Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Too Young to Be A Dad: EDITED!

So I haven't updated for a minute. Sorry. Go look at Terry's blog and learn how to make money off of those loose gold teeth you have laying around. Out of curiosity- does anyone want to see reviews of Army Wives, or would that be biting on TV Without Pity's style too much?

There is a basic problem with teenagers in the Lifetime universe, and it has to do with sex. I have created a Venn diagram, which is totally scientific and not at all pulled out of my eggnog-padded butt:

All mentally sound post-pubescent adults eventually reach the point where they must reconcile the fact that sex is fun with the fact that sex can make a baby. This is an especially hard jump for young women, who know they'll probably be extra-screwed should the latter result from the former. Depending on their level of comfort with this discovery, women can either enjoy sex or avoid it completely through satisfying use of Star Trek 'literotica'. From here most will either develop a healthy respect for condoms or a healthy obsession with the idea that Kirk and Spock are bonin' like monkeys all the time. Whatever gets you people off is fine with me, nobody's judging you here. (I find the tension between Scotty and Spock to be way hotter, but that's just me.) What bothers me is that sexually active people fail to make that same connection for their children. Their children remain flash-frozen at prepubescence in their heads, incapable of enjoying the act that created them unless they are tricked into it by icky little sluts or roofie-pushing thugs. No better example of this exists then "Too Young to Be A Dad", which was tailor-made to cater to this particular parental neurosis.

The film begins with some kind of fancy ceremony with the word "HONOR" in giant letters behind a group of high school boys in funny robes lighting candles. Are they Eagle Scouts? Skull and Bones inductees? Who fucking knows, but they are way too young to have sex, that's for sure. Especially too young to have sex is Matt Freeman, the youngest-ever inductee into this clandestine honor society. Matt is played by Paul Dano, AKA Creepy Preacher Boy in They Will Be Blood OR Creepy Nihilist Boy in Little Miss Sunshine, so what the fuck he was doing in this movie I have no idea. From here we pan out to see the lady who is responsible for the type-A personality that has sucked all the fun out of Matt's life. Weeping in the audience is Suzy Freeman, the pushy stage mom of the Freeman clan. There's also a distant daddy figure named Dan and a sassy be-pierced Avril Lavigne named Alex.

The first part of the movie is a bigger tease then a slutty teen on prom night: Alex is all eyeliner and rebellion, makin’ out with her sk8r boi till after midnight and saying that she is going to put off college for a year to save up and buy a car. In the age of college tuition being worth more then Faberge eggs, that doesn’t sound like a bad plan to me. However, her mother uses a series of screaming fits to inform her that she is on the Bad News Train to Knocked-Up Junction and her son is the only bright star left in her sad world. No pressure, Matt! I would have liked the movie more if Suzy had realized how sad it was that she had to push her kids into misery in order to vicariously enjoy their triumphs, but the movie isn’t called “Too Crazy to Be a Mom”, so this plot thread is sadly abandoned.

Meanwhile, Matt is enjoying the poon-magnet status that only an early induction into the honors society can provide. He gets acquainted with a hottie named Francesca. Francesca is a rich girl with good manners who aspires to go to medical school, so of course she is a secret nympho. She needs a lot of afterschool homework help, which quickly turns into sloppy makeouts as soon as their parent’s backs are turned. I am sure this is meant as a lesson to parents of nerdy teenage boys everywhere: watch them like hawks, because there is always a traitorous vagina laying in wait like a Punjabi trap just out of their field of vision. Francie and Matt enjoy their boring shirts-on making out for a while, and then it’s revealed that Francie isn’t a virgin. Remember: she had sex, and it didn’t kill her, so I think we all know who the slutty teen here is.

She talks Matt into doing the deed, and here is where the movie gets really strange- they’re making out and giggling, having fun, fade to black. The next shot is them laying next to each other in silence, Matt’s face a picture of bleak horror. Dude looks like he just watched Schindler’s List. Later Francie and Matt talk about their feelings and decide that sex is too traumatic to attempt again. If this was an After-School Special, this is probably where the credits would roll.

Their depressing union has, of course, put a bun in Francie's oven. Matt's busy parents, who mostly ignore him to deal with his dramabomb sister, don’t seem like great sources of support. Francesca's parents are equally useless WASPy nightmares who regularly harass her over her appearance and grades. But what better can you expect from a pair of yuppies who give their daughter a name that would embarrass the Fancy Feast cat? Unfortunately Francesca's dad catches her throwing up in the bathroom, and the secret is blown. Suzy has a sit down with Juliana and Francesca's father, whose name I can't remember, so we'll call him Mr. Jangles to keep with the cat theme. Jangles is a businesslike cat (a Top Cat, if you will) and wants the whole matter settled. Matt's family will pay for the incidentals of babyhood, Francie will quietly pop the kid out to be passed on to a waiting home, and everything will keep on rolling as it should.

The only person standing in the way is Matt himself, who is ultra sad that Francesca doesn't want to drop out of school and raise their bastard love child. In Matt's school, teen parents have to attend a compulsory baby boot camp until the kid is born. Apparently, the best way to encourage teenage parents to stay in school is to yank them out of it completely so they can spend all day playing house with they babydaddy in the school gym. Suzy throws a complete fucking fit at the idea of Matt leaving real school, but Matt is pretty firm about going to support Francesca. Matt is honestly a stand-up guy, if a complete fucking moron, and a normal parent would probably be proud of their son's backbone. However, Suzy refuses to have a son that is not in the honor society, so she tells him to go fuck himself and leaves him in the school parking lot.

At this point in the film, Matt becomes an anti-sex evangelist. Anyone who asks him will find out "sex isn't that great". Between this and his uncomfortable post-coital squirming, you have to wonder if he and Francesca even had real sex or if it was some creepy fetish thing that screwed him up for life. Maybe Francesca is hiding a Quaato under her American Eagle hoodie, I dunno. On the other hand, he is WAY INTO BABIES. He loves his school sponsored pretend-baby time, and he even gets an afterschool job to help pay for Francesca's medical bills. This would all be as endearing as the film seems to think it is if it were not for the fact that FRANCESCA DOES NOT WANT TO KEEP THIS BABY AT ALL. Her being forced to play along with the baby-camp farce actually seems a little sadistic when you consider that it will all culminate in her giving the child up and probably never seeing it again.

