still wearing heels?

Anna and Declan end up at the same bar as the dudes who stole her suitcase, and they’re creepily going through her shit, including her underwear? Declan starts a fight and comes to her rescue which means they’re going to fall in love.

Declan’s been calling Anna “Bob”, which she now finds out means “Cash/Money”. Again, SICK BURN.

She finally gets a train ticket to Dublin, but still has two hours to kill, so she and Declan go to visit a castle, because Ireland is awesome and there’s one around every corner. He tells her the story and his fake Irish accent is so good that I can only make out half of the legend. Something about this Romeo & Juliet type couple that consummated their relationship at the castle. Who knows.

Um it looks like they’re standing in front of a green screen??

Photo Feb 29, 10 38 58 PM

It’s starts downpouring yet again and Anna slides down a giant hill. She’s really not doing well in Ireland.

Oh no she missed the train. I’m actually a little sad for her.

The cute old dude working at the train station is v sympathetic and brings them to his house in Tipperary, where him and his wife are super against couples sleeping in the same room if they’re not married, so they have to pretend they’re Mr. and Mrs. O’Brady-Callaghan.

When did Declan say Heads I win, Tails you lose. JOEY?

Yo Declan straight up beheaded a chicken with one swift motion. It’s disturbing (they don’t show it on screen), but Anna is also taken aback and says, “You just surprised me. You keep doing that.” They are faLLING IN LOVe.

“Always kiss like it’s the first time and the last time” says the random dinner guest who’s making out with his wife too much at the dinner table.

Of course old train guy then forces Anna and Declan to kiss. He very forcefully starts chanting “KISS THE GIRL” and even slams his hand on the table. This is borderline abuse mixed with uncomfortable arousal from the old dude (They give in anyways).

BTW, Declan is charging Anna for this entire excursion, and they’re currently at 675 Euros for 2 days of travelling. Prediction: she dumps Jeremy and Declan’s final line is something like, “You still owe me”.

IDK if it’s because of the Perfect Storm ref or this scene where they’re sharing a bed or both of them pretending to hate each other when clearly they’re into each other, but these two remind me of Pacey + Joey.Photo Feb 29, 11 22 15 PM

Declan overhears Anna talking to Jeremy on the phone and he is clearly jealous. He takes his homemade Irish breakfast and goes to sulk in the pantry. Reminder: Anna and Jeremy – still a couple.

“Never start a journey on a Sunday or a full moon,” says an old Irish man. Earlier someone brought up the bad luck of a black cat crossing. I was not aware this country had so many superstitions.

It starts violently hailing and they find refuge in a building which turns out to be a wedding, and Declan accidentally yells out “JESUS CHRIST!” but Anna immediate saves him and says, “-is Lord!” Truly great teamwork, kids.

The priest invites them to attend this wedding, and at the ceremony, we find out Declan used to be married. So there’s the romantic comedy secret he’s been hiding.

The blue lights at this reception are similar to the ones at the restaurant in Boston where Jeremy gave her the earrings – I don’t know whether this is supposed to be a juxtaposition or not because is this the type of movie that would do that?

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Someone starts spinning Anna and her HIGH HEEL accidentally falls off and flies right into the bride’s forehead, leaving her with a nasty mark. Then she accidentally spills wine on the bride’s dress. Why is this her character trait?? Amy Adams is too classy to be clumsy (name of my debut album).

Gah this is so pretty!

Photo Feb 29, 11 03 07 PMThey’re sharing a tender moment and it looks like she’s about to kiss him and it turns into vomit. Because she’s drunk from the open bar, not because she suddenly has a stomach bug.

For a brief moment Declan thinks Anna straight up left him and went on the bus to Dublin without saying goodbye and he is extremely bummed. She actually went to get them coffee, and in that moment she realizes he cares for her and it’s really sweet and I am INTO IT.

They finally make it to Dublin and it turns out his ex lives there with the guy she cheated on him with, who happens to be his friend. Rough times. Earlier, Declan asked Anna what she would grab if there was a fire, knowing her answer would be something of great monetary value (you know, because he calls her Bob). His answer is that he would (if he could) take the claddaugh ring that used to be long to his mom. The only caveat is that he gave it to his ex Kaleigh and he doesn’t have it anymore. I’m guessing this is going to come back into play later?

She offers him the cash she owes him and he only wants to take the quarter (heads I win, tails you lose).

