WMGB6 - When Summer Movies Go Bad ...Again.
posted by Jen on 8/17/01
I have dealt with many depressing things throughout this summer. 20% of our company has been laid off in the past two months. My mom is moving out of the house we have lived in for over 20 years tomorrow, so I will never ever see it again for the rest of my life. And furthermore, I literally can’t walk outside my apartment for a snackie without seeing 10 really happy couples reminding me of my unloveableness. Let’s just say, things have been somewhat bleak. But what has really made my summer so unbearable, so very disgusting, is the quality of movies these days.
Bring back the media I used to know and love!
There is nothing worse in this world than getting really, really excited for a movie you think is going to be great, plunking down $10 for it (at least in New York) and then watching only 2 minutes of it to realize how bad it’s going to be. Alas, I have dealt with that issue once, twice, three times a lady this summer. And I’m going to tell you all about each of them, so DO NOT READ BELOW if youthink you’ll want to see these movies. Especially the American Pie 2 thing, because I just know I’m going to piss someone off and a whole ‘notherslew of redheads is going to find more reasons to hate me.
P.S. I’m also completely and unabashedly ripping off B’s format, so don’t write to tell me that I’m trying to be like B. Yes, I am trying to be like B. I agree wholeheartedly with everything B says. Except it’s sooo hard, because I keep staring wistfully at all my Creed albums.
(Editor's Note: Jen has the right to rip off anyone at the site's style or format, because she smells like flowers and candy and we dance in the meadows all day. Meadow Soprano. PS WE SHOULD BE TOGETHER TOO OMFG. That is all)
OK, here we go!
You’re crazy. No you are! You’re beautiful! OMG!
The Pitch: Tearing Kirsten Dunst away from some of her more prosaic roles in Jumanji, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and my personal favorite Dick.
Do you think Joey is skinnier than me?
Kirsten shows that she has a really dark, mysterious side. In fact, she’s the only misunderstood rich girl in history. Daddy is a senator and mom swallowed a tub o’ Bayer, so Kirsten buries herself in Janis Joplin and “The Dead Milkmen” and tries to make herself look as ugly as possible in every scene. Oh, and she falls in love with the guy from “Hang Time” and calls him “Beautiful.” He calls her “Crazy.”
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez, some really affluent hippie-types, and people from the wrong side of the tracks. Tracy Chapman makes a cameo.
Reason for Release: To see if we could all follow the reverse pattern: Kirsten and Jenn from “Dawson’s Creek” uncovered an enormous political scandal in Dick. Kirsten kills herself in The Virgin Suicides. Now, in a strange twisting of events, her parents become her, instead of the other way around. OMG!!
Where it Went Wrong: The plot just makes no sense. Within a wholly unique and flabbergasting plot, Senator dad meets boyfriend Carlos from wrong end of the tracks and tells the kids they can’t see each other anymore. Now here’s a novel idea, he actually offers him money and a great job if he leaves his daughter alone. Can you imagine that? I think I’ve only seen that plot twist on 90210, Pacific Heights, Just Deal, and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. So here I am thinking dad doesn’t approve of minority boyfriend for his rich, white girl so he tries to pay him off to leave her alone. Right? Well, it turns out that he is trying to protect Carlos from his whack daughter because she is “not well.” But he loves his daughter and wants her to find the right guy someday. But he loves his surrogate son Carlos and wants him to be happy and find the right girl someday. Bottom line: there is no bottom line. This makes no sense.
We’re never gonna survive unless.
Where it REALLY Went Wrong: “You are a balance beam. I am tripping over you. I place my hand on your forehead. I feel at calm, at bay. You are my ocean. I am taking a photo of you and drawing three flowers on top.Then I am drawing three squiggly lines. And talking in a really low, hushed voice. And I’m scared. But I never have felt so free as when I am with you. You’re crazy, crazy, crazy, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Bomp, Bomp…Chick..CHICKAAAAH.” Every 15 minutes, the movie just got bizarrely ridiculous. Somewhere between Wilford Brimley walking in on Carlos and Nicole hooking up in the darkroom and Nicole’s friend Maddy being this REEEEALLY annoying “I-want-to-be-dirty” girl, the movie would just freeze time. Then you would hear this creepy voice reading poetry only slightly better than the one I just whipped up about the ocean, and you see her writing “I love Carlos” in lipstick. And then screaming and crying that life is unfair. And she’s tired of being so rich, big sigh. At the end, Nicole and Carlos drive off into the sunset, free as birds. Everyone started singing “Free Bird.” It’s really touching.
