Monday, April 20, 2015

Don't You Forget About Me

The Breakfast Club
Director: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason
Released: February 15, 1985

Think back to March 24, 1984. Do you remember what you were doing that day? (Why do I feel like Sarah Koenig?) It's very possible that you were way too young (such as myself) or weren't even born yet! Even if you were around back then, you probably don't remember since it was over thirty years ago! Hell, I can't even remember what I was doing 30 days ago! But for five students at Shermer High School, that was the day they had detention all day on a Saturday.  (I did double check on my iCalendar (it took awhile to go back that far!) and yes, indeed March 24 was on a Saturday in 1984!) And it was, quite possibly, the day that changed their lives (not trying to be overdramatic or anything!)

The five students in question all represent a different high school stereotype. There's Andrew, the jock (played by Emilio Estevez); Claire, the popular rich girl or the "princess" (played by Molly Ringwald); Bender (first name, John), the rebel or the "criminal" (played by Judd Nelson); Brian, the smart kid or the "brain" (played by Anthony Michael Hall); and Alison, the weird girl or the "basket case" (played by Ally Sheedy).

Confession time: I had never seen The Breakfast Club before. At least not in its entirety. I have only seen it in bits and pieces on TV and it always seems to be the same scenes I see: the montage of them in the hallways trying to avoid being caught by the principal (played by Paul Gleason) and the famous dance scene where they're all dancing like dorks to a song I didn't even know. (Who dances like that?!) I had always known they played "Don't You Forget About Me" (Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!) at the end, but I didn't know they played it at the beginning too. I also had no idea that song was specifically written and sung for this movie! I've always associated the song with the movie, but I just thought it was a popular song that was already released when they made the movie and they just used the song since it was so popular and thus it became synonymous with the film.

I was very young when this movie was released. I cannot relate to the '80s teenager. Even in the next decade when I was a teen, I still could not relate to any of these characters because I don't have anything in common with any of them and I wasn't any of the stereotypes that are represented by them. None of the actors were ever on my radar. Of course I knew that Molly Ringwald was the quintessential '80s teen movie star (and I haven't seen any of her other movies!) The only thing I knew Anthony Michael Hall from was when he played Rusty in National Lampoon's Family Vacation a couple years before Breakfast Club. For something more recent, he had a small part in The Dark Knight, but I don't remember who he played because it's been a few years since I've seen that. I'm sure he looked a lot different since he was significantly older! Emilio Estevez, of course, will always be the coach from the Mighty Ducks to me. That was the generation I grew up with. When I saw that movie as a 12 year old, was I thinking, "Oh, the coach is the jock from The Breakfast Club!" Hell, no! I didn't know he was in The Breakfast Club; I probably didn't even know what it was...well, I probably had heard of it by then but I certainly didn't know who was in it. Speaking of the Mighty Ducks, there was an episode of Dawson's Creek where the four main characters have detention (and how convenient that happened! At least in Breakfast Club, they don't all know each other) and Dawson remarks how it's just like the Breakfast Club (remember, he was the film nerd) and Jen wants to know what happened to the actors and Pacey (who was played by Joshua Jackson, who of course got his start by playing the main kid in The Mighty Ducks) says something about Emilio Estevez being in those "Duck" movies and how much he loved them. That was some shameless meta lamp shading there! Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, I couldn't tell you anything else they were in.

The casting was very interesting because originally John Hughes wanted Molly for the part of Alison, but she wanted to play Claire and Emilio was going to play Bender, but Hughes couldn't find anyone to play Andrew, so he switched him to that part. Also, they were thinking of Nicholas Cage for Bender but he wanted too much money. (What, even back then?) And I think John Cusack was also up for the part of Bender or he may have already had it but had to bow out.

10 year age difference, almost! 
In 1985, only Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were the closest to their characters' ages: 17. Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy were a few years older as they had turned 23 that year but they could still pass for high school students if you didn't scrutinize too much. However, Judd Nelson looked like a thirty year old in the movie (he had turned 26 that year) and I kept expecting the movie to explain that he had been held back a few, three, four times, but no! They never do! So I guess we're suppose to believe this guy is eighteen? Uh-huh, right. I had TEACHERS in high school who looked younger than this guy!

So our five students, who have never met each other (except for Claire and Andrew who are in the same social circle) are stuck in the library for eight hours on a Saturday. Okay, am I the only one who remembers detention as having to stay after school for an hour, maybe two at the most? But even though they're all very different, they find out they have a lot more in common than they think: that they all have issues with their parents. Oh, the teen angst! Alison's parents ignore her! Andrew's father expect him to be the best and win all the games! Claire's parents are too busy for her and are never around and they fight! Bender's father is an abusive drunk! Brian's parents expect him to keep up his grades!

I realize that Bender is suppose to be the star since without him there really would be no movie. Without him, the other four would just be sitting in the library and there would be no scuffles. This is because Bender instigates everything. Are we suppose to think he's cool or hot, because he's neither of those things. He's the biggest ass! He picks on the nerdy kid; he has to put on the tough guy act and pull a knife on Andrew and then put it away and tell him that he's not worth killing because Andrew's parents would sue him, and he sexually harasses Claire by insinuating he thinks they should lock the doors so the guys can rape her and later he finds himself under the table she's sitting at hiding from the principal and is looking up her skirt. He's so gross. Oh, and then he insults her by saying she has a "fat girl's name" and that even though she's not fat now, she will be later in her life. And they end up making out at the end of the movie! What the effing hell? Ugh! But I'll get to that later. I hate that character so much! I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for him because his father hits him?

While you could find some kind of student like those represented in The Breakfast Club at any high school (although I don't know many 30 year olds who attend high school!), the one archetype that I never knew or saw at my high school (or any high school student I've ever known) is the "basket case." There's quirky weird and then there's just WTF weird and Alison is of the latter camp. I've met plenty of quirky weird people and they are delightful in their own amusing way, but they still maintain some sort of social awareness. Alison? She is just freaking weird. For starters, we find out that she didn't do anything to get herself in detention; she just decides she has nothing better to do on a Saturday so she'll spend eight hours of it locked in the school library! (And shouldn't the principal had known she wasn't supposed to be there? Duh!) When she's drawing a picture, she uses her dandruff for snow. When they're eating their lunch, she takes the bologna out of her bread and flings it onto the ceiling where it sticks. Okay, any other NORMAL person would have discarded the bologna in the trash can instead of trashing school property ! Just saying! She then puts corn chips (I think that's what it was) between the slices of bread and proceeds to smoosh it with her fist as the others watch in horror/amazement. Speaking of lunch, Claire brought SUSHI to eat. And those lunches weren't refrigerated because when the principal tells them they can eat, they all take out their lunch bags from their back packs. I'm guessing it was noon when they had their lunch and they had arrived for their sentence at 7, so that's FIVE HOURS that sushi was without any refrigeration! That is disgusting! I'm guessing she got food poisoning later that night!

