Thursday, May 01, 2008

Friday Film Flim Flam

Technically, it's still Thursday night. But I'm gonna have a crazy-ass hectic weekend, so I thought I'd just blither blather tonight.
Oh! First off, I'm very proud of myself because I finally got myself a blog reader, so I don't have to open each of your lovely blogs to see if you've posted anything. Now, my lovely RSS feed - or whatever the hell kinda web voyeur it is - will tell me when you've updated your page, saving me valuable time and hair-pulling. I would complain about some folks' foot-dragging, but frankly, I'm so prone to being remiss that I have no room to criticize. So, yea me! I joined the year 2005! ... it still might take me several days to comment on your posts, though. I put the "pro" in procrastination.

I love Tina Fey. I really love her. Honey and I finally saw Baby Mama tonight. (He really loves her, too.) She's fucking smart and her humor both hits me like a laser guided bullet, even when I don't know it and it's everything I wish mine was. She blends awkwardness and arcane references like perfect buttercream icing. And she's sexy and her sexiness is directly related to her intelligence.

In the past, Honey and I have agreed that had he and I never really hit it off, and more importantly, never married, he - the techy introvert - would be that guy who spends all his free-time online, gaming, cracking code and almost never emerging for anything other than work. Probably wouldn't play sports, like he does now, or do many other "social" things. (Yes, he is online a lot.) He has long told me that I would basically be Liz Lemon from 30 Rock: a comedy writer prone to public self-embarassment who dates a string of losers. We would both live off of frozen dinners. Though he'd probably eat Kashi because he could afford it, and is not cheap like me. I'd totally be eating the Healthy Choice kids meals - they have brownies! And he's right. (I'm already an expert at public self-embarassment.)

"I'm not against fun. I went up on my roof yesterday!" ... words that will probably come from my own mouth in a few months' time. And yes, were I single, and a young hottie wanted me, I'd feel exactly this weird.

Sorry for the tangent. I am gonna talk about Baby Mama. The reason for that preceding paragraph (and clip) was because it's not just Liz Lemon. Watching the movie tonight, I was struck by how much the two leads were basically dueling parts of my own personality: the slobby free-spirit who wants more in life, but has no clue how to get it, and the sophisticated, career-concerned woman who is ultimately a dork. It was particularly evident in the club scene. Tina Fey voguing, thinking she looks cool while Amy Poehler steals shots and other drinks when Fey isn't looking.

I really liked that Greg Kinnear was the romantic interest. After years of ambivalence, I've given in and like him. (Brief follow up to that post: I did see Auto Focus, finally. It was creepy.) It was a pleasant surprise to see Steve Martin. It was nice to see that he could do caricature and still make me laugh. Sometimes he can overwhelm me.

The film started off kind of slow, but really picked up about 15 minutes in - I guess around the top of the second act. Then it was classic Fey. Until the last act. That's my biggest beef so far. Particularly the ending. I could forgive the comedy film conventions that would never happen in real life: the contrived relationship between the women, the birthing coach with a speech impediment, the good friendship with the doorman. But the big confession, and how the parties dealt with it felt like rigid film formula - even with the snappy dialog. The courtroom scene injected calculated high fructose corn syruppy sap (snappy sap, but sap just the same) that I could've gotten from any old "insert-genre-here" movie. It was rote and kind of heartbreaking for that reason alone. The movie ends with each woman getting what she wants. (I'm trying not to let any spoilers slip.) What I was hoping for was that resolution might have come with one or both women finding that they have what they want, or that they create a mutually agreeable situation, not that accident hands them happy fates. I think that's what I loved about Juno, another fertility movie - nobody really got what they wanted from the beginning, but they learned to love what came about in the end as best they could. I'm not sure how I would've written this ending, though.

My comparison to Juno is kind of unfair. Baby Mama is a buddy movie or an odd couple movie, more aptly; that's where the humor stems from - that, and infertility, which is a riot (take a good look at John Hodgman's mug). Juno is ... another genre that my brain is too tired to conjure up right now. Nonetheless, each week on 30 Rock, Fey doesn't let her character win in her personal (and often in her professional) life and we love her all the more for that. I would have preferred that she save the nice bow to wrap another movie up with. I don't think this one was it.


Virginia Gal said...

I have been a Greg Kinnear fan since he joined the movies and really showed "damn that man can act!" I never liked him on Talk Soup show, where he seemed almost too biting.

mommanator said...

I've always liked Greg Kinnear too, don't know why, but thats me!
You critiquing was great-have a wonderful wkend!

JoeinVegas said...

Tina Fey! I watch 30 Rock just for her, Alex can be skipped.

Darla D said...

I finally got Juno from Netflix, and we sat down to watch it last night, all cozy and excited to see it - and it wouldn't play, sigh. Huge scratch on the back of the disc. They're sending us a new one, so maybe tomorrow or the next day... :-c