Overall: You really do want to hurt yourself when Nicole goes into the screaming fits. Throughout the entire movie, you are wondering why Carlos is interested in her, until she makes him have sex with her while her dad and little sister are standing right outside her window. You’ll leave the movie thinking Interview with a Vampire was as good as Lost Boys and you might even start thinking Robin Williams is funny.
The Pitch: Oh! It’s America’s favorite actresses ever! Julia and Zeta! And for those of us who know that neither of them have ever played any role outside of the beautiful heart breaking heroine, we will insult John Cusack’s intelligence and subjugate him to the role of Zeta’s dumped husband. Of course, I STILL wanted to see this because I happen to like Julia Roberts a little and I like John Cusack a lot. In fact, I don’t know many people whowouldn’t agree that Better Off Dead, 16 Candles, Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, Being John Malkovich, and High Fidelity weren’t some of the greatest movies of our time. Each of these movies were relatively unique, well-written, and worth watching again to catch the good lines you missed the first time. So I walked into America’s Sweethearts with relatively bold expectations.
Starring: Catherine Alpha Zeta Lambda Douglas, Julia Sutherland Lovett Bratt, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Billy Crystal, Seth Green, Christopher Walken.
Reason for Release: It’s not hard to figure out. The cast is pretty much guaranteed to sell. You have the best looking female actresses. The most well-liked male actor ever. The wife-beater, the wealthiest, most unfunny comedienne, the kid who plays the werewolf in Buffy, and the scariest looking man alive unite to form a relatively solid supporting cast. I also think people enjoy watching Julia Roberts gorge herself on pastries. I know I did.
Where it Went Wrong: For starters, the plot, much like that of Crazy/Beautiful, was just too confusing. Why does Kiki agree to be her sister’s personal assistant in the first place when it makes her life miserable? Why doesn’t Gwen want her fat-forever sister to finally succeed for once in her life? And how can we be sure Eddie is really interested in Kiki all of a sudden? What caused the change? So many unanswered questions here. What depressed me most is that Eddie (John Cusack) was actually the worst character in this movie. He is bumbling, indecisive, and unconvincing. I’m not sure if this was an intentional stab at Hollywood actors or if this was the fault of John Cusack. I’d rather not believe that, so let’s just assume it was a poorly written script.
You can count on Greg Evigan
Where it really went wrong: The supporting actors. Seeing Billy Crystal in the trailers should have served as more of an omen than that damn black crow on the playground in The Birds. Billy Crystal in a movie almost guarantees an immediate Paxil craving. Both Hank Azaria and Christopher Walken are pretty much hit or miss. As much as I loved “Herman’s Head” and “The Tracy Ullman Show,” I think we can all agree that “Mad About You” pretty much ruined Hank Azaria. As for Christopher Walken, I guess I don’t have much of the right to make fun of him, since I’ve only seen him about 50 times on bad “Saturday Night Live” episodes involving Chris Kattan and tight pink stretchie shorts. Put the three of these clowns together and you start thinking Helen Hunt isn’t bad looking. Christopher Walken doesn’t really speak during the movie, he just looks dark and depressed (see Kirsten Dunst, above). Billy Crystal and Hank Azaria make up for his shyness with some of the funniest lines ever!!!!!!!!:
Tell me why I love you like I do.
Billy Crystal: “Wow Kiki. You lost a hundred lbs. That’s like a Backstreet Boy.”
Hank Azaria: (Now keep in mind, Hank is supposed to be ethnic.) “Gwen, of courth I will accompany you to thee HUNKET. I know thith HUNKET ith very important to you.”
Of course, Hector is referring to a “press junket” here but he is saying “hunket” because he is “Latin American.” I guess we’re supposed to infer that all Latin Americans have lisps? I think I may have chuckled the first time he said it. I smiled the second time. And I started ripping out my damn eyelashes by the 50th time.
Overall: Don’t see it. You’ll be sad.
And finally, the biggest disappointment for me since discovering that Ben Stiller is not on the market anymore…
The movie I waited all summer long to see, the movie I thought was going to be hilarious, entertaining, and make me feel like I was reclaiming the college days, if only for one night….
And what a letdown it was.
Before I hang my hat in sadness and discuss what was just so awful about this movie, I want to reassure you I am in no way a male-hater. I have no problem with vulgarity, machismo, even the occasional subordination of women by misogynists. I found it overwhelmingly hilarious in the first American Pie. I laughed hysterically during the entire movie, and I still laugh everytime I watch it. Which is why I really thought American Pie 2 would be funny. I even laughed at the bad previews, in anticipation of laughing for real during this movie.
American Pie 2
SECOND WARNING: Don’t read this if you’re planning on seeing the movie. I don’t want to hear your bitchin’, you hear?
The Pitch: The gang in its entirety reunites after their first year of college to relive their high school adventures. Sounds great.
