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.

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36 Responses to “A cliched Monday & a wrestling spoiler”


  1. 1 gwendolyngarden February 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    OMG. Thank you so much for going to that movie and summarizing it for me so that I didn’t have to go. what. a. waste.

    as to the other chaos, hopefully that’s straightened out a bit.

  2. 2 gwendolyngarden February 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    not just summarizing. Critiquing. Seriously. It sounds terrible.

  3. 3 gracieandkate February 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Ha! Thanks. Is it time to go home? I’m sleepy store. Are you going to Mexico? Where is everyone? I miss you, friends.

  4. 4 Sarayu February 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Hello Sugarplum! It is definitely time to go home. I would like to second Gwen’s comment. Thank you for seeing “The Wrestler.” I’d been feeling so guilty that I hadn’t seen it yet. I feel like I owe you a movie in return, or two hours of time. Whichever you’d prefer.

    On the e-bills affair, I’d just like to say I hate e-bills. They’re impossible to remember to pay, unless you pay them at the exact moment you receive the e-bill, and more often than not, that is not when I am ready to pay. Eventually, I end up accruing late fees, which is infuriating. And, yes, I am aware I could set up an automatic withdrawal but I rarely have the funds to rely on that, so one way or another, I am getting some sort of institutional charge for absolutely nothing. All in the name of saving trees- something tells me, the companies are more excited about all the extra late fees they’re getting, than any tress they’re saving. So annoying. Hmph.

  5. 5 Sara H February 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Yikes, thanks for the tip on the Wrestler. I guess I’ve been intrigued by Mickey Rourke’s comeback story, and I knew the movie wasn’t happy, but I just really can’t make myself go see movies with blood, guts and self-mutilation. I can’t even watch boxing, so methinks you have saved me a really terrible couple hours. You’ve really taken one for the team here, I guess. 🙂

    I cannot picture ERW in a peacoat. I miss when she was all innocent on Once and Again. Or, sort of innocent. She was so good on that show.

  6. 6 Kristin February 17, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I don’t know why, but I liked it despite the fact that I agree with you on just about everything you felt about it. I liked the bleakness, I guess, and I found the behind the scenes of the wrestling stuff kind of interesting.

    Anywho – do not see Zack and Miri Make a Porno. That I can tell you unequivocally.

    I did see He’s Just Not That Into You on Sunday and I thought it was super cute.

  7. 7 gracieandkate February 17, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I saw He’s Just Not That Into You, too, and thought it was super cute. That Ginnifer Goodwin is just a gem and I’ve warmed back up to Ben Affleck ever since Gone Baby Gone.

    And I totally forgot about ERW in Once and Again. Man, that seems like a totally different person.

  8. 8 Sarayu February 17, 2009 at 10:52 am

    “Once and Again” was such a good show. So was “Thirty-Something.” I miss them. “Brother & Sisters” just doesn’t do it for me in the same way, although I feel like it was supposed to fill that void.

    It’s funny I’m usually not as into Ginnifer Goodwin but I just loved her in “HJNTIY.” Her character was quite the kook and she was just excellent at playing it.

    Oh Evan- why do they have to grow up? She’s a really talented actress, but something tells me she’s a bit on the tortured side…

  9. 9 Sara H February 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I guess ERW was in that Thirteen movie right after Once and Again, which seemed weird at the time but maybe she was already heading toward full-blown adult angst.

    I do love Brothers and Sisters, although it’s certainly less subtle than Once and Again. Mostly, I just like to watch Sarah and Kevin have snappy dialogue and drink wine.

    Perhaps I should watch the Wrestler to get the behind the scenes on wrestling – a forensics friend from high school is a pro wrestler (Mr. Kennedy? Anyone know that guy?) It seems like a difficult business to get into – the guy can be on Wrestlemania one day, but then he’s signing autographs at the TR grocery store the next week. Or maybe that is the business, which doesn’t seem very fun.

