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Review: ‘The Bling Ring’

There’s something intensely uncomfortable about watching Sofia Coppola’s new examination of celebrity and material culture.

The story is based on real events, the story of a group of upper-middle-class teens, using only the internet and their own sense of entitlement, rob a series of celebrities for something like $3 million worth of designer goods. They’re not masterminds in any sense. They check TMZ and the like to find out when celebrities are away, then they hop fences and crawl through doggie doors and find keys under mats. Even in their thievery they’re incredibly lazy. That may be part of the discomfort I was feeling when I was watching it. Not just that the celebrities fell down in their own security, but that it was so easy for the teens to get what they wanted.

While working with a story where everyone knows the ending, the film is mostly about explaining how they got there. Ringleader Rebecca (Katie Chang) is incredibly manipulative of her new BFF Marc (Israel Broussard) and very into petty crime (she checks parked cars to see if they are open and steals wallets). Then there’s Nicki (Emma Watson, truly shaking off Harry Potter finally) so obsessed with celebrity and wealth that she is actively seeking a manager (but for what talent, it’s unclear) with the help of her clueless mother (Leslie Mann). Everything escalates after a trip to Paris Hilton’s mansion one night (using a key under the doormat).

It’s plainly clear that Coppola despises all of the characters, except possibly for Marc, who is painted as a victim for awhile. They smoke cigarettes, pot, do cocaine and other drugs, stay out all night get DUIs and none of it ever seems to lead to real consequences. Why do they rob? Because they can. And so even after their arrests, they seem to continue to live life like there are no consequences. But the only difference is now they are famous too.

A lot has been written about Coppola’s treatment of wealth and excess but I feel The Bling Ring is its own animal entirely. Shot with an incredible coolness (one frame in particular, a wide shot of Rebecca and Marc robbing Audrina Partridge’s glass house, is remarkable) The Bling Ring is more judgmental than her other films. It’s not just judging the teens and the celebrities, but you while you watch it. Why do you find it so fascinating? It’s just a series of thefts. You’re only there because of the celebrity aspect, the same reason Rebecca and Marc and Nicki were there too.

Review: Anna Karenina

Source: https://i0.wp.com/cdn-images.hollywood.com/site/anna-karenina_2012-1-1280x1024.jpg

We get it. The movie opens with a shot of a proscenium and an orchestra tuning. There is a backstage and lights and seats and set pieces that turn into other sets. It is a performance. That much is clear. Director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard have set up the latest screen adaptation of Anna Karenina, Tolstoy’s lengthy novel of adultery, on a stage. It was a nifty idea.

But unfortunately, that nifty idea just didn’t make sense as an actual film. Despite Wright’s talent for directing Keira Knightley in sprawling period pieces (see Pride and Prejudice and Atonement), Anna Karenina, at a fundamental level, just doesn’t work.

Almost immediately in the film, the theatrical framing  begins to take away from the grandiosity of the story. As soon as the four walls of the stage appear, they make the film seem smaller. The goal may have been intimacy but the result was meekness and, quite frankly, confusion. Why did some of the drama take place on the stage and some not? Where does a field fit in with catwalks and sandbags and trapdoors? Why is there an audience onscreen sometimes and not others? Why do any of this at all?

It appears, eventually, that the world of the stage is the public one. When Anna is, as it were, on display in Russian society, the action takes place in the theater. Her more private moments take place in the traditional sets of a movie, and then slowly, as the film progresses, are forced into the public space. It’s really very intriguing, and it gets at the central theme of the story, but it just doesn’t always work. The audience will likely spend more time trying to figure out exactly why the film is flipping between the stage and the apparent real world than appreciating the artistic value of that switch.

The film’s problems are not solely due to this theatrical framing. Wright’s portrait of Anna is no more sympathetic than Tolstoy’s was, yet this whiny, tiresome brat is hard to take on screen. The central love triangle — between Anna, her husband and her lover Vronsky — lacks the chemistry to make it believable and the urgency to make it engaging. Whether this is the fault of Wright or Tolstoy is hard to tell, but the focus on the lovers verges into boredom, and makes for a third act that really drags.

Even for an avid appreciator of theater, there was a fundamental disconnect between the goal of the framing device and seeing that device. The film, perhaps, deserves an “A” for effort. They had an intriguing idea and they tried so hard. And it must be noted how  beautiful the film is to look at, especially in the way it weaves stage sets and film sets with gorgeous costumes in meticulously composed shots. There was a lot of thought put into the whole thing. Unfortunately in Hollywood, the thought isn’t really what counts.

