Saturday, February 28, 2009

girl on film: i'm just not that into chick flicks edition

Today, the last Saturday in February, I am finally getting around to writing a post about my embarrassing activity the first Saturday of February. My partner in crime, Ms. Quarter, over at A Quarter Century in the Cream City accomplished her end of our team-blogging bargain just four days after our outing. I am one giant slacker.

To refresh your memory, we both sacrificed our "no chick flicks" rule earlier in the month for a girls night out to see He's Just Not That Into You. I will fully admit to reading the book a few years back (though I wish I could remember who I lent my copy to) and enjoying it. The movie, however, made me want to drown myself in a bucket of Yoplait and/or blind myself with papercuts from Oprah's books.

I'll also admit that my recollection of the movie (I refuse to refer to it a "film" outside of this post's header) was pretty much repressed the next morning, nevermind three weeks later. Whilst Ms. Quarter explained the "threw up in my mouth a little" love luv stories of the flick, I'll do my best to explain the "tragic," bizarre love triangle (not as awesome as the New Order song) between Jennifer Connelly (still not sure why she was in this movie), Scarlett Johansson (herein referred to as ScarWhore), and Bradley Cooper (herein referred to as Douchey McDoucherton).

In one of the movie's opening scene's we meet ScarWhore's character, who is pretty much the same character she's played in the last few things I've seen her in. This time her name is "Anna" and she's a struggling singer, looking to make it big -- in Baltimore (?!?). Instead of collaborating with Dan Deacon, she opts to hit on record executive (?) or talent agent (not real sure what his actual job is, but of course he's really, really successful at it) Mr. McDoucherton, whom she meets in the grocery store line after she wins a cooler for being the 100th customer of the night or something like that. After some flirtation Douchey explains that he's married and ScarWhore coquettishly explains that she's just looking out for her career. Of course their networking relationship rapidly blossoms into him stalking her at the yoga class she teaches, her skinnydipping at the yoga center pool and then (surprise?!?) him strategically wrapped in her purple bedsheets.

In the meantime we meet Connelly's character who works with Aniston and Goodwin (see Ms. Quarter's summary on those two). I believe the last time I saw Connelly in a movie theater she was performing sexually deviant acts for heroin, this time she's the married lady with sage advice for the office singles. She is also renovating a brownstone and a fervent anti-smoker (her dad/grandpa (?) died of lung cancer!!). For the first chunk of the film her husband is an offscreen presence, who she is becoming suspicious of due to remnants of cigarettes she finds around the construction site.

I would include a "SPOILER WARNING" here, but I assume if you are reading my blog you are NOT an idiot (like the multitude of theatergoers who actually *gasped* at this reveal). At any rate, guess who Connelly's husband is? OMG, it's Douchey! But she trusts him and he's been banging ScarWhore. The horror!! The surprise!

Throughout Act II we watch Mr. & Mrs. D's relationship unravel. She becomes a caricature of "the nagging wife" and even feminist-minded ladies may be like "well, duh, of course he'd cheat on her." Um, yeah, not what I thought the point of the movie was. But then again, this was about as "Girl Power" as the Spice Girls. Their arguments about smoking become some sort of shallow metaphor for the cheating (because this target audience will feel really smart "getting" a metaphor). Of course Douchey tells ScarWhore he's leaving his wife, and tells Connelly he's cheating while they're on a shopping trip to Home Depot.

During Act III, Connelly tries to save her marriage through sex. Right, because, that's a really empowering message to send to women. "Comically," she shows up at Douchey's office to seduce him while he's already having a "session" with ScarWhore (who just landed a recording contract, let's f*ck!). ScarWhore happens to be wearing a negligee under her sundress, but wait, Connelly is wearing sexy lingerie too! What to do? Throw ScarWhore in the office closet while you get it on with your wife for two hours. All that time and ScarWhore doesn't get dressed, but instead runs out crying in her skivvies after Connelly splits.

What can a jilted mistress do? Well in Act IV she can hook up with poor sap Kevin Connolly, covered in more "depth" (because these characters are sooo deep) by Ms. Quarter. Here comes another twist in this movie -- SHE'S just not that into HIM. Ouch. After he tries to buy a condo for them she runs away.

Around the same time, Jennifer Connelly finally runs away from Douchey, who it is implied is still stalking going to yoga. The final straw is her finding a pack of American Spirits in his pocket, which prompts her to break a mirror (now she'll never get back to the Labyrinth!) and toss his clothes down the stairs.

During the credits we learn that ScarWhore is going on a yoga pilgrimage to India (maybe she can time travel and end up one of Akbar's concubines) and Connelly is enjoying her new single life (and rehanging a patched up mirror -- too bad she already brought seven years of bad luck upon herself). So yes, the flick ends teaching us that apparently yoga and home decorating are what single ladies can do to get by.

Aren't you glad I summarized that for you?

And in case you're wondering how I survived two hours of crap, the occasional redeeming tune would pop up on the soundtrack. It was quite bizarre to hear the Talking Heads, Wilco (A.M. Wilco no less!) and The Replacements pop in above all the terrible dialogue. Unfortunately there was no "Dance Magic" (or Bowie in spandex for that matter).

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