Layering must have been really popular in the '80s, because, my God, these kids (and 30 year old man!) sure do love their layers! Andrew is wearing a varsity jacket over a white turtleneck over a blue jersey. It's no surprise he takes off the layers since he's doing a dance scene similar to that in Footloose. He also should have been an opera singer because he goes into an office and shatters the glass door because he's singing so high (and he is high!) Alison starts out by wearing the biggest parka I have ever she from Canada or something? It must have been really cold in that part of Illinois on March 24, 1984 because damn, not only is she wearing that huge parka, but she's always wearing a huge bulky black sweater and under that she's wearing a turtleneck and apparently under that she's wearing a white girly blouse...but I'll get to that layer. My God, she must have been BOILING in that damn outfit, especially when they were running in the halls and dancing like idiots! And then Bender was wearing a duster, a plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off, and a white long-sleeved t-shirt. I think a vest may have been involved there too, but I couldn't tell you for sure. Oh, and he also wears these leather fingerless gloves which I guess is suppose to mean he's a badass (no, he's just an ass!)

There's a lot of talking, crying, yelling, hurting of feelings, understanding between the five students (or should I say between the four students and one thirty year old man?) They all share their stories of how their parents treat them and why they are in detention. They bond over trying to one-up the principal.

Like I mentioned earlier, Claire and Bender make out at the end of the movie...ugh...Claire totally lost my respect there. I guess she felt sorry for him? And they were making out in front of her parents' car either her mom or dad (you couldn't see who was in the driver's seat). Who the hell makes out with their 30 year old high school boyfriend in front of their parents? Nobody I know, that's for sure! And then, for some stupid reason, Claire gives him one of her diamond earrings (and I'm assuming those are real diamond earrings since she never denied it when Bender makes a comment about them earlier) to him to wear because I guess it's some sort of romantic gesture? Eww. You know he's just going to pawn it off to make some quick cash!

Even though I don't like that pairing, at least it makes more sense than the other, totally random pairing of Andrew and Alison. Claire and Bender share more scenes than Andrew and Alison do (although most of them consist of Bender insulting her and her looking at him in disdain or her crying and yelling at him). It's only when Claire gives Alison a makeover when Andrew sees how pretty Alison is when she has her hair away from her face and is wearing soft makeup instead of the heavy black eyeliner and is now wearing the aforementioned white blouse. :::rolls eyes::: She does look better with her hair pulled back. They also share a kiss at the end of the movie. That pairing just seemed to come out of nowhere.

The question remains, will they be friends come Monday? Probably not, but they will always have that one special Saturday they shared together. Thirty years ago now!

They never eat breakfast in this movie!

Monday, April 13, 2015

My ten favorite Glee performances


10. Gloria (Laura Branigan) - sung by Rachel, Santana, and Adam Lambert  in season 5 at that musical diner where they worked in NYC. Great song from the '80s. The song doesn't start until about a minute in so you can ff through the chitchat if you want.

9. We Found Love (Rihanna) - sung by the Glee club in season 3 (?) when Will proposes to Emma. Because Will has to include the Glee club in every aspect of his life! Since when did McKinley High get a pool? I do like the synchronized swimming/dancing; it's something the show had never done before. I laughed so hard when Artie went in the pool with his wheelchair...uh...

8. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) - sung by Finn to Santana in season 3 when Santana is feeling down. I think this must have been after her grandmother kicks her out of the house for being a lesbian. Oh, look, it's Adele Dazeem!  It was nice of Finn to cheer Santana up even though she was always so mean to him! I really liked that they took a very poppy pop song and made it into a slower ballad. It almost makes me tear up a little.

7. Gives You Hell (All-American Rejects) - sung by Rachel in season 1. Obviously she is mad at Finn but I don't remember why. I think the back ups sound really good! It's a really fun number and I love the song. LOL at Mr. Schuster rolling his eyes. He's probably thinking, I need friends my own age! I think Quinn's cardigan is really cute! Oh, and Rachel totally cheated on this assignment because they were supposed to do songs that had "Hello" in the title, but she left out the "o". Not that I'm complaining or anything!

6. You Get What You Give (New Radicals) - sung by the senior Glee club members to the younger members in season 3 in their graduation episode....I think it was the graduation episode. I was very happy when they sang this because I love this song! It's a one hit wonder from 1998 and it reminds me of my own senior year. If you remember, back in 2011 when I was reviewing the ten teen movies that came out when I was a teen, I cited this song as something that reminded me of that time...yeah, you don't remember that, do you? You know Mr. Schu is probably thinking, Yeah, this is my jam! as he's nodding his head. This song is so '90s I love it!!! They sing about Beck and Hanson and Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, LOL!!!

5. Jump (Van Halen) - sung by the Glee club in season 1 when they do a commercial for a mattress store. I don't remember how or why. And I don't know how they can sing that well when they're jumping on beds but I think they sound really good on this song! And it's just a fun number. LOL at Artie just sitting there randomly while the others get to have fun and jump on beds. I died when Kurt gives the "come hither" finger to the guys watching them. Did you notice that huge picture in the background with the couple cuddling in bed? For some reason, that makes me laugh. And did you hear Mercedes hit those notes? You get it, girl! And Brittany is killing it with those flips. I would totally buy a mattress if I saw this as a commerical...they look really comfortable...and fun to jump on, haha!

4. What a Feeling (Irene Cara) - sung by Rachel and Tina in season 3. This is the episode where Tina quantum leaps into Rachel's body. Actually, it was just a daydream, but wouldn't that be awesome if they gave that amazing show a shout out? I believe this is the only time Rachel and Tina have a duet together, but I could be wrong. I remember my friend Cameron and I sang this at karaoke after this episode aired because we were so inspired by it! This performance is just pure perfection.

3. Like a Prayer (Madonna) - sung by the Glee club in season 1 during the Madonna episode (duh!) They sang this song as their big grand finale because what other Madonna song are you going to sing, "Into the Groove"? (although I did love it when Kurt sang that song much later in the series!) This is the best group number they've ever done. Kurt looks like a cute little choirboy and I get chills when Mercedes sings her part! And then they open the curtain and all those gospel singers (where did they come from? Oh, who cares!) start singing and clapping and it's like, "Yeah, we're going to church!" And it also makes me want to grab a Pepsi! Unfortunately, I  couldn't find any good quality videos of this performance.