This is getting too long, so let’s sum it up. Suzy learns to stop being a psycho bitch and loves her son again, just in time for the baby to be born. They go to the hospital and Matt bum-rushes the nursery, falling crazy in love with his baby on the spot. His mom decides that their family should raise the baby together, giving the metaphorical finger to Francesca’s whole family in the process. The Freemans build a nursery, Matt cuddles his new son while playing some Everquest, and an offscreen Francesca must somehow make peace with the fact that her child is being raised by the awkward schlub she tapped for help with her algebra homework. The end!

Awesomeness: 12

Rusty pointed out to me that the awesomeness scale is out of 20. This is easy to forget, as most of the films on this blog don't break the single digits. Anyway, this movie was kind of fantastic! I like this movie because it helps illustrate my point about the slutty teens. Also, the sex-hating-baby-loving boy wonder is hilarious to me.

Star Power: 9

I like to think that while they were shooting There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day-Lewis would whisper lines from this movie into Dano’s ear to make his crying and flailing more realistic. You know he’s a dick like that.

Lifetimeliness: 10

This movie is the absolute wet dream of the Lifetime mother: She who cannot believe her son would ever enjoy sex, and is sure that his motive in everything is as pure and good as Jesus Christ himself. If you have ever dated a mama’s boy, this movie will give you invaluable perspective as to why she gives you the stinkeye every Christmas and makes you sleep in separate rooms.

So that's a 31. Not bad. If you're the kind of person who ironically enjoys Blossom reruns you will enjoy this movie, as you enjoy so many things you probably shouldn't. Now I am going to go do something fun for New Years, or I will have to kill myself.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Are a Very Funny Couple And You Should Want To Be Friends With Us

This blog remains sporadically updated. Why not throw another sporadically updated blog on your RSS feeder-ma-bob? Terri, my "partner," editor, and introducer to HarmonyC has started a new blog and I think you'll agree with me that it is wonderful.

Ladies and ladies, I present you with Three Easy Payments. It's reviews of made-for-TV commercials. Well, all commercials on television are technically made-for-TV, but you catch my drift. Billy Mays is on notice.

Please check it out and bask in the awesomeness.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Borrowed Hearts

Hello again! FYI: My job involves a lot of training in other cities, which gives me a lot of time to kill in hotel rooms. Please join me and $10 of minibar booze as we enjoy “Borrowed Hearts”, a paint-by-the-numbers celebration of romance, daddy issues, and vague family values for all.

Fig. 1: Sam Adams, A Bargain-Basement Eliza Doolittle, A Possessed Child, and an Angel for Your Entertainment

The characters are introduced to us through a thanksgiving montage. There’s Kathleen, a hardworking single mother celebrating Thanksgiving in a tiny, busy kitchen with her presumably hardworking neighbors. We know that Kathleen is moral because she dresses like one of those Mormon compound wives and will not shut up about buying a house for herself and her daughter Zoey. Kathleen is played by the leading lady from Touched by an Angel, and if that fact doesn’t make you profoundly worried about the quality of this movie I don’t know what will. There’s also Sam, an industrialist douche who spends his thanksgiving seducing rent-a-floozies in his dank cave of a bachelor’s mansion. Sam is played by Will from Will and Grace, and his haircut makes him look exactly like Sam Adams. I think I’d rather spend my holidays gettin’ drunk with the gay dude that invented beer then eating dried out turkey with the schmucks over in the other part of the montage, but then I never seem to get the moral of these films.

Their lives are brought within spitting distance when Sam’s game of squash (the quintessential sport of douches) with his wormy little assistant is interrupted by a phone call. A Mexican millionaire wants to buy his factory, putting all the workers out on the street! Will there be a moral about protectionism in here too? You know it! Anyway, the deal is almost on, but Sam needs a pretend wife and kid cause the Mexican dude is old school about his business partners like that.

Speaking of pretend families: you know who needs a daddy? Zoey needs a daddy. She is totally fucking whacked out, crying about her disappeared daddy and hearing bells ringing all the time. Actually, Zoey could probably use a really good child psychologist instead of a dad, but no dice. Her babysitter should be concerned about her constant psychotic breaks. Instead she tells Zoey that “When you hear music, and there isn’t any, an angel is there!” What!? Anyway, the babysitter also tells Zoey she will have a daddy again once the angels are pleased with her, which is SO CREEPY. Zoey is of course all about the angels bringing her a daddy, and has a continuing pleading dialogue with them that spooked me out for the rest of the film.

Zoey’s whacked-out-itude causes her to charge into Sam’s house while they’re doing a casting call for a fake family. Sam sees Zoey and Kathleen as the perfect solution to his incredibly stupid dilemma. Kathleen is skeptical, but Sam cajoles her into living at the house with her daughter long enough to fool El Guapore into signing a contract by giving her the downpayment for her stupid dream house. The next scene is the standard “frumpy to hot” makeover where the frazzled hausfrau becomes a knockout through judicious use of spackle and conditioner. Sam sees his new hot “wife” and falls instantly in love with her. I guess this was supposed to be enchanting, but I will never understand why we are supposed to be enchanted when a dude gets excited about a faux-frumpy leading lady showin’ some cleavage and gettin’ her hair did.

Mexican Uncle Moneybags shows up, and hallucinations of bells convince Zoey that he is an angel, and probably involved in the whole celestial father-withholding conspiracy! Her cute little delusions are justified when he goes on about what a cute couple Sam and Kathleen are, and inadvertently makes them sleep in the same room. The movie proceeds as you would expect it to from here: lots of fun mishaps that make Sam and Kathleen accidentally grope each other until they fall in love in a series of contrived events that would have embarrassed the writers of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.