The Nanny Diaries

How I Met Your Mother Season 8 Episode 3 “Nannies” Recap and Review
Oh Nanny! Last night’s episode, in true HIMYM spirit was all about transitioning without really changing at all. Lily and Marshall are dealing with the new baby and their old lifestyle, Barney’s dealing with being single again after having decided to settle down, and Ted and Robin are dealing with relationships for the sake of being in a relationship. Ready, break!

Let’s start with Barney. Poor Barney. Seven years later, even though he has gotten over his incredible fear of commitment and took the plunge and proposed to Quinn (read, now that he and Quinn have broken up every single character has been in an engagement that fell apart), he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions. He couldn’t do it when Robin and he split, he couldn’t do it when he met his father, and he can’t do it now. Enter “Bangtoberfest” and a t-shirt gun (yeah I want one of those), and Barney’s quest to pick up women in bigger and better ways, not being satisfied with the old reliables like dressing up as a policeman and telling girls he can “get them off.”

Meanwhile, Lily’s dad has shown up again, after he blew up the house (it’s unclear if the house is his own house or Marshall and Lily’s house on Long Island or if it’s another one). Marshall and Lily are in a desperate search for a Nanny, since Lily’s maternity leave is almost up, and Grandpa is desperate for the job, but Lily is not a fan. They find the perfect nanny, a regular old Mary Poppins, who they cannot remotely afford. As the search continues, there aren’t a lot of qualified candidates in their price range, until they find a young lady from St. Cloud! Marshall is already in love. Until she turns them down after she fell in love with a single dad/billionaire she met later that day, who turns out to be, you guessed it, Barney!

His latest gag to get girls? Interviewing Nannies and then sleeping with them. Very exciting. And very much screwing Marshall and Lily after their Minnesotan nanny leaves in a huff. Barney apologizes by hiring the perfect nanny for them (and giving Marshall some hotwheels), but it turns out, Lily isn’t ready to let go, figuratively and quite literally. She storms off to Marvin’s room and promptly falls asleep. When she wakes up Marshall’s home and Lily is holding a monkey instead of Marvin! But it’s okay, LIly’s dad is actually Mr. Mom! When he was being a deadbeat when Lily was younger, he was also a stay-at-home dad. If only he had never gone to the track races that first time. Lily hires him, and from the photos that flash afterwards, it looks like Chris Elliot is going to be around for awhile.

While all this is happening, Ted and Robin have a fight over who is in a better relationship, despite the fact that Nick is too emotional for Robin and Victoria is quite the slob. When they see how crazy Barney gets after the nannies find out about his scam and beat the crap out of him, they cling to their not-perfect relationships even tighter, although older Ted has told us that both relationships aren’t going to last that much longer.

What makes this show so great is its ability to roll with the times. Much of the episode was baby-centric, but it didn’t lose anything. It still had its snarky humor, it’s over-the-top twists and turns, and a lot of yuppies in a bar. Baby Marvin isn’t going to kill this show, which is a relief. Babies have in the past (I’m looking at you, Emma). Oh and also a hilarious bit at the end where Barney sleeps with the super-nanny. This show is still on fire.

Once Upon a Time Season Premiere Review and Recap

Just another day in Storybrooke. Oh wait, no it wasn’t. When we last left our fairytale characters, the curse had been broken and everyone remembered who they really were. And then Mr. Gold unleashed a big purple haze of magic on the whole town, changing the rules and blurring the line between fairy tale and reality. That’s what the whole episode was about, really. Blurring the set formula we had last season and transitioning to a place where the show can sustain itself without flashbacks. But let’s dive in.

We open 0n a horse and buggy, apparently in the fairytale land but oh wait no, we’re just in Central Park in NYC. And we follow a man, down the subway, up into his small apartment. we have no idea who he is until a bird delivers a postcard from Storybrooke with one word written on it: “Broken.” Omnious? Yes? Theories? My best bet is on whoever August/Pinnochio was in contact with, and that person probably is Baelfire, Gold’s son. But moving on.

