Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ask a Boy: Is He Into HJNTIY?

Here's an interesting experiment. After watching the 10 Chick Flick Cliches clip from the male stars of He's Just Not That Into You -- you know, the one that promised dudes that they'd like the movie, too? -- the Independent's Alice Jones decided to test that theory.

Would the men in her life truly enjoy the flick? Her answer, along with some thoughtful speculation about the undying appeal of the chick flick template, is here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 Chick Flick Cliches...

... Courtesy of the male stars of He's Just Not That Into You:

This video is great -- it manages a neat trick, of both thoroughly skewering my beloved chick flicks, while also reminding me why I love them so much!

(Via Get the Big Picture)

More goodies coming soon, I promise -- Oscar nominations, life on the chick flick trail in NYC (oh yeah, did I mention I kind of moved here?), and some Coming Soon and Screening Log catch-up!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Golden Globes: Liveblogged (ish)

In the absence of a wireless connection tonight, I'm not actually able to watch TV and play on the internets at the same time. So instead, I'm going to run back and forth during the commercials, updating this post each time. (And burning calories, too!)

Let's call it liveblogging-esque. Hey, it's not like the good people at the Golden Globes advertising sales department aren't going to hook me up with plenty of opportunities.

Quick, quick, before the show starts, my chick flicks-related predictions are:

  • Slumdog Millionaire (our honorary chick flick) will nab Best Drama
  • In Bruges will take down Mamma Mia! and Vicky Cristina... for Best Comedy/Musical
  • Emma Thompson will win Best Actress in Comedy/Musical for Last Chance Harvey
Okay, let the show begin!

8:07 pm: I may not make it through the night. One award in, and Kate Winslet already made me cry.

8:10 pm: Bruce Springsteen wins Best Original Song, makes a joke about how good it felt to be in competition with Clint Eastwood for something, and win. Dirty Harry looks unamused - or does his face just look that way all the time...?

8:21 pm: First (albeit slightly veiled) Bush/Obama reference goes to Laura Dern, after her acting win for Recount. First awkward attempt at humour goes to presenters Simon Baker and Eva Longoria.

8:35 pm: Okay, so Don Cheadle's bit about how the Coen brothers have never hired him - while introducing Burn After Reading's best picture clip - was worth a laugh. But otherwise, this show is distinctly lacking in funny. Isn't this supposed to be the one where all the stars get drunk and say hilarious things?

8:41 pm: Hey, speaking of funny, Ricky Gervais just saved the day! Also, I enjoyed the awkward silence that greeted the Jonas Brothers. (Was that an unspoken "Who...?" echoing around the room?)

8:45 pm: I struck out on Best Actress - Comedy. Sally Hawkins took it. But she made me cry again, and she and Emma Thompson seem to be pals, so I guess that's okay!

9:01 pm: Heath Ledger wins it, posthumously of course, for Best Supporting Actor. It's a moment that's been so anticipated (well, I guess it's really the Oscar people are holding their breath on) that it could easily have felt overplayed, but it was handled tastefully. A quick clip, and a few thoughtful words from Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan. Nothing so awful as cutting to a shot of Michelle Williams (if she's even there), thank God.

9:08 pm: Two thoughts: 1) Colin Farrell still does it for me, even with the moustache. 2) His "I have a cold [sniff, sniff], it's not the other thing it used to be" is one of the lines of the night so far. Handsome AND funny, folks!

9:24 pm: Wow, Seth Rogen's "doing coke with Mickey Rourke in the 80s" line fell flat. Seth, see Colin's coke joke, above. Some work, some don't.

Also, Slumdog just won for Best Screenplay! Dev Patel and Freida Pinto looked adorably excited. Nobody laughed at Alec Baldwin's line about bringing Rumer Willis a juice box, after his Best Actor in a Comedy win, but I dug it.

9:41 pm: If John Adams continues winning everything, all the time, I might have to look it up. Although the U.S. founding fathers aren't usually my bag.

9:48 pm: And the Year of Tina continues. Is it possible Time mis-stepped naming Barack Obama its person of the year, and should have given the nod to Tina Fey instead?

10:24 pm: Hurray for Colin Farrell!! I love a heartfelt, off-the-cuff speech. Well done.

Also, Slumdog has added Best Director and Best Score since I last checked in. Cue more shots of the young cast jumping for joy. Is this a one-off, or is Hollywood about to discover the cinematic potential of India in some larger, more meaningful way?

10:33 pm: Strike two. Vicky Cristina took the award for Best Comedy.

10:55 pm: Mickey Rourke = speech of the night, and not only for the expletives. Fingers crossed that Slumdog will complete its sweep and land Best Picture...

11:07 pm: Yes! Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Picture... The only thing left to do now is to lament that no one streams a live feed of the after parties!

To quote Tom Cruise: Good night, folks!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Whole Lotta Nominating Goin' On!

Whew! While I've been otherwise occupied, a veritable slew of awards and award nominations have been handed out.

Here's the chick flick cheat sheet:

Golden Raspberries

The Razzies are normally our chance to shine, but remarkably enough, we're under-represented this year. (A banner year for chick flicks, or an especially bad year for man movies? Tough to say.)

In the "Worst Picture" category, only High School Musical 3, The Hottie and the Nottie, and The Love Guru come close to qualifying. And really - do we have to associated with any of them? I hopes not.

Into purer chick flick territory: Dane Cook and Kate Hudson both took worst acting nominations for My Best Friend's Girl, while Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz represented for What Happens in Vegas. All of the above also landed "Worst Couple" nominations, as did Kate Hudson (again) and Matthew McConaughey, for Fool's Gold, and "any couple in Mamma Mia" for, well, Mamma Mia.