I love you Adam Scott, but you are such a good villain/douche and he’s not even trying to be in this one!

OH Jeremy proposes to Anna right in the middle of this hotel lobby and she looks up to get Declan’s confirmation and he’s gone.

ACTUALLY this reminds me of Once. Except this movie probably has a happier/more satisfying ending.

Declan meets Kaleigh – hopefully to get the ring back? OMG is he going to fly to Boston and propose to Anna with the ring??

Apparently Declan’s bar was in danger of being closed if they didn’t raise enough money but the local barflys all pitched in and saved it? That was a random plot (unless I missed it).

Ok so in the beginning, Anna and Jeremy apply for a fancy apartment at “The Davenport”, and while they’re in Ireland (but still separated), Jeremy tells Anna they got the news they got the apartment. Flash forward to Jeremy back in Boston where they’re throwing a housewarming party in their new digs, and he’s explaining to their friends that one of the folks on the board frowned upon couples who are not married living together (callback to the lovely Irish train dude who made Anna and Declan kiss). So basically Jeremy only proposed to get the apartment?!?

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Anna is astonished that Jeremy did this, so after some cinematic stares over their palatial home, she pulls the trigger on the fire alarm to see what Jeremy would take (if there’s a fire, etc. etc.). He immediately tells Anna to grab “laptops, camera, whatever” and lit’rally says, “I got the video camera – I still haven’t put the proposal up on Facebook, so I’ll do that later.” And she peaces out.

Cut to Ireland and Declan’s running a bustling restaurant – how much time has passed? Is it still Leap Day? Is SHE going to propose??

Anna’s dressed like she got her dress at a knock-off Anthropologie circa 2003 and her hair even has one of those zig zag headbands from 8th grade.

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“Here is my proposal: I propose we not make plans. I propose we give this thing a chance and let it work out how it works out. So what do you say? Do you wanna not make plans with me?”

Um I love this. It’s reminiscent the “I’m just a girl…” line from Notting Hill. Anna basically is like, “I’m a notorious planner, but this one time I don’t want to do any of that shit and see how it works out. In front of his whole restaurant.” Appresh.

And his answer: walks out and closes a door. Awk sauceee.

“I guess that’s an Irish no.” Anna

She goes to the cliffs and you hear Declan come out of nowhere to say, “Mrs. O’Bradycallaghan. Where the hell are you going?” MRS. O’BRADYCALLAGHAN I AM INTO THIS SO HARD.

WELL WELL WELL HE PULLS OUT THE CLADDAGH RING and says, “I reject your proposal and I don’t wanna not make plans with you. I want to make plans with you.”

Ugh propose to me on these cliffs

THIS IS RIDICULOUS THEY BARELY KNOW EACH OTHER THOUGH THIS IS LEGIT THE SECOND TIME THEY’VE EVEN KISSED. JUST GET TOGETHER AND SCREW THIS MARRIAGE PROPOSAL

“It’s gonna cost you.” Declan

“Put it on my bill.” Anna

I WROTE THIS MOVIE, IT’S FINE.

“It’s good luck to get engaged on a Sunday.” Full. Circle.

Pop Culture Blind Spots: Yentl

Rosie O’Donnell caterwauling ‘Papa Can You Hear Me’ every time she talked about Barbra Streisand – that’s what I knew about Yentl before this Pop Culture Blind Spots live blog. Considering I grew up loving both musicals and movies set in yesteryear when everyone had long hair and longer dresses, I’m not sure why or how I missed it. Maybe it wasn’t on TV too much in the 90s?

From the shtetl to your computer, come experience the bad haircuts, zany pillow fights, and newsboy hats of Yentl:

  • The setting is Eastern Europe, 1904. First of all, really vague setting. Second, if this was supposed to be part of my Eastern European cultural training my mother failed spectacularly.
  • A peddler calls out “story books for women, sacred books for men” which was like the Barbie/Hot Wheels Happy Meal toys of the shtetl.

 

  • Anyway Yentl (which sounds like a person saying “gentle” with a marked accent, which is very fun) tries to buy the Hot Wheels books. The peddler is like “bitch, I think you know what your place is, and I’m sure it’s gossiping about how old you are at a fish-stall in the marketplace.” Yentl lies and says the books are for her dad. And the peddler buys it, which is TOTAL FORESHADOWING for how all the men in this movie are dummies who believe whatever you tell them.
  • I’ve never seen so many Eastern European noses outside of a family reunion and I feel so alive and whole, accepted and embraced.
  • My favorite Disney princess as a child was Belle, because she liked books. And this is an entire musical about a girl who just wants to read the books she wants and I never saw it?!