2. Don't Stop Believin' (Journey) - sung by the original Glee members in the very first episode. This was the first group performance of the show and it's very iconic. They did it again in season five as a tribute to Mr. Schu after he quits/is fired (I don't remember what happened to him!) and it's kind of funny because they start out with the five original members, then the ones that joined later that season come in, then the ones who joined in season 2 came in, then the new kids come in so there's 5000 people onstage...then Mr. Schu has to come up on stage and sing cuz he always has to make it about himself. I actually really do like the season 5 performance, but like I said, there is something iconic about the one from the very first episode and I do love that they showed it again in the penultimate episode.

1. Safety Dance (Men Without Hats) - sung by Artie in season 1. Flash mob! This is by far the best performance Glee has ever done.  It was only the 19th episode and they had at least 100 episodes after it and I knew that nothing was ever going to top it and I was right! This was from the episode that Joss Whedon directed. Artie has a fantasy if he could walk and he's actually quite a good dancer! Haha, the first time I saw it, I was thinking, This better be a dream or something he's imagining or else this show has just jumped about ten sharks in a row....but it would do that later! I love the song, I love the dance, I loved the way it was shot. I also loved that they filmed it in a mall that was open to the public so you see people in the crowd (blended in with the extras) snapping photos on their phones who are either smiling or have a WTF? look on their faces. It's fun to spot the other Glee members. There are Mike, Matt, and Brittany as his back up dancers! There's Mercedes and Kurt and Tina!  The song doesn't start until a minute in, so feel free to pass through the talking part.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Don't call him Shirley!

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Cast: Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays, Robert Stack, Peter Graves
Released: July 2, 1980

This is a movie I've seen in bits and pieces when it was on TV, but had never watched it in its entirety until just now. The only scene I can even recall from when I did watch a little bit of it was the Saturday Night Fever dance spoof scene and I only remember it because my brother tried to emulate the main guy when he was doing that move where he's squatting on the floor with his arms crossed and kicking his legs out.  Of course this dance move is pretty much impossible without the use of your arms and so my brother could never do it. 

This is one of the most famous spoof movies out there, but because this movie came out before my time, I didn't know any of the movies that were being spoofed aside from the aforementioned Saturday Night Fever scene. I'm sure there are other movies spoofed that I would probably know, but just didn't realize. The jokes/gags are funny though some of them seem really antiquated (there's a scene right before the plane takes off and a guy right outside the pilot's window puts this contraption on the window pane (and I should note that the window was open...which obviously you can't do on a real plane because that would be very bad!) At first I thought he was measuring the window, but then the pilot gives him what looks to be a credit card and the guy swipes it though the device. I had no idea what it was and figured it must be something of the time) or they were a bit racist (like the "translation" given for the two black guys speaking "jive" - although it was funny when that little old white lady said she could translate jive) or they were just a little bit dark (three passengers committed suicide because they couldn't stand listening to the main character's story of how he met the love of his life...I don't really get how that was suppose to be funny! It's not like the stories were that tedious!)

Ex-fighter-pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is on Trans American Flight 209 from L.A. to Chicago. His ex-girlfriend, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), who he still has feelings for, is a flight attendant (or a stewardess as they were called in those days) on that flight. As we hear from the (apparently awful and tedious) stories that Striker told some of the passengers, they met during the war and fell in love. I was really confused what era this movie was set because they made it seem like he was in World War II, but then he meets Elaine while dancing to "Stayin' Alive" by the BeeGees and obviously they didn't have '70s disco music back then! Then I realized that it must be part of the joke.

The pilot was called Captain Oveur so he would say, "Captain Oveur, over" and the first officer was named Roger so everytime the Captain would say something to the air traffic control tower and end it with "Roger!", his co-pilot would say, "Huh?" When a young boy visits the cockpit, he outs the First Officer as being basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar which he repeatedly denies even though the boy finds a basketball on the floor and we later see "Roger" wearing basketball shorts and knee pads and sneakers. 

I noticed that the overhead compartments where the luggage is stored were just shelves - there were no actual compartments that you could open and close to store your belongings. I thought that was really weird because if there's even a little bit of turbulence, all that luggage is going to come spilling out and hurt I don't know if this was a real thing back in then and people who designed planes were really stupid or if this was going to be a joke that was going to pay off later. We do see the plane go in a nosedive, but there was only two pieces of luggage that fell! So maybe that was the joke? I don't know; I didn't get that. But passengers did get hit in the head with an object when a flight attendant asks the nun if she can borrow her guitar to sing to the sick girl on the gurney and when she takes it, she whacks everyone in the head when she brings it down the aisle. 

Leslie Nielsen plays an on-flight doctor ("Surely you can do something doctor"; "Don't call me Shirley!") and after everybody who ate the fish for dinner gets food poisoning, he tells another flight attendant that they need to get everybody to a hospital and when she replies with, "Hospital? What is it?" (meaning what was wrong) and he replies with, "It's that big building where all the sick people go." They had a lot of jokes like that one and by the third one, it wasn't that funny anymore! The ongoing joke that worked better was when the the supervisor at the air traffic control tower  (played by Lloyd Bridges) keeps exclaiming things like, "I picked a hell of a week to quit smoking!" or "I picked a hell of a week to quit drinking!" There was about four or five of those ongoing jokes. 

I don't know what the in-flight movie was, but it showed a plane crashing and bursting into flames! 

As I mentioned earlier, everyone on the plane who had fish for dinner gets food poising and passes out (although by the time they crash land, most every one is awake!) and this includes the captain, first officer, and the flight engineer and their passed out bodies are dragged through the aisle to the back of the plane in front of all the passengers. And even though the only choices were fish or chicken, the doctor states that he had the lasagna for dinner! 

Because they have no pilot, Elaine switches on the "auto-pilot" which is an inflatable pilot named Otto. But Otto isn't equipped to land the plane (you think!) and everyone is extremely sick and must be taken to a hospital as soon as possible. Over the intercom, Elaine asks a question that NO passenger on a plane ever wants to hear: "Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?" This results in a huge panic scene where the passengers are fighting with each other and there's even a sword fight between two of them. Not only were there swords aboard this flight, but also a gun and gasoline and matches...yeah....

Striker is the only one who is equipped to land the plane (even though he has a fear of flying from being traumatized by an event in the war where he lost six (actually seven according to Elaine!) men.)  He is also one of the very few who didn't eat the fish. It's a little touch and go, but he manages to land, er, crash land the plane! 

