Sunday, February 27, 2011

Here You Come Again

It's Oscar Sunday. In what has become a tradition that I am in no way excited to participate in, I will be working again this year. Which means I'll watch the Oscars on mute in the bar of the restaurant I work in. It's not so bad. I mean, at least I can see what they're wearing. Plus, this year I sorta dropped the ball. There were sooooo many amazing movies that came out, and while I saw 6 of the 10 nominees for Best Picture, I'm still woefully behind. I will now offer my opinion on the ones I DID see.

1. The King's Speech. Wonderful. A truly endearing, sweet film with two of the best performances all year. Colin Firth was flawless and heartbreaking and Geoffrey Rush was his usual level of Def-Con 5 awesomeness. What is the deal with Australians, by the way? I swear to God they're all insanely talented, gorgeous, and badasses. I'm not saying all of them meet all three of those criteria, but I can guarantee they meet at least one. Even the old guy in Crocodile Dundee could wield a machine gun like he was born holding it. I'm just the way, Colin Firth is my pick for Best Actor. By a landslide.

2. Black Swan. Just flawless, in my opinion. I know some people said they felt this film was predictable, but I didn't (which is maybe just commentary on my naivete more than anything). I thought it was gripping, scary, creepy, sexy, weird, amazing, and thought-provoking. You don't even really know what happened in the end! And for the love of God, Barbara Hershey as the creepy stage mom? Brill factory. Seriously, an epic performance from a woman whose face alone scared me from the beginning of the film. And Natalie Portman should definitely win Best Actress. I have the hugest crush on her talent. Sick. This movie is also my pick for Best Picture.

3. Inception. Clearly this was a year when directors really brought the A-game as far as storytelling goes. This was another movie I loved. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a standout for me in this film, and I would've loved to see him get a Best Supporting nomination. It's also pretty bizarre Christopher Nolan got left out of the Best Director category with a Best Picture nod, but whatever. This movie won't win the award, but it is cool it got nominated. Immensely entertaining, and a great cast all-around. Plus, those special effects were nutty. The whole time-slowing-down aspect was pretty cool, to say the least. My only complaint about this film was Ellen Pompeo's performance. Ugh, get outta there, Juno!! I felt she was totally miscast and came off as whiny and boring. A shame, since she was the only chick in the thing.

4. The Kids Are All Right. In my eyes, Annette Bening can do no wrong. The woman just embodies this character and is so comfortable in her skin that from the beginning you're invested in the story. Julianne Moore's performance felt a little contrived to me, but not so much that I didn't enjoy it. Plus, she's kind of the bad guy, so that piled onto the fact that she's the cliched free-spirited one in the couple is a bit much to handle. I thought the movie overall was great, and Ruffalo as a slightly smarmy sperm donor was totally on-point. Also, it's so great to see gay couples with families portrayed as regular people having the same struggles and life experiences everyone has. Now, we just need to give them the same rights as everyone else and let them get married if they want to. Seriously, America, this is 2011. Lock it up!

5. The Social Network. Let me first start by saying that the powerhouse duo of Fincher and Sorkin is like a freight train. Those dudes are scary smart, and it shows in the directing and writing of this film. I love the way Sorkin handles dialogue, and clearly facebook is a huge hot button topic at the moment, which made this movie more relevant than almost any of the others. Jesse Eisenberg was perfect. Those hot tall twins (actually played by one dude) were great, and the performance by Andrew Garfield was really touching. That being said, Justin Timberlake had no business WHATSOEVER being cast as the Napster guy. I mean, seriously. JT, you know I love you, and your music/dancing/beat-boxing skills are unparalleled, but this was a movie filled with pros, and you just didn't make the grade. My other bone to pick with this movie was that it felt a little long for me. Other than that, I thought it was great. I hope it wins for Best Original Score, and I think it'll probably take Best Adapted Screenplay.

