I was born in the wrong era. The 1930s-1970s is the area I should’ve been in. All the movies, the styles, I loved it (except for the sexism and oppression but let me live in my world where that didn’t happen). I am completely content to lie in my bed and watch TCM all day every day. The majority of my DVD collection consists of films made before 1970. This is the time where movies were great, meaningful and an escape. The movies stars…don’t get me started! Monroe, Hayworth, Hepburn, Leigh, Taylor…they acted like stars. It was always glamour! Not this crazy Amanda Bynes, Anne Hathaway crap.
TCM—that’s my station. I love The Essentials, it’s a Saturday night special hosted by Robert Osborne and another actor or actress (this month was Drew Barrymore). They go over movies that are “essential” to watch. In February they do 31 days of Oscar—all Oscar winning films leading up to the Academy Awards. They have wonderful documentaries…great flicks…it’s wonderful. I didn’t think it could get any better until I found out that this month is “The Woman’s World: The Defining Era of Women on Film”.
From the TCM site: TCM proudly introduces Friday Night Spotlight, a new month-long festival of films hosted by a special guest. The theme of the inaugural Friday Night Spotlight is A Woman’s World: The Defining Era of Women on Film, with celebrated singer/actress/superstar Cher joining Robert Osborne in hosting the screenings. This Spotlight will shine on the “woman’s film,” a staple from the late 1930s through the early ’50s that viewed life from the female perspective as it changed with the times, creating a genre that was rich, varied, sometimes subversive and always entertaining. Among films with the theme of Motherhood are dramatic vehicles for two icons of the woman’s film, each playing a mom who sacrifices everything for a daughter: Barbara Stanwyck as Stella Dallas (1937) and Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce (1945). The War Effort and the Homefront of the World War II era are represented by Claudette Colbert in, respectively, So Proudly We Hail (1943), in which she serves as a Red Cross nurse in the Pacific, and Since You We Went Away (1944), in which she bravely maintains a family while her husband is away at war. Working Women, a force that would grow considerably during the war years, include Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday (1940) and Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year (1942), with Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy, respectively, as the men in the lives of these independent career women. Among the Women Taking Charge are Ginger Rogers as a young working-class woman who marries into wealth yet retains control of her own destiny in Kitty Foyle (1940), and Bette Davis as a genteel but strong-willed socialite who takes over the child of another woman (Mary Astor) in The Great Lie (1941).
Not only are the celebrating women in film…they’re doing it with Cher. Stop being the best TCM I can’t take it! I have a full-time job how the hell am I supposed to live knowing this is going on?! Fine, FINE! You win! I’ll spend every Friday night at home watching your station.
Apparently fans have been complaining for some time now that DC Comics doesn’t have enough female writers, creators and characters on its roster. It’s not as though DC has had no female comic book writers, however. The comic’s past ladywriters include former Simpsons (when it was good) and current Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone, Done to Death‘s Fiona Staples, Birds of Prey‘s Nicola Scott, Power Girl‘s Amanda Conner, Vixen: Return of the Lion‘s G. Willow Wilson and Teen Titans‘ Felicia D. Henderson.
If you aren’t watching Louis CK’s FX show, Louie, then you are seriously missing out. The show brilliantly mixes Seinfeld-style stand-up bits with more serious, frank and often depressing scenes of the comedian struggling to adjust with his life as a newly-divorced father of two young girls. CK’s musings on middle-aged sex, dating, parenting, friends and family occasionally verge on the surreal, but always seem to come from a very genuine place of feeling lost halfway through life.
This very long intro is meant to explain part of the reason why CK is, hands down, my favorite comedian. His comedy specials are brilliant, but you’ve never seen anything like Louie before. And when you consider that CK has tried his hand at traditional sitcoms — and failed — you appreciate the show’s unconventional style all the more. But more than anything, it’s because Louis’s comedy always feels real — even when it’s exaggerated, even when it’s shocking, even when it’s gross.
And it’s in watching both Louis and Louie that I realized at least part of the issue I have with this big “fight” over whether women are funny or not. First of all — of course women are funny. But …
This past week, Cameron Diaz’s small-budget comedy Bad Teacher premiered, and the critics aren’t amused. Most agree that you’ve probably seen Bad Teacher before. And while it was funny when it was Billy-Bob Thornton as a hard-drinking, wise-cracking mall Santa or Walter Mathau as a hard-drinking, wise-cracking girl’s little league coach or Tom Hanks as a hard-drinking, wise-cracking women’s baseball league coach or Jack Black as a hard-drinking, wise-cracking substitute teacher, there’s just something, well, different about how Cameron Diaz comes off in the same hard-drinking, wise-cracking part. But whatever could it be?
Sure, you can argue that maybe Diaz just doesn’t have the comedic abilities of the other actors above (frankly, I didn’t find School of Rock that funny, even though I tend to like Jack Black, and I haven’t seen Bad Santa), but it seems like, for the most part, people are just uncomfortable with an openly “loose,” foul-mouthed, hard-drinking woman in the way that a male character can be a loveable roustabout.
If you’re not convinced that the division between Diaz’s Bad Teacher and every other movie about hilariously inept male childcare providers likely comes down to …