Movie Review: Bachelorette

20 Jan

I’m not gonna lie; I’ve been very unproductive with my time lately. School has started but the workload hasn’t kicked off yet, and with my new-found obsession with Adam Scott, I thought, ‘you know what I’m going to do? I’m gonna watch every movie Adam Scott’s been in that’s available on Netflix’. So far I’ve gotten through two, and in order to give me the slightest, false sense of productivity, I’ve decided to write a completely random compilation of my thoughts. Note that I’m in no way an experienced reviewer or have the slightest idea of what I’m talking about.

Via wikipedia.org

The first movie I watched is called Bachelorette, and it has quite an all-star cast backing it up. That doesn’t mean, however, that a film will instantly be fantastic. To give it a straight up, numerical rating, I would say the film is 3/5 stars (and that could even be a bit generous). The movie is set up as a fast-paced adventure; a crazy stupid thing leads to a million other crazy things to keep the plot going quickly, and ideally there’d be enough characterization pieced in that by the end everything has been fleshed out and amazingly delivered.

A brief synopsis is that Becky (Rebel Wilson) is getting married, and her three high school friends are a bit jealous that their ‘fat friend’ is getting married before them. After a small attempt at a Bachelorette party in a hotel room goes awry, the three friends Regan (Kirsten Dunst), Katie (Isla Fisher), and Gena (Lizzy Caplan) get high and accidentally rip the bride’s wedding dress. They then spend their night trying to repair it while occasionally interacting with the men at the groom’s Bachelor’s Party. The movie ends with a relatively saved wedding and new-found, or rekindled, romances for each of the girls.

The plot certainly does keep it going, and a lot of crazy things happen one after another, but that isn’t enough to make the movie fantastic. In the beginning we see the three women not reacting very warmly to Becky getting married soon, and it paints the picture that she in the odd one out in the group of ‘popular girls’, as they were all friends in high school. By the end, there is no development on this; we only ever see a friendship between Regan, the perceived head-b* in charge, and Becky. Becky barely even interacts with her other two so-called friends.

The romances that develop are sweet, but again there isn’t enough characterization to make me feel like they were anything other than rushed. The only one that felt a bit more developed was with Katie, the ‘ditz’ of the group, who doesn’t know how to pursue men in non-sexual ways. The guy who has a crush on her refuses to sleep with her while she was high/drunk, because he wants it to mean something. By the end, she agrees to try a relationship in a genuine manner, and they really do seem sweet together.

The romance between Gena and her ex-high school sweetheart (Adam Scott) is a tad messier. Gena got an abortion when she was younger (he was the father), and they ceased contact because he didn’t go with her to the clinic when she needed him. The big dramatic turning point was just that he admitted he was ‘too sad’ to go with her, and then in a fit of passion they have sex. Then at the wedding he admits that he loves her and wants to be with her, and that is their ‘big happy ending’. I’m sure they had much to discuss off screen about real issues and lingering hurt, but the problem with focusing on too many storylines is that you can’t properly focus on all of them. I’m not saying you have to hand things to your viewers, but that’s also not an excuse to under-develop your character’s stories.

The last romance, with Regan, is the most implied and subtle of the three. She has one relatively deep conversation with a guy who is a complete douchebag for the entire movie, and at the end there is a slight possibility that they will date. The guy (James Marsden’s character) is too much of a jerk for one deep thought to redeem his character, and there was definitely not enough time spent on their relationship for me to really care if they eventually get together.

The girls themselves are reasonably fleshed out, but more as archetypes than three-dimensional people. You’ve got a strong leader, a sarcastic rebel, a ditzy party girl, and a bullied, nice ‘fat girl’. They do each come out of their boxes a little, but again, it wasn’t enough for me. I realize I’ve been focusing more on the characters then the overall story, but I think the characters can make or break a movie.

Don’t get me wrong; Bachelorette is funny at times, but also offensive at times, and slightly over-the-top at times. I do think that the actors and actresses do a great job, but the way the story is framed and written is what detracts from that. Overall, I’d say it’s enjoyable if you don’t want to look too hard into it, as long as you promise to not try and take any life-lessons from it. Or if you want to stare at Adam Scott’s face for the, I’d say, 20 minutes he’s on screen. That’s always a good enough reason.

 

Also I realize that this movie is several years old, but as I said this review is kind of selfish in that it’s just a way for me to process my thoughts rather than attract views. But speaking of views, I hit 30,000 views several months ago and kept forgetting to mention it! I can’t thank my followers and even random passerby’s enough, it really is incredible that people have been reading these random thoughts I’ve been peddling out for nearly three, crazy years now. All my love; thank you thank you thank you.