The notable thing about this movie isn’t the plot, which I refuse to describe in any more detail. It’s the weird daddy issues that permeate the whole thing. Again, Zoey’s frequent psychotic breaks are blamed on her missing dad, and she spends a lot of the film despising herself for his disappearance. “Maybe I’m just not lovable!”, she wails in a voice I would bet sounds like the one constantly howling in the back of a certain writer’s mind. Sam has similar episodes, revealing through a series of weeping fits that his father’s constant disapproval and anger is why he became the douche king of the Midwest. The resolution of the film contains a super-odd moment where Sam yells (yes, YELLS) about how much he loves Zoey, and how he will never let anything hurt her ever again, and how she is the best little girl in the world. The one kissing scene in this supposedly romantic movie is actually a big family hug with a peck on the cheek for mommy and daughter alike.

I don’t know about you, but if there is one thing I hate in this world it’s when a vague acquaintance dumps their issues on me. It’s pretty much like if you saw an old high school friend at the grocery store, and you spent a pleasant couple minutes catching up, then he revealed out of nowhere that he had cancer in his balls. The discomfort you would feel at that moment is very similar to the discomfort I felt when Sam was openly weeping about his dad not playing catch with him as a child. I feel like if someone would have just taken this movie fishing once in a while it would have been much less unsettling.

Do I have to tell you how the movie ends? Sam and Katherine fall in love, but she will not marry him if he sells the factory to Mexico. They accidently tip off the millionaire that they aren’t a real couple, he oddly doesn’t give a shit, Sam doesn’t sell the plant, they get married, and American jobs and families are saved forever. Also, they find some feathers in the Mexican guy’s bed, so he is totally an angel. Or maybe he had sex with one in exchange for the new daddy. Hooray!

Awesomenicity: 2

This movie could not have been less awesome if it had featured a real-life genocide. All 2 points are for Sam’s fantastic beer baron haircut.

That Guy You Know: 8

I have to give this movie a decent score here because I actually recognized both the lead actors, albeit from terrible TV shows. Also, Sam’s wormy sidekick was Corny Collins in the original Hairspray! Yeah!

Lifetimeliness: 8

Woah, so Lifetimey! Single moms triumphing over all odds to melt a rich dude’s heart and secure a bright future for their crazy children. No evil male or police involvement, though, so a slight deduction is due.

Oh movie. If you had been a little more awesome, you could have broken 20. As is, it all adds up to another $3 beer for me! And 18 for you, shit movie. Goodnight!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Painful Secrets

Painful Secrets, aka Secret Cutting, is about a teenager in trouble. She isn't happy with her family life and has few friends. So, as you have probably guessed from the alternate title, she cuts herself.

The movie opens with Dawn presenting an arts project to the evil popular clique. Dawn wants to build the homecoming throne. Her pitch: wolves. The popular girls make fun of her but give her the job anyways. Why Dawn wants to work with these people, who knows? Only one student defends Dawn. Pothead Kirsten tells the popular girl to do her best Princess Diana wave when presented with the homecoming tiara.

"Bitch! Don't make fun of Princess Di!"

Oh, this movie is going to be good.

Dawn sneaks away to a bathroom stall, takes out an exacto knife, and starts doing the crazy person rock.

We see why Dawn is so crazy when we meet her family. The obnoxious and rude younger brother is to be expected. The father who works too much and spends his free time watching football and/or cutting glass (seriously) is par for the course. The mother? Oh, the mother. Here's a hint to how crazy the mom is: She's played by Sean Young.

When Dawn tells her mom about her new high school drop-out boyfriend, the Mom, Joyce, warns her that all he's interested is sex. Again, par for the course. Then she points out high school passion is better than getting married for the right reasons and then never getting boned by her husband. To Lifetime's credit, they've made it very clear how terrible Dawn's home life is. I'd cut myself too.

Dawn's relationship with her boyfriend is just as disastrous. He, obviously, is only interested in sex. She isn't into that. The obvious compromise is to have her blow him. So it is written, so it shall be done. They end up boning later anyways.

After another day of being picked on by the Mean Girls, Dawn runs off to the school's basement for some quick cutting actions. She is discovered by Pothead Kirsten. A friendship begins to blossom?

Unfortunately for Dawn, she's also discovered by her math teacher. Some blood from a cut leaked through her shirt. So now the parents are aware of the situation. Joyce reacts the only way she knows how. She accuses everyone of blaming her (they aren't) and she deflects that imagined blame right back at her poor husband. Joyce's efforts to talk this over with Dawn go about as well as one could imagine.

Dawn runs to her boyfriend for emotional support. She doesn't get it. Instead, he literally drags her out of his apartment and tells her he'd only put up with this bullshit if Dawn were prettier. Zing!

I suppose this is the best time to mention my alternate title for the movie: Kimberlee Peterson's Left Eyebrow. Peterson plays the lead, Dawn. She has some fucking crazy eyebrows. They do not match. One looks surprised. The other looks angry. And it is the most distracting thing in the world. Check out the picture on her own website. This is her site! This is the best she could do! And she looks like someone stitched an eyebrow on the wrong part of her head.

Anyways, Dawn keeps cutting away. Her family hides the knives, but that doesn't stop her. In order to hide her crazy, she starts cutting at her bikini line where her parents don't inspect her.

Now, Dawn's shrink knows about these cuts. The shrink knows that with every cut, Dawn is putting her life at risk. But the shrink, who is presented as a saint who truly "gets" cutting, won't have Dawn institutionalized and won't tell any adults that Dawn is cutting at her tummy and pubes. This shrink sucks.

Dawn's family life continues to go downhill. It even gets to the point where her dad demands that she cut him so that he can know what she feels. When Dawn refuses, Dad tells her that he is only with Joyce for the kids. Oh. That will make Dawn feel better.

