I Feel Pretty

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I did like it. I just didn’t love it and I don’t all the way know why. Good things first: I like the concept overall. Just changing someone’s perception of themselves & how they act instead of physically changing anything or dressing better or changing the way they interact, etc.

I liked that they never showed what she saw. That was cool. I liked the casting, Sasheer Zamata was funny, Aidy Bryant is always funny, Michelle Williams was great, the brother was hot, Rory Scovel was a breakout, the casting was great.

Some stuff I didn’t like: I didn’t like that the opening scene, our introduction to this character, was her falling off a bike and hurting/embarrassing herself. I think there’s a lot of stereotypes about fat people (which also, Amy Schumer is not) that they’re sloppy, lazy, uncoordinated, bumbling, etc. Fat people can ride stationary bikes. It felt like a cheap shot right out of the gate that kind of undermined some of the goals of the premise to me? There’s just so many situations where being fat turns into a negative that isn’t that person’s fault it was weird that they chose an example that seemed to blame her body. Anyway. I didn’t love that, but it didn’t make me mad or hate the movie or anything.

Um, I liked the guy she worked with Mason, even though he was a little “fat gross guy” in the beginning as well, we get more from him later.

So, Amy Schumer plays Renee Bennett, a down on herself programmer? She does something with the website of a makeup brand headed by Michelle Williams as Avery LeClaire, a tiny blonde with the voice of a scared bird. Renee dreams of working in Manhattan at the fancy Headquarters instead of a weird basement office with Mason. She goes there one day to drop off some reports because the internet was down (any time the internet is ‘down’ anywhere, even in a fictional world, I feel a little bit of involuntary stress). While there, she learns about a job opening as a receptionist which apparently is a dream job for her. (I’m rewatching The Office for the millionth time and at one point Pam doesn’t care about the downsizing because, “I don’t think it’s any little girl’s dream to be a receptionist” WRONG PAM-we found the one girl!!).

Then she has a Soul Cycle mishap AGAIN where she falls off a bike and bangs her head. Instead of calling any sort of medical professional, they give her a bandana and a lot of rude looks. She could sue?? Maybe don’t keep bitchily implying that she’s ugly? Idk.

Also Emily Ratajkowski has some stuff about how she has issues with her appearance too and she got dumped. I liked that they remind us that being beautiful doesn’t protect you from heartbreak but thin women being like, “I have body image issues too” is like the All Lives Matter of body positivity bc like, yes, body dysmorphia & eating disorders, but also you feeling bad about yourself isn’t you not being able to buy your size in most stores, or fit on a plane or being discriminated against in a job interview or have a doctor miss a time sensitive medical diagnosis because they just keep telling you to lose weight and don’t trust your own account of your symptoms. (All of which happen constantly). But instead of explaining that in any way, Amy’s just like, “I want to punch you in your dumb mouth” which, is a lillll lazy writing and also a copout of a punchline at this point to me. Eh.

Um, so then she sees herself as beautiful which is cool, and she has lots of confidence n’ stuff. She goes to meet her friends and tells them she’s her, and that scene is funny and well-navigated. I also really like her friends. Busy Philipps is lowkey beautiful and was another one who played a “fat friend” when she was still underweight, (White Chicks, which is otherwise a perfect movie) and Aidy Bryant is the perfect amount of everything. I love her so much.

Then Renee has the job interview at Lily LeClaire for the receptionist job. Naomi Campbell is there (is that common for the CEO to be present for the hiring of a receptionist?) and they’re all shading her a lot but they’re also starting a ‘diffusion line’ which is a more accessible product for Target/drugstores instead of department stores and they’re looking for someone who understands this new type of client they’re courting.

So she gets the job and is killing it, she meets the hot brother who is very hot and he likes her. This was one of my favorite parts because hot men like women who aren’t thin!!!! I mean, I know they like thin women too but I liked that he flirted with her, it felt realistic to me.

Throughout all this, she has picked up and started seeing Ethan No Last Name (Rory Scovel) who did such a good job and is very attractive and funny. I feel like this movie will be huge for him.

There’s a great scene where she and Ethan are on the boardwalk? Coney Island? I don’t know what anything is-but they’re walking by and a bar is having a bikini contest and she goes in and participates and it’s so fun and she doesn’t win which I LOVED because that was realistic. But then she doesn’t care and that’s tight. (There’s a fun cameo from Dave Attell here as the bikini contest runner where he gives a heartfelt speech about how hot his goddaughter is and what a great person Renee is. It’s so good).

They start to date and have sex and they also show stuff with Rory’s character that he’s not all the way comfortable with himself and he kinda lives outside gender norms which are strict and oppressive to men as well and I liked that. Like when they have sex for the first time he keeps turning the light off and she’s like, “No I’m good,” and he’s like, “I just didn’t know if you wanted to see me” which is so sweet and I loved that they gave him uncertainties around sex, we don’t allow men that enough, especially straight men in romantic roles.

Renee’s killing at her job because she knows blush should have an applicator and she tells all the thin rich women that and they eat it up with a spoon. She gets invited to a private dinner with the LeClaire’s and then invited to Boston for the big pitch meeting. The brother is hitting on her hardcore which again, I loved, but she doesn’t cheat on Ethan thank tha lord. I hate cheating!!!!! It shouldn’t be acceptable!!! How can people do that to each other? Anyway. Then she falls AGAIN (AGAIN!!!!!!!!) and is bleeding in the shower for a while.

When she goes down to the lobby her vision of herself is back to what it was and this saps her confidence. She immediately bails on the presentation and FLIES back to NY and ignores all these calls from her boss, and breaks up with her boyfriend over Facetime.

I mean, this level of self-destruction seemed a little intense to me? I guess I’ve never been magically altered and then returned so maybe that’s too much but I’ve done stuff when I felt ugly or fat and you just suck it up and do it anyway. I just feel like I wouldn’t risk being fired because I felt fat? Like at what point is your body such an offense that you can’t do your job? It was a little overboard for me, but to each their own.

Poor Ethan, he’s like, “I think I deserve better than this” and she’s like, “You do- you deserve the world.” And he does!!!!!

We also get a classic fountain/lightening storm in the rain wish scene here, where Renee tries to reverse the magic but no dice.

Some more stuff happens and she finds out Emily is auditioning to be the face of the diffusion line which is all wrong, so she puts on a trenchcoat to correct this mistake LeClaire is about to make. She of course ends up making an emotional journey speech on a stage full of people with a powerpoint about beauty and strength. That bothered me a little too, there was so much emphasis on ‘strength’ in that speech about being yourself and seeing your own beauty, it was like, “We’re all strong enough to ignore SOCIETY’S prison we’ve set for ourselves” and again it’s putting the onus in the wrong place to me? Like, women shouldn’t have to be strong every second of every day to feel good about themselves and if they can’t they’ve failed/it’s a weakness- I think it’s ok to be like, “This is a tough situation and it’s really hard and you’re allowed to feel bad but remember how great you are, etc.” It was mostly fine, about how when we’re little we have all this confidence and then the world takes that away from us, and how many women have seen a photo or video of themselves from before they were cognizant and you’re in awe of your brazen ability to take up space and be loud and unapologetically be you? Probably eleventy million. So that part was resonant and good.

The end I don’t all the way remember now even though I saw it earlier today? She gets back with Rory? And apologizes to her friends for being a dick-oh that’s a whole part of this I forgot, there was an arc after she got used to her perceived hotness where she was being rude and dismissive to her friends and other people she didn’t deem attractive enough, and that was good to show how easy it is to fall into these patterns of thinking and judging/how much work it is to intentionally buck that and try to dismantle it.

Full transparency, I left in the middle (when she’s breaking up with him at the restaurant?) to go throw up in the bathroom because apparently I have a stomach virus or something, so that was also going on with me. I liked their reconciliation where he picked her nose. Probably because I pick my nose and I have been shamed for it!!!!!!!! We can’t all fit your perfect clear-nostriled idea of women, SOCIETY!!!!

Oh I do remember the end, she’s back in a Soul Cycle class, somehow managing to stay on the bike, and a Lizzo song is playing, which, thank god. She is a fuggin’ beacon for inclusive beauty and anthems for self-love. I love her. That was a good choice.

I laughed out loud at a few parts but the funniest one was where Renee interrupted a meeting accidentally then ended up giving some good feedback but was excusing herself and was like, “Ok just give me a sign if you guys need anything else, like a water or anything. And the sign can just be like, ‘Renee can we get a water in here?” and for whatever reason that was hilarious to me. Two straight men (I’m pretty sure) saw it by themselves and that was so cute. I love when men go in groups (however small!!!) to see movies with female leads.

Um, aside from my constant nausea and diarrhea that I was feeling during this viewing, I also was held back from COMPLETE love by some minor annoying things that they got wrong that could have so easily been fixed had they had one person on the writing staff who knew about fat activism or anything like that. But overall it was fun? It didn’t change my life like I was hoping it would, but it’s not a step backwards? It was cool that she wore Spanx and had underboob in that one scene, I haven’t seen that represented often and it was cool. But truly Amy Schumer is still pretty small.

It kind of was like the updated female Shallow Hal and I love that movie, and it wasn’t as good as that to me. But, movies where size is being addressed and people are at least being made aware of these tropes instead of blindly fed them? I’m ok with that. Actually, it felt like the Freaky Friday/watered down/lite version of Dietland. If you were interested in the ideas of this movie but disappointed in the execution, you should definitely read Dietland by Sarai Walker, it’s phenomenal and radical and a more extreme version of this, & I can’t recommend it highly enough.

3 out of 6 stewardess mini skirts with buttons (WHY???), will prolly masturbate again before I die.

 

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A Quiet Place

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Wow! I went to see this movie because I follow John Krasinski on Twitter (lol) and he retweeted some kind tweet about the movie from Stephen King and if Stephen King compliments your horror movie, I’m gonna go see it.