Why is Slut-Shaming a Bad Thing?

2 Jan

“Oh my god, what is she wearing?”

A classmate of mine once muttered something along those lines in the middle of my math classroom. A student had just walked in to talk to our teacher and she was wearing very short shorts (for lack of a better term) that showed off quite a majority of her legs.

People in the midst of social activism often jump to immediately calling out behavior like that as slut-shaming, and it’s painted as such a negative concept from the very get-go that I feel we’ve forgotten to take the time to explain the core problem with slut-shaming. It’s easy for people against activism to ask, what’s wrong with old-fashioned modesty, and why is it so horrible to tell young women to cover up? They argue that girls should be taught to show less skin, because there are more important things than looking like a slut. Instead of just labeling those people as ‘horrible human beings’, yelling a lot of things at them and moving on, I want to take the time to deconstruct the concept bit by bit. This is because we’re still caught right in the middle of both ideas; one end is completely against slut-shaming, and the other end is half-bigoted, and half just plain confused about the concept. I want to distinguish people who are confused from people who are just exceptionally rude and small-minded; ignorance does not mean deserving of hate and anger.

I’m going to focus on the clothing aspect of slut-shaming, rather than the negative labeling of women who have a lot of sex. I may make another post later, because of how horrendous a lot of the comments here were, but that’ll be a later date. The concept of slut-shaming someone for what they are wearing ties closely into ideas of someone being conceited, vain, or too obsessed with their appearance. In my opinion, the reason judging someone for their clothing is bad is because it is a slippery slope filled with too many personal constructs, clashing ideas of what is morally okay, and a very thin line between ‘right’ and ‘not right’ that can never be universally defined.

Take my classmate, for example. She was judging someone for wearing shorts that were ‘too revealing’. But if you asked others, they might have considered her shirt to be too revealing; in fact, a lot of the shirts she wore showed a lot of cleavage. So some may ask, why is she allowed to show cleavage and for it to be okay, but for that other girl to be ‘skanky’ to be wearing shorts like that?

Here’s a hypothetical example: a boy scoffing at a girl for wearing ‘too much make-up’. He mentally labels her as vain, absorbed in her appearance, and attention seeking. But let’s take a look at the boy. He happens to be wearing dark, skin-fitted jeans. His hair is artfully styled up, and you know that those shoes weren’t cheap. He obviously put some effort into his appearance, and how he wanted to portray himself to the world. Is he vain or shallow? And what point do we say being concerned with your appearance is being too concerned?

The problem with judging people for their appearance is there is no clear line to define someone, or label them as something. My standard is different from your standard. Everyone will always have different standards. So then how can we run around saying some standards are better than others? How is anyone to judge?

When people blow-up their own opinions and make them approved by a large group of people, especially through media, it’s saying that their standard is correct and all others are wrong. How can we live in a world where every single person has different standards for what it’s okay to look like, but some people just yell louder than others?

You may think my skirt is too short. I could think that you put way too much time into putting tattoos on your body. So maybe we should all shut up and stop imposing personal beliefs as universally accepted moral standards.

“Hard Out Here” Song Review

25 Nov

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Lily Allen’s new song “Hard Out Here” has been garnering a lot of interest as a female-empowerment song as well as a direct call-out to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. There are some direct shout-outs to his song/video as well as lines about sexism in general. The song has relatively low controversy, but it’s the music video that some are finding problematic. Upon writing this post, I realized that it would be too long to address everything, so I divided it into two. This first post is about the song, and the next one will be about the music video.

Via YouTube

Via YouTube

The lyrics of the song have a lot going on in them, so I’m going to deconstruct from start to finish. Just one line in, Allen uses the b word, which she continues to use for a majority of the song. Some people could complain of how using a misogynistic slur only sets feminism back, but I think this is more about a power play than anything else. If women want to use the b word and use it as empowering rather than derogatory, more power to them. I don’t really think it helps when women negatively call other women that word to bring each other down, but if you change the context of the word to turn it against people who try to use it negatively, it creates a different impact. It’s kind of how the show Queer As Folk revolved around gay characters who would constantly say f-g to each other and other gay characters. I think it’s okay to use words satirically to show that you won’t allow others to attack you with them.