Something I like to do before watching a movie is look through its IMDb page and see if there are any character actors that I might recognize. Honestly, the only person I knew from this movie was Leslie Nielsen and I knew Lloyd Bridges is the father of Beau and Jeff, but I wouldn't have known that it was him if I didn't know if he was in it. I did see a name I recognized: Jonathan Banks. I kept my eye out on him, but I never did see him in the movie. This is probably because this movie came out over 30 years ago and I'm familiar with him looking like Mike Ehrmantraut. He's also in only one scene as an air traffic controller. Now, if we remember our Breaking Bad lore, Jane's dad was also an air traffic controller and stupidly goes to work after his daughter is found dead and causes a mid-air collision because his mind is elsewhere. As for Airplane!, the movie never gets that dire! It's a comedy, after all!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Movie Montage #4

I've made my fourth movie montage! I hope you watch and enjoy it!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

This movie is so fetch!

Mean Girls
Director: Mark Waters
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Tina Fey
Released: April 30, 2004
Viewed in theaters: May 7, 2004

When I first saw this on the big screen, I left the theater not liking the movie. But I can attribute that to the bad theater-going experience I had with it as I've since rented the movie (and now own the DVD) and have watched it a few more times and it still makes me laugh.

Picture it: Omaha, 2004. I'm standing in line at the box office to buy a ticket to see Mean Girls. In front of me were six annoying 12 year old teenybopper girls. I was praying to myself, "Please let them be seeing New York Minute!" But no, of course they were going to see Mean Girls. Just my luck! One of them had a cell phone and was saying, "Blah, blah, why won't your mom let you come to the movie?" Haha. One of their friends wasn't allowed to see it! I'm walking to the theater and on the way there, I walk past a woman talking to an usher saying, "Theater 5 is completely out of control." Well, guess which theater I was in folks? :::rolls eyes::: Lucky me! Ugh. So I walk in and there is an entire row filled with young boys and girls. Then there's another row in the front filled with teenybopper girls and they were all clapping and whooping and hollering. Ugh, pre-teens are the worst! I see the usher standing near the doorway and he has an eye on the kids. Then the manager comes in (hilarious) and he goes to the two rowdy rows and he basically tells them (I couldn't hear everything) that if he gets any complaints about them, he's gonna call all their parents or something like that. The kids were pretty well behaved during the movie for the most part. During the Mathletes competition when Cady's team wins, there's applauding in the movie, so of course the obnoxious twerps in the theater had to applaud and whoo as well. So you see what I had to deal with? 

Cady (Lindsay Lohan) is a new student at a high school after being home-schooled when she lived in Africa for the past twelve years. She has trouble making friends at first until outcasts Janis (played by Lizzy Kaplan who has since become more of a known name) and Damien take her under their wing and tell her everything she needs to know about the students at the school. They warn her about "The Plastics", a trio of superficial and snotty girls that consist of the very dumb Karen (Amanda Seyfried), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert), whose father invented toasted strudel, and the Queen Bee, Regina George (Rachel McAdams - who was 27 or 28 when she made this, but she can pull off playing a high schooler!) Janis really hates Regina as we learn a backstory that they used to be best friend in middle school until they started drifting apart and Regina spread a rumor that Janis was a lesbian...except she used a much worse name.

This movie was written by Tina Fey (it was adapted from a book I've never heard of) and she also plays Ms. Norbury, the math teacher. There are other SNL alums peppered throughout the movie. Ana Gasteyer plays Cady's mom, Tim Meadows plays the principal, and Amy Poehler plays Regina's mom. She plays the "cool" mom, which means she is the worst mom. She wears these velour pink sweat
suits and serves the girls cocktails (non-alcoholic though, what kind of mom do you think she is?) She walks in on Regina making out with a boy on her bed and is more proud than appalled. She desperately wants to fit in and be the friend of these high school girls as she'll say, "So tell me girls, what's the 4-1-1?" And when the girls were performing a sexy dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" for the talent show, she was in the aisle doing the dance along with them. 

Cady gets invited to sit at the exclusive Plastics lunch table after they see her being harassed by Gretchen's ex-boyfriend and feel sorry for her (and also because she is deemed pretty enough to sit at their table). They extend their invitation to have her sit with them for the rest of the week and Janis and Damien encourage her to do it so they can find out all the awful details about the Plastics. Cady learns about all the stupid rules the Plastics have made: they wear pink on a certain day of the week, they can only wear their hair in a ponytail one day a week, jeans can only be worn on Fridays, etc. This is probably going to date me, but hearing all those rules reminded me of the Sweet Valley Twin books (the ones that took place when the twins were in middle school) and Jessica Wakefield belonged to the clique, the Unicorns, with the other rich girls and they always had to wear something purple everyday. Please tell me I am not the only one who remembers this! And Lila Fowler was the Queen Bee of that group. And there was also a girl named Mary and one named Mandy and was there an Amy too? I'm sure they had other rules too, but I only remember the purple rule. (Because purple is royalty!) 

"Stop trying to make fetch happen! It's not going to happen!"
Cady has a crush on Aaron, the boy who sits in front of her in math class. Gretchen and Karen are scandalized when they hear about this because he is Regina's ex-boyfriend. Gretchen tells Cady that dating another friend's ex is "against the rules of feminism!" Regina tries to talk Cady out of dating him because all he cares about is school, his mom, and his friends to which Cady replies, "Is that a bad thing?" Regina ends up back with Aaron just to spite Cady, infuriating Cady and she and Janis and Damien come up with a plan to ruin Regina George. They find out that Gretchen has been cheating on Aaron by hooking up with another guy in the projection room so they try all kinds of tactics to get Aaron to go there and catch his girlfriend with another guy including posting a sign saying that swim team will be held in the projection room after school. It's a funny joke, but is this guy really that stupid he would believe that? And he actually goes up there but Regina isn't there. 

Cady gives Regina nutrition bars and tells her they will help slim her down when in fact they make her gain weight. She also turns Gretchen and Karen against Regina when they're on a multiple-way call and over hear Regina say mean things about them. When Regina finds out all the things Cady has done (and her long, exaggerated scream made my cat's ears perk up!) she brings out the Burn Book, a book where she and the other Plastics have written mean things about other students and staff. Cady's only entry was when she was venting about Ms. Norbury and writes about her being a drug dealer. A high school teacher being a drug dealer? Who ever thought of such a thing?! Regina frames Cady, Gretchen, and Karen soley for the Burn Book as she has put her picture in there and has written that she is a "fugly skank" so she is not implicated to the  scandalous book. She makes copies of the pages and tosses them around school so everyone finds out about the mean things that have been written about them and there is a riot until the principal gathers everyone into the auditorium and threatens to cancel the Spring Fling Dance, but can't since he already paid for the DJ. He also threatens to keep everyone there all night if he has to, but then a teacher steps in and says they can only keep them until four, so he quickly has to adjust his threat. 

