Category Archives: movies

"Foot" and Mouth Disease

I’ve spent this past week trying to determine which is worse: a mouth full of teeth that can handle food no tougher than avocado, or a disturbance in a region private enough that you don’t want to mention it on a blog. (There can only be one Dooce.) I’ll call it my “foot.”

I played around with the idea of mentioning it anyway, since apparently it’s a relatively common, though disgusting, problem, and one you could probably relate to. Then I saw The Social Network & was reminded, via one of those patented Wise Movie Characters often played by Morgan Freeman, “The Internet is written in ink.” Note: That girl was so smart I couldn’t believe she went to BU!

Ha ha … ha.

I really enjoyed the Social Network, though I’ve enjoyed anything recently that distracted me from my mouth and my “foot.” The list also includes Seasons 2 and 3 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” sleep, Ethiopian food, homemade applesauce, word games, lying on the couch for hours at a time, a peanut-butter smoothie from Netcar, getting a Diane von Furstenberg dress from a clothing swap, making muffinloaf, and reading recaps of TV shows.

But that’s not to say the film wasn’t quality. Well done, Aaron Sorkin & David Fincher — you made a movie with no surprises in it somehow feel suspenseful and dramatic. Likewise, though almost nothing happens. Here is basically all the action in the film:

  • a bed almost gets lit on fire
  • a student runs through the snow in inappropriate footwear
  • a chimney breaks
  • Asian women are slandered (Jewish guys come off only slightly better)
  • Justin Timberlake does coke with some under-dressed, under-aged girls
  • a more or less unrepentant asshole becomes the youngest billionaire in history.

Still, the momentum of the thing feels inescapable. That’s impressive.

Aaron Sorkin is on record saying he’s not a fan of Facebook. Even if he weren’t, the “Lemon Lyman” episode of “the West Wing” makes his views on Internet social-subcultures pretty clear. The thing is, we don’t need an Aaron Sorkin Facebook page to know an awful lot about Aaron Sorkin. More than most auteurs, he expresses himself through his art.

SEX: Definitely male. His clubhouse door still says, “No girls allowed.”
BIRTHDAY: Whatever makes him old enough to be cranky about kids these days but not so old that he can’t entertain kids these days. Probably early 60s.


HOMETOWN: Somewhere on the East Coast where the Jewish intelligensia reign. Probably New York City suburbs.
POLITICAL VIEWS: Cranky liberal.
RELIGIOUS VIEWS: Culturally & identifiably Jewish, but not observant.

BIO: I like young, smart, arrogant, usually sexist, male outsiders who occasionally get their comeuppance but for the most part get to rise to the top, defeating even super-star bad guys like Jack Nicholson and Republican House sub-committees.


“Lewis, we’ve had Presidents who were beloved who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand ’cause they’re thirsty. They drink the sand ’cause they don’t know the difference.” — President Andrew Shepherd

Joanne Herring: Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?
Charlie Wilson: Well, tradition mostly.

“There is nothing on this earth sexier, believe me, gentlemen, than a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote ’em all, I say, because this is true – if you haven’t gotten a blow-job from a superior officer, well, you’re just letting the best in life pass you by. ‘Course, my problem is, I’m a colonel, so I guess I’ll just have to keep taking cold showers until they elect some gal president.” — Colonel Nathan Jessup

Flight Attendant: Sir, I’m going to have to ask that you turn off your cellular phone.
Toby: We’re flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

LIKES AND INTERESTS: Latin, musical theater in general and Gilbert & Sullivan in particular, women named Amy, being the smartest kid in the class, being insolent to authority figures, Yiddish, minutiae, space exploration, using the same clean-cut white actors over and over again, fast talking, big words, grand gestures, speechifying, Maureen Dowd, recreational drug use, and baseball.

Angelina Jolie and Lisbeth Salander

This is like the third article I’ve seen about Angelina Jolie in Salt, in a role originally written for Tom Cruise: Angelina Jolie embodies today’s action heroine, in life and on-screen. Yet again, someone manages to string together 500-or-so breathless words about Women in Action without mentioning Lisbeth Salander or her onscreen representation, Noomi Rapace.