The premise is one sentence which is that there are monsters that attack anything near a loud noise. The first scene, which is the family at a very ransacked drug store in town getting some medicine for their sick boy, establishes all this SO beautifully without any dialogue. Everyone’s being really quiet and scared and when they’re leaving there’s a newspaper blowing in the wind by the door that has a two word headline that’s just: “IT’S SOUND” and I could kiss whoever wrote that/put it in. So simple and it says so much.

Leaving the store one of the little boys (the non-sick one) tries to get a toy rocket from a high up shelf. It almost falls to the ground but his sister (who’s deaf, this is incredibly important later) dives and catches it before it hits. He brings it with him to the door as they’re leaving and the dad is utterly terrified when he sees him holding it. He takes it from him, takes the batteries out and puts it on the counter and signs to him, “Too loud.”

After he walks outside the sister takes it off the counter and gives it back to him, then he takes the batteries when no one is looking. As their lil nuclear family is walking back to the house (all barefoot), we hear the toy making toy noises. The dad sprints for him but right before he gets there this MONSTER THING whips by and eats/kills him. It’s brutal.

Then we jump to like a year later (the first scene is Day 89 then the second one is Day four hundred something). Everyone seems to take the death in different ways, the remaining boy is really frightened of the outside and leaving their farm (who can blame him though), the sister and mom have internalized guilt, and the dad gets somehow more protective.

We see some exposition shots of them living their silent little lives: eating steamed fish off a leaf, playing Monopoly, walking, pretending to drive a truck, the mom still teaching division still for some reason??, etc. Also Emily Blunt is pregnant now! John Krasinski keeps trying to build a hearing aid for his daughter that works and she gets frustrated because all she wants to do is go with him on these little expositions he insists on taking their son on who very much doesn’t want to go. It was annoying to see that gender binary stuff being enforced even during an alien apocalypse. Like Jesus Christ, if most humans are dead I think we can relax on gender roles and let the older girl who wants to go with her dad and let the younger scared little boy stay home with his mom.

But he doesn’t let her go and she thinks he hates her/blames her for the death of her brother so she runs (walks) away from home. (I know I just keep saying pronouns for people but I don’t think we ever learn their names because no one talks. The imdb is saying the parents are Evelyn and Lee and the remaining alive children are Regan and Marcus but I’m not gonna use that because they weren’t introduced to me that way). I like this girl mostly because of the way she carries herself. Let it be known I love a girl with a sturdy gait.

Meanwhile, out on this voyage to collect fish/teach his son the ways of surviving off the land, they take a nice little detour to a waterfall and John teaches his son how you can yell if you’re by a waterfall because it’s so loud it covers it up. They have some of the only dialogue in the movie here, and we learn that Regan blames herself for their brother’s death and she doesn’t think her dad loves her.

After leaving the waterfall family therapy session, they come across an old man and a dead woman in the forest. It seems like she just died, how is unclear. But the old man, consumed by grief, scrunches up his face to let us all know he’s about to commit suicide by yelling. John grabs his kid and they hide behind a tree. This poor kid, it’s a lotta trauma to absorb before puberty.

They don’t get back to the farm until after dark. MEANWHILE Emily, who isn’t due for 2 weeks, goes into labor early. When going downstairs to SILENTLY GIVE BIRTH BY HERSELF she steps on a fucking huge nail in the stairs and drops a picture frame and one of the demons comes into the house. So she is IN LABOR, bleeding profusely from her foot and vagina, trying not to make any noise so this thing doesn’t eat her.

Emily Blunt acted the shit out of this movie. She is such a good actress, so subtle and controlled and expressive and intuitive and I really like her. I don’t think she has hype because she kind of looks like every white woman actress ever? Like very generically beautiful in an unmemorable kind of way (I think she’s very beautiful!! But I think it’s true what I’m saying) and I think people forget about her or downplay her hits when they happen. They don’t stick to her for some reason like they do with Jessica Chastain, and I think it’s because Jessica Chastain is a little more weird looking/memorable. Cause Emily Blunt has delivered a lotta hits for little to no fanfare. She’s SO funny in The Devil Wears Prada, Sicario was amazing, The Girl on the Train was meh but she did incredible, which goes the same for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Into the Woods was great, The Five-Year Engagement is under-appreciated & great, Looper I think I liked but I kind of don’t remember, but she even does good in The Adjustment Bureau and that movie was terrible! After going through her imdb it seems like she just picks mediocre projects but that streak seems to be over, although she’s also in Sherlock Gnomes so I could def be wrong. Let’s all cross our fingers. Also on the record I do think she’s very beautiful!!!!

She manages to change all the outside lights to red so when John & the boy are walking back they know something’s up. John sends his son to set off some fireworks over the cornfield to distract the demon monsters. There’s a lot of cliffhanger horror-y type things and for a while we can’t tell if Emily and their new baby got eaten but then they’re there.

I don’t have to go scene by scene, they have the baby, but the whole last like 40 minutes is a non-stop barrage of these demons coming for them, and them narrowly escaping, only to have to deal with another one in a different way. There’s a scene in a grain silo which, first of all, I don’t think I understand how grain silos work—–they did this in the most recent Saw as well, had someone drowning in uncooked corn in a silo like it’s quicksand-is that how it works? Why can’t you just rest on top of it? Can someone explain grain silos to me? In this scene we as an audience figure out the girl’s hearing aid is the monster’s weakness, something to do with the frequency, but in a very frustrating turn of events, she doesn’t figure it out til after her dad dies trying to protect them. Nothing like a little of the ole “dramatic irony” to get the blood cookin’.

Anyway, finally she realizes it and in the last scene she weakens one and her mom murders it with a shotgun, then we see on the video monitors like 10 more of them coming and Emily cocks the shotgun and grins and it blacks out. It reminded me of Signs a little bit, where the thing that defeats the aliens was resultant of a personality trait of the white daughter & there the whole time they just had to realize it.

This movie was executive produced by Michael Bay which was a shock to me because there’s only like 1 explosion and no slow pans of Megan Fox’s body but suspense horror and action are closer than most other genres of film. Also maybe he’s maturing as he gets older. Excited for Michael Bay’s arthaus phase.

I said it before and I’ll say it again- Emily Blunt acted the SHIT out of this. She is definitely the stand out. John did a good job but was still Jim a little to me the whole time and great performances shake that and in this one he didn’t. (Unrelated I saw a tweet that said “Jim and pam are for sure divorced by now and really who gives a shit” and number one, how dare you, but number two they’re definitely not. Until John & Emily get divorced in real life I will assume his fake character is also still married). Related-John and Emily didn’t kiss once in this movie, which I think was a strategic choice on their part to preserve privacy which I totally respect. There’s a dance scene where they’re close and she leans in but he doesn’t and when he finds her alive in the tub with their new baby they kiss but the camera angle is behind him and you don’t actually see it because his shoulder blocks it. John also directs the movie. Like I said I think that was a very conscious choice that I respect and agree with.

I love the way sound was used/explored as an element in this movie, just today actually I met someone who does music/scores movies and they were saying how one of their film professors told them to just put a movie on and listen to it, but not watch. To let the sound be the whole experience and that’s such an interesting way to look at movies and such an interesting one for this one, where it’s mostly silent. I don’t even think there’s music? I don’t remember. Also I feel like this goes without saying but the film was gorgeous. There was one shot in particular, an aerial view when Emily’s silently giving birth in a bathtub, that’s a split screen (not through a device there’s just a shelf that cuts the picture in half) between her and this flickering light above her that made my mouth open.

Overall really liked it, cried one time. Me and the guy across from me bonded at the end because we were both alone and it was such a ride and I think he heard me crying. Also the guy behind me dropped his cell phone TWICE which, if you’ve seen the movie, the whole theatre is very silent because the movie almost requires it so it was extra jarring. Also the theatre I went to see it at (Williamsburg cinema) CHECKED MY BAG for snacks!!!!! Is that illegal?? They were very chill about it bc I had snacks and they didn’t seem to care, but I was so happy the theatre I went to last night (Moviepass y’all) didn’t because I had two axes in there!!!! (My job gave them to me and I went straight from work!).

But anyway, I really liked it. Actually all except this one speech Emily Blunt gives to John where she’s like, “What are we if we can’t protect them?” about their kids & it’s like, “Idk, normal people in a difficult situation??” You can’t always protect your kids from the horrors of the world, that seems a weird thing to put your self-worth/identity in. Maybe because by this point there’s truly nothing else in the world? It’s not like she can take a  pottery classes somewhere or anything. But it felt imploring of John & putting all the burden on him to protect the kids, in another weird gender-y kind of way that was like, “I give birth to them, you protect them, those are our roles, I fulfilled my end now you do yours” kinda shit which I’m not really into.

AS A FEMINIST if I was in a post-apocalyptic world where there were sonar aliens who were eating people, I wouldn’t rely on a MAN-you get it.

Anywhoo, 4.5/5 apocalypse dye jobs (Emily Blunt had blonde highlights in this movie and for 489 days without civilization she had NO roots is all I’m saying) would masturbate again.

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I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

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I remembered that I loved this movie and was rewatching it and was a little taken aback by some of the things I forgot that apparently weren’t outwardly terrible yet in 2007. It’s insane how much the cultural tide has changed in so little time!! A positive for us and a negative for romcoms from the early-2000’s! But there so much good here you would be remiss to write it off in my opinion.

To be clear though, Adam Sandler casually says faggot a lot in the first parts of the movie and there’s a lot that’s offensive to gay people/anyone/also Rob Schneider does his best Mickey Rooney impression in yellow face as an Asian wedding officiant in Las Vegas which is…just terrible.

But there’s so much that’s genuinely funny and it somehow in this round about way gets to a good point at the heart of it! Like most people!

If you’re somehow unfamiliar—I feel very bad for you because this movie is really good to me and oddly canonical,—but basically Adam Sandler and Kevin James (who can do no wrong in my eyes! Both of them!) are New York firefighters. Kevin James’ wife died of something like 4 years ago and he’s worried about being injured on the job and not being able to provide for his children, Tory and Eric.

He has recently saved Adam Sandler’s life and Sandler has promised him a favor that’s for anything he wants. The next logical step of course is for them to file a partnership with the fire department so they can both receive pension benefits from the city if one of them gets hurt so the kids are protected.