The Women scored a nod for Worst Sequel, Prequel, Remake or Rip-Off, and "the cast of The Women" was also nominated for Worst Actress. Ouch.

Here's hoping Sylvester Stallone takes home most of the actual statuettes this year!

Writers Guild of America

The good folks at the Writers Guild have nominated Vicky Cristina Barcelona for Best Original Screenplay. They also gave Slumdog Millionaire the nod for Best Adapted Screenplay -- and speaking of which, can we adopt Slumdog into the chick flick fold?

It's a love story. There's a dance number at the end. It's also fabulous. I say we claim it!

Directors Guild of America

Again, our adoptive chick flick Slumdog gets a nomination, for Danny Boyle's direction. Hurray for flexible definitions of film sub-genres!

People's Choice Awards

Over at the awards show that proves (to many film critics) the inadequcies of democracy, there's plenty of chick flick action. (Surprised?) 27 Dresses beat out Mamma Mia! for Favorite Comedy, Mamma Mia! and Sex and the City lost out (to The Dark Knight, definitely not a chick flick) on Favorite Cast, Baby Mama's Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got denied for Favorite On-Screen Match-Up, and chick flick maestro (maestra?) Kate Hudson was named Favorite Leading Lady.

Critics Choice Awards

Finally, the antithesis of the People's Choice: the Critics Choice. Once again, I'm leaning on Slumdog, here, and it racks 'em up. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Composer, Best Writer, and Best Actor! Also, Anne Hathaway tied with Meryl Streep (for Doubt, not Mamma Mia, silly) for her performance in Rachel Getting Married.

More soon! The Golden Globes get under way in just over 40 minutes!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Me, on movies and on the web!

I know, I know. I'm way behind on Awards Season. But in the meantime here are some links to my other writing about movies -- an increasingly widespread phenomenon!

(Clicking on shameless links is kind of like reading about Oscar gossip, right? Right.)

Here goes...

I'm now taking increased responsibility for the pop culture / travel segment of the World Hum blog. Check out my efforts so far:

Meanwhile, over at Not Coming to a Theater Near You, my year-end essay focused on (what else?!) chick flicks and the Big Apple:

Stay tuned for more exciting news on my end (and yes, some more actual blog posts, too!) in the next couple of weeks!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Golden Globes: And the Nominees Are...

Ahhh, awards season: my favourite extended guessing game of the year. Let the fun begin!

First up? The Golden Globes nominations are in, and there's plenty of lovey-dovey, chick flick-esque stuff to discuss.

Of course, the Globes are always a better option than Oscar for chick flick lovers, thanks to the division between comedies (and musicals) and dramas, which lets some worthy fun-loving material sneak in alongside all the oh-so-serious heavy-hitters.

But this year, even the drama category has some romance to it -- in stark contrast to, say, last year's roster of man-heavy, bloody flicks.

In Best Picture - Drama, The Reader, Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire all got the nod; between them, the trio also landed 3 acting nominations, 3 shots at Best Director, and a couple of screenplay nominations.

Meanwhile, in Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, Happy-Go-Lucky, Mamma Mia! and Vicky Cristina Barcelona are all vying for the top prize. Between them, they've also got 5 acting nominations.

And there's more beyond the Best Picture nods: Anne Hatheway's nominated (for Rachel Getting Married) as Best Actress in a Drama, as is Kristin Scott-Thomas (for I've Loved You So Long - also a Best Foreign Language Film nominee). Classifying Doubt and Changeling as chick flicks might be a stretch, but if you want to count them, Meryl Streep (surprise!) and Angelina Jolie round out the nominees.

Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson both took Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy or Musical nominations for Last Chance Harvey, and Ralph Fiennes landed a Best Supporting Actor nod for The Duchess.

Quite the field, by chick flick standards! And yes, I realize I've used "chick flick" pretty broadly here -- but considering the dearth of romantic or even remotely "feminine" plots we've seen at awards shows in the past few years (see: There Will Be Blood, both Cronenberg/Mortensen flicks, No Country For Old Men, Half Nelson, etc, etc) I think that's fair.

So, I have to confess: I have yet to see any of these. (I know, not even Mamma Mia!) I plan on remedying that asap, but in the meantime, here are some uninformed predictions:

Slumdog Millionaire is getting an awful lot of the buzz so far, so don't be surprised to see it go big. As far as guaranteed also-rans, I'd say it's highly unlikely that Mamma Mia! will win in its Best Picture category.

Meryl Streep should never be counted out, but this year she's got two nominations for Best Actress, one in each category. Kate Winslet's also got a pair, in Best Actress and Best Supporting, so keep an eye on both of them. In fact, the whole Actress field is much, much deeper than usual, this year!

That's something to celebrate -- but, taken in conjunction with the greater range of "romantic" storylines up for awards this year, it begs the question: Is Hollywood incapable of creating serious, meaty, well-written roles for women outside of the chick flick rubric? Why don't any of those bleak, bloody movies we were discussing earlier feature any strong, hard-ass women?

Hmm. More to come, as Awards Season 08-09 gets under way!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Did 'Sex and the City' Get "Snubbed" by the Golden Globes?

Uh, in a word? No.

The Hollywood Reporter seems to be confused. In a roundup of GG snubs, Gregg Kilday writes:

Perhaps most puzzling of all: The movie version of "Sex" failed to register in the comedy categories.

During the run of the TV series, the Globe voters lavished their attention on star Sarah Jessica Parker (seven nominations, four wins) and the show (six nominations, three wins). But the movie? Nada.

Must have been a case of been there, done that.

Puzzling? Not at all.

To quote the Magic 8 Ball, the answer is obvious: The HFPA rewarded the show because it was good, and ignored the movie because it was baaaad.

More on the Golden Globes nominations, and awards season more generally, coming soon!