To help the girls express their feelings, Ms. Norbury has them do some exercises, including getting on a platform, say what they are sorry for and then have them lean back and fall into the crowd who will catch them. I don't know which one made me laugh more: the girl who tells her friend, "I don't hate you because you're fat, you're fat because I hate you" (What? lol!) and then it reveals she's in a wheel chair as she falls back into the crowd who has to catch her, or when Gretchen says, "I'm sorry people are jealous of me, but I can't help it if I'm so popular" and everyone moves away as she falls back and Karen is the only one to catch her. The vacant smile on Amanda Seyfried's face is just the funniest thing ever and it was so funny when the two girls are lying on top of each other after Gretchen has fallen on top of her. Although I do love Karen's speech apologizing to Gretchen for laughing at her when she had "diarrhea that one time at Barnes and Noble and I'm sorry now for bringing it up again."

The movie ends with everyone learning their lesson (of course) and Cady gives a nice speech about acceptance and all that good stuff after she has won Queen of Spring Fling. We find out the following year, their senior year, the Plastics have parted ways but are still amicable with each other. 

And since this is a teen movie, I must bring out my required teen check list!

Is there a party scene? Check
Is there a prom scene? Not prom, it's the Spring Fling, but close enough.

Is there a football scene? No
Is there a make over scene? Check
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Check...and I'm pretty sure they added new ones in this movie! 
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? No, this movie came out after that one, but there is a small connection as Lacey Chabert played the Jennifer Love Hewitt character from Can't Hardly Wait in it. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Good Morning, Angels

Charlie's Angels
Director: McG
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, Luke Wilson, Kelly Lynch, Crispin Glover, Matt LeBlanc
Released: November 3, 2000

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Director: McG
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, Luke Wilson, Crispin Glover, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick
Released: June 27, 2003
Viewed in theaters: June 30, 2003

This is one of those (not-so-rare) instances where I loved the first movie and loathed the sequel. The first movie was a lot of fun and effortless and the second movie just felt like it was trying to hard. The first movie even pokes fun at itself in the first minutes of the film when one of our angels is on a plane (disguised as L.L. Cool J - don't ask...I mean she's not actually disguised as rapper/actor L.L. Cool J, (though that would be kind of awesome) but rather an African dignitary who  is played by L.L. Cool J in a small cameo) and the movie playing on the flight is T.J. Hooker: The Movie and he (she?) makes a comment about another retro TV series being turned into a movie. Moments later, the disguised Angel has apprehended the bad guy on the plane with the bomb, blown a hole through in the plane to escape with the bad guy and bomb (though most likely everyone else still on the plane probably died since, um, hello, DECOMPRESSION!!! That plane probably crashed into the ocean moments later!) and landed in a speedboat where the other Angels met up with her. We see "L.L. Cool J" take off "his" mask and it's Dylan (Drew Barrymore). Now I can believe the (ridiculously believable) mask and she had a voice box to change her voice, but how do you explain how she suddenly grew at least a foot? This was the only time in the movie any of the Angels have Mystique-levels of transforming into other people.

The Angels of 2000 are Natalie (Cameron Diaz), who is the happy-go-lucky one. She comes across as ditzy sometimes, even though she's actually quite smart and a bit of a nerd. And she loves to dance. Dylan is the rebel and Alex (Lucy Liu) is the studious, serious one. They get their assignments from their boss, Charlie, who we never see. He is voiced by John Forsythe who also voiced Charlie in the TV series (which I've never seen, but of course am aware of). His assistant, Bosley helps the angels out with missions, though let's be honest, they do all the work.  He is played by Bill Murray who wasn't in the sequel (smart choice) and was replaced by Bernie Mac who is his adopted brother. Or something like that.

What I like about their missions is that they're not trying to save the world from destruction like so many superhero movies are about. I understand that world destruction is the worst thing that can happen, but it can get a little tiring and redundant sometimes. Instead they are tasked to find a kidnapped computer programmer, Knox (Sam Rockwell), who has created a voice recognition program that is widely coveted. They come across a strange man who calls himself the Thin Man (Crispin Glover - George McFly himself!). He has a strange fetish with women's hair as he'll yank out quite a bit from the girls' heads and then creepily runs it under his nose. The Angels find Knox who is suspected to be kidnapped by the Thin Man and reunite him with his business partner, Victoria (Kelly Lynch).

But it turns out Knox and Victoria were behind the whole thing and were working with the Thin Man to fake the kidnapping! They are planning on killing Charlie at his beach house with a missile and the Angels must stop him. But before they do that, they must rescue Bosley who has been kidnapped. Dylan has been taken and tied up to a chair and in a scene ripped off from the one in True Lines where Arnold tells the bad guys exactly what he is going to do to them and proceeds to do exactly what he said, Dylan tells her captors what she's going to do to them and ends with the movie's most memorable line, "And that's called kicking your ass!"

There's a lot of dressing up in sexy costumes (like dominatrixes and race car assistants), although in one scene Natalie and Dylan are dressed as businessmen to break into the software company building.  All the angels have love interests. Alex is dating an actor named Jason (played by Matt LeBlanc, although he's an action star and not a soap opera star like Joey Tribbiani) who she keeps what she does from and tells him she's a massage therapist. Natalie meets a bartender, Pete (Luke Wilson) and they date in the first movie and get...a puppy in the second. Not engaged, like everyone thought she would. Dylan is seeing this guy, Chad. He's played by Tom Green and I had completely (and happily) forgotten about his existence until I was reminded of it when I saw him again. I don't know if Dylan was that serious about him because she ended up getting seduced by Knox and sleeping with him when he was trying to get information from him before she found out he was part of the bad guy team. Tom Green is so painfully unfunny in this that it's not even...funny. I forgot that he and Drew Barrymore were married for like 3 months around this time. He even ruins one of the songs on the soundtrack, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"  because he sings a verse before the song starts and it hurts your eardrums.

Speaking of the soundtrack (which I own...both movies'), pretty much any song with "angel" in the title is in the movie. "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" is in it. "Angel's Eye" by Aerosmith is in it. I'm pretty sure I heard "Angel of the Morning" during it.

Then we have Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle which is so bad. While the fight scenes appeared to be ripped off from The Matrix at times in the first movie, they could be plausible in the context of the film. There's a lot of action scenes in the second movie and there all so ridiculous and ludicrous. There's a scene where the Angels are at a motorbike competition (and Pink has a cameo as the person who starts the race and while this is going on, they're playing a Pink song, which just seems way too on the nose). The Angels are after their bad guy and there's a scene where the bad guy has gone up in the air on his motor bike, flips upside down, takes out two guns and shoots at the angels, does a flip and sits upright on his bike...all before landing on the ground! Of course, this is all done in slow motion, but there is no way in hell anybody could do all that in real time. How stupid do you think we are, movie?