Adam Sandler (Chuck) is unsurprisingly not on board at first, because he (as he often is characterized in his own movies) is a ladies man. In this movie that means he is “Mr. February,” a pinup in the city’s firefighter calendar. But then Larry (Kevin) reminds him of his promise and says it’ll just mean getting his mail forwarded to his place for a while and he agrees.

But ACTUALLY it’s not that simple, and the government doesn’t just let people do that. So they get assigned a lawyer who SURPRISE is very hot (Jessica Biel) who’s going to help them fight the government (Steve Buscemi) and prove their love is real.

A lot of hi-jinx (the internet is very divided on how to spell that word) ensue: Chuck and Larry go to a gay ball where a butterflied Nick Swardson keeps screaming things that are absolutely a caricature of gay people but also very funny, Chuck gets approached by a very menacing Ving Rhames who until this point has been feared but comes out to Chuck and tells him he inspired him to live his truth, Larry’s gay son Eric auditions for Pippin and gets in a fight where he tap dances his way to victory, there’s an especially revealing career day where the term ” butt pirate” is used, etc.

Throughout all of this, Chuck is falling in love with Jessica Biel and they are spending ‘girl time’ together (one of the offensive parts of this is it constantly frames gay relationships through a heteronormative lens, continually referencing who is the “woman”) and it comes to a head when he feels her up and they make out. Jessica Biel is upset and throws him out.

Meanwhile, at their firehouse, once the relationship comes out all the other members of the house sign a petition asking the chief to transfer Chuck and Larry. This is met by a good speech from Larry where he goes through all the names and gives examples of times he & Chuck have helped different members throughout the years and how “gay” it was: “When Chuck dragged your limp body out of the third story of a collapsing building even though his leg was broken in three places, that was pretty gay of him.” I liked this part a lot because what this movie gets wrong (a lot) is to me outweighed by what it gets right, which is that sexuality isn’t the determining quality of any person and also love and relationships can be deep and protected and not be sexual and men can have deep love for each other within their friendships and also sexuality is fluid and most people aren’t 100% one thing and all of that’s ok!!! Also being gay isn’t weird and doesn’t change your friend and you can have friendships with gay men as a straight man and it’s cool and good.

This movie is also so funny, I don’t think I can stress enough how funny a lot of it is to me, I think I just really love Adam Sandler and Kevin James so much. A running joke in this is that Adam Sandler does the voice of Kevin James’ dead wife when they’re in bed like, “Larry, you betrayed meeee” when he’s falling asleep and it’s very funny to me. Idk what to tell ya!!!

In the end, the fire chief (Dan Aykroyd) outs them in their hearing as not gay, and they all get arrested and go to jail (all the firemen have a change of heart!), but then the gay community saves them. Ving Rhames marries Jessica Biel’s brother (Nick Swardson) and everyone’s at the wedding and Adam Sandler and Jessica Biel dance and Larry seems to find a woman to talk to that isn’t the ghost of his dead wife and everyone is happily ever after-ing.

Basically this movie is great and I like it so much and it both holds up and doesn’t hold up. There’s a lot of interesting critical gender theory to be employed here and I’m certain that’s what Adam Sandler had in mind when he made it, just like all his movies.

4/5 Apple costume dick flaps, would masturbate again.

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Katt Williams: Great America

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Katt!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! This!!!!! I loved it! I was so happy and ready to laugh today- and I have nothing but WONDERFUL memories of The Pimp Chronicles which defined an entire era of high school for me, certain friendships even, were predicated on reciting bits from those specials (Kryptochronichondilite???). That velvet blazer, the dancing, the press n’ curl, I just liked him, everything. It was all good.

So I was very excited to see he had a new special out, but also VERY wary. A lot of these male comics haven’t aged especially well (in the ideas department) and coming off the last two Dave specials I was veryyy wary. But Katt!!!!!!

So, first of all, I truly love Katt Williams because he is always sweating very profusely in the first three minutes of any special he has and as someone who also sweats a lot, I love that. Representation in comedy is very important, stop sweat-shaming!!!!

He also opens with maybe TEN minutes of local jokes. I mean down to the names of streets, neighborhoods, bridges, restaurants, etc. etc. It is all about local Jacksonville culture, which is a risk for a special being filmed to air nationally, but it’s so funny he gets away with it. Also, so much of America’s cities have many similarities so it was relatable-there was one part where he said, “lots of cities only have one hood” implying that Jacksonville does not, which reminded me of Durham, and then was talking about how sometimes when you’re getting gas you decide you don’t need gas when you get to certain gas stations. Everyone has felt those things and even just the way he says the physical words, the emphasis he puts on them, is also so FUNNY. He’s just a funny person.

I really enjoyed the content and the shifts therein-we went from a solid very serious Trump bit that covered Philando Castillo’s murder, immigration/the wall, global warming, etc., RIGHT into Taco Bell’s use of fried chicken and the Popeye’s lady. He cares about what I care about!!!!! Social justice and chain fast food nuance. He talked about Arby’s longer than I’ve ever heard anybody talk about Arby’s and I was laughing the whole time.

Katt Williams really has a gift to cut to the heart of a topic that’s the relatable part. He really understands people. He did a joke in the beginning where he referenced Mesothelioma, and it got this HUGE laugh and you could tell a lot of it was surprise at hearing another person say out loud, “Mesothelioma.” It’s this thing all of us have seen/heard (those commercials) in private, but isn’t referenced in popular culture outside them, so it feels like it’s just you-so then to hear someone say it in this setting, it’s so gratifying and surprising.

The only part I really did not like (aside from some gender stuff/he uses the word ‘bitch’ more than the word ‘the’ but what’re you gonna do) was when he was talking about My 600 Pound Life- that show upsets me and reinforces these terrible ideas about bodies and health and weight- leave those people alone don’t gawk at their lives like they’re some kind of freak on display for you to judge and also how dare you fucking judge them?? Since when did all our bodies become our economy of worth that everyone gets to have an opinion on? Since the beginning of time, I know, but that doesn’t make it right and I hate it and I hated that part. But luckily it was very quick-at least he understands to move on, not like Dave Chappelle who would have made it the breadth of the entire special.

Something that fascinated me that I had to look up because I wasn’t all the way sure and am still not 100%-was that behind him, there were full windows (the whole stage setup is something I wanna talk about and will in a minute because it was FUCKING PHENOMENAL) that you could see rain through the entire time. The whole hour it was “raining.” Now, I have looked up the layout of that theatre. I am 90% sure there are not windows behind the stage to outside you can see through. Even if there are it was a choice to not build over them and then maybe it was a coincidence it was raining outside the whole time but I truly don’t think that’s it. (Let me know if I’m wrong-but I looked through an entire gallery of interior photos on their website & I don’t think I am). I think he built them and designed a system that would continually loop water over them for an hour to look like rain. If this is the case, I have a fuckton to say about that.

The effect of rain on windows is deep. It’s this psychological thing that makes you feel permanent where you are and dry and home. The background of this blog is rain because it makes me feel safe. When it’s raining it’s okay to take a nap, watch a movie during the day, get drunk, abandon all expectation of productivity that you’re not allowed to in good weather. Rain is my favorite kind of weather, it’s sad and accommodating, and pretty, and a huge plot point in MIB 2.

I have never, NEVER seen a comic utilize the psychology of weather to create a mood for a special. Andy Kauffman once made it snow indoors for a Christmas special but that wasn’t comedy it was one of the straight ones he did after he got cancer. I love to see what people do with sets because it’s an often neglected part of the experience because when you’re starting out it’s something you have no control over so I think most people just ignore/forget about it, then when they get big enough that they can control it they don’t have much preference. I LOVE when someone does an elaborate set, it adds to the material in this subtle but completely permeating way.

This stage set up was amazing. It looked like the Oval Office but when he walked out there were six black women onstage dressed in diamond black & silver mini dresses with briefcases full of cash (one is open on the desk, they all have handcuffs attached to the handles) like an episode of Deal or No Deal THAT WERE JUST THERE FOR HIM TO WALK OUT TO! They left the stage as soon as he comes out! They’re there for less than a minute!!!!!! That’s incredible. The Oval Office is decorated with framed portraits of himself (God Bless) and two huge gold lions and two HUGE red leather fainting couches. There’s also American flags everywhere and on either side of the stage big black gates with his initials on them. The middle of the stage has a HUGE GOLDEN STOOL and the microphone is also gold. Katt is wearing head to toe black and gold, with an embroidered jacket and pants and shoes. He looks amazing.

The whole thing feels like the Scarface White House which when you think about what we really have in there, isn’t that far off. An overreactive, vain, paranoid man who sexually covets a family member? Got it!

The rain. I can’t get over the rain. I will never get over the rain probably. Katt also did the whole first 50 minutes straight then dropped a dick music cue on us which was—–brilliant. No one was expecting it and it was so satisfying and hilarious and I love him. That shit is so simple but I haven’t seen anyone do it as well as him. He understands physical comedy on this level where it’s just effortless and he can make a joke 10x funnier just by moving his body a certain way. It’s a gift.

He also has such prescient things to say about race, and he darts in and out of it so you’re never allowed to tense up, he’s talking about bridges, then talking about how a white restaurant cooks jerk chicken so good he expects to see a slave in the kitchen, then we’re back to driving or whatever. It’s incredible he can still do that in a climate where people are very tense around identity politics but it’s the thing I was talking about in the beginning, he can relate to people so well it feels safe when he does it, you trust him.

(Speaking of identities, there was a white guy in the third row in the audience who kept getting up and sometimes the camera would cut to the crowd and he would just be standing in the aisle???? And it was really distracting & idk what was up with that)

At one point he told women not to make noise if their man has great dick (Gender is a construct Katt!!!!! We never own people even if we engage in a long term consensual relationship with them! Why define people by their sexual behavior and then categorize them as such!) because then a ho would swoop by–then he was that woman flying–and said, “Aw, that’s just Gerald.” As if to imply, Gerald did not have great dick, his woman was mistaken, and this ho somehow knew. After the special was over, the first credit was Producer Gerald McBride and I wonder if that was an inside joke at him!!! Gerald!!!!