The rest of the episode moves between fairyland and Storybrooke, much like every other episode has. The flashback to fairyland is to Sleeping Beauty being awakened by her handsome prince, a tale I expected to see sooner in the show (given Malificent’s importance to the storyline thus far). He’s accompanied by a masked soldier, who although they try to keep up the appearance of a man, the cut of the outfit and the liner on the eyes immediately gave away this new character as Mulan (Jamie Chung). They encounter a hooded phantom they call a wraith, who marks his victims with a metal disk and then sucks out their souls. Aurora’s prince is marked and he runs away to try to save the women. They run after him but are too late. The prince dies. It all seems a little irrelevant until Gold pulls the disk out of his cabinet and marks Regina, after he promised Belle (love her Australian accent, by the way) he wouldn’t kill.

Meanwhile, Snow, Charming and Emma spend most of the episode trying to convince people not to kill Regina, and then later saving Regina. It’s because they’re heroes and because Henry asked them to. There are also lots of awkward moments where Snow and Charming, full of their memories, try to connect with Emma as their daughter. It’s super weird, as Snow mentions, because they were equal adults before. “There are lots of things I shouldn’t have mentioned, like one night stands.” “One night stands?” “Whale. What we were cursed!”

When it comes down to it, the only way to defeat the wraith is to send it back to fairyland, which Regina swears is gone. She thinks sending it to an abyss will kill it. Everyone’s favorite portal device, Mad’s hat, is required and it doesn’t work until Emma touches Regina’s arm. Curious and curiouser. Of course, all magic comes with a price, and the wraith is sucked it, along with Emma. Snow jumps in after her and so does Charming, but the portal closes and he hits the floor. And where Emma and Snow land is back in fairyland, right next to Aurora and Mulan, and we realize that it was no flashback, it was actually a flash forward, the wraith appearing to Aurora, the prince, and Mulan after it had left Storybrooke. Whef, timelines have always been confusing in this show, but I think they’re going only going to get more so.

And there we leave it. Emma and Snow are back in fairyland, everybody else is trapped in Storybrooke with Regina and Gold magicking all over the place, and there’s a mysterious New York stranger involved. All in all it was a good premiere, holding onto the bomb that it wasn’t a flashback anymore until the very end. But there are many questions left unanswered, and people we haven’t heard from. Where is August? And Jefferson? They’re linked very intricately with the fate of our main characters, but we don’t know anything about them, post-curse. Also, just putting an appeal out there for Amy Acker’s fairy/nun to come back. Because it’s Amy Acker playing a fairy/nun, it’s so adorable I can’t even handle it. But alas, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Do the Right Thing

Political Animals Episode 5 Recap and Review

As the political miniseries moves from character to character, doling out telling flashbacks, I wonder why there’s “mini” in the series. With only one episode to go, I wonder how the story will resolve itself, which it has to to qualify Sigourney Weaver for Best Actress in a Mini Series for next years Emmy’s. But let’s dive in to this week’s episode, in which we learn what makes Susan tick, how crazy Bud really is, Garcetti isn’t really such a bad guy, and that Anne is still boring.

The episode was titled “16 Hours” but it should really have been called “All About Susan.” our intrepid reporter was the focus of the flashbacks this episode, which strangely was devoid of all things Georgia. We see her emerge as a budding columnist and make her mark by tearing Elaine down. Ripping her apart in a column her editor calls more “judgmental” than editorial. To this criticism, Susan accuses him of being sexist. She goes over his head and suddenly her column is published and she has a new swanky office. This is the part that bugged me. Susan steps on Elaine’s ashes to climb her way up the corporate ladder, all the while accuses her boss of being sexist. She doesn’t really know where she stands, and neither does the show. What does feminism mean here? Is what Susan did strength or was it cheating? Are women supposed to help each other or claw each other’s eyes out? I of course have my own opinions and I’m sure you have yours, but I’m not entirely sure what the show thinks. Sometimes I think all the gains that the character of Elaine makes in terms of the portrayal of women on television, Susan gives away. I’m hoping something great will happen next episode.

The more exciting news was Doug and Susan sleeping together, something you could have called a mile away since that first clandestine meeting. He also drunkenly admits to the other thing we all knew before: that he doesn’t really love Anne enough to marry her and that they’re just a puppet couple. He can’t leave her for Susan but I wish he could. Anne is boring and Susan needs to date a nicer guy. Sigh.