6. Toy Story 3. Ugggggggggggggggggggh. Who didn't cry at least once in this installment of the Toy Story franchise? Oh heavens. I mean, I don't want to give anything away, but the nostalgia this movie evoked was just almost unbearable. And it's just such a clever film, that ends up being so sweet and tender. I loved it, and found it so entertaining, and I think it'll definitely win Best Animated Film. Pretty cool that technology has advanced enough to make an animated film a contender for Best Picture. Although, since they have 10 nominees again this year (still annoys me), there's a broader net I suppose.

To sum it up, here are my picks for the winners in the big categories:

BEST ACTRESS - Natalie Portman, Black Swan
BEST ACTOR - Colin Firth, The King's Speech
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Christian Bale, The Fighter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Melissa Leo, The Fighter
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - The Social Network
BEST DIRECTOR - Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

High Five!

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Time to Every Purpose

It's the end of a decade. I know I should probably feel nostalgic for the early 2000s, but it sorta just feels like any other day to me. Sure, a lot of big things happened in the last 10 years (I mean, Sweet Jesus, what did we do before Facebook?? And God knows I'd be lost without my Coke Zero), but I feel like there's no point in dwelling on the past. I hate to sound like a New Year's grinch, but it seems like New Year's Eve is one of the biggest buildup/let down situations of the year. Everyone is running around trying to figure out plans, nobody ever gets their shit together, traffic is a bitch, and you wake up hungover, swearing you'll be better in the new year. Though I'm not keen to reflect on the last decade, I don't mind dipping my toes in the pool and glancing over my shoulder at the last year. Here's a breakdown of the things that were big for me in 2010...

1. My Sister Has Baby #3! For Californians that's a veritable baby farm. If, however, you live in the middle of the country, having three kids is pretty normal. I love my sister's kids more than anything, and visiting them is a nice, gentle reminder that I'm nowhere near ready to pop out my own pups.

2. Every Single Girlfriend of Mine Got Un-Single. Yes I want my friends to be happy. Yes, I'm thrilled to pieces they've all found someone they're nuts about. Yes, I love hearing every detail about their newly discovered soulmate. No, I don't like getting last-minute ditched after making plans only to be told they were too busy getting busy to bother texting to cancel. Look, ladies, we all fall victim to vice grip of sex hormones, but PLEASE don't leave behind the fallen soldiers that are your single friends. I'm not saying we have to hang out all the time. I'm just saying if we have plans KEEP THEM. You can afford to spend three hours out of your bed. Trust me, I manage to function that way all day.

3. The Only Single Friend Moved. This is one of those things where you're truly happy for your friend, but also insanely bummed. My good friend Katie moved to San Fran last week, which for her was the right move. She's from there originally and always planned on going back, but it just sucks when someone you love leaves. I hope she has lots of success and happiness in the Big Gay Apple of the West (if that's not San Francisco's nickname already it should be. You read it here first).

4. I Ended a 6 1/2 Year Relationship. 2010 was the year of new beginnings in a lot of ways. I dated Chris for a long time. We met sophomore year of college and dated on and off for the ensuing six years. Boy, that one took a lot out of me. Any relationship is rough, but it's a real bummer to lose your best friend. It takes a long time for me to distance myself from people. There is, however, a lot of gratification in knowing that it's OK to be alone for a little while.

5. I Turned 27. Jesus. Saying I'm 27 feels like giving birth to an alien. It's just bizarre. I'm totally cool with aging (I have a RIGOROUS sunscreen regimen and fully plan to attack my skin with aggressive topical dermatological treatments), but the weird thing about getting older is how different the reality is from what you might've imagined it would be like when you were younger. Ten years ago I may have imagined by this age I'd have my own sitcom, be tooling around in a cute little Bentley, and dating someone I was seriously into - who also happened to be next in line for the throne of a small country (nothing too outlandish). The reality is, I'm working my ass off - but who isn't? - and though I don't have a Bentley, I do have a sweet little hatchback named Chi Chi (she's just the right mix of cute and quirky); I have a day job that sucks (only because it's not what I love, it's a pays-the-bills thing, and I can't complain because it does just that); and as far as dating goes, I'm working on it...