Dawn starts freaking out and does her crazy person rock. Obnoxious Younger Brother trashes Dawn's room and blames her for splitting the family apart. Dawn begins her crazy person rock but realizes she can't cut anymore. So she calls up her ex-boyfriend?

I do not like where this is going.

Dawn shows up at the boyfriend's apartment while his band is in the middle of practicing. "You said I could bring a friend, so I brought two." Oh, God. Dawn strips down to her skivvies and allows the band to mock her many, many scars. Then she gets gangbanged.

Dawn wakes up, realizes that sleeping with three men was not the proper course of actions, and starts slicing away at her stomach with a razor blade until she passes out.

The last ten minutes of this movie were truly repulsive. I have no idea why I found it hilarious that a teenage gambling addict had to make a porno with an old married couple but so gross when Dawn slept with three boys under her own volition. Regardless, yucky.

Dawn meets up with Pothead Kirsten at the hospital. She was in a coma for a while after her mother's boyfriend beat her almost to death. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Probably because it wasn't important.

Joyce decides to leave the family alone for a while and that's the end of the movie. Wait. Dawn doesn't get better? She just starts her recovery over? Yay?


Why so high? First, points for allowing Kirsten to have an obviously abusive presence in the house and not having Dawn freak out about it. Seriously. That was like real life and shit. People have terrible problems and people forget about them because those people don't want to talk about their abusive step-father all the god damned time. An appreciated unLifetimey touch.

(Side note: Kristen has the same shrink as Dawn. So this so-called doctor knows about the rampant cutting and knows that Kirsten is in a domestic abuse situation; a situation she is legally required to report to social services. And she's the hero of the story?)

Also, legitimate credit for having the movie skeeve me out so much. It made me feel fidgety and gross.


Sean Young is crazy, but she's hardly famous. As for the rest of the cast, the shrink is that lady who is boning Danny DeVito. And the dad is played by a guy I only recognize from an X-Files episode. (Terri and I are about to finish Season 3.)


Despite the unLifetimey way the film treats Kirsten's abuse, the rest of the movie is way off the rails. Teenage girls are either bitches or in peril. Dudes just want to avoid their wife or gang-fuck a traumatized girl. And Sean Young just wants to act all Sean Young.


The film's mediocre score is only a tip of the hat for effectively grossing me out. So, if you're normal and don't like getting grossed out, avoid this film.

You Belong to Me

Due to Chicago O'Hare being totally awesome with constant weather delays, I am posting this from the airport! Feel the future! Also, after posting it, I noticed it was slightly longer then the Hobbit. I can't do much, as I am at the airport, but I am doing my best to edit it while I am here. Sorry!

The movie starts with a dude sulking around outside a nice suburban house. Could he be a stalker, or is he just checking the water meter or something? Who knows? The film's premise nicely laid out by our creepy crawlin' buddy outside, we are now going inside to meet the family. A creepily adult-sounding boy named Danny asks his pet turtle not to get parasites. Alex (Shannon Elizabeth) appears and still can't act, ever. Also, a dudeL His name is Chris, he's got a chiseled jawline, and he really loves kids, so you know he'll be the "good guy" in this one. He talks about how much he likes kids, and then they have sex. Horrible Lifetime sex. Man, they love to make out. So much kissing. Anyway, it eventually draws to a merciful close and it's lights out.

Now it is nighttime and we get a series of establishing "peaceful sleep" shots. Alex wakes up and tries to look scared, but being played Shannon Elizabeth is too much of a handicap to overcome. She runs to check on her boy. She walks into his room and sees teddy bear sitting in a chair. Alex does the logical thing and calls the police.

Finally, the movie decides to throw us a bone in the form of Sargent Exposition, a leaden voiced man-faced police officer who slowly forces Alex to explain some back story. Alex reveals she has an ex-husband, Julian, who is obsessed with her and her son and rules her life with terror through strategic placement of child-friendly gifts. Alex reveals that Julian tried to kidnap kid and fuck off to Argentina, which makes her decision to let the kid go off with her suburban wonder-boyfriend a little odd, but whatever. The cop, very bored with crazy Alex, tells her to change the locks and leaves.

Next day! Alex goes to her patented Acceptable Working Mom job: the generic editor. She shakes hands with a new author who looks a lot like the human form of the teapot from Beauty and the Beast. Uh-Oh! The author jumps back and looks startled. Did you know that the teapot from Beauty and the Beast is psychic!?

Let's get to know Alex's friend Denise better, as she's actually in this movie a lot. The Six to Alex's Blossom, her main role is to flounce about and belittle Alex while kibitzing about men that do not like her and loving chocolate and menses and other womanly things. They talk a little about Alex's terrifying ex stalking her, which is a great segue to talking about the hottie in the office that Denise wants to bang. Also, the Hottie is named Michael and he has this real sense of sweaty desperation to him that does not bother Alex but would keep a normal person far away.

Alex's boss has food poisoning and orders her to go to NY to meet up with a mystery author, accompanied by the office hottie. IN NY, our mystery lady author is a senators wife and they're trying to get her to write her memoirs. Everyone quotes Browning 20 times and it is awful.

They go to a restaurant to celebrate. Suddenly I notice that Michael looks kind of like Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I am angry that I am not watching that instead. Oh well. And OH MY GOD THEY ARE QUOTING BROWNING. We learn more about Michael: He's an English major, and he majored in English so fucking hard he won't shut up about the one Browning poem he knows no matter what happens. Alex's with it though, so they talk about how much they like the stupid poem for what seems like an hour. He also talks about his dead mom, which is sort of a weird detail to use when flirting with someone, but maybe he's going for sympathy for something. They end the dinner as besties and adjourn to the hotel. Alex's boyfriend calls, and Michael is so sad. Please note that Chris is fixing up a dream car. This is important for two reasons: it is a plot point later, and it also reinforces his non-threatening masculinity.