In the meantime, TJ is unconscious in the hospital after an overdose which Elaine covers up by leaking the Chinese nuclear sub story to Susan. The rescue mission is underway but China is so dead set on keeping the sub out of American hands that they threaten to release their nuke onto California if a rescue is attempted. When Vice President Asshole votes to kill the Chinese, Garcetti makes the first good call of the series and steps out as a not-so-bad-guy after all. Of course no bomb is deployed and all is saved, especially Garcetti’s political future. Elaine herself says he’ll be unbeatable. It was noble of her to sacrifice her own political aspirations for the lives of a hundred men, but it’s clear that she’s needed in the federal government, as Garcetti wouldn’t  have lifted a finger without  her. I wish Elaine would have had more to do this episode besides talk about the sub and talk about TJ. It was Bud who got the real action, taking swing at the Vice President for blackmailing Congressman Gay way back when. It was a hilarious scene, one that got me thinking, what would the secret service do in that situation? President, VP, and former President in a fist fight? I wonder if something like that has ever happened…

And of course, we can’t forget Margaret and Anne, busy searching the house for drugs to flush so that TJ can come home and rehabilitate. When they find some good old fashioned Mary Jane, they decide to smoke it instead of flushing it. Cue the high revelations, all of the good ones coming from Margaret of course. The pot brings on a case of the munchies and of course, causes Anne to hit the bathroom to puke her guts out. Only Grandma knows all, and confronts her. It’s a great speech for Ellen Burstyn and she handles the scene well while Brittany Ishibashi sort of stands there like the doll she is. She is such an unnecessary character and even her own personal storyline is boring. They’re spending so much time with TJ and addiction they don’t really have time for another mental health problem in the short six episodes. My only hope is that we leave the series with Doug and Anne resolutely broken up. We’ll just have to wait until next week to see.

500 Movies #4: The Iron Teddy Bear

Realizing that although I’d seen many, many movies in my life, I still hadn’t seen enough, I recently created a list of the 500 Best Movies I’ve Never Seen. As I attempt to watch them all, I will write about my experiences seeing classics (and some not-so-classics) for the first time. Warning: these are spoiler-ridden posts, as the films are all past their time in theaters (some, long, long past). If you haven’t seen the film I recommend you first see it and then read. If it’s on the list it’s probably worth seeing. 

4. The Iron Giant (1999) Brad Bird

A lot of the movies on this list are there because I suffer from something I like to call “youngest child syndrome.” It’s a common disease in which children of families with multiple children who are the youngest tend to miss out on things. I never saw some classic children’s movies because of the simple fact that, by the time I was seven or eight, my parents weren’t going out of their way to show me kids’ films. Instead just let me tag along to the adult movies they were watching. And so I never saw The Iron Giant although I had always meant to.

Perhaps that is the reason why I’ve always enjoyed children’s movies and tv, even beyond my own childhood. I mean, I recently just finished watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender spinoff, The Legend of Korra and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something to be said for entertainment for children that isn’t dumbed down at all. Full, cohesive and mature stories that simply are told from the perspective of children are the best kind. It’s part of the reason that Avatar: The Last Airbender was a huge success on tv and why the live-action movie version failed so miserably. It started to treat the story as less than it was.

And so, it was genuinely refreshing to see such an earnest kids’ film. The story of Hogarth, an outsider in 1954 Maine, was just the story of a little kid who wants a friend. His friend ends up being a 60 foot tall giant with the capacity to destroy the world, but still, you know, cuddly. It’s really wonderful to see how Hogarth uses his experience with the giant to open up to his mother and to make new friends. He just needed somebody who understands him, to make that first step. And then he was able to make more after that.

The Iron Giant himself was in the same predicament. We never really learn where he came from, but its irrelevant anyway. We know what we need to know: that he’s lost and alone and needs a friend. And so these two lost souls meet one fateful night and forge an unlikely friendship. And it’s really beautiful.

The movie also contains some truly sharp commentary. Agent Mansley, the bumbling government agent sent to investigate the strange goings-on in the small Maine town, is the crazed adult villain from the mind of children, but also from the real world. He’s impulsive, has a one-track mind, and would rather use children to achieve his goals instead of trying to understand them. The scene that montages his various attempts to get Hogarth to talk to him is both hilarious and spot on, as he cycles through a cliched list of names adults use to try to prove to children that they’re their friend. Sport. Scout. Buddy. Kiddo. Tiger. Champ. Hogarth wasn’t falling for it.