Granted, the Swedish film version of the Milennium movies has not reached the heights of popularity scaled by Stieg Larsson’s books, or at least not in America. But it struck me how much of what is true about Jolie is true about Larsson’s femme fatale. For example:

Di Bonaventura compares Jolie to Steve McQueen in the way she combines her athleticism and acting ability: “Steve McQueen wasn’t a big guy. She’s not a big girl. He wasn’t pumped up. She’s not pumped up. But you believed Steve McQueen was going to kick whoever’s ass it was. And you believe she can kick whoever’s ass it is. And that’s attitude, not physicality.”

Exactly. And it’s attitude that makes Lisbeth Salander one of the most compelling characters in popular literature. Cooler than Alice, hotter than Dorothy (and with no home to get back to), Salander — antisocial, bisexual, moody, brainy, and rough around the edges — represents an important shift of how we think about heroines, and women in general.

The fact that Americans can not only stomach a protagonist who could not be less interested in pleasing men, but, in fact, clamor for more is telling. Her popularity means that we shouldn’t be so shocked that Angelina Jolie can play a Russian spy; we should be shocked when people try to give us limited and dated notions of what audiences will and won’t accept.

The most-repeated anecdote about the making of Salt is that after the character Edwin became Evelyn, not much changed in the script — except that where Edwin was supposed to save his wife and children, director Phillip Noyce made Evelyn’s husband escape on his own so as not be emasculated. After he caught flak for that, Noyce claimed the original ending was changed because it was too “conventional.” I think the idea that no man’s pride can survive a woman’s helping him is too conventional, not to mention insulting.

One of the things I love about the Millenium trilogy is that various people do the saving: No one person is the hero. Lisbeth Salander is saved, saves herself, and saves her older male lover. His balls do not fall off in shame over his having been rescued by a girl. Perhaps this is because he is Swedish, but I choose to believe it’s because he is awesome.

In the same vein, anyone who is strong enough to play Angelina Jolie’s husband convincingly is strong enough to withstand being rescued by her.

Events, Summer 2010

Last summer, I was rather proud of how many things I did for $20 or less — mini-golf on Governor’s Island, a Magic School Bus Tour through several boroughs, burlesque shows, Moth shows, drag bingo … And, as I believe in an Onwards and Upwards theory of life management, this summer should be better yet.

So far, I’ve seen the New York Liberty play at Madison Square Garden ($10) and Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet, the Little Stranger) interviewed by Maud Newton (free). I’m psyched to make it to a Brooklyn Cyclones game ($8-$16) and maybe a Dorothy Parker Society event (just for contrast).

The calendar is shaping up nicely.

+ Monday, June 28: NY Moth StorySLAM. Showing Off at The Bitter End

+ Wednesday, June 30: River to River: Beth Orton in Rockefeller Park

+ Wednesday, July 7: Riverside Park showing of The Never-Ending Story

+ Wednesday, July 14: Riverside Park showing of Pan’s Labyrinth

+ Friday, July 16: David Mitchell (of Cloud Atlas, one of the #BooksThatChangedMyWorld) at Book Court.

+ Wednesday, July 21: Central Park Main Stage presents the Daily Show & Friends featuring Rob Riggle & Jamie Oliver

+ Thursday, July 22: The Big Lebowski in Brooklyn Bridge Park

+ Saturday, July 31: Get out the peasant skirts — it’s Lilith Fair!

+ Thursday, August 5: Brokeback Mountain in Brooklyn Bridge Park

+ Monday, August 23: Bryant Park showing of Bonnie and Clyde

+ Wednesday, September 8: Jonathan Franzen at the B&N in Union Square with his new book, Freedom

+ Sunday, September 12: Brooklyn Book Festival

"Bitchtar": Best Reviews of SATC

Since I am not planning to watch this gross disfigurement of a series I had real affection for, my only enjoyment out of its existence comes from creating a Bad Review Revue*:

Dodai at Jezebel starts us off right with an augmented montage of stills:

Salon gets its digs in twice-over:
1) “This movie might as well be set in Czarist Russia or on the Ice-Diamond Planet of K’Znorg, for all the realism it provides.” — Andrew O’Hehir
2) “It’s like the cinematic progeny of “Not Without My Daughter” and “Arabian Nights” with a makeover by Valentino.” — Wajahat Ali

“The film is an epic eyesore. It’s as if they set out to make a movie that said, ‘You’re right! We are hideous!'” — David Edelstein

