January 2, 2010

So, I had a sort of informal promise (read: from the roots of embarrassment and insecurity) to myself that I would not blog again until there were a minimum of three comments on my previous post. Even if two of the three were my own comments. I’m going to break that rule in the new year and suffer the humiliation that comes from being a blogger who is seldom read. Who cares, right? If no one reads this, there’s very little to be embarrassed. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

Another thing that I’m going to try to do more this year, with regard to the blog, is be more honest and less safe.  Not that I was exactly holding back before, and not that I’m going to be brutal or very revealing or anything now, but I want to try to worry less about offending someone, and put my thoughts out into the interwebs more.  I think that part of the great thing about having such lovely and loyal and smart friends is that I don’t run much of  a risk of offending them.  I think everyone knows that I’d never do anything to try to hurt anyone I love.  I’d like to say that I’d never do anything to try to hurt anyone, but I think that’s not completely true. 

While I’d not try to hurt anyone, I know that some things I say would hurt the person about whom I’m saying them.  For example, I think Maggie Gyllenhall is just about as gorgeous as a person can get, but she seems to me to kinda stink at acting.  Now, I’m not trying to hurt her (and in fact I doubt very much that I’m hurting her as the odds of her reading this blog are pretty close to the odds that she will one day play me in the movie version of my life — snooze, I know), but I can’t imagine that it feels good to read people dissecting your professional performances — complete strangers and amateurs to boot; I would think it would sting a bit.  I bring up Maggie Gyllenhall because I saw a preview of the new movie Crazy Heart today before seeing It’s Complicated.  Crazy Heart stars Jeff Bridges looking even more like Kris Kristofferson than he ever did.  And it looks to me like the movie The Wrestler wanted to be.  Although it seems to have some of the same underlying structure, Crazy Heart involves a drunken country star instead of a drunken professional wrestler.  And Jeff Bridges instead of Mickey Rourke, a swap I’ll take any day of the week.  And Maggie Gyllenhall instead of Marisa Tomei.  Not really a better move there, but we’ll see how much MG bugs me.  I saw T. Bone Burnett had some role in it, so that’s even more to look forward to.

As for It’s Complicated.  I liked it a lot.  First off, let’s be clear: it’s one of those movies that basically exudes, “It’s pretty damn nice to be rich.”  I am actually a fan of these kind of movies — movies like Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin one) and Something’s Gotta Give — they make life look so shiny and pretty and, frankly, uncomplicated.  There’s always plenty of food in the fridge, champagne in the glasses and clean linens (the sheer amount of clean towels alone make It’s Complicated worth seeing).  They make life’s hardships seem way less hard.  And there’s definitely a place for those movies, in my opinion.  I don’t need to see Schinder’s List or Hotel Rwanda or The Wrestler everyday.  [Or any day as it pertains to one of those three; I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to figure out which one.]   In essence, it was a pretty fun movie and I do think it had some things to say about divorce that were quite true.   I heard Dr. Phil once say that you aren’t ready to get divorced until you aren’t emotional anymore, until you know completely that it’s done. Although that sounds lovely, I think that it’s pretty much a load of crap and I can’t think of many folks that have operated that way.  As Reese Witherspoon once said (at least as much as a sage as Dr. Phil), if you aren’t emotional over it, you probably shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.  Since I find more truth in that statement, it seems Dr. Phil’s philosophy works more for the emotionally vacant or for people that never really cared about each other to begin with.  So, back to the movie.  Meryl & Alec had some unfinished business, it seems.   And that’s probably not that unusual.  I don’t think many divorced couples take it to the level they went to (though Liz Taylor certainly stepped it up a notch), the feelings they still had for each other seemed fairly understandable.  Understandable and realistic in a comedy exuding the It’s Good to Be Rich-vibe, of course.  I do, though, completely agree with Maggie (my cousin, not Gyllenhall) that their movie kids were totally unrealistic.  In addition to be saccharin-y, they were just odd.  No one acts like that, no one talks like that, no one is like that.  They are three twenty-something siblings who jump up and down when they see each other.  They were completely weird to me.  Except for the light of the world, John Krasinski.  May he never play the bad guy.