The movie also deals with incredibly mature themes, including the nuclear age. Set in the height of the Cold War, there are allusions to the old “Duck and Cover” drills as well as anxiety over Sputnik and the Space Race. A lot has been made recently of the nuclear problem in movies, brought to light by the use of a nuclear missile in the recent smash, The Avengers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it dealt with so deftly, or a satire so plain, than in this film. Evil Agent Mansley is determined to destroy the Iron Giant, going so far as to order a nuclear strike on the robot. But he’s in the middle of a town in Maine, not in the ocean or the USSR. The bomb will kill them all, including Mansley, who makes a pathetic attempt to escape. It is only because of the giant himself that they are saved. He sacrifices himself to save his new friends. In this one scene in a children’s cartoon, director Brad Bird tackles the problem of over-reliance on a nuclear solution, and how it will inevitably destroy us all. And in the real world, we may not have an Iron Giant to save us. A children’s movie did all of this. I wish they would make more movies like this, instead of things like Ice Age 4. Really, kids deserve better.

The Iron Giant is now ranked 329/712 movies on my flick chart. 

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Author’s Note: I woke up this morning and found out about the shooting in Colorado after I posted this review. The movies have always been a place of escape, of safety. They may not be for a long time after this. I hope that everyone who is injured pulls through and that the movies can be safe again. I hope that people can still enjoy the film, and I hope that we can still go on enjoying art as we always have. 

 

It was always going to be hard.

There are some acts you can’t just follow. A lot of trilogies find their footing in an exceptional second film and then lose some ground in film three. The original Star WarsSpider-Man, the X-Men trilogy, and to some extent The Lord of the Rings all feel this effect. The first film is about finding the voice of the series. Establishing the hero and the supporting characters and giving that hero a motivation. He gets through his first obstacle (villain) and is set up to do more in the future. The second film can do more, expand the world of our hero slightly. It introduces new players in the game and gives our hero a harder obstacle. It is truly unclear as to whether or not he will succeed. There is always some sacrifice he has to make, some challenge he has not yet overcome. Resolution, in its total sense, is reserved for movie three.

The first two movies in the Dark Knight trilogy follow this pattern, but I don’t know what The Dark Knight Rises resolves, besides itself. Director Christopher Nolan reached such a pinnacle with 2008’s The Dark Knight that it was simply too high to rise above. And so Rises goes instead with an involved attempt to link itself to the mythology of Batman Begins, effectively becoming a sequel to that first film instead of to the second. And in doing so, Rises gets lost in its own commentary, its own machination. It moves to a place that is all at once too far from The Dark Knight, and too close to it.

In Nolan’s Gotham, the world is controlled by villains. In Batman Begins it was controlled by the mob paying off the system. In The Dark Knight, the Joker created chaos and psychological warfare, because, “some men just want to watch the world burn.” In Rises, the world is controlled by Bane, a man of intense belief and idealism, with stated goals, and who favors physical, brutal war. In a lot of ways he is the opposite of the Joker, and also a cheap facsimile of him.

Every story has its own set of rules. You’ll hear me say this a lot because it’s one of my favorite parts of fiction. In a very English-nerd way I could tell you that it all goes back to Aristotle, but even I realize how boring that can be for some people. But I will tell you that once a fictional universe has established its rules, breaking them can ruin a story. Now I don’t know if Rises truly broke the rules, but it certainly pushed them to their utmost limits. There is something just so incredibly unbelievable about this film. What the Joker did to Gotham made sense. There was build up and an understanding of the why and the wherefore and connections to events from our collective experience. What Bane does to Gotham seems so absurd that I initially wondered if it was really happening, or if Bruce Wayne was just having a nightmare. And when the improbable turned out to be the truth, I found myself lost in a wave of skepticism and disbelief. And so the movie just sort of lost me.

I find it hard to review this movie without spoiling its rather complex plot, because I believe that most of the fault lies in that plot. I can say, completely spoiler-free, that I walked out of that theater wondering exactly what the movie was about. I know that it had themes. Revolution, class warfare, civil strife, nuclear disarmament, individual purpose, spiritual enlightenment, and more. It had story, so much story. Too much story. There was so much going on and it was all happening it once. I had trouble following, a problem that was not at all helped by the often incomprehensible growl of Tom Hardy’s Bane.

The movie also feels overly-long because the pacing is off. It drags for a good hour in the middle and repeats itself too often. However, the last half hour picks up in a way that will lift you out of your seat. Despite my problems with the plot in general, Nolan certainly knows how to build to a climactic confluence of events. The acting is wonderful, as it was in both the previous films. No one can hold a candle to Heath Ledger of course, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle. And Joseph Gordon Levitt, as the ordinary yet extraordinary Officer John Blake, shines far above the rest. It is such a shame that this universe won’t continue so that his character could find new growth.

