April 19, 2006

All Our Cultural Knowledge Comes From The Screen

Remember how Cinecultist has been waxing poetic lately about how great it is to do our civic duty? It's a slippery slope people, checking in with the New York civic machine. Once you get a driver's license, register to vote and start paying New York State taxes (stupid blog income), eventually they want you to serve on jury duty. We've postponed a couple of times now, but today CC had to go down to 60 Centre Street, room 139 to submit our excuse in person. Things are tres hectic at le day job and we couldn't be all Law and Order tomorrow.

Exiting the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall 6 stop and walking up Centre Street, we realized we knew exactly to which building we needed to report -- because we'd seen it on Sex and the City. Remember the one where Carrie has to do jury duty and she and Berger have the "Hollywood kiss" on the steps and the random dude waiting to be called has a coconut in his briefcase? Yeah, we're totally freaked out too that there's such an instant television recall from a little bit of architecture. Even after a few years of being off the air, CC still sees the city through that particular tv show's lens.

matthew_mcconaughey6.jpgSpeaking of Sarah Jessica Parker and her strangle-hold on our cultural memory, we saw her most recent romantic comedy Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey a few weeks ago and boy, does it stink. And it's done some $80 million at the box office so far. This is completely ridiculous as the plot makes little sense and the casting as well as the attempts at comedic scenarios even less. Here's our rant in a nut shell:

1) M McC plays Tripp, this boy-man who seems to live at home out of sheer laziness. His parents love him but they want him out. Also, they have lots of friends who are in the same boat and when one of them boots their kid from the nest, they all celebrate. However, in order to make Tripp seem appealing to Paula (SJP), the woman hired to get him to move on, they reveal he's not really lazy, only emotionally scarred. This is just stupid. Don't build up this "unlikable protagonist" premise and then undercut it the moment you get a chance! That's lame-o script writing.

2) M McC was born in 1969, making him 37 years old. SJP turned 41 in March. She's older than him and she's still not "launched." She lives with a roommate, played by an actress (the adorable but poorly utilized Zooey Deschanel) who's 26, for goodness sake. We heart SJP and we hate the idea of actresses having expiration dates but don't put her in this role, she's just too old. It makes on sense.

3) We thought that we'd seen the most misguided attempt at comedy in a rom com in Three to Tango (couple bonds over vomiting up tuna melts) but this film gives romantic vomit a run for its money. In a number of scenes McC and his two buds do various outdoorsy, guy-ish activities like mountain biking, rock climbing and paint-balling. Three times McC is bit by an animal while doing his manly stuff, by a dolphin, a squirrel/chipmunk thing and finally, a lizard. The lizard they've animated to laugh after chomping on McC. All of this ridiculousness is then explained by Bradley Cooper's character as nature biting back at Tripp who's rebelling against the order of things by not settling down in a relationship and moving out. Nature is biting back! Does this make any sense to you because it left CC completely flummoxed.

In conclusion, you may love SJP or even M McC and his hairless chest but do not see this movie. Don't see it in the theater. Don't rent it. You could maybe watch a few minutes when it's aired on TBS or something, but only if there's really nothing else to do. Spare yourself, even though the Cinecultist could not.

Posted by karen at April 19, 2006 11:10 AM