Alex comes home. We meet a young girl named Ellen whose relation to the family I am never quite able to figure out. Is she the creepy adult kid's sister? A babysitter? Is she just another stalker who was adopted into the home? Meanwhile, Chris is working on Greased Lightning. UH OH SOME FEET. Could it be the stalker? YES IT COULD! The evil feet propel evilly gloved hands to a lever that releases the whatever holding the car aloft, causing it to tumble down and bloodlessly squish our dream man.

At work, Alex is blissfully unaware that her dude is wiggling like a cockroach under 2 tons of his own weekend labor. Bigger things are afoot: Michael left a nicely wrapped Browning 1st edition as a gift on her desk! Alex, who does not have the common sense to see why this is weird, asks Michael to lunch. Alex gets a call from someone asking where her boyfriend is, so she fucks off to his house to look for him.

She wanders about looking for him, yelling like a moron and completely ignoring the obvious clue of loud music emanating from the garage. She finally finds him under the car- but still alive! Sargent Exposition is apparently off-duty, but Officer Backstory arrives on the scene soon enough. He gives Shannon the opportunity to tell us that Chris is the lawyer that helped Alex get a restraining order against the evil ex! Wait, isn't it illegal to date your clients? Law students or Law and Order fans, please let me know. Alex crosses her heart and hopes to die that it was the evil ex who attempted to smoosh her new rich fella. The cops try to explain that they are not allowed to imprison people based on the word of a crazy person, but she ain't having that. Later we see Alex and Chris in the hospital,where he's being treated for broken ribs and dehydration- what, did the car squish the liquids out of him? -and they bond on the near-death thing. Very touching.

Alex goes home. The stalker is back! Despite a police watch, he slips in easily through an unlocked door. Alex is sort of absent minded about the whole "stalker" thing. He steals a hairbrush! He slips out of her room as she wanders into it to listen to her messages. Michael calls and asks her to read a poem out of the Browning book. Oh hey, it's the same fucking poem that they were quoting at each other over dinner! It turns out to be the only poem by Browning anyone actually knows, and we now have to listen to Alex recite EVEN MORE POETRY. Soon she goes to sleep and the stalker comes in to watch her sleep some more. And leaves, politely, closing the door behind him. No, really.

Back at work, Michael continues to show his ignorance about boundary issues. Why won't Alex go out to lunch with him? No reason is good enough! Alex appears to be cottoning to the fact that he's a weirdo creep. Good job, sweetie.

There is another horrible sex scene between Alex and Chris we're going to skip. Cable sex is the worst sex ever. If I had a nickle for every orgasm that has been faked for the Lifetime network, I'd be able to afford a fucking TiVO.

Alex is back at the office for ANOTHER creepy moment with Michael. He will not stop giving her weird gifts. This time it's his dead mom's claddaugh! Anyway, Alex cold turns him down. It's revealed that Michael lied to get a look at her calendar, and that's why he was unwilling to accept her lunchtime excuses. Alex's friend Denise continues to be unsettling and dense, finding the borderline stalking "cute" and lecturing Alex on her inability to take creepy, controlling gestures as a lighthearted crush. While Alex is being chastised for having the sense to finally get weirded out by Michael, he steals her cell phone.

Since it's halfway through the movie, it's time for a twist! The police visit the recuperating Chris at home and tell him that Alex's ex husband is in London, so someone else has been doin' all the stalking!

Meanwhile Michael meets Alex outside of work and offers to give her a ride to some coffee to apologize for being a creep. Alex, displaying more of the awesome judgment she has shown so far in the film, agrees to go out with him. This movie is like an instructional film on how to get murdered by a crazy person.

A weird car ride ensues. At first Alex patiently tries to explain that she has a boyfriend. However, Michael reveals that he stole Alex's cell phone and poisoned their boss so they could go to NY together. He says he's sorry it was so weird, but he's kind of an awkward dude, and her jock boyfriend sucks, and he's also convinced they are soulmates and will be together forever in life and death. If only Alex knew this was par for the course when you get involved with nerdy dudes that quote poetry at you. So anyway, he's the stalker! If you guessed that, congratulations: you are smarter then the writers of the film.

Michael pulls the car over and orders Alex to step out into the clearing so he can quote more awful poetry at her. There's a hilarious scene where they fight over unlocking the passenger door. Michael works the unlocker button on his keychain, and Alex frantically scrambles to keep relocking the door from the inside. Sadly, it ends quickly. He drags her out of the car, hollerin' about soulmates, and in the ensuing tussle he falls over the side of the cliff and presumably dies. The claddaugh is stuck on the side of the cliff, and please note it is there, because there are 10 fucking shots of it so hey we'll probably see it again.

Back at home, Alex checks in on the kids. The son is asleep, the ambiguous Ellen is concerned. Alex is distracted by that stupid book falling off of a table. Spooky shot of a Browning poem about being all in love and whatnot, with their photo from dinner laying as a bookmark. She looks sad and crumples the photo, then sets it aside, I assume for her stalker scrapbook.

Next day, back to work! Everyone's all "weren't you almost killed last night?" and she's all "I got shit to do". Some 10 year old boy who got a voice modulator for a gag catalogue calls her and reads more Browning. Logically, Alex assumes it's her dead stalker Michael and freaks the fuck out. Not even death itself can stop this movie from ruining Browning for you! Alex calls the cops. Officer Backstory basically tells her to leave him alone because the guy is dead and seriously, he doesn't care at all. Alex books it over to the police station, and there's a really funny scene where Officer Backstory is utterly delighted to show her the stalker Michael's dead body. People haven't been this excited about a waterlogged dead body since Stand by Me. B-dog tells her to go see a shrink and she clears on out. She gets home and spends more time with her creepy son and that girl who is probably related to them somehow. Chris calls and says "hey, see a shrink" and she's all "blow me", and then her and the kids go to bed. This is boring, so let's get to the fun Poltergeist stuff already.

