This time of year, we’re asked to bring our A-game, to navigate an onslaught of family bonding and constant, mandatory merrymaking. It’s not for sissies. My personal approach is to carve out a few nights to fake being sick, stay home with my television, and enjoy the company of no one. Not only is me-time a necessary sanity-saver, it gives me a chance to indulge in holiday movies that just won’t feel appropriate come January.
However. If you and your family observe the more contemporary practice of escalated rage and Pinot-fueled ass-hattery, highlighted by interludes of tearful binge-eating, then I suggest you hunker down and remember what you really have to be thankful for: fiction. To that end, I present a list of films I’m thankful for this year—films defined by their joyful unreality or distracting absurdity, or by the fact that they’re just really, really good.
We’ve all been raised on fairytales of perfect, shiny, perpetually blown-out princesses (which Kate Middleton and her perma-grin aren’t exactly helping to debunk), but they have their issues too. This week I’m taking out the world’s tiniest violin and playing a tune for these Princess Problems. It could be as minor as showing up in the same tiara as someone else, or as major as being threatened with a beheading. A lot can happen in a reign.
Here’s how it’s going to go down: I will spend the next three weeks rolling my eyes with all my cool friends and scoffing about how I would sooner die in a helicopter crash than see About Time. Then one day I’ll have a few glasses of wine and suggest we see it, “As a total hate-watch, obviously obviously obviously.” And then we’ll go see it, and I will pretend like I’m hate-watching but really I will be loving-it-so-much-I-hate-myself-watching.
Claire Denis’ latest film Bastards (or Les Salauds, if you’re like that) is filthy with family, money, and inappropriate sex. Sounds like holiday fun for the whole family, not to mention a recipe for my favorite cinematic motivation: vengeance. Seeing as life is filled with so few opportunities to rain wrath down upon one’s enemies, it’s important to do the raining-down right. Revenge is a dish best served crazy.
With everyone else out re-watching The Exorcist, I’m turning my attention to some truly scary movies. Yes, a teenager possessed by the living soul of Satan might give you a good jump, but it’s nothing compared to the time you bought four EPT tests, then prayed out loud for the entire cab ride home. Forget the gore, folks. Let’s look at movies that are really terrifying. Halloween is spooky. Life is fucking scary.
You know what, Carrie? High school sucks. And high school is supposed to suck. If it didn’t suck so much, then the rest of your life would be a letdown. I realize that pig bloodbaths and shower assaults are a little, well, horrific. But, being a teenager isn’t a cakewalk for anyone. Shake it off, kid. It can only get better from here. Your grown-up office job may be a soul-sucking grind, but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be bathed in … Read More
Some people just cannot get over it. Some film studios can’t either, seeing as this month’s release of Great Expectations marks the fifteenth adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel. This week I speak to both studio executives and dumped exes alike: it’s time to get over your old love and move on to a new paramour. Meet some new people. Get some new stories to tell. For God’s sake, buy a new dress.
Two compatible people getting together, handling their problems like mature adults and leading a pleasant, average life of normal ups and downs, free from tragedy? Blech. Give us complications! Give us insurmountable hurdles! Give us a relationship that absolutely will not work out. In other words, Romeo + Juliet 4 EVA.