    Little town, it’s a quiet shtetl…

  • But to be fair, the books she want to read are like the rules to God and stuff. Yawwwwn.
  • Started watching this via sketchy Youtube copy, and 5 minutes in I decided that the chances were high enough that I was going to like it that I’d rent it on Amazon. Also it was almost unbearably fuzzy.
  • Yentl burns some gross fish while reading. JEWISH PRINCESS BELLE, everyone!
  • Her Papa is Jewish Crazy Old Maurice.

  • Babs wraps herself in a tallit and sings. This may be part of how I missed this one: the tunes aren’t exactly *catchy* in the singable/hummable sense.
  • Papa asks if Yentl wants a husband who will darn her socks and bear her children, which, (A) where do I sign up, and (B), foreshadowing? Maybe? Guys, I don’t really know what this movie is about except that Barbra will sing Papa Can You Hear Me and dress as a man at some point.
  • Barbs has such beautiful, fluffy hair or such a beautiful, fluffy wig. I can’t believe Papa died, though.
  • PLOT. TWIST. She cuts the beautiful fluffy hair into a kicky pageboy. Swear I didn’t know that was going to happen.
  • I wasn’t alive in 1983, but major studios were releasing movies starring a 40-year-old ‘unattractive’ woman who is dressed as a man most of the time, so maybe it was a little better than 2016 in some ways.
  • Again, the main thing I know about Yentl is Papa Can You Hear Me. I know it because Rosie O’Donnell always sang it on her show. It turns out the only words I knew were “Papa, can you hear me/ try to understand me.” Those also might have been the only words Rosie O’Donnell knew.

  • Actually, didn’t Rosie have a button that played “Barbra Can You Hear Me” whenever she talked about her? (I watched a lot of The Rosie O’Donnell Show as a child. Had the koosh slingshot, the Kids Are Punny book, the whole 9.)
  • Not sure what accent Babs is doing in that song, but it’s not “Eastern European.” She’s just pronouncing every word slightly weird.
  • Barbra’s new haircut does not look good. Not even a little good. It’s kind of flobee-esque.

    I mean, Christ.

  • Yentl sails across a small creek (?) wearing the hat from the Funky Hat interstitial from 2007 Disney Channel.
  • Because nobody in 1904 Eastern Europe had seen a woman in pants and a hat before, they don’t realize that Yentl is CLEARLY a woman in pants and a hat.
  • If they saw a man in black and white stripes, they’d probably think he was a zebra or a Hamburglar.
  • Or a guy in camouflage: “Ira, I swear a piece of Outside is MOVING.”

    GET IT TOGETHER, Eastern Europe, 1904.

  • Maybe if Yentl wants people to believe that she’s “Anshel” she shouldn’t giggle when she says that her name is Anshel.
  • Yentl meets Mandy Patinkin (Avigdor)’s bubbe and within seconds she’s like “oh. Anshel. LOL OK.” So maybe only the men in this movie are stupid.
  • Avigdor’s banter with Yentl is very… sexual? … for two young men who are platonically sharing a bed.
  • You know in The Portrait Of Dorian Gray, where he has that portrait that ages for him? I think that’s what Mandy Patinkin’s facial hair does. Underneath it he looks mostly the same, the only difference the beard went from chestnut to gray.

 

  • Yentl’s thoughts sing This Is One Of Those Moments. The level of non-catchiness reminds me of when a Catholic priest is talk-singing and he tries to cram too many syllables into one line.
  • Yentl watches a lot of people talk with their hands. This is the school she wanted to go to really bad.
  • AMY IRVING IS IN THIS?! She’s the star of one of my favorite under-rated rom-coms, Crossing Delancey.

  • It’s sort of like a 1900s Jewish Strangers With Candy, where Barbra is very obviously in her 30s-40s (and female) but we just suspend disbelief.
  • Now Yentl’s thoughts are singing about her crush on Amy Irving (Hadass).
  • Yentl flirts with Avigdor in a meadow so maybe the crush was on him. Who knows.
  • There’s a skinny dipping scene and we almost see Mandy Patinkin’s Manhood Pa-tuchus (yep, just zoomed right past dad jokes and landed on a zayde joke)
  • The choreography is the same, so: mashup between this song where Babs is getting handsy in her nightgown and Mama Who Bore Me. OK?