This time, the Angels are trying to locate two rings, that when put together, produce all the names of those in the witness protection program. Yeah, totally ridiculous...but at least they stayed clear from going the saving the world from eminent destruction route! The bad guy, Seamus (Justin Theroux) needs this list because he used to date Dylan who we learn is part of the witness protection program. (Well, at least she didn't have to move to Omaha and work at Cinnabun!) Her name used to be Helen Zaas (and yes, they did every joke under the sun with that name) who dated Seamus back in the day, but when she saw him kill someone, she ratted on him and had to be taken into protective custody. They found out Seamus had been released "that day" and now he wants to get revenge on Dylan.

The other bad guy is Madison (Demi Moore), an ex-Angel who has gone rouge. She tries to kill the Angels (because she uses guns as opposed to just fighting) because...I really don't know because this movie is so stupid and I really didn't care. Oh...and the Thin Man is back! For no reason whatsoever. For some reason, I was sure they had killed him in the first movie, but I was probably confusing him with Knox. And in this movie he's HELPING the angels. Huh? When did this happen? He and Dylan even share a "moment" right before Seamus throws him off the rooftop of the building they're on top of and he falls to his death and Dylan is devastated that this guy she's been in love with for two seconds (and let's not forget...tried to KILL her in the first movie!) is dead. Just go away, movie. You're exhausting me.

Future douche bag Shia LaBouf is in the movie for about twenty minutes. His parents were killed by Seamus and I guess the Angels are worried that he will be his next target, so he is taken into hiding at Bosley's mothers house. I have no idea why he was even in the movie...maybe someone on this movie worked on that Disney series he did and wanted him to be part of it. Who knows. There was a clever cameo where Jaclyn Smith plays an ex-Angel, Kelly (which was her character's name on retro Charlie's Angels...I checked) who helps guide Dylan. A not so clever is from the Pussycat Dolls. Remember them? God, they are the worst. I think this was back when they were popular. The Angels have to do a sexy dance to...get something from a bad guy. I don't remember and I don't care.

There was one funny moment where they're at a crime scene and spoof CSI: but that's the only nice thing I can say about this movie. It is just so awful! They have the girls dance to "Can't Touch This" for no reason other than it's funny! Every time the girls try to escape from being killed, they jump up in the air and do a slow motion. Every damn time! There are stupid sound effects that make it seem like you're watching a Saturday morning cartoon. It is so bad! I can't, I just can't!

So here is my verdict:
Charlie's Angels - Heaven
Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle - Hell

Monday, March 9, 2015


The Accused
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Cast: Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis
Released: October 14, 1988

Oscar nominations:
Best Actress - Jodie Foster (won)

The Accused is about a woman (Jodie Foster) who is gang raped at a bar and her lawyer (Kelly McGillis) wants justice and have all the men (those involved in the rape AND the ones watching) put away. While watching this, I kept expecting a twist. While Kathryn (the lawyer) does find out things about Sarah (Foster's character) that aren't great for a jury to hear on a rape case such as she does drugs and is promiscuous and was wearing a skimpy outfit that night she was raped, I was expecting Sarah to want the men to have sex with her so she could accuse them of rape because she wanted to get back at them for some other reason...but that was not the case...literally. I guess now I'm just so used in seeing twists in movies and TV shows I watch, I thought this movie would be no different. I probably should have watched the trailer first (I like to watch them after the movie so I'm not spoiled by anything) because it would have told me straight that this is a movie about a woman who is raped and how she and her lawyer want to take down the men who did this to her. There are no hints of twists or ambiguity. 

While all the men involved in the rape (either participating or watching) are all meat-headed neanderthals, there is one younger guy who obviously is uncomfortable about the whole thing and knows what's going on in front of him is wrong...although he just stands there and watches and doesn't call the police until AFTER Sarah has attacked a guy and gets the opportunity to run away. His name is Ken and Kathryn finds out he was there the day the rape happened because she notices his name on an arcade game with the date next to it. (Sidenote: Don't people usually put their initials when they get a high score on an arcade game? He had written KEN next to the score. Not that I really know anything about this because my name is more than three letters, plus, I never play arcade games and when I do, I certainly never get a score high enough to get on the board!) Kathryn looks through some yearbooks to find this Ken and I had to freeze the frame because there was a guy in the yearbook with the name of "Richard Dick". Okay, obviously this was some stupid joke because "Dick" is a nickname for "Richard" (God only knows why!) Why they are having a "Dick" joke in a movie about rape just seems a bit insensitive to me! Did you really go there, movie? Or maybe I'm just over thinking this and that guy's name is actually Richard Dick and his friends probably call him Dick Dick. Poor guy. His parents are just awful.

So Ken is put on the witness stand and he tells what happened that night. Sarah is put on the stand too but because she was drunk and seemed to be flirting with the guy who initiated the rape, they think she might not be the best witness. Ken tells what happened and it just seems so ridiculous that this rape happened the way it did. She was flirting with a guy who she thought was cute and a song she likes comes on the juke box (and it wasn't a real song, it was just some generic pop music which was amusing...I guess nobody wanted them to allow to use their song during a brutal rape!) Now she's drunk and her top is falling off and she looks like a total idiot, but it's obvious she is inebriated. The guy forces her onto a pinball machines and even though she is struggling and screaming, rapes her, then has these other guys who are watching and egging him on, to "have a turn" too. Now while this is going on, in the other room, a bunch of people are sitting at the bar, drinking and watching TV. Did they not hear a girl screaming and all those men shouting? I really found that hard to believe that NOBODY did anything. Except for Ken who called the cops after Sarah had escaped. It was a horrible scene to watch, but at the same time, I just didn't buy it, you know? Okay, so I just did some research on Wikipedia and apparently this is based on a true story of a 21 year old girl who was raped on a pool table by four guys at a bar in 1983 while the patrons did nothing. That's disturbing. I would hope that wouldn't happen in this day and age. And she went through all that only to die in a car accident three years later. (That did not happen to Sarah in the movie...all the men who who were involved were convicted.) That reminds me of this woman who worked at the World Trade Center and survived 9/11, only to be in that fatal flight only a couple months later when the horizontal stabilizer snapped off and the plane crashed in a neighborhood in Queens. It's just sad when someone survives a truly horrendous event, only to die in a freak accident a few years or months later.