First, Alex has a bad dream. Grainy footage, lots of spooky whispery voices and creepy shots of Michael the Ghost. She wakes up hollering, but goes back to sleep eventually Next, she starts awake to see a vase wobbling on her bedside table. Alex, working to her strengths, looks confused. All of a sudden, the vase hurls itself at her! The stupid ghost has shit aim and misses, so she is able to get up and run thought the house screaming at her kids to follow her.

Alex takes her kids to hole up at Denise's house, who continues her excellent streak of advice by advising Alex to not see a psychiatrist about this stuff. She's got a better idea! She called the psychic teapot from earlier in the film, and they're taking a ghostbusting trip to Alex's. They wander about the house, bullshitting about spirits and energy and crap. The psychic looks like she's got some indigestion, but it turns out that it's actually psychic angst. Oh no! The psychic looks in a mirror, sees the ghost, and hauls like there's a fire under her ass. Turns out Michael liked Alex SO MUCH he came back to kill her so they could be dead together! Denise looks mildly sad, probably because she's not getting stalked by an undead hottie.

Alex uses her work stuff to hunt up Michael's grandma, which is probably against the law, but off she goes. So, let's meet Grandma! Here's where the movie gets briefly awesome: Remember the dead mom he wouldn't shut up about? Alex looks exactly like Michael's dead mom! The dude just wants to bang his mom! LAST MINUTE OEDIPAL PLOT TWIST! Hell yes!

Alex has another meeting with the psychic teapot, where we learn that Alex needs an object that belonged to Michael in order to cast his spirit out or whatever. The psychic gives Alex a magical scroll that will defeat the ghost, but not the smog monster which no doubt appears in the sequel to this fine film.

Alex goes home and preps the scroll, more shit moves around, spooky rustling blah blah blah. She gets a call on her phone from the girl who may or may not be related, and oh no, the kids are headed towards the cliff where Michael died to hunt snails! Somehow the kids spend 7 boring hours chasing snails. It's finally dark, and the ghost throws a branch in front of them to trip them. They're both knocked cold for no reason at all.

Super-boyfriend Chris gives Alex a ride out to save her kids. Check out this piece of dialogue, where the movie doesn't just draw attention to it's worst plot hole, but gleefully embraces it:

Chris: If this ghost is so powerful, and he wants to kill you, why hasn't he?
Alex: I don't have time to explain this to you!

That's right. It might be a Lifetime movie, but it's got some serious balls.

This awesome argument is cut off by the ghost taking Chris's advice by jamming down the gas pedal of his fancy lawyer car. Finally, a good call from the ghost!

If you cant guess how this movie ends, let me quickly sum it up for you: They get away, Alex runs around yelling, ghost shows up and menaces everyone, Alex cant use the scroll right, she finds that fucking claddaugh and waves it around like a sparkler, the ghost fizzles away like Alka-seltzer, wonder boyfriend proposes and everyone is totally OK with the prospect of an afterlife where murderous nerds with creepy crushes can manipulate time and space to kill you. END.

Awesomeness: 4

There were a few truly brilliant moments, especially when the movie basically told everyone who questioned its flaws to go fuck themselves, but for the most part it was simply unforgivable. Seriously, the person who edited this should have their thumbs cut off. You hear me, Arthur Tanowski? You don't deserve your fucking thumbs.

Star Power: 3

All three of these points are for Christian Campbell, the spooky poetry loving dingus, for appearing in the Reefer Madness movie musical. I knew I recognized you from somewhere!

Lifetimeability: 6

A middling score for a middling film. No black cop, and a truly wussy male villain. However! There was a single mom protagonist and the part where they sat and ate cheesecake while commiserating over their ghost woes was pretty femmy. Also, Chris was obviously meant as masturbation material for lonely middle-aged single women who are waiting for their fantasy lawyer Adonis.

Overall, 13. What a boring piece of crap. I'll close by quoting one of my favorite poets, the immortal Ol' Dirty Bastard: "I don't have no problem with you fuckin' me, but I got a little problem with you not fuckin' me." English majors, take note: this guy knows how to get laid. Good day!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Contributor Time!

Terri and I have decided to watch every single episode of the X-Files in order. Since the first five seasons were filmed in Canada, there has been a lot of Lifetime crossover (Ryan Reynolds!). Unfortunately, my Lifetime watching has been waning.

So, new writer! I'll still be around, but I am flaky. And Lifetime movies deserve better. So, ladies and ladies: HarmonyC!

When I was told by my sister that her friend's boyfriend was OK with me contributing to Lifetime, Wow!, you can imagine my starstruck wonder. Every young lady aspires to be a Moe, or at least a Matt Drudge. But do I have the willpower? Do I have the discipline? Can I drink enough to keep up with the bitches at (Nope.) I think I got the skillz to pay the billz, and here's why:


Unlike Rusty, who just PRETENDS to have a vagina, I am an actual factual girl-on-the-internet. Want posts where I bitch about guys being misogynists on message boards? On it! Want a list of embarrassing sex facts about myself and my boyfriend? Totally there. Want to read a sad, drunken post after my boyfriend dumps me for talking about his dick on the internet? It's on like Donkey Kong. I do this for you, the reader, because women are givers like that. I'll make a twitter stream for my vadge if I have to. Just give me a chance.


As everyone knows, the true substance of internet humor is referencing other things that exist outside of the internet, and then typing frantically about how you know what it is and maybe you had one when you were a kid. For example:


Admit it, your first instinct was to laugh and leave a story about your BeDazzler in the comment section. I have lived in the bowels of the internet since I was old enough to watch animated Sailor Moon gifs on a GeoCities site. I know how you people work. Rusty will scramble to defend himself over his inability to watch Roadhouse or spell "Galactica" correctly (ONE L YOU PLEBE). Not me. I am so pop-culture I have Xena on DVD, so all you luddites can eat it.


I have seen almost every movie that has already been mentioned on this blog. Why the fuck would a person do that to themselves? Two reasons: First, I am a casual Women's Studies kind of person, and I think it's fascinating to see what kind of self-flagellating fantasies make it to syndication for women's TV. Second, I hate slutty teens. You'll get yours, slutty teens! You and all your secret babies!


