Apr. 23rd, 2010

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Generally, my movie-watching habits throughout life have been about 70% things I want to see, 30% things I saw under some social obligation. This has no bearing on their quality (obviously - I mean, look at me); it's just a baseline measurement. And weirdly, it doesn't change much even after I look at when I started to review movies for real. Sure, I would take back the two hours of my life I spent watching Repo Men (and Legion), but in most movies there is a nice moment, or a grain of truth, or some extra who is clearly overjoyed to be there, and even if not, I love movies enough to sit through a few hundred duds in my lifetime.

However, in the last two weeks or so, I have seen a disproportionate number of movies that are really, truly awful. Some were my fault. One was the fault of the person who won a review in the Carl Brandon auction, and made me watch one of the most unbelievable things ever, which you will hear about next week.

And one of them was No Reservations, which I watched for Fair Food Fight. It was awful, but the worst part is probably this, at a key moment in the third act:

Kate: [indicating kitchen] This is who I am.

Nick: No, it's not.


...THUMBS UP, EVERYONE.

I handle this in the review (complete with killshot!), but I had to mention it here, just because I hate it so, so much.

I mean, pretty much any way you parse it, that is a loaded little conversation. (Keep in mind this guy is currently in a brand-new relationship with her, one in which he has addressed the problem of workplace authority by saying almost verbatim, "Well, you'll tell me what to do and I'll do what I want, just like always," and it is never discussed again and things actually play out that way. Plus, as I recall, they are having this conversation because he has just been offered her job and is treating her like a ridiculous harpy for being angry at this news.)

But beyond that (and as also discussed in the review), it's probably more than a little disingenuous to pretend that "chef" is the sort of job you try to rise above, rather than an actual Personage you hope to become, and that for a chef to say that about the kitchen is actually a statement of fact and career accomplishment, not some sort of romantic hangup to be overcome by some coworker you barely know who shows up on your doorstep late at night demanding you eat this unknown substance he made...while you're blindfolded.

Needless to say, my plan for this weekend will be heavy on movies I actually WANT to see. (Suspect Awesome British Actor Camp will feature heavily.)

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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