The next couple of lines could be seen as problematic in a round-about sort of way. Allen states that she won’t be found in the kitchen, and that she doesn’t need to “shake her a-s” because she has a brain. This could be interpreted as shaming women who choose to be a housewife/cook through free will, not through societal standards, as well as slut shaming for women such as strippers who dance for men. The message of feminism is doing whatever you want to do, man or woman, because equality should allow everyone that freedom to choose. I don’t like the connotation of these lines, but she does say “Don’t need to shake my a** for you cause I’ve got a brain”. I’m glad she used ‘need’ rather than ‘want’, implying that people should do that because they want to, not because they feel that they have to. She also follows with “If I told you ’bout my sex life, you’d call me a slut”, so I don’t think it was her intention to imply slut-shaming with the previous line (that would be kind of backwards, wouldn’t it?).

The rest of the lines are all general observations on how society regards women, and they’re all perfectly reasonable and delivered with wonderful amounts of sarcasm and sass. She addresses double standards, beauty standards, and misconceptions of how inequality has disappeared (side-note, it hasn’t). She then has a line about someone tearing a butt in two, which is a direct hint towards a line referring to the same thing in “Blurred Lines”. Whether you think “Blurred Lines” is a good song or not, there is no way you can argue that ‘tearing a butt in two’ is not problematic; sex acts that are supposed to be pleasurable for both parties should not be referred to with violent connotations; even if it were in a BDSM or S&M context, the line is still cringe-worthy and creepy overall.

Regarding the song itself, I think it fits in with the general pop paradigm of today. On a purely musical level, there’s nothing too special or amazing about it, but it is catchy, fun, and has a rather mellow yet upbeat melody throughout. With the positive, no bs taking lyrics added in, it’s definitely an empowering song that I don’t mind getting stuck in my head once a day.

LGGT Glee?

13 Nov

Glee can be silly at times, it can be stupid at times, and it can be wrong at times-but even knowing that, I am sometimes still shocked by some of the things the characters say on that show, and get away with. Obviously characters are dynamic and not perfect, so it’s not a reflection of the writers when they say offensive things; but when the characters are not portrayed in a negative light because of what they said, or no one points out what was wrong with it, it comes across as an okay thing to state.

Glee has always been known to have a pretty harsh view towards bisexuality; an openly gay student (Kurt) stated that it was merely a transitional phase for gay students too afraid to come out fully, and was never corrected. Brittany, the first and only bi character on the show, was never fleshed out fully and her sexuality was more of a plot device than character development. But I was beyond appalled by the second episode of this newest season, 5, and more than that, I was appalled by the lack of response to it I saw in the general community.

In the episode, several comments were thrown around about bisexuality when Santana mentioned her past girlfriend, Brittany. This included her love interest stating how she thinks Santana could use a “100%…goddess”; so are bisexuals incapable of being in same-sex relationships because they are not ’100%’ gay? Not a minute later, Santana states how nervous the new girl makes her, because she’s only ever been with bisexuals or girls looking for a fun experiment; note how bisexuals are compared to people exploring their sexuality or even just looking for a fun fling. It’s heavily implied that being with a lesbian will be the real deal, a stronger type of relationship, than one that could ever be possible with a bisexual.

Via zazzle.com

For those of you who know of Tumblr, you know how fans enjoy practically tearing the show apart whenever they find something dis-satisfactory or offensive (a gross generalization, I know). So I was surprised when all the negative stigmas Glee was portraying towards bisexuality were not even mentioned; I saw not a single post addressing this issue.

I thought the offensive bisexual stuff was over with long ago, but I was disappointed with how none of the things the characters stated were ever contradicted or addressed. Glee just has an overall offensive and superior view towards bisexuals, and I’m really disgruntled by how few people have commented on this.

Floating

25 Oct

To be honest, the first thought that came in my mind when I decided to write this was “Ugh. Like clock-work, here comes my biyearly angst ridden blog post.” And still here I sit, at 1:30 a.m. in my dorm room, typing. And since I have yet to write a proper college post, I owe it to my (..3?) faithful readers to update as well as share (cough, complain about) aspects of my life now.

I’m doing well at college. Sure, my grades are a bit rocky right now, but at least I can connect it to my study ethic that still hasn’t quite developed. I want to read more and I’ve watched way more How I Met Your Mother than I’d care to admit in the past few weeks, but I haven’t hit rock bottom or anything. My classes aren’t awful, the food is decent, my dorm room has never felt more homey, and my social groups are diverse and interesting. Even the showers aren’t so horrifying anymore.