  • Hadass’s Shitty Family calls off the Hadass/Avigdor Relationship and they want to set her up with Yentl now. This is more Three’s Company-style hijinks than I was expecting.
  • Amy Irving’s ruffled blouse and ren-faire hairdo are SUPER 1904-shtetl flirty. She’s making dinner for Yentl and it’s a total come-on. Like that’s just how you DID IT back then. It seems so easy. Just put on your ruffliest blouse and lean your boobs into a guy’s face while serving tea and you’d get a husband. (*Is that how you still do it and is that why I’m single, because I’ll try.)
  • Take one listen to Barbra screaming “nothing’s impossible!” at, like, F5 and tell me how anybody was supposed to think this was anything but a lady.
  • Now Yentl’s getting measured for her wedding suit which is bad because she’s female. In case you missed it, this is why lying doesn’t work. Although how sheltered is Hadass, because maybe Yentl can just kiss her in bed and be like “WELP THERE WE DID IT THAT’S THE WHOLE THING,” because that’s what I thought until I was 7 or 8.
  • If Anshel ISN’T a woman then Anshel is, like, an 11 year old boy and I don’t know why nobody in the village has vetted this.
  • Oh I love these wedding hijinks. Anshel is trying to get Hadass to say she doesn’t want to hook up. It’s like when you don’t want to go to a movie, but you don’t want to say it, so you’re just like “no, I mean if YOU don’t want to see it we won’t see it. I don’t care but if YOU want to do something different, we totally can. Up to you.”
  • Yentl and Hadass have a pillow fight. JUST SOME GALS AT A SLUMBER PARTY Y’ALL. Just gals bein’ pals.
  • Avigdor asks Yentl if Hadass “made sounds” and um is this how boys talk when we aren’t there? If a boy reads this please tell me.
  • Yentl’s thoughts sing about how she loves Avigdor, and Avigdor loves Hadass, and she’s married to Hadass but just for the pillow fights. Yentl. Look at your life. It’s a map full of dead ends, like one of those suburban gated communities. Your haircut is bad. You can read the talmud now but that’s, like, your only thing you’ve got going.
  • LOL forever at Hadass trying to seduce Yentl, an obvious 40-year-old woman. Instead, Yentl tucks her in then sings at a window.
  • I like how Yentl taught Hadass the talmud on the sly while they were fake married. I also like how Yentl finally figured out it’s time to get out of dodge.
  • The lyrics “she’s loving, she’s tender, she’s woman, so am I” probably weren’t meant to be funny? It kind of sounds like it would play over a crunchy 1970s school video about ‘becoming a woman.’
  • I want to see the scene before Yentl makes Avigdor take her to the city. “Pick me up in your cosiest two-person buggy and take me to the nearest metropolis so I can tell you a secret. Haha, no reason, just guy stuff.”
  • Yentl goes to America, which is probably the best solution after you’ve accidentally married a woman and fallen in love with a guy who thinks you’re a man. That’s the moment when, even in 1904, it’s time to cut your losses and move to Brooklyn. Now she’s got to grow out that haircut, though.
  • Yentl sings about finding her corner of the sky, but via a different song that’s way less catchy than Corner Of The Sky.

Pop Culture Blind Spots: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

ZOMG U GUYS IT’S FINALLY STAR WARS DAY CAN YOU EVEN CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT??????????!!!?ASDFGHJKL;

I can.

Back in 2013 when we started these Internet shenanigans, I talked about Pop Culture Blind Spots for the first time. On that list of movies I’ve never seen was Star Wars. Two years later, we’ve not only expanded our resumes to include some of the most beloved films, but as of about a week ago, I am no longer a Star Wars virgin. That’s right kids, I can actually talk about the franchise without pretending to have seen it. Or least I can with the first movie.

I will say that what’s weird in the moments leading up to me watching this for the first time, I realized I’ve acquired some kind of pride, if you can call it that, in having never seen this mega iconic film in pop culture history. In many ways, this is the most blind I’ve ever been in our Pop Culture Blind Spot series. And somehow, there’s a part of me that wants to stay blind. Like, once I go into the galaxy, there’s no going back. I won’t have that badge of (dis?)honor anymore. But alas, as the kids say these days, “DO IT FOR THE VINE BLOG”.

