So I figure if my position as "citizen journalist" means anything, I should be willing to experience things to which no man would ever willingly subject himself, then report on it. Which is why on Friday night I agreed to watch "27 Dresses" with my wife. Almost as if I was embedding myself with the female gender, like a war correspondent.
First of all, the Brewers were getting hammered, so it's not like I was giving up a lot. Plus, you could do a lot worse than watching Katherine Heigl for an hour and a half. And as busy as she is cleaning up after me and the kids, my wife doesn't get a whole lot of chances to do "girly" stuff. So I agreed to suck it up and go along - which I kind of had to do, since I picked the last movie, "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With."
The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it's pure science fiction. It's one of these flicks where Katherine Heigl somehow manages to get into her 30s without having a single meaningful relationship - which is preposterous, because Kate is other-worldy hot. This movie makes "Kung Fu Panda" look like a Ken Burns documentary.
It's also one of these movies where everyone is either a newspaper columnist about love issues (seriously, there have to be maybe three of these people in America), or works at a high-powered ad agency. And for effect, they throw in that it's an "eco-friendly" ad agency, at that. Barf. At one point, Heigl's character's sister really hits rock bottom and has to go get a job designing hand bags. It's absolutely true.
Anyway, eventually she falls for some marriage columnist, who - gasp! - actually has some misgivings about marriage. Of course, this guy doesn't make a single humorous or insightful comment throughout the entire movie - yet, somehow, he is the guy that this woman finally falls in love with. That's what's frustrating about movies in general - people don't really talk the way they do in real life. Think about it - those are the times when you laugh the most. When you're with friends discussing things that come completely out of the blue. But, sadly, your regular conversations don't serve the purpose of moving the plot along. Anyway, all this guy has going for him is that he's (I guess) good looking, although he has a weird haircut that clearly is meant to draw attention away from his big ears.
So Heigl's character's sister falls in love with Heigl's boss by pretending she's a vegetarian and into the outdoors and animals and stuff. But Heigl is secretly in love with her boss (the columnist comes later), so she sets out to ruin her sister's engagement by telling her boss the truth about her sister. So at the rehearsal dinner, to "out" her sister, she shows a slide show that shows a picture of her sister eating ribs
and being afraid of a dog that it appears is attacking her. Naturally, despite being engaged for what seems like months, the boss immediately calls the engagement off, given the horror of seeing an old picture of his future wife eating meat
. I can only imagine what my wife would have said if she had seen me attacking the pan of Rice Krispie treats she made this week.
The rest of the movie is pretty irrelevant. Trust me, you know where the whole thing is going 5 minutes in. Heigl's acting is somewhat hit or miss, but I was actually surprised in some spots where she was kind of funny. (Oh, and did I mention she was hot?)
So I don't have any grading system, but whatever it is, this movie gets two of them.
And as long as I'm on movies, here are my grades for some I've seen recently:I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
- B plus. A cute, funny movie that's almost like a chick flick for fat guys in their '30s.
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
- A. Really slow moving, and certainly not for everyone. But I loved how it unfolded, and the last third is really thought-provoking. And I didn't even know Brad Pitt was in it until I started watching it.Michael Clayton
- B minus. Entertaining, but a goofy lefty anti-big business fantasy. Certainly the cops wouldn't be smart enough to figure it out when all the attorneys working on a case relating to this chemical company start dying. I'm still waiting for the big Hollywood movie where some poor woman gets breast cancer, then gets the treatment she needs and beats it because of the insurance benefits provided by her employer. I imagine that happens ten thousand times more often than the scenario in this movie, where some chemical kills over 200 people. (Incidentally, if a company made a chemical that killed two people, it would go under. If someone found a rat head in a Wendy's frosty, they'd have to spend millions of dollars to stay afloat - much less killing hundreds of people.)
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
- B minus. Begins with a completely superfluous sex scene with Marisa Tomei, who is naked through the entire movie. That's worth a whole letter grade. But there are three major movie cliches in this film that must be addressed:
1. In movies, whenever someone pours themself a drink, it's always scotch, straight up. You never see someone mix their whiskey or scotch with anything. How many people do you actually know that drink this way?
2. In movies, whenever someone is watching television, they are always watching something that no reasonable human would watch. They're always watching Looney Tunes or some kung fu movie or something.
3. In movies, when someone points a gun at someone else, the victim always either gives a long speech, or says "just go ahead and do it." As if, somehow, they have spent their lives perfecting the speech they're going to give when someone finally sticks a gun in their face. Needless to say, if someone pointed a gun at me, they would hear a lot of crying and pleading for my life. I would not go out like a man. If they shot me, they'd have to shoot a whimpering, sad little man.Lars and the Real Girl
: B. This one really divides people - but I tend to be on the more favorable side. Plus, any movie that brings mustaches back is welcome in my book.