This was an action film for sure, but not really a superhero movie. I have used that statement to describe The Dark Knight, but in that case I meant that the film transcends the genre, rather than side-stepping it the way Rises does. Nolan was trying; indeed, you can almost feel him behind each frame, pushing the story at you, trying to make you feel it the way you felt The Dark Knight. But it is possible to try too hard. He knows how to play on our societal fears, to tap into cultural archetypes and make films that speak to our world as a whole yet also to each individual person who sees them. But in Rises he had so much to say that it really just runs together into a bit of a mess that is confusing and at times incomprehensible. Some men just want to watch the world burn and in a weird way, I think Christopher Nolan is one of them. He fills the movie with so much chaos that inevitably we are just watching a fire rise across the screen, and not Batman.

500 Movies #3: Women are Crazy (Apparently)

Realizing that although I’d seen many, many movies in my life, I still hadn’t seen enough, I recently created a list of the 500 Best Movies I’ve Never Seen. As I attempt to watch them all, I will write about my experiences seeing classics (and some not-so-classics) for the first time. Warning: these are spoiler-ridden posts, as the films are all past their time in theaters (some, long, long past). If you haven’t seen the film I recommend you first see it and then read. If it’s on the list it’s probably worth seeing. 

3. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) P.J. Hogan

I started my list a little heavy with Pulp Fiction and Blade Runner and so for my second film I decided to try some lighter fair. This is one of the films I’ve never seen just because of timing. It came out when I was six years old, and by the time I was old enough for it, I had other rom-coms to fill my life that were more current. It also wasn’t one of the 90s movies/shows that my older sisters, in their infinite wisdom, allowed my young self to view a shade too early (see 10 Things I Hate About YouFriends, and My Cousin Vinny).

I had the basic premise of the movie. Woman’s best friend gets engaged. She’s really in love with him. She sets off to the wedding in an attempt to win him from the bride. Hilarity ensues. However, I was not prepared for the sheer amount of pain I would go through while watching the film. I am someone who has trouble with embarrassing humor for the simple fact that it makes me embarrassed just by watching it. I don’t laugh at their misfortune, but rather I get physically uncomfortable to be associated with them, even though they’re fictional and inside my TV. I have the urge to close my eyes or hide or even jump behind my couch every time something embarrassing happens in film or television. I love American Pie, but I spent most of the movie with a pillow over my face.

And so My Best Friend’s Wedding was actually really hard for me to sit through. Julia Roberts’ Julianne is supposed to be the character we sympathize with. She’s stylish. She’s from New York. She has big hair. She has a gay best friend. She’s in love with Michael, her best friend and groom-to-be, who is marrying some snippy little preppy sorority girl named Kimmy (a young and pearl-bedecked Cameron Diaz). Clearly, she’s our heroine. But I’ve never seen a character in a film who was meant to the be the protagonist do so many horrible things in so little time.

Seriously, Julianne displays behavior in the 105 minutes the film runs that I would classify as psychotic. She undermines the bride at every turn, not in a fun I’m-better-than-you kind of way but in a sociopathic I-will-do-horrible-things-to-you-to-make-you-look-bad way. She forces Kimmy to sing karaoke when she clearly sucks. She tricks poor Kimmy into trying to get Michael to quit his job. She sneaks into Kimmy’s father’s office and sends a fake email to Michael’s boss asking him to fire Michael. I’m sorry but, am I supposed to be rooting for this person to win the guy? Kimmy may wear preppy clothes and be significantly younger than Michael but at least she’s not a horrible human being. I was happy when she and Michael did end up together at the end.

But on further thought, I realized that the problem with the movie is not that the protagonist is unlikable; she actually doesn’t win in the end, and theoretically that is because she has grown. But rather, the problem is that the conceit of the movie is that women are crazy, and we should laugh at their antics. Seriously. That’s what the whole movie is about. When Julianne claims that her gay best friend George is actually her fiance in a desperate attempt to make Michael jealous, we are supposed to laugh instead of thinking that it’s sad and pathetic. They actually managed to make a romantic comedy that is severely more degrading to women than the average fair. And honestly, it wasn’t even that funny.

My Best Friend’s Wedding is now ranked 511/710 movies on my Flick Chart.