The best way to get hyped for blogging is to get good and drunk. To be able to truly throw the laws of grammar and syntax out the window, to be able to obsessively navel-gaze and weep for oneself, to really Kerouac it up (and wasn't he the first blogger, in a way?) one must be consistently too whacked out on booze or drugs to stand. I am willing to do that for you, internet. Drugs not so much, but I'll have you know I get drunk very easily. I can get tipsy off of Listerine if I accidentally swallow it. You have my word that every review will be written and/or posted when I am too drunk to regret it. That's the HarmonyC Promise (TM).

In closing, read my posts, because they will blow your mind. New movie review tomorrow, ladies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Due East

Our next Lifetime movie gives us the story of Mary Faith Rapple. If you couldn't tell by her white trash name, Mary Faith is a Southern girl just trying to make her way through the world. She's apparently so smart that she is getting stipend offers from Duke and Yale despite the fact that she doesn't play a single sport or participate in a single club. She just studies and teaches adult GED classes at night. Her mom died a few years ago so she takes care of her father (college essay gold!). She's a bit of a loner.

Then a new boy shows up in town. He's a loner too. And he's quite interested in Mary Faith. They skip class and take a bath together. They take away each other's virginity.

Mary Faith was nervous. "I don't know how to do this," she quivers.

Her boy toy nervously laughs and replies, "I don't know how either."

Well, at least one of them has a pretty good idea because Mary Faith ends up pregnant as fuck. But not before - wait for it - her boyfriend dies in a motorcycle accident!

So, let's check the peripheries of this little Georgia town called Due East. The principal runs his school with an iron fist, but he has a soft spot for the super successful Mary Faith. One of Mary Faith's students is a drop-out. She drops out of the movie pretty quickly, but her mother is the recently dumped Becky Purdue. Becky is struggling with inadequacy after her husband left for his secretary. All she's left with is three brat kids and a whopper of a drinking problem. Mary Faith's best friend after her boyfriend's death is Stephen Dugan, another tutor at the GED class. When Mary Faith tells her father about the pregnancy, he confronts Stephen's mother, Nell, and asks if her son is the father. By the end of that awkward conversation, they're drunk making out.

So, that's Due East. Oh! And everyone is tawkin' in a Suthernnn accent. It's so fucking exaggerated and ridiculous.

So word of the pregnancy starts to leak out. Her father isn't quite supportive and he goes as far as to allow Mary Faith's uncle to call her white trash who has disappointed the memory of her mother. Zing! Mary Faith claims that she is no such thing. Cone on, sugar. You're a knocked up 16-year-old mechanic's daughter from Georgia. You're a meth lab from being the whole enchilada.

Still, it's a family secret. Becky is the only one who figures out what's up when she spies Mary Faith checking out a pamphlet for a house of unwed mothers (those still exist?). Becky tries to be sweet, but her drinking problem and general craziness prevents her from being a shoulder for Mary Faith to cry on. Becky is too busy stalking her husband and his new trophy wife and drinking in a parking lot.

Mary Faith's family is working her over hard to convince her to get that little baby scraped. The aforementioned uncle is the bad cop. The aunt is clearly a presumptuous hypocrite, but she at least refuses to go on vacation until Mary Faith makes a decision so she can take her to a big city baby death factory if necessary. Mary Faith takes her up on it and then calls Becky to pick her up, leaving poor Auntie surrounded by anti-choice protesters.

Becky and Mary Faith start bonding. Mary Faith gets a motherly figure to talk to and Becky gets to feel good about herself. It's depressing, but at least it's symbiotic.

Mary Faith's decision to keep the baby has consequences. Specifically, people start noticing. The principal reacts to having his prize pupil pregnant by expelling her and banning her from teaching the GED classes. This is very, very illegal. And really dick. I am changing Mr. Principal's name to Mr. Principle because this man is no one's pal.

Mary Faith reacts by writing a letter to the editor in the town newspaper calling the Principle out on his bullshit. Mary Faith's family expects some blow back. Instead, the town rallies behind her and pressures the Principle to allow Mary Faith to take finals and graduate. The letter to the editor also catches the attention of the baby daddy's parents. They knew Mary Faith's baby wad their grandchild when they found an "intimate poem" in their son's belongings.

Here is the shitty poem in its entirety (typed out by Terri, who uses both hands to type, rather than two fingers):

If I'm the dreamer, you are what I dream.
Don't you know yet?
Fling the emptiness out of your arms into the spaces we breathe.
Perhaps some birds will feel the expanded air with more passion for flying.
If I am the lover, you are who I love.
Holy virgin.
All of this was mission, turning your body toward the perfect celebration.
Of me in you.
My love.

Totally gay. She's lucky she didn't get AIDS.

So, in Bad Father Town, Mary Faith's dad, Jesse, is loving his time with Nell (remember her?). He decides to propose. Nell tells Jesse that she was just looking for a warm body. Oh snap! Jesse dumps her and then collapses from an anxiety attack. When Mary Faith visits Jesse in the hospital, they realize how much they need each other and promise to always be there for each other.

Mary Faith is nervous for graduation because even in a gown she looks like a sea cow. But her graduating class decides to support her by wearing pillows under their gown so they all look preggers. Why are they doing this? I thought Mary Faith had no friends?

Predictably, Mary Faith's water breaks when she's on stage. She shits out a kid and Becky takes her to the grandparents that are, surprise!, legally adopting the child.


The anxiety attack and motorcycle were really nice touches. And the poem was fantastic too. Everyone in this white trash town really brought the crazy. But, like so many Lifetime movies, I needed something more.


The very minor character of Nell is played by Cybill Shepherd. Jesse is played by Robert Forster who was nominated for an Oscar for Jackie Brown (never saw it).

But I will not be giving any points for Kate Capshaw's Becky. Capshaw was the female lead in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That movie sucked hard. And she played one of the most annoying characters in the history of popcorn cinema. Actually, no. One bonus point.