“Sex And The City 2 panders to that audience to the point of self-destruction, squandering whatever goodwill the franchise had left after the first so-so movie by plopping its beloved characters into a series of garish vignettes that throw their shallowness into sharp relief. By the point where proud, menopausal jezebel Samantha stands shrieking in the middle of a Middle Eastern marketplace while waving magnum condoms and flipping off hijab-clad Muslims on their way to prayer, it’s inconceivable that anyone would want to even be in the presence of “a Samantha,” much less be one.” — Onion AV Club

“David: What did you think???
Neel: I thought it was perhaps the worst movie I’ve seen in the past three years.
Neel: Like, I am having a hard time thinking of something I hated more. You were sitting next to me. How many times do you think I checked my BlackBerry?
David: My cellphone battery was dead by the end of the movie.
Neel: The over/under would probably start at 50 times?
Neel: It was epically, cosmically, comically bad.
Neel: Actually not comically bad. There was nothing even remotely funny about its badness.”

the Awl

And finally:

“Bitchtar” — NYPost

God, this makes me sad. I have a feeling this one will resist even parody.

*Original credit for which must go to Matthew Baldwin.

Internets FTW

The web is *on* today! Here’s Dana Stevens at Slate reviewing the latest rom-com black cat to cross her path:

The Back-up Plan (CBS Films), with Jennifer Lopez as a would-be single mother surprised by love, is by any reasonable standard a bad movie: predictably scripted, sentimental, with laughs that rarely rise above a gentle sitcom chuckle. But at least it’s not reprehensible, misogynistic, or cynical, and the lead couple isn’t made up of a shrill female narcissist and a proudly slovenly male lug. I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend this movie, but if you were tied down and forced to watch it, you wouldn’t necessarily have to chew off your own leg to get away.

Damning with faint praise has become an internet art form.

And here’s the Washington Post on the porn scandal rocking the SEC:

In one instance, a regional office staff account admitted viewing pornography on his office computer and on his SEC-issued laptop while on official government travel. Another staff account received nearly 1,800 access denials for pornography Web sites in a two-week period and had more than 600 images saved on her laptop’s hard drive, the report said.

A senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington admitted he sometimes spent as much as eight hours viewing pornography from his office computer, according to the report. The attorney’s computer ran out of space for the downloaded images, so he started storing them on CDs and DVDs that he stored in his office.

I do not envy the cleaning lady in that office. In fact: For the love of god! Will someone please think of the cleaning ladies?

Leaving aside the fact that these folks were fiddling with themselves while Rome burned, I just don’t understand the appeal of porn in an office setting. Isn’t the office the least titillating place on earth? I mean, we’re talking about federal government buildings, not Sterling Cooper.* And did these lawyers signal to each other not to interrupt their marathon sessions of self-love? Did they put socks on doorknobs, or what?

Lastly, the Internets provide us with this self-glorifying thread at Shapely Prose, where Kate-fucking-Harding encourages everyone to brag about why they’re awesome. The comments have been brightening my mood for an hour already like bloggy Windex. Thanks, folks!

*My friend Nomi suggests that offices are unsexy to me because I *don’t* watch porn on my computer, which is a cause-and-effect I had not considered.

The purity of childhood

This NYT article showcases — and, naturally, frets about — the young, female star of a violent movie. Not because she is violent, but because she uses naughty words.

the filmmakers are bracing for the reception that the movie and Ms. Moretz may receive. In Britain, where the movie was released at the end of March, David Cox of The Guardian assailed its creative team and Ms. Moretz’s mother for allowing that swear word spoken by Chloë to become “acceptable parlance for children in mainstream movies,” adding, “We’ll be the poorer for it.”

Now, I don’t know which bit of verbal raunch is being referenced here. Perhaps it’s garden variety (“shit,” “bitch”). Perhaps it’s what Kurt Vonnegut in Mother Night called “the most offensive compound word in the English language.”

(Speaking of Vonnegut, let’s hear what he has to say on the impact of salty talk:

There is the word “motherfucker” one time in my Slaughterhouse-Five, as in, “Get out of the road, you dumb motherfucker.” Ever since that word was published, way back in 1969, children have been attempting to have intercourse with their mothers. When it will stop no one knows.)

God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut. I hope that, when you got to Heaven, they gave you a perch with a good view of all the nonsense that goes on down here.

Regardless, is this really something to get all yelpy about? Me, I love “bad language.” The more creatively vulgar, the better. Cursing features prominently in some of my favorite movies. And what makes me particularly disappointed in stuffy old Mr. David Cox of the Guardian is that British profanity is even more gleeful and entertaining than the American kind.

