[It's Wednesday & L-A has two papers due this week and Ally's got her own work deadlines. In both cases, it involves a lot of binge eating and less sleep than either would like. So here's Anthony with a sort of movie review/fashion review for you.]
Anthony: First off let me apologize to anyone reading who may have actually managed to enjoy this movie.
A few months ago, I tried to see the film “Never Let Me Go” which proved much more difficult than I could have imagined. When a movie is critically acclaimed with an all star cast and based on a best-selling, award winning novel, you would think it would play in the downtown theatres for longer than a one week engagement. Unfortunately, “Never Let Me Go” was banished to the wasteland of the Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park (BLIP for phunzies) with a regular show time of 10 p.m.
Yeah, you read that correctly: one of the best movies of 2010 was only playing once a day at 10 p.m. in perhaps the most unfriendly pedestrian location in this city. Undeterred by this criminally ridiculous decision by Empire Theatres, I took a bus to the theatre to watch one the most beautifully gut-wrenching films I have ever seen. Aside from the amazing experience, “Never Let Me Go” is a perfect snapshot of how to dress like a super-chic-yet-clearly-not-fussy-English-twenty-something.
Upon arriving at the theatre I noticed a movie title I did not recognize that was blessed with four daily show times – “A Touch of Grey”. I was curious to see what kind of film would merit all of these more convenient show times over “Never Let Me Go” so I investigated using the power of YouTube.
After reading the title, I think you can see where I’m going with this.
“A Touch of Grey” is a Canadian film about four women who meet up for a “girls’ night” 25 years after high school. Each woman is at a crossroads in her life and over the course of four bottles of wine they get drunk, vent about their feelings, scream melodramatically and change into their pyjamas as they accept their new roles in life.
Four bottles of wine over the course of an evening? The trailer makes it look they get trashed in this hotel room after splitting four bottles between four people. That’s a bottle each. A bottle of wine is an appetizer in my world. If I cried and wore pyjamas after a single bottle of wine, I would never wear pants after 6 o’clock. To be honest, I find these films insulting to women. They present women defined by classic, outdated stereotypes – bitchy career woman, ditzy housewife, divorcee and the frumpy one – as if everyone watching is going to look to these one note characters and think, “Wow, they really get me.”
Watching the trailer, I get a feeling that the writers were looking to create an empowering piece about middle aged women finding the passions in life, reconnecting with the vigour of their youth and growing as human beings but all I see are four boozed up soccer moms cackling about whose husband is cheating on who. If you want to empower women don’t dress them up in a wardrobe that looks like a uniform for their character. At the end of the trailer when they’re all lying on the couch in their comfy clothes, why does the mom have to wear the kitschy matching pyjamas and the “sexy business woman” wear the large t-shirt you know she borrowed from her macho husband? Why can’t the mom wear something sexy? Why does the woman trying to recapture her youth have to wear animal print? Why oh why do empowering movies for women use such tired clichés?
Give me a movie where four women share four boxes of wine and sit around in elegant sleepwear, bitching about their lives. And don’t refer me to “Sex and the City” films – I like to pretend they don’t exist.
L-A: Do fashion blogs even review PJs? Maybe we should. Then again, mine consist of oversized pants and old t-shirts…not exactly stylish. So maybe not. Anytheway, when Anthony showed this movie trailer to Jill and I, our reaction was exactly the same: Only four bottles?!? Maybe if the trailer had said, “One Hotel Room. Four Women. 16 Bottles.” we would have believed the messy mascara and the pleas for Patti to let her explain already. But one bottle? Please. That’s pre-game drinks before karaoke.
[ed. note: A slight correction about Never Let Me Go show times at Empire Theatres. It actually ran for two weeks at the Oxford, a week at Bayer's Lake and then a week of 10pm only at Bayers Lake. Our bad. Opinions on Touch of Grey still stand.]