Here we go. (PS: no trolling pls, star wars fans. i’m a n00b so calling me out on my wrongness is not only dumb but a waste of time. kthx)

  • The moment I press play, I say outloud, “I already hate this.” I’m gonna try real hard not to hate watch this.
  • I will say this score is epic. I almost got goosebumps and I have no emotional ties to this. YET.
  • Is this in Arial? Helvetica?Photo Dec 16, 10 43 07 PM
  • I know this movie starts out this way, but ugh, making me read a brief history of this universe before any action takes place is exhausting.
  • What’s a “Galactic Empire”?
  • Princess Leia is the hero going into this?
  • When is this supposed to be taking place? Like in the future? Is that a dumb question?
  • C-3PO is British?? IS R2-D2 British??
  • Oh shit Storm Troopers!! They already have WAAYY better lazer action than The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it’s only a year later.
  • Oh hey Darth Vader! But like, how did you get on their ship so easily? He’s rollin in like a BO$$

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  • Did Princess Leia just give the Death Star info to R2-D2???
  • I know that James Earl Jones is the voice of Darth, but he’s not in the costume, right?
  • Whoa, Leia’s such a badass! Shooting Stormies left and right! Oh she got caught.
  • C-3PO is already my favorite character. He’s like the sassy British butler.

  • WAIT LEIA IS WORKING AGAINST THE EMPIRE?? SHE’S A SECRET SPY?? HERCULES MULLIGAN?! (#We’reAHamiltonBlogNow)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I’ve clearly got this all wrong.

“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.” – C-3PO

  • The way C-3PO walks is like he’s constipated.
  • Also, like where does C-3PO think he’s going in the middle of this desert? Who does he think he is, BOWE BERGDAHL?? #currentevents

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  • “That malfunctioning little twerp” C-3PO HAHAHAHAHA
  • Do robots need food or anything? Like do they need recharge their batteries? I know nothing.
  • OMG THESE WOOKIES (?) SHOOTING R2 AND R23 FALLING OVER I’M DEAD

  • Could’ve sworn R2 just yell “What the heckk?? let me goooo” as the wookies take him to their ship or whatever
  • Was this scene the inspiration for WALL-E?

so i’m not the first one to think of this then?

  • “Do you think they’ll melt us down?” C-3PO, asking a legit question. I am concerned as well.
  • Are C3 & R2 being sold as slaves to the rebels?? WHY IS HE LEAVING R2 BEHIND WHAT AN ASS. oh ok he’s saving him nvm.
  • How old is Luke supposed to be? He’s acting like a 12 year old, maturity wise.
  • Leia’s white hooded outfit is very Gaga-esque
  • “What message? The one you’re carrying inside your rusty innards!” C-3PO before hitting R2
  • So Obi-Wan and Darth are maybe friends and Luke’s Aunt & Uncle want to hide their existence from him? I feel like I’m missing a lot of information.
  • What’s with these weird swipes to the next scene, George Lucas?

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  • Luke’s aunt is putting some kind of green vegetable in a steamer where is she getting/planting these things? They live in the desert. Is there a secret greenhouse somewhere?
  • Holy smokes these sandpeople are terrifying

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  • “Ben Kenobi” sounds like the name of the half-Asian, half-Jewish kid from your childhood who went by Benny Kenobi all through high school but wanted to be more “mature” in college and told everyone his name was Ben.
  • I admire Luke’s loyalty to a droid he’s just met.
  • Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi used to be a Jedi Knight with Luke’s “Dad”.  SPOILER I KNOW WHO YOUR DAD IS.
  • Darth Vader “betrayed and murdered” Luke’s father. So he’s like the Voldemort of Star Wars. Obi Wan is Dumbledore. Leia is Hermione. Chewie is Hedwig. The Light Saber is a wand from Ollivander’s.
  • I’m legit taking notes on plot points, because I’m somehow deeply invested in this. But also because I’m already getting confused. What’s Alderaan?
  • “I can’t get involved I’ve got work to do.” – Luke. WHERE THO?
  • *Weird side swipe transition, take a shot*
  • OH SHIT did Luke’s Aunt and Uncle’s compound just get incinerated??
  • This is the face of a made not to be fux withPhoto Dec 16, 10 50 47 PM (1)
  • *Weird side swipe transition, take a shot*
  • Are we going to find out why Darth sounds like he has asthma?
  • Is Darth about to put Veritaserum in Leia to spill her secret?
  • Obi Wan did a weird Jedi minD TRICK OH MY GOD I JUST GOT THAT REFERENCE LEGITIMATELY
  • Luke and the team are in a bar that looks like it could be a sketch on SNL. The music is Speakeasy-esque