Truthfully I was pretty blown away by a lot of it, there were minor bits I didn’t like but to be that solid for over an hour and that genuinely funny is pretty incredible. And that fucking rain. Also to name your special “Great America” after a racist piece of shit ran on the platform “Make America Great Again” and film it in a town that’s got huge minority populations and make a point of acknowledging how many Latino, Pilipino, Black and White people were in the audience is a wonderful fuck you/subversion—and I loved that too. Ok I’m done.

7/8 Gold Dick Microphones, would masturbate again.

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Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation

Dave-Chappelle-Equanimity-Credit-Mathieu-Bitton-Netflix

Equanimity

This makes me sad. I’m not done watching it yet but I’m like 27 minutes into the first one and I had to pause and write some things down before moving on, I couldn’t really watch more without doing that.

So———the first like 10 minutes of the special, I’m rolling. Laughing out loud to myself in my room. Stupid laughter, these big unwieldy surprise laughs that almost only Dave Chappelle can get from me at this point. I watch so much stand up, I usually just smile or think, “that was a good joke.” But I’m LAUGHING. Then, Dave starts talking about the trans community.

Which, number one, why?? Dave! I’m getting to a point where I’m really annoyed to hear men complain about how people get offended “these days.” Every time you turn around some dude is only too willing to explain to anyone who’ll listen how people are too sensitive now, too PC, blah blah blah. Yes, the world’s changing! You have good medicine and computers now! First of all if you can accept progress in medical & scientific fields, accept it in social and cultural fields. Second, people aren’t “just now” getting offended, they were fucking offended before, you just didn’t know about it because they didn’t have a platform. But now, marginalized communities have access to global platforms, which is a fucking gift, so we have access to those perspectives. Also YES things are changing- buckle up! It’s only going in one direction (hopefully!!!). There’s trans people. People are non-binary. Also none of these concepts is unique to America or recent at all, but ok you’re just now hearing about them, fine.

I DO NOT understand the reaction/impulse to DIG IN your fucking heels and WHINE. People don’t like your shitty jokes where you call women cunts? Boo hoo! Write a better fucking joke. With Dave’s last special I had much more empathy because I was like, “He’s figuring it out, he’s not just gonna arrive somewhere all of a sudden, he’s a comic he needs to talk it out to get there and process.” And that last special was amazing. I’m sure this one will be amazing too, and the one after it. But why the fuck does he feel the need to stubbornly live in his willful ignorance out loud? And I say willful because oh boy does he claim innocence so many times. He describes a letter he got from a trans fan who was ‘devastated’ and hurt by his jokes and he says he has no idea what joke upset them (“I have so many transgender jokes” he reminds us proudly). He goes on to say he really likes the transgender community and doesn’t know WHY he keeps upsetting them.

All ya have to do is ask Dave! Talk to one trans person! Read some stuff! It’s all there. It’s not very difficult. But he continues to act as if trans people are kept behind some glass that no one gave him the combination to, and he just has to endure not knowing.

He then goes on to tell a joke about a trans person that he speculates is the one that was so upsetting, while shrugging like a child who ate a cookie before dinner. It’s about dancing with a trans person and having sex with them (“only titty-fucking!”) and it really felt like that was to shore up this idea that he might not say the right thing but he does the right thing/his actions are unprejudiced. But the whole way he tells the story contradicts that very notion! He puts the burden of his reaction to that person’s identity on them, blaming them for not telling him they were trans. He also told this story after describing the idea of Caitlin Jenner’s naked body, specifically the idea of her genitals, as, “Yuck.” Dave, you can’t in one breath treat someone’s sexuality as disgusting then ask for a medal for dancing with them!

ALSO sidenote: So many men seem to think them deigning to say they’d fuck a trans person is the ultimate validation. That that’s the ultimate extension of humanity, if they’d stick their dick into something, or that it’s a compliment. It’s not! Plenty of trans people wouldn’t fuck you!

Someone’s identity isn’t validated by whether or not you want to fuck them, also you don’t have to personally come to terms with the genitals of trans people (get out of there!!!) to recognize their humanity. Ugh, the whole thing made me really sad because this impulse to fucking double down on your own ignorance makes you at best come off as old and out of touch, but at worst, willfully hateful.

Another incredibly confusing part to me is his insistence to treat being trans and being black as if they’re mutually exclusive. Like there aren’t black trans people. It’s so strange. He outlines “If I’m being brutally honest” the only reason he feels the trans community is gaining acceptance is because white men ‘want to do it’ and it stems from white privilege. Which I’m sure is a comfort to all the trans women of color murdered every year, we’ll tell them.

It seems like he set these two identity markers (being black & being trans) which are not mutually exclusive, in opposition in his own mind then constructed a lil oppression Olympics for them. The general vibe very much seems to be, “I was oppressed without humanity/recognition so now you have to be too.” At one point he asks the audience, “Since when does America care how people feel?” In reference to trans people being vocal about their identities, and the room erupts in applause. Are we all clapping that in the past culture has been exclusionary and harmful? Why wouldn’t you want to change that?

Also, if you truly don’t understand…………shut the fuck up! It feels like for a lot of these older (I know he’s 44 but he’s been around for 25 years) comics they think they have to talk about what everyone’s talking about to seem relevant & have a take. There is like TWELVE fucking minutes dedicated to this. Dave! You’re 44. Call Janet Mock, call Laverne Cox, fuck call Chaz Bono, just don’t keep writing jokes in an empty room about something you know nothing about. It’s hurting people. And he has no excuse now, because people TOLD him. And he just keeps doing it. That’s what makes me so sad, because he’s so funny and amazing. He’s probably the funniest person I think, to me. He’s the one. So to see someone you idolize and respect just digging this hole of their own words and stubbornness to be right over everything else? It’s the fucking worst. I’m gonna leave this now and continue watching. I’m sure everything else will be fantastic and great. Just this. This is the hill he has publicly chosen to die on.

Yeah, now he’s talking about his dick being Morgan Freeman (“without the dots”) and it’s hilarious. Goddamnit. Cause also wtf he had this line in the trans thing, after he read the letter and he said, “Then I did something that many black men in America don’t have the time or money to do. I thought about how I felt.” And that’s so important to remember how we as a culture don’t prioritize or encourage the emotions of black men—ugh it’s heartbreaking to me how one person can be so insightful about one issue and so obtuse about another. It’s funny because later he uses this example of why Amish people’s God is wrong (lol) where he’s on the highway and the speed limit is 75 mph but one lane is blocked by a horse and buggy. YAH EXACTLY DAVE. THE HIGHWAY IS GENDER FLUIDITY AND UR THE HORSE!!! CLOGGING IT UP FOR THE REST OF US.

Anyway.

“Initial reactions are often wrong, or more often incomplete” and the whole standing too close to the elephant thing- every part of his special could be mirrored back to him to prove why he’s wrong about his own point. Everything else is good! The kick her in the pussy thing worked for me, everything else pretty much. Ok I’m gonna watch the second episode and hopefully he doesn’t mention anything about trans people and it will all be good. Although something that’s striking me about this one and the last two he did before- these jokes aren’t classic/timeless jokes like his old specials, these all seem to be topical political reactions. No one’s gonna be repeating lines from this in 10 years (like they do with the others), because these things (hopefully) won’t matter anymore and the jokes aren’t written to be repeated anyway they’re more anecdotal aside from a few punchline/callbacks. I wonder if the second one will follow that construction or vary.

The Bird Revelation

Oh fun!!! In this special he’s talking about rape!!! Oh lord he’s talking about the Kevin Spacey thing and is choosing to focus on how mature gay young boys are? Daveeeeeee. Dave!!!! First of all, lol to talking about this while your sweatshirt is so tight I can see your necklace through it, second, DAVE. Also you think the biggest problem with him molesting that boy is making the child keep an adult’s secret for 30 years? Not the sexual assault? Ugh. now he’s talking about Louis. This is bad, this is really bad. It’s as if he thinks that if says, “But ladies, you’re right” after everything he says it’s ok? It ameliorates that he said he thinks the harassment was funny when he heard about it? Ok, so after saying he thinks the women Louis CK sexually harassed were weak, he’s comparing those instances to middle passage.

David.

This is interesting because it’s the exact same tactic he took with the previous special: Take an issue you have no personal experience/point of emotional reference to, compare it to racism, find it lacking, dismiss it. It’s like he doesn’t know what relativism is. Two things are allowed to be bad at once. (There’s also black women who are sexually assaulted!!!) But ok. He also does this tonal shift to do an amazing searing black history refresher-in this one the legacy of black injustice & forced labor starting with middle passage all the way through reconstruction, Jim Crow, (“They made us do their work, then the irony is hundreds of years later they called us lazy”), and the one prior he did the entire story of Emmett Till, but then shifts back in the joke, and brings the point parallel to something else he’s been talking about, almost as if to demonstrate it isn’t as bad.

At one point after saying one of the many things where you can feel the air leave the room a little bit he says to the audience while inhaling his cigarette, “C’mon baby it’s me. I was right once? Remember that?” To me this is the essence of both these specials. He remembers being revered & on the forefront and can’t step down from that role/doesn’t understand why he isn’t now. “I walked away from 50 million dollars. A lot harder to walk away from than Louis’ freckled dick” they’re not the same! You as an established comic with your own show on Comedy Central choosing not to renew a contract isn’t the same as two women in a hotel room at a comedy festival being sexually harassed. Nor is anyone saying they need to be!

“The most uncomfortable person in the room is the person that’s right” -that’s why trans ppl are uncomfortable at your shows Dave! It’s honestly incredible how much what he’s saying can be inverted to prove a point about himself he refuses to see.

He talks for a while about how men want to help, “I want to help,” like it’s our problem to solve, and men can choose to be a part of it or not. Not like it’s their problem too, or that they’re part of both the problem and the solution and inextricably linked to both. Like women are the gatekeepers of their own harassment and men are standing on the sidelines with Capri-Suns and women with short haircuts won’t let them pass them out.