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6 Responses to “January 2, 2010”


  1. 1 Jane January 3, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Sweetie, I always read your blog, I just often have nothing to add. As for “Dr.” Phil, my blood pressure rises just at the thought of that fake. Must go. Maddie is having a meltdown because she can hear Kyle.

  2. 2 gracieandkate January 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Thanks Janey. One, I appreciate you reading. A lot. A lot a lot. And two, I am grateful for your assessment of Dr. Phil. In addition to being just totally grating and annoying, he does seem like a complete cliche with nothing new to add. Three, I’d have a meltdown (of the good kind — yes, there is a good kind) if I heard the lovely sound of Kyle, too. Kyle, dear Reader, is my beloved godson.

  3. 3 gwendolyngarden January 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I can’t wait to see it’s complicated. As you will no doubt assume, I love “it’s good to be rich movies” and my all-time favorite movie is FOTB. Just saw Sherlock Holmes and it was surprisingly good, except for the part where they run in the sewers from Parliament to Tower Bridge. That was a little unbelievable.

    🙂 Have a great week!

  4. 4 Sara H January 4, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I think the NYT did a big article on Nora Ephron, and there was much discussion about how her movie sets are absolutely unrealistic (particularly given the professions of the people – really, Diane Keaton, a playwright can afford that?) but very specifically designed to make us totally wish that was our house. The towels, the sheets, the books, the kitchens… that said, I totally want to see Complicated – Meryl and Alec and Steve? It MUST be good.

    But instead, we saw Avatar on Friday. Which actually was pretty decent in the way that only James Cameron does movies. However, I forgot that 3-D makes me nauseous, so I spent most of the movie with glasses off and thus it was a bit blurry. But still good. I’ll look forward to seeing it at home. We also saw a preview for Clash of the Titans – wtf?

  5. 5 Kristin January 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t wait to see It’s Complicated. Something’s Gotta Give is one of those movies I watch every single time it’s on TV. I can’t help it! Lovely rich people, Diane Keaton, Frances McDormand, and non-cringe worthy Jack Nicholson and Keanu – it’s the best! So I am very much looking forward to the new one.

    I saw Up in the Air last week and thought it was very, very good. And depressing as hell. But so good. But I felt like crying the whole time. But George was so brilliant. Ugh. Oh and the young Twilight girl was super, super annoying.

    And while I have to agree with you in general about Maggie G., I did love, love, love Secretary. Loved. It. So I think she was good in that one. I wanted to punch her in the face in Away We Go. And not just because her character was annoying. Also, she is married to my biggest Hollywood crush, so she has that against her, as far as I am concerned.

    I also want to see A Single Man (which as far as I know is about a gay, single guy, and his best gal friend), Invictus, An Education, The Blind Side. NOT The Lovely Bones.

    The end.

    Oh! I saw Adventureland the other night. Adorable.

  6. 6 Sarayu January 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I cannot take Maggie G.

    I’m excited to hear your say that you’re not going to worry about offending peeps for two reasons. One, because I think your blog is so eloquent and well thought out that I don’t see how you could offend anyone, and two, because I always love and support it when you let yourself be and don’t judge yourself.

    Now, I too love an “It’s good to be rich” movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. There were a lot of things that weren’t realistic and in addition to that, I thought the kids were weak actors. I just loved how the movie was so… adult. Without giving too much away to those who haven’t yet seen it, I liked how it dealt with relationships and the way adults have to let things be messy as they figure things out. In that sense it felt more honest than so many rom coms. I also liked how understated Steve Martin’s character was so understated. I might be wrong but it seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen him in such a subtle role.

    I do not care for Doc Phil. I know he’s all the rage, and I’m not one to talk as I’ve never seen much of his work, but between what he said and what Reese said, her remark makes more sense to me. If you’ve gone through the journey of courtship, falling in love, getting married, falling out of love, then getting divorced… well, some may be a cleaner cut, but more often I think there’s a lot of confusion and intense emotions. History usually has pretty substantial effect on people.

    I adored Adventureland. Did Kristen Stewart scare you, or did you like her?


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