  10. 10 gracieandkate February 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Yeah, well, this is more behind-the-scenes professional wrestling for either those that are kinda washed up, like Mr. Rourke, or up-and-comers, I think. Sounds like your Mr. Kennedy is doing well with Wrestlemania and all. These guys are wrestling in elementary school gyms and stuff, though maybe the behind-the-scenes stuff is the same either way. I’m guessing what Kristin is mostly referring to is how they discuss what they’re going to do to each other, what moves they’re going to pull, which is kinda neat and cute.

  11. 11 gracieandkate February 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I just saw an ad for Abrahamson on the Huffington Post’s site. Is that weird or can you somehow make internet sites customized with local ads, depending on who views the site? Color me confused!

  12. 12 Sara H February 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Kate, I am curious – what are the top blogs you read yourself?

  13. 13 gracieandkate February 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Hmm. That’s a good question. I used to be more of a reader of Althouse’s, but not so much anymore. I tune into Soglin’s from time to time…I guess I’m more of a NYTimes/cnn (wish I weren’t — it’s such a bad site)/slate/huff post reader and then read things that they direct me to…Ugh. I am revealing myself to be a bad blog reader! New NY resolution! Read more blogs! What about you, Sara? And others? Give me some clues!

  14. 14 Kristin February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    My favorite blog is Andrew Sullivan. It’s linked to The Atlantic (although you can just type in andrewsullivan.com). It’s fun a varied, although most definitely leans towards politics and civil rights, esp gay rights, issues, and religion. I just like him and have for awhile, even before I agreed with him about some key stuff. When I started reading him he was for the war and thought Bush was not so bad. Ha. Not anymore. He’s interesting.

    Also Salon and the NYT. Post Secret. Cake Wrecks. Have you ever been to Cake Wrecks? It makes me pee my pants.

  15. 15 Kristin February 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Oh, and Huffington Post. If only for the Obama family pictorials.

  16. 16 gracieandkate February 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Cake Wrecks? Yes, Andrew Sullivan. Forgot about him. I think I need to adopt some sort of better routine for these things. Like, during moring coffee I check out Atlantic, NYT and Althouse. Midmorning, Slate. I think you get the point. Ha. Also, remind me not to run for the union board in another year and a half. I’m pretty sure I’ll remember, but just in case, I’m counting on you peeps. I think I’ve received 80 emails today alone.

  17. 17 Kristin February 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Cake Wrecks. Check it out and report back to me. I really think you’ll love it.

  18. 18 Sara H February 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

    I love Cake Wrecks. Beware, Kate, you’ll be there for an hour, giggling. It’s total madness.

    I’m a big fan of Althouse’s blog. I agree, though, I read fewer substantive blogs and mostly cruise news websites like NYT and WSJ (I think I’ve given up on CNN). I should start to read HuffPo, though. I’ll have to check out Andrew Sullivan.

    I dig foodie blogs, and my favorite is Last Night’s Dinner. That woman’s chicken tacos are to die for. We make them monthly. I really need to learn to use my camera to take pretty pictures of my food.

    Guilty pleasure blog: jennsylvania.com, Jen Lancaster’s blog (author of Bitter is the New Black and other frothy b1tchlit books).

  19. 19 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 10:30 am

    What’s wrong with me?!?!?!? Seriously, I did not laugh at Cake Wrecks. I’m worried about myself. Is it just because I’m up to my ears in dealing with Union madness? Is it that I can’t find my period? Is it that I’m Acting Unit Director today and have cases to assign? Is it that I have to prepare to draft my second state sup ct brief of the year? Is it that — God forbid! — I actually have no sense of humor? Gasp.

    Am going to try jennsylvania.