Well, this was a depressing review. My next review won't be, that I can promise! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

O Captain! My Captain!

Dead Poets Society
Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles, Kurtwood Smith
Released: June 9, 1989

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture (lost to Driving Miss Daisy)
Best Director - Peter Weir (lost to Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July)
Best Actor - Robin Williams (lost to Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot)
Best Original Screenplay - Tom Schulman (won)

One of the late Robin Williams' greatest and most beloved roles was that of English professor John Keating who teaches at Welton Academy, an all-boys boarding school. This film gave us many quotes such as "O Captain! My Captain" which I saw written as many Facebook status updates as a tribute to Williams the day he died and "Carpe Diem"/"Seize the Day".  

The film takes place in 1959 and it's also Mr. Keating's first year of teaching at Welton. His young students include the shy Todd (Ethan Hawke); his roommate, outspoken Neil (Robert Sean Leonard);  romantic dreamer Knox (Josh Charles); stickler-for-the rules Richard (or "dorky redhead" as I call him!); and rule-breaker Charlie. And there's others I'm sure I'm forgetting. While all the students work together as an ensemble, it's Neil who is the leader and has the most screen time of any of the other young men. His passion is to be an actor, but his strict father (Kurtwood Smith) wants him to be a doctor. I wish I could say that he got his wish and Neil went on to become a successful doctor and I could make a House (because Robert Sean Leonard would go on to play Wilson in House!) joke here, but that doesn't quite happen.

Mr. Keating is unlike any teacher the boys have ever had at Welton Academy. After they have attended their history, science, and math classes with the usual lectures, they become unsure when they're in Mr. Keating's English class and he has told them to rip out the entire introduction of their textbook. The learn about an absurd method about how to rate a poem involving a line graph (please tell me this isn't real!) and Keating tells them it's a load of garbage and to tear out the pages of the introduction. Richard, who had been taking copious notes, is confused when Keating erases the graph off the chalkboard and quickly scribbles through the graph he had just drawn. The boys are all uncertain at first, but then more confidently start tearing out the pages they are instructed to rip out.

Keating tells them about a secret society he once belonged to when he himself was a student at Welton, the Dead Poets Society, where he and other students would meet in secret and read poetry. Neil, the fearless leader, decides to get this tradition rolling again and he and the other students meet in a cave at night to read poetry from a book and recite their own. They also joke around and gossip and philosophize.

Because of Mr. Keating's class and his motto to "seize the days", his young students start feeling more confident. Knox (who would later go on to become lawyer Will Gardner on Good, Welton Academy really is a good school as it produces doctors and lawyers!) gets the courage to woo a girl from a public school who already has a boyfriend (and gets beaten up by him in the process!) Mr. Keating encourages the timid Todd to come out of his shell when he is reluctant to read a poem he has written in front of the class which was assigned to all the students to do. Keating tells him to close his eyes and forget that the other students are in the same room.

Neil, the aspiring actor, tries out for A Midsummer's Night Dream and gets cast in a lead role. In order to be in the play, he must have permission from a parents, so he forges a letter, pretending to be his father. Of course, his dad finds out and is furious and forbids Neil to be in the play. Neil gets advice from Mr. Keating to tell his father how he really feels and he wants to pursue acting instead of a medical career, but Neil never gets the courage to stand up to his father. He still remains in the play and we see his father come in to watch. I thought he might have a change of heart after seeing how happy his son was and how seriously he took acting, but instead he punishes him by telling him he is being shipped off to military school the next morning. Neil fatally shoots himself with his father's gun and we see a heartbreaking scene where his father finds him in his office on the floor behind the desk.

Mr. Keating's ways of teaching is frowned upon by the school board and he is fired. In one of the most memorable scenes of the movie, while he has come back to the classroom to pack up his things while a lesson is going on, we see Todd keep glancing at his former teacher and it is obvious he wants to say something, but is still too reserved to do so. As Mr. Keating is walking away, he blurts out it was unfair he was fired. He stands on his desk in an act of defiance and is followed suit by the other students who also agree with him. In an earlier scene, Mr. Keating had everyone stand on his desk to see the world from a different perspective. The music swells, Mr. Keating is getting tears in his eyes and so am I. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Practical Magic
Director: Griffin Dunne 
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Diane Wiest, Goran Visnjic, Aidan Quinn, Evan Rachel Wood
Released: October 16, 1998

This is based on a novel by Alice Hoffman. I figured the novel must be much better and more fleshed out than the movie since a lot happens in the film but is quickly glossed over, so I was sure that the book must go more in depth, which I'm sure it does, but when I was reading reviews of it on Goodreads, I was surprised that many people said that the movie was better than the book. Because the movie really isn't that great. It's not sure if it wants to be a comedy or a romance or a dark supernatural it's a bit of a trifecta of all three. 

Sally and Gillian Owens (Bullock and Kidman) are sisters who are witches. Just like Sabrina (heh!), they are raised by their aunts, Frances and Bridget (Channing and Weist). Older sister Sally is the more practical one while Gillan is the free-spirit. At a young age, the girls learn of the curse that has overshadowed their family for decades: any man who falls in love with someone in their family is doomed to die. Now that's something you don't want to reveal on the first date! Sensitive Sally is horrified by this news and casts a spell on herself so she will only fall in love with a certain type of man who is seemingly too good to be true that there is no chance he can even exist. Gillian, however, is not phased at all by this and can't wait to fall in love, or, to be more accurate, sleeping around.

When the girls become young adults, Gillian goes on her way to start her tour of having love affairs and breaking hearts. Sally stays back with her aunts in their small town. One days she sees a good-looking man walking down the street and smiles at him. A few minutes later we see them running towards each other and embracing and the next thing we know they are married and have kids. Well, shocker of all shocks, we come to find out her aunts saw she liked him and put a love spell on both of them so they would fall in love. (You could say she drank some Love Potion #9! Yes, I went old-school Sandy Bullock reference for that!) There must be some unwritten prophecy that every Owens woman must have two daughers: one brunette and one redhead with bangs. Because Sally and her husband have two girls who fit this description as well. A young Evan Rachel Wood plays her daughter with the red hair. At first I was confused and thought she was supposed to be Gillian's daughter because she looked so much like her! 

The curse still holds and Sally's husband is killed. It is the most unbelievable death. First, it was laughable because we are meant to think he is going to be killed by being run over by cyclists (he's out in the street during a bike marathon or something), but then we see that he is hit by a car even though he had already been in the middle of the street, frozen as the cyclists go around him. Obviously the car saw there was a person standing in the middle of the road and had plenty of time to slow down. It was just so stupid. But he dies and is never spoken of again. 