The good news is, I am finally fully supporting myself, and that feels kind of amazing. I'm bound and determined to be done with the day job and solely making a living with acting and writing by the end of 2011. So though I don't fancy myself a 'resolutions' type of gal, it looks like I went and made one anyway. Which is kinda how I roll.

See ya, 2010!

High Five.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Times They Are A-Changin'

Fall is my favorite season of all (rhyme not intended, and typed with slight air of disgust). Seriously, I love the fall. It gets chillier - even in LA we've had rainy coldness three days in a row - you get to wear layers, scarves come back into play, and the holidays start happening. I'm one of those freaks that start listening to Christmas music on Thanksgiving. I just love it. Love love love it. If people didn't frown upon it (and it wasn't so much freaking work) I would totally put up a Christmas tree November 1. Seriously. I bought an autumn-scented candle from Bath & Body the other day, so already it smells like fallen leaves or cinnamon or football or something in my apartment.

Speaking of change, I've been trying to inject some into my life lately. Stopped drinking soda, which to normal people doesn't sound like a big deal, but I was drinking liters and liters each day. Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Diet Dr. Pepper (or DDP) were my faves, and most of my mornings started out with a chilly 20 ouncer to get me going. I actually had a relapse today. I found myself in Target face to face with a mini fridge full of the good stuff, and I decided to imbibe. I figure if I only have one every once in a great while, I'm still doing pretty well for myself. I mean, I don't want to hate on water, but those delicious chemicals they pump into soda are so damn tasty. I've quit a few other things in recent months, but I don't feel inclined to shout those over the internet. Plus, I don't want to rub my will 'o' steel in everyone's (and by 'everyone' I mean the five people who read this) faces. Let's just say in the coming months, I think this old gal is going to see some positive improvements in her life. Maybe first she'll stop talking in the third person. Time will tell...

High five!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Swellest Season of All

I met a cute boy last night who was sort of awkward, but in a charming way (not unlike myself). We had a brief conversation whilst waiting in a line, and I couldn't help but think how nice it is when you meet certain people and there's just an ease to your interaction with them. The kind where you just automatically have stuff to talk about without trying insanely hard to find some kernel of common ground. And maybe that's the best way to meet people...striking up conversations in lines at concerts, or the grocery store, or wherever. Something about that indefinable spark you have with certain's like a little baby rush.

Speaking of rushes, every single time I get into a conversation with someone about the movie "Inception" I feel like my mind is going 1,000 miles per hour. If you haven't seen this movie yet, please do yourself a favor and go. Aside from "The Kids are Alright" (which I haven't seen yet, but plan to because everyone says it's amazing)I think it's definitely the best movie to come out this summer. I know, I'm marring the good name of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," but let's be real. I enjoyed that movie as well, but more for its absurdity and buffet of beautiful men. Although, in that respect, "Inception" and "Eclipse" do have something in common. Chock full of gorgeous men. Just bursting at the seams with hunks. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt! The kid that used to look like a baby lesbian has really matured into something magnificent. He's so talented. Seriously. I love him, and if you don't yet you will too. Just trust me on this one.

In other summer entertainment news, I'm currently without cable (because of a move) and I feel a little bit like dying. Seriously, I've been cable-free for about a week and a half, and it feels like an eternity. Aside from "The Bachelorette," (which I watch with my ladies every Monday) I'm totally missing all my summer shows. I have NO CLUE what's happening on Top Chef. Which makes me really sad. True Blood? I got nothing. Ugh, it hurts my heart. Look, I know some people are fine being TV or cable-free, but I'm clearly not one of those people. I gotta get it back and soon, because season two of "Friends" on DVD just ain't cuttin' it anymore! So in the meantime, please don't spoil my shows for me...God knows once we get our cable back I'll be DVR'ing like a sonofabitch.