That extra point is because this is Kate Capshaw's final movie. Fuck you, Kate Capshaw! I hope you got stung when you dipped your hand in that bug tunnel.


It tries to be melodramatic. But, come on. Nothing of importance happens. A boy dies, a kid is born, and so what? The two bad guys, the principle and the uncle are bad, but they get like four minutes of screen time combined.


Average score for an average movie. Probably worth it for the poem. But I just gave you the thing in its entirety. So I really just saved you two hours. You're welcome.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Perfect Romance

I'm sick and tired of babynappers and murderous ex-husbands. Why not settle in with a nice romantic comedy from the nice people at Lifetime?

Which brings us to Perfect Romance, a story about one of the more twisted love triangles I've seen on the small screen.

Jenny, a ceramics maker with a fondness for brash colors, is a recently divorced single mom living with her mom. Her mom, Tess, is single herself after her husband turned out to be gay and moved to my hometown of Yarmouth, Massachusetts (seriously) to open a store with his partner called Mantiques (seriously).

Then there's Peter, the British literature professor who moved to America to be with his one true soulmate. They met on vacation. She dumps him immediately.

Peter's luck starts to turn around when he finds Jenny's profile on an Internet dating site. They trade correspondence and fall deeply into Inter-love. After two months, Jenny invites Peter to spend the weekend at the house where they can get to know each other in person. Not as lovers, but first as friends.

The twist? It was Tess's writing that Peter fell in love with! She put up Jenny's ad (and picture) to find her daughter a new man. Jenny was still having trouble getting over her rock star ex-husband (seriously) and it was time for drastic action. That's right. Tess is a Grade-A meddler.

And, yes, when Peter drives to Jenny and Tess's place, he does indeed try to get in the passenger door and briefly drives on the left side of the road. because British people are different! Get it!?

So Jenny, at first horrified by her mother's deceit, she tries to make it work when she realizes that Peter is in fact handsome. This of course doesn't work. Tess and Peter like Keats. Jenny likes Kerouac. And Jenny is a little behind the 8-ball considering she doesn't really have an idea of what her mom was writing to this British mystery man.

Oh, what the Hell is with inviting some weird man you've never seen before into a house where your four-year-old son sleeps? That is bad parenting.

Actually, we don't really ever get to see Jenny spend any time with her son. She's too busy trying to deceive Peter. The son spends all of his time with some family friend named Miles who is handsome and ambitious and do you see where I am going with this?

It becomes increasingly obvious that Jenny and Peter aren't working out. Tess and Peter? They're a match made in heaven. Jenny realizes this and pulls a reverse. She decides to sabotage her shot at Peter and attempt to set him up with her mom. Instead of being nice about it, Jenny decides the best strategy here is to set up an elaborate scheme where Peter walks in on Jenny fake-kissing Miles. This breaks Peter's heart and Jenny celebrates her success by eating chocolate.

Jenny's rocker ex-husband also walks in on the fake kiss and he is filled with so much jealousy that he decides to re-propose to Jenny. (Are you getting all this?) Jenny, like a moron, accepts because she wants a father for her child.

Since being an asshole has worked out so well for everyone so far, Miles's reaction to all this is to try to bribe the ex-husband with $31,000 to leave Jess alone. Miles wants Jenny for himself. Naturally, the ex tattles on Miles. But Jenny decides that the gesture of buying a man's fiancee is in fact romantic and breaks off the re-engagement.

Oh, and Tess admits that she really wrote all those love letters and she makes out with Peter. Jenny makes out with Miles. Both icky couples do this in front of that poor four-year-old kid. The film ends with the tyke asking the family if he has to call Peter "Grampy" now. Everyone shares a good laugh and a happy ending.

What. The. Hell.


There are no words to describe how evil and conniving every character was. Except for Peter. He wasn't conniving. Just a moron.

I'll admit my biases. I don't care for romantic comedies that much. And even for a romantic comedy, the jokes fell awfully flat here. The joy in this film is waiting for a character to go ahead and do something awful to a family member or friend in the name of love. And then for the film to treat it like a grand romantic gesture.

In the interest of fairness, I should show you the entirety of "Pvaslinda's" IMDB review of the film. Three out of three people found it helpful!

OK ,so I saw it for the first time about 2 weeks ago,but I have watched it at least 4 times since. What a romantic movie,if only real life was this good. I guess you can see how it is going just by watching the Peter character looking at Tess ,almost from the minute they meet. The fact that she knows the poetry,the sports,everything. The younger couple was interesting as well,I have seen many people blind to what is right in front of them,so it was nice how they resolved their storyline,but,alas,the movie belongs to Peter and Tess. They just do not make enough movies that have that age group(my age group) having any kind of love life,its like life ends at 30 in Hollywood.Too bad they are missing out. I can only hope that it comes out on DVD some day,I would definitely buy it,but for right now I will be happy to play my VHS copy.

So, if you're an old lady who is easily impressed, you might like this movie.


A solid, solid ten. The star, Tess, was played by Oscar nominee Kathleen Quinlan. She's exactly the type of "lady of a certain age" you expect to be the star of a Lifetime movie. But she's been in more than enough films to warrant a high score.

But Jenny and Peter really won the most "Hey! It's That Guy!" kudos. Peter is Desmond from Lost. Jenny is played by Lori Heuring. Who? Who cares!? All that matters is that Heuring was the star of one of the most awesomely forgotten movies that have come out in my lifetime. The In-Crowd. Has anyone else seen this awesome movie? Has anyone else seen this movie in theaters. I did. No regrets. Everyone, please see The In-Crowd.

The ex-husband wins points for being in all sorts of crap, and Miles is in some show called Battlestar Gallactica that I'm not that familiar with.

(I have no idea if I spelled "Gallactica" correctly. Please do not correct me.)


I mean, eh. This was pretty screwy even for Lifetime. This was weird bad, which is always appreciated, but not Lifetime bad.


Top notch cast, second rate movie.