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  • I legit just yelled out, “CHEWIE!”, as if I care about this creature BECAUSE MAYBE I DO NOW. MAYBE I DO.
  • Uh racial discrimination against droids WTF? And some dudes straight up told Luke they don’t like him. Find another bar, y’all. Sidenote: is this the Cantina that Lin-Manuel is writing music for the new movie?
  • I hear, “I’m Han Solo” and immediately look up from writing. What a national treasure, that Harrison Ford.
  • So he’s the captain of the Millennium Falcon? Also he’s pronouncing “Falcon” as “FAWL-cohn”, not “FAL-ken”
  • ($)10,000 what kind of currency do they use here?
  • Han is loungin’ like a mothafucka

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  • He also just killed that creature under the table and no one in the bar cared? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • So Jabba the Hut is disgusting, huh?Photo Dec 16, 10 56 23 PM

  • I’d like to reiterate how much better the lazer special effects are in this movie than Rocky Horror. I’m v impressed with the special effects in this in general. It’s not as horrible/hokey as I thought it was going to be.
  • “I forgotten how much I hate space travel” – C-3PO, who is unfortunately in the biggest space-set movie of all time.
  • Wait so Leia is British? Are all the Empire folk British??
  • Obi Wan is feeling something terrible has happened like Dumbledore circa Half Blood Prince
  • Chewie’s look while playing R2 during this weird chess-like game is hilar

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  • How is the Millennium Falcon just cruising into Darth’s planet or whatever.
  • Oh they’ve hidden themselves in a hidden compartment.

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  • “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” Wise words from Obi Wan. Wait is Yoda in this movie??
  • The force will be with you. *And also with you* IS SOMETHING CATHOLICS DON’T SAY ANYMORE.
  • So Han and Luke are constantly at odds and are acting like brothers. Is that a secret twist too?
  • “I can’t see a thing in this helmet” Luke, a space cinnamon roll

  • How is Chewie walking around all unnoticeable. It’s like if Andre the Giant was trying to blend in with Oompa Loompas.
  • After failing to trick one of Stormtroopers, Han shoots the console and says, “Boring conversation anyway,” which is now how I get out of unwanted phone calls.
  • Luke goes to save Leia and there’s obviously a connection there. Also, I honestly thought Luke and Leia were an item but also knew in my subsconscience that they’re siblings (spoiler alert?) so this is a weird feeling.
  • “Somebody has to save our skins!”

LEIA THO

  • “Wonderful girl. Either I’m going to kill her or I’m beginning to like her.” Han hittin us with some foreshadowing.
  • Da Fuq is grabbing Luke in this trash heap?? It’s like a sea monster. This is why I don’t throw myself down garbage chutes.
  • This garbage compact scene is not as stressful as it could be, since I know they all made it to the sequels. This is exactly why I don’t like spoilers. I liked feeling stressed.
  • This entire scene:

  • “It’s them! Blast them!” – Who says that before shooting intruders? Just do it and shut up.
  • Do lazer guns run out of ammo???
  • I hope there’s a scene in the future where C-3Po is revealed and it’s like, Daniel Radcliffe the whole time.
  • I feel like there should have been epic John Williams music during the Darth/Obi showdown, no?

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  • Wait Obi just let Darth kill him after seing Luke??? Is Obi Wan only in this first movie??
  • Leia has a lot of makeup on for someone who has been in space jail

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  • LOLZ at Luke and Han discussing Leia’s love
  • Leia has a few marks on her Gaga outfit after a straight up showdown against the Empire?! That entire thing she have turned black.
  • I will say I like how there’s no trace of 1977 in this movie. Everyone looks like they could be from the future… which is I guess the point of all this.
  • Han’s main characteristic = a little bitch
  • Luke has a friend?? Also the name of the first children’s book in the Star Wars series (I’m assuming). Said friend is concerned for his safety but like where did he come from?
  • Aw precious, C3 is concerned about R2’s safety!