I really thought this special would be ok. Dear God in Heaven, please let Dave Chappelle be trapped in an elevator with Frank Ocean and Alok Vaid-Menon and Jessamyn Stanley and Didi Delgado and let them bring him into this new year with us because I need him here. I need him to acknowledge that women who are affected by sexual harassment EVEN OVER THE PHONE YES are not weak, and that the joys of being wrong, and speaking recklessly, certainly have value and are worth considering but not without any context or regard for whose truth you’re being reckless with. I have already seen comics quoting those lines on Facebook and yeah it’s cool to think of ourselves as these truth crusaders but what he left out is it has to be your own truth, otherwise you’re just a wrong asshole. And so far it hasn’t been his own. It’s been trans folks and survivors of sexual assault and he’s been depressingly didactic about how they should both handle those things.

I’m just. Almost at a loss for words. This second one was a lot harder for me and sad. Because all the things he says about women made me sad. And I think he’s a genius. But just like Kanye, his only flaw is he doesn’t respect women at all! (That is a joke, I’m joking). Dave respects women in some capacity but he doesn’t understand gender and you can’t respect something you don’t understand and it was really difficult to hear him call women who came forward about their sexual harassment weak, and hear a tale about a pimp where the twist is that he tricked a woman into selling her body for him 6 months longer, and I know it was an allegory about himself and maybe I just didn’t understand, but you know.

There were also a lot of abstract platitudes. Like, “Hollywood is no place for moral absolutism.” Why not? Is the world? Is anywhere? What’s the standard then? What’s our goal? A lot of times he ends these big speeches with something equivocal that doesn’t feel all the way right to me, “We all need to come together,” “We all worked hard and are where we are now.” Calls for unity, and that most of America has differences but respects each other. Truthfully, I don’t know if the world feels like that right now to me. And I don’t think there can be true equality unless there is a breaking down of almost all the systems, social and otherwise, that are currently in place. I don’t think black people will have true freedom until white people understand systemic oppression and privilege and history. And I don’t think most white people do understand those things. And I don’t think women can be equal until men understand sexism and misogyny, and I truly don’t think most of them do. If they did we wouldn’t have men saying “Why didn’t she just hang up the phone?”

I love Dave Chappelle but I’m happy this is his last special for a bit because I think he needs to listen for a while.

4/10 Pimp manifestos, will masturbate again whenever Trump is out of the White House

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Rough Night

Scarlett Johansson;Kate McKinnon;Jillian Bell;Ilana Glazer;Zoe Kravitz

You guys I liked it. I know it’s terrible and Girls Trip is way better and racism and Hollywood and they killed a fake stripper and all of that, but I still liked it!!

I think this movie was a classic dark comedy (***not a black comedy, that’s Girls Trip***) just maybe people aren’t used to seeing that now? Or there’s a different lens for judgement now that identity politics has taken the forefront as a means of analysis and people consider the implications of plot relying on throwing away certain identities as a joke? Which is all good, but this movie felt pretty self-aware to me. I know a large criticism was that they killed a stripper and how that is a classic devaluing (here’s a good article about this) but the guy they killed wasn’t even a stripper, he was a secret robber coming to hurt them also some of the characters have a conversation about these issues (ok it’s one line but it’s there). I don’t know how much it complicates or ameliorates anything (the detail that he’s not a stripper) and certainly there’s very valid emotions and reactions to objecting to that as even a hint of a plot device/being in the movie at all. But, simply, for me it was ok (just me!!) and I’d recommend watching it before you decide what you think about it. As it often is, comedy is a slippery fish and there’s so much subjectivity within context that affects overall judgements about a joke. ANYWAY–I’m gonna stop being defensive now. I liked it. If you think that makes me a bad person, that’s ok, I still liked it. 

I watched this in two sittings, initially I watched like the first 15-20 minutes and thought it was SHOCKINGLY bad. Like laughably, inexplicably bad. Then when I watched the rest of it, something changed!!! I think after they kill the guy (spoiler alert they kill a guy) the movie really finds itself!!

The main premise is that one of a group of friends (Jess, played by Scarlett Johansson) is getting married so all her friends from college (Jillian Bell as Alice, Zoe Kravitz as Blair, Ilana Glazer as Frankie) and her best friend from studying abroad in Australia (Kate McKinnon as Pippa) organize a bachelorette party in Miami, which includes hiring a stripper. One thing leads to another and wouldn’t you know, they accidentally kill him. They spend the rest of the movie trying to hide/dispose of the body and many hijinks occur.

Some of these hijinks include: the real stripper coming later and getting accidentally knocked out, the other two diamond thieves coming to find the loot their partner stole from them, all of them trying to fit in a jet ski/smart car, Blair having sex on the beach with a horny neighbor couple (played excellently by Demi Moore and Ty Burrell) to steal the security video footage, Jess’ fiancé’s cross country drive to win her back after he misunderstands a phone call, etc. etc. For not leaving their rental beach house for 2/3rds of the movie, a lot is happening.

That scene that happens in all movies where a group has to deal with a lot of stress happened, which is that it takes literal death to get people to open up about their feelings. There’s always a scene in movies like this where the pressure just gets to be TOO much and people start spilling secrets and they saying how they really feel (remember when they thought the plane was crashing in Almost Famous?) which was enjoyable. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman myself, but I love a group of women just laying out all their shit and being honest with each other. In an emotionally tense scene (relatively) we learn that Jess has been lying to Alice about knowing how to use Skype, and had a bridal shower she didn’t invite her to because she feels like Alice monopolizes her time. Alice is very hurt and almost leaves, but then two men with guns come and don’t let her.

They end up resolving it (Jess finds a very sweet card from Alice about how her mom’s Alzheimers will always keep them together) and then they are back, better than ever!

Kate McKinnon comes in after about 15 minutes and makes all the difference. She is so naturally funny. She brings the whole thing together and I think saves everyone. Her character is Australian (an accent she’s really good at) and she is very connected to the Earth and maybe gets rabies at one part, it’s kind of unclear. Kate also has a really beautiful singing voice! Something I didn’t know at all! She writes and sings a song after/during the credits that’s very funny and pretty and I didn’t know she could sing.

Zoe Kravitz is the thinnest most beautiful person in the world and she doesn’t seem real to me. In this movie her character is going through a custody battle and has a lot of orgasms on the beach. She also has an uncle who advises them on the legality of murder. (Not very!)

Ilana Glazer kind of plays the same character she always is, herself. If you love it, you love it, if you find it kind of abrasive and derivative, then it’s that still! I’m somewhere in the middle of those on her- I don’t HATE her, I do think some of it is funny, but she always seems like she JUST did coke and that can be too much for me. Coincidentally in this movie she does a lot of coke. (Also I saw her do stand up and her stand up is truly horrible and that affects my judgement of her probably more than it should, but I can’t change who I am!!!).

Jillian Bell is so underused in the world in general, I think she is hilarious and I’m so happy for her every time I see her in Workaholics or this. She has really perfect timing and her control over her facial expressions is great. She somehow manages to combine masturbating and her bird, which I’m all for. Her character ends up finding the 2 million dollars worth of diamonds the police never found in a box of dick pasta which felt poetic somehow.

Scarlet Johansson hasn’t done a comedic character for a long time (not since The Nanny Diaries right?) and at times this seems a bit of a stretch for her. She does alright but I think out of everyone she has the most misses/jokes that fall flat. Really I will never forgive her for so many roles (Matchpoint?? In Good Company???) and that kind of clouds her for me. She has a short haircut in this, I think to make her look serious because she’s running for political office? Whatever the reason I liked it.

Jess’ fiancé, (Peter played by Paul W. Downs) gets better as the movie goes on. First he seems like a wet blanket and boring, but soon we go to his Bachelor party and you see that he is a wet blanket but that’s kind of his thing. He does a wine tasting with all his friends- who are made up of shockingly obscure and famous comedians (Bo Burnham, Hasan Minhaj, Eric André) who quickly counsel him to drive to Miami and convince Jess to take him back. He gets a lot of Red Bull, some Russian adderall and diapers for the journey (inspired by a woman astronaut who drove many hours straight without stopping to go to the bathroom for love apparently) in a song montaged shopping trip that is quite funny. He also connects two star-crossed lovers at a truck stop who share a love of meth and blowjobs. Peter ends up saving the day then immediately passing out. He and Jess get married the next day with everyone there in the middle of a foam party.

The funniest detail of the whole movie to me was during the final wedding scene, where Scarlett gets a call from her campaign assistant. He relays that word has spread of how she and her friends stopped a group of diamond thieves (the guy they killed was on the run from the cops and they were absolved of any wrong-doing) and that Jess was going to win the election/needed to start doing a press tour immediately. She responds by telling him she’s in the middle of her wedding and will be there first thing Monday morning, then takes the phone away from her ear to take pictures. But right after she says she’s at her wedding, her assistant says into the phone, “You’re getting married? Jess I’m in love with you.” This was hilarious to me and I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe because it’s hinting at this completely other storyline we never get that’s centered around him, or imagining this main character we’ve spent so much time with as merely a piece in someone else’s story? Maybe because it’s such an intense emotional admission and they never explain it or do anything with it?? She never even hears it!! Whatever it was, it tickled me.

The biggest problem with this movie is that it seemed Hollywood made a white and black version of the same movie (literally saw an article titled exactly that) and there were big picture ASTOUNDING similarities between the two that caused them to be compared: ensemble female comedic cast, same month release, a group of college friends travel to a new city to get back together because one of them has an important life event, the first scene of the movie is a college flashback with them doing a choreographed dance, like astounding.

But aside from those structural things, the content/movies themselves are actually pretty different. Girls Trip is more character driven and focused. We learn more backstory, motivation, we feel for the characters more and see them all as complete and complex people. It’s also just funny. Knee-slapping funny. In Rough Night we don’t know that much about anyone, it’s mostly about how the group dynamic is reacting to the situation they find themselves in, and the vibe is totally different: tenuous and awkward and it’s not trying to be funny the whole time. It’s not just a straight comedy. Truthfully, it never stood a chance the second it was compared to Girls Trip because it’s just not as good but despite everything, they’re not that similar of movies.