When I was thirteen, the same age as this tender young actress, I could turn the air around me so blue you would think Cookie Monster had exploded. I turned out okay and so did my friends, who were occasionally shocked but usually on board. “A word after a word after a word is power,” says Margaret Atwood, who is one savvy lady, and who understands that for young girls especially saying what folks don’t expect them to is an excellent way to be not just looked at but seen.

The article goes on:

Mr. Vaughn said this kind of condemnation was hypocritical because it attacked the movie’s language while essentially forgiving its violence. “I was like, ‘Does it not bother you that she killed about 53 people in this film?’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Would you rather your daughter swore, or became a masked vigilante killer?’ They’re going, ‘Yeah, I don’t know.’”


On the way back from finally seeing Avatar, I hear a couple across the car from me discussing the Academy Awards and the meta-narrative of Cameron vs. Bigelow: Who Gets Custody of Oscar.

The conversation is very run-of-the-mill and I zone out, paying attention instead to the Daley article in the New Yorker. Then I hear the boy say something is “political.” My antenna goes up.

GIRL: Really?
BOY: Of course it is. You remember that movie, Brokeback Mountain?
GIRL: Yeah.
BOY: That was nominated for Best Picture!
GIRL: Really?
BOY: Yes! And you know what it’s about?
GIRL: Yeah.
BOY: And *that* was nominated for Best Picture! Even though it was about … *that*! It’s just ’cause it was politically correct. Now, if it was a good movie, I wouldn’t mind …
GIRL: I never saw it.
BOY: Me neither, but still …

This reminds me of the time when I was about thirteen and my mother took me to the Algonquin hotel. I was a passionate devotee of Dorothy Parker’s, and I sat where she had once held court soaking up the Vitamin D. At least, I did, until my reverie was broken by the sound of a man a couple tables away lecturing his female companion on my favorite author. And he was wrong! More wrong than a cat being thrown out into the snow.

My mother could tell how incensed I was. I glared and shook my head and snorted like a horse but the man kept talking in his pompous, Master of the Literary Universe kind of way. “Please can I go over there and correct him,” I asked my mother. “He’s pretending he knows all this stuff and he doesn’t!”

In this case, I will content myself with saying to you, the Internets: that boy is a fool.

Of course, it is tempting to dismiss anything you find distasteful without feeling like you first have to sit through it. Especially in our digital age when we can easily access the proxy opinions of friends, or “Fox and Friends,” why bother exposing yourself to something whose agenda you suspect you don’t want to support?

A friend and I were recently discussing this in relation to, as it happens, Avatar: Is it fair to hate it without having seen it? Especially with an international blockbuster that seems to have been covered quite in depth by the media, it feels pretty easy to get a sense of whether you’ll like it in advance. (Good questions to ask yourself: How did you feel about Titanic? Fern Gully? Cats? [The animal, not the Broadway show.] How do you feel about white male protagonists with one-syllable “J” names? Great. Lastly, mother-goddess worship. Is that a deal breaker for you?)

Well, I decided to take myself to see it, by myself, to decide in as much of a vacuum as possible how I felt about it. There are my primary reactions. *CAUTION: SPOILERS*

1) James Cameron can sure make movies. I found myself thinking like a film student a lot of the time: “Those two characters are going to kiss at this point. Wait, but will they? They’re not human; why would they kiss? American audiences expect it even though it doesn’t make sense in this context. I wonder what Cameron will — oh, there they go! Well done.”

Assuming that Titanic and Avatar are about equally long, I would give you excellent odds that the first kiss between the couples in both films happen at roughly the same time. Like, within five minutes of each other. Because there is a kind of science to this and Cameron knows how it works.

I also made mental notes of the characters who seemed marked as Dead Meat and, indeed, most of them bit it. In a couple of cases I was surprised, which is another Well Done for JC.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I was carried by the narrative. I was impressed with the visuals. At times I was moved and at times I laughed, though a couple of those chuckles came at the expense of particularly ham-handed lines of dialogue. The movie was long but I didn’t get bored.


2) the story — specifically the politics of it. Oy. I don’t need to get into this; others, more prestigious and better suited to the task than I have done it already (here, there, and everywhere).

