The three-day (courtesy of Veteran’s Day) weekend was full of movies and football and exciting irreversible life changes. I’ll provide some reviews:
Shopgirl is a nice little movie. It is both steeped in reality and completely preposterous. I’ll call it clumsily prescient. It would have been a great film if there was 12% less Steve Martin and 14% more Jason Schwartzmann. The Claire Danes ratio was just fine. Not that I don’t like Steve Martin. He was great in Novocaine. And he’s the second greatest person ever to come out of Garden Grove. But he appeared to be trying just a little too hard (as an actor and as a writer).
Pride and Prejudice is a really nice big movie. Normally, I’m the last one to attend – much less enjoy – a British period romance with waistcoats and bewigged servants but dude I actually paid attention all the way through, laughed out loud quite often, and enjoyed the presence of Kiera Knightly and the effective writing/direction of people I’ve never heard of. But…. (and there’s always a “but…” for me unless we’re talking about Boogie Nights)… Anyway but…. What’s up with Brenda Blethyn?! I’m sure she’s beloved in Merry Old but her cripplingly scene-crushing overacting as Elizabeth’s mother was so distracting that I hoped they’d stray from the book and kill her off in a “carriage o’er the hillside” accident. I understand that she’s going for a certain kind of “presence” in her acting but Brenda, please reel it in, take a breath, close your eyes and reflect. Remember how you ruined Secrets and Lies, how your overemoting turned it from a poignant reflection on class, race, and love into an unintentionally funny cringefest (I still remember seeing it with my cousin and our hysterical laughter being met with horrified shushes from the surrounding rows). Brenda, I know the libel laws in your country are pretty liberal so I’ll stop. I'm sure you'll get nominated.
I’m not sure why the local Los Angeles stations love to show Minnesota Vikings games but I’m not complaining. I truly enjoyed their undeserving win over the Giants. And it was nice to see USC beat Cal and now that I've said yes, how do I get tickets for the UCLA game?