My problem, which is the root of this blog post, has more to do with my social woes. Before coming to college, I never really considered myself as shy. I knew that I wasn’t the best at making conversation, but I spent so much time being talkative around familiar people that I convinced myself that I was only a bit quiet until one gets to know me. But now that I’m surrounded by so many new people, I’m realizing more than ever that yes, I am the epitome of shy. Shy doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t know how to speak in front of others, or that they are terrified of others; this was the social norm I had been using to define the word to avoid its application to myself. But the truth is, shy simply means someone who is quite quiet unless spoken directly to, intimidated by larger groups and one to hold their tongue often in front of new people.

I’ve met a lot of people here at school. I’ve made a lot of friends, too. But the problem is that I don’t feel as though I’ve really connected with them. I’m starting to fear that by lacking the ability to hold proper, one-on-one conversations with people has given me a shallow relationship with everyone I’ve befriended so far. This may seem backwards, but because of my social ineptness, I’m more comfortable with a group of 3-6 than with only one other person. With a larger group (of people I know, of course), the tone is always light and joking. It’s always fun and there are more people to fill silent gaps. This definitely means that it takes much longer for everyone in the group to become close to one another, but that’s how I made all of my high school best friends-over a very long amount of time. When I have to be alone with another person, it makes it so much more difficult.

Watching other people develop close relationships so quickly, to tell the truth, has been extremely hard. Social groups have already gotten very connected, and social media makes it so much worse when every facet of new, deeper connections are shown off every day. I’m not a very open, vulnerable person (the thought that a new friend could be reading this right now makes me want to crawl into a hole). I can’t ‘share life stories’ or discover inner secrets a couple weeks into knowing someone; I expose myself a piece at a time, potentially over years. It’s not like I have some huge secrets to reveal or anything, but the idea of seeming weak or needy or even whiny to someone I don’t know that well yet is horrifying. I don’t like to attract attention to myself in general, because I could be judged or embarrassed or ostracized forever (this contributes to the initial shyness thing).

I like having a few, close friends, as opposed to a large group of distant friends. But in a community where it feels like (at least on the surface) every one else is making large groups of close friends, I don’t quite know how to handle that. I hate going to things, even dinners, that I wasn’t invited to. I hate hearing stories about places I wasn’t at, seeing pictures of people I didn’t hang out with, and even conversations I wasn’t made a part of. Intrinsically I feel like I should be trying harder, changing something about how I interact with others, but I also don’t want to try too hard. I don’t want to change my personality in order to achieve something. I guess now I have to find the line between going out of my comfort zone, and not compromising my true self.

Well, this was quite a long and venting rant post. I’m pretty sure a lot of random things got thrown in and it’s chaotic, and a little (a lot) embarrassing if it were to get in the wrong hands. But now I’m curious if anyone else has been in this kind of social standstill. Let me know if you also have trouble connecting with others on a deeper level, and feel free to let me know how you’re doing in general!

Dyeing Curly Hair (CG Method)

19 Aug

At the beginning of this summer, my friend and I were interested in doing something we’d never done before. And school ending presented the perfect opportunity to bite the bullet and actually do it. I’d been obsessed with the idea of dyeing my hair, and only dyeing the ends was the perfect alternative for protecting my sensitive hair, not to mention placating my strict parents. So if you follow the CG method or have curly hair, or even if you just have sensitive hair, here’s everything I learned and experienced about dyed hair.

1. The Dyeing Process

I wanted to go with a bright, crazy color, since this was probably the one and only time I will ever dye my hair, so I went with purple (or technically, Lusty Lavender). I chose the brand Splat because it was one of the cheapest options; everything came right in the box for about $10, so I didn’t need to purchase bleach, peroxide, or any lighteners separately. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s CG safe. But at that moment, I figured that I was already damaging my hair by bleaching it, so I guess it didn’t really matter if it had any sulfates or silicones. But once my hair was dyed, I was following the full CG method.

Via flickr.com

My friend and I applied the bleach and dye with our hands to about the last 3-4 inches of our hair. We just slapped some on (we didn’t make braids/ponytails), wrapped it in foil, and later rinsed it out in the sink. If I remember correctly, we left the bleach and dye on for about an hour each. As a side note, the dye took FOREVER to rinse out of my hair, so long that I gave up and dried it before the water ran clear. I think after half an hour, that was a reasonable action.

We actually (miserably) missed out on the rest of our plans for that day because we didn’t plan properly, so set aside a LARGE chunk of time to do it, or even a whole day. The whole process took us about 6 hours, albeit this was our first time trying it. Another note is, prepare the space you will be using adequately. We were in the bathroom, and I covered the entire floor with newspaper, and taped over the sink/cabinets with cut plastic bags.