So basically, I liked it- I think if you’re willing to go suspension of disbelief/cognitively know that sex workers lives aren’t disposable, you’re not a bad person for liking this movie. (But also sit with how bad white women are for a lil bit! Can’t hurt).

Equality to me is that women get to make shitty insensitive comedies that history (and also blogs right now!) will look unkindly on/judge them for and Rough Night is that comedy!! For women!!!

3.5/5 beach tampons, would masturbate again

 

 

 

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Raw

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This movie blew me away. It was like a sexy coming of age movie for cannibals!

The main character, a thin French girl, (aren’t they always??) is headed to veterinary school for the first time, a family tradition apparently. Her sister is there (we meet her at a blood rave later) and both her parents went there.

The first night of veterinary school is a lot of hazing (who knew!), where older students throw your mattress out a window and make you take ecstasy and dance in a basement with blood covered stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling. Justine (the main character) finds her sister in jean shorts dancing on a ledge with her dog (in vet school, the dogs can come to the parties!) and they hug and go over some emotions. Her sister takes her to a secret picture wall in the basement where they find some framed shots of their parents covered in blood and smiling. Normal!!!!

The next day all the first years are going through more hazing (to save a horse’s life, you MUST master greek life) where they dump blood on everyone (fun, normal) and everyone must eat a rabbit’s kidney. Justine is adamantly opposed because she was raised vegetarian. Her sister comes over and forces her to eat the rabbit’s kidney, which later causes an itchy rash (a VERY intense rash. A makeup artist could get a scholarship to college on this rash) to spread over her entire body. She goes to the school nurse, who tells her a story about a girl who was fat that she treated like a person, and then gave her a cream to put on her rash and tells her to fast for a day.

Justine puts the cream on and tries not to eat but also keeps being drawn to the smell of meat. She ends up stealing a loose hamburger patty in the pocket of her white coat during lunch, then throws it away when the lunch lady sees it dripping grease from the her pocket. She also eats a raw chicken breast in the middle of the night and lies to her  gay roommate named Alex about it, who she maybe has sexual tension with, or maybe wants to eat, it’s very unclear.

A scene that’s a big turning point in the film is when Justine goes over to borrow slutty clothes from her sister (more hazing). In her sister’s bathroom she finds the same cream the nurse gave her for her rash but doesn’t say anything about it. Later, after Alexia (big sis) tries to teach her to pee standing up on a rooftop (“Jut your hips out and push really hard”) Justine asks if she can sleep over. They do fun sleepover things like play video games, share secrets, and examine body hair. Alexia makes fun of Justine’s armpit hair, then checks out her pussy because they’re family (whenever they go to Olive Garden it’s INSANE), and decides to give her a Brazilian on the bed. So they’re doing the vagina waxing, (the camera angles for this are great by the way, just a down-the-barrel-of-the-gun kind of thing), and Alexia’s pulling the strips off and they hurt, but then one gets STUCK, so Alexia goes to get scissors to cut it off at the base.

Justine is understandably very nervous and doesn’t like the scissors plan and pushes her away really hard saying, “It’s my pussy!” because I don’t think she thought her sister understood it was her real life vagina, or knew it was but didn’t care/wouldn’t be gentle. Either way she pushes her away while Alexia’s holding the scissors at an odd angle and she falls, and ends up cutting her finger off (whoops!) then passing out from shock and blood loss. Justine calls an ambulance and while she’s waiting for them she starts to smell the blood and EATS THE FINGER LIKE A CHICKEN BONE. Alexia comes to and is pissed (Omg you guys you know when your sister eats your finger??? So annoying!!) but mysterious kind of and when their parents take them to the ER Alexia tells everyone the dog ate it and they put the dog down which is totally unfair and sad.

Right after getting out of the hospital (like stands up from a wheelchair in the parking lot), Alexia takes her sister to this abandoned road (btw a car accident on this road is the first scene in the movie) and throws herself into oncoming traffic. The guys in the car try to swerve and not hit her but run into a tree and both die. Then Alexia starts EATING them and she’s like, “I did this for you” to Justine, clearly to usher her into the sisterhood that is consuming human flesh, but Justine isn’t emotionally there yet so she walks home on the side of the highway. For some reason she takes her shirt off and walks home in her bra.

More stuff happens with Justine (she fucks her gay roommate, her sister brings her into a morgue and films her trying to eat the limbs, she makes out with a guy while they’re both covered in paint and tries to eat his tongue, etc, etc.) and she sort of makes this transition where it seems like she’s reached a happy balance of stuff and by that I don’t really mean that at all but she has a dance scene in front of a mirror where it seems like she’s accepting her sexuality/personhood/identity/flesh-eating. But then she gets into a public fight with her sister on the quad or wherever and Alexia bites a piece of Justine’s cheek off. Happy Thanksgiving!

The next day Justine wakes up in a bed next to Alex (her gay/bi/whatever he wants roommate) and she’s kind of stroking his face and goes for the dick and her hand comes back covered in blood!!!! She lifts up the blanket to find his whole right thigh and leg EATEN, and her sister on the other side of the room covered in blood playing video games (so chill). She seems to think about killing her sister with a ski pole, but then takes her into the shower instead and cleans her off by rubbing down her entire body with her hands.

This movie has a lot of sexual things: women/girls in their underwear doing stuff, boobs, sex, rash-scratching, etc. But the camera never lingers and The Gaze doesn’t seem to be there, it’s feels like life when stuff is just happening when you happen to not be wearing that much clothes. I really really liked the camera work and art direction in this movie, it is gorgeous and shockingly new and it feels insightful in this intimate visual way. 

The whole thing is in French by the way-I think I forgot to say that. You know how in Goodfellas they say fuck a record number of times and in The Sopranos they’re eating like every third scene? Well, this movie set those records but with blood. In almost every scene, someone’s covered with blood, bleeding, eating something dripping blood, getting a nosebleed, or some dead animal is being splayed on some surface. That’s another thing- because the entire thing takes place in veterinary school, there’s a lot of scenes of weird animal violence (not the right word but I can’t think of what is). Like there’s a scene where they tranquilize a horse and immobilize it and string it upside down and put a bit in it’s mouth and manipulate its tongue in this really visceral way, there’s a dog dissection scene, dead baby cows suspended in clear jars, the aforementioned raw rabbits kidneys, etc. Heavy on the animal gore I’d say.

I genuinely loved this movie, it made me CRINGE and gasp and be uncomfortable quite often, the way it’s done is incredibly vivid and real and I haven’t seen a lot like it and I loved it and I’m happy I saw it.

Five out of five raw chicken breast midnight snacks, would masturbate again.

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The DUFF

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As a general rule for myself & this blog I try not to do really obscure movies because I feel like people only like to read/click on things they have seen/heard of, but maybe this one is just for me.

This is a movie I got on a whim from the library because I was interested to see if Bella Thorne could act (she can kind of?) and I love Mae Whitman (she can definitely!). I almost returned without watching but renewed instead (there’s some metaphor about life in that somewhere!!!) and just watched right now.

I loved this movie. And not in an ironic, ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ way, in a very genuine real way. The script is the best thing about it, it’s based on a book, and either the screen adapter person is incredible or the author did it and the book is really good too. I don’t even want to read the book though because I feel like I got it and I really liked the vehicle it was in and I liked the vehicle more than the ideas maybe?

Like ok, yes, there were some profound things in it but I didn’t feel I was connecting on a deep reverent “Art” level but something about this felt deeply personal to me and I loved it a lot and I DID cry and that’s fine but what’s weird is I feel bad now? Normally after watching a movie I really like I get a feeling of satisfaction but I kind of just feel empty and sad and I think it’s cause it was too real????? I’m also just in a place and very vulnerable to emotions right now.

This movie centers around the concept of one word/acronym, that also was a huge devastating blow to me when I found out about it- there are some words that truly are a terrible discovery because it means there’s this concept people are naming and calling out and aware of for this terrible feeling you thought was a secret that no one knew, and it makes you feel like ‘society’ is just a place that has categorizations and judgements for things that correlate with value and this is an example of where you fall short/fail. FUPA is an example of this. DUFF, the title of the movie, is also one. (Why are they always acronyms?)

DUFF stands for ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ and it is used to describe a person (usually girl but the movie is very deliberate to point out it is gender neutral/can be used on anyone) who is less attractive than their group of friends who people trying to fuck the hot friends use to get to them. That’s probably too many ambiguous pronouns for one sentence (what is this German???) but you get it.

Learning what this word was in high school (and early college!) DEVASTATED me because I was like, “is that all I am to people??” and this movie is ENTIRELY that journey. Except, during this journey, the main character is actually very pretty and is best friends with the hottest guy in school and he’s helping her and they fall in love and they end up together. Oooh I think I just figured out why I feel terrible!

The whole point of this movie is to dispel that concept and say, “Labels are meaningless! Just be yourself!” which I agree with, but it kind of makes it hard to believe that when the narrative of the story uses things that align with societal values to validate an idea saying societal values are meaningless? Does that makes sense?

Like, ok. I shaved my head a few months ago. I did it to be ugly honestly. Because I wanted to get rid of the security blanket that hair is for me and just face my insecurities of being seen as ugly or unfeminine or undesirable, and I didn’t want to worry about what I looked like all the time and I thought if I just took it out of my own hands and looked ‘bad’ (by my own estimation) there would HAVE to come a time during the long growing out process when I just truly couldn’t worry/care anymore and I would be set free.

Then when I shaved my head people LOVED it and told me I was beautiful (which was tight as hell) BUT in my mind I kind of thought then that I would never experience the other, (then God was like NUH UH BITCH) because I moved and now it’s growing out and doing a weird goth Florence Henderson thing and I am having to meet all these people when I feel ugly and like a French boy going through puberty and it’s testing me!!!