High five.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

365 Days Later

Today is my one year anniversary! That's right, as of today, I have officially lived in Los Angeles for a whole year. To celebrate, my girlfriends and I went and saw "Eclipse," the third movie in the Twilight saga. It was glorious, to say the least. The acting is pretty much terrible (with the exception of a select few - specifically Billy Burke, who plays Bella's dad), but there is some delicious man candy running rampant. Which essentially wipes out the bad acting factor. And we're all swooning over the Edward/Bella love affair, no matter how unrealistic it may be.

Speaking of love, I've had my ups and downs in the last year, but nothing can change how crazy I am about LA. That's pretty much been the only thing that has remained consistent. My OTHER affairs, and those of my friends...not so much. Well, let's be honest. Even using the term 'love affair' whilst referring to my dating life is - at best - a big stretch. Also, I sort of feel like Alexis Carrington and maybe next I'm going to start calling everyone "dahhhhling." But even if my dating life has been less than exciting, recently my friends have been subjected to some seriously questionable male behavior.

Let's start with E. Poor, poor E. She's had a really rough go of things the last few weeks. First of all, it's important for you to know that E is tall, thin, and gorgeous. The kind of girl that gets asked out ALL THE TIME, and literally dates famous people regularly. It's a bit sickening, and frankly, if I didn't love her to death, I'd probably hate her. However, E's luck with men has been just terrible lately. First there was Buggy (a beautiful 23-year-old boy with a degree in entomology from an Ivy League school). Buggy had all the promise in the world. Tall, super hot, clearly smart. Then E went out with him, and that's where the shit hit the fan. Buggy was boring with a capital "B." According to E, he was a total gentleman but essentially brought nothing to the table. What a drag, right? But I guess we should have all been wary of a super-hot dude with a degree in bug science. That takes a special person. Apparently one who is a murderer of fun.

The one thing that made all that bearable was that E was having a major text message flirtation with this guy from Texas. Tex works in finance, is in his early 30's, and was coming to LA to visit his pals for the weekend of the 4th. E was ecstatic. Especially after Buggy, she was thrilled to hang out with an older, more mature, sexy guy. The buildup for the weekend was intense. There were multiple banter-laden text messages laced with references to making out. Tex invited E to a BBQ, and when she arrived (July 4th cookies and white wine in hand) he was high beyond functioning. Like, so high he didn't speak to her. And after giving it the old college try, E took her cookies and hit the bricks, ending the night prematurely because she couldn't stand the awkwardness.

So it just goes to show, none of us is impervious to the perils of dating. You think you finally meet someone great, but you just don't know what weirdness is lurking underneath. The search continues for my ladies and me. The seven of us are single, mingling, and weeding out the weirdos one by one. And if the only defect a man has is that he's a vampire? Well, I think we could all do a little worse.

High Five.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do it to Me One More Time

Well shock me, shock me! The surprise of the century came earlier this week when it was revealed Jake Pavelka (aka The Bachelor from last season) and his girlfriend of ten minutes, Vienna, broke up. People magazine is in a tizzy, let me tell you. It shouldn't be news. I mean, look. Jake was clearly this awkward nerdy virgin, who fell for Vienna because she was skanking it up on the show. Given Jake's innate awkwardness, I don't think he'd ever experienced that kind of attention from the ladies, despite those abs carved from granite.

What's so glorious, is that the breakup coincides with the current (and maybe my favorite to date) season of "The Bachelorette." If you've not been watching lately, things are getting cheese-a-riffic on ABC as Ali and the remaining 10 dudes travel the globe. They spent last week in Iceland, and still MIRACULOUSLY managed to find a hot tub for everyone to get in. Granted, the hot tub was actually a lake called the Blue Lagoon, but still. It was the same effect, I assure you.

