...I could go on, but you get the picture. I realize that my love of old Hollywood rom-coms just emphasizes how much older I am than most of my peers, who say they don't have the patience for (1) black and white, (2) lots of snappy (talky!) dialogue, and (3) references to events that occurred 50-80 years ago.
My list of favorite rom-coms includes some 21st century titles, too: Love, Actually, Bridget Jones' Diary, Notting Hill.
Yes, those are all British films with credits for Richard Curtis. And yes, the fact that I'm married to a Brit probably helps me relate to the English-ness of those movies. But like the classics of the golden age of romantic comedy, these movies are charming -- and memorable.
Compare those films to the rom-coms produced by Americans recently: films like The Ugly Truth, What Women Want, When in Rome, Maid of Honor, Life As We Know It...
I'll admit to being entertained by some of them - and appalled by others (The Ugly Truth was just plain ugly). But I was not charmed. And once I had seen them, I had no desire to watch them again and again.
So I went into last night's screening of Friends with Kids feeling a bit wary. It is being advertised as something of a Bridesmaids reunion, with Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd in supporting roles. But anyone expecting another iteration of the infamous scene in the bridal shop (where the entire party felt the effects of food poisoning while trying on dresses) will be sorely disappointed.
There are, however, a few poop jokes. This is, after all, a romantic comedy about what happens to romance once the kids arrive. And I confess to suffering some problems as the married couples in the movie: it's tough to get in the mood when your relationship shifts to child-rearing.
I have news for these parents of toddlers: It's just as difficult when the kids hit their teen years and not only know what it is you're thinking of doing, but they NEVER GO TO SLEEP and give you the time and space to do it. My advice is to start a fund now to finance romantic weekends away from home and cultivate friendships with other families you can dump your kids with so you can make those weekends happen.
Writer-Director-Star Jennifer Westfeldt has put together a stellar romantic comedy with an original premise: Best platonic friends Julie and Jason aren't judgmental at all when they conclude that parenthood killed the romance of the marrieds in their group. They decide they can have it all by having the baby BEFORE they settle on Mr. & Ms. Right.
Julie and Jason are so connected that they chat on the phone in the middle of the night while their dates are asleep beside them, so we know they'll be together at the end. That is, of course, the age-old formula: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl. That part is easy. It's the execution of the formula that is difficult, and unless it's done with exactly the right light touch, there is no charm.
Fortunately, Westfeldt has plenty of charm to spare, and Adam Scott is perfectly cast as slightly slutty Jason. You know the type: He won't settle down with anyone less than the perfect woman (you know, one with intelligence and wit and big boobs). Who better to father your child, right?
Their friends think this is an appalling idea... so everyone (including the audience) is shocked when the baby comes and the arrangement seems to work. That is, until Jason does find the woman he thinks is Ms. Right.
Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig are terrific as the couple's married friends. Wiig was particularly touching in a role that shows her to be an actress and not just a comedian.
As an aside, while watching the film, I realized I've never seen Jon Hamm play anything but a sexist asshat (except his role in 30 Rock, where the character he played was simply stupid beyond belief). Hamm's role here is especially ironic when you consider that he and Westfeldt have been unmarried partners for 15 years. No, they have no children -- so you kind of wonder if this film is some kind of precursor to a new step in their lives?
SoCal Residents have an opportunity to ask them that question after a screening of Friends With Kids TONIGHT at ArcLight Hollywood, when both Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm will be on hand for a Q&A. I enjoyed the film so much, I have half a mind to drag the husband over there to see it again.
Words you don't want to hear yelled from the bathroom, first thing in the morning:
"Mom, there's something wrong with the toilet."
I've been going about the morning routine even more bleary-eyed than usual. It did not help that I'd neglected to empty the dishwasher last night -- which means that I also had dishes to wash. It was about 10 minutes until our carpool partner arrived (my turn to drive) and I also had to make the kid's lunch.
(Why don't I insist on getting more help from her? Especially since she took her last mid-term yesterday and could presumably wind down a little? Very good questions, and something I will mention to her this afternoon.)