If I had to review this brand of dye, I would say it works reasonably well for beginners. Do not expect the color of your hair to look like the color on the box (I would say this goes for any dye) unless your hair is almost platinum blonde. Our bleached hair was a bit of a strong yellow/orange, and therefore our hair came out almost pink after dyeing. It was purple-ish at first, but it was definitely nothing like the picture.

I guess now comes the obligatory photo spam to show the transformation of my hair! Afterwards I’ll discuss how to take care of dyed curly hair.

hair

Drying my hair after bleaching

hair4

It’s not a Curry hair blog post until I’ve awkwardly edited out faces with smiley faces

hair5

Oh what the heck.
See how in different lighting it goes from purple to pink? These were taken the same day (notice the same shirt)

hair3

These were about 2 and a half weeks later. The color is definitely more faded/pink here

hair2

And here

Notice how the color looks different in each photo, because each had a different lighting? I guess there’s no way to show exactly how it looked, but it definitely ranged in several shades of purple/pink, and near the end, orange/blonde. If you aren’t interested in having pink hair, don’t use Lusty Lavender. No matter how purple it starts out, it will indubitably fade into pink eventually. And now for phase 2!

2. Taking Care of Your Dyed Hair

Let me just say this right off the bat: your hair will get damaged if you bleach/dye it. There is no way to get around that. Curly hair is much more porous and it will not take to this process as well as straight hair. I remember right after we finished, my friend and I felt how smooth her (straight) hair was, and then we felt how rough my (curly) hair felt. Different hair types just won’t react the same, and if you have curly hair I’m sure you know how damage-prone it is. So yes, my hair was very frizzy and damaged at first. The way I adapted to it is perhaps not financially smart (this process requires the dough, yo), but I started nearly doubling the amount of conditioner and product I used. I barely used shampoo and mostly started co-washing, which is using a silicone-free conditioner to rub/cleanse your scalp. I focused conditioner to the ends of my hair until it was goopy and super squishy. After showering I put about 3 different products in my hair, including anti-frizz creme, curl defining creme, and taming serum. Again, everything I used was CG friendly. I also avoided blow-drying and straightening because my hair did not need any more damage.

Some random little side things I learned was that every time my hair got wet, the color would run again. So when I showered I didn’t wait for the water to run clear, and I set aside a shirt that I was okay with staining pink, to dry it with. I also became deathly afraid of rain, in fear that my dye would start to run and stain my clothes/be an embarrassing mess.  Also, I learned to wash my hair less. Instead of my usual 3 times a week, I tried to wash 1-2 times a week. The less washing the better, especially for colors in the red/pink/purple spectrum.

So in summary, I would say these are the overall tips:

-Detangle well

-Be careful when it’s wet

-USE TONS OF PRODUCT. KEEP IT CONDITIONED

-Wash less

Overall, having my hair colored was fun and a cute thing to do over the summer (and by cute, I mean childish cute, because my friends told me I looked even younger than normal…). It was fun to try out a bunch of different hair styles with the pink in it, and it was lasting very nicely after more than a month. About 2 weeks ago though I got a major hair cut, just cause I wanted something new and the up-keep for the dye was a bit exhausting. But I would definitely recommend trying this out, if you’ve always been keen to dye your hair! Best of luck on your curly endeavors. :)

How to Always Have Enough Change

19 Aug

Via romanianmum.com

This is probably one of the most irrelevant and unrealistic posts I will ever write, but I figured it’d be fun to know and share with others. The secret to always having enough change for something isn’t in the amount of coins you have; it’s in the type of coins you have. Obviously no one is going to refill their wallet with this exact change combination every time they go shopping, which is why I said it’s unrealistic, but let’s proceed anyways, shall we?

The magic formula for always having exact change is the following:

4 pennies

1 nickel

4 dimes

3 quarters

The concept is simple enough; for each coin, that is the exact number of coins you need before it turns into the next type of tender. For example, if you had any more than 1 nickel, you would just use a dime. Therefore you will never need more than 1 nickel in your wallet, ever, so long as you carry dimes as well. I’m not exactly a rocket scientist for ‘coming up with this’, it’s just an obvious technique I picked up as a cashier. So if you ever find your wallet over-filled with coins and you don’t know which to keep and which to take to the bank, just keep enough to fulfill the magic combination!

And thus concludes the most random blog post I have ever written.

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