During this time, I certainly don’t have the hottest guy in school (what is the New York comedy scene equivalent of that??? Conan O’Brien??) validating me, and that’s difficult. I’ve almost never had a guy (let alone the hottest one!!!) validating me and I forgot that that can be great too though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that experience in a movie where someone’s just validating themselves for the whole thing? (It doesn’t count if it’s a weird false empowerment thing for one scene, OR only in the beginning of the movie as a means of attracting the guy she ends up being with).

Part of me doesn’t want to post this because I aM meeting all these new people and this goes directly against the whole ‘sexy fun carefree!!!’ vibe I think I’m supposed to be committing to but I feel like my hair is already letting people in on that lil secret 🙂

The other part of me that doesn’t want to post this (it’s almost all the parts!) is because it reads more like a diary entry during a TED talk on body dysmorphia rather than a movie review but, it’s my blog bitch!!!! ( I really like saying bitch now!! It kind of came out of nowhere).

ALSO I’m realizing a huge OTHER part of this is when you’re body positive and plus size people want you to be Yas Qween all the time because they haven’t confronted the fucked up body stuff that they believe so when you feel insecure or have doubts they don’t know how to deal/comfort you at ALL because they believe all the fucked up bad things you’re feeling, but I’m not Yas Qween all the time!! I feel bad too and fat women are supposed to be CONFIDENT and sometimes sassy and it feels like you’re not allowed to have nuance of emotion publicly because it makes other people uncomfortable because then they have to acknowledge your body and they don’t know how to do that. ALSO sometimes people start to see you through your own insecurities and then you’re like, ‘damn I should be able to express this to you without it changing your opinion of me because I’m a whole person and I’m allowed to have flaws!!’ Whew!

I guess most of all I’m shocked that a movie with Bella Thorne in it made me FEEL things? But it did. I moved three months ago and am going through a breakup (yes STILL-until I get married and/or fingered in a car I will be going through it ok???) and I’m trying to hang curtains and a shelf by myself, and life is a highway and I’m gonna ride it all night long!!

Speaking of riding stuff, this movie DOES have a very classic teen plot arc we have all come to know and love. There is a HOPELESS (read: still very hot) nerd character who is just TOO smart to be appreciated by the immature idiots in high school. They (she in this case) finds a hot idiot who’s actually NOT an idiot after all—but full of insight and hidden wisdom—to teach them in something that starts off flippant (as a bet or a game or a challenge!) that turns into something REAL and emotionally intricate for both of them. There is a dance at the end where people’s true selves are revealed, usually by finding a dress that they added plaid to because they just can’t bear to conform any longer.

This movie literally has all those things in it and they’re great and satisfying. It’s like watching someone tie a bow made entirely out of cliched tropes, on a present that is your memory. The guy is very hot in a way I wasn’t ready for (because I’m so alt!!!) and that’s always good, to remind yourself that you’re still attracted to very hot people.

I’ll say again, my fave part was definitely the script, it was really well done, light and the dialogue felt natural and genuinely funny, something that is rarer than any gemstone. I will take a natural-sounding genuinely funny script over a diamond any day pal, and don’t you think I won’t.

Great cameo roles from Ken Jeong and Allison Janney and some other people I recognized but don’t want to look up.

This is the most personal one of these I’ve ever written, and I really hope I don’t have any of those Joe Rogan reddit guys who were mad at me a while back following still because I don’t want to open up for them but maybe this is exactly what they need to hear to realize that women-nah it’s not and nothing ever will be! Joe Rogan is a plague on this Earth that only female-centered novels and diva cups can even hope to cure. (To me!!! My opinion!!!! I’m glad he taught you it was ok to be weird!)

Well, I think we’ve all learned something, you have learned some of my deepest and most lingering insecurities, and I have learned that sometimes I need a D list comedy from 2015 to access my feelings!! Win win because I watch those all the time!!

4.9/5 plaid prom dresses that your friend in high school who just so HAPPENS to be into fashion design and able to sew on a professional level made for you in like one hour with no notice before The Dance, would masturbate again

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Bachelorette

 

bachelorette-posterThis is me telling you to watch Bachelorette on Netflix. It’s so good. I love it. It’s BEEN so good, I don’t know why it isn’t everywhere and why people aren’t yelling about it to everyone.

This is one of those female-driven RAUNCHY comedies you’ve heard so much about! Starring all your wet dreams, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, and Kirsten Dunst as bridesmaids!! (It’s not that raunchy comedy though, this is a different one). Their friend from high school Becky (Rebel Wilson) is getting married! Except whoops, the night before the wedding they get high on coke and ruin her dress. They were trying to fit two people in it, in a cruel joke which could backfire on anyone. This launches them on a debaucherous nighttime journey to fix it, BUT ALSO THEMSELVES!!!!

Everyone has their own problems in addition to the shared main one, (I love how well the characters are written, they are casual and complex at the same time, just like REAL people!!). Lizzy Caplan, Gena, plays a girl who’s not over her ex-boyfriend from high school because he didn’t drive her to their abortion so she hates him but they were perfect together and she really still loves him but is too PROUD and GUARDED to admit it. (Also: Party Down fans- it felt like a fun little inside nod-her ex-boyfriend is Adam Scott!!! Isn’t that so perfect and wonderful??? Don’t we all miss that show?? Why didn’t it last forever?) Kirsten Dunst, Regan, plays a tough bitch who has her shit together and is a great friend but is also deeply unhappy and doesn’t know why. I LOVED Kirsten Dunst in this movie, mostly because this is the first time I’ve seen her play old and mean (of course she’s not that old, but she’s not a teen or ingenue or wide-eyed love interest/muse type) and she KILLS it. She was BORN to be old and mean!! Then my fave, Isla Fisher, Katie, the most interesting one to me, who is a fun ditz that loves to party but is also suicidal. And she plays it with this incredible control and subtlety that’s just, wow.

They go so many places for this dress, they go to the Bridal shop in the middle of the night to get a whole new dress but the only one they have in Becky’s size is Regan’s dream dress and she JUST CAN’T (white girl battle cry!!) so she makes them leave. She’s about to lick the sidewalk to prove how much the dress means to her, then somehow they get re-routed to a strip club where the Bachelor party is.

James Marsden plays Trevor, a lovable misogynist who refers to women as ‘things’ and encourages basically rape (2012!) and is the essential antithesis of his character Chris in 30 Rock. It’s fun to watch him be so believable in both. He and Regan have an interesting conversation where he “challenges” her and they have sex in a bathroom (basically acting out the idea that all powerful women just need to get fucked, but sometimes they do) which seems satisfying for everyone. I like that they don’t end up together.

This guy Joe from high school has been following Katie around all night and forever, he used to sell her weed and let her copy his homework and she doesn’t know his name but they are havin’ fun! Until the night takes a turn and Katie tries to kill herself. He is the one who finds her passed out after a Xanax OD attempt and he really cares about her/helps save her life. I like that they don’t end up together.

Gena somehow gets her ex-boyfriend (Clyde/Adam) out of a pickle at the strip club with a baby powder bottle full of coke and then they go to his MOM’s house, who is good at sewing. She ends up saving the day while her son and Gena have sex/eat pancakes. One of my favorite lines comes at this part, when Clyde gives Gena her pancake and says, “It’s got a frowny face on it cause the whole world’s an asshole” in a teasing tone making fun of her general demeanor and outlook.

Basically moms rule, and she finishes the dress. They get everything to the church/outdoor tent in time and get Becky down the aisle. But not before Becky calls Regan a blonde cunt, which felt like it needed to happen. They also don’t go down the aisle because collectively the three of them are covered in vomit, coming off a suicide attempt, and probably still a little coked up. I liked that all the main characters in this movie were cool failures.

The vibe the whole time was that these three girls used to make fun of Becky in high school and now it’s weird she’s more together than them, but we find out that Becky hid/took the blame for Regan’s bulimia the whole time, so really she’s been great this whole time, she’s just fat which often people conflate with “not doing well.” She even at one point, before marrying the man of her dreams who loves her, says, “Everyone thinks I’m too fat for him” which shows, even when YOU and YOUR PARTNER are happy, weight shit still affects identity and self-worth stuff if you let it. Fuck that! !

Sidenote: There was an article I read a while back that highlighted an excerpt from this man’s book who data-mined all these companies who log their search algorithms and an entire section was about porn and the most interesting part to me was that the MOST searched thing in the US was larger women. WHICH MEANS, that so many people are attracted to that body type but since we are all shamed into thinking it’s bad they don’t act on it because they’re afraid of what people will think, and then those women think no one wants them, and basically everyone could be happy if they accepted who they are and didn’t listen to companies trying to sell them jeans. Ok????

I liked the way relationships are communicated and handled in this movie, it feels pretty real and well-written. Like the funny friend in the movie is the same amount of funny your friends are in real life, not overdone or cheesy or staged. And even though they were doing coke out of a baby powder bottle or licking sidewalks or throwing up in bathtubs, I really would want to hang out with these characters! They were a mess and I can be a mess sometimes and it was fun to watch and I liked that no one had a real job I had to try to relate to.

In the end everything works out and everyone watches the wedding from a bench then drinks some more, and that’s how I want my wedding to be. If I could just sit in a corner and watch my wedding with my friends while we were drinking that would potentially be the best case scenario. And like stuff with my husband too, but not the WHOLE time.

This movie is also 1 hour and 20 min which is a GREAT LENGTH for a movie. You get engrossed and you’re watching something for longer than a show but none of your kids graduated college while you were in it, ya know? I just want all my kids to be happy is my main thing.

This movie is written and directed by Leslye Headland and it’s also based on the play she wrote. So, she seems great.

7/8 blood stains on ribbed satin, would masturbate again.

 

 

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The Standups

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People have been referencing this season (? What is it? Collection? Series?) on Netflix for what feels like a year and I saw a clip of it on fb and decided to watch it once and for all.

Nate Bargatze:

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Firstmost, Nate Bargatze, to me, is one of the most effortlessly funny people I have ever seen. I think he’s so funny, his delivery is so perfect and dry and I love that his material is usually something I wouldn’t even begin to know how to write a joke about. Just hammocks or something else completely mundane. It’s fascinating and cool because it’s so different from me/what I think like/write like. So that’s great.