Starring: Same exact cast from last year. With the exception of Tara Reid and Mena Suvari, I am getting really excited about seeing them in action again. I know you all love Tara, but let me remind you:
You didn’t like her when she was chunky
Reason for Release: The first time around was damn funny. It would follow logically that the second time might even be funnier.
Where it Went Wrong:
Huge sigh. Where didn’t it go wrong? Quite honestly.
Let’s start with Jim’s dad. I mean, come on. What may have been slightly funny in the first movie just got worse and worse in this one. With the exception of the line “Don’t forget your penis cream,” I don’t think anyone in our theater laughed at a single thing he said. He’s just not funny at all. He ruins Jim’s only chances for getting action and he embarrasses the poor kid every second.
The whole band camp thing: Again, this was indeed funny the first time. It was really funny that the girl who was thought to be a complete nerd throughout the entire movie admits to using a musical instrument to satisfy herself. This was certainly a funny scene. Please note: this was a funny scene. Not necessary to enlist Jim at band camp, where he gets mistaken for the wrong guy, must get up onstage to play a tuba or trumpet or whatever, and falls in love with the most played-out character in history. Again, it was funny that she was so “nerdy but sneaky slutty” the first time. But the second time around, when you know the secret, it’s just plain dumb. She can’t even remain consistent throughout themovie; she goes from being nerdy to normal, nerdy to normal. Or maybe I’m just a big nerd and I thought she was normal? I’m not really sure.
Oz and Heather: As if I’m not repulsed enough from looking at her and y’all don’t hate Chris Klein, we are forced to watch them have phone sex twice. The first time, Stifler picks up the phone and ruins it, but they decide to do it a second time and are disrupted by one of the foreign exchange students in her building. If only they sang “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” one last time. Then I think I would have been happy.
Where it Really Went Wrong:
Vicky and Kevin: I think these scenes officially spawned my hatred for Tara Reid. You see, I didn’t really hate her when she played the annoying, chubby chic who got killed in Urban Legend. And I didn’t really hate her when she claimed to hate her hometown because of all the “new money” people throw around. (This is blatantly not true, many of my good friends live in Wyckoff, NJ, and she is just pissed that nobody liked her there.) What really got me flustered was her treatment of Kevin in this movie.This is like the ultimate slap in the face. Kevin hasn’t seen Vicky in a year, walks over to her and says hi and goes to give her a friendly hello kiss. In a loud enough voice for everyone to hear, Vicky yells, “WE ARE JUST FRIENDS KEVIN, OK????? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” The poor guy was just trying to be friendly and she thinks that she is just so damn beautiful that how could he not possibly be in love with her? Get over yourself, biatch. You ain’t even all that.
Nadia and the Shermanator: Oh God. Still vomiting about this one. When Nadia liked Jim a few summers ago, I was psyched. Hooray for the Underdog! Even if he blew it (OMG! Did you catch my double entendre?), we all still liked the idea that this beautiful model could go for him. Totally acceptable. Now, there is something seriously disgusting about that little redheaded runt Sherman, and most of us decidedly hated him. He lied about hooking up with the girl, and then pisses himself when he’s put on the spot. I think most of us assumed that he was too vile-looking to ever attain any happiness, especially with a stunning model with the same accent Blair’s cousin Jeri had in “The Facts of Life.” So when she delivers the line “Fuck me, Shermanator,” I literally got up and planned to walk out of the movie. But then I realized my friend was driving and she didn’t want to waste the $10.
The coup de grace: Stifler and Finch hooking up: Yeah, I’m not lying. Stifler touches Finch’s ass, and they actually kiss because the supposed “lesbians” promise they will do it all in return. Now, I found it plausible in the last movie that Stifler swallowed cum in a beer cup. Fine. I found it semi-plausible that Stifler sat for a period of at least 20 seconds while the Asian kid peed on him because he thought it was a girl pouring wine on him. I guess that’s somewhat acceptable, although I question how he could mistake the distinct scent of urine for wine. But honestly, I don’t know any heterosexual male who will agree to hook up with another guy, especially while two girls are completely laughing at them, and it’s obvious to all that they are practical jokesters, just to watch two girls in action. At the end of the scene, the girls say, “Now give him a hand job.” If that scene took place, I’m just not sure where I would turn.
Overall: I’m really, really upset about this movie. You see, at least when I walked out of the first two, I kind of laughed and thought “Oh well.” But this movie was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be good. I was looking forward to it all week, and it was just such a damn letdown. I think it may have been funny if I hadn’t seen the first one already, and all the jokes were new to me. But the jokes were stale. The characters, with the exception of Jim and maybe Finch, were implausible and pretty much disappointing.
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