Gillian has fallen victim to an abusive man, Jimmy (Goran Visnjic) who likes  to drink a little too much. When she becomes scared, she calls Sally to come get her. Jimmy ends up kidnapping both of them and only wanting to drug him, Sally gives him a sleeping potion, but it ends up killing him. The sisters freak out because they don't want to be put away for murder, so they take him back to their house where they will perform a simple resurrection spell, which, if we've learned anything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is NEVER a good idea! (Unless you die of a supernatural death, of course! And even that is never a good idea.) This involves having to draw a star on the deceased's stomach and Sally uses a can of Readi-Whip to do that which is hilarious.  And I love that she dips her finger in the whipped cream and licks it off. As soon as Zombie Jimmy is alive again, he immediately starts to choke Gillian and Sally hits him with a frying pan, killing him...again. They bury him in their backyard.

A detective named Gary (Aidan Quinn) from Jimmy's hometown comes up to inspect Jimmy's disappearance and is wary of the sisters. Turns out Gary has all the qualities that young Sally wished in the man she could never fall in love with. He can flip pancakes! He has one blue eye and one green eye! His favorite shape is a star because he has a badge shaped like one! I don't want to spoil anything by saying they get together in the end...but guess what? They fall in love!

Jimmy's spirit has possessed the body of Gillian and Sally and her aunts hold an exorcism to get rid of it. In order to do this, there must be a circle with a certain amount of people so they have to invite other women from their small town to help them. Margo Martindale plays one of those women who works at the apothecary shop Sally owns and runs.

The  director, Griffin Dunne, is probably most recognized for his acting roles.  He played Vada's poetry teacher in My Girl and played a judge on an early season of The Good Wife. 

The best thing about this movie was that the small town scenes were filmed in Whidbey Island, Washington...and I have been there before! It is an amazing location. I wish I had known that before I watched the movie because then I would have paid more attention to see if I recognized anything.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

I Take You With Me

Boys On The Side 
Director: Herbert Ross
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore, Matthew McConaughey, James Remar
Released February 3, 1995

Spoilers for a 20 year old movie...just in cases! 

This movie came out when I was in middle school and I remember seeing it in the theater with my mom. While I remember that, I didn't remember anything about the movie except the singalong to "You've Got It". And that Mary-Louise Parker's character dies at the end. Well, she was still alive at the end, but it was implied she died although for some reason, I remember a funeral scene. It's funny what your mind chooses to remember and what not to remember. Other than that, I didn't remember anything so I decided to see it again. I didn't even look at the rating on the DVD cover because I just assumed it was PG-13. Nope, it's an R. I was shocked that my mom let me see this movie as a young middle schooler! There is language in this movie that would make even Nancy Botwin blush! 

This movie reminded me a bit of Steel Magnolias (a group of women with a friendship and one of them is dying and one of them has a baby....luckily it's never been the same woman!) and then I realized it's directed by the same director, so there you go. This movie reminded me of a cross between that one and Thelma and Louise since the group of women are on a road trip. (And Whoopi Goldberg even makes a crack about how she's not driving over a cliff for the others). 

Jane (Goldberg) is a lounge singer in New York who has broken up with her girlfriend and has been fired from her job so she is looking to start over somewhere. She meets Robin (Parker) who has placed an ad in the paper that she is looking for someone to accompany her on a trip to California. I can tell you one thing, there is no way I would ever let a stranger join me on a road trip. That could end up either being very dangerous...or very irritating! But both women agree on taking the trip together and drive to Pittsburgh so Jane can see her friend, Holly (Barrymore). While traveling, we see the first glimpses of Robin acting odd. They have to stop at a fast food place because Robin gets sick. She tells Jane it's just allergies, but I knew (or thought I knew!) she had cancer. Well, no, I was wrong. I THOUGHT she had cancer because I guess that's what I remembered, but no, she has AIDS. Because this was 1995 and AIDS was all the rage in the '90s! It was kind of weird she had AIDS because she was this very uptight woman...she didn't look like the type to use drugs of have unprotected sex. I guess they just wanted to show us anybody could get AIDS? I don't even know how she got them.  

Hey, hey, hey, it's McConaughey!
When they pick up Holly, her abusive and drunk boyfriend is with her and won't let her go until he gets his drug money that he thinks she's stolen. Holly hits him with a baseball bat and the women tie him up. While they are gone, he tries to get to a phone, but ends up falling and hitting his head and dies. When they see this in the paper, the other two convince Holly to join them because she can't go back. She reveals to the others that she is pregnant. They make it to Tuscon before they have to settle there because Robin has gotten really sick and needs medical care. I believe this is when Jane and Holly (and the audience) finds out that Robin has AIDS. 

Holly starts seeing an old friend, a young cop played by a young  and pre-famous Matthew McConaughey (who, ironically won an Oscar for portraying a man with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club. It's like the circle of life, film style!) He finds out about her dead boyfriend and is torn between his feelings for her and obeying the law as his duties as a cop. Even though Holly goes to court and serves a short sentence, they end up married. Oh, and she names her daughter Mary Todd because McConaughey's name is Abe. :::GROAN::::  

Jane and Robin live in a house together with Holly and Abe until they have a fight and Jane moves out.  While at a bar, they meet some people and one of them is a guy (Remar) who appears to be interested in Robin and Jane tells him that she has AIDS just so he already knows and Robin doesn't have to worry about having that awkward conversation so Jane thinks she's doing Robin a favor. One night, Robin and the guy get really drunk and pretty much start having sex outside right in the open. I mean, really! They do make it to a hotel room before clothes start coming off, but when Robin is about to tell him about her condition, he tells her he already knows and that he has come protected. I can understand why Robin was so upset, but at the same time, shouldn't she be relieved that at least he already knows and seems to be okay with it? (Obviously as he has his hands all over her).  It doesn't surprise me that this guy was willing to have sex with her because he seemed like he would do it with anyone...he even makes a comment earlier in the movie about how hot the bar owner's 12 year old daughter is. It was really creepy.

Robin finds out Jane told him about her AIDS and that's why they have a fight t Jane moves out. When Robin's mother comes to visit, she is aghast when she learns that a lesbian (and a black one to boot!) has been living with her daughter! She should meet Keira Knightley's mother from Bend it Like Beckham! 

Like I mentioned earlier, the only scene I really remember is when Jane and Robin sing "You've Got It" to each other in a room full of people. It's a very sweet moment and got me choked up. 

This movie came out twenty years ago nearly to the day...and did you know that Drew Barrymore turns 40 this month? She was a very young 19 when she was in this movie and yet it seems like she had already been around forever!