In this special there were a lot of really good moments but for something that was 30 minutes I was expecting a lot more punches I guess. It didn’t seem like his jokes were landing as well as they normally do. I’ve seen him do this same material and murder and this response seemed pretty tepid, and he also didn’t seem that comfortable/into it. I also wasn’t laughing as much as I know I have. So that was generally just weird. It’s like rewatching a movie you know you love and suddenly not connecting with it. I wasn’t even really going to write a review because who needs my opinion on this?/I don’t really have that much of an opinion. I think he’s incredibly funny, but I don’t think this was a home run (that’s something he has great material on too!), and that’s really all the opinions I have on this special.

BUT then I HAD to write one because halfway through I noticed I THINK THERE WERE TWO AUDIENCES????? I think they filmed this twice and cut it together!!! Is that possible-who can confirm or deny this for me? I say this because I love looking in the audience during stand up specials and for the beginning I was like, JEsuS all the women in the front row are really beautiful, then they kept cutting back to the same angle (and I would CHECK-front row, no chairs in front of them-to make sure it wasn’t a different angle of a new row somehow) and it was different people! Then I was watching vigilantly and I identified two sets of people for the front row on each side and I am convinced they did a 7:00pm and a 9:00pm then cut them together depending on which jokes did better at which show.

I also have sadly conflicting feelings about Nate Bargatze because I have heard he’s Republican which makes me sad and I hope isn’t true and not that people can’t be Republican, but to be Republican during Trump is honestly deranged and indicative of a failing of some kind to me, (I’m sorry my entire extended family) and it just makes me sad. Sad! But comedy isn’t about agreeing with someone and like I said I think he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen, it just hurts my heart.

Also, I googled the Trip Advisor review from the Wilmington serpentarium like he says and I found it,

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so that’s fun. That was one joke that I remember going sooo much better- I opened for him in New Orleans and I heard him do this bit and the hammock stuff and I was dying but here I just chuckled a few times. And maybe the other factors had some effect, hearing it for the first time vs. second, show environment vs. at home on Netflix, these totally come into play but it was a huge difference and I don’t think it was JUST that.

3/5 hammits, wouldn’t masturbate again to this specifically but would to him always.

Fortune Feimster:

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Now I think I’m just gonna do all of them. First of all, my audience theory is shaken by this one because it’s the same people so I don’t think they would make one audience sit through the same people two times each, that seems terrible. (Also why didn’t they rotate the audience? Usually when it’s the same night they move people around to make it look different, I’m curious as to why they didn’t here).

Anyway. I had never seen her stand up!! She’s so funny! My favorite joke (there were two) was when she was talking about the hardest time it was to be gay, which was when gay people started boycotting Chick-fil-A and she was like, “Cause I’m fat first, and a lesbian second” which had me ROLLING, that’s so fucking funny. There’s also another line where she was talking about Jesus judging people for being gay and she just had a surprised reaction where she was like, “Jesus!!!” that tickled me a lot.

I thought most of her set was pretty strong, but then at the end the whole last two minutes was callbacks and the last joke of the night had a punchline that was like just a series of callbacks to other jokes from the set, like 3 or 4 of them and that was too much for me. One can be good if it’s surprising but if I can see them coming they seem really formulaic and it seems like a cheap laugh somehow. But I really loved her stage presence she’s so engaging and likable, I really enjoyed her.

4/5 handy j’s (a great name for a handjob), would masturbate again.

Deon Cole:

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Weird. Interesting? Mostly not for me. It was a lot of “bitches are like this” and generally relying on things as being facts/understood that I don’t believe in, like that you hate your spouse because all relationships are like that, or gender is this, or women are this, etc. Some things I thought were funny, at one point he was like, “I hate when white people know more about black history than me” which I thought was really funny and wanted to hear more about but that was the whole thing. He did a lot of one-liners that were structured, “You know when you _____?” that seemed more like premises that were funny in themselves but unfinished.

He also brought a paper out with him that was his set list-at first he did a bit with it where he was pretending it was to keep track of what jokes worked or not but then it became clear he was reading off it, and even referenced, “you know when you write something but you can’t read your own handwriting?” then at the end of the set he was like, “I can’t find my last joke. Usually a comedian leaves on a big laugh, but I can’t find that joke. So I’m just going to leave.” Which shocked me and seemed incredibly unpolished? Unprofessional? I don’t know the word. It shocked me though. I was like, “You know this is being taped right?” in my head but he couldn’t hear me.

He did some funny stuff about his son cursing, and there were a few lines I laughed/smiled at but I also rolled my eyes a lot, which is never a great sign. The audience liked him though, he mostly did a good job I’d say. Just wasn’t for me.

1.5/5 b.a.n-words, would not masturbate again.

Nikki Glaser:

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Lol maybe I’m getting burned out? Nah, I think it’s just that i watch stand up so much I just don’t like a lot of it. But yeah, this one wasn’t really for me either. I know she’s really good friends with Amy Schumer and I felt that same vibe that was in Amy’s last special, you know the really terrible one, where it’s like, “I’m talking about a dog fucking my vagina!! Isn’t that crazy because I’m pretty and a woman?” And look, don’t get me wrong, I talk about fucking dogs all the time, but there’s an art to it. She honestly talked about her dog going down on her for 6-7 minutes. The whole special is like 28 minutes so that’s like a fourth of it-that’s what it felt like anyway.

This one felt really long to me, probably because I mostly wasn’t enjoying it, but I remember checking the time and being like, “It’s probably almost over” and she was only 10 minutes in. She has this delivery style that’s become really popular that I kind of can’t stand- it’s stating something false then letting it trail off? And then doing that like 4 more times about the same thing where it seems like you’re correcting but then you just say something else untrue and that’s the joke? A lot of people do it and I hate it. I don’t know how to describe it better than that but ugh. I’m sure I could remember or create an example but I really don’t like it so much I don’t want to. So just use your mind or go back and see.

Something also happening for me that I was struggling with during this one was trying not to hate her/write her off because she’s thin? I’m trying to distill out what’s internalized misogyny/feeling threatened by and competitive with women, or comparing myself to them and being mad that I don’t fit a standardized beauty norm that they do that gives them privileges that I don’t have, but also some of it is that I think being skinny is boring now? And I’m more interested in different body types (only in women though, so that’s something I should examine too) but I really loved watching Fortune Feimster and seeing her body on stage and watching people love her because you never see fat bodies presented like that/receiving love/acceptance and Nikki Glaser is just this thin hot blonde woman talking about her Match.com profile and how dating is hard for her because she doesn’t run and farts sometimes and there’s just nothing interesting to me there.

It also bothers me when women have these ideas of femininity that they perform and say on stage like it has to be performed because it reinforces that idea which I think is stupid- like she was saying that she held her farts in for four years because she didn’t want to fart in front of her boyfriend that she lived with (and yes of course she’s allowed to feel and do anything she wants, I just think it’s stupid and boring) and I’m watching, annoyed like, “women can fart!!!” but I don’t have a boyfriend either so maybe she’s right, I don’t know and I don’t care. I would rather be alone than have to be around someone all the time I couldn’t be myself with and that’s why I don’t really care about dating and if someone likes me they do but I’m not going to change myself to fit some idea of what some imperfect stranger wants me to be.

Anyway, this wasn’t really for me. (Am I a hater?) 2/5 dog vaginas, would not masturbate again.

Beth Stelling:

Photoshoot for Fjallraven for the American Fjallraven Classic.

Ok I loved this one!!!!! Fave so far. Really great. She’s such an incredible writer, this one was SO packed with jokes, it felt like there was a joke every 3 seconds. Even things I didn’t think were funny (one joke about froyo) were funny because her delivery is so interesting.

The only thing that bothered me was that her face foundation didn’t match her skin tone??? It was distracting and looked terrible and made me feel bad for her but she did so well it didn’t matter. This was the best one so far I think, she seemed so comfortable and the audience was WITH her, from the beginning and throughout and no one else has had that yet. They’ve gotten consistent laughs but it seems like they have to work for them and don’t get them every time/no one’s hit a rhythm yet.

This one it felt like she was in the zone and it passed so quickly, this is the only one that I wished was longer and was sad when it was over.

4.5/5 red sneakers (I LOVED her outfit), would definitely masturbate again.

Dan Soder:

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Eh. WASN’T FOR ME. That seems to be the vibe of so many of these. I don’t not like them, I don’t think they’re bad, I just don’t find them funny.

This guy, he laughs at SO many of his jokes. After them, in the middle of them, and it was distracting and whatever the opposite of endearing is. He also talked about his breakup and that his ex-gf was a bad person and when people didn’t laugh at that (why would they? it’s not a joke yet, you have to say the joke part) he was like, “Oh are all of you her friends? Good” and that was annoying because comics do that a lot- first of all you have to tell a joke to get a laugh and second of all, we didn’t date them and you haven’t established trust yet (even though this was like 20 min in) so you have to tell/show/whatever to get us on your side because we’re not there yet.

Idk, he talked a lot about things that I don’t care about/aren’t interesting to me. Like how the voice you use with your grandma affects your masculinity and how he thinks reality TV is stupid and video games are cool, and how setting wolves loose would help ‘society’ cause we’re just ‘all on our phones man,’ and how ponytails on men make them bad and how catcalling women is actually just about those men having so much confidence and he can’t believe someone has that much dick confidence and he’s not like that at all.

I think that was part of what turned me off to him was that he has this self-deprecating thing he kept coming back to, saying he didn’t have the confidence of all these other kinds of men, that he wears t-shirts to the pool, never works out, etc. Always making himself seem like the victim/lesser in these situations he would describe but he’s pretty attractive and it felt like a false humility? Idk. I’m sure there’s plenty for him to feel insecure about but it felt like he was just saying that because that’s what he thinks you have to do onstage to get the audience to like you.

Anyway, just not for me!! He did have a line I really liked about about ranch, he was like, “it’s gotta be from the valley, and it’s gotta be a secret!” (talking about Hidden Valley) and that’s very funny to me. But that was kind of it.

2/5 haunted ex-girlfriends, would not masturbate again.

 

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