It should be noted that right-wingers think “Avatar” is a tree-hugging, socialist fantasy:

Writing in the Weekly Standard, conservative commentator John Podhoretz called the movie’s clash between heavily armed humans and an indigenous tribe of aliens as “anti-American, anti-human.” In an upcoming piece in Commentary magazine, Stephen Hunter writes that “the movie essentially decodes into a 1960s pseudo-intellectual’s power-trip dream.” A headline on a piece by John Nolte, editor of Andrew Breitbart’s conservative Big Hollywood site, declared the movie wasn’t for Heartland America: “‘Avatar’ Is a Big, Dull, America-Hating, PC Revenge …”

Hee! I love conservative outrage. For more from the left, here’s Dan Savage on the film’s sexual politics. He’s not happy either.

To all of that, I will only add that the film’s gender politics do get points from me. Most mainstream movies pass the Ms. Test only on a technicality. JC gives us several interesting, active female characters. Even the warrior princess kicks ass, and not just once, like, when a maternal instinct helps her save a baby rabbit. She hunts and flies and fights; her dad gives her his huge bow and arrow. She doesn’t need saving. Well, once, a bit, but then she does some excellent saving of her own.

In short, the women are just as developed as the men (which is to say, not much, but this is not a deep, character-driven flick). For an action movie, that’s not nothing.

Here, however, is where JC falls short:

3) the tails. WTF, JC? You give these 10-feet-tall blue-skinned cat-people *tails* and then do nothing with them? Think of the possibilities! Think of the children! (We barely see the children. What are the little Na’vi doing all day? Plugging their braids into everything they can find?) Many people, including one of my favorite high school teachers, would kill to have a tail. That showed a lack of imagination, Mr. Cameron. I am disappointed in you.

Overall? I liked it better than I thought I would. It helped to have expectations set to virtually zero. And now I can feel even more morally superior to that little blond idiot on the subway than I would have felt already.

Laughing like the guy from ‘Mary Poppins’

Mr. Ben and I watched In the Loop (2009) Saturday night, and it was the most gleefully foul-mouthed thing I’ve come across since the Aristocrats. Also the most hilarious.

Simon Foster: Tobes, I don’t want to have to read you the riot act but I am going to have to read you some extracts from the riot act, like section one, paragraph one: don’t leave your boss twisting in the wind and then burst in late, smelling like a pissed seaside donkey.

Toby Wright: Look, alright, I was late for the meeting, Simon, I am sorry, but it’s not like I threw up in there, is it?

Simon Foster: No, you’re right, I’m being unfair. I should be thanking you for not throwing up. Well done, you’re a star. You didn’t wet yourself, did you? You’re in the right city. You didn’t say anything overtly racist. You didn’t pull your cock out and start plucking it and shouting “Willy Banjo”. No, I’m being really unfair. You’d got so much right, without actually being there in the beginning of one of the most important moments of my career. Thanks, you’re a legend.

Jamie MacDonald: Hi, Toby, Toby. Very pleased to meet you. Please sit down. Now, right, that’s enough of all the fucking Oxbridge pleasantries.

Toby Wright: What’s Oxbridge about saying hello?

Jamie MacDonald: Shut it, Love Actually! Do you want me to hole punch your face?

Even the deleted scenes were funnier than anything else I’ve seen this year, with the possible exception of Up in the Air.

Mr. Ben and I had a rather Brit-themed weekend, what with the “Full English” brunch at Chip Shop and reading Harry Potter aloud as we cooked. It reminded me that I really, really want to go to Britain. The lake country! Stonehenge! Oxford! Cranford! (Is that a real place?) I want to go every damn village I’ve ever read about and, while Mr. Ben is distracted by the Tower of London or something, make out with every cute, tall, deadpan, angular, well-dressed bloke I can find. And I wouldn’t say no to Kate Winslet, either.


Why waste time with piddling lists like “Best of the Year”? Go big or go home! With film, after all, boldness is key, which goes a distance toward explaining why Charlie Kaufman is all over my lists and why, even if it doesn’t quite make it here, I couldn’t stop talking about Inglourious Basterds. What I love in a movie is some combination of chemistry, intelligence, creativity, audacity, and truth (in the sense that the film is true to itself and its own internal rules, not to any objective standard).

Some of these I never need to see again because they were searingly intense the first time. Others are here because I have watched them over and over again as the decade progressed and they never lost their sheen. Although my picks don’t divide neatly on those lines, I do find it helpful to use the Golden Globe division: Drama Vs. Comedy/Musical. Still, most of my Drama picks are funny, since I enjoy talky-talky stuff more than the fighty-fighty-kablammo!