  • Luke hears Obi Wan saying, ‘The force will be with you,’ before he goes out to attack the Death Star, so is he playing the ultimate Jedi mind trick and giving him advice in his mind for the rest of time?
  • I feel like we’re in Top Gun again.

  • Wait where has Leia’s dad been this entire time??
  • Just like Top Gun, Maverick has to save the day, despite her friend dying. Basically what I’m learning here is all the movies and books have stolen from Star Wars.
  • Oh no R2!!! C3 is willing to donate his organs to save R2!!!!!!! THE MOST PRECIOUS.
  • Luke has saved the day and at the celebration ceremony (?) Leia only wears white, Han only has that one vest and Luke had a hidden jacket that he got from Peter from Guardians of the Galaxy.

  • R2 IS ALL BETTER NOW THANK WOOKIE HES’ OK IT’S ALL I REALLY CARE ABOUT

Final thoughts:

After viewing this, I literally thought, ‘I need to watch the next two movies so I’m not spoiled.’ HELLO. So many feelings. If you’ve gotten this far, you can tell I go INTO it. I luckily didn’t have to hate watch it because I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed watching it. Like I mentioned in my very first Pop Culture Blind Spot post, Star Wars wasn’t a thing I grew up with. I know a lot of folks were introduced by family members, but my immigrant parents weren’t into this stuff, so I had no connection to it. Two years ago I said I had no interest in watching it, and TBH, IDK if I would’ve seen it if it weren’t for this post. Eventually, I guess I would’ve forced myself. Anyways, the point is, people change. I, like Han, discovered a cold heart can warm up to strangers after they’ve gone through war together. I’ve gone through my personal Star Wars, and in all honesty – I would go through the war all over again.

 

Pop Culture Blind Spots: I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas – J.T.T., if you were born between about 1980 and 1990 – perfectly illustrates the life cycle of a tween hearthrob. He was Randy Taylor on Home Improvement, Young Simba in The Lion King, and a Certified Hottie in the pages of Tiger Beat. When I was in fourth grade (the 1995-1996 school year), all of the girls in my class were obsessed with him. A few short years later – 1998, when I’ll Be Home for Christmas was released – we had all but forgotten about JTT. A lot had happened since 1996 (Hanson. Leonardo DiCaprio. Puberty). That’s how I, a one-time J.T.T. fangirl, got to 2015 without seeing his foray into Christmas entertainment. Here goes:

  • This is the most high-school looking college I’ve ever seen. J.T.T. is in a hallway covered in lockers; his dweeby friend is STUFFED INTO ONE.
  • 1998 thing: J.T.T. uses the phrase “on the net.”
  • 1998 thing: a flock of girls are wearing Biore pore strips and J.T.T. asks if they work (1998 thing: they don’t).
  • 1998 thing: J.T.T. (Jake), wearing one of those button up bowling shirt things, flirts with a Mary Camden-era Jessica Biel (Ally), who has a Smashmouth poster.

  • Ribbed shirts sure were all the rage, weren’t they?
  • I think Mary Camden  is wearing a skort.
  • So Jake wants Ally to spend Christmas with him instead of her family. Is this a thing 18-year-olds do? My 18-year-old cousin went to Florida with her girlfriend’s family last Christmas and we all thought it was a little extra for someone who didn’t exist until 1996.
  • J.T.T. and his bros are in a cafeteria. This is the weirdest, most high-schoolish college.
  • J.T.T’s little sister is roughly the age we were when this came out, and she is the late-90s awkward stage personified.

File under: lime green mock turtleneck, stripey zipped thing, half of your hair pulled tightly back. Yep, all checks out.

  • “Is the convenience of technology worth the loss of our privacy?” – a very prescient J.T.T.
  • J.T.T.’s father offers to GIVE HIM A PORSCHE if he comes home for dinner at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. If I am home for dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I get dinner.
  • So how’d I end up watching this? I’m watching a nephew and niece while their brother is in the hospital (note: this will be relevant later). Anyway, the 8-year-old boy requested a Christmas movie that neither of us had seen. He pronounced J.T.T.’s dad’s offer “a little extreme.”
  • 1998 thing: A group of boys cheat on a final with the aid of beepers and antique dial-up internet.
  • Mary Camden is wearing her second chunky-knit awkwardly short ribbed sweater.

