Archive for February 16th, 2009

A cliched Monday & a wrestling spoiler

I am in such a bad mood again and I feel terrible about it.  The day started out fine.  I mean, it’s Monday and I’m still shaking this cold, so I was a little foggy, but mostly it was ok.  Pup and I took a stroll around the block.  My bus driver asked me if I was spoiled on Valentine’s Day.  And a nice lady in the elevator made a friendly comment that I didn’t understand until she got off on the fourth floor.  Oops.  But then. 

The first thing was there was a message for me on my work voicemail left a little after 8 am from the Board president telling me he had sent me an email and needed my vote on something asap.  Well, it was now 9:30 since that’s what time I get to work.  I check my email and there’s a dozen emails about said-item-on-which-to-vote that indicate I am the last to vote.  Oh, shut up.  Then I try to pay my mobile phone bill because I got a letter this weekend saying, “Oops!  Did you forget to pay us?”  And, of course, I have.  I must have signed up for webbills or something because I have not received a paper bill from them in some time.  This is Credo mobile, which used to be Working Assets.  Does anyone else have them?  I used to really love Working Assets but since getting their mobile plan, I’ve had nothing but trouble, really.  I’ve had to hassle on several overbilling problems and their failure to give me credit for switching plans, which they had promised.  Anyway, that has all been in the past.  But today I am trying to pay the bill online and I’ve been thwarted.  You have to enroll in their webbilling program to pay.  Well, I tried and get the response that I’ve already enrolled.  But, I tried using my normal, and variations upon the normal, userid and am locked out.  To retrieve your user id?  You have to send them an email.  What?  So, hmm.  I wonder when I’ll hear back about that.  I am trying to pay my bill, and I can’t.  I really, really hate that.

And the last thing is, my office is a total mess and it’s driving me crazy.

What I actually wanted to talk about, though, is The Wrestler.  Have you seen this little film that has generated so much buzz?  Well, if you haven’t, I definitely am not going to be the one to suggest you do.  I have no idea — other than Mickey Rourke being Mickey Rourke and being in the movie — why in the world this movie has received so much attention.  Though not nominated for best picture (thank God), it has received too big of a share of the awards season’s spotlight.  Interestingly, Springsteen’s song — easily the best part of the movie (not just because the movie isn’t very good, but because the song is a masterpiece) — is not nominated for an Oscar, despite winning Best Song at the Globedy Globes.  Explain that!  Anyway, back to the movie.  I thought the trailer was great — it looked compelling, heartfelt, honest and redemptive.  I suppose it was maybe honest.  But not really in a good way.  More in the sense that a grocery store looks kinda like the one in the movie. 

Mickey Rourke plays Randy the Ram, a professional wrestler whose actual name is Robin.  Isn’t that hilarious?  The thing is, I thought the movie was about an on-in-years professional wrestler who tries to stage a comeback, despite the industry telling him he’s finished.  I thought the movie was about pursuing your dream and not letting others tell you you’re not good enough.  I thought the movie was going to be one man’s tale of victory in the face of defeat.  Boy was I wrong.  This is a movie about a guy who’s really, pretty much, a selfish ass.  I suppose it’s a tragedy — Robin’s fatal flaw is his love of wrestling in front of a crowd cheering for him, wearing flashy tights and cutting himself with a razor blade for his fans entertainment.  And it is his fatal flaw.  Well, one of them.  The other seems to be he can think only of himself.  Let me be clear: this movie is bleak.  It is violent (in the sense that there’s a lot of blood and guts, not in the sense that people are really maliciously hurting each other) and there is a lot of ugly sex stuff, including a really super vulgar sex scene.  Marisa Tomei, playing the proverbial stripper with a heart, is in a dumb role.  She’s fine in it, of course, since she’s Marisa Tomei, but the role is ill-defined and cliched.  I know it would be unusual for Randy to meet a woman at, say, a library or the symphony, but really, it has to be that he’s in love with the on-in-years stripper?  And I fail to see any meaningful parallels between their worlds.  Yes, they are both aging in a young person’s profession.  But he loves wrestling.  I don’t get the impression that she loves stripping and is sad that the frat boys at the bachelor party reject her for being too old.  [Sidenote: I found that sort of unbelievable.  I know I’ve never been to a strip club, but I have to imagine having someone as attractive as Marisa Tomei working in a tacky Jersey strip club  would not be something a young man would thumb his nose at.]  In any event, what basically happens is Randy is going along, wrestling on the weekends, stocking stock at a grocery store during the week.  One day, bam, he takes it too far and has a heart attack.  The doc tells him to knock off the wrestling.  He asks Marisa Tomei out for a hamburger.  She says he should call his daughter.  He buys Evan Rachel Wood a pea coat and takes her to the Jersey Shore where they discover an abandoned ballroom.  He has fun at his new job at the deli counter.  He asks Marisa Tomei out again.  She tells him she doesn’t date customers and, really, he doesn’t know her and she has a kid, does he really want that?  Instead of convincing her he does want that and telling her that he’ll stop being a customer, he insults and degrades her.  He then blows off Evan Rachel Wood by having sex in a bathroom with a firefighter-loving cokehead (what was this about?).  He then decides to wrestle again.  He tells Marisa Tomei about it when she comes to apologize to him.  Yes, you heard that right.  She apologizes to him.  She quits her job and runs to find him at his big event, asking him not to do it, offering herself to him.  He rejects her, goes out to the ring, his heart is failing him, he adopts some sort of Christ-like pose and bam!  Springsteen!

What the hell was the point of this movie?  I have no idea.  I found it self-indulgent and pretty vacuous.  Plus, the handheld cams made me dizzy.


February 2009

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