I'm feeling really torn right now about who to root for on the show. At first I hated Frank, because I thought he seemed totally fake and a little too spazzy. Also, I don't like the fact that he's a 'retail manager/screenwriter.' This to me basically screams the fact that Frank is an aspiring actor and upon completing his tenure on 'The Bachelorette' will likely follow in the footsteps of so many before him and try to make a go at becoming a professional actor. Ugh. I couldn't be more turned off by the idea. However, as the weeks have gone by, Frank does seem more charming and slightly less repulsive than he did week 1. As far as the other guys are concerned, it's crystal clear that Ali wants to do the nasty with Latin hottie Roberto, but I just don't know if I can see them ending up together. He seems kind of boring, but she's also pretty boring, so maybe they'd be perfect for one another. I'm putting my money on her ending up with Chris L. He's from Boston, loves his family, and looks like the worst kisser I've literally EVER seen on TV. Every time Ali and Chris make out, my shoulders immediately are next to my ears and I feel intensely uncomfortable. That being said, I think she likes him enough to move past it. Ick.

There are some really cute guys on the show this year, but at this point it's unrealistic to think that any of them are there for any reason besides getting their 15 minutes. I mean what normal guy wants to be on a reality show unless he's harboring fantasies of becoming famous?? I'm really sad Kasey got the boot this last week because he was a crazy tornado hurricane mess. I mean, he got a tattoo to show Ali how he wanted to "guard and protect her heart," (a phrase he probably said a combined 1,000 times on the show - WE GET IT) burst out into an a cappella song about their date, and got emotional every time he talked to anyone about how much he cared for Ali and wanted to be with her. If that's not reality gold, then I don't know what is. They say they do all these screenings in the casting sessions, but I don't think they're screening to get RID of the crazies. I think they're looking for someone cute with a good bod, who is also a stage 5 clinger. Well done, ABC. You're making my summer months so much more enjoyable.

High five!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dios Mio!

Can I just tell you guys how super-obsessed I am with Latin music right now? It's weird, yes. A little random, but so delightful! I especially like Marc Anthony. Which is probably the Latin music equivalent of saying I think Sylvester Stallone is an amazing actor. Whatever. I don't care. The amount of shimmying that has been going on in my car whilst listening to my Latin flair summer mix tapes (which are obviously CDs) is getting a little obscene. But when I'm cruising in Chi Chi (yes, my car has a ridiculous name. Deal with it), there's just nothing better than having a sassy mix playing while I roll around town with my windows down.

Moving right all five of you that read this know, I'm totally infatuated with 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' on ABC. Well, great news! A new season of 'The Bachelorette' just started last Monday and it features Ali Fetodowsky as the new lucky single lady offered 25 hunks on a platter. Last season Ali left the show because of her job as a Junior Account Something at Facebook. There was a big dramatic scene when she left, which apparently devastated her so much she was unable to do her hair/makeup for the last rose ceremony she participated in. Seriously, guys, she looked a mess. Show some respect, Ali, you were on 'The Bachelor' for God's sake!

To start off this season we of course were given the requisite two hour season premiere where we got to meet the new bachelors vying for fame - ahem, excuse me, I meant Ali's affection - and this is going to be a lively bunch! Two guys jumped off the roof of the limo, rather than just walking out of the door. Straight out of the gate our host Chris Harrison (my friend Katie's crush...still don't get it) presents a box to the group and asks them to write down the names of anyone they feel is on the show 'for the wrong reasons.' Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, Producers. I'm sure there are only a couple of them there for the wrong reasons. That's why this show has such a strong history of matching winning couples. Yeah, not so much. I'm positively giddy for tomorrow night, though. I think overall it's going to be a highly entertaining season, mainly because Ali is so awkward. She's a cute girl, and I see a good dose of crazy in her eyes, which is exactly what I love about this show.

High Five!