Best Movies of the 00’s – DRAMA

Kill Bill 1&2

Brokeback Mountain


4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days


In the Mood for Love

Children of Men

Pan’s Labyrinth

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Movies of the Decade – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Moulin Rouge


Gosford Park

Little Miss Sunshine

The Incredibles


Being John Malkovich

High Fidelity

40 Year Old Virgin


RUNNERS UP: Memento, Once, Talk to Her

I haven’t actually done the hard work of ranking, because when movies are this good, does it really matter which one I think is ever-so-slightly better than the next? That said, my favorite movie of the decade, and one of my favorites of all time, is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Here are some other people’s lists: Pajiba honors the hilarious Shawn of the Dead and the creeptacular American Psycho; the Onion AV Club hoists up the 25th Hour, and I can’t fault anything that pats David Benioff on the back, even if I preferred Inside Man; and Entertainment Weekly gives its love to the LOTR trilogy, because I guess all those Oscars it got weren’t enough. And Slate has a handy-dandy guide to everything.

Did I forget something? Did I make you puke? Duke it out with me in the comments.


With varying degrees of success, I’ve been making myself go out lately. At best, I see a sweet, moving play, like the one my friend Lucas is in, I cry a little, and I am actually inspired to start writing (!) when I get home. Or I go with a crowd I don’t know to a mind-blowing show by and starring Anna Deavere Smith, which turns out to be about DEATH and CANCER and PEOPLE DYING FROM CANCER, and sob. And then, exiting the theater while still shaken and teary, deal with the following:

GIRL 1: I didn’t cry once! Did you?
GIRL 2: No! I almost did, during the orphanage one.
GIRL 3: Yeah, that was really sad. … But I didn’t cry either.
GIRL 2: Huh. [turning to me] Well, it was nice to meet you! Bye!

It’s not their faults, of course. They didn’t know what was going on with me. But I still felt like an idiot.

Friday night, I went to a birthday party with a bunch of people I know and love, and it was still hard. Trying to be boisterous and upbeat, I ended up overcompensating and saying at least one truly ridiculous, hurtful thing. Luckily everyone else was drinking and I counted, by the end of night, enough ridiculous things to knock my most offensive comment out of the evening’s Top Three.

At the party, one of my friends mentioned my blog, my dear, old neglected blog, where, she said, I “write about my feelings.” The pained look on my face must have given me away, and she hurried to assure me that she didn’t mean it in a bad way. But Jebus Crispy! My feelings? Is that what I have come to? Is that what I’ve been wasting my time with for eight years?

It took me a moment to regain my equilibrium. Once I did, I realized I was battling my own — wait for it — internalized misogyny. That’s right! Why do we look down on feelings, and, especially, harping on, writing about, discussing them? Because they are as feminine as cats and babies. As girly as pretty, pretty princesses and snowflakes and romance and pom poms, and just as pointless, because feelings don’t make money or amass power, and that’s what the patriarchy values.

I rebel against my own internalized misogyny! Or, I am trying to!

Sing it with me: Who cares if a well-done theater production made me cry, or if I keep a personal blog? There is nothing wrong with feelings. There is nothing wrong with memoir, with rom coms, with Titanic or Twi

I’m sorry, did you cough? What did I say? Oh yes. Twilight. I suppose you heard that it obliterated records this past weekend, propelled to success by a starkly young, female audience. To be clear, I’m no fan of the series. I haven’t read the books, and you may recall that I could not have rolled my eyes harder at the first film. (As a viewer I felt like echoing Jeneane Garofolo in Reality Bites after she has suffered through the thousandth Winona Ryder-Ethan Hawke bantering session: “Just do it and get it over with already!”)

But who cares? Anything that makes Hollywood pay attention to women and value female viewership is a net positive. New Moon is probably as melodramatic and sappy as its predecessor was, but most movies these days are loud and dumb. There’s no reason to be especially disdainful of a phenomenon just because it’s oriented towards girls instead of boys. Let us have a share of the stupidity!

Personally, I’d take Jack Dawson over Edward Cullen any day. Good, old-fashioned costume melodrama is more my style than sparkling vampires, and at least Jack and Rose got to get it on before he died helping to save her. But, as the true snobs say, chacun a son gout.

ETA: Pajiba agrees with me.