  20. 20 Kristin February 18, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Oooh, I have to say I just tried to read Bright Lights, Big Ass (the title alone…I was wary) by Jennifer Lancaster and couldn’t get through ten pages. Is Bitter is the New Black good? Maybe it is I who does not have a sense of humor…

    As for Cake Wrecks – I went to it last night and read the past week or so of entries and did not find any of them funny. When I first started reading it a couple months ago it really made me laugh out loud, like crying laughing sitting here at my computer at work. So maybe she’s just lost steam.

  21. 21 Sara H February 18, 2009 at 11:24 am

    If you go back to CW, search “redneck” and “bikini”. I agree, the more recent ones, not so funny. But I don’t know who gives a pregnant lady cake nipples like you’ll see if you search “bikini.” (and should you really be able to search “bikini” and get baby shower cakes?) Which search also brings up my other fave, where a bride has a cake made in the image of herself.

    I think Lancaster’s books and her humor probably aren’t for everyone. I had trouble with Bitter initially because I couldn’t quite forgive someone who would prance into an unemployment office with a prada bag. But, she got her comeuppance, and I got to like her. She comes across self-absorbed and bitchy, but she knows that about herself and can make fun of it. Bright Lights probably wasn’t her strongest book, either.

    You can’t find your period?

  22. 22 Sara H February 18, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Oh. Duh. The question marks.

  23. 23 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 11:44 am

    No, I meant it literally. My period is late again and it’s driving me crazy. Not preggers, just don’t know what’s going on. I assume it’s stress, but I’m annoyed. And I almost just had to smack a coworker of mine for telling me that I need to get on some page of the 2000-page budget because he thinks it means something I don’t think it means. Why can’t he do something about it? ARGH.

  24. 24 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I know, because I’m the union rep.

  25. 25 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Also, very relieved to hear that most recent cakes on cake wrecks are not up to snuff.

  26. 26 Kristin February 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    OK, it was driving me crazy, so I went back to the first month of Cake Wrecks and laughed a lot at the first posts. Start here:

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html

  27. 27 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Ok, thank you for that link for two reasons.

    1. It is truly funny and I now feel better that we are all on the same page about what is funny. I was really nervous earlier.

    2. It’s been a crap-ass day and I really needed to laugh. I love the “Dad” one. I have such a love/hate relationship with unnecessary quotation marks. Happy birthday, “Dad!”

  28. 28 Kristin February 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    OMG I know. There are so many that are sooo funny for things like that. Or literal interpretations of instructions, like the one that says Baby Girl in Pink. Ha!

  29. 29 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    This one is killing me.

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2008/07/inspiration-vs-perspiration.html

    I really have a hard time imagining it’s real, but I’ll take the Cake Wrecks word for it. Holy cow is that funny.

  30. 30 gracieandkate February 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Now I can’t stop laughing and crying. My favorite ones are the literal ones. Oh, so good. SO GOOD!

  31. 31 Kristin February 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Maybe you found this collection of Literal LOLs, but if not take a look. My favorite one ever is in here: the one with E.T. on it like a million times.

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/search/label/Literal%20LOLs

  32. 32 gracieandkate February 19, 2009 at 9:21 am

    That E.T. is simply comic gold. The comments on the cakes are also spot-on, which makes the whole thing even better.

  33. 33 gracieandkate February 20, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Two things: Who has seen the Reader and will I like it? Sara, do you feel like Althouse’s blog used to be better?

  34. 34 Sara H February 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I think it hasn’t been as good since the election. And, for those who like this sort of thing, there really hasn’t been a whole lot of law talk. And she hasn’t gotten into a spat with anyone in a while, either, or cause a big blowup like she did with that Clinton picture. So interesting!

    I still read it daily, though.

  35. 35 gracieandkate February 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I need to be better about it. Remember when she had that weird studen posting stuff that she had to keep censoring? I wanted to know what she was saying! That was good drama.

  36. 36 Michael Weston March 3, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Hey there, saw that you were wondering about CREDO and i recently started working there and switched to there service. I love both, so feel free to contact me and ask any questions… i know i am biased as a new employee, but have been tracking them for sometime.

    -Michael


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