  • The bros drop J.T.T. in the desert wearing a Santa Suit and I have questions. They leave a note: “Let’s see you sweet talk your way out of this one.” So. They knocked him unconscious, changed his clothes, and drove him to a secluded location to die? God, this is dark.

  • Mary Camden: “if you make me listen to any sexist, racist, or homophobic jokes I’m gonna have to slug you.” Add that one to my to-cross stitch pile. (She’s driving cross-country with J.T.T.’s enemy bro.)
  • 1998 thing: Eddie, the enemy bro, is in a sensitive mood, wants to listen to “Jewel, Sarah, Fiona.”
  • Tracey, Jake’s sister, is wearing giant terrible overalls.

Can’t find a pic of the overalls, but here’s a vest. A vest and I guess a spoiler.

  • J.T.T. and a car full of blue-haired Tom Jones fanatics listen to What’s New Pussycat.
  • It starts snowing on J.T.T. in the desert, I scoff, 8-year-old reminds me that deserts have dry climates but can be extremely cold at night. Which is true.
  • Jessica Biel slug’s Douchebag Eddie “as per our agreement.” I miss this teen movie archetype.
  • A van driver swerves about the road while he’s trying to retrieved a dropped sandwich and Charley and I both laugh out loud. FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. GIGGLES FOR ALL AGES. No but really, this movie is not bad on the separate rating scale I use for Christmas movies.
  • Douchebag Eddie calls himself a “millennial type of guy” who likes yoga and macrobiotic food. I could have sworn we were still going by Gen Y in 1998.
  • J.T.T. and the sandwich guy lie to a cop and say they’re giving presents to children in the hospital. They hand out kitchen appliances.
  • THEN a little boy says that all he wants is to go home and be with his family. My nephew looks a bit glum thinking about his brother, and I learn a lesson about trying to entertain a worried child with Jonathan Taylor Thomas movies. See, that’s why the Babysitters Club used to bring Kid Kits with them. ANYWAY. The hospital boy is never seen again, so there was no point in the movie turning serious for like 20 seconds.

21 Reasons You'll Want To Watch "I'll Be Home For Christmas" This Holiday

  • Sandwich Guy sings to his estranged wife Marjorie at her workplace. Her workplace is a restaurant where you, I guess, choose which cow you want to eat.

  • Douchebag Eddie wonders why more breakfast places don’t serve food right in the skillet. Same. But also, tort liability probs.
  • I’ve somehow stopped noticing that JTT has been wearing a Santa suit this whole time.
  • Douchebag Eddie and Mary Camden stay at a honeymoon suite decorated by my grandma during one of her mid-90s craft sprees.
  • JTT steals a man’s gross meat sandwich, which sounds like a euphemism but isn’t, and says it’s a liver transplant so that his bus goes where he needs it to.
  • This is an OK Christmas movie, but you know what would be the BEST Christmas movie that I’d watch every year? If they cut together all of the Christmas or wintery or snowy parts from all the Harry Potters. I’d pay probably not evening admission for that, but definitely matinee.
  • Allie and Jake meet up and have a boring fight. You could skip it.
  • J.T.T. enters a Santa 5K to get money to fly home. He wins after a cluster of Santas gets taken out by a friendly dog. The whole thing would make a fantastic Where’s Waldo page.

  • Jake donates his winnings to homeless people.
  • Tracey has a plane ticket’s worth of money in her “ballerina bag.” The best thing I had in my Irish Dance bag was maybe like a newish Werther’s Original.
  • Jake stows away in a dog crate because he doesn’t have an I.D.
  • Charley: “How did Allie and Jake get there at the same time, if he flew and she took the bus?”

Me: Wait. How DID they?

Honestly the geography of this trip is very confusing to me.

  • Jake steals a sleigh to get home in time. My nephew notes that Jake “steals a lot” and he isn’t wrong.
  • Jake makes it home at 5:59, but refuses to go into the house until after 6 because he is silly.
  • The Porsche is parked in the snowy front yard by a set designer who doesn’t know how snow works.

 

  • Jake, a silly goose, refuses the car but accepts his father’s love. AWWW.
  • Jake and his stepmom exchange sweater sizes. She is an 8.
  • 1998 thing: a size 8 woman in a movie.
  • Bottom line: this Lifetime-quality Christmas movie that was perfectly serviceable. On my separate rating scale for Christmas movies, it was “cute.” In Christmas movies, cute isn’t a bad thing.