In the meantime, I needed to know: "What's the toilet doing that's weird?"
"I don't know."
"Did it make a funny noise? It's been doing that."
"You have to come here."
The bathmat was visibly wet, so yes, it did overflow -- which explains the funny noise I heard the last time I used it. I'm guessing my husband spent a little time in there before the rest of us were up this morning.
As we were already running late, I had no choice but to postpone cleaning and plunging until I returned from school. Which I did.
And then, I returned to my previously scheduled tasks.
Attention Kroger Shoppers! Shop the Kroger Cart Buster event from February 26–March 10 for great values. Find out about all the savings at www.CartBuster.com! And from February 29-March 6, download exclusive, digital coupons for Kroger’s “Deal Of The Day” for even MORE savings at http://bit.ly/wxfnlU. Happy Savings!
You may find it funny that I write so many posts about grocery shopping.
Well, maybe you don't think that's funny, but I do. I guess that's what happens when you shift into the role of mom/consumer, which is what I've been for almost 16 years now.
When I got my first solo apartment 30 years ago (!), I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about where I purchased my groceries -- or how much they cost. I just went to whichever store I happened to be near, and bought whatever I thought I needed.
And I didn't need much: I ate out several times a week. Most of the time, that was how my friends and I socialized after work. But sometimes, it was a means to get out and be with other people, even if I didn't interact with any of them.
Such is the life of a woman living alone -- especially one who worked odd hours in television production.
But I still had to go shopping. One video shoot I was employed on consisted of one week of 18-hour days -- with eight hours off to go home, sleep, shower and start all over again. Each night, quitting time was pushed back later and later -- so by the end of the week, we were driving home in the wee hours of the morning.
At the end of the week, I remember realizing that I was out of cat food. So I went to the 24-hour Ralph's to pick some up -- along with my other single gal staples: non-fat yogurt, several boxes of Lean Cuisine... and Oreos.
I know that sounds inconsistent -- all that diet food and then, Oreos. But a girl's gotta have a few vices, right?
Besides: Who doesn't love Oreos?
Back in those days, I would occasionally host a party with my best friend -- which meant buying a lot of beer and wine and serving munchies, like chips and salsa. Right next to the bowl of chips, we'd also have one filled with Oreos. It might not sound like hipster food --but our guests scarfed those Oreos right up.
(At this point, I have to assure you that, believe it or not, 30 years ago, I was pretty darned cool -- one of the members of Devo showed up at one of those parties! No kidding!)
This is what I was thinking about this morning when I heard on NPR that today is the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie. It's kind of comforting to know that this very American confection is still going strong.
In honor of the anniversary, Ralph's (a Kroger store) is running a CartBuster deal for $1.50 off on Oreos, today. I love the fact that you never have to clip the coupons on the Cartbuster site: They are digital downloads to the Ralph's loyalty card I already use to get the best pricing on the groceries I buy there. I also like knowing that I don't have to use the coupons I download right away; the one I downloaded for the Oreos will work until March 13. Easy, peasy.
Thank you to Kroger for sponsoring my participation in the “Deal Of The Day” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.
A funny thing happened on my way home from a bloggy event this afternoon: I received an email asking if I could do a quick, 24-hour turnaround on a sponsored post.
Such is the life of a freelance writer -- especially one who makes her living via writing online.
January and February were extremely quiet months for me , jobwise. That is probably a good thing, as I was dealing with injuries brought on by my exceeding clumsiness that began with slamming my thumb in my car door right after New Year. (I have yet to get that MRI my doctor wants before she can refer me to a surgeon for my hand -- long story. And I bet you can't wait to hear it, too.)
I finished February feeling a little bit depressed. It wasn't just that for the first time in years, I had nobody to invoice. It was deeper than that; as if nobody liked me anymore. You have to understand that a few years ago, I described my email inbox as something like Christmas, because I never knew what I would find inside (i.e., parties, trips, new tech toys, etc.) I don't feel that way any longer.
But as soon as March 1 rolled around, I started receiving some interesting inquiries again. I suppose there's some truth to the old saying, "when it rains, it pours."